Tuesday, April 27, 2010


5 years, 4 months, countless days and nights.

It is finished.

Hopefully on to bigger and better things.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The World According to Students...

So apparently we kill 100 Billion sharks every year for Sharks' Fin soup.

But that's barely a drop in the ocean to feed the 65000 Billion people in the world.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Burn Notice and Leverage should have a crossover.

I've entered new territory in terms of TV watching and I've found that it's fallen into some interesting categories:
  1. The Whedonverse alum (Bones - David Boreanez, Castle - Nathan Fillion, Dollhouse - Eliza Dushku)
  2. The A-Team reincarnations (Leverage, Burn Notice)
Sadly enough, that's all the TV I can get into. Work calls and family as well. That said, I'm glad that there's still some TV to actually watch. Looks like reality TV hasn't quite killed the medium yet. :)

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Saturday, August 01, 2009


This song's stuck in my head. From Epitaph One, Coda of the first season of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

Haunting, beautiful and just a touch sad.

Burn down my home
My memories hardened
And the bread is crumb

Good times escape
While every mistake
Seems to be caught on tape

I will go rolling fast
Palms out in the rain
Feel momentum building
To lift off ground like an airplane

Love ties you down to the pains
A billion eyes are watchin'
They see what remains

Gave up this town
What a waste that we're left with
When it's boiled down

Shine light on me
Your image reflected
Is all you'll ever see

I will go rolling fast
Palms out in the rain
Feel momentum building
To lift off ground like an airplane

Love ties you down to the pains
A billion eyes are watchin'
They see what remains

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Because we've stopped doing it in schools...

If Sex Ed PSAs Were Realistic -- powered by Cracked.com

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Just because I had to.

Image courtesy of Cracked.com
Posting courtesy of iHate

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Well, this is bad on so many levels...

Sam follows Mallory into the HALLWAY.


How ya doin'?

I'm sorry to be rude, but are you a moron?

In this particular area, yes.

The 18th President was Ulysses S. Grant, and the Roosevelt Room was named
for Theodore.


There's like a six-foot painting on the wall of Teddy Roosevelt.

I should've put two and two together.


Look, the thing is, while there are really a great many things I can speak with
authority, I'm not good at talking about the White House.

You're the White House Deputy Communications Director and you're not good
at talking about the White House?

Ironic, isn't it?

I don't believe this. [starts to go back into the room, but Sam stops her]

Wait a minute. Wait. Please. Could you do me favor? Could you tell me which
one of those kids is Leo McGarry's daughter?


Well, if I could make eye contact with her, make her laugh, you know, just
see that she has a good time, it might go a long way toward making my life easier.

These children worked hard. All of them. And I'm not inclined at this moment
to make your life easier.

Ms. O'Brian, I understand your feelings, but please believe me when I tell
you that I'm a nice guy having a bad day. I just found out the Times is publishing
a poll that says a considerable portion of Americans feel that the White House
has lost energy and focus. A perception that's not likely to be altered by the
video footage of the President riding his bicycle into a tree. As we speak, the Coast
Guard are fishing Cubans out of the Atlantic Ocean while the Governor of Florida wants to
blockade the Port of Miami. A good friend of mine's about to get fired for
going on television and making sense, and it turns out I accidentally slept with
a prostitute last night. Now. Would you please, in the name of compassion, tell me which
one of those kids is my boss's daughter.

That would be me.



Leo's daughter's fourth grade class.


[pause] Well, this is bad on so many levels.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Just a reminder...

...that in all our diverse opinions, our differing traditions and the myriad of identities, we are still one.


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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Crackpots and These Women


Held my tongue for as long as I could, decided, really, time to pen my thoughts down on the subject.

The AWARE saga is coming to a head and I think it's only a matter of time before it all blows up. So, here's my two cents worth before the caca hits the fan:

Firstly, for an organisation that claims to champion womens rights, you need to champion the rights of ALL women. Let's go through the fundamental ones, shall we?

1) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
2) Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Dignity. People have a right to have it. To be condemned because your lifestyle is considered "dirty" or "wrong" reeks of indignity. Sadly, the moral "right" seems oblivious to the fact that in their withdrawing of support for the rights of gays and lesbians, they are robbing a minority group of the dignity that is their right, as it is a right to everyone else.

The whole debacle has brought up an age old struggle that pits the "christian right" with the rest of the world and as a christian, I should take the side of the christians. I am a Christian and I think that according to the tenets of the religion, homosexuality is a sin. (I've always been disturbed by that fact due to my socio-political leanings, but oh well...) I choose not to weigh in on that issue because I believe that there're a few "larger" rules and regulations that we have that stop us from doing so:

1) “Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
2) “Stop judging, so that you won't be judged, because the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged, and you will be evaluated by the standard with which you evaluate others."

Which may actually be quoted by others because it's the perfect comeback to christians when they feel that christians are being overbearing. And we tend to be. It's in our nature to try to "save" as many people as we can. It's the Great Commission. Problem is that the Great Commission never really told us to interfere. It's told us to spread Jesus' teachings and that's something I can truck with. But spreading teachings and saving people from sin are completely different things. We do have the authority to do the former but the latter is up to God. Why is it that we seem so quick to be ready to do the latter rather than the former? I think I have some idea but I'm not ready to get into that yet.

But that's the thing, we are that judgmental aren't we? And I think what the world sees us as that because the most vocal among us really do put out the most noise. Unfortunately, most of that noise is judgments on other people and how they're all going to hell. We're like that teacher who spends all their time criticizing students' faults and saying that they'd amount to nothing. No one ever liked that teacher.

How quickly we forget that christians were once condemned for what they believed in. How short sighted we are when we cry about the injustices heaped onto other christians in other countries because of their faith. How sad it is that we often are so quick to throw those first stones.

What's sad about the whole AWARE saga is that a religious few are trying to impose their religion on an issue that is rather cut and dried either way:

It's wrong in a religious context.
There's nothing within a secular context that says that it's wrong.

I am a Christian. That is what defines who I am and what I think. The world, however, is secular. It is separate from my faith and should remain so because people out in the world are from various cultures and faiths. AWARE is a secular organisation working within a secular society. And within a secular society, who you are, who you choose to be with, what you do, etc... should not have any bearing on your rights. (Come to think about it, it SHOULD be the same way within religious organisations as well...) Therein lies the problem with the fundamentalists taking over an organisation like AWARE. The values that they are preaching tend to be values that should be kept separate from secular society. These values should not cross over because there is a social contract that says that they shouldn't.

Otherwise, let's start the free-for-all. Let the new members of AWARE start casting the first stone and repeal the law that makes it OK for us to get divorces. Let's ban abortions and let's make adultery a capital offence shall we?



If christians are going to try to stop people from playing God, maybe they should start with themselves eh?

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

To the attic with ye?

Dollhouse and Whedon's Masochism.

I've been following Dollhouse for the whole of the first season. (Thanks BT!) It was my first Whedon televisual fix for a while and the first that I'm actually following "live" as it airs in the States. Years of following Buffy, Angel and Firefly sadly after the fact have converted me into a Whedonite. I've read about his rise and subsequent fall(out) with the Fox network, which made it all the more strange (for me) when I read that he was going to do another show with them.

I know the circumstances behind that as well, what with Eliza Dushku being greenlit to create a show and getting Whedon to helm it, it made sense. Go to the best you've worked with and get them to help to create a show for you. But for Whedon to return to a company that gutted his previous work? Ouch. One has to wonder about Whedon's proclivity to pain that allows him to keep returning over and over to the company that's really put him through the shredder.

So it was with little surprise or dismay (more accurately, EXPECTED dismay) that I read that Dollhouse may not see another season. It's pretty much par for the course for Fox, that seems insistent to really put out the crappiest shows in the movies and television and add it's own stamp to the stupidification of the idiot box. I saw it coming since the project was announced. I mourn (if the rumours turn out to be true) that television is losing another great (thought provoking, clever, well written) show. But I am not above saying I told you so either (especially to anyone who doesn't actually see or hear me say it...).


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Monday, April 06, 2009

Of Pay and Other Matters.

So. My pay got cut.

It was expected as the civil service cut back on it's payments to staff due to the economic recession. (I'm not afraid to use the word and let's call the spade a spade shall we?) It was not as bad as I thought it could have been but the impact is certainly felt. With two kids to put through nursery and a house renovation under way, it would certainly have been better to have more money than less. And I think that anytime there's a pay cut, it feels bad. (A pay revision however is always welcome...)

So anyway, my pay got cut...but I don't really mind.

As I mentioned before, it's nothing new and it's something that I've been anticipating for a while. As civil servants, our pay should move along with the economic trends that affect our nation. After all, as civil servants, we serve the nation. That's our lot and that's what we need to accept. The one thing that really spurs me on to feel this way is that the $xxx that we get less a month or the $xxxx less that we get through the year will after all go toward worthier causes, right? There are people who are a lot worse off than I and I would like to say that we got a pay cut so that we can help others in need? That others do not need to be laid off? That by forgoing that (relatively) little per month, someone else can put food on their family's table? Those are the thoughts that help me to placate my (obvious) disappointment over the cut.

There's been a lot of scrutiny of civil servant pay, and I think that a lot of the anger and the frustration is certainly justified. There is a certain line that would certainly have been crossed when one considers the fact that what some of us earn a month will pay for the living expenses of a family (or several) for a year. I for one would have loved to see Mr French Cooking school sacrifice his $45000 vacation to buy dinner for every single person in his constituency. In sounding out my own frustrations over those practices, I realised that I would be totally hypocritical if I cried out for the pay cuts of those above me and ended up hoping that my own pay wouldn't get hit.

So here I am. Smaller paycheck...non-hypocritically saying that it's a good thing we're doing.

And think about it: If we can cut the pay of civil servants by about $100 (at least) per month, with a total number of about 60000 civil servants (ballpark figure...) working at the moment. That adds up to about $6000000 a month in savings? $6 million dollars could do a lot of good for people. $6 million dollars a month could buy a lot of food for people who can't afford their three square meals. It could mean more subsidized health care. It could help to save jobs. There's potential there.

I just hope that my (imposed) sacrifice will mean good things for Singapore. Despite my cynicism, I still believe that we do have a duty to those among us who have had bad breaks. And I think that because we have chosen to serve the nation, we should take the lead in helping out.

So here I am, tightening the belt because it's all for the greater good. I just hope that it does, at the end of the day, mean something to someone who needs it. And not go into the pockets of some undeserving shmuck who already earns too much money.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Tenuous at best.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Send a heartbeat to
The void that cries through you
The pale princess of a palace cracked
And now the kingdom comes
The world is lost and blown
And we are flesh and blood disintegrate
And in your darkest hour
I hold secrets flame
We can watch the world devoured in it's pain

~The End is the Beginning is the End, Smashing Pumpkins, from the 1st Watchmen trailer.

The Watchmen movie rocked.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Jaw drops.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Sharp like an edge of a samurai sword
The mental blade cut(s) through flesh and bone
Though my mind’s at peace, the world(’s) out of order
Missing the inner heat, life gets colder
Oh yes, I have to find my path
No less, walk on earth, water, and fire
The elements compose a magnum opus my modus operandi is amalgam
Steel packed tight in microchip on my arm a sign of all-pro
The ultimate reward is honor, not awards
At odds with the times in wars with no lords
A freelancer
A battle cry of a hawk make(s) a dove fly and a tear dry
Wonder why a lone wolf don’t run with a clan
Only trust instincts and be one with the plan

Some days, some nights
Some live, some die
In the way of the samurai
Some fight, some bleed
Sun up to sun down
The sons of a battlecry
Some days, some nights
Some live, some die
In the name of the samurai
Some fight, some bleed
Sun up to sun down
The sons of a battlecry
A battlecry

Look, just the air around him
An aura surrounding the heir apparent
He might be a peasant but shine like a grand royalty
He to the people and land, loyalty
We witness above all to hear this
Sea sickness in the ocean of wickedness
Set sail to the sunset no second guessing Far East style with the spirit of Wild West
The “quote-unquote” code stands the test of
Time for the chosen ones to find the best of noble minds that ever graced the face of
A hemisphere with no fear, fly over
The blue yonder
Where the sky meets the sea
And eye meets no eye
And boy meets world
And became a man to serve the word
To save the day, the night, and the girl too

Some days, some nights
Some live, some die
In the way of the samurai
Some fight, some bleed
Sun up to sun down
The sons of a battlecry
Some days, some nights
Some live, some die
In the name of the samurai
Some fight, some bleed
Sun up to sun down
The sons of a battlecry
A battlecry

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

"A year from today at least one of you is gonna look pretty stupid."

Luther. Ballpark. One year from today, where's the Dow?

Tremendous. Up a thousand.

Fred. One year from today?

Not good. Down a thousand.

A year from today at least one of you is gonna look pretty stupid.

~ The West Wing, Pilot.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

A Goodyear Ahead?

Anyone else think that the only reason why Temasek Holdings hired Chip Goodyear was because they could say sometime in news reports that he was hired because he was Chip?

*Ba Dum Chsh!*

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

We don't need no regulation...

Well, more importantly, we can't be regulated. Self or otherwise. I mean, people can try, they certainly have before, but when countries like China are fighting a losing battle against the Internet, regulation just isn't in the cards.

Funny thing is that we're still thinking of the Internet in terms of traditional media without actually realising that we can't use the traditional mindset or SOP to ensure that the Internet is what we want it to be. Which I guess is a double edged sword. It's freedom of speech unleashed...with everything that comes with that.

Firstly, it means that even if a government (hypothetically) wants to regulate the content on the Internet regarding its policies etc, it would have problems doing so. Sure it could technically track bloggers / internet users down manually and persecuteprosecute them, but like the multi-headed Hydra of old, more will sprout up in their place and before you know it, the entire web's filled with heads. (Extended metaphor right into the realm of the incomprehensible...movingon)

Secondly, it means that any sense of self-regulation also tends to be impossible. Even if responsible, articulate bloggers wished to shut down trash sites, they'll encounter the exact same problem. (Especially the Prosecution bit simply because everyone's reading it...)

Even if we wanted to regulate the internet, it's infinite. How do you regulate it? The Internet (for better or worse) has made it possible for a person (if they were so inclined) to find anything they wanted to find if they just looked hard enough. If, for instance, your inclinations lay in getting your rocks off looking at Richard Simmons getting Karmic justice for his perpetual peppy ways, you can. If you wished to view a man stretching out his nethers, you could. I'm pretty sure that there are also groups that have interests in watching people who dress up as furry animals having sex...Well guess what, they can find it all. Heck...try checking out Craigslist sometime.

What is of interest to me is how we still strive to control the pandemonium that surrounds us in cyberspace. How we seem to think of the Internet as a medium that has a hierarchy. That there are those among us with the authority to rein in the chaos. Let's get it right here: there isn't.

What happens with traditional media is that the people who get spanked for their content have to fall in line because otherwise they lose their jobs. With that comes the loss of financial security, perks and (perhaps more importantly) their soapbox. The internet doesn't work that way. With condemnation comes a splintering of the already dynamic medium. Factions are created. A lot of the time, those factions have factions as well. It's how people work. We will group with the like-minded among us. Safety and strength in numbers and all that. End of the day, however, what this means is that if you decide that you want to be an anti PAP-vegetarian-gun toting-chain smoking-parakeet loving-hot pants wearing-polka dancing-car dealer, you can probably find an interest group that will support your specific inclinations even if the rest of society calls you a freak. That's the beauty of the internet. (Also the terror-inducing ugliness of it)

Which makes self-regulation (or any other regulation) impossible.

I'm not saying that the Internet doesn't require any regulation. But I'm also careful not to say that it does as well. Problem with regulation is that when we do start, where do we stop? Child pornography is one of the big no-nos in my book. As are snuff films. Stupidity, unfortunately, is something that we really need less of on the Internet, but we can't do anything about that. The same can be said about people who condone or incite violence. But then again, some would say that these are merely bugbears of mine. The majority may agree but there would be a minority that don't. And even if we were to condemn and take action against that minority, they'll just splinter off. And there isn't anything that we can really do about that.

So to have someone come out to condemn the "Internet" (more likely Bloggers on the Internet although I'd use the interchangeability sparingly) for not being "self regulatory" just boggles the mind. It is akin to trying to condemn the ocean for being wet. Sorry: Can't do anything about it even if we wanted to. That said, what seemed to be the topic for discussion certainly did show a particularly dark side of the Singapore Blogosphere. At no time should a man ever have been burned even if it was to show growing displeasure with the organization that he represented. I can sympathise with the sentiment behind it but the celebration of the act was preposterous. The admonition of the blogosphere for their failure to chastise the denizens of the net who condoned (and even applauded) the act was similarly as preposterous (Although I can see how some may be shocked by the obvious bias of the sympathy for the perpetrator over the victim). We don't work that way. It doesn't work that way. And the threat of regulation isn't going to work that way...

Lui Tuck Yew might as well be firing bullets into the ocean...

WHEN Yio Chu Kang MP Seng Han Thong was set on fire by a resident last month, a significant number of netizens posted unkind comments.

These included a list of 10 things he 'must be thankful for' as well as remarks that he deserved what happened.

On Wednesday, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew said he did not think the Internet community did enough to rebut some of these comments.

'It is a squandered opportunity for a higher degree of self-regulation,' he told Parliament.

He made the remark with a tinge of disappointment as just a month ago, the Government had largely accepted a report by a government-appointed committee that said it was a good thing for the Internet community to exercise greater self-regulation.

The Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society, or Aims, issued its report last December.

Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui's remark was in his reply to Ms Penny Low, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, who asked for his views on netizens' response to the attack on Mr Seng. She noted that they had voted quite unjustly in an online poll.

The poll asked who deserved more sympathy: Mr Seng or his attacker Ong Kah Chua. The ex-cabby received 200 votes and Mr Seng, 56.

RADM Lui noted there were some comments sympathetic to Mr Seng. But the vast majority were "unhelpful, a significant number were unkind, a small number were downright outrageous."

"It was disappointing, and my impression is that I do not think the community itself have done enough to rebut some of these unhelpful comments delivered by fellow netizens," he added.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Seems like everywhere we turn, there are people who keep adding fuel to fires that should be put out. And I'm not just talking about "we the anonymous". In trying to mount a(n) (ill-advised) defence against the online masses (we are legion...), one has to resort to more than mere name-calling to actually make the grade.

We live in a world that is changed. No longer are we subject to non-thinking acceptance of propaganda. No longer are we happy to lounge around, ignorant, uncaring. No longer are we ready to accept flawed argumentation that passes off as logic in a world where complacency has led us to economic downfall and corruption of our ideals. We live in Obamaland now! Where the positions of power are filled by the smart and the worthy. Where one exhibits his or her intelligence and is not mocked, but celebrated. Where one's worth lies in the amount of hard work that he or she puts in for the money that they are paid. Where elite actually means that one is smarter than the rest, is better at what they do and can offer more solutions. Elitism is more than merely (undeserved) arbitrary wages that are more the result of cronyism and backdoor deals.

It truly is glorious.

But some fools still think that the old ways can work. These are the sloths that cling on to the rotting illusion that when authority speaks, one HAS to listen. That believe that people have not clawed their way into the light of intellectual enlightenment. They are the ones who believe that the status quo still stands and the powers that be are still invulnerable. That it is shocking that "greater mortals" are set ablaze by unhappy peons.

One of these fools is Eugene Wee.

As a defender of the status quo, he has to realise that his argument, in this day and age, can't possibly be anything more than fuel that fans the flames. (Apt, since he's talking about internet flamers...) He can't possibly think that standing on his (rather insignificant and already oft mocked) soapbox The Piece of Crap The New Paper and yelling at the tide isn't going to help much, considering that the tide really wants to burn said paper too. (Doubly so since his tirade tends to be more about credibility) Here's a clue Eugene, and say it with me: It Just Isn't Working.

His assumption is that if he can discredit the blogosphere as nothing more than people frothing in the mouth and baying for blood without a cause (or a clue), his mainstream readers are going to ignore what we are writing and go on with their lives.

Let me let you in on a little secret Eugene: We aren't the problem. We're just the voice.

The man who set his MP on fire. Odds are, he wasn't a blogger. He probably isn't an active participant of the discourse online. He was just an angry citizen. Think of us as the canary in the mine. We aren't really the problem that's going to cause the big explosion, we just chirp out when we sense that there's danger. And trust me when I say this, public sentiment isn't exactly on your "side".

As far as I'm concerned, that's the role that we've taken. We are the watchdogs because the mainstream media's become someone's bitch. We are the loudhailers of public opinion and it would be wise for people to hear what we're saying. I'm not looking to topple the government. It would be a rather deluded fool to believe that that would be in Singapore's best interests. But there are things that we aren't really happy with, and if the powers that be don't listen, then this unhappiness will grow. Where that leads, I shudder to think.

I have children and I would love for my homeland to be the country that would provide them the best for their future. I love my country. I am a patriot, in ways that even I would never fully comprehend. And when I blog about people (I use the word in it's technical sense) like Charles Chong using terms like "Lesser Mortals", I shudder because it scares the crap out of me. I don't want the bad old days. I want economic prosperity. But when I see Temasek losing our money, I wonder why that is...and I'm not provided answers. I want leaders I can believe in. But when I look at our present Prime Minister with his "mandate", I know that I have lost the faith. And all that worries me.

That's why I blog. I give voice to my own uncertainties. And there are smarter people out there who do the same. We're not looking to incite violence. We're not asking for social upheaval. We just want the powers that be to listen to what we have to say because our concerns are valid. And we're doing a lot more than what you're doing, Mr Eugene Wee.

A whole lot more.

So when a fool dumps fuel into a fire that already burns, one wonders what his agenda is. Who is sowing the actual discord in our society?

Because this is all a very serious exercise. We're speaking about our concerns, Mr Wee. Just what in the hell are you doing?

THE online flaming brigade was certainly busy over the last two weeks. The target was senior civil servant Tan Yong Soon who wrote about his family holiday in Paris.

Then Pasir Ris-Punggol MP Charles Chong became a target when he was quoted as using the term 'lesser mortals' to describe Mr Tan's critics.

Online comments typically are hard-hitting and vulgar at times. Everyone, it seems, gets a big dose of courage when they wear a Harry Potter-style invisible cloak. Hiding behind fake names and untraceable e-mail addresses, it's easy to act like a warrior.

Online lynch mobs, of course, exist everywhere.

Last year, AFP reported that Internet thug attacks have become so nasty in the US that a new breed of reputation managers had emerged to help clients who have become victims of character assassination.

So, is the online mob a boon or bane?

Anonymity itself is not the enemy. In the case of corporate or government whistleblowers, anonymity encourages people to come forward with essential information that may reveal wrong doing .

The media, too, sometimes relies on anonymous sources when reporting sensitive stories. This usually happens when these sources agree to give up important information, which is otherwise unavailable, only if their names are not revealed due to fear of reprisal or embarrassment.

But a crucial point is that these anonymous sources are known to someone, like a reporter, and efforts are made to verify the information supplied.

But online critics are largely faceless. You can't tell if it's just a small group or an individual kicking up a storm, or if there is widespread discontent.

The value of online opinions rise considerably when people are prepared to show their faces and stand up for what they believe in.

If you won're not brave enough to put your name or face to strong views, others are unlikely to take them seriously.

Don't blame 'Big Brother' for not identifying yourself. See the punchy comments in the letters to newspapers. These readers have the guts to speak their minds openly.

Why can't more do the same in cyberspace? Blogs like yawningbread.org, wayangparty.com and theonlinecitizen.com have names to them. And Messrs Alex Au, Eugene Yeo and Choo Zheng Xi have earned themselves a growing number of readers.

As for the anonymous bunch, think of them as bacteria who feed on dead plants or animals. Online flamers feed on those who are 'dead' when public opinion turns against them because of some act or omission.

The flamers play a part in breaking down issues and dissipating pent-up anger. Their rants might lead others to disclose information that might expose hidden practices.

Just like good and bad bacteria

Like the bacteria that decompose tissue and nourish the soil, there is some good in having such online critics.

But there are also vicious online critics who can destroy reputations with baseless accusations.

They are like the bacteria that cause diseases in plants and animals, making them sick or even killing them. One bacterium caused the bubonic plague or the Black Death (so named because of the colour of the victim's face after death).

TB, anthrax, cholera, food poisoning, and pneumonia are all the work of ugly bacteria.

So, Mr Online Critic, please decide what kind of bacteria you want to be.

Keep your anonymity, if you lack the guts, but play a useful role - like the bacteria that eats oil ( a big help to clean up oil spills), and the bacteria used in sewage treatment plants to purify water.

Many bacteria are harmless when they are contained. For example, the bacteria, E. coli, live in the intestines of people, helping them digest food as well as producing vitamins.

But when E Coli escapes, it can contaminate water and food. The same can happen when the wild comments of faceless critics get into the mainstream.

They can wind up leaving nothing more than a pile of s***.

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Friday, January 23, 2009