Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Matter Of Perception

Ric O'Barry was in town to raise awareness for the Resorts World Sentosa's dolphin issue. It is a twist of fate that O'Barry was the one who originally captured and trained the 5 dolphins for the well-known TV series "Flipper", and popularised the image of the marine animals as intelligent companions for humans. The rude awakening came about when Kathy, one of the "Flipper" dolphins, committed suicide in his arms. That painful moment is narrated in the Academy Award (2010) winning documentary, "The Cove".

A dolpin's smile
is nature's greatest deception
When a participant at animal welfare group ACRES' public dialogue session at Grand Copthorne Waterfront asked whether dolphins could be happy in captivity, Mr O'Barry said: "You're dealing with an optical illusion - the dolphin is smiling - which is nature's greatest deception, unless you hit them with a baseball bat, you wouldn't see the abuse."

There is another illusion presented by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) researchers: that the Internet did not have a decisive effect on the GE. Polling 2,000 Singaporeans aged 21 and above, these IPS experts surmise that mainstream media was still the people's choice for election news. Specifically, the study concluded that people put more trust in mainstream media, and spent more time on print newspapers and TV than on the Net. If that's a fact, real media players need not worry about the pink slip. And the incumbents need not lose sleep over the "kee chiu" and "stomp" videos that went viral.

Another study by Nanyang Technological University found that, contrary to common belief, bloggers were not the nattering nabobs of negativism when commenting on political parties. The issues that generated most heat were governance, candidates' qualification for office, freedom of expression, and housing costs. The study claimed that blogs were mostly neutral on the subject of the Singapore political system. If governance, candidates' qualification for office, freedom of expression, and housing costs are not integral elements of the political system, what exactly are they? Sideshows of a greater wayang on display?

At least two presidential hopefuls thought Facebook and Twitter were instrumental platforms that could install them in office. If they worked magic for Obama, why could they not also succeed? Senior research fellow Tan Tarn How said the new media consumers "don't just swallow information hook, line and sinker," while NTU Prof Ang's has a different observation in that those who go online are more trusting. The cup can only be half empty or half full.

With such divergence of expert opinion, one suspects much deception is still in play. It doesn't really matter, just watch what happens when the baseball bat connects.


  1. Glad you brought that IPS thing up. Another inception planted by our civil servants. Whatever. Let them believe what they want to believe.

  2. Here we go again. Denial of the truth. Using the academic to bluff the masses again !

    Today , heard an interview over the radio of a Hong Kong academic; he was sharing on the unpredictable impact: if Hong Kong allows philippines domestic helpers, the right to reside in the island permanantly after they stayed there for minimum 7 years.

    He mentioned that if so, Hong Kong's infrastructure, healthcare and education may be over-stretched. Secondly the housing price may also be affected. Lastly, the low wage workers' wages may be depressed.
    There are about 300, 000 pinoy domestic helpers there and only about 100,000 qualify to apply.

    Hong Kongers are protesting this phenomenon.

    He also mentioned about mainlanders give birth in Hong Kong island, which automatically qualify the baby to reside in Hong Kong Island. These additional numbers may impact Hong Kong socially and so on.


    What is MIW and LKY doing to our little red dot ? Our infrastructure, healthcare, education, etc resources are already overtaxed. Our quality of life has de-proved. And, we are still to expect 30,000 foreigners every year ?

    I don't know what to say ! Except , SHAME on these academics and the 60% singaporean !

  3. IPS did the poll in a PAP party anniversary dinner...

  4. Tattler, are you implying that we are the daft dolphins? Come, hit us with the baseball bat ;p