23 June 2003

First Entry

BLog the First, which of course follows the second entry in this blog. In which certain objectives are set, an ethical outlook for this blogger is proposed, and much ink was spilled on his table due to a leaking pen...

Illusio is not my word; the late, great Pierre Bourdieu coined it 15 years ago... but I'm getting ahead of myself already.

In the game of life, or in any sub-game of life, it is all too easy to end up in a state of apathy, disinterestedness, and indifference to the world around you.

To be indifferent is to be unmoved by the game, to say "This game does not interest me", or in Singaporeanese, "No comments" (most often quoted in the Straits Times).

It is a state of willful ignorance, of saying to hell with the details, of pretending that nothing is of any significance. Like "There's no real choice, Bush and Gore are all the same" or "It doesn't matter which party wins the election" (quote from Simon Tay, NMP and advocate for active civil society, in 2001 for a Political Science Society talk!)

Willful ignorance, self-inflicted blindness, almost as criminal as turning a blind eye to troubling matters. In other words, apathy.

ILLUSIO then, is the very opposite of apathy: it is to be invested, taken in and by the game. To be interested is to accord a given social game that what happens in it does matter, that its stakes are important and worth pursuing.

And in the end, it's the only reason for communication, or any activity between human beings. And this is why I write.

Illusio: Do you believe in the game?

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