10/27/2009

Blogging is not a waste of time

At least in China, blogging is playing a huge role to curb abuses of civil servants and authority. In the absence of free press and a huge govt machinery, the ordinary people are often trampled by high officials and their little pet dogs. Today's My Paper frontlined an article on how the internet became an important tool for the ordinary Chinese to shame the authority by exposing their abuses and corruption in cyberspace. Other than blatant abuses, state departments are also famous for cooking up skewed information and statistics to paint a distorted picture of the truth. And 'crazy rules are often snuffed out by waves of online scorn.' Chinese netizens have been very effective in their postings to embarrass country officials and also to overturn or stop some of their nonsensical rules and practices. Our netizens may not be as vocal in cyberspace for many reasons. Maybe there were lesser abuses of authority and corruption to start with. And our rules and practices are very well thought out and implemented and netizens have little reasons to scorn or embarrass our govt officials. Even then, there is a role for netizens to play to point out the minor infringements or irregularities that are bound to have. If there is no netizens, the silence shall either explode some day or be lost at the misfortune of those who are at the wrong end of the stick. I remember someone said this a couple of days back. Oh he was quoting Lu Xun of Ah Q fame. The people's voices of conscience must be heard and there must be an outlet for it. Blogging is never a waste of time. It takes effort to look at issues, to understand them and to nit pick problems that are blind to many people, especially the people who write the edicts.

6 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

> Chinese netizens have been very effective in their postings to embarrass country officials and also to overturn or stop some of their nonsensical rules and practices. <

Many Chinese bloggers have also been put in jail by the state.

Blogging may not be a waste of time, but going to jail could be.

If you are going to have electronic networks which are freely accessible, you are going to get activity. "Blogging" is simply a new word.

People have been keeping journals since the invention of writing, and the network is simply a medium or a tool which facilitates the activity of documenting ones thoughts and opinions.

> If there is no netizens,

Impossible.

Netizens are there because of the networks. If there were no electronic networks, people would still express themselves albeit with less efficacy. You won't call them "netizens" in that case but in the past they've been called "authors", "political commentators", "social critics", "artists", and "pamphleteers".

Part of the human spirit is to communicate, exchange and debate ideas. That shit was going on before the internet. The internet simply makes it cheap, efficient and fast.

redbean said...

i wld not encourage anyone to go the jail way. blog sensibly and don't let the heat get into the head.

Matilah_Singapura said...

That all might be very well, but your advice is vacuous because you (the blogger) don't get to decide the boundaries and definition of what is "sensible".

In places like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, what the govt says goes: if it says you go to jail, you go to jail. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Not all goes to jail lah, some went to bed.

Anonymous said...

Blogging is really not a waste of time, some bloggers use blogging to prowl for casual sex partners.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Komarades,

The Internet is a double edged sword. What you have govts also have.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/evgeny_morozov_is_the_internet_what_orwell_feared.html