Gibson describes “the sensation of trying to connect psychically with the old Singapore [as] rather painful, as though Disneyland's New Orleans Square had been erected on the site of the actual French Quarter, obliterating it in the process but leaving in its place a glassy simulacrum.” In 2020, this is only more true of Singapore.
The story behind this divergence was obvious: The governments of South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore were prepared to test, to trace, and to isolate, and ours was not.
On the back of Wired, CNN, and Time praising Singapore’s response in early March, the Singapore government made moves which political commentators have read as suggesting the possibility of snap elections, including announcing the new electoral boundaries on March 13, as if to leverage goodwill in the midst of crisis to solidify political power.
One article from personnel in the radiology department at Singapore General Hospital describes keeping teams of health care workers separate from one another in case one has to be quarantined, and physical separations for different kinds of patients—all sorts of seemingly small systematic changes that limit the spread of an infectious disease.
Researchers from Singapore University of Technology and Design discovered 12 new Bluetooth bugs that potentially expose more than 480 devices, from fitness trackers and smart locks to medical tools and implants.You can sign up right here to make sure you get the news delivered fresh to your inbox every weekday!
But a massive effort to catalogue the sex ratios at birth, for the first time, for every country, shows that’s not such a smart strategy after all.“For so long people just took that number for granted,” says Fengqing Chao, a public health researcher at the Institute of Policy Studies in Singapore.
Singapore has implemented what Jan Gehl calls “human-scale design.” The bottom-up design of neighborhoods empowers citizens and emphasizes diversity, thereby preventing the emergence of poverty ghettoes through mixed-income housing, along with access to high-quality public transport, health, and education.
And while he acknowledges that tensions between Kim and Trump may have escalated to such a dangerous point last summer—thanks in no small part to Trump’s own rhetoric—that a shotgun summit in Singapore was needed, he and others argue that it’s not a viable process for substantive change.