Darwin’s NT News (”all the news that’s fit to printand all the news that’s not!“) has kicked up a minor diplomatic incident by calling Singapore “a place where people think shopping is a sport and are so materialistic that they’ve stopped having children” and “zzzzzzzzzzz”.

Fortunately for the NT News: in Australia, truth is an absolute defence to libel.

That was nine months ago. This week, Bloomberg Businessweek joined the pileon

Singapore ranks as the most emotionless society in the world, beating out Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia.

Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions. They’re not laughing a lot, either. “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” says Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”

To be fair, Singapore has realised that raising a nation of robots might not be a great idea, so after forty years of robotitude they’re trying to do something about it. Lee Kuan Yew would turn in his grave (wait, he’s not? Never mind) if he heard his son saying this: 

The country’s leaders want to promote a more free-wheeling society. In a speech last August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Singapore’s Tiger Moms and Dads, “Please let your children have their childhood! No homework is not a bad thing.”