This yin and yang, East and West within the heart of Singapore is what defines us as Singaporean. Rudyard Kipling in his famous ballad said: "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." Whether we like it or not, the twain is meeting again, and creating, opening a new chapter in history. When we read about the trade war, about Huawei, about the anti-China and increasingly anti-Chinese sentiments in the United States, and to a lesser extent the rest of the Western world, one recalls Kipling's famous one line. But for him, East was not China. For him, East was South Asia where he spent many years of his life. For my address to you this morning, I would like to confine East to the realm of the chopsticks people. There's a reason for this. There is a coherence to the culture of the chopsticks people, and it's not possible to understand the history of Vietnam, Korea or Japan without reference to the great drama on the Chinese mainland. Japan was the first to peel off … [Read more...] about On chopsticks people, paper technology and the rise of China
How technology is affecting society
MANILA, Philippines — These days, we use smartphones rather than watches to tell time. Smartphones and other gadgets also give us an opportunity to air our thoughts, engage in digital trade, and communicate instantly. When 5G gets deployed, we expect more diffusion of the Internet of Things (IOT), where devices are connected to the internet, with trillions of sensors communicating with these devices, and with one another. Working with sensors, these devices can monitor things like building elevators, checking them for status and possible problems, and using artificial intelligence (AI), predict failures before they happen. AI already powers up many applications, from voice assistants to driverless cars. Even the autocomplete feature on phones, recommendations from Netflix, and Facebook’s ability to recognize our faces in a photo posted by friends, are examples of AI. Tech is amazing, and the trend in its penetration is phenomenal. Seven out 10 Filipinos use the internet, … [Read more...] about Are Filipinos ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
His books are on the recommended reading list of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and prominent opinion makers like Barack Obama and Bill Gates. This has made Yuval Noah Harari as one of the most influential intellectuals of this decade and probably this century. Harari’s books explore a wide diversity of questions and answers that are constantly being asked by most people. They range from the possibility that the biological and genetic revolutions in technology and income inequality will result in two classes of humans – the normal and the super mutants – to the questions why are people obsessed with eating sweets and desserts when it leads to obesity and diabetes? I read Harari’s book chronologically backwards. I first read his latest book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century published in 2018. It was a book about the present and how to make sense of today’s pressing issues. It tried to answer questions like: How do computers and … [Read more...] about Is humankind happier?
By Anthony Morgan Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 “One of us goes in, and we all go through it …” — Drake, “Headlines” Incarceration is seldom a solo affair. It’s true that the individual person subjected to carceral control bears the brunt of the physical, emotional, psychological, social and financial costs of being forced to surrender their freedom to the state. However, this painful price isn’t paid by the incarcerated person alone: their friends, family members and others who care about them suffer their own sizeable share of loss, sadness, fear and frustration precipitated by their loved one’s incarceration. My family, that is my mom, my sister, Toni, and I, know this reality viscerally well. I have a younger brother, Theo (not his real name), who is currently serving a multi-year sentence in one of Ontario’s federal correctional institutions. This latest stint follows more than a decade of … [Read more...] about My brother’s in jail. Why does talking to him require hundreds of dollars a month and 1990s technology?
There is wide scope for discourse in Singapore, but fake news is a distinct and specific problem that must be curbed before it affects society, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He made this point in an interview, when asked for his response to concerns that proposed laws to tackle fake news would curb free speech. There is no society in which free speech is absolute or uncontrolled, he said, noting that it exists within appropriate boundaries. For example, speech that is defamatory or threatening in nature lies outside of these boundaries, said PM Lee in an interview conducted in Mandarin with variety show host Kym Ng and news presenter Evelyn Lam that was broadcast on Mediacorp's Channel 8 last night. "We must set an appropriate boundary that would allow us to protect free speech and allow people to exchange information, thoughts and opinions in a meaningful way," he added. Other countries, like the United States and those in Europe, are also grappling with the problem of fake … [Read more...] about Fake news must be curbed before it affects society: PM Lee