The Dark Shadow Shrine

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Having problem accessing the links here?

I've come to notice that there's a quota on how many Straits Times sites u can access in a month before u have to subscribe to continue accessing the sites there....Since most -- if not all -- of my links are to articles from The Straits Times, you may have a problem here....if u have any difficulty accessing any links, drop me an email (aegeansea09@gmail.com) and I'll try to send you the article...

Climate Change in Trump’s Age of Ignorance

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Qn: To what extent is it acceptable for private companies to be involved in financing scientific research? (Cam. 2011)

When reality bites in a 'post-truth' world

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Friction over fiction on Facebook

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Sceptical about new media? Good for you

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Obama hits out at spread of fake news

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

4 takeaways for Singapore from Trump win

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This is what u have to try to do everytime u read an article....gravitate what's been discussed in the article towards the Singapore context (if, of course, the article is not about Singapore) and see whether there is any lesson points we can take away with us....or whether it can or cannot replicate itself here....The REASONS for your response are critical...simply nodding or shaking ur head will not do....that action must be substantiated with logical reasoning rather than just an instinctive nod or shake....
Realise this is what u r doing -- and have to do -- each time u do AQ...

Fake news makes really good money

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What I found useful:
But Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has rejected the idea that bogus stories on Facebook helped pave a path of victory for Mr Trump, calling it "a pretty crazy idea".
But he admitted that some Facebook users might live in filter bubbles where they see only news and perspectives similar to their own. Facebook has found that its users are less inclined to click on links that don't line up with their views, even if such links pop up on their feed.
"We just tune out," he said. "I don't know what to do about that."

Is there such a thing as responsible spying?

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Note the valid reasons for spying and infringement of privacy or lack of freedom....useful for those examples that are not political in nature, e.g. govy legitimate in spying for security reasons....do note that while the examples/domains are different, the reason/pointcould be the same i.e. safety/security.

Note also where a line has been crossed....

For Qns on privacy, freedom....

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Singapore scientists win prize for developing alternative to animal testing

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Qns:
1. Have we gone too far with animal rights? (MJC Prelim 2016)
2. Should scientific research using animals ever be permitted? (NJC Prelim 2016)

Activists in China call on city to shut mall, home to 'saddest polar bear'

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Qn: Have we gone too far with animal rights? (MJC Prelim 2016)

S'pore powers up to be LNG hub

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Trump speaks Hindi in ad to get Indian-American votes

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This has a parallel in Singapore politics, where politicians who can speak a minority's language often has an edge in reaching out to that group and winning thier support. Applies also for dialect... case in point, Low Thia Khiang speaks Teochew? (or is it Hokkien?) fluently...PM Lee speaks  Malay.

Qn: Is there any value in learning a minorty language?

Pink Dot just 'catalyst' for Speakers' Corner reminder

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Some see this as yet another instance of the govt clamping down on our freedom by imposing restrictions on how some events are funded... but the reasons seems valid enough -- to deter foreign interference in domestic affairs.

More Robots in Singapore

Click:
1) finished-eating-robot-will-pause-for-your-tray
2) this-robot-painter-can-save-time-manpower

More example on the use of robots in Singapore....
For the second article, consider pondering over the idea whether the use of technology actually makes humans more selfish and less caring about others? Now that technology can return the tray, we are deprived of the opportunity to learn to be gracious in reutrning the trays ourselves....overtime, what kind of nation would we become? It's like having a maid to do everything for you, such that we hve no need to do it ourselves...yet some of these things are important in inculcating values in us....

Divisive politics silences majority online

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note how the social operates in such a way that silences discourse and distorts views...note how the following excerpts actually subvert the often-cited promises that social media can bring to us....

This has led to an unusual apathy on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, on which many are choosing to keep silent instead of engaging in political discourse.....
This wariness is due, in part, to the nature of social media, where those with the loudest voices, largest followings and strongest opinions tend to draw the most number of eyeballs.
Instead of encouraging dialogue, the participatory power of social media, in which anyone is free to comment and make baseless accusations, has led to increasingly polarised views and silos.
Mr Ghonim said: "today's social media currency is based on the numbers of followers, likes and shares. You are rewarded for broadcasting your opinion much more than engaging in conversations". He added that "people will be as shallow as platforms allow them to be".
Mr Ghonim believes that social media platforms are able to tweak their algorithms to allow their users to see more reasonable counter-views, rather than an echo-chamber of like-minded opinions. That might not be the case now, as platforms typically try to grow their user base by allowing its users to see what they like to see - in many cases, opinions similar to their own.

Go ahead and mess with the museum exhibits

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To the point that children should be banned from museums because they may destroy precious art works, realise that there are some museums that encourage the visitors to interact with the art works, including physical contact....

Qn: ‘Children should be banned from visiting museums.’ Discuss. (ACJC Prelim 2014)

S'pore ranks 28th in World Giving Index

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Note the REASON:
Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said helping strangers has become a more "accepted and sometimes, even expected, social behaviour", in part due to the influence of the media.
He said: "When people share videos on social media of kind acts that people do, or when newspapers report on these cases, it creates an environment where doing so does not seem so unusual after all."
For instance, he noted that more people have been giving up their seats on the MRT to the elderly.

Ageism complaints down but more can be done: Experts

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Use less water, PM Lee reminds as Johor reservoir dries up

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While the country is already moving to increase water supply and making it more reliable, by building desalination plants for instance, there is still a role for all to play.
"Sustainability also depends on each one of us, how we live our daily lives and how we adjust our habits to be greener," PM Lee said.

Note the point that technology can only do so much when it comes to solving our problem... We need also to change our daily habits to conserve water; otherwise, all the water 'created' by technology will be wasted and we will still face a shortage...
Other than this limitation of technology (i.e. it requires change on the part of man as well), there is also the commonly-cited point that green technology actually gives us a false sense of security, making us use even more water than we would have when there is no technology. It's the same with air-con....in the past, we may be cautious in how much time we turned on the aircon...but with aircon that is energy-saving, we have the misperception that it wont use up so much energy, so we end up using aircon even more often than usual!

In Spanish city, parents taught to give children their space

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Reef damage will hit South-east Asia most

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Interesting points made about how the corals not only protect jobs, but also people from heavy storms, much like the mangrove wetlands?
For qns where environmental conservation is more than just protecting mother nature, but also our livelihood and our very lives!!!

Tourists still shun Paris, one year after terror attacks

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This year's GP compre was on tourism....here's something useful to make the point that economy that relies on tourism is subjected to great volatility... all it takes are terrorist attacks, street protests, to scare the tourists away...That being said, it should be noted that countries like Thailand's tourism industry has been quite resilient to such disruptions like bombings, street protests, zika....pple are still turning up...

Online love scammers changing tack

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Qn: Instead of empowering humanity, technology has enslaved humanity. To what extent do you agree? (ACJC Prelim 2016)