Wednesday, April 27, 2005

falling like dominos

just a few days ago, Singaporean bloggers were up in arms about how Acidflask had been treated by his scholarship board, and other tangentially related public figures. and consequently, much discussion over what the future of Singapore blogging might be -whether it could develop from a bunch of online journal ramblings about the minutiae of personal lives to some form of public discussion about wider issues. today, i find that two of these Singaporean bloggers bit the dust: Acidflask, under the pressure of a lawsuit, and Nilsinelabore.

i don't really know what to say, other than to express my sadness that it has come to this -- that we cannot even keep this little corner of the world for ourselves to express what we think and feel without official censure. (not to say, of course, that it is a corner without criticism, as comments frequently demonstrate. but at the very least, criticism has been reasonable, argued -as opposed to 'you suck!'- and most importantly, non-threatening to my continued way of life.)

just a few days ago, because of this big fuss kicked up over the whole racist-comment affair, as well as Acidflask's upset with PSC, i was reminded in class of Habermas's theory about civil society and the public sphere, and how it grew out of coffeehouse associations. where people would gather and read the newspapers and discuss things aloud -in a most civilised manner- over tea (and presumably crumpets, or the crumpet-equivalent in Viennese coffeehouses). i mused quietly about the potential blogs have to be a new cybercoffeehouse, linked to one another by -well, links, and trackbacks, and responses to each other in comments and whole response posts. little communities of people discussing the same issues, providing different opinions and points of view, learning from one another. a little Habermasian microcosm.

oh well, she says. another dreambubble burst.


At 8:05 AM, April 27, 2005, Anonymous Jol said...

I figured this out almost a year ago now; no prizes for guessing why my journal has been protected since then.

At 11:52 AM, April 27, 2005, Blogger Huichieh said...

Trackback: From a Singapore Angle, "A Sad Day for the Singapore Blogosphere"

At 10:35 AM, April 28, 2005, Blogger Packrat said...

Well...The idea of a cyber-coffee house has been around for sometime since the days of bbs'. Unfortunately, unlike real coffee houses where things are discussed, there is a more permanent (thanks to caches) echo on the internet that adds on a culpability factor to the things you post. Unfortunately for scholars (and the rest of us under government oppression) we have little, if not no, freedom to actually express what we feel about anything deemed "sensitive". (Read: Alternative viewpoints) Well...C'est La Vie. It's our plight as the indentured masses.

At 11:01 AM, May 30, 2005, Blogger AcidFlask said...

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