Sunday, August 11, 2013
The OSC is done, what now?
I was dismissive of the OSC at the beginning feeling that it was just training for new political office bearers. I still think it was but a lot more. Heng Swee Keat was sensitive to pick up the vibes along the way and they adjust course with grace. Thumbs up to him.
Again in my view ST didn't do a good a job reporting this and the gap is filled by BN. ST didn't even provide a link to the report. I found that at Bertha Henson's article.
One way I have dealt with uncertainty is from how this government has often played it with us - heads I win, tails you lose. I have gotten tails but am happy to lose because I also won.
We are decisively moving pass the LKY's generation. Government is completely converted from top down to two-way conversation. It took votes to make this happen.
The OSC format wasn't doable ten years ago. We need a more tolerant and mature culture, especially a better educated population. This format as I see it was born out of necessity because we have become cynical of the town hall approach. Every developed nation could do town hall meetings but this OSC is quite unique.
We can always do better but we are not going to beat ourselves up for failing to do so. Smarter to just keep trying. To me the OSC has failed to grasp the need for us to go beyond the good to the great, but I am asking for too much since we still understand greatness too narrowly. That requires depth but we are still sinking roots. On the other hand good is not enough for a little Red Dot to survive and I hope we have time to become great. A limited example of what I mean by greatness, since this concept is all-dimensional, is in my other post: Gates to Brin & Page: I am better than you. It cannot be so narrowly visioned as in Dr. Parag Khanna recent article in the ST as capital of Asia. Nobody wants us to be that, so many cities aspire to be and we can't fight tooth and nail to get there. Certainly we are not getting there the LKY style. That way evokes respect but never admiration or love. Every aspiring city would be competing to be respected, there is not enough respect to share around just like the number of top airports in our part of the world is growing. So how do we persuade them to let us be and when we are we cannot be the narrow conventional capital. Give you an idea, think Asimov's Second Foundation vs First Foundation. SG today as every aspiring city is so First Foundation genre. MBS, MBFC, Gardens by the Bay these First Foundation strategies only buy us time. We need a different game and the answer is how we educate our children. It is here we need to go from the good to the truly great, have the imagination and courage to do it completely different from everywhere else.
I am thinking beyond the next 20 years but the timber to build that future cannot be grown quickly. They must be seeded in our school today and this never had a chance in the OSC, think tanks or thinking organs of the government.
As has been and always shall be, we need to be lucky.
Worse than pity, it was wrong to have excluded the alternative political parties from participating in the OSC. On such matters the PAP thinks narrowly and selfishly like elsewhere, which is the last thing we need.
Much is lost as a consequence but how much you need imaginative counterfactual thinking to assess which few of us are capable.
Heng Swee Keat's heart is in the right place to focus on values but implementation needs plenty of better work especially when I saw how it was done at my daughter's school. I managed to find this in one of my earlier posts: Most important post to date: Failure of values here. At least the minister could grasp more clearly than most the difference between the technical and the adaptive.
Posted by PengYou at 11:21 AM