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Month: May, 2011

Road march

The 6km road march was hell. The moment I threw that 17kg load on the floor, it must have felt better than clearing the housing loans for the family. I confess I may have teared during then, but again, I wasn’t really sure with all that sweat dripping along every contour of my face. It’s quite a traumatic experience, especially for a scrawny wuss like me. But even feeling the bad sores on my shoulder which have yet to completely ebb, I am actually silently anticipating for the next and even further one. I may not be physically fit enough to handle that right now but I know that I will when I am expected to. No one ever said limit pushing is fun, it’s only satisfying. But be glad that most satisfaction works on one substantial level, it feeds the soul with good food for further milestones, although pointless, that’s a strong enough reason for me to push on.

Apart from the good food brought by satisfaction, it’s soothing on the ego to see the pack decrease as those that are either physically, or the way I like to see it, mentally impaired fall out when the march drags almost incessantly. Their moanings, the adjusting of velcro vest and the soft thud made by the dropping of bag pack works like a symphony to my ears. Dramatizing my experience, those that fall behind are my involuntarily percussionist and to do the same I will only be musical mockery to those that leads the pack, I will never see myself the same way if I did that. Simply put it, the candies to my shoulder seemed much less attractive when it’s at the expense of bludgeoning my ego, that was the idea that echoed again and again whenever I felt like throwing the load and that condescending morbidity worked. They say that NS is about working together as a team, doesn’t work that way for me, fuck unity, I like to feel better.

Speaking of road marches, field camp will start as soon as my next book in, which is a day more to go. As I am typing this comfortably while hugging a bolster with my right arm, it’s hard to be imaginative on digging and sleeping in cold mud for 4nights straight. I just hope the novelty of sharing a bed with a colony of termites while staring at a horizon of stars can triumph over all discomfort. While most folks are eager to pull the trigger to the first live round of their lives, I am not your typical adrenaline junkie, guns are boring instruments of death and I have no intention of firing anything out from that rusting muzzle. I just hope everything can be through with ASAP.

That’s all. Bye.

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Good

Afternoon ladies. Nothing beats a deep afternoon nap.

I just returned from a trial of surviving 14days in a not too distant island away from Singapore. I wouldn’t say the experience is fun, but it definitely isn’t as bad as some petty whiners would put it. Other than the complete lack of intellectual exposure and decent reading material in camp, I remain indifferent about serving my country. It’s an inevitable two years so cliche it might be, but I’ll just have to make the best use out of it, there surely are useful things to pick up from as long as you inculcate optimism into your attitude. To think of it, nothing can really be harsher than working 14hours a day and nearly 30days a month under the supervision of vile managers and not to mention aristocratic guests who judge you as slaves the moment they set their foot in.

Glad to announce, I got buffed up most definitely, nothing like the models in MenHealth’s but just slightly. At the very least, my limbs don’t look that of a stick insect now. Contrary to popular belief, physical training on most days are slow, with at least 15~20mins rest interval after 2hours of vigorous training, nothing too sore on the muscles yet. There was only one day which fucked me up pretty bad after 6hours of uncompromising running, swimming, lifting of weights and marching while our scrotum drip of sweat with the sun melting our faces, I can barely feel my thigh the next day, other than so, it’s mostly lax. To fulfill my recent passion of buffing up, I really pray that more physical excrement can be harried at us the next time we book in other than propagandist lessons in the lecture theaters.

The commanders are nice as well, but sometimes a little too nice or even apathetic towards our performance. Say Hi to your unmotivated sergeants months away from their ORD date but of course, there are also sergeants who takes prides in being a leader and does their job properly at the expense of being hated. I prefer the latter.

Oh, and welfare. Not to be a heretic but these days, welfare floods the SAF and it’s uneasy to know considering who we are and where we are, we are recruits in the army, the algae of the food chain. Forms, forms and more forms are filled up to figure out the personal problems of our fellow soldiers and even interviews are conducted to discuss them. While others are enjoying their admin time from these draggy and needless interviews, I can’t stop questioning the point of it and imagine commanders giving us hair dryer service for our lack of discipline. Shouldn’t NS rightfully be a deliberate cesspool of humanity in aims of developing discipline in delinquents, pampered babies and whatnot? How and when the fuck did welfare came into the equation? Oh, petty complains from Singaporeans, right.

And speaking of delinquents, other than beyond the tall gates of Changi, Tekong might just be the second best place in Singapore to observe human nature. It’s the normative, for our nature to leaks in our most desperate times. Be it withdrawal symptoms from the drastic reduction of daily cigarettes intake or crankiness from the lack of sleep, Tekong is a fucking utopia in observing people. Judge me to be judgmental(oh irony lol) but within days you can clearly pin out those whose future shines from those that will probably end up hopping on odd jobs without any achievement even by the time they enter middle age. It’s nothing about the education level, but outlook and attitude. I personally see light in the future of a certain tattoo dude equipped only with PSLE education but shadow in some more educated ones. Whiners die first in our world, don’t justify stupid systems but instead, climb the hierarchy and change the system. If only I can tell them that without being slammed or looked with askance.

Also, my respect for foreigners over locals are more substantiated than ever. I know I know, that they are only here to rob our jobs and severe ties with our nation as soon as they have earned enough to live luxuriously in their own country giving them a reason to endure the hardships. Whereby middle class Singapore’s are only in a vicious cycle of a rat race which makes us desperate and whiny about life. That isn’t false, but to think about it, they are still who they are and that shouldn’t change the respect they deserve. Generally speaking(so spare me examples of a certain foreigner X being lazy), foreigners are go getters, they are ambassadors of strict discipline and most importantly, they follow instructions and have their mouth zipped at all times. They are cool and I like them.

Finally, I won’t deny that NS can be boring, we are always waiting to rush and rushing to wait. But again, that’s inevitable since we must travel as a company with strength of 260. But boredom is the sinewy of all philosophy and entertaining my brain isn’t a chore at all. I have many upcoming papers in mind right now and I promise to flesh them out in the near future. More gratifyingly, you get to see humans of all background and trades, some amazing people and others a total disgrace to humanity. Not that i embrace the diversion amongst them but it’s a beautiful scene to observe although sometimes tormenting.

That’s all I have to rant for the time being. Can’t wait for my field camp to start and end so there can be more focus on attaining at least a sliver for my next IPPT. Bye.

Bye.

World.

Will be kissing goodbye to my pink IC tomorrow and have my head shaved.

Army life will commence in 10hrs to come and I don’t have much idea what’s installed ahead, which actually is a good thing. I have no expectations on any blessings, I don’t think I deserve any of them. What I do hope is anal excrement to be hauled at me on a daily and nightly basis, but after working in a cesspool of a restaurant for 6months, I guess those shit will only be perceived as candies. Apart from so, pray for me that army life isn’t boring and for my success in enabling change.

This isn’t philosophy, just my mundane life of nothing and failure and no friends to address(books are my only friends) so yep, fucking off right away.

Thinking nice and thinking right.

Julia Galef recently wrote a post questioning if there’s an actuality to Math or is Math just an invention to ease our understanding of the world. I am not a “Math Person”, so it’s not a topic that I would see myself interested in. But as I continued reading her essay, it made me more intrigued than I thought I would be.

Julia feels that Math is more likely than not an invention as too many of it’s theorems conflicts with each other, so in support of the hypothesis, Julia used the contradicting example of 0^0. The conflict happens when one theorem states that zero raised to any power equals zero but another theorem says that anything raised to the power of zero equals one. So with both theorems taken to be axioms in Math, does 0^0 = 0 or does 0^0 = 1?

Now Julia isn’t an expert in Math so she approached google, which confirms mathematicians in practice act as if 0^0 = 1. But the answer doesn’t satisfy her as she’s aware that mathematicians are only practicing this approach so to avoid further controversies, such as the Binominal Theorem that will need to be revised in more tedious ways if 0^0=0 instead. So to curb her curiosity on the matter, she wrote to her friend, a Math student and her response is to my complete amusement.

Here’s the witty reply, “There are some further reasons why using 0^0 = 1 is preferable, but they boil down to that choice being more useful than the alternative choices, leading to simpler theorems, or feeling more “natural” to mathematicians. The choice is not “right”, it is merely nice.”

Even unrelated to Maths, the last sentence was something very witty to ponder on, the cognitive bias of thinking right and nice. If reputable mathematicians can fall victims to such an error, doesn’t it make us more vulnerable to it in everyday life?

The first thing that springs to me is of course religion. I had a very interesting encounter with a Muslim and Christian friend sometime back. As they were making prayers before meal, I casually commented that although their prayers may be different, technically, both of them are praying to the same person, the Judaism God. And I further commented that the Qu’ran is largely like the Bible if you read deeply to it and what separates both religion is the timeline it was discovered(Islam was discovered 600years after Christianity) making them they see their prophets differently(Eg. Christian sees Jesus as the Son of God but Muslim see’s him as a regular prophet whereas Muhammad is the chosen messenger by God).

I admit I was tactless and it wasn’t a conversation meant to be brought up over dinner top. But at the same time little did I expect their reaction. Appalled by my unholy(but factual) words, the Muslim sat at her seat silent as the Christian retorted my statements aggressively. Being the bigot that I still am, I didn’t stop and continued to quote history to support my stance. The Christians didn’t stop either, he invoked many clauses in the Bible saying they are of complete differences but what we didn’t realize is, the Muslim is actually silently weeping amidst our argument.

My friend that was outside of the argument realized that soon enough and put an end to our bickering by saying, “You can think what you want, he can think what he want, there is no right or wrong. Just stop it.” Now I do understand her concerns over the emotional trauma our Muslim friend is suffering from across the table but by claiming what she did, is she thinking nice or thinking right?

The similar cognitive error may also occur in arguments with large pieces of grey areas like abortion or homosexual rights. Should abortion be legalized for example, since it’s a problem that deals with personal moral values and conscience, there probably is no definite truth. So in this scenario if two friends were arguing on the topic, it’s perfectly acceptable for it to be concluded subjectively.

But what if we tweaked the question a little and made it, “Is the legalization of abortion a positive influence or negative one to society?” Now although the root of the subject is the same, the argument should no longer be revolved around moral conscience but instead, the breaking down of it’s influence both positive and negatively. And influence is something that can be weighted and scrutinized, one must surely inch over the other. In short, this is a question that’s capable of an objective conclusion, however, it’s very likely for it to be concluded the same way as the previous. Why?

Because the although the questioned was changed, the subject isn’t, on “abortion”. A sensitive subject considering that many of today’s dominating religion are strict against it. So to avoid harsh feeling amongst friends, we dismiss the argument in a pacifist manner by concluding it’s subjective. But are we then thinking right or thinking nice about it? Is the question a sensitive one therefore it’s subjective or is the question subjective therefore it’s sensitive?

Sensitive questions isn’t the only ones that suffer from similar cognitive bias, tedious questions are equally prone as well. For example, can science determine moral values? By the first look of it, given the shady definition of what “Moral Values” essentially are, it’s likely a question that ends subjectively. But assuming that moral values were standardized and prefixed with a firm definition, should the question be concluded the same way? No. But will it?

Very possibly since it’s a tedious question that requires us to hold Phds in it’s respective fields and be digging mountains into mines before we can reach an agreeable and objective conclusion. But knowing the trouble that we will need to hurdle through doesn’t make the question a subjective one does it? Are we then thinking nice or thinking right by concluding it is?

I can go on to quote a million more examples that falls victim to the category of nice thinking but that would be pointless. Everyone wants to be nice these days and thinking right is just being anal by general standard’s. However I hope my post had been an enlightenment in triggering your thoughts on subjectivity and thinking nice.

Is language good enough for philosophy ?

In the times of our great great great ancestors, instead of languages, bodily gestures and facial expressions were first used to convey messages. To express basic emotions like fear, sadness and happiness and to signal simple messages with the use of our prominent body parts(think clean). But due to the constraints of what we can accurate communicate just with four limbs, they soon moved to languages.

Before language is written, it is first verbal. We understand that our mouth is not only capable of eating but also to vocalize a wide range of different noises. Basic meanings were attributed to a small pool of these noises for very simple communication. Soon enough, we learnt on how to organize this noises and more specifically express our needs. We gave symbols to these noises which marked the conception of the first Language. (For a very witty and clear explanation on how language evolved, I highly recommend reading “The First Idea”)

Almost 50 thousands years have passed since the conception of language and language isn’t very much different from then. Thinking carefully about it, language just became more ubiquitous and more words are invented thanks to the friendly help of lexicographers. Apart from so, it’s function isn’t different, it’s mode of expression isn’t different and it’s constraints as a communication tool stays to restrict the progress of philosophy .

In terms of expressing and learning, language definitely isn’t essential. Just think about it, how do babies learn about the familiarities of our world without having any prior installation of language in their head. Or how are the extreme unfortunates that are mute, deaf and blind able to excel in life as university graduates. Or on a personal recount, when was the last time you knew you had something in your mind but just couldn’t speak out what it exactly was. Is it a flop based on the command of your mother language or is it the language itself that made that flop?

Having these evidence on hand, it’s for a fact that language as we know today is being far from essential as a tool to communicate. Based on what we are familiar with, although it may be the most convenient way of communicating but in terms of sophistication is it the best for philosophy?

In math we have discovered arithmetic figures to succinctly express problems which also hastens the drawing up of solutions. Saying 9-5=4 is definitely less tedious than saying five subtracted from nine equals to four. Also, we have figured out the means of graphs, diagrams and hypothetical models to understand patterns and overcome problems. And in the scenario of Science, since it’s a combination of logicalities and maths. Graphs, models and arithmetic numbers are also applicable in the study of science.

But what about philosophy, the study of human reasoning. Do we have any tangible modes of expression other than languages that gives us even the slightest edge in learning?

Some may argue that the application of arithmetics is not only unique to the study of Science and Math but Philosophy as well. Evidently, many philosophy essays are written with the example of jargons from science and arithmetic numbers. But you see, since many of the today’s philosophy were derived from ancient greek it’s an inevitable phenomenon.

The most successful of thinkers those days were not only great in the playing grounds of philosophy but at the same time, science, poetry, ethics, politics, music and even drama(Eg, Plato and Aristotle). Given their background, it’s only natural for them to be quoting lexicons from other fields to support their theory. These lexicons may be applicable as a metaphorical backing but it doesn’t directly empower the field of study or enable an extra advantage in learning it.

The trouble is, we are at a milestone of philosophy in which the possibilities we are able to yield with our mind is very much recognized to be boundless and like the universe, ever expanding. However, I suspect the pressing problem that we face today isn’t what we are capable of thinking, but what we are capable of expressing. To be cognitively limitless yet confined by our means of communication, that’s an uneasy and depressing thought to bear isn’t it?

Someone has to be right and right-er.

It’s been months since I read Prof Massimo’s article on reasonable discourse. An essay on discussing whether is it possible to objectivity find out the more cogent one among two entirely rational arguments. In simpler words, can one argument be absolutely right but another right-er? If so, how can we proof it?

It’s a topic that I really wanted to touch on since long but never really had the capacity to approach it. So I read the paper over and over and over again while constantly rethinking on what rationality really is and how it may differ among different field of studies. During this time, I also happen to chance upon this book called “The Principle of Sufficient Reason” written by Alexander Pruss. It’s not a book directly relevant to the subject itself but it did provide me with new insights on this whole idea of reason and objectivity which proved itself valuable in sparking my whole imagination on the argument.

I hope that I am ready for the topic tonight so pray that I don’t sound like an incoherent idiot.

In Massimo’s essay, questions and reasons were not used to delineate his point on reasonable discourse, instead problems and solutions. He believes that most problems, be it in science, politics or philosophy, is capable of containing several conflicting yet rational solutions and more times than not, one is surely more workable than the other. That is not to say that rationality exist on different levels, that although one solution is rational, they other may potentially be more rational than the first. What he meant is, depending on the situation, the viability of the solutions may differ and it’s important to understand which are the viable ones, so even by having several rational solutions to one problem, it doesn’t put our understanding on the problem to a halt. We can then pin out the more viable among all and work around it to narrow the gap between us and the problem.

Also, even in rare cases which we are unable to determine which solutions are the more viable ones, assuming we have different solutions to be neck in neck in terms of viability, we can still rule out the ones that are behind the race and work on the more plausible ones first. So in turn, he’s undermining a more practical and effective solution in solving most complex problems at the same time, discovering the limits on such an approach on problems.

Now this may be easily understandable when applied in a study field like politics, when an objective truth can be recognized in most problems by the means of sanctions(ignoring it’s sub branches like metapolitics). If not, group study experiments can be conducted in understanding social behavior and the feasibility of systems and policies.(I am not an expert in political science but within my modest understanding on the nature of the subject, although the above method may not apply to all questions pertaining to political science, I am sure it is applicable to most of it.)

But beyond so, is such a method really feasible in science or philosophy? For different reasons, it shouldn’t naturally taken to be considering the intricacy of both subjects.

In the case of science, since it works on the understanding of empirical data, by having two data that fits in the picture, can we still scientifically say that Data A is actually more rational than data B. Now, that wouldn’t be quite possible would it? For Data A and B to both endure a series of falsification methods and still be allowed to fit in the picture, it would surely mean that both data are rational. And since these methods are just to prove the plausibility of both data and not rank it, it brings us back to square one on whether it’s fair to determine which data is the more rational one.

Since Massimo was focusing on varying viability and not it’s rationality of different solutions, we can move on. That is to say that one Data is surely more workable than the other, be it based on it’s simpler reasoning leading to less resources needed in further experimentation or better security when proceeding with it. And even with problems where there are various solutions deem to be equally viable it doesn’t stop us from filtering the metaphysical solution which are completely unapproachable.

In a more imaginative manner, thinking of the problem itself as a stretch of landscape, the viability of solutions as peaks on it and the answer to be vertically opposite the problem with the peaks reaching for it. Although the picture may not show which peaks are more steady in enduring new falsifications methods in the future, making it potentially more rational than the rest. It gives us a clear view on the low laying areas to avoid and the highest peaks to first work on in reaching our answers.

Moving on from science, how can this be then applicable to philosophy since before something can be considered to be reasonable, the sole idea of reason and rationality itself may be subjective. For something to be considered rational it must be deem fit a solution/hypothesis figured out through the means of reason. But not in every case do these two cooperate, especially in the steep philosophical slopes of our inherent existence and values where reason and rationality are always on conflicting stands.

The philosophy of Absurdism would be the perfect example to demonstrate this. Absurdism as the name suggests, believes that it is absurd for man to be constantly seeking for the inherent meaning of life due to our onwards inability to find any. That is not to say there is no meaning to life at all, that all answers to our existence can only be logically impossible. Fact is, there may or may not be an answer, but all attempts in finding so is futile as verifying it would be humanely impossible. To simplify, since there is a possibility of an answer, it is reasonable for us to find it, but given our limits of verifying this answer it makes us irrational to pursue it.

So knowing the possible contradiction that may occur between reason and rationality, how do we move on? How to we separate the natural tie between reason and rationality. It’s a peculiar yet stubborn idea to even imagine on and I wrestled with it for practically months before stumbling on Alexander Pruss and his wonderful book, “The Principle of Sufficient Reason.” Following that, I did a little bit of my research and found out it’s an original Axiom written by Anaximander somewhere the 550BC. So through the centuries it has been revised thoroughly and Alexander happens to be the last one to wield his magical touch on the theory.

To lazily quote wikipedia, the principle of sufficient(PSR) reason states that anything that happens does so for a reason: no state of affairs can obtain, and no statement can be true unless there is sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise. So basically it’s a militant law that states every change or idea must have a reason, if not, it wouldn’t prove itself to be a substantial one.

In the book he also argued against Hartry Field, a modern mathematician, and his view that mathematical objects do not exist but could have existed. He says, “If the PSR is true, then there must be an explanation of why mathematical objects do not in fact exist, and if the PSR is necessarily true, then in the possible world at which mathematical objects exist, there must be
an explanation of why they exist.”

Clearing the semantics, what Field was trying to say was that, although mathematical objects do not exist in our known world, that doesn’t negate the potential of it to exist. So by applying the PSR to his claims, first of all, there must be a reason on it’s non-existence, on why it’s does not exist albeit having the potential to(Eg.Is it because of the false representation of a certain 2D objects)? And if it’s possible for them to exist, what are the necessary conditions that allows them to?

Alexander wasn’t asking for the mathematical rationalization of Field’s claim, but the least of sufficient reason in making his claim substantial. Rationalization in this case would mean a practicable reason, but reason itself can be metaphysical or otherwise. Applying the same theory back on Absurdism, although the seeking of inherent meaning in life is irrational yet reasonable, it doesn’t mean that a contradiction exist between both ideas, that the contradiction is in fact a coexistence that naturally and necessarily separates both ideas.

So knowing the separation in rationalization and reason, it’s now much easier to understand viability in philosophy. Take normative ethics for example, having Hedonism, Egoism and Consequentialism on hand, which are the ethical theories that are more viable to approach, at the same time, shoehorns our world view. Assuming that all three are equally rational but two are deem to be more viable, we can now first ignore the isolated theory and work on the viable ones.

The headfake is, this isn’t an essay to elucidate and add on to Massimo’s theory, but to slam on the consensus usual unmotivated stance on subjectivity. Truth is, in most field of studies, it’s still impossible for us to objectively prove the more rational solution between two that are already rational, we can only prove which are the more viable ones. But even so, as demonstrated, we can still rationally disagree with issues without being unreasonable about it, at the same time, understand the essential areas which we can tackle on the problem. That is to say that although subjectivity still exist in most of questions that we face today, it’s doesn’t mean we cannot push the limits of it’s subjectivity and there will always be room for progress. To simply conclude an argument by saying it’s subjective is not enough, there are always methods we can approach in discovering more.

GE: There will not be change. Part 2

In part 1, I posted my impression of the various oppositions’ role in the upcoming GE and my brief agenda towards the incumbent.

Here’s part 2, a breakdown on why will change still be a distant idea.

Many people believe that the results of GE ultimately depend on the strength and disposition of the competing parties. How outspoken the candidates are and what are their credentials, giving most citizens fleeting hope year after year. That isn’t false, at the same time it’s far from being entirely true. In determining electoral results, every factor fades in comparison when compared to understanding the demographics of the country.

It’s been 5 years since angry citizens had their last taste of voting, and no doubt that this coming GE, the flames are churning more aggressive than ever. The loyal middle class that once entrusted their hope on the incumbent may no longer do the same this year. Like 5 years ago, heavy sentiments drags the air as the date of GE draws nearer but apart from the disappointment that we already know, are things much different?

Things are, but it’s not exactly advantageous to the change we yearn to see.

New Citizens

Majority of new citizens love the incumbent, that’s truism. To be given privileges equal, if not better than citizens that worked hard for decades to fuel our nation’s economy. Not to mention that beyond the checkpoints of woodland, the governance of Singapore is always painted to be clean, efficient and of first world’s standard. You don’t expect them to have tainted impression of the incumbent just months after living here.

It’s no secret that foreign workers come by the bulk these days and within months of residence, there’s no hesitation on government’s part on making them citizens. The population of Singaporeans increased approximately by 300k ever since the last GE, considering that Singapore suffers from a low fertility rate, it would be fair to assess at least 40% of these figures account for the new citizens. That is a total of 120k secured fresh voters for the PAP. The other 180k wouldn’t be able to dilute the influence of votes since they are still infants.

The politically apathetic

Engineered deliberately or not, Singaporean’s are not a bunch nurtured to take natural interest in politics. Unless the GE is just around the corner, political news are normally keep far beyond the reach of a regular citizens. Even if there are any, expect to find nothing beyond PR stunts or damage control press statements in our local newspaper. For any political news that goes deeper, you will have to source for them yourselves. And that doesn’t usually happen unless you are a bored white collar in your mid twenties with very little success in your social life. 

And by apathetic, I do not mean that these people do not take the slightest interest in political matters naturally making their vote a wildcard. You see, the propaganda madness of history/social studies during the primary and secondary school lives of a student is enough to make any typical monger hold the incumbent in a holy regard thus making their default vote a cross beside the thunder of god.

The fearful

These are your diligent civil servants that prays for promotion year after year, if not an increment. For them to be what they are, civil servants, they must first function on fear and paranoia before they can commit their life trapped in that puny cubicle of theirs sending vindictive emails. Think about it, for anybody to decide on a job that provides not much aspiration but an iron rice bowl, security must be their foremost priority in life.

As mentioned, they live in fear while begging for petty promotions. And as much as they may feel oppressed in life, wanting for a breakthrough, even the slightest spark of fear will make them abide accordingly and vote for their masters.

The Kiasu citizens

These are the middle age that lived the prime of their lives through the 1970s and 1980s with modest education. With credentials of either an O/A level or Diploma, and in very rare cases a degree. The Kiasu citizens are very much like our civil servants in terms of being self centered, but for a different cause and reason. If the civil servant operates solely on fear of their own well being, then the Kiasu citizens operates solely on Kiasu-ness of Kiasu-ness. Yes, they just don’t want to lose out by they themselves don’t know what they can lose out on either.

These are the people that know they are oppressed and would travel across the nation to watch opposition rallies. But when the ballot’s box is in front of them, here’s what they are thinking, “Aiya, why should I be the one doing the dirty work when other GRC’s can vote opposition into parliament. Just imagine the new sheltered walk ways and new coats of paint I will be missing out on if opposition gets voted into my district! Cannot, I cannot be so lugi!”

Simply put it, they just don’t see the big picture.

The keyboard warriors(that can’t vote)

These days, the online community is constantly dripping with harsh sentiments towards the incumbent. Take a stroll in any of local forums and witness the hundreds of hateful threads posted on a hourly basis, alternatively, the comments section of every opposition rally or even your Facebook home page, you must have some friends all flared and gung-ho about the upcoming GE. People are all fuming and they can’t wait to vote the incumbent out, right?

Not really. Most of the drama that you see online aren’t spurred by one of your fellow voters. At least not this GE. These are your bored students slugging through their tertiary education, in other words, polytechnic life. No doubt that they do have authentic passion after all that brain washing by lurking all day in online forums. But passion alone isn’t enough without power, they can’t vote.

Like internet porn covers, what you see isn’t exactly what you will get.

Interesting fact to add on, the WP is actually fully aware of this as they have been trying for ages and ages to lower the age requirement for voting but like everything else, the suggestion is to no avail of course.

The extreme rich and extreme poor

In part 1, I mentioned something about Singapore having an absurdly high Gini Ratio Index(GRI) considering the size of our population. And now I want to talk about something related to that, the M shape society.

The GRI isn’t an exactly useful or accurate tool when it comes to measuring wealth inequality as what it simply does is to standardize a mean on a Lorenza curve and rotate the income distribution around it. This method is only useful in telling us if wealth inequality exist in country X but it doesn’t tell it how does it occur, meaning we don’t get a specific distribution of it’s inequality.

But it said that when the Gini Ratio Index stretches above 50, the country falls into a trap of entering an M shape society, a polarized society only with the extreme rich and extreme poor. That the middle class doesn’t necessarily exist at all, and all those that’s perceived to be is actually at polar ends with the upper class. This may be a shocking phenomenon but just think about it. Think about the number of private estate projects that get sold out within days after it’s launch. Think about the number of HDBs that are not home stayed but rented out. Think about the number of continental cars that cost half the price of the HDB you are struggling to pay off. Is it all that shocking after all?

Hard truth is, the rich loves the incumbent. You see the number of filthy rich queuing to live with us despite the ridiculous immigration fees? It’s a playing field specially crafted for them and they know it. Would you vote up the people that are going to make you richer?(And to add on a little bit about the rich. Ever thought why did PAP tie up Holland and Bukit Timah together despite them being segmented areas? It’s where all the landed properties are, where the rich stays. They wouldn’t have nothing to fear even to have Vivian Balakrishan up against SDP strongest candidate for this year.)

Harder truth is, I did not group both the extreme rich and poor just to explain my theory on the M shape society. Fact is, the extreme poor is no different from the extreme rich when it comes to their party of choice. These are your frail and old living on a pension of $230 monthly picking up cardboards and metal tins by the roadside to get by. These are the old timers completely held by the neck like a puppet still feeling grateful for their pension fees and the country that LKY has built for us.

Point is, the middle class that’s frequently thought to be the largest pool or voters may not be so anymore.

Is this GE the watershed GE as many depicted it to be? Think again.