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Scientists: Burning PM Lee Hsien Loong’s effigy need not necessarily cause Amos Yee’s release from remand

Posted on 05 July 2015

Role of causal thinking needs to be reexamined, magical realism to be debunked.


Leading scientists from all fields of study have come out to clarify that the burning of effigies will not necessarily cause the desired outcomes that burners of effigies hope will eventually happen.

This after 50 protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday burnt effigies of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at a demonstration held near the Singapore Consulate in Admiralty district — one day ahead of Amos Yee’s expected sentencing — to demand the release of the Singaporean teen blogger.

However, leading scientists have since reiterated their stand that the role of causal thinking needs to be examined more thoroughly, as doing one action does not necessarily lead to a specific reaction that is the desired outcome.

One scientist, Ke Xue Jia, said: “This belief that burning the effigies of statesmen would cause a person held in prison or remand to be released is mainly based on superstitious reasoning.”

“We are not sure what exactly led the protesters to try burning effigies in the first place when the success rate is at best shady, and at worst, random.”

“This makes their actions rather meaningless, especially from an evolutionary point-of-view, as how does this pointless act of burning even contribute to the success of the human species?”

Other scientists say protesters will be better equipped to deal with such future situations if they bothered to properly test their beliefs, treating each idea they have as a provisionally accepted hypothesis, and from there, eliminate false beliefs while extending their findings so that they only do what really works and not waste time and energy being occupied on efforts that don’t pay off.

Another scientist, Zhen Chong Ming, said: “To conduct a proper experiment, there has to be separate testable conditions: One where only one effigy is burnt and measure what the effect is, and slowly move on to burning more effigies to see if it improves the success rate and efficacy of incinerating symbolic items to reach a desired outcome.”

“Or else, blindly burning things randomly is the same as blindly incarcerating individuals for speaking out, thinking that this will have a chilling effect on society without first considering that any desired effects will be negated, or worse, amplified due to positive feedback loops, especially in the realm of social behaviour.”














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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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