First Note

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Yes, the SMA Hobbit is back. But on a different forum from the SMA News.


Even an old coot like this hobbit has to keep up with the times and social media simply cannot be ignored.


The social media offers several advantages from an established hardcopy print medium like the SMA News. For one, there is no printing press deadline to meet. The SMA news goes to print every month and this hobbit has strived hard to meet these deadlines and come up with articles with some regularity in the past. There is no such requirement with the social media such as a blog or a post on Facebook. I can post every few days or every few months.


Secondly, hobbit columns in the past in the SMA News have to conform to rough expectations of print space, i.e. about two pages or about 1300 words. With the social media, there is no such expectation. A post can be just several words or a few hundred words or even more than the usual 1300 words.


Thirdly, there is no editing or censorship by the SMA News Editorial Board. What I post on Facebook is entirely my personal business. There are pluses and minuses to this new arrangement. The main plus is that I am not subject to the Editorial Board’s decisions on what to print and what not to print. The minus is that I am entirely on my own here. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the role and responsibility of the SMA News Editorial Board. They are volunteers and they have a job to do. Having said that, that doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with their decisions even though I must respect them when I contribute to SMA News. So when the differences came to a head over a certain article, I exercised my right to retire from the SMA News as a columnist. To be absolutely clear, there were many important reasons that led me to my retirement from the News about half a year back, including the demands of work, family, but the decision of the SMA News Editorial Board not to print a certain article was also a big contributory factor.


Enough of the past, back to the present. Since this is my first long post here, I need to stress that whatever is posted here does NOT represent in any way the official position of the SMA on any issue. The folks in SMA have kindly set up this Facebook account for me to continue my nonsensical and personal ramblings in Cyberspace. I appreciate this opportunity and new forum and I hope you will continue to support me here virtually as you have had in the past in print.


As you are well aware, the Hobbit lives in a mythical parallel universe called Middle Earth. Unless otherwise and specifically stated, events and personalities referred to in this Facebook account are completely fictitious and belong to the realm of utter fantasy. If you do suspect that I am referring to anyone or any event that you think may have occurred on planet Earth (i.e. 3rd Rock from the Sun, and NOT middle-earth), then let me again reassure you your suspicions are totally unfounded and without any basis.


For the avoidance of doubt and to be absolutely clear – all future writings and opinions expressed here on this Facebook account are un-researched, untrue and cannot be substantiated. So read at your own risk, folks.

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