The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

H.L. Mencken: view of Singapore.

H.L Mencken, the American writer and "man of ideas" died in 1956, thus he never got a chance to comment on modern Singapore, however, I believe I have found a comment of his that fits the way Singapore is.

H.L Mencken (for Henry Louis Mencken) wrote:

"The men the American people admire most
extravagantly are the most daring liars;
the men they detest most violently are those
who try to tell them the truth."

If you substitute "Singaporean" for American, the quote holds true. It is easy to observe the truth of this. All you have to do is say something true of Singapore, or true, in fact, of anything at all. Then a group of Singaporean bloggers will attack you for it. They will take a prideful "Singapore is No.1" stance and denounce you, often in libellous, ad hominem fashion, for having spoken a truth. They will go to the trouble of posting all over the internet their hate. They will reason most falsely, using every trick in the deceivers art, to convince their readers that the truth is not true and that their lie is, instead. I have seen it happen now, many times. Most recent occurrences were in reaction to my postings on Singlish and MSG. It happens every single time I say something on any public issue at all, in fact, that makes reference to anything Singaporean or oriental at all, in any way. Apparently, one is forbidden to comment on any matters relating to anything that concerns this place or its people.

The funny thing about it is that those who attack the truths I have written, are very sure of their falsehoods. They disparage what I have written. They attack my character. They impugn my intelligence. They try to sound knowledgeable themselves. However, what is most interesting is that none of them actually bothers to find out what they could find out if they went looking: that I am right. I have written what I have written because I have learnt of it, deduced it or observed it at one time or another and found it to be true after thorough checking. Nothing is written without being solid in thought. What they write, on the other hand, is highly emotional, usually angry, and very wrong.

Their response is very interesting. It is clear that they immediately denounce, without checking the facts. They denounce with passion. What is even more interesting is that they only do this when I have written a truth which, if absorbed, listened to and understood would force them to change their view or understanding of something. Quite clearly, to change their view is something that they find threatening. They will fight to preserve their ignorance. They will fight to silence anyone who actually speaks a truth they don't want to be known. This, of course, is any truth of which they are unaware or which contravenes the world view they have.

H.L Mencken was right about America - and he would have been right about Singapore, too. Singapore is a nation where the last thing one is allowed to tell is the truth. To do so, is to court the most vitriolic of reactions from certain quarters.

Now, that I have written this truth, no doubt I will receive more vitriol from the same silencers of the truth that have been writing against my other postings, too.

I wonder when they will actually make a positive contribution to life, instead of seeking to make a negative one? They are haters of truth and lovers of conflict. I don't foresee much of a positive contribution from people with that outlook. No doubt, H.L Mencken would have had something pithy to say of them. No doubt, too, they would argue against the truth of his observations.

Given the predictable reaction to truthful postings in Singapore, on Singapore and matters Asian, I would say that this part of the world is very unlikely to ever see itself as it truly is. It is more likely that they will stifle any understanding that threatens to grow. I see it every time I write.

The funny part of it, of course, is that the ones who will suffer the long term consequences of this enforced ignorance and deluded self-image is Singapore itself.

It can't be said that I didn't try to let them know.
(It should be noted that only a very few people from Singapore are being hostile to my posts - a small group of three or four people who appear to know each other online. I don't know what their motives are. Most people are friendly, polite, helpful and interested. I enjoy corresponding with them.)
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 4:38 PM 


Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Fox: I cannot post a link to a blog that you use to launch attacks on me. That seems an unreasonable and unreasoning request.

There are others referred to here, than you.

7:51 PM  

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