The Dark Shadow Shrine

If u think u need extra coaching in General Paper/English/Literature at the 'O'/'A'/International Baccalaureate level, the gates of my shrine are always open.....Drop me a note at or wadsapp me at 91384570 for more Singapore only hor.... :-)

Friday, July 31, 2015

seven in 10 who commit suicide are men

Click HERE
So much for males being the stronger sex.....Often, the 'stronger sex' label is what spells the doom for men as being tagged as the superior sex means that there are social expectations to live up to....even when a male want to shed a drop of tear, he has to try to suppress it or go to a corner to do it....the stronger sex label thus becomes a burden....

Qn: 'Women have it easier than men.' To what extent is this true of today's world?

Probe into ISIS subversion at Aussie schools

Click HERE
just to underscore the fact that while education is often lauded for dispelling myths and discrimination, it can also result in the reverse by spreading untruths and intensifying prejudice -- a case of what is called 'miseducation'.
This is often the case in Islamic schools in Indonesia, but we see that it can also occur in Australia....

Intervening early could mean a world of difference

Click HERE

Minister's justifications for being a 'nanny state' (i.e. government interfere/intervene in the lives of its people)...

Qn: To what extent should the government be allowed to intervene in the lives of its people?

Asian children bought expletive-ridden t-shirts because their parents don't understand English

Click HERE
an ironic take on 'you are what you wear'..... For those whom we discussed the fashion AQ, one of the quotes is what we wear is a reflection of who we want to be....think shirts you have in your wardrobe that loudly and proudly proclaims in big letters the slogans that you abide by in life.....

While the article offers a rebuttal eg on how the shirt is not about us, in a deeper sense, it is STILL about us 'cos it shows the kind of person we are -- blindly pursuing trends without understanding them.... so before you run off to buy that coveted t-shirt with some French words emblazoned on the front, better check up to ensure u know what it means......For all you know, PRADA  -- God forbids! -- can be a vulgar word in French! And oh yes, do you know that NIKE actually means Goddess of Victory? So to you guys, I follow the victory part, but do you really want to be a 'goddess' if u r a guy?

Those on Mon and Wed late evening class, I hope this qn below rings a bell.....

Qn: 'The way we dress reveals who we are.' Do you agree?

a kinder, gentler social media?

Click HERE

"There is something about anonymity online that brings out the ugliness in people. So it was kind of refreshing to see these good deeds"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vivian replies to Douglas; or did he?

Click HERE
Stumbled upon this interesting exchange between the Minister and a local young hawker...some parts are quite 'funny' when u read the responses of Singaporeans....
The young hawker's predicament also underscores how our hawker food  culture is really threatening to go the way of the dinosaurs......Taking over its place is food served by 'foreign talent' or locals switching to selling western food (which they are allowed to charge higher) instead of local offence to foreign talent and western food, but given a choice, I'd have my char kway teow, laksa and chicken rice any day instead of pasta and xiaolongbao! I think most people would prefer to have ALL of it, the more the merrier so that we can have more choices...but we do not want to see local food being supplanted, as local food is not just food to fill our stomachs. There are certain things that you can't out a price tag on: our culture and our memories....

for those who have done the 2010 'A" level compre on FOOD, try to draw the links,, ,esp the part where Patricia O'Sullivan is saying about multi-national brands threatening long-established local food business, resulting in culinary diversity being diminished....

Note also the social media phenomenon:
-Minster's FaceBook....effective?
-do you think so many people will ask the kind of qns and give the kind of comments that they did in real life face-to-face?
-how credible are some of the comments made by those people? Do note that they are not anonymous (u can see their face and name), but they are NOT face-to-face
-what about the sarcastic and rude comments?
-how effective is social media in this case in bring certain issues to the attention of the govt? Was Douglas' qn even answered? [$5.80 if u sell spaghetti, but only $2.70 if u sell fishball noodles]
- etc etc blah blah blah.....

1) 'The youth of today are too ready to discard their traditional culture'. To what extent is this true of you society?
2) How important is it to preserve our heritage today.
3) Should profit maximization be the only goal of business? (ACJC Prelim 2007)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

HCI Class

We have no lessons this coming week, so click HERE to revise the Paper 1 skills we've gone through....
If you have problem opening the link, drop me an email at

A healthier type of rice -- for the planet

Click HERE
Another good example of how science can help reduce carbon emissions in agriculture. GM food is not just to benefit humans, but also Mother Nature. But then again, benefiting Mother Nature ultimately benefits humans too since the fate of mankind is tied to that of the planet. If Mother Nature dies, we go down with her! Talk about the futility of severing the umbilical cord!
Note first that rearing animals for food (e.g. cattle) gives out even more carbon emissions as cattle burp and fart, giving forth methane. That is why going on a 'meatless' diet is supposed to be good for the planet (see HERE).  But now we know eating rice can contribute to greenhouse gases too! But now, through modifying the genes of rice, carbon emissions can be reduced.....but note the concerns researchers have for this as well....

Qn: To what extent can science and technology solve our environmental problems?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Robots take up the slack in CGH's labour crunch

Click HERE
An instance of how we try to use technology to increase productivity in order to overcome our labour crunch which is due to low birth rate, small work force, and resistance towards foreign import.
Robots are gradually being introduced in the construction industry (to lay tiles on the floor) and healthcare in Singapore. For the latter, robotics surgery is making its presence felt, and now, we have robots to monitor and take care of patients in hospitals, taking over duties which used to be done by nurses....
Note that in Japan, A.I. robots are slowly being used to take care of the elderly, and the latest is hotel check-in counters manned by robots...see HERE

excerpt from article:
'the robot arm can work non-stop and do the job without mistakes, unlike people who get tired and could become careless '

If doing qn below on tech simplify our lives, note that it's not enough to mention the advantage of tech... this advantage mentioned must have a simplifying effect and you have to show this. See following excerpt from the first link at the top. In the absence of tech, the nurse would have to keep coming back at intervals to check on the patient; but with the catheter, the whole process is simplified as this will now be done automatically. 'Simplify' has this idea of doing away with the cumbersome stages in-between:
'Instead of a nurse checking every 15 minutes for six hours to see if a patient who has had a catheter inserted is bleeding, a special blood-sensitive "bandage" can do the job, freeing the nurse for six hours of more fulfilling work.'

If doing a related qn, can consider opening with a BANG using the interesting example of Japan hotel using dinosaur robot to help with customer check-in...: Imagine being greeted by a dinosaur when trying to check-in at the reception when arriving at a hotel!

Qn: 'Technology has failed to simplify our lives.' Do you agree?

Pertaining to the above essay qn, you have to ensure u engage the keyword 'simplify' and SHOW the effect of simplification by tech when elaborating your points...Many students didn't do well as they merely bring up the benefits or advantages of tech, e.g. the invention of a vaccine for the Ebola virus. Exactly HOW does the vaccine 'simplify' our lives? Merely saying that there's this problem and SciTech has solved it does NOT clearly show the effect of simplifying. Take a look at this link HERE to see how the write explain and SHOW the simplifying process......

Excerpt from link:
While robots, of course, cannot replace humans, they can help the human carer take care of many more patients at the same time, and even provide a better level of care. For example, one therapist is currently needed to help a patient at a time, to do exercises such as arm coordination. With technology, one therapist can work with several patients at the same time, as the therapist will be alerted when intervention is needed.
Devices such as a blood-sensitive bandage can free nurses from having to check a patient every 15 minutes for the first six hours, to see if he is bleeding. Technology can help even doctors, as it alerts them, say, when they prescribe something a patient is allergic to.

Police, MSF probe video of woman being abused

1)Police, MSF probe video of woman being abused

This is obviously an act that constitutes an invasion of privacy not unlike the Beijing Uniqlo incident and the Ashley Madison hack in the previous post, BUT with one difference -- the intention. The uploader is not exactly a voyeur in the sense that he derives perverse pleasure in spying on his neighbours and then sharing the clip online out of malice and fun....
Here, the new media can be said to be playing the watchdog role (like on STOMP), and the newspapers, by catching onto this, and reporting it in traditional media, is also playing the same role -- to WATCH and report wrongdoings to the public so that appropriate actions can be taken to redress the wrongdoing......Media in a sense act like the 'eyes' of the authorities so that they can take action and send help where appropriate....
Of course, this also recalls the sinister police state in Orwell's "1984" where CCTV are everywhere 'watching' the people such that people have no freedom at all....

1)To what extent should the government interfere in the lives of its people?
2) Is violence ever justified? (Cam. 2012)
3) Is silence always golden?

Naked truths at risk in hacking of dating website

Click HERE
Another example of how privacy can be compromised online....The example of Ashley Madison is also useful as it is an online site that allows people to find married people for sex, i.e. encourage extra-marital affairs or infidelity.

Being productive with fewer workers

Click HERE
Gives a good background on the economic reality of Singapore..

Note the opening BANG using a recent event/eg to underscore a trend, which in this case is the writer's theme/stand....

"We have a difficult task cut out for us but we have no choice because (for) bigger countries, if you do not perform so well, you have the hinterlands.
"We do not have anything but ourselves. So, to go forward, we have got to improve our productivity and maintain our growth because only then can we have good jobs and new opportunities for our people."

I thought this is very true....Hong Kong, Shanghai can fall back on China, New York on the rest of US, London on the rest of Britain, Germany on the rest of the EU, but Singapore has only got herself and no one else to fall back on for recovery if things go wrong....and we have got no natural resources as well. We also cannot compete on numbers as we do not even have enough people in the first place (and those currently existing do not want to give birth to more) and we are not too keen to have our numbers beefed up through foreign the only alternative is to maximise output from what little input we have, and the answer to that is technology and education.....Educate to make every single digit o us 'powerful' and use tech to compensate for shortfall in numbers so that we can move up the value chain which will enable us to have more output with little input....blah blah blah....

Singapore opts for cleaner energy sources

Click HERE

Some useful info for 'your society' qns on how Singapore is reducing its carbon footprints...

Natural gas now 95.5% of fuel mix (i.e we are nearly totally weaned off oil!)

Natural gas emits about 35 per cent less carbon dioxide than the petroleum-based oil that Singapore was using, and it does not emit polluting particulates and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere

Singapore has pledged that its greenhouse gas emissions will peak around 2030 at the equivalent of about 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, even if the economy continues to grow.

Internationally, countries are trying to diversify. China, for instance, is striving to cut the share of petroleum products and coal in its fuel mix.....Coal and petroleum products constituted 90 per cent of China's fuel mix in 2003, but this was reduced to 80 per cent in 2010 and is expected to drop to 72 per cent by 2020

Singapore opted early to switch and power the country with natural gas.This way, Singaporeans can enjoy clean and healthy air even as the economy develops and meets the needs of a growing population.

Other than natural gas, solar power is the next contender....esp apt given our sunny tropical climates and numerous high rise flats -- ideal for placing solar panels to capture the full blast of the sun's rays.......

Sustainable seafood catching on here....

Click HERE
For those whom we discussed consumerism's impact on the envmt, this makes for a good article...

-Corporate Social Responsibility...can be a way to cultivate brand loyalty and endear one's product to the consumers....(note CSR can also beout of genuine moral obligation to do what's right and 'give back' to society or Mother Nature)
But sometimes it is not just about dollars and cents; this is part of our corporate social responsibility to save the oceans
Note that only BIG companies like Hilton and Grand Hyatt can embark on CSR, as those who do so must be prepared to have their profits hit in the short run...

-businesses/suppliers are now taking the lead as they recognise that for their business to sustain in the long run, they need to start caring for the envmt, or there will be no fish in the seas for them to catch in the future.....(think the goose that lays the golden eggs analogy)
"If you've had bluefin tuna sushi lately, you've enjoyed a piece of the last 4 per cent - compared to unfished levels

- MSC labelling functions like the Fairtrade labels...
He hopes that as MSC labels become more common, consumers will look out for them and choose labelled products over unlabelled ones
Labelling allows enlightened consumers to make an informed choice....

-WWF & MSC as examples of NGOs who do their part by creating awareness for consumers and certification to aid consumer to differentiate green from non-green options

- the cost factor (just like how Fairtrade certification is expensive)

 the crabs up to 15 per cent more expensive than those from non-certified sources

despite taking three years to reap profits from selling sustainable snow crabs.

there could be a price difference of up to 50 per cent for certain fish such as cod.

cost is still a stumbling block as many food and beverage businesses are not willing to make the switch if it means paying more.

-consumer indifference (role played by consumer in sparking off the virtuous green cycle):
The problem now is that while consumers here are aware, they are not asking and the retailers are under no pressure to differentiate themselves

"It is difficult to initiate it as a supplier as the price is not the same, (so) you have to wait for your customer to be interested and he will be interested when the consumer is


1) Environmental concerns and economic growth cannot co-exist. Do you agree?
2) 'Profits should be the sole objective when it comes to doing business.' Comment.

Blocking of critical websites a warning to other sites

1)Blocking of critical websites a warning to other sites 

For the J1classes whom we discussed the qn below, here is an excellent recent example that illustrates the point on censorship and its futility.....

By purporting to report the 'truth' to the people (i.e. fulfilling its watchdog role), the Sarawak Report website has been blocked and The Edge newspaper is now in trouble with the authorities for spreading malicious untruths that threaten to undermine national stability and engaging in political sabotage ....

Excerpt from second link above regarding futility of censoring traditional media:
In the age of online news and social media, it is difficult to see how the suspension of The Edge will be effective.

Qn: Is there any point in censorship in the modern world today?

China's gadget graveyard

Click HERE
For those J1 classes whom we recently discussed consumerism's impact on the envmt, the point about the generation of waste crops up often. What many students are unable to do, is in explaining how the waste is actually harmful to Mother Nature.... So read the article to get some idea....

Note the interesting nugget of info that 70% of global e-waste ends up in China. Also, our attempt to recycle, ironically, ends up harming Mother Nature -- and ourselves!

One of the major drawbacks of consumerism is the waste it generates, but it is not just e-waste; it can be food waste as well.... recall an earlier post on the huge food wastage that people in first world nations are guilty of ...see HERE

The revolt against tourism

click HERE

Tourism has been receiving some pretty bad press recently, what with the uncivilized behaviour of some Chinese tourists (one tried to open the emergency door of the plane 'to let in some fresh air') to the recent one of this bunch of Caucasians who posed naked at the summit of Mt Kinabalu, which some said incurred the Mountain God's wrath and triggered the earthquake!)
This article examines some of the problems associated with tourism, with some countries' attempts to rein them in.....

Saving the Sari

Click HERE
For those whom we discussed the qns below, (i.e. Mon/Wed early evening class and Sun early morning class), do take note of this excellent example....

Our culture and tradition can also be our the case of Singapore, it's our hawker food, which is facing the danger of  'extinction' as our younger lot are not keen in taking over the stall busness from their aging and retiring parents.....If the trend continues, our beloved chicken rice and laksa and char kway teow may be lost forever!!!! Note that our hawker centres are not just about the food; they are a social institution, or even a social leveller, whre rich an poor alike gather to bond over a delicious bowl of lor mee, and roti prata washed down with teh tarik, not necessarily in that order.... .

Sari and food aside, don't forget the various traditional crafts (skills of traditional artisans, making ceramics, Chinese Wayang or opera singers and actors, etc). The skills in making them are also facing the threat of extinction (not just animals can become extinct, ok...)because the youth are not keen to take over from the when the parents die, the skills die off too and are buried under the ground with them, never to see the light of day again....sad.....Where's my napkin?
So thank good for tourism, which provides the financial incentive to keep these alive....

When tackling the qns below, do remember to go for the reason, e.g. not lucrative, long working hours, lack of glam factor, etc....

Note also how traditional culture is being re-invented to maintain their relevance...I recall the example of Hello Kitty xiao long bao I recently saw on TV....

Consider also examples of S'pore's heritage like the Botanic Gardens and Bukit Brown cemetery.

1) 'The youth of today are too ready to discard their traditional culture'. To what extent is this true of you society?
2) How important is it to preserve our heritage today?

5 held over sex video shot at Uniqlo (Beijing)

Click HERE

A scandal that rocked China recently!
A useful example to show that in today's world of the ubiquitous smartphone camera, we are prone to taking indiscreet/controversial/compromising photos of ourselves (or others) and these may find their way into cyberspace wither because we upload them deliberately, or someone else did it to sabotage us.....

1) To what extent has technology had an impact on both privacy and security in your country? (Cam. 2009)
2) 'There is no such thing as privacy anymore.' Comment.

Obama weighs in in Cosby sex scandal

Click HERE

I've posted on this example of Bill Cosby before (a case of how a hero becomes zero! see HERE) ... but this article mentions something else which I think is useful.

Note this excerpt from the article:
Hovering in the air during his remarks was the recognition made by some observers that The Cosby Show, about an upwardly mobile black family in which Cosby played the trusted patriarch, helped change American attitudes about race and pave the way for the Obama candidacy in 2008.

This is how influential ( in positive way) Bill Cosby was; the same applies to any celebrities and films ,i.e. the media. Their ability to shape and influence people's attitude and mindset makes them almost like a god! and this is imperative when it comes to societal reforms.....

1) Do films offer anything other than an escape from reality? (Cam. 2014) [note though that you prob can't use Bill Cosby here as "The Cosby Show" is technically a sitcom or TV series, not a 'film']

2) Assess the impact of foreign films or foreign TV programmes on the culture of your society. (Cam. 2009)

Get Ready for March of the Machines

click HERE

A very GOOD article on the impact of machines and tech on our employment prospects....something covered in my previous postings....
-the impact on less developed countries where the 'world's factories' are located....the writer shows how the centre of gravity will shift back to developed nations, causing massive job loss in LDCs....but note the clever rebuttal that some factories will still stay put in developing nations as the massive consumer markets are there.....

- the impact on the battlefield and how wars will be fought in future

-3D printers

-the excellent point on how jobs are not just for source of income but also about keeping people meaningfully occupied, and more importantly, about female empowerment and gender equality, and --get this -- terrorism! A root cause of terrorism is unemployment and poverty, causing resentment and anger at the establishment, leading pple to join the terrorists as it gives them a sense of purpose and opportunity at 'hitting back' at the powerful pple!

-the closing BANG using a thought provoking qn that underscores the writes stand....

More Chinese Nationals seek plastic surgery in South Korea

Click HERE

Relate to :
-Sci&Tech (pros and cons)
-notions of beauty and obsession with appearance and image
-justifications for plastic surgery (importance of looks)
-medical tourism
-with the rise of SKorean soft power, Asians are increasingly modelling themselves after the Koreans instead of after the Westerners.

Characteristic attributes of Singaporeans

Useful attributes of Singaporeans to think of when doing AQ or 'your society' qns....Attribute them to survey findings published in the Straits Times for more credibility....

1) More-opening-their-purses-charity
3)Anomalies appear in attitudes survey

Note more than S$1billion collected for charity last year!

Qn: Is there still a place for charity in today’s world? (Cam. 2006)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Powerpuff Girls get the thumbs down

Discussed this with one of the classes recently, so I tot I'll put it up....
Makes for a good example of media violence that children can be susceptible to...As I mentioned in class, what I found disturbing is that these Powerpuff girls are made to be so sweetie-pie cute (with equally cutsie names like Buttercup) yet turned demonic looking when battling the evil giants.....and then they can go home and are tucked into bed gently and then sleep peacefully as though nothing had happened!!! What kind of signals are we sending to the children watching them?

Qn: The media is to blame for the worldwide increase in violence. Do you agree?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tech firms show appetite for lab-grown food....


HCIBS classes, the last qn of the quiz was from article 1 above....

Use technology to 'grow' food in the lab as opposed to growing them 'naturally out there' is a revolutionary thingy...
The obvious pros are the alleviation of strain on Mother nature (no need clear land to grow crops and no fears of excessive chemical fertilizers and pesticides polluting the soil and underground water)....and if we're talking about 'growing meat', there is the obvious benefits and convenience of not having to confront the ethical issues of animals undergoing pain and suffering just so that we can fill our stomach.....there's of coz also tremendous savings in cost of production through mass production.....
On the flip side, the taste factor still proves lacking.....It's not just about the food not being delicious enough, but also the psychological YUCKS factor we have to contend with....

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living Under Islamic Law....

Three articles came out in today's Straits Times about the controversial syariah law, a good example of tradition/culture/religion that justifies reviewing or even forsaking....
1) aceh-questions-about-fairness
2) concerns-over-implementation-of-hudud-in-kelantan
3) brunei-yet-to-implement-harsher-syariah-penalties

note some of the alarming aspects e.g. caning for consuming alcohol, sodomy, unmarried couples having physical contact or in close proximity, stoning to death for committing adultery and conversion from Islam, cutting of left hand for stealing....
Do note though that the syariah law is practised to different extent in different society..... some of the laws in themselves are questionable, but in most cases, I would say they are reasonable and promote common basic decencies, and that the problem lies more with the disproportionately heavy harsh punishments. Of course, some have also said that the syariah law is exploited by the men to oppress the women, and are hence discriminatory.

Other controversial examples of traditional cultural/religious practices or taboos:
dowry practice*
child brides*
caste system in India
favours having male over female offspring*
female genital mutilation
no divorce
no pre-marital sex
no contraceptives and abortion
no stem cell
no blood transfusion (for Jehovah Witness)

* not due to religion

1) How important is it to preserve our heritage today?
2) The youth of today are too ready to discard their traditional culture. How true is this of your society?
3) How important is it for the people in your society to have a sense of tradition?

Friday, July 10, 2015

PM paints stark reality of challenges in 3 critical areas

Click HERE and HERE ....
Relate to an earlier post here on a survey done which outlines the biggest challenges facing Singapore in the next 50 years : HERE

No brass ceiling for women officers

Click HERE

Note excerpt from article:
modern militaries are more receptive to skill sets such as intelligence and administration, so "there are more opportunities for women to hold pinnacle positions".

This clearly shows that the modern military is increasingly relying more on brain than brawn, hence providing an opportunity to level the playing field for women....

S'pore youth placed on Restriction Order

Click HERE
A convincing example where few people will object to when it comes to curtailing the freedom of a person...recall J S Mill's harm principle, where one has the right and freedom to do what he wants only insofar as his actions do not impinge on those of others....

Qn: To what extent is the govt justified in intervening in the private lives of its people?

Environmental factors contribute to cancer rates

Click HERE
Gives you an idea of the consequences for our continued degradation of Mother Nature -- how it will come back to haunt us, this time, in terms of the food we consume.
Read a similar argument here about how the success of the Green Revolution in India in the past is now known to have caused cancer in its people.... click HERE

1) Eating has never been more risky. Do you agree?
2) ‘Protection of the environment is the most serious challenge we face nowadays.’  What do you think? (NJC Prelim 2014)

Facebook post a hoax: Legoland

Click HERE
Some good examples of hoaxes online.....relate to unreliability of info online (last year's 'A' level compre AQ)....

Legal online betting could kick off next june

Click HERE
Note the development on the gambling scene here in's going online!!!! The casino is coming to your doorstep, no, your bedroom! Link it to the ills of the internet, exposure to inappropriate material and the attendant addiction.....relate to the 'A' level compre that came out last year on the internet.

Bias for sons hurting men and women

Click HERE
another gender article....this time, about how the bias for sons causes the women to suffer

Qn: How important is it for people in your society to retain a sense of tradition? (Cam. 2010)

Lonely men fall victim to marriage scams

Click HERE
Look at how our clinging to traditional mindset is causing our children to pay the price....
Note this staggering statistics of China:
"The women reaching marriage age now of between 30 and 35 were born in the early 1980s. During this period, there were 70,000 to 200,000 more male births each year. Between 1985 and 1990, there were 500,000 to 900,000 more men each year. From the 1990s, there were one million or more male births each year,"

Qn:  How important is it for people in your society to retain a sense of tradition? (Cam. 2010)

Bill Cosby's moralising back to haunt him

Click HERE
The latest sex scandal involving celebrated Black US comedienne, Bill Cosby, makes for a good example of hypocrisy!

Qn: As long as people in the public eye do their job well, does it matter what they do in private? (Cam. 2009)

KL censors snips TV scenes that 'mock, belittle govt'

Click HERE

An  interesting article on censorship. Note that censorship is anathema to the watch-dog role of the media. In this case, if the Najib govt is REALLY corrupt, then censoring the media will prevent people from knowing the truth, and the corrupt govt can continue to siphon off the people's money with impunity as there's no pressure for them to account for it..... 
BUT if Najib is innocent, then what the media is doing now is actually tarnishing the reputation of an individual and defaming him. But becos this individual also happens to be the PM of he country,  the media is also tarnishing the image of the govt and causing political instability, as people's trus in the govt is eroded, and they will not support the govt's policies.....

BUT we do not know if the govt is corrupt, so it is difficult to draw the line and strike a balance. Consider the case in Singapore regarding Amos Yee and  Roy Ngerng. Whether censorship is justified in our case really depends on whether u support the govt. If the govt is trustworthy, we want to be a bit more tolerant of censorship. But if the govt has a reputation for corruption and ill-will towards the people, then censorship becomes more important....

Note the interesting censorship criteria concerning attire towards the end of the article. The relatively revealing Indian sari is allowed (respect for minority cultures). But the funny one is that indecent dressing is allowed if the character is evil. Talk about judging a book by its cover! :)

US army to cut 40,000 soldiers over two years

Click HERE

useful stats to note about cutback in US troops.........
pertaining to the qn below which came out last year, can make the insightful evaluation that cutback on troops more justifiable than cutback on weapons technology...In a war, human casualty will often earn the govt political backlash as human lives are sacrificed. But is the casualty is robots and weapons and drones, the price paid is just money, something that is definitely more tolerable, esp for an affluent country who can afford it. Human casualty, in contrast, is never too little, no matter how rich and populous the country is.

Qn: Examine the extent to which expenditure on arms and the armed forces is justifiable in the modern world. (Cam. 2014)

Robots cannot replace the human touch

Click HERE
a very good response about the limitations of technology in replacing mankind...
Those who did the AJC Prelim AQ on Change, note the arguments in the AQ about how tech cause traditional way of doing things to become obsolete; how certain professions have been diminished by tech,,,

Here's another article on the same subject: HERE

Thrills and spills in bull runs

Click HERE
brings to mind similar egs like cock-fighting in Thailand or wild duck shooting in Britain....

As a tradition festival, it can be seen as fun for young pple....
But at the same time, youth who are hung up on rights will see this as barbaric, not to mention the violence to onlookers....(relate to the Dog-meat festival in China in a previous post)
Can pull in tourism as well...

Qn: The youth of today are too ready to discard their traditional culture. To what extent is this true of your society?

Smart glasses for seniors with dementia

Click HERE
a good example of tech in enhancing our quality of life, with particular reference to the elderly and an ageing population....
Recall how Japan is resorting to technology (robots) to take care of their ageing population, as they resist foreign workers...
Can't help thinking of google glass also, where tech can be seen to have invasive privacy issues if abused....

S'poreans now more vocal: George Yeo

Click HERE 
note the beautiful imagery George Yeo used, useful or BANGing:
the analogy of the state as a banyan tree, calling for it to be pruned to let the sun through so that the undergrowth - or civic society - will not be stultified.

Indeed, with social media, there is now a democratising of power and conflation of hierarchies....
.....think Amos Yee, Roy Ngerng...all these show that Singaporeans are indeed more vocal about issues, but this seems more prevalent online than say in the real world of say Speaker's Corner.

Note though that the govt's use f the law does have a muzzling effect a well on our tendencies to air our views, whether online or offline....

To what extent are the youth in your society interested in politics?