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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat." - Katharine Whitehorn



Plato was very worried about the Sophists. Going around teaching people how to win arguments, how to be persuasive. Kind of like the Writing Program here.

The PAP has been very good at presenting crises in a certain kind of way. Crises and electoral prospects.

Out of the frying pan, into the boiling pot. Something like that. Or the other way round, whatever.

[Student: Can you not write on the whiteboard? Write on [a OHT on] the visualiser.] You cannot see? I see. *laughs from audience*

Don't be afraid of formula. It's easy to use formulas. (formulas)

[On reduction mammoplasty] You should go. [Me: You're just jealous right] You should go, then transplant the fats to me. Actually I don't need your fats. Just take from here. *grabs alleged lovehandles*

[On collusion] They just agree in the restaurant: 'You produce this'. The judge will say: 'You did it' 'It's a joke'. (It was)

[On the Prisoner's Dilemma] Half of economics is in the table I gave you. [The] Other half is [the] Battle of [the] Sexes. I think.

[On punishment for defection] Here, punishment will be eternal. You know, like the hell. (hell)

[On punishment and discounting] I came here, the taxi driver said 'HDB - 99 years. I want forever'... In Europe, 10 years is a lot... This taxi driver values the future a lot. You can punish him.

One country quite fastly developed (developed quite quickly)

who lee sale price (whole)

You know [a] monopoly is bad. What is worse than [a] monopoly? A chain of monopolies. *laughs from audience*

Now, what we will do is - if I can find my transparency. Where is it? [Student sotto voce: Hope you don't find {it}]

That's it for this topic. Now we go on to next week's lecture. You all should be forward-looking. Rational expectations.

Google is offering free gore'may food to its employees... Increase efficiency... NUS should do that too.

I'm an exchange student. Bangkok counts as a module for me.

[On televised parliament in 1985] Our newspapers merely string press releases from the various ministries together... until JBJ

[On a profile of Sylvia Lim in a magazine] Quite horrible. She was wearing a red, very revealing dress, about to sing jazz.

Low Thia Khiang is known to be a very constituency focused MP. Every funeral wake, he will be there. Every Hungry Ghosts Festival

[On gossip] Life is already so boring here. Let's be positive. [Me: Positive meh] There's more to bitch about.

[On why firms don't exit the industry even though they earn 0 profit] It's an agreement in Economics. If it's 0 [profit], he will participate... It is better to be active... There is a small utility to being active, so he will participate

I know Singapore is an economy which follows the rules.

The PAP racialises Singaporeans to such an extent that it is hard for us to think of ourselves as anything other than a member of a racial class.

If you want to become a PAP candidate, you don't join the PAP. You do well in your profession... People who join YPAP [Young PAP], thinking they're going to become PAP MPs - Oh God.

You only get power when you're invited to join the Cabinet... MPs are virtually powerless in Singapore. Some of the top civil servants are more powerful than MPs... Very often the Executive is checked by backbench MPs. In other more well-adjusted democracies.

[Student: He's pretty much the one who gave birth to Singapore.] Not gave birth. More like impregnated.

That became a founding moment. The croco- Oops. The tears... Became an iconic moment... [Student: In another class, we found out the video was only released in the 1990s]

Before he became Prime Minister, he has an image problem. 'This guy is genetically programmed to be a dictator! He has that *** laugh'... The PR machine goes into overdrive.

It's a very strange idea of stability. Not coups or revolutions. If a new party comes into power through elections, it's instability.

It tried very hard to criminalise the Opposition. '30 years ago, they cheated 10 cents on tax'. They have files on everyone, it seems.

[On closets waiting to be unlocked for deviance] We all have skeletons. *** probably has the most... How do you get so powerful without having skeletons?

New modes of expressing dissent. Humour and satire. The *** cannot deal with humour and satire... How do you deal with mighty and pompous people? You laugh at them... In court: ''What did you mean by '*** ***'?'' They look ludicrous... Technocrats defining what humour is.

There's a lot of hidden economics behind the mathematics.

Are you religious? [Me: No] Me too... Is your family religious?... It's hard for me, because they're Muslim... I don't tell them. I don't want to get blown up.

Are the people in your class morons?... The quality is going down. [Me: It was when they all started speaking Chinese]... Nowadays the [USP] students... I was in the Writing Centre. They were all chattering in Chinese.

Is it ner'sair'sur'ree? (necessary)

[On International Financial Regulation] The first country to put itself up for assessment was Canada, because I designed the system.

Regulation is really interesting. It's tough, it's stressful, but it's also fun.

sai'mulating market failure (simulating)

ASEAN is a talk shop, not an action shop... You cannot open up 100% to foreign banks unless your banking system [is non-existent], unless you're really weak. Unless you're Mexico- Mexico completely screwed up its banking system... *To someone who asked a question* Are you from Mexico? I already offended ASEAN.

[On microcredit] If you want to continue to enjoy all the oligopolistic privileges we give you... We won't legislate... But we want you to do it. If you don't do it, wait and see what happens. Moral suasion is a very powerful tool.

50% of Canadians thought deposit insurance covered unit trusts... We did a 2 month comparison [after a campaign]. Saturation... We did another survey. 48% of Canadians thought [so now]. 2%. Saturation advertising.
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