20 April 2007

Gobsmacking days

We are all prone to foolish associations and categorisations, but it's less forgiveable when corporations don't realise it, resulting in culturally biased questions. Full essay.

6 comments:

Robert L said...

Thank you, YB, that was quite informative about the Chinese in Gmail.

It leads me to thinking about my Windows Internet Explorer 7, which took over from it's earlier version a few months or maybe a year ago. At that time, as soon as the update completed, it opens out to a screen that is completely alien looking and indecipherable to me. However, since my regular browser is Firefox (*), I simply ignored it and left it aside. Unused (Mr Gates please note).

Upon reading your article about the Gmail, today I had one more look at the Explorer 7 screen and noticed that the indecipherable parts were all blank square boxes. Now I'm betting that those boxes could be Chinese characters which my screen did not support. Apart from all those square boxes, there were only 5 distinct English words - Windows, Internet, Explorer, Live, search - not enough to survive, you must admit. This will fit YB's discovery about the western assumption of Singapore computers being Chinese driven.

(*) Firefox = a popular internet browser that does the same job as the Internet Explorer.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Google's terms and conditions are legally binding if presented only in Chinese. Isn't English required in Singapore legal documents?

Liju said...

What you speak, how you behave with strangers, how you behave with your fellow colleagues and friends, how you behave with people of the opposite sex and people who are of different nationalities, colour, creed, race etc is something that shows your upbringing. This is what i always believe.

You are as good or bad as your parents/elders who were supposed to instill the values in you. So when i see someone passing a racist comment based on pre-concieved notions, i only pity his/her upbringing. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

mabbie someone in google thinks singapore is part of china? ha...

Anonymous said...

You can change that in the account Settings later. But you should report back to Google on that. Weather forecast on Personalised Google Homepage started with mainly American cities, but is now more inclusive following user feedback. At least they do respond. S'poreans are stuck with being pigeonholed as MICE or Others with no recourse. And many British/Americans I met travelling are still surprised I can converse with them in legible English and roll my R's, and confused when I say I'm a Chinese S'porean but Singapore is not in China...

Anonymous said...

the ending made this a wonderfully heartwarming entry.

reminds me of LU XUN's 'Yi Jian Xiao Shi' - an incident.

sometimes the assumptions we depend on for convenience shackle us unconsciously.