Believing in your own BS


I spend pretty much 100% of my waking hours in the IT world. A world that changes and evolves rapidly. This results in a massive amount of churn in ideas, methods and processes. Some of these see traction and light of day and become adapted.  The adoption happens with the help of a) “messaging” and b) “positioning”.  The people who do this first have to believe that it is worth their while to push the message and second to repeat it enough times to make sure that it gets sunk in.

But, sometimes, this brainwashing reaches the level of “believing your own bullshit“. The bullshit (BS in short) that your product, service, offering is so damn good and wonderful that there is no way anyone can question or challenge it.

Years ago, I was the professional services director and later CTO of a company selling technology to banks. I liked only some portions of the technology – the crypto stuff – but the rest of it was so-so. More so-so because even though it was developed on Linux environments, it was never sold to be run on that. I was placed in many speaking situations to promote the tech and talk about how wonderful it is etc. I had to do both a) and b) above and eventually began believing in my own BS. I truly disliked it. I felt unclean every time I spoke highly of the products knowing full well that quite a bit of it was high-grade BS.  The reason for it to have been BS was its development model – proprietary and all in-house. No one could inspect, change or improve it for it was all done internally. There was no external developer community, nothing.

I contrast that with what I had done post leaving that entity over a decade ago. It was wonderful that I got back to my roots – the Free and Open Source world. This is a world in which I do not have to spin a story, promise a capability or functionality to anyone. If something works, it will. If it doesn’t, let’s work on making it happen. No hidden agendas. Nothing to BS about. I sleep well knowing that I did not hoodwink anyone.

Now, let’s look at what we have seen and will continue to see in the Singapore political scene in the last few months. With parliamentary elections looming, the ruling elite have (re)started to spin their BS. Almost every one of the ruling incumbents believe it to be true – lock, stock and barrel. They are all completely whitewashed and project an image that they are credible through and through and “You, Mr Elector, do not forget that. You, Mr Elector, owe it to us to re-elect us to office. Or else, Mr Elector, watch out.”

We, as Singapore citizens, can help snap the ruling elite out of their stupor and hypnosis. By voting in non-PAP candidates into parliament, we will finally have the best Singapore we can have. A Singapore that we do not have to “believe in our own BS”. A Singapore that we can be truly proud to represent every one of us. A Singapore that Singaporeans can truly call their own.

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