Singapore Expats Forum

Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby carteki » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 7:36 pm

This article appeared in the Guardian and to my mind pretty much sums up the good and the bad about living in Singapore. I've paraphrased the concluding paragraph and the link to the full article is below.
“It depends on your horizons,” he says. “If you keep to yourself, life is very comfortable here. But if self-expression is important, you will be stymied at every turn... It’s a Faustian deal. Some [people] are prepared to make that deal. Some are not.”


http://gu.com/p/44he4/sfb

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3788
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 9:02 pm

Well, you must just ask yourself, if you have changed much after coming to Singapore. I mean, all those rules that have been put out there, have they really prevented you from doing something that you would otherwise do in a different city?

I can't really think of anything, so those articles are just headline grabbing, nothing else especially those signs "no heels", "no umbrella" seriously?

Here is a similar article but its a counterview, it may be slightly outdated especially the part where he says, you can get residency quickly.
http://www.internationalman.com/article ... ht-for-you

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby JR8 » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 9:22 pm

'The government doesn’t drag people off the streets, but the populace acts as if it could be a possibility.'


Bwahaha....
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby carteki » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:58 pm

Wd40 wrote:all those rules that have been put out there, have they really prevented you from doing something that you would otherwise do in a different city?


Which works for 90% of the people who live here and agrees completely with the advice I've passed onto people on this forum who're looking at moving here, but what the article is trying to say is that if you fall into the 10% - or have a modicum of feeling for the 10% - you may find living here very difficult. For foreigners its not so difficult - you pack up and move home. For locals ... this IS home. Where do they go?

BTW - It was probably before your time when one of our forum contributors was "lured" to Singapore and promptly arrested and left in freezing solitary confinement - I think it was for 3 weeks. His "crime"... pointing out legal ways for people to address their issues on a specific topic that the powers that be didn't like him pointing out. This issue left a marked impression on the members of the forum and how they answer questions about this and other topics.

User avatar
Barnsley
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2066
Joined: Tue, 10 Jun 2008
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby Barnsley » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:11 pm

Wd40 wrote:Well, you must just ask yourself, if you have changed much after coming to Singapore. I mean, all those rules that have been put out there, have they really prevented you from doing something that you would otherwise do in a different city?

I can't really think of anything, so those articles are just headline grabbing, nothing else especially those signs "no heels", "no umbrella" seriously?

Here is a similar article but its a counterview, it may be slightly outdated especially the part where he says, you can get residency quickly.
http://www.internationalman.com/article ... ht-for-you


Another bonus point for your PR application :D
Life is short, paddle harder!!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby JR8 » Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:15 pm

Better watch out, he'll be like the East German Stasi next, loyally demonstrating his patriotism to the authorities by reporting any 'criticisers'...


[/jk WD]
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby carteki » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 2:05 am

JR8 wrote:Better watch out, he'll be like the East German Stasi next, loyally demonstrating his patriotism to the authorities by reporting any 'criticisers'...
[/jk WD]


I did consider it, but as I am no longer in the country I thought I was safe ... but who knows!

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby x9200 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 4:55 am

Barnsley wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Well, you must just ask yourself, if you have changed much after coming to Singapore. I mean, all those rules that have been put out there, have they really prevented you from doing something that you would otherwise do in a different city?

I can't really think of anything, so those articles are just headline grabbing, nothing else especially those signs "no heels", "no umbrella" seriously?

Here is a similar article but its a counterview, it may be slightly outdated especially the part where he says, you can get residency quickly.
http://www.internationalman.com/article ... ht-for-you


Another bonus point for your PR application :D

Clearly yes. It looks like an article written for a purpose. My favorite piece: Despite having among the highest population densities in the world, you almost never get pushed in public places. People respect your distance, and the young never occupy reserved spaces on public transport, if there is a slightest chance that someone might need them. Locals are almost always well-dressed and students well-behaved.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby nakatago » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 5:33 am

x9200 wrote:Clearly yes. It looks like an article written for a purpose. My favorite piece: Despite having among the highest population densities in the world, you almost never get pushed in public places. People respect your distance, and the young never occupy reserved spaces on public transport, if there is a slightest chance that someone might need them. Locals are almost always well-dressed and students well-behaved.


Five letters: s, t, o, m, and p. :cool:

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3788
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby Wd40 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 8:32 am

Yeah, I noticed that, which is why I thought the article might be outdated.



Also, it is relatively, not sure which city he is comparing with. You indeed do not get pushed in public places in Singapore, may be he is comparing with other similar crowded places. I read in Tokyo, someone stands outside the train just to push people inside :)

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby nakatago » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 8:58 am

Wd40 wrote:Yeah, I noticed that, which is why I thought the article might be outdated.



Also, it is relatively, not sure which city he is comparing with. You indeed do not get pushed in public places in Singapore, may be he is comparing with other similar crowded places. I read in Tokyo, someone stands outside the train just to push people inside :)


Or being sarcastic which clearly would be missed by the locals.

You don't get pushed; people just won't let you out of the train.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Singapore - A Faustian Ideal

Postby JR8 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015 9:54 am

Wd40 wrote:Well, you must just ask yourself, if you have changed much after coming to Singapore. I mean, all those rules that have been put out there, have they really prevented you from doing something that you would otherwise do in a different city?


Certainly.

But I think a point of note is how laws define outer boundaries, and most people aim to keep a generous safety margin between themselves and such boundaries.

Example: Back home I can legally drink say three glasses of wine and then drive. In my home I know the size of the measure, and the strength of the wine, but at a pub or restaurant I might not. Two 250ml glasses of 13% wine would render me in a state where I would choose not to drive, if at such a point I were still able to make a rational decision. So, in many ways, and considering the consequences of drink/driving, 'You know what, it's just easier if I don't drink at all tonight?'

A similar approach seems prudent with Current Affairs. Back home it is almost a tradition that any family gathering or party will at some point descend into heated debate about the hot political topics of the moment. It can involve much ardent posturing, but ultimately is merely a form of engaged entertainment. Woe betide any of my friends who together with me visit my parents and cannot hold their own across the dinner table. Over here, I'm not sure how to compare it. It feels rather like, it's not that people aren't interested in Current Affairs per se (although they might claim that, as it's a simple way to shut-down any discussion), it is more like they feel they are not at liberty to hold or express an opinion. This often comes across as if such topics are 'Over-serious and not fun, and we ARE here to have fun aren't we!?'.

So yes, I do feel materially socially restrained here, and that is a major factor in why I would not wish for a long term future here. I can fully understand the equation for others, it is down to a balance of ones own potential gains vs losses based upon individual circumstances. Hence the Faustian Pact*; not everybody considers it something worth entering into.

----
*The term might not translate readily, and since it is rather critical to the topic here...

'According to traditional Christian belief in witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or a lesser demon. The person offers his or her soul in exchange for diabolical favours. Those favours vary by the tale, but tend to include youth, knowledge, wealth, or power.
...The bargain is considered a dangerous one, as the price of the Fiend's service is the wagerer's soul.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_with_the_Devil
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests