Many things to blog, but I keep forgetting/getting distracted when I am in front of my computer. I realise I am very easily distracted and bored. Hence the need for constant stimuli from Twitter and Facebook. But they're not rubbish stimuli, instead they're mostly news on Nature, the environment, biodiversity, conservation, science, education or just news in general. Yeah I know I'm a geek.
Trying to craft a blog post on Bukit Brown at the moment [Update: blogpost is here], after my two visits there and the final verdict of the place by LTA just a while ago. Tedious to do a proper, well-referenced and interesting blogpost. I just attended a talk on Ria on Nature Outreach on the Internet: does it work? on Sunday, 25 March 2012 (that I'm considering blogging about, only probably not anytime soon :/), and it's really not that easy. Over here, I give myself some slack cos I like to think that this is for me to whine and be narcissistic.
Anyways, got distracted by all the heritage and nostalgic blogs, because I am rather a sentimental person, I think. Pragmatic yes, I won't buy nonsense that I have no use for; I rarely go for retail therapy because my money is better spent on other things (like traveling and investing in necessary equipment). But pragmatic does not mean we forget or care less about anything that is not useful.
Think these few paragraphs from an article on The Online Citizen about Bukit Brown very nicely sums up what I think.
"But this isn’t about the government’s unique way of consulting and engaging civil society. It is about the government’s habit of removing our truly unique historical heritage for the sake of development, and then lamenting that Singaporeans have no sense of culture or belonging, without recognizing the irony of it all.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that the majority of Singaporeans care about Bukit Brown – in fact, if a national referendum on whether a road should be built across Bukit Brown, there is a likelihood that many will say “yes”. We’re a ‘pragmatic people’ after all. We’re probably so busy with moving ahead, planning for the next twenty, thirty years, that we’ve never stopped to ask where this pragmatism comes from. Some would say, we do not have choice, we’re a small nation, with limited resources we have to do what it takes to survive. Fair enough, if it were an issue of survival.
But it isn’t.
Let’s face it – much of our pragmatism nowadays has more to do with force of habit than anything else. We’re a young nation whose collective memories get shorter by the day, because so many of those things that will help us remember are no longer around. And because we no longer feel that sense of history, we don’t feel anything when we further sever our ties to the past. It’s a vicious cycle.
For so many of us, history is a bunch of text accompanied by black and white photos, a grotesque mannequin in period clothes in a sterile air-conditioned room accompanied by a detached voice in the headphones telling you just who the hell the mannequin is supposed to represent, and more recently, thanks to wonders of technology, a virtual 3D tour. No wonder we find history boring. No wonder we find it easy to give up history for a few minutes of convenience. History is always something outside us. Detached. How can we feel otherwise if the kind of history that ties past and present together is systematically wiped out, and if it isn’t, turned into yet another fancy wining and dining zone? (Maybe some folks believe that history can be best experienced when intoxicated)"