This blog is on (very) ‘partial blackout’…

…because I stand in solidarity. And I will also not be gagged.

They seek to move us; but we will not be moved.

For more information, see here:

And here:



Roads to Tahrir Square (1)

The intent and direction of this post initially started out as something quite different from what I’m intending it to be now. Originally drafted with the title ‘The Top Five: A quick list…or not quite’ (yes, what an uninspiring, anti-climatic title), I’ve now changed it to the title you see here to better reflect the thrust of the piece.

Some events have superseded the ones I’ve described below, but this does not mean that the essence of the news or information is dated in any way.

This post also ‘launches’ two new tags-cum-categories: Regime Watch and PAP regime watch, for reasons that will be self-explanatory further here and as I post more pieces.

Even as Egyptians ask where their revolution went, and return to Tahrir Square after the acquittals of key Mubarak-era officials and a look at the “real power struggles in Egypt”, I give an overview of the key events of 2011.

Coming across a few blogs that have given their ‘best of’, ‘worst of’, or ‘most memorable’ …etc. lists, I’m inspired but less ambitious.  I don’t think I have any lists in my mind that can be strictly categorised as best things, worst things, or anything else.

But taking a (very belated) look back at 2011, it’s clear that momentous events have occurred. I attempt here to present broad themes that reflect the significant issues of the year just past – some with my particular take on them when I’m able to.

This is not a neat listing of my Top Five for 2011, but rather a compilation of reports, analyses, books, blog posts, web articles and video summaries,  grouped variously by subject or theme into five sections, with some overlap. Perhaps readers can identify common threads.

  • One. The American Empire (Project) With the Obama administration more than halfway through its first term, the troubles in the Middle East still brewing, and international security issues at a high (some would say inflation of threats, e.g. Iran’s nuclear programme), I first draw attention to Tom Engelhardt’s American Empire Project. It investigates the notion or reality of the US ’empire’ through a series of books and its website.

Of these, I’ve only read Blowback by Chalmers Johnson, but I already have The Complex: How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives by Nick Turse on my to-read list (and in my possession).

‘Empire’ by Al Jazeera was a televised discussion featuring both Engelhardt and Walt. It’s a pretty good one, but I felt that the host was too eager to press his points about American ’empire’ and ‘business’, and didn’t let Walt and his colleague a fair-enough airing of their views. Watch it here:

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Playing for a better world (via hungry4thoughts)

Playing for a better world Foreword: a few things worth a lot of attention This post is about an idea that came some time ago and that I’d like to share; before  getting to the point there are a few concepts I’d like to introduce. I’m writing this post mostly for myself and my friends, but I hope if it can inspire people to dig into the concepts I bring here, if they are new to them, and enjoy the very early stage of a crazy idea (yes, yes, another one). Videogames matter! … Read More

via hungry4thoughts

Protest: Egypt, France, Venezuela (via the annotated zoetrope)

Protest:  Egypt, France, Venezuela Like many, I have been captivated by the news and images coming from the Middle East over the last month or two.  It has been fascinating to watch the virus of vocalized dissatisfaction spread from city to city, region to region, country to country.  I say with a bit of shame and awe, it took me completely by surprise.  I never had the thought in my head that things in that region might change so dramatically over such a short period of time. I w … Read More

via the annotated zoetrope

Announcement: Seminar on internet regulatory reform, Singapore, 21 June

Or, in other words, as much de-regulation as possible.

The bloggers group I belong to – that is proposing greater liberalisation of the internet in Singapore – is organising this seminar to share and discuss our views. Please see the announcement below for details.

From The Online Citizen:


Media Release

There will be a public forum this Saturday, 21 June 2008, on Internet regulatory reform. Organised by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, it
aims to contribute ideas to the government’s ongoing review of Internet regulations. It will discuss the proposals submitted to the government recently by a group of independent bloggers.

Mr Arun Mahizhnan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, will provide a bird’s eye view with his opening remarks. Members of the bloggers’ initiative for Internet reform will present the key elements of their proposals, and there will lots of time set aside for questions and open debate.

Says Assistant Professor Cherian George from the Wee Kim Wee School: “Some of the key issues to be discussed are deeply contentious, even within the blogging community. We don’t expect a consensus at the end of the day, but we can at least aim for a better understanding of the various positions.”

Mr Choo Zheng Xi, editor-in-chief of The Online Citizen: “Public awareness and discussion are critical. It is important that as many stakeholders as possible are involved in shaping the future of new
media, and there is no more important stakeholder than every single member of the public.”

Mr Tan Tarn How, a media researcher with the Institute of Policy Studies: “The proposals call for a fundamental reassessment of Singapore’s Internet regulations. Anyone who is concerned about the current regulation regime for new media – its philosophical underpinnings, its enforceability, and its wider effects on society – ought to give the proposal serious consideration, and the forum is a good occasion for doing it.”

The forum, formally titled “Seminar on Internet Regulatory Reform”, will be held at the Function Hall (level 5) of the URA Centre on Maxwell Road, on Saturday 21, June 2008, at 2 p.m.

Admission is free and the event will be open to media reporting.

To reserve a seat, please register by signing up with the online group


Hope to see you there.

Merry Christmas and all that

It’s that time of year again, and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, greetings of the season and happy holidays!

I found this rather timely post about the nature and giving of presents during Christmastime. Sometimes we should stand back and think about the more important things in life, and more meaningful ways of giving. ‘The present and future of presents’, here (h/t Far Outliers, who’s also on my blogroll).

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