Sunday, October 29, 2006

Internet is powderful yes, but big blooder lagi more powerderful (blue)

I refer to kitana's post on the voice of the internet. And surely, this topic is by far more interesting than anything else that can possibly be said about WSM.

Our blogs are monitored. How thoroughly monitored, only the folks in ISD will know I guess. But definitely they are monitored enough for a CEO of stat boards to know that certain scholars are "defaming" him on his blogs; that someone was blogging racist comments sufficient to warrant an arrest; and an MP is getting his name tarnished because his daughter's rants caused an online uproar. If you think its the public who actually tips the CEOs/MPs off, you should probably think again.

Kitana says being monitored is a good thing. Now they know what we feel, and we can possibly influence change. Whether or not that is an overly optimistic assertion aside, I have to wonder, why are we so concerned in causing change? I understand that by virtue of the fact that we discuss serious issues on the blogosphere, we are bound to have a certain kind of liberal streak in us, and its important to have a sense that we should never be completely satisfied with the status quo, and hence be vocal about our views. What I wonder is, should the hope that we can influence change (in government policy, say) be the rationale why we blog? Or rather, IS that why we blog?

I believe the answer to be in the negative (although I am new to the blogosphere, so I cannot be certain). I'm sure the reasons why we blog vary from person to person, but I really doubt any of us, even the most politically minded, blog because we hope that blogging will influence change in government policies.

Perhaps I am a little too Aristotelian in my thinking, but I really believe that the mutual sharing or ideas and information has great intrinsic value. [And the venting of frustrations and dissatisfaction also has much theraputic value] Of course there is much extrinsic value too, such as I would not have known about FEER if not for the blogosphere, and such knowledge has implications politically if enough people know about it. But of course, at the current maturity of the singaporean blogosphere, not enough people are interested in it to make a difference.

My point is, so what if that's true? So what if the majority of us are not interested (sufficiently matured?) in using the internet as a voice? So what if big brother looms so big and powerful over us that he squashes anything which he deems potentially damaging? For those of us that do engage in intellectual discourse with each other, are we not greater enlightened because we share our views, we think critically and we discuss? Does this not shape our own views and the way we think, which we carry over to our daily offline lives? Does this not affect the way we talk to and influence people in real life, or the way we teach our kids?

I think the internet is plenty powerful, as long as we don't harp on trying to influence the masses or the government.


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