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The
Possibility
Issue
Bro'.rdcr Pcrspectives is
publishcd by School ofThought
I '12
MiddleRoadd0S-01, Midland House,
5 ngapore I 88970,www.schoo ofthought.com.sg
te +65 63348773. fax+65 63 37 2434

Subscription ratcs for 2009


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The Broader Perspectives tean


ED TOR lN CHIEF ElizabethKon
liz@schoo of thought.com
CREATVED RECTOR Shiao YinKu (
y n@schoo of thought.com
SALESMANAGER YeeTong
yee@school-of -thought.com
ogf
DEPUTYED TOR

CONTR BUT NGWRITERS


JoselinBau,YuezhiLe€,
BaeyShiChen, NadlaMah
INTERNS
Sonia l(wek, xuYuQin,Am€ aRazak
DESIGNASSISTANT

PRINTER

SOLED]STR BUTOR
Rghteous nternat onalSubscript on Services,
71 Ub Crescent#05 09 Sinsapore40857l
te:+546323 I833 fax:+65 632 3 I838
emajl:michae chuns@riqhteous.corn.sg

j BR0 aDER PERSPELT VES thepossrbrlry rssue


ff.""-"n,peoprenndGP we study world problens like poverty, r'ar, teforism, en

a terribly pessimistic subject. "imnm'nrJl dcarrJrli"n. ri;lFd 'rir$..rime. dis, rimina


tion...Throush ou lenses ofsritb reaiism and dishearten-
ing h ends, we see the rlor'ld at its \rorst and lcarn io iakc a 'lnaturc" view in uDderstandiDg
-| tha t the wo rld is ta r from perfect and probably going to renajn that $'ay, or get
I '!orse.

' 'Tt\ Yet, at School of Thougll, It


'oor''"""''
tike a paradox (an apparen contra.iction that
hold,s dccpcr truth), but hrowins ille prcblems and seeins
we see GP as a study in possibilities
the world, watu and all, is r eally thc kcy io siDultaneously
and consider knowledge as the power
:::'l';:*:::: j"j::J:ffi::ijil:il:fril:jfi
ing all the possibilities for making things better: all the
to feel and act to irake a ciange.
ftom pcoplc having an opiDion and taking a stand that is
infbrmed by reality. In this sense. freei.g your mind to the n)aiad opportunitics for nak-
ing a difference cones from grounding it in understanding and facts that mayappearcorn
pletely hostile to even a sliver of hope.

This is why we have choseD to erplorc possibility h this issue, through the lenses of rcalitr
and hope, ofproblens and sohrtions, ofobstacles and change. h fact, $€ do not want this
issue to be jut abort GP, we watn it to offer yotr a newperspective on lite, )'our lile in par
ticular, as ihe acadenic year ibaws to a close. We hope you'll take the words of Emily Dick
insoD who said "I dwcll in Possibilities" to heaft and see the possibilities of every sinsle day
to challenge yourself, understand more, win small vicioics, rn.kc a brcaLthroush, nove
ahead, encourage soneone else, give your parents and teachers sonething to cheer about,
and nake yourself prcud to be you. Here's to gnnd possibilities nl eve.r ordinary dnyl

,i$
oa"o"oouoooor*orororalu, I a
r. --d
CULTURE WATCH
F\
'!f,
HOW HOLLY\(/OOD DOES
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Get th€ low-dornon thc ways Holl),-
sood hrs slraped our cxp€.trtions ol

?18 hos lile ought ro nork (dsopposed


to ho$ it re,lqturns ou0

HO\( r',O
(REALLY) CHANGE THE WORLD
Anyon€.rn printa placdrd orblame the

20 I]A! but it takes a spccial breed ofpeople


to actuallv mlk€ r diitir.n..
5'IHINGS TO I(NOW
FIVE REASONS WHY COMPREHENSION
06 THINGS DON'T CHANGE
V'hat mainr.ins the status quo? 2L MAI(]NG BUSINESS MORAL
Can ethicalbusinesscs help save the rvorld?

,g A MATTER OF OPINION
ARE WT CLOSER TO SOLVING
OUR ENVIRONMEN'IAL

10 29
PROBLEMS TODAY?
A cynical industrialist atrd an optinistic
FEATURE ATTTICLE NGO a.tilist flc€ oftl
[T
Heaven is (Not) LOCAI,/GLOBAL
GROWING POSSIBILIllLS
';+ 'l'Ur.
:', - 4!o
a Place on Eartl Whdt are the paths Singapore must
take for the door ofpo$ibility ind
Call it Paradise, Zion, NiNana, 34 progress to remrin open to us?

Marxk Classless Society, Utopia


orjust plain old vanilla Heaven. S(ILLS SECTION
Everybody wants to build a USING CONTEXT TO
CREATE ARGUMEN
perfect world right here right

"fi;:Jil:i::t;ff;?i:-" 38
three simple ways to us. contert to build
abrc!d cohesive ar8ument.

SPO'I'LIGHT
THE RISING SUN
'lhe LDP's lo$ may bc
lapin!sain
ON 2ND THOUGHT
RF]THINK THF,
MILLENNIAL GENERAIION ${rHAT'S'T'HE POINT?
Arc yc ndking mountrins out ofmole
hills whetr it.omer to today'syo(ths? 46 TAI(ING RESPONSIBILI]'Y
lts tim€ lorvictims to bite thc bullet.
5 THINGS TO I(NOW

FiveR
'Whv'
Dorft
The French have a saying, "The more
things change, the more things remain
the same." Sorry, true believers - they
have a point. Despite headlines filled
with thrilling technological discov-
eries and major political summits,
the status quo largely remains as is.
Things still fall apart and the centre
stili wiil not hold. Bummer, huh?

lcxl :1ncl illlLslrrtions


bI SHIAO-YIN I(UIK

BROADERPERSPECTVES thepossibihtyissue
it to us, Lord, but
''Give
Not not yet.' St ArlgLrstine-s
Enough most fanious plea to Cod
..:r.i
{
for cliastity coukl be tak
Courage cn equally as atr iDdict
mcnt ofourgenemi corr-
ardice h the r:ce oftindamcnial chaDse- Manyof s
in theory would give ou| whole |carcd suflolt io
d.astic refo.m but our actions speal volun.s loDd.r
thaD ourNords. When it conies to the crunci ofmak
nrs the life-alterins decisjols necessa.] lor change
to Iaplcn, rnaDl ofus cave iD to insecudties and.e
teat lo oDr patisaD corn.N. Psychologists blame it
on tle so called "cDdo$Drcnt cffect" - r!.here tlie
lict tlaL you os,n or arc. paft ofsomethingleadsyou
to oveNalue it. lbis neaDsthat cvcn if)ru don't like
tlie {.a) the status quo ivorl$ presentll, the nronr.ni ;,,
someoDe proposes to ore.harl it, }'ou ntay perversely
PromheDt jounu
dcfcDd the status quo because you have becorne Loo
cornfortable lrith it over time. Study afte. studl bl
Not Andrcw Gilligan once
economists also rcveal a status quo bias": nheth Enough s.id, P.otlc di'iDg in
er it isgivnrg Dp flasticbagsor adjustingone's insu.- Money Affica is nor nc$', but
people bcnrg $rcft out
p-d1. .,.otrc 4r ' , r l, r"d '" Jdnt'. *lu -\' r b
"nc, to s.., killed tu five minutes frorD a big irale t|at
tlie default option. BehalioLrral cconomisis bcli.vc
otr. irertia is caused b1 ou. lendency to tocus on thc carnc up thc bcach, that is Dew." Cute sells. l ne
pain ofloss more than the pleasure oi itaii. diacy sclls too. But $'hat does Dot go do$rl well with
tlc doDor public arc long-tem, coDplex emergen
EXAI'IPLE: The rewiling of the Obama health cies with too manydifficult tolitical or listorical re!
carc plan. 2oo8 polls shoNed tliat oDly 29% ol erenc€s. And even thosc who bccom. ihe flarour of
loters thoughi thc American healtlica.e system the moDth, their time in thc linrcligbt is sooD over HELENMIRREN
ON V'HAT SHE
was good or etcellent. Yet. aftcr obania annouDced aDd tuDding dies up. UDfortu alely, most aid agcn

plJn ."urJ.:. I . u'" ha,rl rl ' l'. l l,.J-"s\\r, n, | | cies or chansemrke.s on the g.ourd
2ooo.puI :n i.rrrdl|'r ',,o-el!.'1 ooo^lAn rr' of hor{ to hishiisht their issnes and need ol nroncy
caDs now claim they are satislied witi llcir cuncnt eiTcctivcly to ovcNhelned journalists wiLh lilnited
nelvs stacc. Big oryaDisatioDs like UNICIIi ard S16
deci s sans Frontiircs \icld media pEsence because
they have accunrulatcd a war ch.st large enougli to
lire a professionalcr, r L, n icalions tcaDr. $'iih such
expertise, corning up with cnlchy sLU. .tivcs or cn'
I JLs .h" r , l! ,l , l ir:F' o l"r l r'' r- Dirn:r
cffcct" to the cause, tugging aL hea.L (and tursc)
st lss are Do problen. ltisjuslloobad illouarc
a slrLrggling, unlnorm NGo or a hapless civil seN
ant worldng in an cqurllyhafl.ss developins Dation

TIEALTI I CARE
RETORM
E)i,\ltPLll: The plight of Uganda. Consid.r.d
b) Odam as the xorld worsl lbrgotten humaDitar
s
ian c sis, the childreD of Northern Uganda borc i|.
brrnt ofi|cir country's cifil $'rr $'ithout ant notice
1lom the world forl8 y.ars. Thatis, urltil Oxfan llew
i! r"mor , br iti'\ d 1,c,. u' l.r vir '", lur .'.u rr i1
2c)05. Mirrer eventuallygoi an audiencewith British
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw $'ho agrccd to make a
public statemenl ol tbe issue.

IIFMANDABROADFR PFRSPF''I VF 7
*
Ai thc 2oo9 Microsoft's
*$ Not Colcmmcnt tf,aders Fo-
Enough rum lor tbc Ameiqs,
forner U.S. Presidcnt Bill
Technology clinton u.ged Microsot
aDd other prominent tech
a. companie.s to apply thcir innolative thinkiDg lo i{orkl
problems outsidc thcir immcdiate scope like climate
chnnge, AIDS, iunger andhcaithcare. TechDophiles b€
lievefiat globJl prublenr arc one tantastical iNention
awa,v fiom behs solved cheap rew enerst sources to
.lcvate Puefto Rico's standard of living? Anaznrg naDo
bols that can eai tluough the olerJlowing landnlls irr ID
dia or patch up thc lrcle iD the ozone la)er? tsut real en
Not gnreerins banicN stil mean such technolosies will ol
Enough be appearing wil]rin t|c ncrl fcw decades. Tlia*nrly,
naDy developnrg countdes h rcaliry rcalise drat their
Integrity prcblens do not need an nr$ediblc tuturisdc nrventioD,
SURFTHIS L'he po$,cr clitc oftbc norld have given us no short
just grcater acce$ibility aDd mastery of existiDg ones.
ageolsunmits iD cxotic locations, glamourous rd cam Prcpaid calins cdds, sohr panels, free mobile rcarn
pai8Ds and stifirg speeclrcs to prcr they care about ins and mobile ba*ins hrre draniatically tnnsforned
sohing problenN. It would be too haNh to accnse then villages in india, Argertim and Uganda who nlaoaged

^r
urlpl-r- 1rr" nrlrtrJnF il I F t;c4 ol pa rng
. to get hold of thcm thanks io innovative social eDter
global needs. They do care but they sinply do not preneurs and NCOS. StiI, thc tcchDolosical sap is for-
carc cnoDgh. Few leaders hare shown they arc willhg nidable: ln Japan, 861 patents arc graDted per million
to go thc tull djstance and mke the toughest sacrifices p-upl' hlr rF- in Je'F otir- c"urFn l,rr ILbFr b
reccssary to scc the stahs quo clianged once and for o In 2oo2 86% {)l lhe lro d-s total nrvcshncnt iD Re-
D.LIGHT
all. l'ie recent 2oo8 c8 Hoktaido sunmit was laden scarch aDd Developnienttookplaceonly in rocounhics.

with accusations of lwo$isy: envircnment.il e\perts .ds lons as drat sap is not closed and prcblems of acces
estinated tliat the iarge cnrbon tbotlnnrt'and sumf- sibilirt_ dcpcnd on the largesse of iDattentive developed
tuous 18{ish banquets olthe extralagant surnnit mn natiol]s, nrany problcrns lril continue as they are.
contmr] to the ligh Dinded discussiols about reduc
ins carbon emissions and dealins with spinllirg food
l.\ \IlPl l: tick .rf tsmtmi rlclection equip
mcnt in -dsia. Er?cnsive tsuDami detection technoio
piccs and famine nl the deleloping wo.ld. No amount
of technology or money throwr at a problem can Iill Lia l r " LJFpr' 4 low tr inr \ ln-gnvprnrlprLur,uln
the moral blaclhole dus by comfronised intesri$. '1o
tries such as l dia, I'Ialalsia and Thailand, ?s the
re rJrc in $c rndiin O!eln corntar.diotlcir
l€a.s and hall a t.illio. dollars in wcstcrn forcisn aid
{re$ery
rLu
-s-L-^--i--
later, the co tinent oi Atiica is still pooro than ever.
Accordirg to World Ba keconomists, $c ironyisthat
higl r' inrlu{. Jr ,i'1.rcder 'l F tualin t^\
in the Pacilic. Such a seis'no
graph $as iDstalled on the lndone
siaD island of Jam h 1996, but the
"r ign " data collcctcd wd not sent to the
DIGITAL crDance nr A{rica by encouragjDg grali andbribery.
centfal governmcnt iD Jakafta be-
cause tle telephoDc linc had bccn
ljXAMPl.l,l: The wastage of 2oo4 tsunuri aid
discoDDected in 2o0o. Olicials in
money. l'ie Indian OccaD tsunami that affected 13
J:*arta aere aled€d to lhe ealth
count.ies gererated a rccot.d US$12bilion nr aid. Yet,
quake that caused the giant \a!es
: r-.'r. J""n th r' ad ,, or llr^,.ards ^f.\uranr
by rcadings film the country's
lictitns are still living h tents.In ]Ddoncsia,31) to 40%
othcr 6(l or so seismoglaplis,
of aid tur1ds $€re tainted by g.ali. NCOS Save thc
Childrcn and Ofam had to Mite off about €soo,Lroo
but a lack ofdaia iion the "r,5;,ll
specialised Java statioD
wo(h ofbuilding coDtracts thaDk to unscrupulouslo
preveDted then tron issui.g
.f:
cal building coniractors that they lircd who took the
a tsunani war irB that lrould
aid mone!- aDd built ridiculoDsly flimsy stnctues for
ha!€ srved thousands .,l]ives.

BROADER PERSPECTIVES the posslb lity issue


5 THINGS TO XNOrx/

FOUR RIDICULOUS UTOPIAS


THATAREREALLYFRAUDS
1. Tltlt RAi:rr.IANS
H
.
lhe man behind thc largest UFO religious group iD ihe -1
xorld is Claode Vorilhon aka "Ra€I" x former Frcnch
sports-cd journaljsl aDd tcst diver. Irithfxl Raijlians I
pusue complete sexual liber!|, mnrd transfer, GM tbods,
nanotechnolosr and human cloDiDs io achifle a Dei! and
diseas. fi cc body just ni time for the return ofihe Elolim,
the alien racc who crcated u. Thn ( tlafs ouiraseou?
You have not c\cn head of Ra6l's orde. ol ADscls, a pi\zte

The use ol irceDtivcs is haren ol women to provide hin i'ith sexual pleasurc, defend
Not coDtrove.si:ti because it hn life f ilh their bodi.s and help donate eggs for elTorts towards
Enough stee6 us areay fron the hunan cloning. tslrrr.
question of "Ulhat is mI
(Risht) responsibili\ ?" to "what 2 l HFl DO[{INT()N ()I ]\f l,lLCHIZFjDEK
Incentives do I get out ofthis?". No lfyou 6nd )ourseff at Melchizedek,com, you are not on a website

$onder id.alists \ould vou are in a Dseudo-relijaious so\ereign statc that exists pimaril) irr
cybersp:ce. Tlis rybcHratioD is .ecognised by sc\cral major soverD
mther stick io thc loftier strateg) ofappealbgto pco-
ple's Inoral conscicnce. The probleni is that real lifc nents and ofteN bank licenses, ambAsadorslips aDd dcD a stock ex-
elidence abounds to frolc that people respond to in
daDse. Or sc, I4ark and David Pedlel, the criminally mindcd father-
centives: wo.kers' perfomancc inproves reheD their
sonduo$nofound€dMelcbizedck,clain. Dotiotbeloo)ed maryharc
alrcadylost huDdreds of lhousands of dollars fi .ousli swnrdli.g scnms
fay is tied to itj we stop driling aDd take public truns
poft when ERP ganties and COE prices go up; we re bascd on passports aDd bank licenses issued ftom this "staie".

cl, l, sf rs"nr.,n.;r,"'J..lorc.rd.. Iordo.Is.u.


lncenlivcs appcal to people's instinctive prioriiisation 3. l H l.l PIiINCIPAUTI_ OI NIl\{ U'I OPIA
ofpeNonal intcrcsts over public interests. Of coursc, Alier nakiDg a fortDne from his cont.olersial altcrDative medical clin
incentives are not the final answer.lfwe reb on thenr
ic in Menco. Oklahorna bLsin$smn ltoward Tunrey bccane HSH
excessively as the way to crcatc a better reorld, we will Pirce "tdarus rtrrng' (the namc of a Robet tleinlein sci 6 character)
aDd cEated the island couDtrf of New Utopia in the CaribbeaD ncar thc
be biiterly disappointed. All nrceniive slstens can be
subvefted and exploited. lf a bankcr's pay nicentive is Cnlnan Istands. supposed\'based on the libertarian philosophr of nov
elist ,jin tund, it rvould have a Dubai likc citlscape, otre. scholaNhips
bascd on his lirm's ea.nntgs p€r )car, he nay make
risLy dccisioDs to mise the banLs earninss in a year to studenLs lion all over the world, have no tdcs and Do xtllarc s),stem.
ln .erlit!. Ne\{ UtoDia is iLd a cent.e lor ofshorc baDkins scans.
even at the cxpense of the linn's long tenn prospccts -
r nujor reason wby Wall Strcet a$ plunged idto the
credit crisis. hceDtivcs arc highly etrective and suc 4. THE SCIENIOI.OGIS I S
cessflrl in the short term but not iD the long term. We Scientolos/s founder L. Ron Hubbard had oD seveml occnsions told
nccd then but also eed to sct doM the most strin his fcllow scifi rfiiteA that the tlay to gct ich vns to start a
gcnt per{ormance measures and notr give up on edu rcligion. Sohe did - preachins that we arc all othenort(uy
ca rg pcople about their ethical obligatioDs. imrno(als and that ps)chiat-"y was a fbrm of diabolical
l-rruri.n, A,'u\'a rnr'Htho.rl.n.uib .\rl"uLcamr

;; ;ill ;;;.;;"ffi ffiff''


' r.rxA[{PI-E: Nigeda's war against spread of
HIV. Pol"vg.ny and ihe loneli ess of HIV paticnts is ::ll$1::*:*l::;::;:Jffi:::,I,T",::fl:::
a potent soDrce of the spread of HIV in Nigeria. Alo- ;* i#"" ;i*i;" 'llEi,u ;,'t
, Jl gor"i ncnt .rngr_r ,T. in Nrts.rir i. encouraB rs ..rrr. r.,,F. prJ,nid rmn*u" ', "r-*.,.',', ?'n"niit'tt .

Hlv-positive couplcs to marry by p.r,ving fc,r the dow bitant chargesfor "spiriiual sen ilres and nmrercs
ry, proliding 1.ee couDsclnrs and even employnert Lawsuits against its citics. A r99r ?rnc rnagazine
withiD the agency. lhe LDJ is disappro\ing, believiDg article descnb€d it as 'a husely prolitable global
thai thc aNwer lies in education and iDcrcasiry gen racket that sun'i\€s by intirnidating nie!$ers
eral access to "preveDtion, treatlnent and care" wlile s in, Malia likcmanner."
'nd.riin
sone eransclicai chnstian aid agencies bclicve up-
hold ine abstincnce is the key. Il!!
DFA,IANI]ABROADERPERSPECTVE 9
BROADERPERSPECTIVES thepossb itylssue
topia" is not aword that intrudes regularly
upon everyday conversation. Derived
from the title of a book written in 1516 by
Sir Thomas More about a fictitious perfect
state, it is usually used in a dismissive
sense to mean an unrealistic ideal.

More would have asred: 1r oeated Un(,n\ inc€d? The neil tinc ]ou walk p6t PARADISI' I,OS'I'
the word liorn two Greel words {6tros a ndgu ine stand, lake a good look. All ou

C'place") dd ou ("nor") possibly inter publicationsrflerl io N a plelhora of sub


pretcd as su ("sood")
ate
6 we[. His delibe.
wordplay undcrhed his belidtliat the
clnscious ideas or how to get to utopia:
Caze at fler Wo d throwh a workt'vl]ary
Sadly }"Iy;'.-"".*:1
state of perfection while sood, wodd be Morocl€,live in a PeD.IoLse, sray wn!4 Utopian comnuitis often sltd their skin
impGsible to achieve on carth. be in vogu€ and then, you can baly start to reveal dlEtopian practice, rmging lion
(Martho Steuart) Li|)in!1. On thc surface, the simply silly to the deeply repellent, all
TI{F, YOI I IN I I]OPIA Platot 38o BC Republic and our 21st defended reith the most upsethng canest-
c€ntury Pldyboy",1emay ditrer de€ply in ness- Ou listoricd records are linered
nay thinl all thjs talk their subjecL! of discusioD but suely, at with the dcbns of \rcLrld-be uiopian com
You about antiquted Greek-
sounding worcls about im-
the hean, borb are prcscnbins solutions
to mitigate our profound disconteDtrnent
nunities of aI solis: osltd ad bumt at
wo.st :nd diminished in obscuiB at best.
posible places has nothing to do with your wiih the status quo. \\4)ether the path to
lifc. But wodd b€ ibsolutely mistaken. socievs perfection and drus happiDcss Some utopirs - ihanklirliy ensted only on
"vo!
We all, unconsciously or clnsciouslx sub will be Davtrl by Plaio's philosopher kings paper aDd nfler nade it on enrrh. Plato's
scribe to sone kind ofuiopian oncept od or Hefnert busty Bunnies, both ackrcwl- b€loved Repullic advocaied dr killiqq of
orient our most sjgnificant choices in life edge the cunent wortd is not sarchronised wea,kor unwanted infrnts. Tomndo Ca
mDd this beliei: Utopjas will alwa)ar be to myone's idea ofParadise. panela s Cifto del Sole fousht for se{rd
hotl rel(Mni and .onlmversial becausc couplirys io be licensed by astrolosers.
they speak of wlut we ptrt our laith in, Chanse you body, change your products, Etienne Cabefs J.dno seems laushable
w|ar we will wrk towd.ils. what we wil change your habits, chmse you politi(x, now but he actually proposed that clotb€s
stand against and what wc belise wil dti- change your momls, chanse you soals, had to be madc in elastic to ensue equality
mat+ siDk or save $e human Ecc. chege your govemnents. This eDdlesly dlong p€ople of all sizas. Unfoftmatelx
josthlg and contradictory collcctioD of some utopian theories gained ercugh of
The ditrerence is realv all in the naming. patls to perfection has not changed much a followin€ to be turned into rcaliit (pd-
You rnay have czlled it Pamdise, Heaven, s @dr daMofhu n philosophy. ticrnrry in the trtopian happy 16th to 19th
Eden, Niwana, Zior! Capit ism, A Class centuics). Most, if noi aI, ended with
less Sociery, Democracy or the Frce Md- tragically sinilar Eults: after an initii
ket. You might even think it is Amcica set-up period fiIed with triunph, the com-
(aftcr aI, obeu did reiterate throushout muities eventually caved iDto bickeins,
his canpaign ihat Anieica is a union that bad behaviou and belligerence.
.can
be peffccted" as lons as Aniericans
are wiling to 'pui thejr hmds on the arc Every enceivable pathway has been hied
of history and bend it oncc more tomds and not one sinslc utopian communilv has
the hope of a better day. ) But morc tikclx Danaged lo last the racc or prove its point.
iD our nELgios dd apathetic times, most Thnrl the answer is relisious tundanen-
of us mayjust simply kDow it as My ldea of IIqAGECREDITS talisD or relisious abstinence? The rabidly
(fa.ins pase) custarc Dorc's I ower of Babel athcisi comnrue of Libelai. Missouri did
a Happy l,ife.
{abo1r) custale Dorc's Heaven
no betcr than the hamh theocracy of h"n:

DFMANNABROADFRPFRSPECTIVE I I
bo$ encouraged an embarrasling surge Tahiti was rendered moot by the groan TI{F, PROR! ,F,]!' OF PROGRF.SS
of bad behaviour through &eir respective ings of his ships crews rvho retumed
fom as of total noral libertdieisn or wacked with serrlly trdsmitted diseas- believing that time is lin
total moral rcpresion- Perhaps rou belie\€
that it is all about technological advance-
es. And way too much irl{ hs been spiled

on Hidcr's idjculous notioN of utopia via


But ed does not necessarily
mean you Ni believe that
nent or t€cbnolosical rej€ction? Our nost Aryan suprenacy and racial puriw. progress is ineliiable. What is most e\-
tech sawr, digital globil village genera traordinary is how resilient the idea that
tion has yielded a se.ies of tech oriented so if all ou attempts to create a perfect tomonow will be a better day (however it
problens, ftoni the lawhable (Crackberry reorld have been failins so consistendy, cones) has been when you consider the
withdlawal) to tlrc teniiins (Craisslist why do we stil belise it is possible? disnal report cald of hmd achievemeDt
tuwling for potertial muder or rape vic- What ompels us to conshuct utopias in well inio the 21st @ntury: tk famines, the
tinrs). But the tech.ologically leery Amish our mind and our reality and should failures, the holocausts, the conlrption. It
and Qualrcr mmmunities dont get rie last we keep doing do? I.llrce profound seerns to go beyond logical reason and well
laugh either: by giving up electric lighting, questions about time, progress and into the rcaln of ilogicll faith b€ it rie
motorised trmspor! modem nedicine perfetion rfleal key dswers to the dnw fai$ that the secuhr ha\€ put into Man or
md aI thiDgs modem ienagers lo\r, they the faith that the religiou have put into
also save up the possibiliv of srowins dreir God.
TI{E TROI IRT,F, OF TTMF,
Conlionted with everyday evidenc€ of
Perfecti.rn th.ough econonic conse.'a-
tism or ecoDomic liberahatioD? TeI tlr
W'e cannot seeni to live in the
here and nnw ,s ,nnnils
decay and decline, it se€rns foolhardy to
believe "thiDgs wil alMF get betier with
post-I€hmaD Brothers world whai they do. sonething deep within hono sapien time". The Alrananic faiths wangled
ihilk of thc wondFrs nf ihe FIFF M2r+et DNA lvirqs us to wondcr about what camc thcmsclves out ofthis problem with the be'
and unblidled Capitalism now- And rre do before and wbat lies in the hereafter. Is lief that God's will is ulhnately sovereign
not even have to rehash how badly com tine an endles+ spinning wheel, without over suffering and He wil mysteriously
mand econonie! panned out under Soviei a besinning or .n endins - which forcs Ne what Ms meet for evil to achieve
a Sino adoption of Mdist ideals. Horv men a civilisatioN to nNe aDd repeat good. Simply put, tlings will od up good
about a hteral retmr to Eden via dre ide- history? Or is time a snrgle, urepeatable not because the $erld or even man hnnser
olos/ of environmeDtal consemtion and h ajectory wherc $c may scc similar cvents is sood but blxau.se cod is sood and wil
retum to Nature? Trace bow the rccreation repeated but, as a whole, producing a make things better.
of a semnd Eanh via the Biosphere 2 in unique hiltory? r'lunks to the doninanc€
tu;ona led to mutiny or how Israel's be- of Cnistian and lslm civilsation. most of The sculurists of the EDlightement r-
loved Kibbutzims smdualy primtised ed u betifle in the linear @ncept that time jected such notions that nan ms neither a
stopped the practice of commmal living. besan with a uniquc act of crcation and like paragon ofvituc nor the master ofhis fate.
aD anow loosed, budes us all jn a single They popuhnsed the idea that a religion
And no. ihe answer is noi a sexle-ss or direction towards a specilic comnon des less, sod less Heaven could be made on
sexualised rrorld either. The Shit<ers who tiny.'Ihere wi be no repeat performance Eaft}l as long as people used the; lieedom
were against nianiage and prccrcation oDce the curtain drcps md the plalMight to recalibrate the baldce, inch by inch, in
mdemtandably d{irdled doM. But tlr walks oD stage. Tine begirs with ou Gen- favou of everydr s sood. Even till today,
f48 onejda conmunii- of Ncw York $is and end-s with a Revctation of what is the Enlightennentt idea of progress via
which practised a nonous idca of con- io become of ev€ryone and everlthing. human works has proven to be a hardy
plex maniage er€ry inan being mar mntender against the beliel in progress via
ried to every rloman also colapsed in The reason why &e linearity of time has Cod s grac€.
less than so ye,ls. Botrgainville's endud s a powernn idea is beeue of
.TEIIi
crcrdng about the sNrlly lib- its abiliv to nrspire ihe mdses. The verdict PARADoX oIi P!IRITI'(]TToN
cral utopia hc had discovcred in that the rlorld will end,like it or not, and
the inplication that it therefbre maners if we have always lived with
what side you are fighting on will move
andfrighten even the most callous hearts
So imperfect circumstanc€s, and
even if rre accepted that things
into action. The n6t powertul seclild wo d get better, wherc did we even get the
filn
the 18th to 21st centu- idea ihat thinss codd be pefect or loow
ries fiom tbe Marxists to Dawkns' nm what pedection looked like? Wired to
Atheists rejected beliefin cod but stil re thin! logicaly, we hurnans are conleled
tained the cornpelling nanative that a[ of tr nake meaning out of nadness. this
hrmaDkild was involv€d in histort:s ruh conf,Bing world with its long entuis'
towads a final slorioN clind. mltn of hjstory is the rntinaie fiutEti.g
RLlbil< s Cubc: lvc poccir. pattens under advocacy 1or o\crt statc actioni Cha es es uslo $,il]ilritl) Nird ouNchcs to
dre chaos thai bcg to bc made iglit ard Iouri€.s proposal of cootcr.tion aDroDg
rle rrill hlist and lunr oul institutio.s to peopier and rs, l.la cis CaltoD l.),iDS
trj to .each diat pe.lecl aliSnmcDt sc in dor$ flre grcuDdi\o* tirr tlie NaTis $ilh ['hat aI ofus Dee.l is a hedthy
stincti\cly kroi{ ni our head and t€arn tbr his thcoll oD cugcnics.,\al so, i{e created dose of .rcdiblc LtopirDisn or
lhe grcatcst modcm parador: pedectioD gruunded idcalism if )ou $'i11,
canbe lou ded by impcrfcct rncn and built aDd Dot one based on itlib om
Allourideas abod pctiction caD bc tuced upor an iDipertect ivorld. tory or vague plalitudes. And that
back to two disLhcL nncturt p|ilosophics: cones onll with genuire h!mili,!".
The creek coDcept ot lerle.ction. rnc.D I(N(X]KING ()N II|IAVIN'S I)OOR Thc .bili! to constantly loo$.how nitper
g "hannoDl" (soned rg abstrad nr nr lcct ) ou arc, to not drink of l ou.self no.e
hrc and attairuble by man hnnsell)j alld highly thar ]ou ousht, to drus loie our
Lhe Je$ish con.cpi of pcfcctioD, mexDing
''holilress {soDeri|hg divinc in natur. and
What ll ne think i|rt his
neishbours as we ll)!e oLrschcs is r'hat
makes i.leJlism tender, Lruthtul and ulti
o y allanrabie by Cod s sr".c). Th. Grcck tor,r' is j$t ore rn:sochistic ertdless crrlc matcb, actutib wo.kable.
philosopher Aristotle wrute. Tlat is f.r aft.r aDofier, there seems litlleloinl toln
f€t $iich is coDiplete $hich contains iDg. But if$c think time is DoviDg toilards Bul if hunriliB, is the ans\e. to rnali
all thc rcquisite parts; r'hich is so good that an inelitablc dcstiDy, th.n we should 1ig j g utopias hatFn, ho$' do $e remjnd
r,thing of lhc kiDd could bc b.tter $'hich ure out {hal the end ftncs lootlikc.If'\c oursehes to consLant\' stat ihat wa!? It
has allained itspur?osc. Cornparc that to belieie that dle L.aiectorv is nx^ing dosrr is second naturc fo. us lo thinl higllly of
die Dook of Deule.orronry s Thou shrlt bc hill into r pit of deshLction, rgai , therc ouNch.s aDd dinnr of ou. own reeds and
ledect $ifi the t'rdthrCod. (r8:r3)and s.cDN to bc little poiDt iD tn iDg. BUL it you oDr osrr goodness 1iNt. though secularists
th. (lospel of Xlat$er! lhnt enjon\ "Be thnrk ci\ilis.tion is moviDg upliill and pro may c ngc, that is lrreciselj $'herc dle Ab
]'c thcrcforc Nrfect, even as )our lather Eressilely, thcn $. should make sure we ]hnic lailhs- conccpt of p.rfection irUS
{ lich is nr hcavcn is l]cdcct. ' G:48J. Those rre o the side oi t]]o angc.ls. ftc qucstiorl most lme. We caD oDly sta! bunnnc rlheD
who worshipled God descibc pcrfcction of perfectioD prcsents a toL,g|et c}oi.. on \r ha!€ before ou. nnrds and hearts. all
as benrs 'undeiiLed, without lc.bukc', slui to do as we r$'ajt the liDal pruiar essile thc tim., a standa nrlinitel) lar hip,her.
"ridrout blemish , 'bhmeless'o. riilht day in |istoN: $'ill utolia conr lion las lar noblo and far nore poilefirl tha our
coN" \'hcreas fiose who $oNhipped hu sivcl! bclic\ing that God $'ill take crre of us selves. Bl .stablishiDg ihis standa in die
lr]an capacii! would not lir pedectiorl so or'.rlfir€ssilelr''sirilingtorcbui]ddrei{o ci lon ol an impossibly holv aDd portrf,n
closely to tleethical rnd nroral. Liod. the laithlirl belie\ c i{. i{ould bc aircd
nrto DukiDs nucli less olou. punl hLrnran
It $rs the lUth cetrtul,a e.a that tilted our A lriddl. gr.und has to he stnLck belween Ior if it is br g.ace
sc.llcs and our etrirts.
modcm f.ctireDces toila.ds the GreelG thc rcligioDs tanahcs aDd dre nbid sec! that w. arc sa\rd, thrNgli faith aDd Dot
Lalfti or ltr{ccnoD mdrcr thrD the Je$ish larists we s|ould diligcndl i{ork at per b) ou. wo s, nonc of $ rrould be able to
tal,e. As rcligioDs ordcrs foughttkirNa.s LctiDs lhe wo.ld. bui irc must Dot lisk dre borsl. Hoiveler. snrc. not all of us prcfe$
before an uxJ€asinr,ly .Fic.l audicnce, pitfall of belieling thaL inDefc.r hulun to su.hlaith, tne stnlggle lo rn.kc scnsc of
1l3th ceDturt secul.r Uri l,eN unilrls.ll! bciDgs and hunan iNtitutio$ can corn our utopian anbitions iliLl cor) lnn'e.
fidiculcd di. idea that cod exisleci giver Dlctc t|c i{oIL UtopiaD conmunes gener
t}c nnpcdcct f.rfomance of his lollow allr' lallcd bc.aDsc thcv fllt too tnuch trusl So t|e im]frfcci.annot crcaie dr pedact.
els. Fail| nr God s tollo$rrs i{xs lost and or Lhe posfl of sociclv aDd colle.tire ilis Enl thq can .clt.iDl] put their frith in a
bv associatio.. iaith in a good and per&ct dorn to nrake thinas dr,|r. Such misplaced pedect something rhrt..n. Bc ii di\ine
Ciod wa! lost as w€ll. Wc ro loDg.r thought frith iDalilDaDs)steln bc ilnr gu.rdirD being or absl d Iorce. thc ulinDaic t.si is
of pcdectioD au nnpossible state ofnl dictators, impmcticrl acadenics. out ot: $'hctkr it prcves both go.Jd elough to do
hurnan hohress but a Drore achievable lou..| burcaucuts. iDpeNonal cornpule.s. tlc pdt.nns Nord a po$erfd enough
sLite of i{orldly improlcmeDt. Pamdise ide.rlistic aclivi(s or sclfiight.ous theo- lo e able thc inltr{cct to be prt of drat
had nothing to do !it| momlit! or adher- crats !s!allr leads to ovcr .cgulatioD ard ryorli. l he! a.d onli thcD, r\ontd i{e besiD
ence to divine ruleis but !v.s somcthiDg xc dle implementition ol a sc]l intcndcdbut to be a.turlly rcadl in icat .nd in hand -
could create or .ec.ente il trc ilst madc crushing coribmit! oyer the lnes of thc to do rl.hat6 er it talGs to help urh$ iD that
ouNches smdner, llalthier, heaLthier, p.otlc. Sadl!. such 'utopi onc ultimate utopia thrt $.j11put to ilanrc
happi.r, rnorc politjcall) stable and more can l.st for d.odes before followe.s ad all other uctcndcN for6tnno.e. f(tt
conlortablc. Thc lgth ccDturt sr$'r llou- nil the) i{e'e wrcng to bclic\c in fie fiNt
ishiru of greal $ nrleN and t|.ir fropos.d pke. 'I-hr.ij)np.,o/s,\rcru Clorl6 is a A
solutiorB: Drvnl Hune s tbcus oD natural
delelopnent and p.ogrcssi John Ir.I. s
child s tale with an adulL lesson: soDrctim.s
our d.speratioD to beliele thaL wecan crc
.z .t l it'
, l\.-
,{,
push for cduc.rtioni Jercnl tserthani's atc sorncdringbexutifd rDdsupeddcaus
"a* '"llTI
DFMANDABROAIJFRPFRSPECTIVE I3
ON 2ND THOUGHT

Rethink the
Millennial Generation
The Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Next or is a term used to de- I
scribe the demographic age group lbllowing Generation X, the generation associated
with alienated slackerdom and angst-filled rebellion against authority. Vill the Millenni-
als be the generation to overturn the common assumption that young people have no real
purpose in life and are generally useless and violer.rt? by ;osELIN BAU

"The Millennials We tena to assooate the proccss of srowins up as one lhat is accompaDied by
seff-absorytioD, selfishness and self destluctivc behaviour. Youths and sex and sub
are best suited . .. stance abuse tend to be tleated as s}rlonrns in modern culture. The Millennials may
suryrise us yet. Suryels of this generation show thai they are suryrisingly not as
tO SaVe the WOfldl' iaded oras sclr-consuned as we presume. rn ract, their idcas abour ihe worrd and
in Daftcular, the role that thev can and should play in it - arc rolliDg back the years
PROBABLY OUR BEST IIOPIJ. on the negative stcreot!?ds that we adonatically attach to young pcople. Teen preg-
Danc)', drug use and sc|ool drop out rates are actually going dowr; t€st scorcs are
at ar all-tnne high; more are soins onto hjsher education. lnstead ofseeing t|em
as prcblems to be solved, the Millennial scncmtion nay be the innovative solution
for our prcblems instead. Yc, rhs tend to bn underestimated and we forget that his
toricaly, revolutiorN of aDy so.t are started by young people and students. Already,

B RoADEF PER SPECrlv ES thepossb ty ssue


I
the Millennials arc at the foreli ont of thc protcsicrs who stood !p to
These are not the alienated
of political and socio economic de ihe lranian government ear'lie. this
velopments more thxn at any other )€ar to dispute the flawed elections,
vouths of Generation X
tnne of listory aDd have the besi and are able to best speak the lingo
ivho orided themselves
chance aDd abilitl to be positive of environmeDtal consenation. on th'eir individualistic
and rebellious ways.
The I'Iillennial Gcncration. borD in crc\ins up nr a slobalised and Movins awav from
the 198os and 9os, are the richest, technologically irtcrconnected the Gefi X 'Me' creed,
the best educated ard the }ealthi
est in histor,v. Born during one of
world has also madcthcm rnorcso-
cial creatures and naturals at fom
the Gen Y 'We' are
history's most siable periods, they ing relationships ivith peopie. These
instinctive networkers
arc the first geneution to nosdy are not the alienated ) ouths of Cen
and collaborators.
grow up wiih no firsthand knowl- emtion X who prided rlienselves
cdsc of war, fanine, disease and on tlieir nldividralistic and rebel
poverB. Sinc€ they havc rnorc dis lious ways. Moving away ftom the
tance lrom the wodds traumatic Gcn X Mc'crced, ihe Gcn Y'We'
events and conllicts, they tend to be are instnrctive n€twolkcrs and col- morethan how fast these coryorate
more optimistic and less govemed laborators. They have a profound entities catr fast-track their ca.eers.
by fear. They are more wiilins than belief in the power of consensos SccoDdlv, they xrc shiljrg out
proious generations to overturn and hence tend to organise then rnorc on their orm. The expansion
historical pattenN of thinkjng and selves iD groups. Many )outh ve. of thc ccoDorny, cr.dit aDd technol-
doins and arc morc ancndablc to sions of NGOS or advocact grotrps oS |ave enablcd morc -vouths to
nenideas and altemativcsolutions- have aiscn fi.n these inpl ses be nore enlreprencurial. to start
Also, they tend to be more open aDd to come togcth$ to coDtributc to their own ve rurcs to fulfil ihen' AR! COMING
iDcluive an.l easily push pftt gen something bigger tban thenrselves. oM dreams, sonetimes even be
der stereotJ"es and mcial preiu When Presidenl Obana was reach forc tl1ey gradrate liom schooL. The
dices d drey srea up in a more ing out to the Muslim i'orld in his nunber of youthflrl entrepreneurs
hetercgeneous eNiroDneDt. lhe Cairo speech, it is an east, guess is so significant that a Dew tern
pcNasilcDess of the nedia in th--ir which senentioD he ilas direcling ''cnfantrcprcncurs" was coired to
lives has silen thcm a rnorc slobal this appeal to rvhen lie saidj "...you enbodyihis phcnorncnoD. This is a
pe.spect € and less indhation to nrust rnanrtain your power through generation that does Dot nccd to bc
play partisan politics. conseDtj not coercion; yoD rnustre- tauglt to thinli outside the box be
spect the ghts of nrinoritics, and cause they x.e not awa.e that the!'
This slobal pempective h.ts also participate with a spirjt of tolerance are even coDstrained iD one. This ISSUESI.INI(ED
gi\eD the Miltemiai geneMtion can oDly bode xell for the wo.ld
a sense of responsibility frlm an as their abititr to geDerate fresh
ear'ly agc. Thc natuml idealism of A highly conpetitive knowledge aDd innovativc idcas may keep ilie
youth is married to a realisn of based econony aDd the disnar- world progressins and offcr a $'ay
how the world wo.ks, without any tling of tbe traditional rclationslip out of the wc,rld's entrencn€d con
self-indulgent jadedness. They are between enrploycr and cmployce
actrtely aware that they will inherit means that this geDeration is morc IMAGE
and raise cn dJen in an increasing suited at coping with and wclcom Bom a
nised in an era of stas CREDITS
ly chaleDsins world and are deter- ing unprediclable lrnd rapid change. eenre xrd unDreLcdulteJ JLt llsnd tr.
, O - O. rp.....
mincd aDd conmitted to Doi adding Firstly, they no longer see their ca 3'n" 'U
"'"' rt,.^. c,..i'.
to the mess oftbe cun cnt situation. reers as a linear line of advance- llray have thc knowlcd8e, skills and comnors
Making a diference is theit new mcnt nor vie$ the conveDtional values to save us fion oursclvcs.
catchphrase and social cr]nscious route ofeducation as al$als Deces- cranled, they will Deed cxpoi
ness a nntural pan oi thet makeup. sary to success. They arc asscrting eDce, judgement and maturit] ioo
As they are a big percentage of the nore o{nership over their om tu as they grow up. we can only hope
cuneDi world popnlation, they ture and deler less to theh parents fiat these charactedstics and nind
knor! ihat their behaviou and hab- expectations of money and secu.ity. scis together Nith their particular
its will cornc to doninate slobal Being more interested in personal shengths will nn truc as ihis world
trends lbr a lons wbile.It is no sur- oppoftunities for dflelopment a reeds tansfonnativc pcoflc aDd
prise then that tbeymadcup a sig- social causes, they tend to choose ideas nore thaD cvcr. Hoe's to
nilicant demographic in President the companics thcy want to wor-k wishnrg that their acconplisbmerts
obana s election 1br change and for based o. rrhat tbey staDd for erceett our wildest dreans. lll!

DEMANDAEROADERPERSPECTIVE ]5
ON 2ND THOUGHT

"The 21St ccDturl technolosies are .nablhs the enpo'femrcnt of nldividuals morc
than ever. Ho$'c\cr, this sliifi h po$tr is putting nore tools and opportunitl in lhe
Millennials hatrdsof rorc louDg peopie.rther than ad lts, the traditional rcscn e of authority.
This mJ<es seNe idrcn Iou consider how thc Millennials are t|c first Senerdtion
are best placed to gro$ up tahDg the pcrrrsiveDess ofconpLrtcF and the intemet as a givcn, tech-
nologi.s that niost adLilts still only inte.act with on a supe iciaL nan.er' Thc NIil-
to use lennials speDd most oftheir timc on the interltel for cntctaiDnent, stLrdl'' ard $ot*
a d are cDgagingrith it in sa!'s that arc active a d unc9ccted. Such technological
technology precociousD.ss aDd nasier! (suryassing eten Generation X's technological sawt
arehelpnrgthcMillennialsthriveinawotldxlierethepaceoflifcismp,chargeis
in startling waysi' a giveD, tnd the abiliB to adrpt seen as a prcmium. As such, they havc tlie best pos
sibilitt to etr€ct changc through dleir adept us. of these tools.
COTJN'I ON IT.
ln ibis technologicai and nrcdia revolution, the I'IillcDDials are comiDg into their
own rnorcthan xr) other genmationbecause parents bavc less to ofler tlen c|ildrcn
i{hen it cnrncs to this field.'lhc tcchnologicrl lalotledgc ofparertstoday $'ill notr
IMAGECREDITS
tIe and tnlt ipa.l T.uch exceed that ofthcir child.en ard t|c wcaltli of inlo.mation out there in the \{o d
Wide Web means that parents cannot clanD tobe the sole repository ofanswers rnv
Fli.kr Creative Connnons mo.e. Tlis genemtional and disital dilide is cvcn nore inlpo{ant coDsideing how
thcse Dewtechnologies arc becoming essential comnNnicatjon, business and politi
Skdtcr dirl dirn i 'od
cal tools, central to how socieh is evolving aDd dcfiDit18 hon the luhnc of the workl
ni&r cre.tn€ coDrnons will playout. Flence, it k littlc sttt"ise how the Millcnnialsareal.eadyplaying anore

BROADER PERSPEC TIVE 5 thepossb ty ssue


ON 2ND THOUGHT

promnlert rcle iD the public arena.

The intcrD.i,s 24 hour, ahQls on


]nre Nay of life is also facilitating
tLe Nliliennials abilitj of invoh'ins
themselves in cunent slobal is-
sues x.herever they are and copnrs
THESE I(IDS
with chaDge that can happen at any
time. The as),rchronous ature of
IDtcrnet time meaDs thnt thel cn
worl and comnNnicate in reays
that pri\ilcgcs th.ir opinioDs fi oni a
pung age. Theabilib io pafiicipate
iD andcontirue convercations (th.y
donot have to come together atthc
sane time) across time 7ones, in
rrrLr,\ ara:i!L
bet$€en scliool, ilorli, neals, and
sl.cp meaDs that thel have nore
timc ibr rncaningft I ref le.lioD. Non
time specific con nunicatioD tools
thal mai ain threads of convcNa-
tion has immersed the I'Iillcnnials
iD certain habits: the capaciw io
samer knowledge l.on1 anywlere,
the abiliB to filier responses that
camc bcfore in morc tuclusive \eays
and the tinrc to craft atpropdate
The asvnchronous nature of
Intern6t time means that they
can work and communicate
The vast range and dcpth of data
out there also mea s that thc NIil in ways that privileges their
leDnials are learning to use inlbr
matioD in nore sophisticated ivays.
opinions from a young age.
lhey are uscd to siftiDg, ratiDg,
checl<hs pcd rcvic\s aDd con-
ing up witi their om critcria for anoihcr. I'Iorc potentb, they are can becom,r uncxpcctcd srmbols of
evaluatjon. Not onl!"docs this build hahesshg it to organise, mobilise possibilit-v and chansc-
up their multitasking skills as ihcy .tnd recNit largc nurnbcrs ofpeople
quickly learn to do many difiereDt nore ef:lectivelf. T\a€ets can mpidly j\rid look at what the }lillcnDials
tbings at the sane tinie while on offerup to date inlbrmntion oftthat hale created so far. Their mas
line, their abiliiy to maDage infor is happeDins ni rcal tine i d sm,w tcry and cnbmce of technokgical
mation stcrns fi.m a sharing ethos ball nrto huD.treds of thousands 01 ch.Dgcs have enabled them 1o crc
as they are on social nedia sites rcsNnscs that ganer rttention that ale iDno!.tioDs that liai€ beneiited
rnore thar an]'thing clsc thcsc dals. is impossiblc to disniss. Facebook Man, Uotn social media sites to data
Ideas, neivs a d mcmcs gct re- and Myspaccpascscan become itu transrtlission protocols to bette. IF
posted on bloss, linked or peNonal promptu meethg halls $'hcr! issues ternet broivse.s. ]lalk 7-uclicrbet g,
profile sites, re-tweeted and com are debated and petitioncd. Th. boD 1984, likes to renird us t|at
mented on, aI rithin hours. TheI abilitl io liDd like njnded peoDle thc huDdreds of nillioDs ol peoplc
are leannrg all thc time on ho$ to and bpass state authority o. even who arc actilely using lracebook
better filter inibnnatioD and .each tr.ditional nedia s control ofinlbr elery day, couDted as a counto,
people at tle sanc timc. mation mcans that the X1illenDirLs would bc t|c Sth largest population
6nd it casicr to traDslate concenr in lhe $or'ld. It is littlc Mrlder thai
Such a vast array of techDological outrage and angcr into adlocac). die rnosi crucial tec]uolosical de-
tools [the Internet, mobile delices, Thei. oDline connections h.\c rcal relopnert and desig. lositions arc
chai prosrannnes) has accorded aorld resonances, connecihg dis occupied by Millennials these days.
the MillcnDials the unprecedenled pamte peoples togetber nr person. With them at the hehn, our firiurc
capacity to communicate with one Elrn wher they fail, their elforts secn,sltuitles. (Ill

DEMANDABROADERPERSPECT]VE ]7
Horv Holln\ioo

B"X'frF"t"tu',..
If Life was run by the moguls ofTinseltown, all problems can
be resolved within a two hour frame-work, leaving enough
time for credits to roll. NADJA MAHgivesyouthe low-down
on the ways Hollywood has shaped our expectations of how
Life ought to work (as opposed to how it really turns out).

Have you gotten into conversations where lines lile "Some people are 4eant
Leave it up to be tosether", "When God closes a door, hc open" U"ao-" o. "r *r" lr"(
"
to Destinv. born like that" were thrown around? Believe it or not, you have particiRated in
that classic Dhilosophical debate about l.ree Will vs. Prcdestinatio\ and , "'
chances are you leamt those lines fron the novies- Romantic conedies or feel good movies popularised rhe/.|
notion of our iives being governed by an impersoDal, omnipotent force in t}te universe. Except jn the
movies, that force conveniently only wants to propel you towards a happy eDdins. Movies like Slur?dog ,
I
Millionaire and Forrest G,rmp throw an uncomlortable spanner in the works thoush. The happy end '
ings bestolded upon the novies' heroes arc jL\taposed against the sad lives oftbe other chamcters and
the real life fates ofthe actors (Slundos's child acto$ are still stuck in the slums ofMunbai)- Whatever
you call it, Destiny, Chancc, Fatc or Scrcndipity in that seDse seems cruel: human beings arc com-
peled to live tlieir lives according to a pre witteD script and no fonn of human agency can change the
couNe offate. Judeo-Chdstian tradition upholds a different perspechve of life though: predestination
is not in the haDds of an amoral nnpersonal force but a personal omnipotent God. The paradox is as
sor we have the liberty to chanse our lives because of God's pernissive will but ultimately, all tlings
reill be bent and nanipulated to meet the pcffect wili of God. PRTME DLAMPLES For.esa Gump,
slJtndoq Millionaire,SLi.lins Doars,Serendipita

In complete opposition to the idea of


Technology Predestimtion stands the man of science
who bclieves in his Free will to create
Saves All. the perfect technology to find tie perfect
solution. The Stdr franchise presents
the nost uiopian vision of technology: the Earth"r€t
that Captain Kirk and
Spock know is a completely esalitarian, enlightened tcchnocracy that
has turned away ftom the barbarisn of mr. 4rd century Earthlings are be'
nign, curious creatures who use their time and talent to er?lore the universe's secrets,
carry out peace-keepins missions and "boldly go where Do man has sone before". Though
St{Ir lr?ft may have featued occasional scuffles among their human characte$, major conflicts in the series have centred mosdy
around barba c alien species found elsewhere in the universe. White nosi ofioday's sci-fi films are nore
likely to feed on audience's fears on how technolog,, creat€s dlstopian societies (e.8. The Island, WALL
q Surl'ogat€s), they also advocate technoloa/ in the hands oi resourceiul hunan heroes rs t}le ultimate
solution. Even 1 om legend's apocallptic vision of the hunan race being turned to vampiic monste$ by a
senetically re-ensineered measles virus gone wild is resolved only by the genius of the virologist played by
Will Srnith. The slew of science-oriented criminal investisative dumas on television also promote the view
that everythins can be undeEtood, answered and resolved by science- Only on television, do the nerds, hack
ers and squints" rule the world and put tne bad guys where they belonS. PRIME E)a MPLtrS Stdr n ek, I om
Legend,I dependence Da!, C.S t., Ctiminal Minds, -8ones, aringe, Nurnbe.s

BROADER PERSPECTIVES the possibility issue


"Drcarn it. Earn it. Live it. The tagline for the 2oo9 movie remake ofihe 1980 musical I.d?ne
IWill W'ork sums up the ideology olllnding success throush sheer hunan peNeverance and detenniDation.
Harder! No natter whal personal tribllations came their way - abortion,loss offaith, illitcmcy Fdne!
ambitious teenagers coulct overcone thrush sheertenacill. old-fashjoncd idcals aboDi
bowhard work will naturally leadto success are most obvious nr the scnrc of'undcrdos nade sood" Be movies
coinc entally, nainly urbrn daDce orsports movies. Though somc ofus mayresistthe idea ofmeritocracy,
most of us believe that it ultimately wor-ks - that thc bcst kind of society and the best kind of li& can only be
built throush hunar effoft aDd coDmitmcDt to betugbetter today than you wele yesterday. This maybe
the nost appealingt]"e ofhapty cDding ideolos, especialll to an Asian audience. hierestinglythough,
Fdne f2oo9) has bccD cnticiscd for being out oftouch with realit): fane is a far nore likely fate for fie
exhibitionists on YouTube or Big Brolher rather than the hardworking these days. It's oblious
that the world is unfair. Just ask,,lnina/I'drrls trasic hard'worknrg horsc Boxcr whose
mantra $'as "I will work harderl": soDetimcs ihosc who worl< had are not rerlarded
aDd even end up wolking for ihose $'ho merely l<now how to work the slstem or
work the crc$d. PRIMtr tr)(- MPLES Ale.lah a1]d |he Bee, tsan1e, Rocftg, 'lie
Pursuit of HapDuness, The Cinderclla Man

In a post-Enlightenment world. cducaiion has cmersed as perhaps the Inost o!€msed


MyTeachea and nost fetishised soluiion to c!cr']' world problem. We believe that elerybodr even
MvSaviour. the Dost worthlcss aDd dastardly of creatures has the potential for g.rod aDd is iust
onc pcdcct lcsson plan away fiom breakrhrough. 'Ihere is an eDtire gen.e ofmovies
dedicated to pairtins thc tcacher as a superhuman figure olsacrifice, whose dedicated toil iDspires satrssteE and
dns addicts to cmbrcce bope aDd a futurc once more. we walk out from those movies feelins if every teacher could
belike the one on screen, the world would be a nuch better place because everyone scts a chancc tobe t.usht |ow
to be a rnuch better pe$on.lnspiring as the movies are, they pin too much rcsponsibility on education as the best
wayto save the world- Also, tliese mo\ies tend to indulgc in cookie-cutter racial stercotpiDg tlhere the cru
sading teacher is always white and the oDestobc savcd" are always black or Latino. I-ittle screen tinre isgiven to x
bigger and nore realistic narmtive. Oftcn, thc siruggles ofthe students parents and how enlire neighbourhoods
are held doMr bystruciural racism and classism go untold. The niovies also retuse to ftrlly examire the complex
sto{ ofhowihe happy endings" of the sludents are built trpon the unhappy expectations laid upon the Chist-
like teacherfigure: work ontwo otherjobs, neslect )rur spoNe (ifyou havc thc tnncto find onc),lookdumpy, be
nommy nanny probation ofiicer to your strdents, isolate yoursclf frorn )our fcllow teachels. and rely on your
white privilege to ensure you will not be fired. And someday you rrill cbange one classroom not the
systen. But reall, who waDts to sit ihrough a movic that long or depressing? PRIME EXAMPLES
Dead PoeL.' SocietA, Leon on Me, Freedotn Writers. Mono ,rsa S,nile

It works fabdosly as Holbvood leaves little doubt about its stancc on liolcncc. A izy to plant
\4olence bottoms on cinena seats? Most action flicks ained at thc $€Icts ofalcEgc hot bloodcd males re

Rules. solve tlie $orld's prcblems by copious amounls ofuood shcd, hcroicbattles and a tull on embnc€
ofvengeance as both rishi and rcsDonsibiliry. In the sorkl ofaction heroisn. there is no.oom tor
a utopia built on Sermon on the Mourr like pincirncs of"Blcssed are the Peacenal<ers orCaDdhi s ideolos, ofpacifism.lhe
Matr*'s messianic figure Nco's strategy for his first rescue mission was not diplomacy but 'We need guns- Lots of gutrs." Er€n in
thc D{rwinid blood soaked genre of action movies, two movies - joo and,(ill aill - maDasedto statrd out asbe s exceptionary
indulgent in its use ol hack and slash. While Joo was a lolins ode to violeme as the ultinate proof of true nanhood Spafta s1ltc,
(iil Br'll presented a more brical (aDd satirical ) look at the way of the wanior. r l Billls nasicr swordmakd Hatioro Hanzo put
it this way "For those rcgarded as warriors, when engagcdin combat, thc vanquishing ofdrinc enenycan be the
wanior's oDly concem. Suppress all human cmotion andcompassioD. Kill \rhoever stands ir tly rvar,
elcn if ihat be lnrd God. or Buddha himselt Swords beaten into plolvshares? Ptrft
thafs sjssytaLkl PRIME EXAMPI-ES3oo, Tie Motr;, -alill
BiLI, Wotchinei\ Ronlbo, any movie with Chuck Norris or JeaD
Claude van Damme

DEIVANDABROADERPERSPECTVE ]9
I
HOWTO...

7'(Really) Change the World


An,vone can pdnt a placard, slart a flameu'al rnd blamc lhc l)AI) but it talies a specialbrccd
olpeople b do the actud worl< ol chaneing the rvorlci. So,vou rcally lvanna to make a dillbr'-
cncc right here right norv? SHIAO-YIN I(UII( gives you 6 poinls lo considerl

l. Passion 2. Purpose 3. Puritv 4- Possibilitv


Dat. talir ort a.lr.a 1 Lean, tn.r. oho tth.aorld n.t
and do,.rbld,P !.Lr nrt./lsrr]ou pdssio,l
larP,rs.r rh.g.u.rn rdljusr r/o!r "tdssi"n .
Yor can bcronrr so [!.1d on one
singdar pNsion i. )our lile rhatyou
Srqrfnrg out to lnc o!t brl I'rnpose lill berou pn.posc ind D.ssi.n is lail to s!! posslbililts, otlornrni
adrean is not c.sl.nd h1,€ constant espeoallr- pointlcss ialnur lile is nr tr.s and.ltcnrate trths ro rchiere
(ill inviLe .ritl.isnr n onr rLheD rou atu not lecling rourgoal Keep up $irh derclopmcnts
Darticdarlv p$s jo.aLc" tom other nelds and indbtnos .s u ell
(bnscquentlt, nrost oltrs inthc lac.0lclallcnges Your nrbgri\ !s a pe.son ,s .egional aDd Slobal neNs. R..d up.ut.-
r" ll 1 "l P"r." h rl -
find nr.re..nPricnr
to sit back rDd bhDrc our
$ill be thc bisil.st
anre lorrour lLrLr.. su.-
iis!. ':"C,
'f i" " . .
alrernativclr likc vn Arn\ Richord llranson or Lonely
erlironnent iiir "lorcnrs' P!i !.se is rlr ansverto c.ss as r.lDngcmaker Pla.ct s Tonr.dd N aureen wleeler.lJy broadcnrns
ns t.live a nedio{c lil ''\\'l) har€ I b€€D l,nt o! . , 't \ - t"".. "J {8.,h"l r"m,
errthl'". lllou hnonthis, liSgesl tNm!.rrdYo! sion you.rc o. rnd hoNy.u can get therc
stanccs ud (.spc.i.lly nr r.u crD decidc $hich ol hold.s a.b.ngenraterin
Snrg.!io..) t1F go\tn your Drant pnssions !t tlie nrrlietplao€ or politi
rrrnl!c..nic.nrfx\ r .31 sphere is }lu nant
and $]rich shoukl be left ard allthlt it stdnds tor. lr.oloarh Breal $.bsitcs Ural.ggregate nrLnation on
lclilfrl livou knowvou. ihe lat€st 4ents Lmd lrc.ds Starf hith theseL
'lher€ (ill b€ Do lnck oi pu.pos.ln lili, Fu\ill uau.tctl.en o|u.l.6xon nn!.an.
1,

rerl hadblocls llong tlc 10.11h.lL t. elohe t'our ftomlou. watrt lo mrle uur,.,rond.LoD, urrur rrt?.i...,r
jonntrr to vour d...n'. . rlili...n.c nr the nrru.e? 5M^!r.
CraNl!
vrnhysctyouB.llup f..
lailurc by iNiginnrgnl
LJ.i, i.s bef.F l.u eren 5It,\t.LGr,\\ I! r Orrn,\rrs r/riT
cH)tt 1t) Bt |^LAt lr\'!t.ADofBlG:)\ia\

sirnple bur .m.irl qres

$.ire do\r n lisl 10 g I Hou) 11. t tu]nt to he rcsp.cte.l clargemakers 5. People


orshodasr"o! lile ol kn1.nrb.tc.l lthcn ]ik. disgr.ced NKr head
t.aok.far poplc tr,ith kle nt an.l chan tet
ttr!t !,cl \o! r.rlit er.ir 2 dt shaull I thetP not fusl 'dr.l Fper qlalii.dhons.
.d, nrspned.r moinrred. lbtt liue &.h .la! / Ed$rrdsanddissracrd '].bsions

ldu cloir.s grrd and Jnnnry Slrag


Changir! lh. $orld
donc is difiicnlr rnd
',:l :.' .:O| ,OAf I
r,$!u *
Don r censor
RE.\DTHIS
and be N rmthiul !s you
-.--;,-jA i ,ni!
li\\\ i:rr
nrtcrcstins peopl. witli
inLcrcstnrgpcrqre.rives I

6, Perscvcrance

ttrtt lail t ro\ !. tnnlit!1

longcst. Slick il out and

BROADERPERSPELTVES
N

\
\
\, IMAGECRED T
t].ttrt l"rt r\).1,+ ri i xL
shaFd nrt.rsr, r !r .,1,!!, !,o, D
',

r 'T
7-a

,I
Making Business Moral

Business is a callinq, even a vocation. lt is, to be sure, a way of making a living, sometimes a very
good living indeed, but it is also a way of serving. Conventionally, any healthy society, any decent
society will rest on three pillals, to which I would like to add a fourth -- business.

The first of these is respect for individual human beings and their dignity. A society that does not re-
spect the person will generally treat human beings as cogs in a larger social wheel-their dignity and
well-being may legitimately be sacrificed for the sake of the collectivity. Thus, a healthy liberal ethos
would support the dignity of the human person, by giving witness to fundamental human ights, and
where a healthy religious life flourishes, faith provides a grounding for the dignity and inviolability of
the human person.

The second pillar of any decent society is the institution ofthe family: the original and best department 10
of health, education, and welfare. No institution surpasses the healthy family in its capacity to transmit
to each new generation, the underctandings and traits of character, on which the success of every
other institution of society depends. Where families fail to form, or too many break down, the effective
transmission of the virtues of honesty, civility, self-restraint, concern for the welfare of others, justice,
compassion, and personal responsibility is imperiled. Without these virtues, respect for the dignity of 15
the human person, the first pillar of a decent society, will be undermined and sooner or Iater lost, for
even the most laudable formal institutions cannot !phold respect for human dignity where people do
not have the virtues that make that respect a reality and give it vitality in actual social practices

The third pillar of any decent society is a fair and effective system of law and government. This is nec-
essary because none of us is virtuous all the time, and some people will be deterred from wrongdoing
only by the threat of punishment- contemporary philosophers of law tell us that the law coordinates
human behavior for the sake of achieving common goals-the common good-especially in dealing
with the complexities of modem life. Would it not be a utopian state of existence if we were all virtu-
ous? Even then, we would still need a system of laws to accomplish many of our common ends -
safely crossing the streets, for example.

It is all too easy to take these pillars for granted. And thus it is important to remember that each of
them has been threatened. Often operating from within the universities, writers and movements hos-
tile to one or another of these pillars, usually preaching or acting in the name of high ideals, have
gone on the offensive. Attacks on business-and on the ideas of the market economy and economic
freedom-are well known. Students are sometimes taught contempt for those involved in business: 30
heartless exploitels driven by greed. ln my own days as a student, this was often done in the name of
Marxism. One notices less of that after the collapse of the Soviet empire, but the attacks themselves
have abated little. Similarly, attacks on the family, and particularly on the institution of marriage on
which the family is built, are common in the academy. The line here is that the family, at least as tradi-
tionally constituted and understood, is a patriarchal and exploitative institution that oppresses women 35
and imposes on people forms of sexual restraint that are psychologically damaging and inhibiting of
the free expression of their personality.

Some will counsel that business has no horse in this race. They will say that it is a moral, cultural, and
religious question about which business people as such need not concern themselves. The reality is
that the rise of ideologies hostile to marriage and the family has had a measurable social impact, and
its costs are counted in ruined relationships, damaged lives, and all that follows from these personal
catastrophes included delinquency, despair, drug abuse, and crime and incarceration ln many West-

BROADERPERSPECTIVES theposs b lty ssue


ern nations, families are failing to form and mariage is coming to be regarded as a "lifestyle choice":
one among various optional ways of conducting relationships and rearing children. Out-of-wedlock
birthrates are high, with the negative consequences of this particular phenomenon being borne by 45
those in the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society.

The consequences for business of these developrnents are significant. Consider the need of busi
ness to have available a responsible and capable workforce. Business cannot manufacture honest,
hard-working people to employ. Nor can government create them by law. Businesses depend on
there being many such people, but they must rely on the family to produce them- So business has a
stake in the health ofthe family. lt should avoid doing anything to undermine the family, and it should
instead do whatever it takes to strengthen the institution.

While it is true that some business firms have exploited workers, many firms have enhanced the dig-
nity of individuals by offering challenging and decently paid jobs, providing opportunities for further
education, either on the job or in training programs, and encouraging workerc to think creatively about
how to improve the quality of products and services and the efficiency of production and delivery.
Moreover, business has certainly made upward economic and social mobility possible for countless
persons. The free-enterprise system has given many people the freedom to pursue fulfilling and
remunerative careers and provided opportunities for them to become entrepreneurs and investors.
Whole societies have benefited from economic growth produced by market economies. Businesses
and successful business leaders and investors have helped to relieve poverty and have advanced
many good causes through their charitable giving. Even when government rather than business sup-
plies the money, it is business that generates the wealth thai government distributes.

While some buslness firms have been involved in corruption and have even siimulated it, business
has in many places been in the forefront of demanding reform of corrupt courts and governmental
agencies. Business leaders have helped shape laws and policies that are suitable for modern sys-
tems of production and exchange, and that will enable us to meet the challenges of the globalized
economy. Notwithstanding the hostility to business in some sectors of academia and the elite intel-
lectual culture, businesses and business leaders have been instrumental in supporting education
at every level, especiaily higher educaiion. This is particularly true in the United States, where the
tradition of alumni giving is strong and where colleges and universities depend on it. Even where the
ovelwhelming bulk of financial support is provided by governments, we must remember that govern-
ments obtain most of the money they spend through taxation, and taxation at the levels necessary to
support modern universities is possible only as a result of the successful efforts of businesses.

'10 So business is a pillar of decent and dynamic societies. lt can and must support the other pillars, 75
since it depends on them for its own flourishing. I hope that business leaders, entrepreneurs, and in-
vestors will turn their minds to the question of what they can contribute to the cause of upholding mar-
riage and the family in the face of great threats. What business leaders have done in other dornains
let them now do in defense of this distinciively human and uniquely humanizing institution. Just as the
family has a stake in business, which, after all, provides employment and compensation, and which
generates economic prosperity and with it social mobility, business has a stake in the family. This will
be clear, I believe, if we adopt the panoramic, long{erm view, and follow out the logic of stewardship.

Adapted i onl "Mokitls Dusiness ,ruordl ' bv lioberl P. Ceor 9.

DFMANII A BROADFR PFRSPFCTIVE 23


Comprehension Questions
1 From Paragraph 2
How can respect for 'individual human beings and their dignity' (line 4) be upheld? Use your own words as far
as possible. [3]

2 From Paragraph 3
Why does the author regard the institution ofthe family as one of unparalleled importance? use your own words
as far as possible. [3]

3 From paragraph 4
"...virtuo!s all the time..." (line 20). ldentify another phrase in the paragraph that confirms this view and show
how the author's language works to suggest the impossjbility of human viriuousness. [2]

4 From Paragraph 6
Whal do you understand by "business has no horce in this race'(llne 38)? [1]

5 Why does the author put quotation marks round "lifestyle choice" (line 43)? [1]

6 From Paragraph 7
Sugqest hr'r'o ways in which business can undermine the family. f1l

BROADERPERSPECTLVES thepossibilityissue
Comprehension Questions
7 From Paragraph 10
Explain what the author means by "this distinctively human and uniquery humanizing institution" (line 79).
[2]

B which word in the first paragraph echoes the author's sentiments on the "rogic of srewardship" (rine 82)?
I1l

9 Given the meaning ofthe following words as they are used in the passage. use one word or a short phrase
J5l

conventionalJy (line 2)
laudable (line 17)
contempt (line 30)
abated (line 33)
panoramic (line 82)

10 lJsing rnaterialfrom paragraphs 8 and g, summarise the ways in which business has benefited the individual
and society. Write your summary in no more than .120 words. Use your own words as far as possible.
Jgl

11 The writer argues for business to be undertaken as a vocation, and believes business to be vitally important io
the success of the individual and the family.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with his views? JBI

oa"o"o o r*oooa, ,rrrrralua ]r,


'(otd pnp aqt $a,bns ol ,retllow 6u1ryo^ ,, a)ol eql p esn aLn )epsuoc) sa^Psaaql so oM
6ueq $ftlA'Ilael eql lo speau aL Jo etes poo6 olel ol weLll uo peceld uonelaedxa aLll se IeM se 'uauoM
roJ sap) qo! paditaara$ ilefuel aql )aplsual wetll Jo uossotddo s,Aluel palnlllsuo. I|euoype4 etll ueql
aoaiue laaot ap)aqtl, lou 4ea lnq luapuedeput i ectuouote eq ol acueqo e ueao$ luub iew sseusng
'uotleanpa uadn pepuno| st asma4t pnptAtput aql./o ssaJJts eql tlael aql ja uollnltlsu!aql ueql)eLlle)
',ualsls uotleanpe aAn3alle ue uadn papunoj st alqedec pue alqtsuadsa e,, leql panbJe eq uec ll
"euoJ>UaM

Zuosed pnp!^lpu eLfi )ol luewioldue tuouo.e lnq s 'lep eql la pua a!-4le1ego
uec ssausnq leqw uaqM ,,^luel eql lo uo\nllsut eql ueql6ue4s,, 01 ssoutsnq lcedxa al JaqJne etll tal ctlstleap!
oal pu osP lt sl zelt/aau olut paqtedcua sie/o snoue^ u a^eLl Ilnlue. pLz ua^up Ale.l5otouqcal aql
4ra$ ueqM',Alae! aql ou!u)epun ol lou,, ssautsnq l.edxa ol cllslleapt eq lt plno A
ut (6upnput sseusnq pue)^lwel

zsosseusnq Iq patnba los s//Ys aql


eAeq ol aldaad ta])o'ssautsnq u poeaans ol eldoad )oJ aaeld ut eq alspaau \JaMewul ctwauaae pue aJqctuls
pclttpd e lo pul\ leqtM ZI er.os pue ilpxtwouoca pJeMdn e^ou eldoed dpq siefip ol ssausnq lo] e/q/ssod,l/ s/

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ZPaoJD leuasacl)aJ ssoutsnq u!


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'I r!!el aql pue lenpl^lp!r


eq] 10 ssaccns aql
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sreMSUV uorsueqard [uoJ

BROADERPERSPECTIVES th€poss bi ty ssle


's\reu Inj p'preMe aq Ih slulacl 0L 4uv4

'uoaecnpa Jaqltnl 6ur6eJnocue ut ep) Ia\ e ield sessawsnq '4rcu!


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leql seltltod pue s/ e1
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'pale!^elte uaaq seq iue^od
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:sltpueq pa^uap osle seLl apqM eLll ua {leoos

'so//asluaqrl sesseursnq 5uaels oulpnput


'sqol patsap )rcql \eas ol iUaqtt le arc etdoad
ptll sueaw iloDas allstleltdet e ecus 5upuels plcos pue ctuouoca stq Jelrcq ol elqe aou st lenp^Qu aLlJ
's€ssejo/dpue slorpoJd tllo,,A aleAouut ol pe64nacue aJe setuoM pue
'peueda uaaq osp e\ert 6wuet leuoaeca\,saua )aqln| ol slooo
'euocu ualculns 5uunsua pue
sqof ]nJbwueaw elqerc^e 6ut>leu
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:8 qder5ered aorf
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,r or^ oicer.ll e outldope / e^lsuaqarcluroc : (ZB aurt) ctueloued


peptsqns / pesea / dn let : (ge €utt) peleqe
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elqerLupe / esteld / elqepueuuoc ; (11 au l) elqepnel
I ensn /^quo,4 / Illeuottpe4 : (Z eutD
^luouluroc ^lleuolue^Lroc
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^eq]

',6uAJes, si ptoA aqJ

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0l qder6ered Luorl I

e/D 4tueanL! )na 5utdola^ep la uatl


tunj slt ut (a/L) elqeredaocu/aNsnl.xe st pue (Z/D puryueu ot s'uopq (Z/D I eoUstral.aeq. eql leqf
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^lenbrun ^lo^qculstp 0L qder6eled urorl 1

SJoMSUV uOrsuaqeJdtuoJ

DEMANDABROADERPERSPF'T VF 27
itue! eLll ut ietd iaLlt apJ
alqesuadstpu aql Jo! loddns ueql MoLls ol 6uuea lnoqlm'ge\JaM aleaeJ uo spueaap etleu ue, ss€u/sngr
'IlueJ eql Luo4 IeMe aar o\el uec sseutsng 6 a )oJ
' eu aql ue\t6 eq uec sa1uanbasuoc e^4e6ou lext'ot z iuv

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e/ IltLue! aql ol 5wulelJad suassn'sip ut olels ou seq ./cns se pue


'(Z/L) Ilatcos u uatlcunJ gtwouaaa ifiueuLuapeld e 5utNes se paAtauad q ssau/srEr

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I qderoered urorl t

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t qderbered ^LlM uorl Z

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Z Llderoered urorl L

sroMsuv uorsuaqardtuoS

BROADERPERSPECT VES thepossibihtJ, Es!e


A MATTER OF OPINION

Are we closer to solving our


environmental problems today?

ABOUTTHIS
COLUMN

NO
STEREOTYPES

How would A CYNTCAL INDUSTRIALIST and AN OPTINIISIIC NGO ACTIVIST re-


spondto this question, considering their differences in agenda and sense ofhope? Ourwriters
get under their skins to find out.

The wortd is soins sreen - or so we like to believe. EXAMPLES USED FOR OPIMON PIECES
Thanks to the advocacy work of celebrities and Al 1. The rise in "grccn"awareDess amonsst individuals
Cote sAn I nconuenictu Trulh- wc hr\e seen -he enu- and "green global events: 4COMMON
lxAMPt!S
ronmenial movement go more mainstream than ever. Ea(h Hour, Live Eafth concerts
Sustainability has even become the new word in fash 2. T]1e viabili\. of alternative green" technolosies:
ion, judsins by the populari\, of the "l'm Not a Plastic solar panels, artificial trees, Compressed Natual Gas
Bag" toie bag and the standard organic cotton tee
shids sold in trendsetting shops like Zara and Mango. 3- Thc'grccning" of corporate practices:
Energy savins bulbs, electric cars and recycling have Shell's commitment to using sustainable, clean energy;
become part of everyday rcality. Even architects are Honda's search for a tuei-eflicient car.
talhng about using more sustainable naterials like 4. The etrectiveness of green" political surnnits and
banboo in tleir designs. But is ail this buzz about DeetiDgs betrveeD naiional leaders:
the environmert just surface chatter or a reflection china and U5A q trearment ol rhc h)oro Prolocol:
of how far we have come in savins our one habitable global commitment ro dealing with climate chanse and
ervironment in space?

DFMANDABROADFRPERSPECTIVE 29
A MATTER OF OPINION

Are we closer to solving our


nvi ron mental problems today?

A Cynical Industrialist It is honestly sickening to constantly hear


how humanity can apparently "save the
conceivcd by fOASH LOH worid from destruction". Trying to detach
ourselves from reality, and put on rose-
tinted glasses exposes a huge want for escapism. This is not helping. wll"
eNiroDnental sustahabilitr is aimost universally championed, be they public, conmercial or civil socie$, this
])oirli should Dot be over stated as thcse are nrrely small beachheads on a problen of biblical propotions The
faci rcmains that therc aremanyglobal issucs that eNure the continuatioD ofgradual envircnnental degradation.
HeDcc,lookinS ai the cu.rent staLe oftbe environneni, things loolt set to get sorsc beforc tl1ey get belter, and thc
INDUSTRIALISTS cod ircurcd ."n,"hri"s nul {urlh rl'" rroul-..

The effort to creatc cducatioD aDd social awrreness on cnviroDneDtal problenls is nradequaic and fla$ed No
doubt, with the dse of ne$' nrcdia, envircnmental issues have takcr on an nrcreased profile. Therc havc bcen glo-
bal evcnts such as Edin IIou nnd Livc Earth conccrts which puToft to nise coDsciolrsness and action
f.r .nvironment,l {,,nses. A.rivities such as these ho$rve. miss the root causc Nhich is the destructivencss of
slobal consunption. These educatioD and.warcness etrofts are limited by supolicial or mloPic focus upon sinslc
issLres. Our dcsn€ to corlsmle in excess is not limiied to a single product such as thc Blue-fiD tuna; an hour of
dimiled lighl's caDDot effectually educate us about global$amingi and blo hourls ai a conced does Dot motilate
us in any long tenn way to salins the eN,imnment. Thc nrain rroblen rcmains u solved, with a consrnt. and
rroN-away culture growing voraciously beyond.rur errlircnmcntal means. Thus, $njle education and a$zreness
have taken ceftain steps, their intcnscly short-sighted f.rcus ultimatelyleavcs the iDdividutL still ignorant and cul-
pable for ecolosical degndation today.

Nerl, rbc c.sc for glccn tcchnolos) benrs thc mah driviDs force for enlironmcntal chanse is also largely over
stated. No doubt, greenbusinesses are grosing at about 5% anDuallyand thegreenbuildhg indust.y is now wort|
US$r2 biuion, s'berc it Nas urquantiliable a decade aso. However, a close exalninatioD of thc real state ofsreen
technolos reveals qLrestion nurks about its viability. The problcn can be brcken down into two nuin prfts: af-
for dabili$ and efliciencJ. This issDe is appareDt in hvo technolosies dccmed rcrolutionarvr solar paDcls and attifi-
ci.l trces (to soak up ca.bon enissions). A sinsle r2-foot squa.e solar paDcl costs Us$s,ooo, and a sinsle anificial
trec costs Us$2o,ooo. The cost is enough io disco nge potential bu]€rs, rnost of whon are more interestcd iD
cost elTcciivcness. otr top .rf beinB e\pensivc, thc nlda.t of eco friendly products are also highly inellicieDt

BROADERPERSPECTIVES thepossibilily issue


A MATTF.N OFOPINION

Conp.essed Natural Gas (CNO) car ensines arc laudcd lias almost become a no.m 1br political leaders to dis
for the cleanliness oI their exhaust aDd the casc ofin cuss the issue of climate change without laying do'\'r
stallment in existing cars. However, it has ftrel qnalilv rcal or tansible plans. Many countnes have promised
fluctMtioDs, aDd hisher-grade petr.rl is still cheaper. to lcducc carboD eDissions by 2o2o, brt have left out
Thc size of its ftiel tank also nakes it urfeasible for serious discussion as to how to achieve this goal. With-
small cars. Thus, this infant indushy still has many out actual planDhg, negotiahon and financial inceD- ECOPRtrN!URIST
dinks to snootheD out before technolos/ can become a tives, there is little that words can do to sway pcople
vinble solution to envircnneDtal problems- inru r?du.inr -n\itunmFnrJl 'ldmrBe .arbor Fnis
sions are still proje.led to nse at steady rates. Until
The actile position that coryorations today talrc on the therc is legislatioD passed with concrete steps to con
development of green teclinology is merely to capital trol eNircnmental damage, be they passing polluti.Jn
ise on the popularity of the green movemert now. CoF ta{es or incentives for ca$on cmissioD reduction. our
porations are simply rcpackagnrg thcir old prlducts environmedal problems wjll continue to persisi with a
with green labels to promote revenue sencration, .s vengeance in this day and age.
environnenial awareness has become tbe crrnent it"
caue to Llke up. To quote Shakespeare, a rose by any Additionally, on a narional ievel, economic develop
other Dame would smell as sreeet", meDt wjll alwals tal<e precedence i5 sToRtEs oF
over envircnnental protection. ENVTRONNIENTAI
so too has going "green" become
just a cool tagt|atcompanieslatch Energy companies Environrnental proteciion js a de-
HOPE

then products on lo. There are no srrc-h as Shell still veloped nations game. Socieiics
large-scale "geen" conpanies; will only think about their eDvi
the closest we have arc nerely to
base their main rev- ronnentrl inpact after they have
kcn divisions in najor consloner- enue on oil, despite past the point of sustenance. 'the
ates. Energy companics such as its publicised io d we live in is how4er largely
shell still base their mai. rcvcnuc undevclopcd. By sittiig at your
on oil, despite itspr$licised com "commitment" to computer, )'ou lie within thc a%
mitne " to findingand using sus finding using and ofpeople with ac.ess to tbe Intcr
taiDable, cleaD energr'. tlonda, al net. Much olthe world stiU bas a
sustainable, clean long N.ry to go to reach modernity,
though recently awarded the most
lirel cflicient auto-compary iD tlr energy. and the desirc to do so is inmense.
United States by Forrune maga- China today is the largest air pol-
zine, still pushes the sales of its tuel suzz.lins sports luter. 7s% of its rivers arc unsafc for any human actir-
utility vehicles (SWs). I:uel efncient cars with 3 li ity. Many developing countries will experiencc thcse
he engines still pollute massively. The fact that green tEsic brt unavoidable efi€cts as they develop and
technology is largely cost-ineffective means that man) indusdalise. The ideals of envirornenial sustainabil
companies arc not willing to en$race them whole iV will be difficult to catch on for the main fact that
heartedly. Thus, thc real "trailblazeN" of tlis cause these countics arc sirnply uDable to atrord doing so.
'I here is little doubt that as morc natioDs prosress, this TO THIS
ire nostly well meaning individuals with ihc time and
e\"edise, snall firms, NGOS or students and stalT of cycle will repeat on a larger scale, pepetuainrs more
uDilersities. Dorlopments are thus snall and spo environmental probiems today. Socio econonic prag
radic, with connercial suppod lacking. Hence, ir will matisn will thus trump environmental awarcness and
tal<e a long tine before ary sigDificant progress in the protcction in ou conpetitive world today.
markeths and dcvcloDrneni of tnly sreen products is
nade, much less solvins our cnvironmental woes to- LJlrimal"lv. thF probl, rr ,vrnnn,e1lal d"rnrgF . d
^I"
duv. highly cornptex one. There are many obi'ious cr prits,
aDd solutions, btrt the process by which they caD bc
Futhcmore, when eMminins politicdl will, there has canied out aDd executed remains highly complicated.
a so btcn r Lrg" cc'" o'*JgSpml-J -ff-"li\-n-s. in It is ncar impossible to siop this trendj it will take a
creating solutions for thc environment. llings may at massive, bolistic cffoft {ron aI aspects ofsocieq. the
lirst appear rosy aooss the globe. Most nember na- individnal, corporations and the soverDne work-
tions of the United Nations are slated to meet at thc ing in tanden. Even then, it hill be a whilc beforc any
end of fiis year n1 Copenhagen to cone up with a glo real progress canbe documented, and tu(her damasc
bal tinciable on clinate chanse- However, the pmblem will occur before the slightest improvements can be
a-i.F q}" I h..'.n,rrF thp_8pnd .Jnd mulirJl:on" sccn. It may seeD that only when we have hit rock bot
of all parties involvcd- Thc success ofthese meetirss tom then can wc staft to pull ourselves up, and we still
rests not on rhe lerbal agleements but solid action- It have quite a bit offalhrs to do. IItt

DE-MAND A BROADER PERSPECTIVE 3l


A MATTF.N OIOPINION

Are we closer to solving our


environmental problems today?

ABOUI Ar Optimistic NG]O The world we live in now is one that is


"GREEN"NGOS ActivistAnswers
increasingly concerled with the envi-
conceived bv MICHAEL YEO ronment: products sport "organic" la-
bels, celebrities make advertisements
on eners/ conserwation and scientists give warnings of disastrous
climate change. Yet exactly how close are we to solving them in this
more enlightened environment?
Since th€ 197os, public interest in environmental issues has been roNed md continues to gain momentun. I believe
ihat we are ctoser to solvins our environmental problems today. The paDacea for ou most salient problens nay
still be d€cad€s more away but if w prcsressively continue the actions wc ar€ staftins, we wil be able to preserve
the world for the nert generation - our childEn. The solution to the environmentat concems we face today requires
a four-Fonsed approach: the individual. the hameqsiDs of science, the corporate world and the sovemneDt must

I.di,v. cats
natrJ The first step (peftaps the mGt important) in saving our environment is nisins more awareness and educating
the public Asl anvone on the street and you wil lind rhat they possess a rudimentarf understandins of our envi
:ljl::: ::l' : :iil]"::
.-r',.i,',,,,""-" rcnmental prcbiens pollution, etiDction, dinate chanse and the works. Yet these problem pe$ist and threaten
sus maidnftdned our existence because people simply do not know enolgh to care or to translate their conc€ms into actioff. The
hnk
. r' onnnnbL L"n
:"1;.":;":i d,j" inromation drat tlepublfu receives Fom the media and scientific connunity is laden with statistics and plds for
hnvc aGo tcxrnt hor.!J big and drastic nedures, and tends to leave linle incentive and an even snaller chance for the average person to set
te.s.onsmLrinJ involved To get the pubhc to genuinely care for environmental issues, they mNt be able to relaie lo them so as to
osnersbip ot the problen on their oM individual levels. AI thjs is chansins in a pGitive nannerthough. on
H'",:i:;l il" tal<e
*,un ns-* 28th March soog, 88 countries totalingto milions ofpmple tookpart in Eaflh Hour 2oo9, wherc lights dimmed
'"-tr,".
d'cn v/lLle som. hou infamous sites, cities and households arcund the world. Cntics disniss the impact a sinsle hour malres
lor one
but they m iss tle point en b rely: such panicipation is the aflimation of our slobal sociev beins informcd and con-
;;,iil;;i.,-,
,i dleil bir 6 Nlotkr cened about the problens ou environrnent face. W\!T proctaimed it 'the world s lirst-ever global vote about the
Er mde{t'tl\ b,t tuture ofour planef. The people ofthe world are aware ofthe destnction rhat they have caused and are ready to
drrnge th€ way they ljve.

BROADERPERSPECTIvES thepossibility issue


'l he shining "green torch" of the ftrture lies nith scrcncc bot| cortorations and t|c cnvir onrnent.
or green-techDolo$c, to be exrct. r\ll our Sovcmmcnt
dDdcoryorate folicics ioDld bc quitc unworkablc $iti Polilics is, as thel say, a dirty busjness and when it con
out it.Grccn rcchnologv allolvs us to delelop prrd cer s the enriromnent, it is doxuight filthy. lDtema-
ucts and hdusidcs thar reduce ene,gy wastige, pollu tioDrl rclations play an importaDt role because it affects
lio and ajd sustainabililr. lt is a fallacy to still believe global en\ircnmcntal cfforts in c\cry way. in 2oo7.
todal that tliese technologies are too costly or are oDly th. U.S., thc larycst cnitter ofgreenhouse gases jn the
fourd ni the dercloped couDtrics. ID Chnu, thc m.n $orld. rcilsed to sig the Kyoto p.olocol because China
lf.cturing hub of thc wo d, scvcul conrpanics stro and IDdia, the laqest emitlers after the U.S., xere ex-
ha!. bcncfitcd frorn modcD sre$r tec.|noloiir ofer empted l.om reducing eDissions. Staiistic shorv that
.','1t c^ lri.r'd-\ rrolu.l\ Brc'J \ir(onJil:,n:n Clina aDd the U.S. account for nore thaD 40% of ihc
lrcm Hunan, sells chjlLe.s th:rt run on Datural sas rnd world's greenhouse gas cmissions. Mr. Todd Stcm, the SURFTHIS

'\aste' heat from otlie. nachines nrstead of clcctric Obama adminishation s top c]nnate negotiator stated
i1t dieir products deliver thrc. timcs morc coolnrg t1'.'t. You ir'!'1. ,,.r)ol b. dn)sl,Fr" n..,r qh.r
s.i
tcr unit of cncrg, than convcntioDal units. BYI), lronr F, Frell. F s- n-p I ruLr it )u, , un rh. \. r'h.n: :1-
Shcnzh.n, is Chin.'s lc.d.r in sreeD cars: it prodrces (,h,ed, as weLl as other najor developilJa countries." In
''phrs nf itas elect c hybdds n d order for our en\ironmcntal cffots
pure el€ctricitl ca.s, wlich re to havc anyinfact, s. nccd a .ol
dtrce s.eenliorse sas emissidrs
The Beijing Taiyang- lective rcsponse frcnr the irterna
aDd retails fi.m Us$22.ooo, half gong power plant recy- tio al connunjry. Therc is hope.
thc ficc of thcir Amcric.n couD
cles "waste" heat from Prcsident Obana has calle.t for ar
t$p.lt. Thc Beijnrg 'Iai)anil ilong intcrDational lorlnr coDcern-
po$,f. planr recrcles waste heat the combustion process, in8 the reduction of carbon crnis
liorn the combustjon p.ocess. rc- resulting in roughly sioDs nNohing t|c i7 nations t|at
srltiDg ir1 rlughly 8(]% efiiciencv, cnit nrore than 8()% ofthe irodd s
m.F thnn tai.. th. rnt. .f nr.st 8o% elficiency, more greenhouse gases. xnvironmental- Friends of
standa.d po$cr plants in the U.S. than twice the rate of ists beliere tliat ou cur.eDt politi- the Earth
Hcncc, elcr nr a counlD lhat is cal leade$hip, puslied by a morc
most standard power
in tull swing .]1 nrdustrialisatjon, enlightened elcctoratc, is sct oD thc
gree technolo&yis taHDg root an.l plants in the U.S. right path to look tbr consh ucti\r
flourishins. GreeD-tecirnolosr is
readily a\rilablc at oub.hcst Drorc so than clcr be
for. ,Dd it will only beco,ne ln.,re advanced and more Sohnis the eDlironmentrl problens boils doro to
constantlr applied to our eryironmenlal problenrs as a sinple eqMtioD of econonics. Reports tell us that
revolutionising thc cconomy with sustairublc tcchnol
oS, lrill incrcascihc GDP of a counhf h thclong run.
ul- .jtur\ II'r. Jl.nri. . r."- r.u8. t.-.y, r ''l
rd. .r Thc ghfi)g huth isthatwith our culrent industrial in
riorld affaiN: th. ItINCs. Thc problcnr $it| NINCS is l ,r l, "F .l\F oll) qJ)
urF,hr.a,Jr'onrm..:,n.
t|at nrost of thein solel!_ erist to crcite profit, not to .tnd pollutiorl wolrld result ni rD nnnKtiate .tecrcase
ISSUESLINKED
save the earth. the t.ick thus, is to align their goals in p.oductjlit. GolcrnncDt speDding on ovc$aulins TOTHIS
with that o{ eNironmentaiism. Ii$tl) , {ith tlie ctrrrent pollutjng iDdustdcs aDd sctiing up rcgulations iould
eDdiNiasm ibout eNironmentalism in consumcr aDd nrcu a high start up cost. But if we arc serious about
tolilr'' Tl"\lr.\Jj r g.th' \l\'.,i\'lin-..1o.., saving thc eDvironDent, our governments and MNCS
but to go grccD as $rll. En\ironncntallt-anar€ indi nusl accept rlte lkt tlnt it will rcquj.e serious politicaL
vi'lu ' .'r ,l so'pa , F, . .\ill ,ul b, r prcd'.,l rr 'n. efiort nnd a lot of nioDel. MaDy arc strftiDg to come
corloritioDs knoi{n to be eco-uDiiierd} if sreener .i1- ,'ro, rd ln I - I .l I ur thr\'s - ,n,r- hur snrl\I tr',
te.Ddtives exist. SecoDdly, NINCS are also rcalisiDg that to pay nr thc sbof run for a iirturc that sc cnn actually
going g.een night be more cost-eflcctivc aDd cflicicnt bcqucadr \ithoLrt shame to our li{Lrre generations.
rr rr.ln18.ar.g r.r' i,8\, t.r . vi,,g. rl l,r'
ncss rcpDration at thc same tnne. Wal Mart dernands |F o.nL:nF | , fl ,n" ur th. :n,':vi" rJl. p ,liti .. b Fr
strnrgent green standai(ls lionr its ChiDese supply aDd ness rDd scieDce lnve brcusht us closer to realisins our
gives them advice on eneu', efiiciency rnd M$'naterial drcams of an cNironmcntaly iiicndly \orld. Thc srccn
connunptidr. Cutting $'ast. and rcducing sFnding on rcvolution to solvc our cnvi|onmental problems nas ne\-
eDerg, in tlrrn lo$.rs cosis .nd th. nnprovcd cffi.icncy er beeD so $ithin our gftsp in recoded hislo.y before.
rcsults in gr.atcr prolits and rnartcl conrpctitilene-ss. Huna ittor t has lo .exch oul to touch jt.
As suctr, suct measuresprov eawin
'!iD
situation for
ta''
DEMANDAEROADERPERSPECTVE 33
LOCAL VS GLOBAL

BROADER PERSPECIIVES the possibility issue


Growittg
Possibilities
The recent Nat'onal Day Rally speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
outlined several strategic paths that Singapore mrlst take for the door ofpos
ribility and progress to remain open to us. What are they, and how do they

point the way forward? by BAEY SHI CHEN

Minister lf,e Hsien Loong set ihe tone for this year's

Prime National Day Rally speech in his introduction, statingl


"once in a lons while in the history of a people there
comes a moment of srcat change. And tonisht is s ch
a moment in our lives." Clearly refening to recent
events that have becone focat points of discussion, Prine Minister Lee brought up the
point that crjses brced possibility and a ne'! way to be. Citing our enornous progress since
our first days of self sovemance, the Prime Minister noted that the qualities of adapi
ability and persistence are the way forvard in present circunstances ln pafticrnar, he in
voked a recurrent theme in our evolution as a country - that while we have had our share
of challenses, we have always putlcd tnrorsh, and we can do it asain to create a climate of
possibility for ouselves.

with ihis in nind, three salient iopic! he addressed this year resonatcd with the need to
call upoD this resitience to help us tide over existins difficulties These included issues
regarding the state ofthe ecoDomy, the inevitability of adapting to thedigital age, and the
need for rclisious harmony in civil societJ. With regards to the upheaval wlousht by the
recent global economic recession,the Prime Minister advocated a double-prong approach
to staying ahead ofthe cure by capitalising on new and unusual opportunities outside of
Singapore while atso striving to preserve our competitive advantage as a destination of
chojce to multi-national investors by moving towards hish-value work and upsradiDs the
existins skills of the labour force.

The last point is especially apt, given that people, coupled with a keen awareness of the
shifts in the global winds of change, remajn pimary assets that will ensure our economic
viability in the long run. Morcover, taking the initiatileto improve our resources enables
us to tspond compr€hensively and decisively to the doMturn'rather than be beaten
do\dn by nesative situalions. Thereforc, the Prime Minister's call for local conpanies and
woflrcrs to remain relevant by upgradins their operations and actively participating in re-

or"oroorroooa*or*roralu, l r,
skilling not oriy lielps to create an atmosphcrc
of rcsilience aDd flexibilit)' but also reinforces
the fact that we are on the bink of a new era
ofgrowth where our kcy exports will centre on
lisher level industries focuscd oD rcsearch and
development as well as information technolosr'.

Lrdeed,the message $'as clea.in the PrimeMin


ister's specch thai embracirg information tech
nology will be essential in takins Sinsaporeans
turther into a new world of possibility, a point
that was corroborated by his substantial use of
multimedia presentations to illustrate progress
in various secto$, such as the upcoming Mass
Rapid Transii Circle Line atrd the Integrated
Resorts amorgst othcrs. The Prime Minister
also highlighted that iDfornation technolosy
plays a huse and increasing role in helpnrs us
to continuously nodernise and compete on
the world stase, aDd these can be achieved by
equipping schools nith state of the art informatior techrology facili
ties and equipment for the next generation to becorne sa\a]'citizens of
thc world- Thus, we arc certainiy developing jD the risht direction to
match new slobal demaDds aDd trends, a move that is uDdoubicdiy re-
infbrced by the gro'ttb ofourtalcntfool in interactive digitalInedilr and
leading niulti national corporations such as LucasFilms and nlectronic
Ans setting up their operations h ere. Howcvcr, what remains to be seen
is whether we can do so ctuickly and strategicau, enoush to sair a foot-
hold in ihc slobal ma*etplace, given the swift rise of countrics in ihe
Asia Pacific resion, such as India aDd Chin.t.

Fufthermore, a crucial poinl that Prine Ministcr Lee raised with re-
gards to staying at the forefront olchange is tbai o\cr aDd abole the es-
tablishneni of a good reputation md the execution ofsouDd stratcgies,
the spidt of irDovaiion Dust be preseDt io keep possibilily aliv€. Citing
the example of local conpaDy H).flux, $ lich is iD the process of building
the world's largest sear{ater desahration plant in a remote Algerian vil
lage, the Pdme Minisier emphasised the importance of haviDg "spunk"
- a vilingness to "rough it otrt", as well ns baving thc couragc and con-
nitmcntto iraverse unkDown paths and stay the coLrrse. Hencc,just as
we have to put oDr noses to the grindstone to safeguard our econony,
ne also need to arm oursclves with a spiit of daring lo create fuhue
and unseen opportunities. This, nrore than the implementation of short
tern measures, is what will help us lbrge ahcad and become a force to
be rcckonedwith, ardthepresent chalienge thus b€comes a qucstion of
howto activ€ly inculcate this qualiryin Singaporeans.

ln addressinS the impo{aDce of rclisious hamony, Prine Minister Lee


emphasised that 'critical to our success as a nation" is the strengthening
of social safety nets, .tnd thar it is incunbent upon citizens to prevent
sensitivc issuessuch as mceandreligion frorn dividingthe couniry. Cii'
ing new threats to social cohesjon, in pafticular the dse o{reljgious ex
tremism and tensions tbroush assressive prosebtisins and intolerance,
the Pdme Minister asserted that whilc the peace andharnonywe enjoy
today arc due to our cautious and tactful tnanagcmcnt of racial ard re-

BROADER PERSPECTIVES the possib lity issue


While we should always keep our
eye out for new ways to improve and
progress, we should understand that
possibility essentially flourishes on an
enduring compass of principles that
await only receptivity and the right
circumstances to be put into action.
ligious seDsitivities thus hr, il is not sorncthing to bc taken for gMnted,
ald he reiierated that tolerance and understanding bctrccn diffcrcnt
groups must be preseNed at ali costs. Mo.eover, he also strcssed thai
while r€ligion has a significant and afirmatile influence on the lives of
individLrals and connunities. public intercst is paramount atrd relision
nNst stay separate tronl politics, aDd connnlDal sph.rcssuch as schools
aDdworkplaces nrst be kept neutral.

In ihis. tbc Prime Minister appears to be drawing on lhe lundameDtal


and collectivc principlcs that have shaped our identity as Singaporeans
over the last 44 years, and in this pariicular situatioD, is issu g a real
challeDge to ourpeople to live trulyby the lencts sct out in our DatioDal
rrledse to live as one united people regardl€ss of |ace. lansuasc or reli-
sion." His exampleofthe Mush! studenl, Salinar Nlohamad Khair,who
studicdandthrivedinalocalcatholicschooldespiteinilial rcseNations,
encapsulates his nessagc that toleraDce is the t.ue bedrock ofour soci
ety, and that it only e\ists w|en wc car rcspcct and celebrate ou. differ
cDces wlile lindnis commoD ground on l'hich to novc foNard iosether.

Closnrs thc subjcct $'ith an allusior to tlie Ga.den ol Eden, the Pdnc
N'lirister crnphasiscd that the idyllic life we eDjoy today can very easily
beshattered iiwedo Dottakc aciiv. steps io protect it, and that a country
divided by dillerences in beliefhas no prospccts to speak ot The Prime
MiDister's message also cones as a timely remnrdcr, giveD thatthis will
becornc an issue of sreater pertiDeDce ilith the increasing numb$s of
migrants cntcriDS Singaporc, and a coDlnitrneDt to incorporating tbem
into our sociery .nd maintainnrg healthy relationships with the ttill
be essential to paviDg Singaporc\ tuiure. Tlis nutual .espect given to
day's conilict .jdden world may be t|c bcst i{ay to contirue to suNive
and thrive as a Dation.

All in all, the stlatcsics proposed by the Pine MiDister to keep possibiljB
for Singapore aDd Silsaporcans alive, to 'contiDue to upgratle and build
this ci\, and nalte this place our homc, our tuture aDd o r Sirsapore", a.e
not new. IDdeed, they dra{ on ard reiteratc thc tuDdameDtal values that
Singafore has alilals relied oD to achiele her success srcai pcrsever
nn ce, inscDuiry, initiaiive, adapiabilit) as well as social harmoDy. Perhaps
the .eal lesson herc is that whilc rlc should alr!.ays keep our eye oul lbr
new ways lo improve and progrcss, wc should understatrd that possibil
jty essentially flou.ish€s on an endu ng compass of principles that aNait
only recepti\ity an.ithe.iglit circunstances to be putinto action. IM rn hd \D. :Doc ir s!!qd.i/. st4

NFMANDABROADFRPFRSPFCTIVE 37
S(ILLS MAI(EOVER

Usinq Context to
Creafe Argument
Threc simple ways to use context to build a cohesive argur,rent by TONG YEE

rMAcE CRED rxi*su! &41r&. ril

As an edension of what we discussed in the last issue, I wanied to use this issre to address the
WAY #1 much neglected ski base ofb ilding an exrended argument. By this I meaD h
context to create an ertcndcd argument that nns cohesively through our whole ess.y and not
the CONTEXT OF ;J.r wrllin a paragra!\.

one of the most salient wealoesses that we obscNe in the essays sent to ou school is the hap
hazard or rushed conclrsions that seem to characteristically plasue essays Mitten under time
consuaints and even those composed uder no such duress. Except for ihc few select essays that
rrould probably bc rcwarded with a fistinciion resardless, nost candidates simply do not ex-
ecute their conclusionsrvith confidcncc or conviction. often they rehash poinis previously madc
\fAY #2
,r',sr,.ol.ie.,,l,Fr_F.olIi^n.rl..lcnuldw"l \j\ebeel\lod lin.uJn]ulhFr gpnFrice.sav.

F':Jpn.e ol d weak cncrd.d Jtsurn"n' bmJU. ,n Jb+ne ol r


PERSPECTIVES
I
"a) rhr. r a-dl ' unrlus:on i:
(CONTEXT) OF thcsis easily leads to ar irability to conciude as there is no broad argunent to put foMard, oDly
KEYACTORS toagrnented but scncrzlly relevant points. A se es of dise'nbodied points, could very rell lend
itself to creating the illusion of scope, aDd in ihe best of cases can even do wel as an essay. But
pos"e* lhe dbihlv lo b-inB _eve Jtio ,. dh,h l rn!Bhl ild 4pn ;nspirF ha\ P Io dPlib
"ssl)s .hrr
erately construct their arguments for tbat pu{osc. Thcsc essays have to i) grasp bold concepts
WAY #3 oftime and space, ii) appreciate diverse human jnt€rests or iii) undeNtand rcsioDal differences
that crcate the complexity of aiy issue we face todAy.

ing CONTEXTS
OF REGION OR ln this article, I am going to suggesi and alemonstrate these three ways in lthich we can use
CULTURAL PSY. corle\i luouilJa broad.oha.iv. argumpnt lMl L,rprye\t,lJrn\os"d.h"n.i.L5FJ.howrr
CHESAROUND t"ad. to " con.t rrun dnd lh, n demon"t,at" how to do rhN u.irB J sanrplF qu"jiun trum la5t
THE WORLD
ycar's'A'level paper.

L*ooo.*r.rrr.alu., thepossb ry ssue


@
The broad evaluation of an issue over

lt
the context of tin're and space

While the
past is r-ital
in setting a
histolical
background
for our
discussion,
it is not
sometlling we
Xlan] ol the jssues rah€d i cP can bc dis.lss.d ir th. .ontcxt of tinrc aDd p}lsical spacc to should drvell
b.irig \ aiatjon o1j,rsight into a. issue. this allo$'s a shrdcnlro n ot orly .rcatc lonrts but gcDd on for the
ale r b.oad evrhration oI llie issue b) r iewj.ii iL as pnrt ,l1 a broader hunran exp$idcc.
whole essay.
\{h.thcr it is gcndcr rolcs, nrdustrialisation, punishrneDt or niedia developnrert, rllissues hare
This is
|istoric^l b.ckgrounds tlrat wc can dras'poiDts fiom. Tmcingthe evolution ofthe issue alions because thc
!s io.rguc that t|. opiDions ivc ha\c on an! issu. dc|.Dd grcatll oD th. culturc of our particu current
lar linjc Iranr. and l|...rditions, oftofunitics rnd limit.tions this histoicrl pcli.J.l.Dtails. modern
While the lasl is \ilul h selling a hislorjcal background ibr our discossior, ir is rot somci|nrg
context is
i{c'shoul.l dnell on for the wliole essay. fhis is because lhe curient tuodern conlcxr is $'|at r'r'hat makes
makcs thc issue a salient poiri of controlersI and discussion, the.eby quali[illg it as a topic the issue a
r{ort|} oldcbatc th. cxamnraiiotr. Todav's xukt is rast in tlie raDge ofcoDtexls e car use
nr salient point
for c'alutioD, and for lm.tical expcdiency$'e rill sc'ncralise ouNorld as conlishg the mod
ofcontroversy
drr DctrolFlis.Dd dFanrjc citics oft|c$'orld - thc contcxtfor discrssing Diost issues, rnd the
e\cc io.s olcor.ties tlat choose isol.tion, stagD.tion or simply thcir o$D trrDs ofgro$'tli. and
tliscussion...
ln addition, I onre characterjsedthe rrodem lar r{r,Jld asdri\en byinlbrm.tion andtcchDologl
as i{cll xsbenislibeml andglobalised. We use these chaftclerislics as r cotrrprehensne nreans ot
anal]snrgth. Diodcmnorld. The rcstofthen'orld caD tlien be desc.ibed rs rnytliiDE lio.r llril
to tr'.ditioDall] bo nd to opprcssed or simpll ilhrt $'e can term as r liiled state. thanlJillt,
l.cnds ar. showing l|ai this dic|otorn] $ill not last fi)r longi xt lc'asi not iD the propoftions we
wiLncss 1od.t. T|c lirhn. Iolds mrnr- unccrtailtics for aDygi!.D issue but i{e cd be sure that ,,
the generul Lre.d has seeJrg'rtrrt| in ih(. .r.eas of rflhcn.., cmNrcnDcDt and cquitl olrr the
celtuies. CertliLlh, the Iea$ will reveal tbeir liir share ol dis!ppoinlmcnts and c!.n.trocitics
b tthis does Dot underDiiDe tlre predi(tabilily of tlie hunaD condition.

DFM,ANDA BROADFR PFRSPFCTIVF


Wjth this sr{eep over tj e and
space, wc can create a li e of ar
gument that adds scope and con-
tinuity to thc issue thtt we trish
to discuss. Lct us demonstrarc
this witt' a discussion of thc
folowing qucstiol firom last The more science advances,
!err's A'rc\cr rraperr
\rJ [he more religion will decline.
To what extenl do you agree?
Point One established th. .dr41 .lerlopme tol l/I. Jield .rt scid" ce ulrs ncDer Perceiled 10 be capa'
from tlre context ble of thrcdtct1il1lt reli!1io1rs irsrth ri.r6 $nplv ,ec(1rs? oJ lbL' tnuctl pou.t tfu
i

of tlre p{st: ck -\1!t (idded i1 thal eto.

Point l\lo cstablished Lel, lodd! \ L'orld 6 on. r tlrc t. erct1 tlle rcli?iaut h c !e coDt. to d. celi r.i.n.€
from thc conted of dr o t.q ncdns nr re..irt rctiandl atul rclitllne ntirtrDntiot so ti.'v co, ,rdkr d
the modcm world: norL'edncatctl tnttl infort ntt] choice

Point Ihrcc established 'tlk,b(lcm lMrkIhas alsa ba'onl.fut norftliott an thc pou,ers aI tethnol
fi'onr thc conten of ogu Lo nt.L cul tddlt nceds o/Jurl{rnn.e, lcdltn orul t:ontlbft ta o Lerel al elr
the modern world: .ficienat a d rdJnrntDte Jar <lrutt.t thdrl ulLtt rclisio, i6.d to o/ is crrr.,ri/q

Point Four established Inircr. rcie,c.ls .on.trr.d tloi i ntr. in th nloder uatl.l atld its tlelibetQLe
from rhc conten of d,r,?lsrercc dr{i disdoillill diskr1.itt.l ft o9l dtluthil! that.an otbe enlPi-i
the modem world: cnllv reslr.l /ros .r).n led to peopk t:onr.nicntly rdknrg s"nil(' s.tenfiJic ond
a,nordl stdn.es o, iss!.s ./ D1ot1osn,lt, lidclitu, lloDlosennlily and ctitne

Point Five establishcd N)rdllparls it i/rir frorld dre /toi.'euer sr dl..r


tiis seentntgU oterLthelntinll
to
frorn the conterl cultrt aJnadt at Nti.tlali4l. l{dnv i) iPoli, tsitcd o t toal I\tt1s.Jthe uorkl,

ofrural communities: t/rnt idue as Vd re(, denietl tle bel1.liLs ol t..11t1olo9y, siill corlhre ro uitness
r/rrn,trg rehgious ,touclt"trs, u'#fi reliqiols lPli./ dnd ildl ilui i.tr.s rdttdin;rg
th. nbst rcliable u\ t b Dueteucrvdcv needs.

Point Six csrablished Trho p dre ,y'corrue urr.rc sr.rtes, re.r.r, dl.ss aJ QJllenc., bas. rhcn
"rsi(rr.cs
from tbe conreat of iiorsrirltiondi groudirq on reltqidrs p?Itip1.s o, hdre .ieeP relii/iors roots
theocratic states: t lllt.cd b! ttu.linai1t e,s/rrtred ;t tneir bdsic beli.Ji. In ifi.se cds(s. sct.nce
o,ld lrs rerlfhng trogrers tok. a back seaL Ia rcli.tiors Prtr.iles dnd i.1cd1s.

Poilt Seven €stablished Tirr irds /toL,erer shoi.rr !s l/rdr no Dkriter fiot! ddt'a .cd tlB teLh obllg ot
firon the conten tlrotnaLi. th.. .ulturol ch( 19. ltorght dbort blt Lhe ig1et!1dLlt of science the
ofthe ftrturc: need lat Dtu1t. sedrch Jor ii.: ./iritrr, or.onne.t 1.) sorlr.iitg eterndl hds ol
ualts bt:.tn thete. Our etetnal litt rc atld tlt rol.et taittttt it hrilgs rLilL r.t ain
ilreUriuol,ln,u r.dson uiyhuDdnt.l/ urilll.,lcortt; Irc to..lig 11

BROADERPERSPECTIVES theposslb ity ssue


Interest-driven evaluation of an issue
through the perspectives (context)

lt
of kev actors

Technological,
political,
economic
and cultural
developments
will cefiainly
Anothd way to crcate broad argument is to see things in idms of key playeN that drive the alter the ex-
world's issues. The surpdsins thing n1ost people do not rccosDise is that all the world agendas
tent of each
and ihe vorld's direction are more or less defined, not by whai we perceive io be a inyriad of
octors, but just 6 key groups that represent the primary motivatioDs ofhtrman endeavour. If player's reach
we softthese players according to scale and recognitioD, s'e would have Intermtional Govern but ultimately
mental OrsanisaiioDs (lcos), Governnents, Corporations, Non'GoverDnental oryanisations
these people
(NGOS), Criminal Slndicates, aDd ofcotrrse the entity that make thcse all possible, the Individ
ual. These play$s hclp create the ar$nents for most ofthe issues tbat we face today, itlcltrding groups will
theones$€ deal with ir cP. always be rep-
resented in a
1l is needtul io recosnise that the voice and inlLuence of each ofthe playeN has differed over
the course ofhistory. More recently, eveD tlie huible individual has gained immense hflueDce manner worth
through technology's endoment of empowerment and the ability to nobilisc and iDiesmte
] considering in
interests. Technological, politicat, ecoDonic and cultural developments will cc(ainly alter the
an issue.
ertent of each player's reach but ultimately these people groups rill always be represenied in a
manner worth considerins in an issuc.

It is therefore important to rank thc points one makes as certain players would featurc more
citically in the discussion of a pafticular issue. In this case, the discussion of tbreisn prcsence
in a country would first and foremost bc doDhated by penpectives lrc,m governments and
IGos, followed by individuals, NGOS, corporations, and of course m interesting perspectivc
from cininal slndicates.l}le o.der ofimportance ofthcse players, with respect to the influence ,,
oftheir contributioD to the debate, woold vart'tuon onc issue io the tre\t.

The resolution of this line ofthoughl cones fioln tbis rankins, by coDcludins that the posiiiv
ity, nesatjviv or continuation of any given issue or effcct is larsely defiDed and deternined by
the kcy player in control. lt is useful to recognise tlat contcntion may result {iom other players
invollement and with the d.amatic shifts in power we have secn in receDt years, it is possible
for tbe issue to bc redefined. Thus, dtimately, ive need ro agr€€ or disagree with the status quo
determinedbyihc player in power, sivins an assessmentbased on cvidcnce ofwhatishappen-
ing in reality-

DEMANDA BROADER PERSPECTIVE lo,


Does the presence of a foreign power
ever help a country with problems?
Point Onc cstablished nt presen . ol nnu Joreisn pou.r, ltst dnd Jote,.,sr, is qf issle snr
firom thc pcrspective becduse !, ttsxlr
il istd c,rir.d os rt.halk,ttl. tu tlt saurlilt,rl,r, dnd di iincs"lq
of Aovcrnmerts: ta the tamp.knr!/, .)J'the t1lli1g qatiotunent. h'elL l eatDlq tts it tni<tht hc,J.t'
ci.tt1ilterxe Lion ntiqlltnotbt htlplitlhe.aue aJ rcsrrlnn.c tro,r d r.luctnnt
d'd cbscd vorcriDDrt o| tlk paLiti,.nl fu||)ut.fareiqtt ptLs.n.e creatu

Point Two esrablished /r is nor rnconr)r,1 /r.lo.rer tor nri.r'rdrtondl bodies lo tr.?rren! and .ilh./
from the pcrspective mtite or oert\. a.u,tDnen ts l, o(('/ rit. dri? dnd Prcs.tlc oJfarciqn Poo
L

ofIGos: .rs, b.cduse ni eru.tu drd uryor? .sihra.iDs. .rlerr.l ,Pdtuhon prouid.s

Point I hrcc cstablished sl dlc n r. Lsldlltr lhe best jLLtIge oJ tlk titul
N.. s ur'trTir9lv. i,(/i,,i.lLrals in t/t!
from the Derspeetive rronsirnplUbecdusi,r/r.r/n).o.'Ver(,.crit.inPdtLa|Lhtl\lsttlctof.larei1
ofindividuals: po&ros rit. rrosi ro,r4ll)1. r'dys. l)unlrc,'vlr'i.t1ctoIb..li.idlqrorLtllbt
nl(nrsr, t.s to tne su//irtr.r cl cd.r.i by /lr driio's oJ seifirir,?slc.l ihiYiParlirJ.
ciLi..s.:an dttcst k,lh.li.r thdtf.r'eig Pr.slrl.t is tleur e hlru llelPftn

Point Four establishcd crlrchtu, prf.ssior(l ddri.e at .xptr! opit)iotlsJt!m NGOS .,.1d ??dson ond
from the perspective stal)ilil! to papukrr se titneni, uith braadtr ittl?rcst'driuen drbot berer reP
ofNGOs: rcsdriirg t/rc best i,r leresis .t d r! giu.n s/oi.. flr. .strlblnn nre, rl ol.trrilsociety
dnd irs tofr, ro d.i ne h t rc.. and pctinleten o f brci.r n dssdid rc. ts liidlr.
I

./orerg,i pr.s.n.c n, /relp so?rt l/r...unty sprorl{"B.

Poilt [ive established hlletesli alu enaugh, co?Z,(rlnr6 r.ddy fioi! qrotrn tu sr.fi d, crrcnr altdi
fi om the pclspcctive tlev cor l. r..o.rnded ds /orcigt toru.rs lh.rr.sdl\)s. ,fitl1 Ll1.it .l.or ptoJit
of corporations: nolin. onl dhilitll to Lrcrlt( a ttrnlly btlltlk:kll t\rati.rlsl1iP, thcy t1t|l otL oJ
the-teraJbft.i.t Pouers tllor rosl..rnti.su(tuor,. tith oPen atnLs H01t.t.r,
.d'lr,?riors ,rrs. bc sL6itct k,.thi.al suideli es ltklat ttr.lr, ldboi' /.1L's
Llnd cnth-a n.tttil trctection kr t, ltb.neJitthe (\! ItlJ

Point Six estal'tished ydhrdlrlc tisidrr cdn dlso lJa ttu Pant oJ titb olot.ttitl
guoletl l;DD1tt ].Plnry
from ihe rontext ts.d . nino1!/,di.dks. Ironi.lll! l..aus. r)l tnen st,ol. ,rind../ Pu"os. of
of pcrspecrive of .arnilg nart) pn)lits, suttii.a/rs drc f.r/rdps tfid ,rost .fen to i.r,roliondl
rdfrinal sndie{tes: .ooptdtianatd it!.antion, d slarl.orrr.lsr to nolia tktttstodoLJ 7helucltal
ii..lJc. . inler atiotnl ksistott b thritirllt .rltal1ist\l .ritne highligllts th.
ki.t rhd counhits .ontitl!. ro b! sbPiriors ./on" onoLht a .l ldck the uttilLJ
., !1 str.rl.ness .,/ pulros. tllttt trill D tt lor.tttnpt s.n.,( rftll l"'qfcnil and
scL. tlL rDorI(l nukitlq qrcdrdrprogress.

BBOADERPERSPEl TVtS lhapo-srbrlrtr r,sL e


@
Evaluation of current issues through
diflering conl.e\ts of region or

li
cultural psyches around the world

We might
thus use a
particular
country from
that region as
an example to
illustrate the
perspective,
but the fea-
turing ofthis
Thelasi suggestioD for creatinga brcid a.alysis of aD), given issue is to considerthe is e l.om country must
the perspectjvcs ofthe $'orLd s regio s aDd cultural lsyches. Tlis undoubtedly is the most clial not dominate
lengins as a \"ical studeDt, rvitli limited rcadins or exposure, ivoulil hare n)sufficicnt insisht
or nrastery in this area of kDoi{ledge to attempt this apprcach. Admittedly, evcn I understand
the point so
cultural psychcs rnosth vicariously, ihroush books, movies aDdtalk.ln thjs sensc, rny analysis as to avoid the
is based on cxpcricncing the \orld through eitbcr gross caricatures ofwbat is dcsigtred io be accusation of
entertalnmenl or cvcn ifmore objectively, onlyrhroush the lens ofa tlird party.
our approach
Yet, despite a linitcd undcrstandiDg ofthings,w€ canDot dcnr_ that the.e are unique cultural hijacking the
distinctions resulLinsin diffcrcnt approaches (socjalorpolitical) to address aD issuewhicb pro question or
vide a fascinating diversitv of opinioN ard a.guneDts- The Arneican psyche, ScaDdnravian
cultue, Middle Easten pslrhc or eveD the ittitude oflhe nc$'ly rich r\iaD econonies all hclp
derailing our
crcate distinct arsuDenis for ihe issues Ne face in GP. Thus, I would dare say that t|csc ap_ argument.
proaches mighl ignite tbat 6cry edge ree need to distinguish ou essays from the rest, using
insight that is .xre in people so young-

A discussion ofthe question ii t| is light $ ould requirc candidates io considcr peNpectives that
are thc nost salieDt in public debare fiFt. Thus, tlie ,{nerica , liloropcaD aDd perhaps even the
ncw A,sian superpowers rrould har. thc honou of deiining this debaic 6rst. They would ther
be follolrcd by interesting emphases or balancins of these poi ts rron othcr blocs of regional ,,
thought. We Deedto nole however, as hill be denonstrated later, dratthc poiDis are not about
the counirics orregions per se, brl are ncrclv dcived from the triditional lincs ofihoughtthat
these connnunitics take- We might thus use a prrticular couDtry liorn that region asanexanrple
to illustrate the pcrsfective, but the featuring ofl|is couDtry must not doninate thc poilt so as
to nvoid tle accusation of ou approach hijackiDg the questioD orde.ailing oo.argumcnt

or"o"oou*ooor*or*roralu, 10,
|MACE CRED T'hqr$r ror r!,a! ir

To what extent does the migration


ofpeople have a positive effect?
Point On€ dedved from The nost apparcnt beneiits of migration can be uitnessed i',r the uoT ldb nost
the American/Imigranr succ?ss/ul tnrriqronr .so.ienes ulkre the diLJersit!! of people hos resulted in
perspective: tfiri,ing inrouoiion ir irdtlsh]g atld the euol tion oJ er.inns neu habri.l cul

Point Two derived fi:om Eten neufu in.lustrialising states hau ca ght on to the cleat benelits ofnligrc
the Newly Rich Asid non, encouragi g Ioreigners ta staa fot the qlaLita of lrJi! or D6nress op"orturl i
Pelspectiwe: nes. brinsing uilh them inuestment, spendins and raluabLe trcb skilk.

Poini Thlee deriwed fi:om Yd. t,a.pd ta h tugaisp thot nat atl FoF"t6 b' n' ht trotn tnnrotian.e. rP.ntt!
the Euop€u those that hate found ecanonic strcngtll in their lbnlogeno s culnl"!s dtd peo-
perspectiwe: ple ond haDe ddopte.l policies that seek to protect themsellles.lront the ctlturallu
ditunnlt e|fects ofmisteno .

Point Four derived from Protection f onl culrrtol rlilufton does noUusi afec t the economic rcalm as ni.
the Middle Eastern gtdtion can aL'o lead to the lndernininq of atlcietlt trodi.ions, prdctices dnd
perspective: beliels that orc coisidered sacred it &\1ain rcqiots, ensetldeting chonge tlllt
nckes natiue dbellers uncotnfortdble and tesistatlt.

Point Five deriwed ftom Sa.ll!, misranon also conles in the fortn of illesal nntnisrttion uith citizens
the Failed State .ftom fuiled states detetmine.l to chcnge their enlitonnle,lt to.fin(l a better liJe
perspectiwe: far thenselxes ond then Jotnilies, brt ultimaLellr canryronisDrs tfre secrri/U dnd
sustdinabiliay dl ot/ier sldies.

All these f.aneworks forbrcad-basedthinking are extensivc and I have merely shown you a
few ways to derive pojnts li orn then. Precisely because oftbis broad ranse ofavailable per
speciives in aDy given context, thc fi amework become a good vay to orya se and present
othcMise seeninsly random and disjonried tlioushts. CertaiDly sorne fianework work
bettcr than othe6 for a particular question depending on the nature of ihc ongoirg debate
on the issue. For Dow, try these out and dcvclop them through practicc andyou would have
found an cnsasinJa way to both create and prcsent your points. Iill n€xt tnne, hapPy miting-

L*ooor, ,r*rrr.r'u*
SPOTLIGHT

The Rising Sun


The LDPk biggest loss n.ray lead to Japanls greatest gain. by SONIA KWEK

EVENT What does this mean


The landslide victorf claimed by the lbr fapnrrese society
Denocratic Parry of Japm (DPJ) in the ald the lirturc?
recent gencral elections, where thev mn To many vote$, the most important fact
3o8 out of48o seats in the powerfil Lw- of this election w6 that tlry finally had a
er House ofthe Japanese legislature. This
choice. Their vote meant that they could
is significant becnuse it broke tbe stran tal<e action againsi enant politicias,
glehold of the Liberal Democratic Party of
guard against govemneDt mrnplacency,
Japan (LDP), which has governed Japan
and tmakel a qlrtem wher€ paties thai
for almGt its entirc post-Mr history. Dis-
faii set kicked out'. About 70% ofeligible
satislicd with LDP'S ineptitude aDd the voters cast ballots, according to NHK, the
nation's stagnation, the people voted for highest tumout in nearly two decades.
the DPJ to chat a new course for JapaD.
DPJ'S plms rlso bode great change, both
doDestically and intemationally. A more
socialistic bent would so far in chdgiDg
Whvfhe LDP lost Why DPf rvon, people's pdccpiion that Japanese poli-
ticians are venal and corrupt. The new
and hou,tlrcy arc tlking it: its plorniscs and policies:
leadership s approach may also finaly
Fallins approval raiings, aggravated by The DPJ is a lelileaning party in contrast
to the more market oriented LDP and lift Japan oul of its long rec€ssion. On the
recent @rruption scandals, have made
this sussests that Japan will be governed
world stage, Japan loolG poised to be
the LDP demise evident for some tnne.
in a mdic2lly difierent my iD the tuture.
..nre i leader in envi..nnental effons.
Although the pafty led ,IapaD to its eco-
With its carnpaigD pledging to imrease
with the DPJ pledging to ctrt emissions
nonic succ,5s and world prcminence
protect donestic vorkers by 25%. However, this might artagonise
after WwIi, it has appeared increasinsly social welfare.
done$ic industry playcrs and rapidly in-
exlausted and directionless in dealins and reduce ineliciency, it is not difliculi
why this palty appealed to a coun
dustrialising neighbouins nations that
with the rc.ent challenges Japan faces. to see
cnnnot aford such cuts.
This did n.t sit we.ll wit| the ele.rorare. iry stuck in a long slump and desperately
which led to their rcmoval from power.
Despite loiiDg for a chaDsc in power, fie
Japanese have a more matured and rcal
In addition, LDP'S economic plans have with regards to economic matlers, the
istic view on politics. The prevalent view
been heavily criticised by busiDsses, DPJ has a clee, bold a€enda. lt has
pledsed to shift away ftom markeLled is that sinsle parll rule will no longer
lobby $ouLN md think taDk. lts defeat
will benefit the whole of society. Sone ana
comes anidst a bacldash asainst eco- and d?oft-driven growth. Instead, it
and l)sis say fiat the Fblic is nerely giving
nonic reforns prwiously chanpioned use payouLs centives to revive its
by fomer Pdme Minisier Junichiro Koi- domestic crnsun€r economy- It will also
thc DPJ a "test ru" aDd is not completely
convinced of th€ir policics-
which have been d€emed inetrec tighten and olersee regulatory proc€sses
^ni-
tual, and even damasins. Many also feel to ensure increased productivity and en
As such, althoush DPJ'.S victory usheN in
that Japan's close tinls with America, trepreneuship. The DPJ will also seek
a new era of possibiliry for Japan, it also
reinforced by LDP, have oused Japan to an "equal pdtDership" with the United
carde! an €lement of uncetanrty. Lllti-
sutrer quite severety fron effects of the States, though Prime Minister YuLjo
mately, the party's strategies and ideolos/
global financial crisis. Hatoyama has er"ressed a belief in a
will td<e a backseat to its resutts. aatt
m ti-polar rcrld md the need to engage
Th€ LDP has re{onded with sloom Dd Japan's Asian neishboum.
resisnation. Wtile it has clearly acc€pted
its fate, the g€neral consensus is that the
party is unsure of what to do when it is
raronss @nan r@!s dFnos oteiedo,lr m'didares,
not in control ofthe gov€mment.

DEMANDABROADER PERSPECTIVE lo,


WHAT'S THE POINT?

Tinl.itrg Re sp onsibility

At a time like this, it felt appropriate for me to write


aboutgivingup and of coursethe myriad otherthoughts
and considerations that come with it. What amazes me
is how much time some of the brightest people in our
country spend thinking about giving up.
WhiLe t an sure this is tlue of adulis, I am trot reaLly also rcmcnrbcr the contemptuous behaviourand ati
b.v talkirgab.rut then.I am talking aboutthe 18,ooo str tude I haddu ngihatpcriod of tinie. I .emembe. thc
TONG dents that.ead this magazinc andthe thousaDd little nr.iad lies thrt s$'amfed my nird daily; inlthing
thoughts that occupyyour mind and nrinc. Thoughts thrt would distract mc fion $'hxt I knen I needed
YEE
that lee claim dist.act us {ron donrg wbat \c $'ant to do. Today, halins lcarnt ihc thinss I have lerrnt
^ d, n, "l,pn,Jr ,-- {-.un.i ar qhp|l'. Bn ns aboui ljfe and living, I am sonfbDi I do noi e'ant to
g4 \ r4"l\ r.urh. | \,1.n s. Li. .l.- nl{ b.l:FI. s" sFrpathise. Because synpathisiDg docs not scNe
fonn abou t oLrrsclvcs in ordcr Dot to face the rexlity ol
$ho we tru\'are. ADd although I kDoa tliat adults do
this too, in olher slapes and fonns abort their nar Thc bottom liDe is that resrllLs do not lic. Thcrc mal
iages, rvo.k, and i{hateler othc. things they woq' bc slight variatiorls iD judgement here aDd t|crc but
about, this time I am really rot tallinrg aboutthen. I ir gcn&al, rcsults arenotfar ae,ay iiom thc trxth.IfI
say that T lovc my wifc, butthe remlt is that she does
.m talking about you.
not feel li)ved. lhen r|. hrth is that I hale trot loved
I s.uld l.\e u \)rnPlrn.s-. Is rr llrorr. r lr,. q her. If I sar, I hrye lauglt a wondcdul class aDd dore
levcls too and do not have pleasant ne o.ies. But ii m,v dub rs a tutor, but nrJ studcnts havc not leaDt,
is preciscly bccause the menories a.e so livid t|at I thcnthe tNthis I have not taught wcll.lfyousavvou

BROADERPERSPECIIVES theposs b ty ssle


\IIHAT'S THI POINT?

we pl.iy the victir in so Inany t{ays aDd nobody ca


Beins ir victim irllows us to dcDythat it feels good being a vi.tim- Being a victim
avoid taki ug rcsponsibility. allo\s N to avo trknrg lesponsibiliry. Ii {llovs us
It allows uslo Ieel sorrv to tccl sorry for ou$elves. l t allo$'s us to garDersym-
lbr ourselves. It allows us paLhy fforn othcNi to suck olherc inlo our $'otld so
the! can buy and parlake of orr version ofthc tNih
to s{uner svmDathv fronr rnd perhaps comnriscratc with us. People are otien
otficrs...uri u,ill firid thrt coDlplicit iri suppo.ting cach others lies. Bids ol r
lre.rnle r(,h.r $'iurt to feather llocli together and you aill fiDd that people
ivofo r'ealitr arrcl ayoid who rvaDt to avoid reilily and aloid gc'ttjrg rerL re
.,1 ln\' ' , u.1.-\ o,1,.',\. n ', ".
qetti nq rcirl'results kn'e lrn,
"r
ing ihat th.y {re a victim and having anothcr victin
iach others' ctrmparr)'. with thcDr validates it even

The tirne is alwavs


have lried your bcst to gct the best grades possiblc.
Bul what rcalll is the bottoDl
line? $'lat crn i{c rcally sal
now to take tr
and you received rcsults $'rv belorv exrrectation. L|en
:ibout people who do not p(f
good hard look
I crll your blufi and say that Iou are lying, thal tou
did not trytou. besl. Results sinplydo not lie.I know duce.esulls'/ Pleis. do not at ourselves ancl
that as I nake this cLainr there will bc athousaDd aDd Distake me by thinking that I acl<nowlcdge r'r'hat
.e{sons, qualillcations, and rcbrttals mcan grades...No. I rnean liaL rve have bl h:rvc
ir wc cnd up doiDs what we say
rhat will ll,v my rvay aD attenrpt to help you avoid
wP willdo T nrc.n th.t we xre
not clone, whtrt we
I rJlr| .In.lIr,'l lrr rlur)ur.lrorn." r'r!,
still need to do. To
certajn things about youNelfthat you.just do not want
peorle r{bo hoDour our \rord,
to see. Bui I asl< Lhrt Dra)bcyou take a second loo[ people of actioD who takc re- cl isrn iss thoughts of
sponsibiljty Ior thcil rcsnlis. giling up and ilecide
't\e point is to take rcsfonsibility for th€ choices yoD .^l.i iffnilure strikes ($'|ich it - to act and live with
hrve made so lar and thc rcsults you have creat€d. lt lvill fi-.m tinre ti) Iinel we see
d ". r'ul , r\-.u, ^l'i,rr.l ,.r1' .. Ju". in.rb:r'p it for what it is...iDformalion inteqrity. Tir bite the
how coDtenptibie 1$,ould be ifI claimcdth{t I loved that hc\N trs nove tu.rvird. bullet, lrrv holcl of
my $'ife but she does not leelloved and nrstead oftak So thc bottom line is to rec our life irnd do rvhrrt
ing resfoDsibility, I tell lou (hat I am . lcfi brained ognise that $c can iDdeedfeel
onl,v rvc can do.
, an ,nd I cannoi show enotioD- or thar I canrc fiom tjred- slressed, discotrr{ged
a brd lamiU, or that I am very busy, or lhal il is too rD.l rnmolivaled, but $'c caD
difficult to denonstratc lovc, or th^t tliis is not what spend tirne coming up with stories to justili us slay
I cxpected ot rilTiag€...IrnagiDe that. Iniagine so re ing in tliat contenptible flacc, orwe can evalLlite ou.
onc flrll of sto.j€s but no results. Nothing to sp€ak situatjon rnd move on lo.rcatiDg sonething bette..
of but stories aboul why lhings rrc not tlie \ray tliey
The time is always now. to take a good hard lool it
shonld bc. Ho$'patlietic and loal|soinc rvould I be?
ouNclvc's rr.l acknr,wledr,e $'hat we liave or hav€ noL
And lbrhowloDg rvould )'ou hale.espect for mc?
donc, lrhat sr still Deed to do. To dismiss thouglits of
I am not saling thrt sittiDg to. exrrniDatioDs is easy. ili!ing np aDd dcci.le to rct and live witb intcgitl. To
tsut I am sayiDg that you made a choice to do so. You bi(e Lhe bullct, lay hold of orr lile and do what oDty
Diade a cnoi.e. No onr forced ]ouj and I knot{ it is we can do. This mcssage is for everybody, bccause
'I :r d. no i,8 -ui ir
ersy to claimi|at you di.l not make this c.hoice, that )uL p/\und l, :r h l rts
societv, your parents or fiiends compelled you to hre for someone yon know. I pray that th€ claril) of
makcthis choice... intbodv and cy.tl'body butyour wliat I saybriDgsyou oryonriicnd somegood, h d
self. But the tNth is rou did, and all I ask is tliat you and lofing tNth to your lile. I \tish,vou tlie vety best
lake reslonsibility, for playing t|e victin i{ill onlJ 1br your coming exarnntatio.s. Co crcaie sonethitlg
mean lct another day with othingdoDc. rvondcr{ul. lltt

DFMANDABROADERPERSPECT]VE lo,
THE \)(/AY )fE LIVE NO\)(/ #13

HowGoodareW'eat
Predictingthe Future?
The horse is here Airolanes are
to stav but the intelestins tor5
arrtoniobile is onlv a butofno " '
noYelty, a fad. militarylalue.
Hi,".xi?:xtiili;li:si'"i
*-*' **

ComDuters The bomb will


in th6 future never go off.
mav weish no more I sneak as an
thah t.sfons. exiert in explosives.

Whothehell
wants tohear
actors talk?

There is no reason
anvone would want
a cbmputer in their
home.

wc began School of Thought be.ausc we were troubled by thc indifference many young
people showed towardr th. world and life generrl. Sincc 2002, we have been con
sranlly refinins our core A' lelel and O level'ntriiion programmes !o helP rndetE ihink
school of more critically and broadly abou! bodr national rnd global affairs withotrt sacrifcng

THOUGHT
demon.l o broo.ler Pe^Peclive
good g.ad€s in the ctihlnalions part of our profits go irlo pporting an in housc Fi
nan.ral Aid schenc rhat sludenls may apply for if iheir families are exPdicncing se
vere fifar.ill dincullies and cannot affo.d cla$es. Joli our nrovemeni ro charge lhe
world ore mind, one heaft, one stcp at a !ime. Drop by for a vlsit ar n2 Middle Road
ilosor, Midland House, srfsapo.e 133970, or call 6:Jl4 377'r wwwschoolofthougbt.com-sg