Sunday, August 09, 2009

Yay to 44 years of "National Development": A comment on a comment.

Found this rather amusing (but scary) comment on the ST Forum: Why not introduce Net filter here? (Tan Shao Ken, ST Forum, Online Story, Aug 10 2009).

It is short enough, so I'll reproduce the text as an entire quote here:

IN RECENT months, there have been reports on China's plan to introduce an Internet filter.

I wonder if Singapore is planning to introduce such filters to curb certain content on the Internet.

With 90 per cent of Singaporeans having Net access, it is easy for one to obtain tonnes of information, regardless of whether it is accurate or not.

There are educational and children's clips on video-sharing websites, such as YouTube and MetaCafe, that have been remixed to include vulgarities.

It is shocking to know that everyone, even children, can access these videos and learn the wrong things. An Internet filter can restrict their access to such clips.

The third paragraph amused me the most. Some questions come to mind:

a) How did the statement flow logically? Fact: 90% Singaporeans with net access; and so Conclusion: easy for 1 Singaporean to obtain tons of information???

b) Who decides what is accurate? The onus is on the intelligent reader to constantly question the material and to probe it for inconsistencies. Mr Tan obviously thinks there is some oracle out there (read: the greater mortals) who WILL tell him about what is accurate and NOT tell him about what is not.

Even in the rigorous world of peer-reviewed scientific publications, it is necessary to read a published result carefully to avoid mis-interpretation or to catch any inconsistencies that escaped the peer-review process.

To me, I'm sorry to say, Mr. Tan is the product of 44 years of nannying and he is NOT alone.

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