Earth is fickle. Its plates shift, breaking old alliances and forging new ones. Sometimes they quiver so much they form quakes, tsunami-ing lives and lifestyles. Its politics are much the same, only swifter. Power changes hands and definitions faster than ever, though not a lot of it count as progress. Its people must thus keep shifting, along with but also against these shifts, to find their newest right place on Earth.
SmartCasualSG is a little world in itself, about to see its first seismic shift. It emerges from the cracks and patches that have come before, the most recent of which are Putting Myself in Digital Shoes and Elevating Public Discourse. Yet unlike Earth, the looming changes are not decisions of a whimsical kind. They are practical responses to social habits, the reward of a clearer and less prejudiced mind.
I wasn’t prejudiced against a particular race, language, or religion. Rather, I was prejudiced by my personality, by being someone who views knowledge as practical in itself. I was prejudiced by my attention, too introverted to empathize with others’ difficulties. I was prejudiced by my education, informing the mistaken effort to mix every bit of theory and finding with personal experience, to show the merits of viewing all reality as subjective.
I was prejudiced by the places I stood; the vantage points I took.
Another Vantage Point
The necessary question is: What can you, the readers, accept? What does the modern life allow you to accept? It doesn’t take much imagination to answer this. No matter which stage of life you are in, you must be busy with work: Either 44 hours of office work or 50 recommended hours of study in university or earlier, per week. You must also be busy with relief: Smartphones let you escape constantly to your favourite feeds on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
The difficult part is, how can I promote contemplation in an age of consumption? My first instinct was to be an example. But that can only work after I have acquired a loyal audience, proof of a strength of personality. To convince the unconvinced, I must reach into others more often, on their terms. Thus, SmartCasualSG will soon debut a broad range of shorter ‘Aside’ posts, remarking on:
“Rules”: Norms and Practices
“Theories”: Generalized Explanations
“Findings”: Research Claims
Streetscope: Daily Observations
Web of Knowledge
These herald a more elemental approach, one which also transforms my approach to longer posts. As explanations can be exported into direct Asides, longer expositions can now be even more reflective, while being less susceptible to blind spots and slipshod discussions. These expositions will mostly revolve around either personal experiences or social initiatives, because the worthy end to all the thinking is Action – even if it’s just your own.
Additionally, I will step back from writing Book Reviews. Rather than compress book contents, I hope to stretch interesting ideas within. To further your exploration, I will add a Goodreads widget, from which you can access full reviews to these books from other readers. These changes commonly tap into the power of hyperlinks, a resource I ought to embrace on a digital platform.More than ever, I know that we are constrained by life’s obligations – even me. I admit that this evolution is in part driven by the need for sustainability, with an impending working life. Yet I don’t see these Asides as a lesser compromise. Instead, I consider it the third alternative – better. And I realize, yes, I have come full circle. Yes, I have returned to the fundamental premise of my blog. I have arrived, at a new starting point.
Building Walls Together
As the ground quakes, the tide of modernity soars. All along I’ve been building my own column of wall, alone. But 2ft wide is space only enough for me, and not very effective. To protect ourselves from the tsunamis, we need to work together. What I can do is to point you in the direction of rocks, and show you my approach to carving. What you can do is to find these rocks, pick them up, and carve them your way.
When we feel at risk, with increasing regularity, it is only sensible to save ourselves or our kins first. Thus we build small enclosed domes, sheltering only those we care about most. But this is an inefficient and stop-gap measure that leaves certain groups very vulnerable. I contend that the best defence is to build a collective wall; one of solidarity, not exclusion.Disagreements are fine, but only when we are all allowed to stand on the same side of the wall. Only then can each of us be responsibly free: to travel without constant fear, to interact without instant anger, and essentially, to keep finding that right fit for life’s fickle functions. Earth restores its calm, most of the time, and we should learn to, too – together.