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When Google fails…

Sometimes the wonders of the internet hit me again. Reading an article on BBC about Google I noticed a picture of the Android with a Pacman game on it…

I suddenly had a desire to play PacMan: so, I typed ‘play pacman’ into Google, and the top hit was just what I needed on online, free, Pacman! :-)

As a kid, I remember cycling across town to put a few saved coins in a Space Invaders machine. PacMan came a bit later, so I had a bit more money, so we would spend hours in a local ‘milk bar’. Now, I just type in a few words, and I’m sorted… I couldn’t have dreamed of that when I was a kid.

But what about when Google fails us? Yesterday, I searched for something and this came up:

at first I thought it was the terms I used, so I tried different ones to no result. Then I tried a different computer, same result. Browser? Also the same. So I guessed it had to be the network.

I had to turn to something else, so I tried Yahoo! which was OK but the Google interface is nicer. It reminded me of pre-Google days when I used to use a meta-crawler, or try different search sites to see the different results; I had settled on Copernic which was the best thing before Google came along. Maybe it’s still better, to be honest, but I didn’t try it ever since someone suggested Google to me in 2000.

If Michael Jackson can do it, why not Malaysians?

120 Malaysian artistes gather together and sing for unity in Malaysia.

Across all barriers, all prejudices: class, race, religion, language, age, nationality, gender, sexuality...
Ultimately, we are all in a small country on a small planet. Why waste time being scared of each other?

Kita semua dalam negeri kecil dalam panet kecil. Dimana membazir waktu kerana menakutkani orang lain?

malaysian artistes for unity

Anthroblogology - Monetisation in the Malaysian Blogosphere

Sticky post. Scroll down for the most recent post :-)
Hi and thanks for dropping by - this sticky post is to explain (a bit) the anthropological research I'm doing on Malaysian blogs and bloggers for a PhD in Social Anthropology at Monash University.

If you're a Malaysian blogger, or a blogger living in Malaysia, my research is about YOU!

Please read on if you would like to learn more about my research, give some feedback or even participate in the research. Otherwise, just skip to the post below.
Continue reading "Anthroblogology - Monetisation in the Malaysian Blogosphere"

Newspeak in Zimbabwe

The [Justice] minister [Mr. Chinamasa] said Zanu-PF would not allow an opposition victory, as this would be what he described as tantamount to slavery.

Asked whether the will of the people would be subverted should Mr Mugabe lose, Mr Chinamasa said: "If people attempted to unfree themselves, moves would be made to free them." (BBC, my emphasis)

In 1984 by George Orwell (full text here), one of the slogans of the Party is " Freedom is Slavery" and in one scene Syme, a colleague in the Ministry of Truth, explains some of the concepts of Newspeak and how it is aimed at eliminating free thought:
...what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not....

How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.' (Source)

Once again, I find that George Orwell managed to define the essence of totalitarian ideology and practice. How it requires an embracing of ignorance coupled with a sophisticated intelligence that identifies enemies and manipulates thought even at the most subtle psychological levels.

Unfortunately, with the statement above by Mr. Chinamasa, we can see that the arrogance and ignorance of those who deny humanity's most intrinsic defining nature - the will to question and seek knowledge - is still alive and well in the 21st century.

Lat - Malaysia's Cartoonist

A few weeks ago (been meaning to blog about this before, but am busy) I got the chance to attend a talk by Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid , or as most people know him, Lat. A national icon, he articulates the many facets of Malaysian society through his evocative cartoons.

He gave an interesting talk, going over his own life story, and making a few comments on the development of cartoons as an art and Malaysian society. Listening to Lat was almost like reading one of his comics, I felt myself slipping into a warm, cosy, other place, where hearts are bared on sleeveless arms and friends meet after school to play into the evening. It reflects the power of art, and Lat’s artistic skill, that I could feel the nostalgia even though I am not Malaysian. His rendering of scenes of his early life, evoked that sentiment of cosiness which in me is associated with winter afternoons in a warm room, playing board games or reading a favourite adventure story.

I was introduced to Lat's cartoons in 1987, the first time I came to Malaysia, and it helped me to understand many of the subtleties of Malaysian life. One cartoon I remember is where you see a news reader looking serious, with shirt and ties and reading the news; in the next picture, you see he has finished and is walking away from the desk, revealing his sarong. Maybe this is the essence of what Lat represents in his cartoons, reminding many Malaysians of their roots in kampungs and the chaotic developing cities of the sixties and seventies.

Continue reading "Lat - Malaysia's Cartoonist"