Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Where am I headed to? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea. A cynic, an idealist, a person with ideas, but NATO. Am I? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Mental Blog

i was at blog con today. the first thing that struck me was the turnout. it was a great turnout, considering that it wasn't really that mass publicised. the other thing that struck me was that some of the people there were very outspoken, very expressive. the next thing that struck me was B's fist in my face, cos i was gawking at some really cute girl. no... that didn't really happen. but there were quite a few very good looking ladies in there.

i think the blog con revealed a very interesting development. i feel that the bloggers' community provides for a viable germinating place of a healthy and vibrant civil society. it is, in my opinion, the most likely successful space between the public and the private (i.e. the people sector). the sheer fact that the bloggers con managed to get funding from both the government (Shine grants from MCYS) and private sector (Microsoft) and being able to tell both parties that the organisers will only verbally mention both of them is testament to how potentially powerful a force the bloggers' community is.

though there was one thing that i didn't quite understand about the bloggers' community. some members of the community seem to be rather anti-establishment. to a fault. so much so that when they realised that there were reporters from the press at the conference, they sent some not so nice remarks to the online chat forum (that was displayed at the conference). of course, those remarks might just simply be in jest. if it was, then perfectly fine. if not, then perhaps we must ask ourselves, why are we suspicious of the press? do we really believe that it is controlled by the government. even if it is, so what? is it because we are think that the government is using the reporters to spy on us and then potentially invoke ISA and detain those of us who dare to say things that are vaguely out of line?

does that mean that we are afraid to stand up and take ownership of what we say? but then again, why is that the case? unless of course we don't believe enough in what we say. or we were not being responsible when we blogged.

it brings me to the other issue that i have in mind. one of the lawyers at the bloggers con said something very interesting, freedom of expression doesn't mean you are free to say anything you want. the ability to write and express is a very great power. and in the immortal words of uncle ben, "With great power comes great responsibility." even if you don't think of it as a power, but as a right, with rights come responsibility. an irresponsible remark might open up some social fissures, cause tremors along societal fault lines and prove damaging to self and to society at large.

now question will be whether the people around are prepared to discern irresponsible remarks, rational enough to point them out and dismiss them logically, or would gut feelings take over causing the problem to escalate out of control? do we have a society that can independently, without any centralised authority, self-regulate? or does the government, in the guise of MDA, have to come in?

speaking about MDA, i was at the Local Media Taskforce meeting thing (see my previous post for more information). and there was this doctor from Bombay who feels that the government should have a tighter control over the media. there were also other members (all representatives of the People sector) who seem to feel that it is perfectly fine for the government to use the media as a tool for social engineering. and i believe that there are many more such people around. however, these people tend to be the not so youthful (i.e. above 35). and you have the younger people who are clamouring for the media to evolve naturally, for the government to not control it, for there to be freedom of expression, etc. however, one must realise that if the government doesn't control it, the markets will naturally step in. and between the government and the market (i.e. those big evil corporations)... it's like the devil and the deep blue sea... but i'd go with the devil (i.e. the government). at least i trust that this government, for all its faults, still have the interest of the people (i.e. the greater good) at heart. heck, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

of course, it would be best to have a healthy mix of all 3P's (i.e. Public, Private and People). and of these 3P's the people sector is, in my opinion, the most important. a very very intelligent and wise friend of mine said, "the best safeguard of a society is an enlightened populous." now the million dollar question, who's role is it to enlighten the populous? the government? or the people ourselves? i'd say the onus is on us, the people, to raise oursevles by our own bootstraps. not possible you say? would you rather have the government do it? or would it be best to again adopt the 3P's model?

well well. it's late and my mom wants me to accompany her on some exercise thing that the Residents' Committee organises every Sunday morning. i think i should get more involved in all these RC organised events. cringeable as they might be, it is after all things that are happeninng in my own neighbourhood. it is really time to get to know my neighbours and fellow residents better.

it's so cold and comfortable. now all i need is an all natural, soft, huggable heater next to me, who is hopefully pleasant looking. sighz. alas, alas...


Blogger jasmi said...

the govt has to let go. only when they do, can or will the populus take responsibility for what the media presents. if the markets come in and throw us crap, then the people will react to it. if they dont, then maybe its what they want. if its what they want, then they should get it right? even with the govt there..after all a democracy is 'by the people, for the people' so eventually a govt which serves the people will allow the crap. if what the people wants is not the best for it, then the govt can show them why - even when the crap is shoved at us. what we have now is a population that cannot decide for themselves what is crap so even if the govt gives it to us.. we wouldn't know better.

2:20 AM

Blogger garota said...

taking ownership of one's expressions, as well as corresponding responsibility, is fine and good. inherently oppressive structures, however, can make that a difficult exercise. the point, then, at which order/stability and liberties/freedoms can be negotiated is (in my humble opinion) the crux of the responsibility in expression issue.

in sg's case, this point does not seem one that is legitimately representative with (at least) certain visible sections of the "people's sector".

6:55 AM

Blogger rench00 said...

but isn't the media market as it is now (i.e. dominated by huge corporations) an inherently oppressive structure?

i wonder whether the populous at large is actually capable of knowing what is crap. or whether we will continue to, unknowingly, accept shit and rubbish in today's mass media (as is what is happening already). do we want to turn into coach potato america?

also, people don't always want what they should have and sometimes people want things that they should have. of course, we can say, then those people deserve to die. but what if in the process of them dying, they bring down other people. doesn't the government therefore have the responsibility to ensure that that doesn't happen (hey... isn't that what we pay them millions of dollars to do?). or should the rest of the population, i.e. the more enlightened elements, be playing that role?

10:39 AM


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