Friday, 9 August 2013

One Man’s View, Can Lee Hsien Loong handle it?

A new book entitled "One Man's View of the World" was recently published by PM Lee’s father. The book conveys senior Lee's views on foreign affairs, international politics and the future of major powers and regions of the world.

Looking at the possible future as described by his father, can PM Lee and his PAP team handle the situation well? Do we have the confidence that the PAP can face the future? If not, PM Lee may claim that the one man’s view is just another Chinese Room Argument.

The Chinese Room argument, devised by John Searle, is an argument against the possibility of true artificial intelligence. The argument centers on a thought experiment in which someone who knows only English sits alone in a room following English instructions for manipulating strings of Chinese characters, such that to those outside the room it appears as if someone in the room understands Chinese. The argument is intended to show that while suitably programmed computers may appear to converse in natural language, they are not capable of understanding language, even in principle. Searle argues that the thought experiment underscores the fact that computers merely use syntactic rules to manipulate symbol strings, but have no understanding of meaning or semantics. Searle's argument is a direct challenge to proponents of Artificial Intelligence, and the argument also has broad implications for functionalist and computational theories of meaning and of mind. As a result, there have been many critical replies to the argument.

The PM, who is unable to solve the future problems in one man’s view, can just simply claim that the view is just another artificial intelligence.  So, the PAP is in dilemma either to face an unsolvable future or to deny the artificial intelligence of Lee Kuan Yew.   

In reality, the possible likelihood of the future may be something in between, some true and some not true, some will happen and some will not.   
[“He doesn’t hesitate to explain why one-man-one-vote is unimaginable in China. He laments how Japan is strolling into mediocrity, and observes that Vietnam has yet to be liberated from the shackles of a socialist mindset. He argues that the Arab Spring will not bring democracy to the Middle East.”](CNA, 6 Aug 2013)
So, which of the above is true and which is not true?  We don’t know so do PM Lee and the PAP about the future. The question is do the people of Singapore have trust and confidence that the PAP is the best political party to take on the future challenges?  Heng Swee Keat in his speech at the Economic Society of Singapore explained: 
[The next step is how we strengthen trust and accountability between the Government and fellow Singaporeans, and how we promote mutual understanding among Singaporeans in an increasingly diverse Singapore.]

And as explained by senior Lee, Singapore is too small to change the world and whether past, present and future, we have to manoeuvre among the big countries: 

[As for Singapore, it is too small to change the world, he writes, but "we can try to maximise the space we have to manoeuvre among the big 'trees' in the region. That has been our approach and we will have to be nimble and resourceful to be able to continue to do so".]

The best defence for the PAP is if the PAP cannot move among the big ‘trees’ smoothly, then the inexperienced oppositions will find it even more difficult to do the same.  True or not true and who is inside the ‘Chinese Room’? Is it the PAP or the people?

In order to manoeuvre among the big countries, as highlighted by Heng Swee Keat, you need the support and trust of the people.  Experience or inexperience, Singaporeans cannot totally base on artificial intelligence prediction of the future.  They have to decide who is best representing their interest.  Who can help to solve the following problems?

Population and birth rate:
Lee said the falling fertility rate remained Singapore's biggest survival threat.

Race and talent:
Malaysia losing talent to keep one race dominant: LKY

Life and health care:
Singapore's Lee says he wants a quick death

Culture and languages:
LKY says NO to Cantonese and Hokkien programmes

And there are many more other problems and situations.

After watching his national day message, do you think Lee Hsien Loong is able to handle the situation inside ‘One Man’s View’?  The book is talking about future scenarios and challenges, PM Lee got the first hand information directly from his father, how is he going to digest and face it?  How would he distinguish the illusions of China Room argument?

Here is one example:

Comparing China’s Xi Jing Ping to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and saying one-man-one-vote is unimaginable in China, which is a China Room argument? Can PM Lee handle and face it well?

In his senior years and seeking a quick exit in life, senior Lee is now more like a ‘consumer item’ rather than giving insight views of the world.  Singaporeans should provide him a ‘peace of mind’ environment rather than continuing seeking China Room foresights?

To know more about China Room argument, you may visit:

No comments:

Post a comment