How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mandarin: a common language in China; now with different versions, has new problems in Wikipedia

Non-Chinese used to wonder how wonderful it was for Mandarin to be understood and communicated by literate people in China, despite their diverse racial origins and different spoken dialects. Basically, a Chinese text can be understood by say, different Chinese who speak Cantonese, Hakka or Hokien, and read out in those dialects without losing its original meaning.

Recently, there were major changes to the Chinese language: simplified version which reduces the number of complicated strokes in a Chinese character; romanised Pinyin which uses English-styled pronunciations to differentiate different words; and so on. So, instead of having literate Chinese-educated people knowing the text without problems in understanding, those educated in the traditional way may not be able to understand text in the simplified version. Similarly, those educated only in the simplified version may not understand the original Chinese characters. In other words, Mandarin is not like the 'common language' which used to be indispensable before. Therefore, those with knowledge of the old and new, have a definite advantage over either those with knowledge only of the old or those only of the new. This is also an example of the importance of knowing history, be it in religion, music, politics, or others.

From The New York Times: Wikipedia China Becomes Front Line for Views on Language and Culture
by Grace Tsoi:

"HONG KONG — The Chinese-language version of Wikipedia has become more than an online encyclopedia: it is a battlefield for editors from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in a region charged with political, ideological and cultural differences.

Wikipedia editors, all volunteers, present opposing views on politics, history and traditional Chinese culture — in essence, different versions of China. Compounding the issue are language differences: Mandarin is the official language in mainland China and Taiwan, while the majority in Hong Kong speak Cantonese. But mainland China uses simplified characters, while Taiwan and Hong Kong use traditional script.

That has led to articles on otherwise innocuous topics becoming flash points, and has caused controversial entries to be restricted."

'“Wikipedia does not comply with the Chinese government’s self-censorship policy. Absolutely not,” said Tango Chan, a representative of Wikimedia Hong Kong, a local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation. Mr. Chan said, however, that some articles on the Chinese Wikipedia cannot be accessed because the “Great Firewall” — the hugely effective censorship tool developed by the Chinese authorities — filtered “sensitive words.”

Stephen Wong, a contributor from Hong Kong who has been active on Chinese Wikipedia since 2009, said users across the region have experienced “some form of cultural shock,” which triggers arguments.

“Users from different areas have received different education, and have been influenced by different political ideologies,” Mr. Wong said. “We discovered that the things we learned as a kid were totally different from each other.”

No matter the language, disputes are part of the nature of Wikipedia, Matthew Roth, the global communications manager of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in an e-mail.

“The common perception is that arguments are frequent on Wikipedia, and indeed there are active discussions and disagreements about content, as would be expected in such an enormous and complex information ecosystem,” Mr. Roth said.'


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