Singapore

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An island-nation AKA city-state, and the smallest country in Southeast Asia.

Remarkable for its pragmatic management of all aspects of human society.
In the perspective of Oni, an interesting instance of "WCG Today".
Singapore portal on Wikipedia
Main Singapore entry on Wikipedia



Singapore (computer city)

From Bernard Werber's Encyclopedia or relative and absolute knowledge.
Werber is a popular journalist, so take his words with a truckload of salt.
Whether or not he has actually been to Singapore, his statements are largely exaggerated...
...or perhaps deliberately "extrapolated" due to the nature of the book and article
(the point is to present the reader with a modern utopia)
My personal impression (geyser) is that Werber's books require a critical mind
(if you view all of it as very "relative" knowledge, you're on the right track)
However, Werber himself seems to take his "disinformation" rather seriously.
(so, either it's some sophisticated irony, or outrageous ignorance)
Anyway, in the case of the Singapore article, he doesn't lie "too much".
French version
HERE
English translation
Coming soon (also see below)



Related forum talk

From a Singaporean forum thread (see archivated page HERE )
It started with facts and figures (mostly comparing Singapore to Hong-Kong).
Then the people ended up chatting about Singapore's image abroad
(in particular about the "article" in Werber's "encyclopedia").
You can thus read English translations of the article
However, a sentence is missing from the featured original (in bold below):
"Pour mieux connaître les trajets de ses concitoyens, la police a de toute façon obligé tous les Singapouriens à placer un émetteur sous leur voiture.
Il est ainsi possible de suivre les déplacements de tous les habitants sur un grand tableau lumineux."
"Moreover, the police has had all the Singaporeans place a tracker under their cars, so that people know the whereabouts of their fellow citizens better.
It is thus possible to follow the movements of all the inhabitants on a large electronic panel."
Also, the following exchange between two "fellow citizens" occurred before Werber was mentioned:

nicholasliha
ahlipp
no lah we only win in terms of duddy fuddy living standards and security. business, entertainment and artistic inspiration are hong kong's wins hands down. i know our equanimous prosperity is the result of assiduous and paranoid planning, but at the expense of the civil sector. we have a problem with civillian initiative because of an unconducive environment for the arts / politics, hence our dearth of viable artists/architects/philosophers, all your social indicators / myth makers. our citizens are also mostly inarticulate and easily swayed by government rhetoric. it is so easy for us to disregard the right to express and to say, oh ok i suppose this is just a reasonable bargain in exchange for a stable political environment. whereas hongkongers are capable of rallying against the powers that be on account of their right to freedom of expression.
Your words weigh heavily on those spurring moments of emotions, of mind and heart, that I admire but it’s also not for anyone else but you…or your generation of S’porean…painfully if need be, to make that difference. Practicality is what got us all here today, not Arts or culture, tht is for countries who can afford to indulge.
Nobody cld imagine what today will be like if practicality had been traded off with philosophies and the magical myth of the 60’s becoz I tend to think the Hokkein and Teochew clan, the Indians and the Malays wld all have a very different idea.
To me, freedom is just a buzz word created by the US, they are Americans, we are Chinese, the fact tht so many Asian cities have been influenced by it, shows just how pervasive the American way is to the world and to croon those exact words do not make a country more free or spiritually elevated…it really is, just a word.
so i think the "bargain" we singaporeans have come to "accept" was not a worthwhile deal brokered under the very big brother styled governance we have had since the 60s. back in the 60s we were positively THRIVING with civil initiative and our cultural heritage was so vibrant! It was the age of mythic proportions! Of Conrad and the Exotic East, of romance in the Raffles hotel, of touring medicinal singing troupes and heartland fun houses like Gay World with her multi levels of performance venues featuring shanghai cabaret and indian folk dance. these days, anything cultural is only practised in school CCA, and then only a very distilled National Education policy version of it. and theatre groups operate under the menace of the ISA.
Think about it. the future may have been bleak in the 60s, prompting a demand for the kind of authoritarian administration LKY and his regime offered. but in the 60s we were many people's idea of Instant Asia. Our cultural diversity was so much more compelling than any other city in Asia. We had Somerset Maugham and Agatha Christie clamouring to feature the kind of no holds barred exoticism our rampant streets offered. That formula today is exactly what draws so much fascination to the HK way of life. So spontaneous and spiritually moving. and its not about the more grime you have the more exotic you are. its about the human spirit and your city's capacity to express itself as it is. not under the ambit of policy drawn "image" masterplans.
I do not know about Hongkong or it’s people, I do not know if they enjoy arts and culture more than fancy condos and winter clothes, in every sense of the words “human spirit�? knows not boundaries or masterplan becoz unless the soul succumbs, the perception of S’pore and it’s people wld be indeed an aquarium of life contained in a bigger world. To look beyond what you have is a telling of a despaired heart that had died, …contrary to advocating the human spirit.
If you love S’pore too much, first it will break your heart, then it will break your soul, without these circumstances in the first place, no country would be born.
If you are born free then live free be it S’pore or not. S’pore…. it’s just a thot some choose to carry with them for a longer time, it’s a thot tht supersedes what others think, what others might say, it’s just a thot that one can make it a better place... even in defiance.



Related chat

Some brainstorming occurred on the Oni IRC channel,
branching off Werber's "extrapolation" on Singapore
(more or less general statements about "WCG Today")
Pasting parts of it either here or on "Talk:Singapore", later...



See also