Friday, March 30, 2018

Shanmugam vs Thum Ping Tjin

No way I have the time not only to sit through this but also pay close attention to the to and fro between Shanmugam and Thum. What I came away is the ways lawyers and historians differ from each other and I get tempted to consult Karl Popper on the limits of knowing. This is a waste of time!

What is fake news and what is falsehoods? While we are not talking about the shape of water here, this is actually much harder than that. Water will take the shape of whatever container you pour it into but truth which is to be practical often mixed with some off-truth may or may not assume the shape of the container you pour it into.

So Shanmugam wanted to pour his collection of facts but without explaining what he chose to omit, Thum did the same as well. Once into his lawyerly containers and the other into what credible peer historians do for their discipline. Spare us we the people all these or we would have become lay lawyers and historians ourselves.

Good luck if you want a just law against fake news and being clever not to be clear and defined what is the objective of this law except in the broadest motherhood terms. Afterward those in power can use it to legitimize their use to protect and advance their power.

The problem between me and you the government is a simple and old fashioned one: Can I trust you? I don't think there is straight forward answer to that. The context and God forbid the nuance is necessary to answer that question.

Shanmugam was the driver and Thum his hostage passenger here and the minister was wasting our time!

Update: 2:15 pm

That is from a friend's Facebook page. I have known her for many years now but didn't discover how prejudiced and racist she was until Trump became a presidential candidate.

People do anything they want to news. The article by Newsweek was slanted to attract readers but by no means wrong or irresponsible because the writer eventually cleared the air. People just want to read what their hearts want to confirm. This person deny the global climate is warming and among many things insist Obama was not born in America. Oh yes, she loves Trump and to her the Donald can do no wrong.

My point? People pick their facts and join the dots they want. They can be highly disciplined like Shanmugam and Thum were or patently stupid like this friend.

Update: 2:25 pm

I am just dismayed with this bunch who commented on her post. Clearly none of them read the Newsweek article.

I have also given up trying to persuade people that are like that. The heart is more powerful than the mind. In fact it directs the mind. Nowhere is this more obvious than in financial markets. Generally we are somewhat or very crazy and somehow we got by without blowing up the world.

Update: 9:50 pm

A whole new level of faking is just at the edge of the horizon. Only a matter of time more people are capable of doing this. Here is an example of making photo realistic fakes of Obama speaking which is impossible to tell. How do you deal with such challenges? What use are fake news laws against the march of technology.

Read more at Synthesizing Obama: Learning Lip Sync from Audio SIGGRAPH 2017

Update: April 3 12:05 pm

Just got that from a friend. If Shanmugam had done a good job, there would not be an opportunity like this to lampoon him.

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