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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wee Shu Min

Today, when I went to Technorati to check on my blog's non-existent rank, I saw this:

Hmm... I recall seeing this name when I scanned the Straits Times this morning. So I thought - "Cool! A Singaporean is a top search item on Technorati!"

Turns out that Miss Wee Shu Min is a young blogger and daughter of a politician. She made a rather unpleasant comment on another guy's blog (Mr. Derek Wee) regarding a topic that many Singaporeans are deeply concerned about: long-term job security.

Resulting in a quite a buzz in the local blogosphere.

You can read more about this here:

Original article by Derek Wee

Comments by Wee Shu Min

Or if you have no time to read, here's a hilarious video that tells you what happened:

I will not go into the details here - Fresh Brainz is not that sort of blog!

However let me point out something relevant to biology that both authors mentioned in their posts. Derek Wee noted that (italicized by me) :

Onus is really on the government to revamp the society. A society that is not a pressure cooker. A society that does not mirror so perfectly, what survival of the fittest is. But a society, where it’s people can be committed, do their best and not having to fear whether they will still wake up employed tomorrow.

Wee Shu Min countered (italicized by me) :

if you're not good enough, life will kick you in the balls. that's just how things go. there's no point in lambasting the government for making our society one that is, i quote, "far too survival of fittest". it's the same everywhere. yes discrimination exists, and it is sad, but most of the time if people would prefer hiring other people over you, it's because they're better.

What a coincidence - I just wrote an article a few days ago that the term "survival of the fittest" is one of the most abused catchphrases in science.

Abused yet again.

Take that Darwin! TWACK!

*an anguished murmur from beyond the grave*


pinoy stupid said...

I think the JRC girl had made some points in her posts. Finally, an 18-year-old who thought of things other than makeup and going to the mall.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Welcome to Fresh Brainz!

Pandabonium said...

Your article about survival of the fittest is very good. Ironically, Wee Shu Min supports a model that is unsustainable istself and will soon pass.


Lim Leng Hiong said...

Thanks Pandabonium!

The use of "survival of the fittest" to mean "it's a dog-eat-dog world" is so common that it's quite sad.

Instead of describing the diversity of adaptations to different environments, this common usage implies that everyone has to be fighting tooth to claw on a single "ladder" of success.

Personally, I prefer another catchphrase to describe biological evolution. A quote from the movie Minority Report:

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

ah said...


Don't attribute quotes like that to that piece of flotsam movie insult insult crud Minority Report. The real quotation is:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
[In regione caecorum rex est luscus.]
Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (III, IV, 96)
Dutch author, philosopher, & scholar (1466 - 1536)

And the slightly interesting modification:

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a lunatic." -- Colin Wilson, ca. 1964

Google is your friend :)

Lim Leng Hiong said...

To A.H.,

Sheesh... I just happen to like Minority Report because there is an evil nurse inside.

Everybody loves evil nurses!

Anyway, I like that quote, wherever it came from. Actually both of those are cool.


*fantasizes about being a one-eyed crazy king in a land of the blind*

Jeremy said...

Oddly, Darwin was not the one who coined the phrase, "survival of the fittest." It was Herbert Spencer