Sunday, May 01, 2005

Singabloodypore.blogspot is leaving!

On the right column of singabloodypore, Steven McDermott writes: "I will be closing down the blogspot site in the near future, but will continue to post on both sites for the time being." (click for larger view)

In case anyone was unaware, this site was created as a deliberate copy of singabloodypore.

This was done for two reasons: to act as a balance and demonstrate the mediocrity of analysis singabloodypore regurgitated, and because of a deep concern for, and a desire to reach out to Steven, to possibly help him obtain a more balanced view of Singapore and perhaps resolve what seems to be unmitigated hate. A secondary reason, of course, was that I found the entire exercise enormously entertaining.

For whatever reason, singabloodypore is now moving to civiblog; and while I suppose I might follow, the default layout of that service is -ahem- rather bland (and singabloodypore.civiblog has not deviated much from it.)

While Steven has definitely read this blog (singasingapore was also graciously linked by singabloodypore), I note with regret that he has never engaged me in any sort of reasoned debate upon any issue. This might be due to the fact that I have not been around for long (and yet he's already leaving!!!) or because the blog "was and is a means for [Steven] to collect articles on Singapore that [he] could not read in the Singaporean national press." (link - search for the words "could not") but surely the standard should be that the articles collected (and presumably endorsed) must be worth reading, and not simply sycophantic. Indeed, that is why I read singabloodypore at all.

I do admit that I have not responded to certain seemingly substantive articles, particularly the Acidflask post, but I plead lack of time. Regarding that post, actually, even if the key fact quoted was true: "In the years 1999-2003, Singapore scored below average in terms of impact factors in 19 out of 21 fields tracked by Thomson ISI;" this does not support many other assertions made; such as "the conclusion is crystal-clear: we are very good at producing unstimulating scientific research" or "Singapore is not a major contributor to the physical sciences, even in per capita and per paper terms" at least in the way the author implicitly asks us to accept them.

They are only true (for these cases) provided we accept that citations-per-paper is the overwhelmingly important factor in deciding contribution to physical sciences, or how stimulating the scientific research Singapore has produced is.

This cannot be the case. Perhaps a better test of academia is peer review; as adopted by the Times World University Rankings (mirrored here) which ranked the NUS 18th worldwide. And remember that 20% of that result was based on citations-per-paper from ISI, and 50% on peer review.

In any case, singabloodypore is leaving blogspot, and it is unlikely I will follow. I could, of course, maintain this blog as it is, and trackback to the civiblog site, but it's just not as fun!

*childish pout*