Tea money query

Re: "Chadchart offers his anti-graft recipe," (BP, Sept 7).

Back in the UK in the 1960s as a contracts manager of a plastering company, I was sent to architects and government offices just before Christmas to deliver turkeys and bottles of alcohol to those responsible for awarding my company contracts.

The message was to pass on Christmas greetings and thanks for assisting our company. Was this bribery and corruption to grease the wheels? It would seem so. The practice was officially banned, with severe fines for infringement. How many contracts are awarded here for a high tea money percentage, I wonder? Perhaps governor Chadchart could bring in similar restrictions if corruption appears to exist.

Ron Martin

No virtues in virtual

Re: "Real social networks coming to an end," (Opinion, Sept 9).

Yes, the real networks that involved handshakes, hugging, rubbing cheeks and kissing are gone. We are in a world of social networks where we have followers that use emojis to like us, approve or disapprove of our existence on this planet. The sad part of the evolving social networks is that people are becoming poor in their judgments and feelings while tech companies are becoming rich.

Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, has been sharply critical of the social networks, accusing them of exploiting human vulnerability.

Roger McNamee, another investor in Facebook and Google, told The Guardian: "The people who run Facebook and Google are good people; whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences.

The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models."

Justin Rosenstein, the Facebook "like" co-creator, believes that there may be a case for state regulation of "psychologically manipulative advertising", saying the moral impetus is comparable to taking action against fossil fuel or tobacco companies. "If we only care about profit maximisation," he says, "we will go rapidly into dystopia".

Social media scholars are now digging into this vast digital terrain to examine the ill-effect of social networks in our society. But we can't miss the larger picture. Internet penetrations and WWW are expanding. Fake news also affects social fabric and dynamics, including politics, policies and global politics. With more than 40 billion devices connected to the internet by 2030, the challenges posed by social media will continue to grow. So also despair, depression and other physical and mental disorders.

Kuldeep Nagi

Call for cool heads

Re: "US boosts Ukraine aid, sees battlefield success," (BP, Sept 8).

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has just pledged more weapons for the Ukraine war; going in now for the "long haul" strategy. The problem is that the world may not be here for the really long haul if the USA does not change its short-haul military policy.

ML Saksiri Kridakorn

Give us our say

While the news of Queen Elizabeth's passing was not totally unexpected it still is an event that will alter the path of the UK in the coming years. What I fail to understand is why the comment icon has been removed from the article. There are those of us here who would like to post our thoughts on this solemn occasion.

I would hope the perennial moaners and groaners would resist the urge to see their nom de guerre in print and allow this to remain a means of expressing the great regard that this magnificent lady warranted. May she RIP.

Fred Prager

Liberty for all?

Re: "Censoring debate," & "No tit-for-tat," (BP, Sept 3).

You know folks, I believe it was George Orwell who once said: "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

Well, "censoring debate" led the Germans, Swiss, British and much of Western Europe into eyeing the worst winter they have seen since WWII & the legitimate possibility of many millions of Europeans going broke, freezing & starving from the Green New Scam which Thailand fortunately did not buy into.

In China, "censoring debate" led them to lunatic lockdowns which are now ruining the lives of just as many middle-class people. So, I agree with Michael Setter & Eric Bahrt on their calls to ensure PostBag remains open for all, allowing writers with frequently unpopular points to air those views when they have something to say.

Censorship equals tyranny & poverty. Free speech equals liberty for all.

Jason A Jellison
CONTACT: BANGKOK POST BUILDING136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110Fax: +02 6164000 email: postbag@bangkokpost.co.th
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