Is MDA asking bloggers to declare their income? An interview with Missy Dotty

October 13, 2009

5345As some of you know our beloved MDA is planning to roll out a “new ruling” requiring bloggers to declare their income? Check these two essays out : MDA wants bloggers to declare their income  / MDA wants bloggers to declare sponsorship? How about making circulation audits compulsory first? Could they be right?

Well to be honest with you I don’t know – so recently, I caught up with Missy Dotty our resident legal advisor cum owner of this fabulous site to find out more about this new development.

Darkness Q: Dotty, as you know the MDA is planning to roll up a new guideline to regulate bloggers – there is a lot of rumors circulating in the internet concerning this development – some see it as the end of blogging as we know it; others on the other hand have even compared it as an underhanded method by our government to control blog-o-sphere. Can you give us more information about the origins of this initiative along with why this subject is currently being mooted?

Missy Dotty: What MDA may be doing is taking the cue from a recent guideline that has been issued by the F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission) based in the US concerning certain revision of rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising – you need to understand, the F.T.C last issued such guidelines nearly 30 years ago – so this is really a timely update to align many of their fair advertizing guidelines to address the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to market their products and services.

The general thrust of the F.T.C guideline is bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including the receipt of freebies and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers. So it is wrong to suggest this is guideline concerning declaration of income or even origin of income. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The goal of the F.T.C is to protect consumers by ensuring full disclosure – so for example if you happen to operate a prominent food blog and you write a favorable review about a restaurant – all the F.T.C is saying is if you received any freebies; then you should disclose to the reader.

Darkness Q: Is this unusual? I mean is “full disclosure” something that should be reasonably expected from reviews in the new media?

Dotty: It really depends Darkness. In some industries, the practice seems to be more apparent than others. One obvious industry where it is now common practice to provide full disclosure is the financial services and even in the pharmaceutical industry the idea is seen as “best practice”, where the subject matter expert is frequently required to declare whether he owns any stock or has any dealings with the pharmaceutical firm.

But where it continues to less clear Darkness is in general product reviews and this can range from anything from holidays to cosmetics. Its fair to say the F.T.C is looking to bring those others areas into line.

Q: How consistent is this legally?

Dotty: A beter way to structure the question is not to ask how consistent that approach is with the law, this isn’t a parking violation where the law may be expected to operate automatically, it really depends on a case by case basis;  because one can never really be consistent when it comes to product reviews and endorsements; as the line is not very clear. For instance:  not every reviewer writes favorable reviews just because they have been given freebies – many don’t and many even claim it doesnt affect their vocational judgement.

A better question would be to ask; where does the legitimacy or right to full disclosure derive from? – and I think it goes back to the principle of conflict of interest vis-à-vis a testimony can only be entrusted providing the decision maker doesn’t have a vested interest in the outcome – so for example, if I happen to be a judge who has considerable investments in a  firm that happens to be a plaintiff, then it will be a conflict of interest for me to even preside over the proceedings.

The case is very robust; but the question is whether it sits well with the whole idea of how things are transacted in the real world. By this I mean that even the law recognizes implicitly there is a need for some widget space, the idea of hype and spin or what you Darkness would term as the marketing manifesto – so the law will never hold a firm accountable if it decides to market a product under a caption, “red bull makes you a bull.” You can buy a bottle of red bull and drink it and if you don’t transform into a bull; that doesn’t automatically give you a right of claim against the firm as in law it known as an invitation to treat. In other words, it’s just marketing hype.

Darkness: Q How does this whole idea of invitation to treat color the whole question of full disclosure?

Dotty. Its really everything because the law doesn’t treat the average consumer like a baby – so when someone reads an advertisement about hair loss products and even sees a famous celebrity endorsing it; the law actually expects the average consumer to exercise a modicum of care in their assessment to ensure those claims are true – the $64 million question is whether when you read a review about a product in a blog; how reasonable is it to expect the average reader to winnow truth from lies? And this is really a subjective rather than an objective question – it’s also the key to understanding the scope of what the F.T.C is trying to accomplish.

From my understanding; the F.T.C  doesn’t expect that every blogger who gets a freebie meal once a year and writes a favorable review about a restaurant should even disclose anything; but lets say that you’re a renowned food critic who regularly writes reviews in your blog; then the F.T.C expects you to buy into the gold standard of full disclosure – so the skeleton key to understanding this whole idea of full disclosure really revolves around the question of credibility i.e do you hold yourself out as a subject matter expert? How much sway do you have over your audience? What is the size of your readership?

Ultimately, the question will be both a matter of qualitative and quantitative reasoning.

Since the government keeps claiming that there is only lies and disinformation in the internet; this should prompt us all to ask; then what’s the basis to even demand blogs to fully disclose their association with firms should they decide to write favorably or negatively about products or services? This doesn’t make any sense to me.

Darkness: let me get it clear; in you last statement – you said the law doesn’t expect ordinary bloggers to fully disclose – so what you seem to be saying is not even the F.T.C expects ordinary bloggers to fully disclose their association with firms?

Dotty: Yes. 99.9% of bloggers in the US will not be subject to this F.T.C guideline; I dont see MDA departing from this benchmark; if they do, it will be pretty hard to justify– and it’s very clear when one goes through the specific examples that is provided in the 81 page report that, that’s actually the case.

But Darkness you know and I know that people don’t process information in that manner. What they see is the big stick of the $11,000 fine and they draw the simple conclusion that if they cross the mythical line, it’s going to come down on them.

The law doesn’t work that way; you will be surprise; how precise it really is.

Q: When you say the F.T.C guideline is very precise on this point of full disclosure, can you give us an example.

A: I don’t have too. The F.T.C actually provides an example by way of a case study in this 81 page report where it defines the term “material connection.” This is important because if you are going to fine someone $11,000 you need to establish this burden of proof.

And here its stated very clearly: “The blogger has primary responsibility for disclosing that he received the video game system for free, the manufacturer has an obligation to advise the blogger at the time it provides the gaming system that he should make the disclosure in any positive reviews of the system.”

The key phrase here is “the manufacturer has an obligation to advise the blogger.”

The question here is if the onus is entirely on the blogger to disclose; then why should the manufacturer even need to advise the blogger to do so?

Unless of course the F.T.C places the onus of full disclosure on the manufacturer or service provider and not the blogger – and if that is really the case then how can the blogger even be held solely accountable for his actions?

They law is very clear here and the spirit and intendment is even clearer – as what the F.T.C is trying to do is to ensure firms and not bloggers don’t misuse the new media platform.

Q: How sure are you that the F.T.C guideline doesn’t target individual bloggers?

A: On the balance of probability; I would say 100%. Because if the F.T.C is going to direct the process to go after individual bloggers; first of all that would be very impractical.

Secondly, it will just takes them down a very nasty road that is bristling with broader issues concerning free speech, first amendment rights, right to privacy etc. And it’s even arguable whether that’s constitutionally kosher. I don’t see the F.T.C going down that road with individual bloggers – I don’t discount it may go after entities who may be using blogging as a medium to communicate with their target market and other firms who may fashion themselves under the broader umbrella of firms. But I am very confident that they will not go after individual bloggers who may not even see the need to register a company, as that will really complicate the proceedings considerably.

Whereas if the F.T.C  decides to hold firms responsible that simplifies proceedings immeasurably and side skirts many of the thorny issues – I think what you need to understand is not only does the law need to conform to certain structural norms imposed by legal text, precedent and doctrine; but more importantly, it also needs to be enforceable.

Q: You mentioned there are thorny issues that the F.T.C will have to contend with; can you share with us all what they may be?

A: Certainly – the world isn’t as gullible as it used to be – following 9/11 it was possible to rubber stamp all sorts of nonsense ranging from arrest without trial to unmitigated torture, all in the name of the war against terror. These days all those things which were once considered acceptable moral accommodations are now so abhorrent and reprehensible that they are being dismantled even as we speak – and the case for vigilance against encroachment of elemental rights is considerably sharpened by this new attitude – one not only sees this in law journals; but it has also come to color much of discourse in academia and in industry – and if you really take the trouble to look around a lot of noise isn’t emerging from the lunatic fringe; they are really coming out from very intelligent enclaves where people are demanding congruence and moral accountability – they don’t have anything against the idea of protecting consumers; but they certainly don’t wish to see the ambit of the law encroaching upon their rights to privacy and freedom of speech; neither is it reasonable not to expect people to wonder why if blogs should be subject to this guideline of full disclosure; then why aren’t other streams of media subjected to the same criteria of conformance? Maybe we should demand the same of political parties; governments; newspapers; television; radio and the entertainment industry etc.

From what I see this is really the fly in the ointment – many people dont understand why the F.T.C is picking on bloggers – t’s an area that is bristling with contrarian views and it’s fair to say; it may be some time before we can really see the final form of what the F.T.C can roll out?

Q: “The F.T.C can roll out?” You speak as if they don’t have the final say?

A: They dont. And they know it. Not when you consider how so much of trade and commerce has already migrated online – business realities will definitely weigh in to shape the final form of the guideline – its fair to say following the 1st December roll out of the guideline what we will see is something very close to the first run of electric cars and waterproof mascara’s – it’s very very early days – if the F.T.C was really that confident of enforceability – the words, “rarely” – “sparingly” – “case by case” – “in the event…”  would not have featured some 50 times in the 81 page report – instead it would have read like something straight out from the Magna Carta, where every passage would begin with the prefix “anno domini.”

In legal parlance, when a document provisions so much “if’s” and “maybe’s” that can only really mean one thing – the F.T.C are wary of painting themselves into a corner and one way of hedging against this possibility is by provisioning lotsa of discreationary powers.

Paradoxically, that may be why so many people find the F.T.C guidelines so intimidating – as it really covers a very big geography that touches of every aspect of life.

Q; Just a final question Dotty; you know the people in wayangparty are quite nervous by this development – do you think, the MDA ruling will work against them?

A: Really I don’t see why that should be Darkness. We’ve all being told time and again: there is nothing but lies and disinformation in the internet. Invoking the law may just break that magic spell – why should anyone do such a silly thing?

Really dont be so ridiculous.

Dedicated to you Darkness. You try too hard.

The Brotherhood Press 2009

This conversation between Missy Dotty (kind owner of this site who has kindly allowed us to invade her) and Darkness of the brotherhood / has been recorded by both JDAM and Y2K (director general of the Free Internet Library Board – FILB) – Please kindly transact  in Standard Imperium Only within the allocated free zone provided / all clearing houses in Singapore will shut down with immideate effect @ 1730 GMT – 29-10-09 /  Pls help us to relay this message to our allies and channel partners to do the same / we will be diverting traffic to facilitate communication – you may not be able to access the gaming network– as we have all been given strict instructions not to disclose anything here or elsewhere / published in Ekunaba / SLF 1 to 8 (our new Malaysian Portal) / Phi Beta Kappa / Strangelands / Ikiran / Just Stuff/  Siyuran (New Japanese Portal) / Confederation. – The Brotherhood Press 2009 – This interview carries a E-prom codex to facilitate your navigation – 982398- Doberman.

2 Responses to “Is MDA asking bloggers to declare their income? An interview with Missy Dotty”

  1. Spaceboy said

    To Darkness and co,

    This is Spaceboy, an intermediary of Temasek Review.

    I am sent here to give you a final warning to stop your baseless, malicious and defamatory attacks on TR.

    Darkness is only a medium-grade hacker and there are countless of them in China.

    We know the Chinese hackers are not too happy with Darkness and we have been in touch with some of them.

    TR do not wish to offend anybody and neither is it keen to make enemies in the gaming world.

    Please mind your own business and leave TR alone or it will have no choice but to strike back.

    Come on TR, I am really disappointed in you. Lets forget Darkness for a while. This is between you and me. You shouldnt have treated Darkness in that way – did you really believe publishing our IP to the whole world is going to make him change his POV? All you did was make alot of people hot under the collar. What kind of diplomacy is that? I am trying my best here to fire fight to keep things cool in the gaming community. Let me just tell you things will escalate, in a few more days a few sites will be making formal announcements they will be pulling out from Singapore and relocating to Malaysia. Who wins? Singapore loses revenue, jobs etc.

    Pls try to see reason even if you manage to deal with darkness, you have to consider who else will take his place? There is Harphoon, Scholarboy, Astroboy, JDAM, Pumpman, Kadjal and at least 6 more standing in the wings – are you going to fight them all. They are just as capable as him. Pls try to see reason.

    There might be a way to resolve this impasse; I think if the admin in TR can issue out a formal apology to Darkness (not the brotherhood) in your site on the main heading ( and keep it there for at least 15 days) admitting it was an error of judgement to have openly published our SLF IP and retracting many of your baseless accusations concerning Darkness, at least there will be something concrete for me to work on to work towards peace with the others – and I can assure you that we will not release the documentary proof concerning your fabrication of the DOSS attack (that will be coming out too, I am afraid). I am still working to keep that out of the limelight for only TR’s sake – it will loook really bad.

    If you want me to help you Eugene; you need to help me – how is that? I am just very honest with you – start with the formal apology and I assure you personally, I will take the matter up with Darkness – he will listen to me of that I am 100%.

    Do send my warmest regards to the others Eugene. I am very sorry things have come to this; this saddens me; it is really beyond my control.

    SD (Internet Liaison officer of the brotherhood)

    P.S: FYI the postings you see in Singaporedaily is only the tip of the iceberg / it is published in virtually every lock and key site / you have no possible idea how far it goes and to what effect it will have on TR on the long run, that I consider regrettable.

  2. dotseng said
    Pls kindly publish this as an annex in all readclubs – Missy Dotty Darkness of the brotherhood Says: November 20th, 2009 at 11:55 am Good Morning folks, As some of you already know Nasdaq took an unexpected dive last night, so I was up the whole night fire fighting to save the planet / didnt get much sleep / to compound matters the gaming confederation has once again issued out a bounty on my head along with Harphoon, Astroboy, scholarboy et al for a sum 10,000 standard Imperiums (they flatter us this time). They are trying to prevent me from talking about what I know abt TR, you all have to decide whether they have such a right. I will get directly to the point – once I’ve settled my workload; I am going to sit down in a quiet place and type out some of my thoughts abt TR and why I believe this a site that is not what it appears to be and represents perhaps the biggest danger to our beloved blogoland. I assure all of you, it will be a interesting read and hopefully it will allow most of you to make an informed decision concerning this matter. Meanwhile stay tuned here. Not to worry, they can do very little to harry me. After this post, there will be many attempts to short circuit our conversation. I trust many of you will be able to wade through the shit. This will be rough. catch you all later. Stay tuned and keep it tight! Darkness 2009 Darkness Part 1/13 Says: November 20th, 2009 at 2:53 pm Part 1/13 – The Genesis (From the age of stone to the age of the rocketship) I will tell you the whole story from the very beginning. I will break the code of omerta. There are many here who may not fully understand how the world of gaming is inextricably linked to the social political scene in blogosphere; to many the distinction is reminiscent of heaven and earth – but in reality as you begin to read this; you will be internal persuaded they can be no other than one of the same reality; as many of you who are new to this subject a brief history may be in order – this is to allow you all to gain a deeper understanding into the intrigues of why the confederation has recently issued a warrant arrest against me or why they do not want me to ask the questions that I have asked of Temasek Review aka Wayang Party – let me start from the very beginning. When online gaming first began somewhere in the early 90’s (know as the age of the stone); the scene can only be described as a “free for all” – true to Darwinian doctrine; all organism eventually migrate from the chaotic to the ordered and so eventually four main players came to dominate the lucrative underground trade for products and services in the virtual economy; to further their respective trade agendas perpetual war characterized much of the underground trade in minerals, ray-guns, space ships etc. During this period the trade in exotic minerals grew exponentially to a point where even the cumulative volume of tradable assets in online sites such as Everquest was equal only to the GDP of Russia – this only served to exacerbate the senseless arms race between the four houses as they jockeyed ceaselessly to extend their sphere of influence and hold on power in the field of trade and commerce – it was during this fractious period that the brotherhood first made its accidental appearance as power brokers; I say “accidental” as prior to that, we were merely mapmakers who charted the known universe and supplied maps to all the four houses; so it was only natural for all of the four houses to regard us as natural intermediaries, since only we have free and unfettered access to all the territories of the four houses – eventually our neutrality would play a pivotal and even strategic role in undermining the power of the four houses. Since it was well known to all that we came with the appellation of neutrality – the four houses eventually agreed that we should be the only tribe to be given the sole concession for developing and managing space fold technology; as it was simply too expensive and even dangerous for one house alone to monopolize the right to travel and since it was well known the brotherhood were nomadic, it was generally assumed that we had no imperialistic motives, we were after all only map makers to them – space fold, the science of travelling across the vast infinity of space is the linchpin that binds every community in the virtual like the spokes of a wheel; without the ability to transverse the infinity of space in a single bound; a community might as well be marooned, it would not be able to trade, wage war or even do something as simple as send an envoy to a neighboring planet – it did not take long for the ranks of the brotherhood to be corrupted by this new technology; like the templar knights of lore who first escorted pilgrims to the holy land for the sole purpose of faith and never for pecuniary interest, only to eventually contort and amass wealth to eventually challenge the Vatican; the brotherhood would fall into the very same gyre; eventually we the humble map makers came to see themselves as the effective power within the system; and so we began to shed our neutral stripes in preference for furthering our own agenda – by this period, the power shift from the four houses to the brotherhood was imperceptible but none the less its effects would eventuall be total and complete; as not only did the brotherhood use space fold to manipulate the price of exotic minerals in the virtual by either constricting the supply and demand to keep the finances of the four houses in check; space fold was also used to maintain the delicate balance of power between the warring factions of the four houses by ensuring no one house could amass too much territory or influence by either extending or limiting their space fold concession – by this period, the four houses had been so emasculated they were nothing more than pale skeletons of their previous glory, but this in no way prevents them planning to seize control from the brotherhood – and how would they do this? Now you all understand the brief history of the four houses, confederation and the brotherhood who collectively make up the chess pieces of this story. To be con’t Darkness 2009 Darkness Part 2/13 Says: November 20th, 2009 at 6:51 pm How do you control the internet – Part 2/13 I am waiting for Missy Dotty, we’re supposed to go out for dinner and she’s late (again) – now I know why watch manufacturers typically make women’s timepieces smaller than men’s – they’re not supposed to tell the time. So let’s take this opportunity to dive in from where I last penned off as I hack happily away on my trusted Nokia Communicator. Now in my last windbag sharing; I told you who we are; but to the perceptive reader it also underscores one very important aspect of the missing puzzle to allow you all to make an informed decision about who Temasek Review really is and what exactly is their agenda in blogosphere. The gist of it goes like this: if you want to understand how it is possible to control blogosphere – then it’s not so different to the story of how ALL elites acquire power or perpetuate their class politics. In the first chapter of this series, I shared in our case; we the brotherhood managed it by controlling space fold technology – “the power to transverse the infinity of space in a single bound” – a corollary of that also gives us the right to mythologize our hold on power along with the right to wear funny looking hats. So the long and short of it is this: if you want command & control; you need to first monopolize one crucial technology – think about it; how did the Mongol hordes vanquish their enemies in the steppes; they mastered the art of ridding and shooting deadly arrows on horseback – the same holds true of the Romans; who ruled their extensive empire through a network of roads – and in the case of the British; they prosecuted their empire on naval power – mastery of the power of one is the skeleton key to the gaining access to the multitudes. And this begs the question: what do you need to control in the internet; if you’re going to establish any semblance of command and control? But before you answer that question; you need to understand a bit about the complexity of power & politics – that is to say since all oligarchies (and this could well be governments, secret police to your local consortium of kaypoh aunties club – take your pick) tend to be intensely conservative. They like the Samurai, Manchu and Ottomans, all suffer from the same set of fears – fear to tamper with anything in the system they control, lest in so doing they bring the whole edifice down – and this leads us to one paradox; no hegemony can ever resist change in perpetuity, that’s simply impossible in the chastening passage of time; but when and if change comes, however, nothing prevents them from controlling your perception of change. Think about it – the shift here is subtle; read it again – so from this; we know that the most expedient way to manage change is by managing perception and that my friends in a nutshell is the most expeditious way to establish command and control of the internet. Now armed with this knowledge; consider this – what if I can convince there is a site in blogosphere that is able to mirror your every sentiment, feeling and even outrage concerning your object of interest, be it ministers salaries, price of housing etc ? Or better still what if I am to reveal to you snippets and sound bites that you simply cant even get from the MSM that simply goes a very long way to reaffirm what you have always suspected about your hidden suspicion concerning power & politics? And here comes the kicker: are you ready? What if this apparatus that I am talking about is owned and operate by those who choose to manage the course of change? Tell me wouldn’t they able to resolve the hubris of precipitous change along with perhaps managing the transition to alternative forms under their own terms and conditions? Now you understand. Alas, the lady is finally here – and the night is young. See you later Darkness 2009 sassybax Says: November 20th, 2009 at 6:55 pm So the long and short of it is this: if you want command & control; you need to first monopolize one crucial technology – think about it; how did the Mongol hordes vanquish their enemies in the steppes; they mastered the art of ridding and shooting deadly arrows on horseback – the same holds true of the Romans; who ruled their extensive empire through a network of roads – and in the case of the British; they prosecuted their empire on naval power – mastery of the power of one is the skeleton key to the gaining access to the multitudes. Darkness Part 3/13 Says: November 21st, 2009 at 1:20 am Did Temasek Review Throw the Switch or did they really suffer a DOS attack? I’ve just finished dinner with Missy Dotty; it didn’t go well; as my mind was on the market – I have a feeling when a woman goes on one of her wonky moods; they call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken. Anyway that’s over; I never mix my personal life with work; its nothing personal, that’s just business – I am looking at my four screens again and its all red, the market is range bound and it will be one of those ground hog nights again. Where were we? Oh yes, how does one go about controlling the internet – like I said in Chapter 2, the key lies somewhere in between the art of controlling perception and selling the illusion that you have the power to do so; let me put it this way; if I can convince you; you have the power to effect change; then 9 out of 10; you will probably settle for the illusion of change rather than insisting on the real deal – don’t believe me? Then how do you explain why so many women fork out a small fortune at the end of every month just to buy a jar a la anti gravity moisturizer; where the only active ingredient happens to be tap water – and this really brings me to the main nub of this entry. Why does Temasek Review keep on telling us that they have suffered a DOS attack and why do they go off line so often? What do they have to gain from this? Doesn’t seem to make any sense right? Wrong! Makes perfect sense if you understand how the marketing manifesto really works – because what they are doing in an oblique way is to sell you and I the belief that what they actually have to say is something authentic and so subversive that someone up there feels the need to censor simply to preserve our fragile minds; it’s the stuff of stone wash jeans and less than perfect rustic “ I am not mass produced” marketing and it’s the antithesis of everything that most of us have come to hate about the hate and spin culture that is so prevalent in the MSM – the whole idea takes its cue from the Moulin Rouge – the allure of forbidden fruit; illicit thrill along with conjuring up images of chiaroscuro. You see whenever the Temasek Review tells you and I someone has launched a DOS attack on them – what they’re in effect doing is reinforcing the necessary lie that has to feature in every successful fairy tale between good and evil – we have made the world a better place – progress always has to come at a terrible cost; nothing is ever gained without a good fight along with perhaps the trite Hollywood promise of redemption – if the good in the world outweighs the bad; its always has to be by the slimmest of margins and it was brought to you and I at a great personal sacrifice. That of course really commands as much currency as my disposal underwear that is starting to smell a bit fruity after spending two days tracking the market in the office. In other words, it’s a crock of shit – they just threw the switch themselves. I’ve come to that in chapter 12. So if anyone tells you that it doesn’t make one molecule of common sense for Temasek Review to throw the switch; that by itself doesn’t make any sense – truth remains; by throwing the switch and claiming it was a DOS attack – that is the only way for them to maintain a tenuous purchase on the Singapore imagination because ours is a country where no one ever believes the truth could simply emerge without the terrible cost of sacrifice. Now you know why the necessary lie has to be perpetuated at every cost and opportunity – consider the alternative – would you even consider reading the Temasek Review if it was just another blog? There you go something to fry your mind. On that note; it’s back to the life of cookie cutter…it will be a long night. Darkness 2009 PS: Feel free to copy and paste it in your blog and gaming forum – everyone deserves to know the truth. Btw, where are the famous “cyber warriors?” Can anyone give me directions 🙂 enzio of the assasins creed Says: November 21st, 2009 at 10:52 am Can you imagine what PAP could do in cyberspace if lets say Teo ser luck had maybe 3 or 4 Darkness’s on his side? Instead they have to seetle for paper mache cyber warriors who are probably now hidding under their beds and cupboards in wayang. You will lose wayang for one simple reason, where his mind goes, none of you can follow. nature must be allowed to take its course. [youtube] We all know how it will end China Star Says: November 21st, 2009 at 12:44 pm Hi all, This Darkness is a FRAUD, LIAR and PSYCHO. He is a medium-grade hacker who goes around exhorting money from established sites in the world. After he was screwed by the China hackers last year, he disappeared from the scene completely. Come on, Darkness, don’t hide behind the nick. Why did you choose to attack TR only after the SPH saga? TR has already clarified that SPH only grab their content and did not attacak their server. Why kept throwing smoke-bombs to confuse netizens? How much did PAP pay you to fix TR? You have been challenged repeatedly to provide the proof that TR did not suffer from a DDOS attack. You have also been asked to throw the proof at TR’s hosting company to prove its system administrator wrong. But you dare not to it? Why? You think netizens are foolish enough to be misled by you? Cut the crap and show us the proof first, LIAR! Tracing Darkness Says: November 21st, 2009 at 12:45 pm Does anybody here know the exact gaming servers hosted by Darkness and the Brotherhood? Email the details to me at and you will be rewarded. et tu brute Says: November 21st, 2009 at 1:25 pm Might as well go and look for a needle in the haystack Tracing Darkness. They all use only dedicated terminals to log on / problem you will face is simply this. They are not known as the brotherhood to us. We call them different names. The Malaysians call them Orang Buyan, spirit people, as they came appear and disappear as they like. The Russians call them, Samzidareeze, as they travel in single file to hide their numbers. Then you have the gulf gamers who call them by a least two names, Al Kah-him and Jabeerze, roughly translated it means “the ones who came from the stars.” As they believe, they are mythical beings who have always inhabited the internet. The French call them, Les Enfant du Paradis (the children of paradise), as they seem to have a free spirit. The list goes on and on. It is endless. A good place to start is the comment list Enzio posted in the vid, I count at least 50 or 60 there who know them there intimately. Btw how much is the bounty? Darkness Part 4/13 Says: November 21st, 2009 at 3:10 pm Why whatever “truth” Temasek Review tells you is not really the “truth?” Chapter 4 Hi Teamsters! Lets take this opportunity to recap; in chapter one, I share with you the keys to power; in chapter two, I explained how that key is able to rotate a lock and open a door and in Chapter 3, we touched on the subject of how that entering that door only leads you further into a proverbial hall of mirrors. We could go further; but this may be a good place to pause only because where we have to go after this requires knowledge; not any knowledge, but special knowledge – you have followed me to this point so far and the last thing I want you to do is trip and fall. So let’s spend some time asking ourselves why Temasek Review keeps telling you and I that someone is out to cripple their servers. As I mentioned in Chapter 3, the whole idea is to sell you and I – a product that is packaged with the promise of an illicit experience, better still if comes laced with a subversive whiff and even if I am able to convince you; the “truth” came to you at an exorbitant cost involving personal sacrifice and untold hardships – now you understand why confecting the good versus evil story that some malevolent force out there is short circuiting their servers goes a very long way to fulfill that marketing goal. Like I said it’s a good marketing strategy; the only problem is once you know how it really works; then the spell breaks and everything begins to unravel. So to make the “truth” really irresistible those cyber warriors in TR also have to engineer it to be durable and resilient enough to stand up to scrutiny – and what better way to accomplish this feat by being able to provide you with snippets and sound bites of controversial news flashes – here the recipe that makes it possible for you to take the bait, hook, line and sinker is simply this: Equal parts of the truth is laced with lies. To tell you not the truth, but to keep you in a happy stupor. Now you understand why Temasek Review doesn’t seem to have any hang up’s about even churning out news that is critical of the government – they know too well, whatever they serve up would eventually be served up anyway somewhere in blogosphere – so what they do is give it the McDonalds treatment and serve up the worse in the best possible way; thereby mitigating the damage. Don’t believe me; just take a look at how these news flashes are typically served up in the Temasek Review – they don’t really give you REAL news as much as fashion the illusion that you are being told the news – that way you’re inclined to remain terminally supine and indiffernt; that way instead of getting worked up all you really do is fall into a stupor where nothing really provokes you enough to do anything – now you understand why the soviets deliberately kept two commodities dead cheap -cigarettes and vodka. Now I know what some of you are going to say at this point: “Hey Darkness, I don’t settle for second best! Don’t insult my intelligence, if I can have the real thing why would I want to settle for a fake!” Wrong again – as this whole idea that I am sharing with you is nothign short of a science called psychological warfare and it is not so different from how so many people are willing to buy sweetened carbonated water just because Coca-Cola markets its products “as the real thing.” Now you understand why theme parks are so popular even when they are sited just a few hundred yards from real beaches – because what they are able to do is successfully package the “truth” in such a way where there’s always an equal measure of truth mixed with lies to create a very attractive package; just like what Temasek Review regularly serves up (don’t believe me go and read one of TR’s articles and compare it with one that is regularly posted in TOC, the former leaves you asking more questions than it answers!) – you see in theme park logic, it’s a bit like tucking into prime cut Kobe beef in the matrix – just because it ain’t real doesn’t mean it cannot command an intrinsic value; in theme park mentality no one ever needs to know that six foot high waves can be produced at a press of button, each precisely the same as the last. Nor does anyone bother to ask whether those palm trees are real or manufactured in some sweat shop in China – providing all the mild inconveniences of salt water spoiling your mascara and creepy crawlies are kept out of the equation; the result it produces is, you’re be back for more as that is really delivers is nothing short of the quintessential comfort zone – that unfortunately is also the place where your soul, spirit and ability to think critical dies in increments; you’re so contended you’re not even aware you’re melting into oblivion. Now we will move on; but before you follow me beyond chapter 4; you need to make up your mind whether you want to take the blue or red pill – its your choice. See you later, I am going cycling Darkness 2009 Feel free to correct for spelling and grammar, hey wat did you really expect for 15 minutes? Darkness / Footnote Says: November 21st, 2009 at 7:00 pm Why am I taking a bite out of TR? A footnote I know what you’re thinking; I even know that you’re two minded, but I want to tell you what’s rattling in your head this minute is a perfectly natural reaction. As trying to pin down the broader role and goal of Temasek Review is fiendishly difficult, its one part paradox, two parts enigma with a twist of lemon – as till now you’re just a man who knows how to draw a straight line; to strike a line, and to carve any number of given lines, with admirable speed and precision – that incidentally is how the vast majority of netizens (including myself) have come to draw their respective conclusion about the internet; we seek out the familiarity of forms, patterns and structures which edify our own sense of belief and now that you know what you know; that’s a bit like asking a stonecutter to think deeper abt the alphabets he cuts daily with such admirable speed – a perceptive shift is bound to occur; now it seems passing from the realm of theory to reality assumes an air of hesitancy; 9 out of 10, if he puts chisel to stone; the strikes comes off the wrong way and he fucks it up – 9 out of 10, if decides to use a curved chisel or a size 3 mallet to strike a curve line – he fucks it up again. You know why that happens don’t you? Because now his job has been transformed into a thinking being – let me put it another way: it’s conceivable many of us left our back doors wide open; as its all too easy to jump from the knowledge a blog such as TR can have agency to the conviction that it must have agency to even bring about meaningful change for you and I; but if you really think long and hard about it; the only reason why anyone would accord TR, that sort of kosher appellation of an oppositional blog is simply because it seems to have all the set pieces we all traditionally associate with oppositional blogs – but as we begin to peel away the layers and look closer at why they claim some malevolent force out there is trying to cripple their servers along with asking ourselves the broader scope of their hidden agenda – then what rapidly emerges is the realization, we ought not only to treat with extreme reserve and askance many of their representations; but we would also do well to re-examine many of time honored assumptions of whether they are really an oppositional blog and not a wolf sporting fleece. And at this juncture in the name of fair play; you would also do well to ask what exactly is my motivation? Do I have an axe to grind with TR? Believe it or not, I don’t – my motivation if I can compress it into something as compact as a pill is simply one indestructible idea – it is the belief that what unifies us all as netizens is not that the internet can change anything, but that it can preserve something – and what’s that thing to be preserved – the right to the seek out the truth – whether you realize it or not, bloggers and their cachet of readers are preservers of the truth; custodians of a tradition of authentic language; practitioners of looking into darkened interiors along with beaconing out the murk. One day when our bones have turned into dust – digital archeologist are not going to peruse through the Strait Times; they’re going to sieve through the electronic chatter to piece together the nuances of what you and I really though about this and that – so we are an organic community; we may disagree on many things; but we can all agree without too much fuss that nothing in the world seems simple to us all. So please understand this: I have every right to question; and if that right is forcibly taken away from me (as I have been threatened no end) then many of you who would do well to consider whether it also means that thing we’re talking about when we use the word “identity” has reach a terminal end? So let be clear, I am not stopping TR from furthering their hidden agenda; by all means cyber warriors carry on; only don’t expect me to hold back; why should I? Did you really believe for one moment that you could just waltz in; pirouette a yarn and not expect anyone here to even ask: “Is this the real thing?” You know what’s the real tragedy in all this do you; its not whether TR is perdition or salvation; or even whether TR’s advent in our blogosphere represents the specter of a reign of dystopian mind control or opens up an new dawn of consciousness – it is simply this: I want to believe, you have no idea how much I want to believe you. Darkness 2009 (This took me less than 12 minutes 32 seconds to write without any corrections; you low IQ cyber warriors would probably take 6 days and bit – so always remember, there is plenty more where this came from – don’t ever threaten me again) Bird of Prey Says: November 21st, 2009 at 8:30 pm Cyber warriors, where are you? You mean to say, you cant even put one man in a pine box? What will the PM have to say? [youtube] hahahahahahahahahahaha I am really enjoying this, this is better than assasin creed lineage. Thx dark one and remember keep to the shadows. Btw I have just heard a contract is out for you dead or alive in the virtual. You owe me one. BOP Darkness 2009 Says: November 21st, 2009 at 11:13 pm Dear Readers, The system admin all across the board including ALL our gaming forums and channel partner sites have all given me the feedback that there is a sudden surge of 40 somethings visiting us – Welcome, I guess it may well the case here, so this is something I dug up to put you all in right mood – hope you all dig this! [youtube] Darkness 2009 Darkness 2009 Says: November 21st, 2009 at 11:42 pm Dear Readers, All open channels except this site will now feature free flow of 80’s tracks to put you 40 something folks in the groove (that’s was the lingo then right?) – we even reduxed many of these tracks to stereo just for you to enhance your surfing experience – I’ve even stationed liaison officers there to field any questions concerning this matter – I will be posting what I have written here in a traditional site like Meanwhile just relax and hang out. Where would we be without this heh? [youtube] Enjoy Darkness 2009 killamaru Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 1:43 am Tracing Darkness, No one is going to help you here or anywhere else to betray them. Let me let you into a little secret I suspect this may even be one of their decoy sites, that is to say, the main bulk of the readers may not even be logging in here. For every real site they have. They have at least 10 to 20 decoy sites. It is standard operational procedure. happy hunting sucker! Darkness Part 5/13 Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 1:33 pm Is Temasek Review, the franchiser of the gold plated fire engine? Just as common sense informs us for every action there is a counter reaction; this should compel us to ask why did Temasek Review even launch an attack on the Strait Times when it claimed that the later was responsible for crippling their servers? The claim even by the most liberal reading has to be incredulous as not only did TR lack the factual means to prosecute successfully on such an elephant enterprise but they were bound to end up with egg in their face – this begs the question: why would a blog set itself out for failure? To understand WHY my apprentice (by the way your zipper is down); you first need to familiarize yourself with the art of selling a gold plated fire engine – how is this impossible transaction accomplished? Simple, start a fire; that guarantees the demand better still if a tsunami of panic and outrage can be triggered; providing the fire rages on unabated, it may even have the effect of exacting a tenuous purchase on our collective concerns sharpening our fears further. Viola! The transaction is complete. Understand this! FEAR is the most powerful marketing astringent that even supersedes sex; providing the gold plated fire engine sales pitch goes off without a hitch; it could even compel perfectly level headed people to buy into ideas which they would not normally consider – don’t believe me; then consider this; how did the Nazi party in 1938 achieve a landslide victory? Did ordinary Germans fear the Bolsheviks? Closer to the stuff where the rubber meets the rubber; how do you think Volvo sell their chunky cars? Could they be selling you and I the idea we wouldn’t be lying in some bed with medical grade tubes sticking out from our nostrils if we drove one? What about insurance companies; what might they actually be selling? And the list goes on and on; it’s a litany that hardly requires any elaboration in a world where most of us find ourselves marinating in the marketing manifesto. Now armed with this knowledge – what if I said to you one of the goals of Temasek Review is to perpetuate the myth that the internet is a feral domain populated by compulsive liars who do nothing all day but confect conspiracy theories along with disseminating lies. Think about it; how would the rhetoric of officialdom come across against an internet that we all know is maturing so fast that it will eventually challenge the primacy of the MSM as the sole purveyor of the truth? What better way to retard this inexorable change; then to insert the equivalent of a village dunce who likes to play with matches ro even represent the name and face of our blogosphere? From time to time, of course, that village dunce may be directed by their puppet masters to (they cant do it all the time as people are basically like roaches, the more you spray them, the more they develop immunity; so a little goes a long way here and they would have to deploy this strategy very sparingly) provoke our sense and sensibilities by churning out ever more fantastical lies which may hopefully push our collective consciousness to some tipping point where many of us may even feel the need to re-evaluate many of our time honored conception about freedom of speech in the context of the internet? I other words they want us all to score a high to very high in the “puih” factor scale. That incidentally is how bent governments, cult churches and of course hucksters and charlatans, take your pick (I consider them all birds of the same feathers) go about justifying the NEED for far reaching legislation and guidelines in the name of protecting the truth or for matter your rights which would otherwise have been wholly unnecessary. (btw is the elections coming?) That in a nutshell is how one goes abt selling a gold plated fire engine. And this is where Temasek Review comes in as the agent or proxy that makes this transaction not only possible; but arguably sensible, intelligent and even clever enough to hold it out as a prescriptive cure of our times. The psychology for clinching the sale takes its cue from eleventh hour medicine, which, when it cannot cure, seeks to relieve suffering as efficiently as possible. But tell me would all this be possible without Temasek Review? Let me put it another way; what if I said to you, even if TR did not exist; an equivalent in some form would have to be found – short of fabricating a new word; you could say it is the one vital ingredient that makes possible the sale of the gold plated fire engine. Now you know – Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more. Darkness 2009 (Its kendo day, once I have finished we will cont our conversation again, I promise) Darkness Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 1:57 pm Did some of you know that we once allied ourselves with Temasek Review when it was commonly known as Wayang party, by writing there? We even had our own slot. One fine day, we stopped for no apparent reason. Have any of you considered why we did all that? I wonder, could it have something remotely to do with the adage: keep your friends close; but keep your enemies closer. I see right through you and your masters like a glass. It may be time to kick me out? But consider this how would you control me over, you know where? Ask your puppet masters; they will know where that place is – none of you cyber warriors are senior enough to know. I am Darkness 2009 Darkness / footnote Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 2:37 pm Need I say, dont ever take this personally, its strictly business. You were all told many a time by our liaison officer not to put our economic interest in jeopardy. You may all not even be aware of it that you may have already done so; I understand, as when one walks in the dark, one is not aware of what is beneath ones feet. Even then consider this: if you were in my position; what would you have done when I have to shoulder the responsibility of so many rice bowls? Like I said, dont take this personally, its strictly business – it bears repeating only because we can never afford to be emotional in such an enterprise. PAP can. We do not have the luxury of lattitude. We make one error of judgement and it is game over. They on the otherhand have nine lives along with safety nets. Darkness 2009 Darkness / footnote 2 Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 4:15 pm Dear Readers To understand Part 6 of this series – you will need to familiarize yourself with this: [youtube] This will provide you with the skeleton key to open up the next door; it will also save me alot of ground work as I dont need to explain many things to add to your understanding as to how Temasek Review really operates and why. Darkness 2009 Singaporedaddy Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 9:42 pm This is a IP break in sanctioned by Article 24 of the Interspacing Communication Act 900302 I come in the name of peace. Darkness, how are you old boy? Nice party you are having here. Darkness I want to begin by sharing with you some good news. I have just received news that the warrant arrest issued against you and your crew recently has been rescinded. They have decided you have the right to ask any question you wish of Temasek Review. You have no idea how difficult it was to accomplish this miraculous feat, but I managed to pull it off. There is however one outstanding minor inconvenience that requires your immediate intervention. Let me be frank with you. I have recently received a diplomatic overture from a representative from Temasek Review. Apparently, they don’t want you to continue sharing with blogosphere what you know. They feel quiet rightly in my humble opinion, sleeping dogs should be allowed to lie. Darkness, I believe they may even be amenable to some peaceful resolution to resolve this impasse. As you very well know Temasek Review is a site that doesn’t take anything lying down, but in your case, they have even made an extraordinary exception and accorded you the respect of not responding to you in their usual aggressive manner, so I feel they are really doing their level best to show to us all they are genuinely sincere about pursuing some peaceful resolution to this impasse. With your permission Darkness and I have discussed this with the higher council of the brotherhood, they have agreed, we will be extending to them an invitation to visit us in the virtual site in our HQ in Primus. I have already informed the administrator in Project Entropia, but he seems to be sticky about this whole arrangement as he doesn’t seem to want to take sides, he says, it all depends on Darkness. I wonder whether perhaps you could speak to everdie to iron out this minor kink so that we can get the ball rolling. You see Darkness my feel is if these people can be given a virtual tour of Primus Aldentes Prime and even be extended full diplomatic courtesies, my feel is they will be less inclined to hold on to their current position; what do you say? My feel is this will go a long way to cement relationships. Please note I carry the four seals from the four houses, so as tradition dictates, you are obliged to behave yourself to which I have every assurance and confidence given our past dealings. Do convey my warmest regards to your crew. Long live the brotherhood! Singaporedaddy 1st officer of the confederation (representative of the four houses) – the brotherhood. This is a diplomatic communiqué issued directly by order of the Imperium from Primus Aldentes Prime – codex 87643258970 lazy Says: November 22nd, 2009 at 11:30 pm Can anyone summarise? Darkness Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 12:09 am LOL, first officer you are too presumptous; just bc a woman smiles at you, doesnt mean; you have free rein to slip your hands between her legs, not even if she’s wet – do you have any idea what you are proposing here? You mean to show them our technology? These people are at least 5 years behind us – denied, we should keep them in the dark. If you send a ship, we will shoot it down. As for your much vaunted overtures of peace with TR. This I can consider, but I am sure can you understand, I must insist on assurances, put it this way, if the next essay published in Temasek begins and ends with a spelling mistake in the first and last sentence; then and only then can we take your words seriously to look further into this matter. But dont hold your breath first officer; as we know they have been given strict instructions by their superiors not to engage us under any circumstances, this first officer is the quality of human material we are dealing with; tell me, if Michealangelo was denied fine Palermo Marble and had only common clay to work with; do you really believe he would amount to anything more than a potter? That will be all first officer, you may go, this conversation is over. Darkness 2009 Oneword Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 12:36 am Woodbridge Darkness Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 1:14 am I agree this peace overture gibberish by tr is definitely the stuff of woodbridge. Tmr I am going to share with all of you another explosive chapter on why I believe the recent accusation by TR concerning the DOS attack by ST has absolutely nothing to with the DOS attack that’s merely a side dish – there is far more insidious motive here. Night Night all – have to crunch some numbers tmr is another trading day. Darkness 2009 soduko king Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 1:03 pm “Let me be frank with you. I have recently received a diplomatic overture from a representative from Temasek Review. Apparently, they don’t want you to continue sharing with blogosphere what you know. They feel quiet rightly in my humble opinion, sleeping dogs should be allowed to lie.” If they hv nothing to hide they should hve nothing to fear. U should trust the wisdom of the net SD. We hv a right to decide.I Still read TR, only this time, I read with the same attitude I read ST wall of silence Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 1:22 pm You may think Darkness is so good hearted that he is writing all this for the benefit of us netizens, but read carefully again, he uses the address, “my apprentice” along with the first person prefix,”what if I say to you…” These are terms that only someone who knows another would use. He is definitely writing to only a select few who know him and vice versa. This whole thread could even be copied and pasted from some other site where there is a discussion on this topic, otherwise why use such strange construction in sentencing? I have no doubt abt it that it may be the intellectual class within the brotherhood itself, they number less than 12. In their society, the pecking order is merchant & artisan at the very base, soldier in the middle, administrator higher up, and at the pinnacle are the intellectuals. Their numbers may be small, but the power and influence they weild is tremendous. As they are really the movers and shakers. This to me is standard Paretto, to get 80% of the results you dont need to foreclose on the 80%, you just need to get the 20% on your side. Once this group turns around, then you will have a hundred Darkness that will blot out even the sun. wall of silence Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 1:27 pm I found this really funny… Temasek Review aka Wayangparty is beginning to reveal its tail. After much govt-bashing wayang for a couple of months, it is now ready to announce that it will cease to crticise the govt, but instead will want to become “a meeting place for the best talents in the world – from thinkers, visionaries, intellectuals, academics and professionals.” Have a good laugh reading their boast and bullshit here. Aiyah, talk about politics they don’t make money (so far cannot see a single advertiser), so now try to talk about economics and hope can get advertisment = $$$. Will be surprise they will try porn if there is still no money coming it to pay for website and hit-generating program expenses. Temasek Review exceeds online traffic of SPH’s New Paper and TODAY Dear readers, According to latest data from web traffic company, Temasek Review has already exceeded the online traffic of SPH’s New Paper and TODAY during the last two weeks though our official traffic ranking is still behind theirs due to a technical delay for it to decrease. (For readers info, TNP online no longer provide the full news on their online site, as they are trying to get ppl to buy their newspaper. That is why readership online has fallen drastically. For TODAY, they are never serious about their online edition, as they more revenue from their papers.) This is the first time that a non-SPH run online news site has exceeded SPH-controlled publications in terms of readership and we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for your support in the last two years. (Temasek Review aka Wayang Party is an online news site? You mean cut and paste from mainstream media sources can also consider as a news site? ) Since we have achieved the first objective in our roadmap, we will be following up in the next phase which is to incorporate a company to own, run and manage the site (and other sites) proper. (Still going to incorporate a company in Hongkong and not in Singapore?) As we become more professional, a shift in our editorial policy and content is warranted. (Professional? My toes are laughing now! It is considered professional to plagarize? from Wall Street Journal?) For a long time, the conventional wisdom among journalists and bloggers is that “objective” sites are more “credible” than “critical” sites and will thereby attract more readers. From past experience, however, as our readership grows, we realize that for some inexplicable reasons, articles “bashing” the government tends to attract more hits than neutral, fair and balanced articles especially if they are not on politics, like economics. (You intentionally fail to mention this, your bashing on the Workers Party and TOC also attracts hits. Hope you have not forgotten your origin, becos we do ) We have many good writers on economics and business matters, but we can’t afford to pay them to write when their articles don’t sell. (Thought you are paying honorium for their article? Now you want readers to pay? ) While we understand and appreciate that the fact that some readers have grown to regard our site as a channel for them to vent their grouses, frustrations and anger against the government, it was never our intention for this site to become an “anti-government” or “opposition” news site. (WTF, it was never your attention to become a anti-govt or opposition news site? My toes are laughing again. Hey incase you are not aware, more than 90% of your site is all about the PAP govt and the opposition. It was your plan all along hoping to make some money out from it, but then it didn’t materilaise, so now you are changing tack.) Our vision is for this site to become a credible alternative to the mainstream media and not only that, to be a meeting place for the best talents in the world – from thinkers, visionaries, intellectuals, academics and professionals. (This one really takes the cake. You sound like Lee Hsien Loong talk about talent hub . See, even your new vision mirrors the PAP. How coincidental. ) We want Temasek Review to be a really cool, slick and professional site to promote the critical thinking and analysis which is sole lacking in our students today. (LMAO non-stop) We are stuck in a Catch-22 situation here. In order for us to achieve our long-term objectives, we need to move towards the center, reduce and eliminate the strident political rhetoric and to become more fair, balanced and objective in our reports and editorials. (Fair balance and objective? Again LMAO. Wayangparty going to be fair and balance? Punchline must have been copied from Fox New – Fair and Balanced) Unfortunately, by doing so, we may lose a significant proportion of our readership which will undo what we have achieved so far. Though our readership has increased by leaps and bounds in the last few months and have overtaken The New Paper, we are still far away from the big players like Straits Times and Channel News Asia. To make our site more attractive than theirs, we must continue to produce articles which are more thought-provoking, insightful and enlightening instead of simply leveraging on the general unhappiness on the ground to criticize the government. (Produce or plagarize? So far ppl only pay attention to your govt-bashing commentaries. Other than that, a few articles were just copied and re-worded to make it look like your own. ) In the weeks ahead, we will gradually reduce the number of articles on politics and shift the emphasis to social and economic issues. We sincerely urge our readers to lend their support to our initiative by clicking on these articles and read them though they may not suit your interest or taste. ( Wonder whether will you have any vision once you see readership dropping and your $ prospect disappear totally. Darkness 6/13 Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 5:17 pm The Stiletto, Khurki and Temasek Review – the art of fashioning the bogeyman. Part 6 /13 My apprentice here you have the stiletto; as far as instruments of death go, this has to be the most striking exemplification of the inutility of the Western way of warfare; here hold it, play with it even, our digital engineers have even managed to replicate this Venetian weapon with remarkable accuracy, right down to the period ivory riveting and the clumsy Verona spring action. A failing common to the Stiletto is it can neither slice or cut, look carefully at the edge, its tapered in steady increments but it’s as blunt as a letter knife – its useless: to the inexperienced assassin it may look like a stabbing instrument, but even then it can only perform this task poorly as – look closer – the tang doesn’t run all the way to the hilt; so when called to action you’re likely to do yourself more harm than the guy on the receiving end – but what the stiletto manages to do with admirable efficiency is it can convey a hostile intention so clearly that it even announces splays out the trade off and cost benefits to the would be opponent; along with the cultural origins of those who may choose to wield such a weapon; in other words it’s strength lies not in its function, but form; that is to say, when a man holds out a stiletto; it can only mean one thing, you are not fighting him as much as you are doing combat with the honor of his tribe; his heritage along with all the historical abstraction of who he is and whence he came from – like that other useless good for nothing weapon; the khukri a curious boomerang shaped Nepalese knife that looks like an oversized bottle opener; it too suffers from a failing that afflicts the stiletto – yet do not be mistaken; as it has power; as like the Stiletto its terror doesn’t derive from it function, but rather its form; as not only does one associate it with part of the regimental regalia, but it also speaks volumes about the warring tribes of the Kumaon region whose skill at arms has always been considered the gold standard of martial reliability. My apprentice; what I am trying to illustrate here is not only does history and tradition play a preponderant role in daily objects that we would not normally consider looking at beyond a cursory glance; rather, you cannot take anything at face value. And this leads us to consider what does the Stiletto, Khukri and Temasek Review all have in common? They all have the power of symbolism and why is this so important? Because the most efficient way for any oligarchy to perpetuate it hold on power is never to embroil itself in ceaseless war – for one it consumes too much energy; another reason is the divisions may exceed the shared interest imperiling the status quo ante and finally at some point it can only degenerate into a war of attrition – so it makes perfect sense to avoid conflict by managing it instead; it makes far more sense to flash either a stiletto or a Khukri, rather than to use it and since these instruments are very effective symbols of conveying shared heritage along with communicating the trade off / pay out to a would be aggressor; they are also very effective means of obviating the recourse to mindless violence; they maintain the balance of power: to put it another way they are very effective tools to deter, interdict and to simply restate the case –“ you are not only fighting me; you are fighting my clan.” Its one of many way in which every oligarchy perpetuates their class politics; as not only do these symbols manage to keep communities in line, they serve to underline the “us against them” divide in clear and unambiguous terms. In this respect, Temasek Review fulfills both the FORM and not the FUNCTION of the Stiletto and Khukri; let me give you an illustration of how this works: to the untrained eye when TR takes a sporadic jabs at ST claiming that someone is grabbing their data or maybe some other government organization such as MDA staff are visiting their sites; it would seem like all this amounts to nothing more than a wasteful diffusion of energy; but look closer – what is Temasek Review actually doing? What are they trying to convey when you disregard the unimportant and winnow out the irrelevant? What remains? Think my apprentice? Remember what I shared with you about the Stiletto and Khukri….. How do we go about imposing any order on this medley to gainfully make sense of what’s going on here? As I said, to the untrained eye, all these may amount to nothing; to understand what’s really happening; you may need to revisit what I shared with you in Chapter 3 of this windbag series; how all elites assume command & control – what they fear most is pertinent to this chapter as it goes a long way to fill up the blanks; they all suffer from a common fear – like Samurai, Manchu and the Ottomans, fear to tamper with anything in the system they control, lest in so doing they bring the whole edifice down; is a fear that preoccupies their world view – but what we have not discussed so far is what lies at the end of all their fears; in what final shape and form do all these concerns eventually coalescence into? It is simply this: How does one go about the business of assuring the loyalty of those who “belong” to the system? You see the real fear of the custodians of power is not the enemy who stands outside the gates; common sense will inform you quite rightly the enemy who stands OUTSIDE is never as dangerous as the enemy WITHIN the system. The real threat to every oligarchy is the very people who collectively add up to make the DNA of the system; the whirlwind of every civilization hinges on this tenuous balance between ensuring the cadres within the system and those who may not belong to it understand in uncertain terms what is demanded of them – because those within the system are not only the adherents who are responsible for perpetuating the ethos and philosophy of the system; but they are also the anointed vanguards who collectively share a stake in preserving the well being of the hegemony; their compliance and loyalty is therefore not only necessary; but its even a strategic precondition; if power is to remain firmly within the hands of these elites. But how is this tenuous arrangement to be maintained and more importantly sustained; from time to time, there is a need to remind these vanguards; who the real enemy is (real or imagined) along with providing a schema of a reward and penalty calculus – and what better way to accomplish all this than to perpetuate the myth that the other side can never be trusted; “if you put your faith in them; they will betray your trust!” Temasek Review fulfils that symbolic function of the Stiletto and Khurki to good effect; as since it’s inception; it has astudiously fashioned its outlook as the quintessential name and face of what the enemy is able to inflict on the system; a threat so great that the vanguards WITHIN the system MUST always fight relentlessly; in this calculus of war; the feral and brutish internet cannot be allowed to triumph. It must be destroyed. And what better way to do this by fashioning the very symbol of what is false to be true in the shape of the Temasek Review. Here, take this stiletto my apprentice – it was rendered using our latest isotropic three dimension program, look at how the blade simmers and catches the Curellean light; it is beautiful and one of its kind, not even Pixar can equal this, it was made for me by the Guilds as a gift – only remember; it should never be used; its mere sight is enough alone to solicit compliance – as the other side will ask: “who am I really fighting against?” Now go and tell the other tribes; take my signet ring with you; so that they will not doubt you; the old will speak to the young in our ancient ways and leave no trace and cont reading the Temasek Review, post there even, pay out rope in the way we did when we were once there – as Clausewitz would argue, “war is the continuation of politics.” He was right. Darkness 2009 colgate girl Says: November 23rd, 2009 at 6:54 pm hahahahahahahaha TR wants “thinkers, visionaries, intellectuals, academics and professionals.” And how are they going about attracting this group? They alienate the largest respository of thinkers, visionaries, intellectuals, academics and professionals who all happen to be in the Brotherhood, by (a) threatening to initiate legal proceedings against their leader / result: zero effect, (b) attempting to name and shame him on their blog by REVEALING HIS IP when he keep asking sticky questions abt the DDOS/DOS attack / result: zero effect (c) Labelling him as a mentally unbalanced person, does that remind you of a certain grp who also uses the same bankrupt strategy / result: back fire (d) Thereatening the whole of the brotherhood that they will hit back if they dont stop writing about what they know when they were once writing there, as they dont want anyone to know their dirty linen Result: they write more and so on and so forth. hahahahahahahahaha you are really funny TR. I used to hate TOC, but I think they are great now. Darkness Says: November 24th, 2009 at 12:14 am The question that I want to ask is what the fuck is Mr Teo Ser Luck feeding to his superiors when he allows cyber warriors like this to operate in Temasek Review. You decide. You know what since I earn about 13 times more money than him and have maybe about 200% more brain cells, I may just decide to join PAP and take over his job, what do you all say? Meanwhile chew on this. And remember keep on visiting TR and posting. We want them all to feel as if everything is hunky dory. Darkness 2009 The first rule of war is you must be able pretend it is business as usual. Darkness Says: November 24th, 2009 at 12:25 am Mr Teo I hold you personally responsible for this state of affairs. Darkness 2009 You have no idea how many “serious” men are reading this; it is not the quantity; it is the quality – bear in mind it took just 7 people to stage the french revolution; less than 14 to mastermind the winter revolution of in 1919 and a roomfull and a bit to launch desert shield – if you are a “serious” man; you will not be able to sleep tonite or any night – I demand answers to my questions I am Darkness 2009 Darkness Says: November 24th, 2009 at 3:49 pm comsat from the French Starshipship “les enfants du paradis” / Primus time: 9773-300 / rebel broadcast to the strangelands. My young apprentice, Who do you think are the most influential people in Primus? Contrary to popular belief it is never our politicians who seem content to sit all day in the Imperium and make comatose inducing speeches; as the sum of what they have to say really hinges on the vagaries of the masses and that is really like cultivating a relationship with a loose woman; they blow right when it suits them, left at other times; it seems to be a successful politicians these days one can never afford candor and honesty; that’s has to be a character flaw even; if anything to succeed as a politician only one skill set is required; he only needs to know which side of bread is buttered. So you don’t need his support. He is very dispensable. Could it be the mercantile class we call the guilds and the four houses? Again you don’t need them; as what preoccupies their interest day and night is only monetary profit and at the outer circle; if you ally yourself too closely with them; they will suck you into their web of intrigues of avarice, greed and power, till you can no more see the truth anymore than what they choose to tell you – again, they are as dispensable as dead weight. What about the militia? Surely, it’s useful to have a few loyal legions in your left pocket my apprentice? But be careful there; it is a double edged sword; if they can hand you the reins of power at the end of a plasma gun; they can also turn you out as well like a carpetbagger – besides they care only of loot and bounty; they aren’t so different from the parvenus who have riven both our mercantile and political class – again, they are dispensable. The people who are really indispensable to you are the thinkers – it gives me no pleasure to say this to you my apprentice; but this same advice was once given to me by my own Sadh-herine (mentor) – but since I had little patience for what I perceived to be nothing more than splitting hairs on a grand scale; I had them all arrested; that was a mistake and I am still paying for it dearly today. But that was 800 years ago during the Tiberium and Ascension wars and though it could be said, I had to do what I did; one thing remains clear to all – it paid little in dividends. As this erudite group who go around wearing nothing more than curtains can never be destroyed; kill an intellectual and you breathe life into his works; exile him from Primus and they will spring up like mushrooms from the outreaches of your grasp taunting you no end; take away his pen and you unleash a torrent of samizdat that will not only overwhelm your press but provoke mass askance; torture them and they go around wearing their assortment of prosthetics like badges of honor; try using a solvent to corrupt them with titles and land; what do they do? They throw your trinkets back at you and taunt you with contempt that the truth is all they need to lead a purposeful life – no my apprentice, they are indestructible – like roaches the more you spray them; the more they develop immunity. So 700 years ago; I reached the same realization the every Roman provincial administrator eventually learns – that those who cannot be conquered must be embraced – and began cultivating their friendship in earnest and since then no one in Primus can touch one hair on a thinker – a thinker therefore occupies the pinnacle of our society. Primus would truly be rudderless without them; she would not even know how to begin directing her vast storage of political, economical, social and cultural raw material to even fashion something as rudimentary as an anthill without these thinkers – yes, few they are; but never forget disproportional their influence and reach across the known universe – never ever forget this – so it is this people who you must speak too my apprentice; they will be key – go to the place called “the steps” next to the Liberation square in Primus when the clock tower strikes noon and deliver my message capsule to them. They are indispensable. Go now. Darkness 2009 Darkness 7/13 Says: November 24th, 2009 at 6:22 pm The Secret Admirer of the MSM – Temasek Review We all know the ST these days is starting to look like a cassette player in the age of iPods and MP3 players, may seem like a quaint blast from the past conversation piece but hardly anyone these days denies it should at least have the grace and dignity to make its way next to the dodo exhibit in some dusty museum. Observation suggest the press is dying; readership is falling and people just aren’t seeing any value in newsprints any longer – it’s a sad but true valedictory tale that’s scissoring it way across the world and Singapore is no exception to this rule – even those battling against this tsunami of change like the Strait Times are finding it uphill and starting to resemble beleaguered animals as they get abused relentlessly in the internet while their credibility dies in ever steady increments. This begs the question: what’s the best way to arrest the rot? How do we recapture the high ground again in the new media? How do we restore to the credibility of a b

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