Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lee Boon Yang rambles, I ramble, it's a ramblefest | speculation

Reference complete article here

Govt promises review of new media, 'lighter touch' in next GE

Speaking at the 5th Annual PR Academy Conference on new media, Dr Lee said the Government accepts that Internet and new media are evolving and even more people will be net-savvy in five years' time.

Fair enough.

'Moving forward, we will consider how to better embrace these changes so that by the next GE, we may be able to adopt a lighter touch approach during the election period.'

Nah, you've got a pretty light touch. Seeing as the forum that is run on your own website is full of anti-PAP trolls, I think it's fair to say that the touch was very light. In fact, one was tempted to say non-existent, and when I say non-existent touch, I mean non-existent control, unless you count singling out selected individuals to give the impression that you were paying attention.

I must say, this sounds better than the "manage" bit by Disarray Chua.

'The emergence of new media platforms and the fact that many of our young people are tech-savvy supported such intense interest. Many also see the new media as increasing the political space to speak up on the issues brought up during the election campaign,' he said.

'I accept that some will argue that we should let the people be the judge and form their own opinion by accessing all sorts of information and arguments. I agree that this is not without merit. But it is only valid when information available on the Internet is equally reliable and accurate.

He did not. *close eyes, open eyes* He did.

Do any of these people know anything about the internet other than the email? Somehow I think not. I can't imagine the cabinet ministers flipping through Rockson after a hard day's work, or some MP reading the Daily Kos after a hard day's not turning up at Parliament.

For my own reference, the rebuttal points are:
  1. Equally reliable what? What is this golden standard that he brings up? Could it be MSM? Like, oh, Channel News Asia? This would be the same Channel News Asia that doctored website photos before flashing them on the news?
  2. Generally, in academia, supervisors encourage the students to read widely, and read intensively. Good and bad. This means reading Myth of the Lazy Native, and holding your nose before touching the absolute dreck that is The Clash of Civilisations. The reason behind this is simple - you need to be aware of what is available, and existing arguments - and learning to use your brains to decide which is right, and form your views.
  3. The situation in point 2 isn't exclusive to academia, it's what people do in life as well. Why is it that only in political issues that bad information is so insidious and infectious as to instantly burrow into the reader's mind and reprogram them entirely?

I'm just wondering - how far does new media actually affect the way people vote? After all, the point has been brought up time and again that sometimes preaching through new media is preaching to the converted. And the thing about the internet is that you can pretty much pick what you want to hear as well.

And what about young people? Wasn't it announced that young people lovvvvvvvvved the government and voted for them? Aww... is someone worried that they won't be loved no more next time?

The rest of the article was fairly run-of-the-mill, and reiteration of what was said before: that young people being young should be allowed to run loose on the Internet (i like the way they've managed to take a right, and turn it into a privilege), except during election season, in case of "undesirable situations". Newsflash: undesirable situations happened. My MP got reinstated in a walkover.

The point about the PAP getting more involved in new media intrigued though. How about Mr White: The Persistantly Political Podcast?


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