Posted by intellisg on August 21, 2007
Man it had to happen – it’s bound to happen – and now it’s finally happened. What am I talking about? The Singapore Government has decided to put on their space suits and magnetic booties to explore cyber space big time. It’s all here in this article:
Nope it’s not just talk this time, it’s real and just in case you have any doubts, I have even gutted out the juicy bits just to show you how serious they are in projecting into the virtual:
“AN IT-SAVVY government agency here owns an island – but one which does not exist in the real world.
Along with at least two other agencies, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has bought real estate to operate in a universe that exists only online.
This virtual world, called Second Life, is visited by more than 8.9 million residents from about 100 real-world countries.
Besides the IDA, the Singapore Tourism Board and Economic Development Board have bought stakes there – not for commercial gain, but to reach their audiences, or to explore operations in a virtual world.
Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts Balaji Sadasivan, revealing this yesterday, noted that life in this digital age was making the world increasingly porous, so it was important for people to ‘exploit the opportunities opening up’ in the cyberworld.”
Now I know most of you don’t really know what the virtual is – it remains the stuff of I know, but not really. So I am going to spend a few minutes just laying it out. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Government, Sociology, Technology | 109 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 21, 2007
Some articles are easy to write, others are just painful – this is the latter. I had it lying around in my inbox for months rotting away, but it seems like a good time now to just let it go when all the confetti about the ND speech has settled. It’s a very personal take on what happens when we go on-line to search for God – a cautionary tale even about how a good idea can go so very wrong so bear in mind though the message may even be humorous, the message is dead serious. If you’re not in the mood for the personals this Tuesday, skip it. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Religion | 22 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007
What’s the Dodo program again? – The proposition: that socio-political blogging accomplishes nothing because it’s sorely lacking in affirmative action.
This is gloss from a two part series, albeit with my own personal twist on how Socio-political bloggers can survive the extinction event. If you have not read the two part series please do so, as it will provide you the foundation to understand much of what I have to present in this article.
Part 1 and Part 2
This is my first attempt at “machine” writing with the kind guidance of my colleagues who have both been patient and very helpful to give me insightful tips. I has always been one of my dreams to write for the brotherhood press and this is a debut article.
The general theme is to tie in many of the loose ends mentioned in Part I and II of this series. Along with this I have also highlighted the importance of setting the right expectation, perspective and strategy for both blogger, readers and researchers if they are to thrive in this brave new age of the internet.
I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Reading. Aurora. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Economics, Politics, Sociology | 36 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007
This is the second of a 2 part essay.
You can really call it what you want. For me, the whole idea of floating the balloon “socio-political blogging doesn’t accomplish anything just because it’s a wind bag” is as close to buying into Dodo software.
The term deployed is precise, premeditated and deliberate because taken to its logical end Dodo software is just lousy and unimaginative thoughtware – follow it to the ‘T’ and don’t be surprise if it you end sitting in a cave picking ticks off your mate while the rest pick entrails to make sense of the destiny of mankind’s fate.
The whole proposition of linking socio-political blogging with affirmative action or even doing something is flawed because firstly, it imposes a corseted definition on ‘usefulness’ in the context of how it’s able to solicit real and meaningful change. It’s not so different from saying anyone who is over six-foot is tall and useful, and those who fall short of this criteria must simply be relegated to the ranks of “useless.” That’s hardly a new theme. Every age crafts their own respective measures of what constitutes an effective means to solicit social change. Even in ordinary speech, it’s to be seen every where often taking the guise, “get on your bike” – “go and do something useful” – don’t just talk, make it happen” – it’s appears cogent, persuasive even to suggest seeing to be doing something remains the only to effect real change.
However, there is a fatal flaw in holding on to this logic as it elides whole sale the need to first address the first protocol of reasoning: Where are we? What is our environment? What is the best way to cut the cake? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Economics, Politics, Sociology | 22 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 17, 2007
You all know what Dodo birds are don’t you? The Dodo aka Raphus cucullatus was a flightless bird which once lived a placid existence on the island somewhere in West Indies. The dodo has gone the way of the dinosaur since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of describing lousy thoughtware that leads to inexorable extinction. The phrase “it’s history like the dodo” means undoubtedly and unquestionably dead beyond all possibility of recall. The stuff of gone with the wind, kaput, habis, finito etc. The verb phrase “to go the way of the dodo” means you’ve just bought yourself a one way ticket to the end of the road.
Recently, I came across a Dodo statement, don’t ask me where I read it, but it’s probably very near a place where the road runs out and after that a cliff follows. The statement goes like this:
“I share a common view with Alex Au (aka Yawning Bread) that there is an over optimistic view that the internet is the answer to the tipping point for political change in Singapore. In reality, it does not work for a few reasons. First of all, there is no direct translation of activity from social political blogs to the real world. Most of us (including myself) are armchair critics. If Martyn See’s video is that effective, the political parties involved should all be helping those poor people out there. Has there been any action taken to help those poor people? Has anyone alerted the authorities that we need to help those people? It is the lack of action that convinces me that the social political blogs in Singapore do not have an influence in the off-line world.”
Do you really want to know why I believe this statement deserves the Dodo award of the year? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Politics, Sociology | 32 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 16, 2007
You know what? It just dawned on me. There are a few things which are iconic to only “me.” Well not actually the ‘me’ that I am even remotely conscious of – rather it’s the “me’ that others just associated with me.
The stuff that usually provokes the trite expression, “it’s so him, isn’t it?”
One of them has to be my venerable Hewlett –Packard 12c which I never fail to whip out to mark out my boundary on a conference table. I am sure you all seen that prehistoric Soviet era paper weight. Born at an age when microchips where vomiting and struggling to say, gu-gu-mama. These days when my HP 12c sits alongside the likes of modern PDA’s cum phones, camera’s, GPS navigator etc, it just looks like a prehistoric fossil set alongside space age high tools.
But you know what, it doesn’t bother me. For one it’s a dream to use and through the years you’ve be amazed what I have managed to do with this little baby. For one it’s a winner with its easy-to-use layout, crispy buttons with just the right tactile feel, a clear monotone one-line LCD display and the best thing, its discreet, not like the modern ones that all regularly dole out ring tone torture.
Yes, I know these days, one can probably get something that’s roughly a million times better than my trusted HP 12c, but that’s hardly the point of this article – I am asking a very fundamental question here; why do some things endure? While others just go the way of the dodo bird? To paraphrase, why do some things remain ageless and timeless well beyond their age? While others can hardly even maintain their foothold as they’re swept away into the garbage heap of “has-been’s” I guess you could ask the same for monuments, sculptures, music, film stars, relationships, firms, philosophies, ideologies or for that matter anything under the sun.
Have you really wondered, what’s the winning secret that separates a winners from a loser? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Economics, Sociology, Technology | 1 Comment »
Posted by intellisg on August 15, 2007
Recently, I lunched with a university mate of mine and half way through, he lamented how it’s almost impossible these days to find a “decent” girl. Usually, I don’t butt in till the rant runs it’s course, but on this occasion. It just came out the way it did. Please don’t press me where it came from. I have absolutely no idea besides I have a good excuse, I fell down a flight of stairs when I was six and hit my head in every conceivable direction to qualify as a “believe-it-or-not” showpiece. I am serious. I even have those grainy X-rays and autographed plaster cast to prove it.
What did I say? Well something like this, “Maybe you’re still single because you don’t understand the economics of getting hitched?” That did it, my friend promptly stood up, flashed a flustered look of frustration and promptly packed off leaving me to pay the bill. Now as I sat there negotiating how I could down the remainder of his tuna sandwich without getting half of it on my trousers.
I wondered to myself why can’t we use economics to make sense of love? I am serious. Hell, we use it from everything to send a man to the moon – designing how wide roads should be even how many families should be pigeon holed into HDB estates. It begs the question: why do so many use economics as a basis for making sense of matters of the heart? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Economics, Sociology | 3 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 15, 2007
I am sure you’ve experience it before. It goes like this: you read, see or hear something in the real world and form an opinion on it. Then you log on only to find the same topic written in an opposite way. It leaves you wondering, “hey, did I miss something or what?”
Calm down, you’re not in the “twilight zone,” you’ve just stepped into the “parallel universe.” – the internet.
The Parallel universe is a self-contained separate reality coexisting with our own known world, it implies a relationship with our own universe. The internet and the MSM is perhaps one of the starkest representation of this motif where truths are as malleable as chewing gum. Often differing to such a degree one can even draw endless contradictory accounts to suggest they are two different worlds set so far apart – heaven and earth would do quite nicely to describe the relationship.
What’s really behind this contradictory depiction of the truth? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Philosophy | 2 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 13, 2007
You have no possible idea how I rued the passing of the Parisian inspired Crazy horses show. Only because a perky derriere and a silken mane does wonders for a flagging appetite – these days, I am back to staid Sentosa, whenever I have to entertain my regular troupe of overseas customers whenever they make their way to Singapore. Things just aren’t the same.
Recently there has even been talk of turning our little red pimple into a Monaco of sorts. Yes, I know the Formula 1 is scheduled to make its roaring debut soon. Along with the ear shattering screams and the aroma of burning exotic rubber – it’s enough for me get excited again.
But I am already jaded and there is enough of me to say “we’ve seen it before haven’t we?”, the sort who knows only too well how hatching a smart product is only half the story. The other half of is whether such “great ideas” can sustain and more importantly make money without fizzling out like Crazy horses and packing off like a traveling circus. Whenever I am in one of my famous fatalistic moods, I console myself with sobering thoughts like – have you forgotten the helium filled days of the dot-com era? – didn’t Temasek take a dive with Shin Corp? – Hey remember those Iranian Siamese twins who died?
Yes, we have all seen it before haven’t we –the before, during and sad after when some great idea starts off with all the razzmatazz only to slink silently away with an air of abject embarrassment – I wonder: why do good ideas go so bad? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Business, Policy, Sociology | Comments Off on Let’s not go down the way of the Crazy Horses Again! – A Lesson in Basics in Business.
Posted by intellisg on August 9, 2007
Somewhere in Middle America on a spring June in 1947, a traveling salesman by the name of Kenneth Arnold proclaimed to the world; he spotted the first flying saucer in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. At first everyone brushed him off as a Looney. But this didn’t stop Arnold and his motley crew from spreading their message through out the American radio circuit. No one really took them seriously beyond regarding them as freak shows in between advertising slots for detergents and soda pops.
But it was just after WW2 and most Americans were tired of looking down, flying saucers offered a good excuse as any to lift one’s head towards the heavens. Today – ‘UFO’ ranks as the second most Googled word and scores the second highest hit just after ‘porn’ – three in every five people believe our planet has been visited by an alien civilization – there’s even an US government funded program (SETI) to look for little green men.
I wonder are they all delusional? Perhaps they know something, you and I don’t know….
These days anything to do with UFO’s is serious business. Gone are the days when the likes of Arnold and his motley crew were treated like inbreeding cretins paraded around like circus freaks. These days UFO believers make the Freemasons look like a consortium of bus drivers. Don’t believe me –check it out yourself;
Reads like a who is who’s list. Right? Still think we’ve crazy? Not so sure now are you? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, National Day | 2 Comments »
Posted by intellisg on August 7, 2007
While writing the second part of this series on ‘how do you tell a real, from a fake elite?’ I found myself mulling over an issue which started as roughly the size of a mustard seed: did you ever consider, how your assumptions about ‘elites’ came about?
By lunch time, that seed had grown to roughly the size of a tennis ball. Yet, I was still no closer to resolving the mystery – did someone put it in my head? (this may be another case for agent Molder and Scully). After rummaging through the annals of my averagely miserable childhood – I realized none of my teachers or for that matter even any my friends actually spoke to me about what an ‘elite’ is or isn’t – let alone how they should or shouldn’t behave and how to recognize one.
Mmmh strange…very strange. Maybe someone fiddled with the water supply? No, I am just kidding, but you get my drift don’t you. It’s disconcerting when you can’t pin down – how a thought managed to latch itself so firmly into your head.
Now if this sounds to you like the ‘revelation’ scene in the Matrix when Morpheus presents Neo with the ‘red and blue pills’ with the prophetic words,
“You take the blue pill – the story ends here, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland …… Neo, I don’t know how it will end, all I can tell you for certain how your journey will begin.”
That’s because this is one of those rare cases when life actually mirrors art – it begins the very moment you click on that ‘continue reading further’ side bar Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Elitism | 1 Comment »
Posted by intellisg on August 2, 2007
I don’t know about you, but did you ever wish you had a portable shit snooper that could smell out a fake elite? Well I’ve searched ebay, it doesn’t exist! That’s an indication of how many times I had the desire to know whether, I am actually listening to a fake or real elite as he yaps away – sounds familiar? Ever been in that situation when you’re watching TV or listening to that guy on the podium?
How do you really tell the real from the fake? Do you really want to know?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in B'hood, Elitism | 70 Comments »