The New Straits Times has an article on the Southeast Asian Games, and delves into the Orwellian view on international sporting events:
Unless attempts to whip up ill-feeling are resisted and common sense prevails, there is, nevertheless, always a small chance of George OrwellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s contention that “international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred” coming true. The author of 1984 also dismissed the notion that “sport creates goodwill between the nations”.
On the contrary, he said, sport was “mimic warfare” Ã¢â‚¬â€ “war minus the shooting”. The hugs in the pool and the handshakes in the field as well as the hearty contests and stirring performances suggest, however, that many of the athletes competing in Manila have not forsaken camaraderie and the finest ideals of the regional games.
My own column for today, Fight and Win, is about the pride we take in our boxers but the odd lack of follow-through: no Filipino boxing movies.
Newsstand thinks that Garci’s handlers are gaming the system, while RG Cruz describes the circumstances surrounding Garci’s arrival in Manila.
Uniffors says General Garcia is a scapegoat;Ã‚Â Sassy Lawyer is more interested in the improbability of harsh punishment; The Unlawyer weighs in as well. In other flag rank news, the new head of the Philippine navy seems to have been put in drydock.
Constitutional revision or amendments? Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ delves into the issue. Peter Wallace points out two thirds of parliamentary regimes are bicameral (I am less insistent on the presidential form of government than I am on the necessity for a bicameral legislature).
Ricky Carandang believes the Supreme Court is being too secretive at a time when public confidence needs to be reinvigorated in the high court. Lawyer JJ Disini suggests that looking for a judicial philosophy just might be an exercise in futility. And as Chief Justice Davide prepares to retire, recall the entry of the sadly no-longer-active Anonymous Sources.
Torn & Frayed points to the New Yorker reviewÃ‚Â that covers a book’s arguments that pundits may be hedgehogs or foxes, but in the end, are no better than “dart-throwing monkeys”:
Tetlock got a statistical handle on his task by putting most of the forecasting questions into a Ã¢â‚¬Å“three possible futuresÃ¢â‚¬Â form. The respondents were asked to rate the probability of three alternative outcomes: the persistence of the status quo, more of something (political freedom, economic growth), or less of something (repression, recession). And he measured his experts on two dimensions: how good they were at guessing probabilities (did all the things they said had an x per cent chance of happening happen x per cent of the time?), and how accurate they were at predicting specific outcomes. The results were unimpressive. On the first scale, the experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned an equal probability to all three outcomesÃ¢â‚¬â€if they had given each possible future a thirty-three-per-cent chance of occurring. Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys, who would have distributed their picks evenly over the three choices.
BuzzMachine has an entry on how Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, could be taken to a new level. The “digital divide” between academics and laypeople could be bridged. The Business Mirror has an article which condemns the waning willingness of students to do their readings. Jarius Bondoc briskly discusses a recent conference at the National Museum in which I participated (my points in reaction to the paper I was asked to comment on: today’s proposals for parliamentary and unicameral government are a return to the setup established by the country’s leading families in the Malolos Republic, and they have wanted that system ever since, fighting a broader, more powerful central and national government tooth and nail; these families face a crisis composed of changing demographics, with citizens no longer as tied to localities as before, and thus less susceptible to being impressed and influenced by these families; the presidency, on the other hand, has had its foundations eroded, because these families have removed executive influence and genuine supervision over local governments, while the elimination of bloc voting has killed the party system; presidents now have vastly expanded powers over the bureaucracy but this cannot compensate for their inability under the new laws, to influence national policy; which means traditional expectations of the presidency have been impossible to meet since the 1960s; either we restore the foundations for an effective presidency, or go the whole hog and embrace parliamentary government).
Incidentally, Sassy Lawyer has been nominated for Best Asian Blog in the 2005 Weblog Awards. Asiapundit, to which I contribute from time to time, has also been nominated. Congratulations!
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