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葛兆光:中国是现代民族国家和传统帝国的混合体 | 政见 CNPolitics.org
我们把civilization这个词用来做一个普遍性的规则,而文化culture这个词我们把它说是中国传统的东西。我们认为就传统文化而言,各个民族没有高低之分,没有哪一个culture好一点,哪一个culture比较不好。但是,文明是有不同的,因为文明是要学习的,而且是跟知识、教养、秩序是有关系的。

我总觉得中国是一个非常特殊的例子。一方面呢,我在书里面一再强调:从公元1000年,也就是差不多宋代的时候,就已经有类似于欧洲nation-state(民族国家)的那种意识。这个idea不是制度上的,而是思想上的。但是另外一方面呢,中国始终保留了帝国的观念,帝国的制度。比方说,一直到后来,它都觉得应该有朝贡体制,有一个天下的、中央的、天朝大国的那种秩序。所以,中国的历史和欧洲的历史不一样的地方,就是说中国并不是从传统的帝国转向现代的民族国家,而是民族国家和帝国是混在一起的。也就是说,一方面它有现代民族国家的一些因素,但是它另外一方面又保留了帝国的想象和意识。所以,这两个东西并没有像欧洲那样从传统到现代。

在中国,正因为传统的帝国和现代的民族国家混在一起,所以现在很多问题都出在这里。它面对的是一个已经现代了的国际秩序,但是它又有很多传统的帝国想象。怎么办?我们之所以会讨论这个问题,其实和中国当下的问题有许多联系。比方说,中国政府在处理对外关系的时候和处理对内的民族问题的时候,有许多复杂的问题其实跟这个历史──跟这个特别的历史——是有关系的,所以就带来很多很多困难。你单纯地按照现代国际秩序、国际法则来处理问题好办,或者干脆你回到帝国时代去也好办,但是这两个混在一起的时候,就带来很多麻烦。你看看现在中国政府官员的脑子里,到现在仍然是这两个东西是混在一起的。

这种以父子关系为主轴的这种放大了的家族、家国的结构,才是孔夫子的思想基础。脱离了这个社会结构,孔夫子就变成了抽象的道德。但实际上在那个时候,他不是抽象的道德,他还是一套治理整个社会、建立政治秩序的一整套方法。

历史记忆在中国太多地被控制。这也是为什么我们很多知识份子都希望重写历史,比如民间历史、公共历史(public history)。这样的东西,都是试图瓦解固定的、强大的、意识形态的那种历史记忆,这是大家都在做的事情。但是说实话,作用很有限,因为历史教科书你改变不了,公共的纪念性的东西你改变不了,还有电视电影要很多钱的,你也控制不了。所以你也没有办法

这些冲突呢,造成现在中国的很多问题。这些问题肯定都是跟历史有关的,这三个问题都来自历史,而且是很长的历史,可能是几百年的,甚至是一千年的历史。

马克思主义的论述方式和逻辑性对我们有影响,但是价值观大概影响很小,我们这一代人大概都会有这样的经历

您探索的这些关于身份认同、文化移入、跨文化现象、文化改变和文化的概念,这些问题从本质上而言都是人类学的问题。
像疆域民族国家宗教认同这样的问题,我们主要从历史角度来看,包括它的形成、变化和历史过程来看。但是,人类学会分析它的结构和现状这些问题。

在各个地方,你可以看到国家在塑造这些宗教的时候,它的力量很强。这一点跟西方的伊斯兰教和基督教很不一样。它们都是超越国家的宗教,超越了很多很多国家变成了一个宗教。可是佛教、道教本来都是一个宗教,但是在各个国家就变成了不一样的东西了,它们的命运也不一样。比如中国和日本的佛教完全不同,怎么理解这样的现象?
religion  ethnography  history  book  expert  china  today  interview 
july 2018 by aries1988
BBC World Service - Business Daily, Machine Learning

Machines are about to get a lot smarter and machine learning will transform our lives. So says a report by the Royal Society in the UK, a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists. Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence that’s already being used to tag people in photos, to interpret voice commands and to help internet retailers to make recommendations.
ai  interview  expert  explained  challenge  today 
april 2017 by aries1988
How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next | William Davies

In France, it has been illegal to collect census data on ethnicity since 1978, on the basis that such data could be used for racist political purposes. (This has the side-effect of making systemic racism in the labour market much harder to quantify.)

Speaking scientifically about the nation – for instance in terms of macroeconomics – is an insult to those who would prefer to rely on memory and narrative for their sense of nationhood, and are sick of being told that their imagined community does not exist.

the geography of capitalism has been pulling in somewhat different directions. Plainly globalisation has not rendered geography irrelevant. In many cases it has made the location of economic activity far more important, exacerbating the inequality between successful locations (such as London or San Francisco) and less successful locations (such as north-east England or the US rust belt). The key geographic units involved are no longer nation states. Rather, it is cities, regions or individual urban neighbourhoods that are rising and falling.

Immigration may be good for the economy overall, but this does not mean that there are no local costs at all. So when politicians use national indicators to make their case, they implicitly assume some spirit of patriotic mutual sacrifice on the part of voters: you might be the loser on this occasion, but next time you might be the beneficiary.

Why then do the events of the past year feel quite so damaging to the ideal of quantitative expertise and its role in political debate?

Statistics, collected and compiled by technical experts, are giving way to data that accumulates by default, as a consequence of sweeping digitisation. Traditionally, statisticians have known which questions they wanted to ask regarding which population, then set out to answer them.

In this new world, data is captured first and research questions come later.

First, there is no fixed scale of analysis (such as the nation) nor any settled categories (such as unemployed).

Second, the majority of us are entirely oblivious to what all this data says about us, either individually or collectively.

What is most politically significant about this shift from a logic of statistics to one of data is how comfortably it sits with the rise of populism.

These data analysts are often physicists or mathematicians, whose skills are not developed for the study of society at all.

During the presidential election campaign, Cambridge Analytica drew on various data sources to develop psychological profiles of millions of Americans, which it then used to help Trump target voters with tailored messaging.

The new apparatus of number-crunching is well suited to detecting trends, sensing the mood and spotting things as they bubble up. It serves campaign managers and marketers very well. It is less well suited to making the kinds of unambiguous, objective, potentially consensus-forming claims about society that statisticians and economists are paid for.
statistics  expert  data  crisis  opinion  conflict 
january 2017 by aries1988
Sometimes the People Need to Call the Experts

The government about to take over in Washington has more billionaires than the Boston of Buckley’s time, but it seems willing to test the theory that academics can be dispensed with for the most part.

experts. They understand the importance of applying expertise to complex problems, and they realize many issues do not respond well to common-sense fixes. The citizenry usually cannot make good decisions, or for that matter expert appointments, when technocracy is required.

Very few citizens understand such basic concepts as how inflation rates are calculated, the differences between real and nominal rates of interest, or how the shadow banking system is supposed to work, much less tripartite repurchase agreements or the Basel capital standards. The complexities increase every year, and it is no accident that the last two Fed chairs have been drawn from the highest ranks of academic economists.

each stands a chance of being right in some particular circumstances, and the populist approach doesn’t have any way to differentiate. For that you have to call in someone who specializes in monetary economics, a field with many counterintuitive conclusions.

There is a time and place for populist sentiment, but an excess can be counterproductive on its own terms. As expertise is pushed out the door, the citizenry itself gets a bad name, precisely when we most need it to step up to the plate and demand some excellence.
intelligentsia  mao  government  usa  public  opinion  expert  choice  populism  instapaper_favs 
january 2017 by aries1988
Lunch with M.

Conceived in France at the beginning of the last century, the Michelin guide today has editions in twenty-three countries and is one of the best-selling restaurant guides in the world. It operates on the principle that only reviews by anonymous, professionally trained experts can be trusted for accurate assessments of a restaurant’s food and service.

Only twenty-six three-star restaurants exist in France, and only eighty-one in the world.

Since coming to America, Michelin has learned that its brand of Gallic opacity and unapologetic gastronomic élitism has been a tougher sell here than it was in Europe or Asia.

I asked Maxime how she chooses what to order.

You’re looking for something that really tests a number of quality ingredients and then something that’s a little complex, because you want to see what the kitchen can do, she said. We would never order something like a salad. We rarely order soup.

Automobiles were still a rarity on roads in France. The brothers had the idea that a guidebook to hotels in the French countryside would encourage people to climb into a car (equipped with Michelin tires) and hit the open road.

the star system for ranking food, with one star denoting a very good restaurant in its class; two stars excellent cooking, worth a detour; and three stars exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.

The French chef Paul Bocuse, who helped create nouvelle cuisine in the nineteen-sixties, and whose restaurant near Lyons has held a three-star Michelin ranking for a record forty-five years, has said, Michelin is the only guide that counts.

criticisms often levelled against Michelin: that its approach to restaurants and food is too wedded to an ideal of formal, technical accuracy that is not applicable to restaurants outside France.

For a restaurant like Jean Georges, filling out the reports would take two to three hours. A Chinese restaurant might take an hour.
story  français  cuisine  guide  michelin  usa  american  comparison  secrecy  gastronomy  future  expert  instapaper_favs 
january 2017 by aries1988
Three wise men | The Economist
WHATEVER image you may have of the reformists hoping to shake up China’s creaking economic system, it is probably not one of octogenarians who fiddle with their hearing aids and take afternoon naps. But that is a fair description of three of the country’s loudest voices for change: Mr Market, Mr Shareholding and the most radical of all, the liberal. With growth slowing, the stockmarket once again in trouble and financial risks looking more ominous, their diagnoses of the economy, born of decades of experience, are sobering.

Wu Jinglian, Li Yining and Mao Yushi—their real names—were born within two years of each other in 1929 and 1930 in Nanjing, then China’s capital. Whether it was that or pure coincidence, all three grew up to demand an end to Soviet-style central planning and to propose, to varying degrees, capitalism in its place. Their influence has waned with age, but their powers of analysis remain sharp. And they do not much like what they see.
chinese  expert  economy  opinion  future  reform  liberalism 
january 2016 by aries1988
BBC - Future - How to learn 30 languages
What’s more, unless you want to sound like a stuttering robot, those words and structures have to make it to the tip of your tongue within a split second, meaning they have to be programmed in both explicit and implicit memory.

according to the critical period hypothesis, there is a narrow window during childhood in which we can pick up the nuances of a new language.

Keeley’s theory is that learning a new language causes you to re-invent your sense of self – and the best linguists are particularly good at taking on new identities. You become a chameleon, he says.

He recently ran a survey of Chinese speakers learning Japanese to examine their ego permeability – with questions such as I find it easy to put myself in other’s shoes and imagine how they feel or I can do impressions of other people, and whether you can change your opinions to suit the people you are near. As he suspected, the people who score highly on these traits had much greater fluency in their new language.

Speaking with slightly pouted lips instantly makes you sound a little bit more French, for instance.
language  mind  learn  expert  memory  howto 
december 2015 by aries1988
The Power of Precise Predictions

Such questions don’t precisely get at what we want to know — namely, will the deal make the United States and its allies safer? — but they are testable and relevant to the question of the Iranian threat. Most important, they introduce accountability into forecasting. And that, it turns out, can depolarize debate.
prediction  politics  expert 
november 2015 by aries1988
What Caused The Warehouse Explosions In Tianjin, China?
Chinese officials have not said what caused the explosions Wednesday in Tianjin, China. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with chemical risk expert David Leggett about the chemicals known to be at the site.
explained  expert  risk  chemistry 
august 2015 by aries1988
For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland.
The people telling these tales aren’t interested in complexities or, really, in China. They’re making domestic arguments and expressing parochial fears. Their China isn’t a real place but a rhetorical trope, less a genuine rival than a fairy-tale bogeyman.

It’s understandable why visitors, especially those who don’t stray beyond the metropolises, might be overwhelmed. What’s not forgivable is how rarely pundits try to look further, content with an initial vision of glittering skyscrapers and swish airports that can be conveniently shoehorned into whatever case they’re trying to make.

With no external controls from a free media or civil society, Potemkinism is an everyday skill across the country, whether directed at outside investors or official inspectors.
opinion  china  world  expert 
may 2015 by aries1988
冰点时评:当调笑“砖家”成为一种风尚
济南市民怕涨价纷纷抢购“活人墓”,立马有社会学专家跳出来说,应该像调控房价一样出台限购政策,给墓地管理也出个“国八条”;西安学生药家鑫交通肇事后捅死伤者,于是有心理学专家在电视上说,他将伤者连捅八刀是弹钢琴的重复性动作;部分青少年上网成瘾,医学专家在中俄网瘾治疗经验交流会上分析,87%的青少年上网成瘾与缺少父爱有关。(综合近日媒体报道)
expert  china  knowledge  anti-intellectualism  society  government 
march 2011 by aries1988

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