Monday, April 10, 2006

Mr. Miyagi on "Secret Histories" (or, "Why we have Yesterday.SG")

In a recent Sunday Times column, Janadas Devan wrote the following in his article, "Why all the fuss over blogs?" (02 April 2006)*:
The science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said once that the short-term impact of any new technology tends to be overestimated, while its long-term impact is underestimated. Blogging is still in its infancy, and its impact is probably being exaggerated, chiefly by alarmists in the traditional media. And we cannot predict as yet what its long-term impact might be, for we lack the imagination to do so.

I remembered that when I wrote this for Yesterday.SG, which was published today:
Mr. Miyagi on "Secret Histories" (or, "Why we have Yesterday.SG")
April 10, 2006

I must qualify that I don’t know Mr. Miyagi very well, at least not like how the editors know him. I’ve only conversed with him face-to-face one time thus far, and a brief exchange at that. So it was a pleasant surprise for me when he emailed me this message:

Stumbled on an entry in my own archives. Dunno why, but I think you might like to read it.

I read it and I liked it. Mr. Miyagi got his hunch right.

But it’s a hard post to classify though. Not because it’s unclear but because it’s a weave of many things—about Heritage (his excerpt of his childhood in Pasir Panjang Road), about Relationships (something to do with a love letter)... Maybe I liked that particular post because there’s a subtle message that articulates the reason for Yesterday.SG (at least as how I understand it). It’s about leaving a record of our personal histories (i.e. Secret Histories), no matter how trivial.

I suspect there are many out there who visit Yesterday.SG but hesitate to contribute stories. Perhaps you hesitate because you think your stories are trivial. Someone told me not everyone’s father plays basketball and posed with the late Chiang Kai-shek (I shan’t mention names) : )

For the record, while I read Mr. Miyagi’s blog from time to time, I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes (just in case you think I’m sucking up to a A-list blogger). What I do agree strongly is this: “... we should document, narrate and journalise other things.

I feel that what is trivial is not for us to judge. Let’s leave that to time, shall we?

* You ought to read Janadas Devan's article. It's a refreshing and lucid piece that doesn't go into blog-bashing, but points out objectively what it's really about.


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