"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Anybody who wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office." - David Broder


Me on her nick: (/・・)ノ
this your face?

Someone: haa
that would be upper body


Someone: hahaha what??????!!!!

Me: torso ah

Someone: lol

okay maybe 1/4 body

sick lahhhhhh


Me: hello
I'm not the one who said that

I thought of face
you thought of upper body

it doesn't look anything like upper body

Someone: the arms flailing



face + arms

MFTTW: shit man my meringue is not cooked

it's still foamy

bloody hell raw meringue

i feel like taking it off the pie and cooking it again

Me: smash into ***'s face

MFTTW: hello.

Me: I've always wanted to smash a pie into someone's face

MFTTW: >_<

if you want to do that at least go to ntuc and buy a cheapo crappy low quality pie
not my sweat blood pie leh

Me: buy pie crust and spray whipped cream

MFTTW: yah for maximum effect
no need pie crust just spray whip crewam

Me: onto what

MFTTW: into people's faces?

Me: ...............

Someone: when you say 'X is obscurantist', how different is it from saying 'X is a case of invoking the God of the gaps etc.' ?

obscurantism sounds like a cover-all term for anything one doesn't/refuses to understand

Me: obscurantism - you're purposely writing in an unclear way
god of the gaps - when someone asks why, you say god did it
totally different

have you read judith butler?
whatever I label obscurantist I can rewrite in a much simpler way
jargon and impenetrability are a way of excluding the unitiated and making people feel smart

Someone: it isn't universally agreed on what 'clear' might mean
could you try to make economic theory 'clear' for all audiences (incl pri sch kids), in 'plain simple english'?

writing always assume a particular audience

why should political writing always address the widest possible audience? is it necessarily most effective and powerful if it is in journalistic style (accessible to all)?

Me: false analogy
if even people with a university degree don't understand what you're talking about, there's a significant chance you're being obscurantist

and yes I could try to make economic theory clear for general audiences. I could also make it very complicated
good non-specialist writing is targeted at an intelligent reader who is otherwise unaware of the subject matter

again I ask you if you've read judith butler

Someone: i've tried reading her
i can see what she's trying to say sometimes

i can understand butler if i put in some patience and effort
and use her ideas in other areas if i undergo some academic training

Me: well it depends on the purpose of your writing
if it's to go "see how smart I am", obscurantism isn't necessarily bad
if it's to communicate to as wide an audience as practically possible (i.e. making it intelligible but not simplistic) then you have failed

that doesn't mean it's not obscurantist

Someone: by employing the term 'obscurantist' you attribute (perhaps falsely?) certain elitist and exclusivist intentions to the writer

Me: if that's the only way in which such people can write, I feel very sorry for them

Someone: that's not the only way they can write

they choose to write that way
given certain situations, for certain audiences

Me: obscurantism: "A style in art and literature characterized by deliberate vagueness or obliqueness."

then it is self-indulgent literary masturbation in a vacuum

Someone: it is also possible to accuse physicists of obscurantism when they employ terms as 'simple' and 'direct' as energy, momentum

momentum is not even learnt at o level
or, 'ket' and 'bra' in quantum mechanics

i don't see any particular reason why there should be a focus on literary writing as particularly obscurantist

Me: energy and momentum are terms those with a university degree should understand
quantum mechanics not so, but then as even feynman said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics."

the same reason why there's a focus on hunan food as particularly hot

Someone: when sporeans read reuters or the telegraph or the economist they could say they're obscurantist, but that's because they're generally ignorant of world and current affairs

Me: I am not talking about singaporeans
and they don't use the word. most of them don't even know it

Someone: anyway i beg to differ about energy and momentum being terms that are accessible even to graduates

Me: *shrug*

When one writes, one would presumably want to address as large an audience as possible. Obviously it is impossible to address everyone - they key is to hit as large an audience as possible. So for maximum accessibility, one should aim to be as simple as possible - but no simpler.

Even in scientific or technical papers, the ideal is for the abstract, introduction and conclusion to be intelligible to a non-specialist, even if he can't understand the math inside.

Claiming that you can never address everyone, so you're free to address as narrow an audience as possible is like whitewashing a fence by painting it black.

Someone else on the libertarian delusion: i do wonder if letting everything that should fail, fail might be a good reset for the system though.

i mean, we might starve collectively for what, 2 years

but we clean up the systm entirely. and start making mistakes again, hehe.

Me: that's what the communists thought.
see what happened

Me: true, but who would wear diagonal stripes?!

Someone: pple nowadays wear the weirdest things
I'm sure u gotta agree to that

especially in asia

Me: haha why asia
blame the japs lah

Someone: fuck yea man
spread down to taiwan hk and to a lesser degree here

u get fucking kids dressing like emos yet laughing and dancing like ah bengs

fuckin A, at least in Taiwan, the pple are courteous, so whatever they wear is kinda ....... you can look past it

Here ?! Christ ... it's like the worst combo ever
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