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Friday, August 22, 2008

RWP 1500 23082008

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No, no, it's not a serial number, or the secret combination to Barisan Nasional's vault of dirty deeds.. nor is it a coded message. If you don't already know what it is, allow Walski to give you a clue.

It's about reading. Something Walski thinks Malaysians simply do not do enough of. Of course, it doesn't help that we live with a government that is so fond of banning books, particularly those that touch on the subject of Islam. And why do they do this? Walski has his theory, but more on that later.

RWP is short for Reading while Waiting Project, a great and timely initiative by Random Alphabets, whom in their own words, are a bunch of writers who prefer keyboards. The project is aimed at getting people to read any form of literature while they wait - for anything. It's one way to start people to have the habit of reading.

In Kuala Lumpur, the event is scheduled for 3pm (hence the 1500 in the title), on Saturday August 23rd 2008, at the KL Sentral Station, in the area in front of KFC, Dunkin Donuts and KTM Komuter. But it's not just being done in KL. RWP has taken momentum and will be happening in 8 other cities around the world!
(reading is important, and more, in the full post)

Image hosting by PhotobucketPersonally, Walski thinks that the habit of reading is a great one to have. It helps develop the intellect, and opens us up to an infinitely interesting world outside our own. Reading also stimulates your curiosity, that in-built mechanism in humans to constantly ask "why". With reading, the information you get, coupled with a healthy curiosity, will make you want to find out more. And to find out more, one has to read more.

Granted, in certain seemingly growing circles, some would prefer to have you not ask "why", and accept whatever dogma du jour they have to sell you, and would prefer you to swallow it whole. It boils down to thought control, which will then facilitate absolute control, in the long run. Walski believes that this is where the happy-go-book banning crowd comes in - as a tool, ultimately towards social control.

And the only panacea is if you can think critically, and are not afraid to ask "why". Walski has no remedy to offer for the not being afraid part, but reading certainly helps towards being able to think critically.

Today, however, we have the Internet, in addition to books and periodicals. Reading stuff on the Internet's a great way to gain knowledge, too. But the discipline to read through an entire article is something Walski honed through reading books and magazines. It could very well be that that's just Walski... but hey, whatever you read, read well!

In any case, Walski hopes that you do support this effort. If you can't be there at KL Sentral tomorrow, 3pm, you and a few of your friends can do it on your own. Go someplace where there will be some form of waiting involved - bus stop, train station... wherever. The literature you read can be anything. Do, however, take pictures, then send them to Random Alphabets, telling them where it happened.

Reading enhances knowledge. Knowledge allows you to want to know more. Wanting to know more means that you won't be so easily hoodwinked. And not being so easily hoodwinked means that you'd be able to discriminate between right and wrong, between good and bad. Being able to discriminate between right/wrong and good/bad means that you're less likely to fall victim to propaganda and dogmatic lies. Which will then lead us all together towards realizing how silly our pettiness has been all this while.

And it all starts with reading...