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专访宪法学者张千帆:宪政文明的暖流会融化中国体制的坚冰|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
张千帆是中国最负盛名的宪法学者之一,研究领域包括比较宪法与行政法,司法制度,中西方政治、道德与法律思想。

我们必须理解,宪法规定的党的领导是抽象和一般的,不是指治国理政日常实践中各级领导人的具体行为。任何领导人都是会犯错误的凡人,譬如某个县委书记完全可能滥用职权。宪法规定的党的领导显然不是要神化任何领导人,否则就变成了人治,就抵触了宪法第五条规定的法治和依法治国。这些问题早在八十年代就得到清理并达成共识,现在不应该再成为问题。

因此,问题不在于党的领导,而在于如何领导。执政党需要通过宪法和法律去体现其意志,执政党的意志应该通过民主和法治程序体现出来,而不是通过各种讲话或指示。当然,执政党的行为可以通过制定党内规章加以规范,但这些法规、规章都必须符合宪法。事实上,你用宪法规定来坚持党的领导地位,这本身已表明执政党只能在宪法与合宪法律的框架内行使权力。否则,宪法没有意义的话,党的领导也就没有法律根基了。

实际上,世界上每个国家的政府都是不愿意实施宪法的,但民主国家的政府不得不实施宪法,最终是因为有选票,不实施宪法的话会得罪太多的选民,领导人当选了也会下台。但如果没有真正的选举,政府不用对公民负责,不实施宪法也没有什么后果。

如果双方都能了解对方的真实想法,共同点还是很容易找到的,因为央港博弈是一种“协调博弈”,而非零和博弈。中央的主要目标维持主权统一,香港则希望维持高度自治的空间和制度的完整性。在主权统一的基础之上,中央应该还是愿意去谈的。现在,中央可能对于香港有一些误解,好像主张港独的人越来越多;香港则觉得中央似乎越来越强硬,这样下去会对双方之间的情感和认知产生负面影响。

中国现体制可以被视为两次世界大战的国际“冰河期”形成的一块坚冰。现在冰河早已融化,世界主流文明一直处于自由民主的暖流中。记得刚打倒“四人帮”的时候,叶剑英就说过“坚冰已经打破,航道已经开通”。此言不虚,四十年改革开放其实就是暖流和坚冰的“热交换”过程。当然,摩擦还会不断发生,自由民主国家也会遇到移民、民粹、两极分化等问题的困扰,但是应该会有惊无险,社会契约即便破裂也会修复。如果今后若干年我们仍然处在一个温暖的国际大环境下,我相信世界文明暖流最终会化解每一块坚冰。
interview  opinion  constitution  china  hongkong  game  theory  democracy  today  future  leader  intelligentsia  reform  politics 
7 weeks ago by aries1988
明治维新的记忆

固然,在中国也会有对乡土历史的倾向,但这种“历史记忆地方化”的现象之所以在日本特别明显,当然也是因为在日本延续数百年的幕藩体制带有某种“联邦制”的特性,人们高度认同的是“本藩”而不是整个日本,战后的地方自治制度可说是它的历史延续。这样,历史记忆势必立足于当地,用以支撑和强化地方认同,呈现出纷繁复杂的面貌,正如美国南方对内战的纪念至今带有悲情。由于目光聚焦在地方,这些展览中即便提到明治维新对日本的意义,大体也是“我们曾在推动日本变革中起到巨大作用”这样一种视角。毫无疑问,这样的取向中不会提到明治维新对日本境外的影响——但这确实曾实实在在地影响了亚洲很多国家。不仅是戊戌变法,孙中山当年在日本避难时也曾说:“明治维新是中国革命的第一步,中国革命是明治维新的第二步。”《剑桥东南亚史》也曾提到,明治维新曾“鼓舞了大批东南亚的政治活动家,尤其是越南和菲律宾的政治活动家”。
region  meiji  anniversary  travel  japan  history  photo  leader 
december 2018 by aries1988
The good war? - History Extra
Peter Hitchens challenges a number of popular beliefs about the Second World War
ww2  myth  historian  history  deutschland  uk  leader  opinion 
november 2018 by aries1988
What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire? | The New Yorker

About a decade ago, I published “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I,” a book that was, in part, about Kaiser Wilhelm, who is probably best known for being Queen Victoria’s first grandchild and for leading Germany into the First World War. Ever since Donald Trump started campaigning for President, the Kaiser has once again been on my mind—his personal failings, and the global fallout they led to.

Wilhelm’s touchiness, his unpredictability, his need to be acknowledged: these things struck a chord with elements in Germany, which was in a kind of adolescent spasm—quick to perceive slights, excited by the idea of flexing its muscles, filled with a sense of entitlement.
deutschland  history  ww1  leader  personality  disaster  war  book  trump 
november 2018 by aries1988
在武侠小说之外,报人金庸的“决定性时刻”|深度|一周精选|端传媒 Initium Media
2000年,金庸在中国内地文学刊物《收获》杂志上,发表了一篇自传式散文,在文章的最后一段里,他是这样写道:

“金庸的小说写得并不好。不过他总是觉得,不应当欺压弱小,使得人家没有反抗能力而忍受极大的痛苦,所以他写武侠小说。他正在写的时候,以后重读自己作品的时候,常常为书中人物的不幸而流泪。他写杨过等不到小龙女而太阳下山时,哭出声来;他写张无忌与小昭被迫分手时哭了;写萧峰因误会而打死心爱的阿朱时哭得更加伤心;他写佛山镇上穷人钟阿四全家给恶霸凤天南杀死时热血沸腾,大怒拍桌,把手掌也拍痛了。他知道这些都是假的,但世上有不少更加令人悲伤的真事,旁人有很多,自己也有不少。”

终于在2018年,当金庸远去后,他不需要再面对和思考如今的世界和中国,不需要面对所有的褒贬和悲欢。他和池田大作一起“探求一个灿烂的世纪”的美好理想,也还远未来到。

斯人已逝,当我们回顾金庸近一个世纪的跌宕人生时,会发现他在所有的“决定性时刻”,或犹豫或坚定后所做的最终抉择,“好人应该有好报”这句评价中共前领导人赵紫阳的简单信条,就几乎是金庸在他的武侠世界和社评文章里所要讲的全部事情。
literature  journalism  newspaper  hongkong  leader  zhejiang  obituary  history  20C  1989/6/4 
november 2018 by aries1988
Romanticism’s Unruly Hero

At a time when we are grappling with doubts and diminishments in so many areas of our social, cultural, and political life, museumgoers may find themselves nonplussed by the bulldozer Romanticism of some of his work. Delacroix’s grandest canvases, along with Hector Berlioz’s operatic and symphonic works and Victor Hugo’s plays, novels, and poems, have a sweep and an insistence that can strike us as not so much authoritative as authoritarian.

During a career that spanned more than forty years, Delacroix explored a phenomenal range of subjects: Old Testament and New Testament stories; scenes from Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe; several centuries of French history; North African life; the political upheavals of his own moment; portraits, landscapes, seascapes, nudes, and studies of animals and flowers.

Delacroix’s canvas has nothing to do with the softcore fantasies that finicky Orientalist painters served up in the salons. As scholars have pointed out in recent years, he himself made the distinction with his title, which locates these women “in their apartment”—not “in a harem.” While Jean-Léon Gérôme painted scenes in which women were often quite literally being groomed for sex, Delacroix’s women, with their easy languorous authority,

Shakespeare, who discovered the wonderfully organic shape of his plays amid the competing personalities and destinies of his heroes and heroines, may have emboldened Delacroix as he broke with the rigid structures celebrated by French Classicism.

it is fortunate that of all Delacroix’s efforts to go head to head with the masters of the Renaissance and the Baroque, the greatest remains the most accessible. Anyone can walk into the Church of Saint-Sulpice on the Left Bank and linger over his Jacob Wrestling with the Angel.
painting  art  artist  love  letter  leader  français 
november 2018 by aries1988
Jared Diamond: ‘Humans, 150,000 years ago, wouldn’t figure on a list of the five most interesting species on Earth’

It was a painful thought for someone who recalled being told, by an admiring teacher at his Massachusetts school, that one day he would “unify the sciences and humanities”. Clearly, he needed a larger canvas. Even so, few could have predicted how large a canvas he would choose.

1997’s Guns, Germs and Steel – which ask the most sweeping questions it is possible to ask about human history.

Diamond, who describes himself as a biogeographer, answers them in translucent prose that has the effect of making the world seem to click into place, each fact assuming its place in an elegant arc of pan-historical reasoning.

Why? Because 8,000 years ago – to borrow from Guns, Germs and Steel – the geography of Europe and the Middle East made it easier to farm crops and animals there than elsewhere.

vicious jousting between Diamond and many anthropologists. They condemn him as a cultural imperialist, intent on excusing the horrors of colonialism while asserting the moral superiority of the west.

In person, Diamond is a fastidiously courteous 77-year-old with a Quaker-style beard sans moustache, and archaic New England vowels: “often” becomes “orphan”, “area” becomes “eerier”. There’s no computer: despite his children’s best efforts, he admits he’s never learned to use one.

What changed, Diamond argues, was a seemingly minor set of mutations in our larynxes, permitting control over spoken sounds, and thus spoken language; spoken language permitted much of the rest.

It won a Pulitzer prize and has sold more than 1.5m copies in 36 languages. Mitt Romney quoted it admiringly in his 2012 presidential campaign, garbling its message entirely.

he found himself accused of “geographic determinism”: in his critics’ opinion, his arguments squeeze out any role for human agency and decision-making, thereby sparing history’s colonisers – and today’s elites – any responsibility for having created our grotesquely unjust world.

Each of the two books has the unusual distinction of having another book dedicated largely to demolishing it: Yali’s Question, which offers a different answer from Diamond’s New Guinean acquaintance, and Questioning Collapse, which calls the Easter Island “ecocide” a myth.

Whenever I hear the phrase ‘geographic determinism’,” he says, “I know I’m about to waste time discussing with someone who has no right to be discussing [how human societies developed]. Because the fact is that geography has a strong influence on humans. It doesn’t determine everything, but it has a strong influence
bio  book  leader  human  development  inequality  world  history  biology  environment  debate  theory  geography  opinion 
october 2018 by aries1988
Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today | The New Yorker

interpretation of his work made after his death by people like Karl Kautsky, who was his chief German-language exponent; Georgi Plekhanov, his chief Russian exponent; and, most influentially, Engels. It was thanks mainly to those writers that people started to refer to Marxism as “scientific socialism,” a phrase that sums up what was most frightening about twentieth-century Communism: the idea that human beings can be reëngineered in accordance with a theory that presents itself as a law of history. The word the twentieth century coined for that was totalitarianism.
politics  book  revolution  ideology  uk  19C  leader  communism  economy  capitalism  utopia 
october 2018 by aries1988
就士游 | 陈浩武:从启蒙运动到大革命——法国旅行手记(上)
此次随团学者刘军宁研究员,是中国政治哲学界领军人物之一,近年来积极倡导保守主义,有极大影响。此次法国旅行的确值得期待。

十二世纪时,拥有这块富饶土地的是美丽的女人埃莉诺公爵,她先嫁给法王路易七世,因为无子而离婚,后嫁给英国金雀花王朝的享利二世,却一下子生了四个男孩!亨利二世后来加冕为英国国王,他们的儿子亦继承英国王位,那就是著名的“狮心王”理查一世和“失地王”约翰。其中约翰王就是那位在1215年被迫与诸侯签订《大宪章》的那位阁下。

普瓦提埃大学,是法国历史上最负盛名的大学之一,仅次于巴黎大学,创立于十五世纪,培养的学生可以说星光灿烂,包括笛卡尔、居里夫人等。我们围坐在普瓦提埃大学参天古树荫蔽的草地,开讲普瓦提埃大战。
poitiers  history  europe  muslim  christianity  bordeaux  leader  france 
october 2018 by aries1988
专访余英时:中国现代学术“典范”的建立

在《余英时作品系列总序》中,余英时先生自陈:“我的专业是十九世纪以前的中国史,就已发表的专题论述而言,大致上起春秋、战国,下迄清代中期,所涉及的方面也很宽广:包括社会史、文化史、思想史、政治史、中外关系史汉代等。”但诚如其所言,他涉猎广泛的研究也不是无的放矢,“我自早年进入史学领域之后,便有一个构想,即在西方(主要是西欧)文化系统对照之下,怎样去认识中国文化传统的特色。”

微观相当于考证,即对于具体历史事实做最彻底的考察和阐释,但这样的工作往往只见个树木而不见森林。因此在历史研究中,宏观绝不可少。宏观相当于孟子所谓“观其大”,其涵义比宋学所谓“义理”要丰富得多,这是“见森林”的必经之路。但“见森林”又不能不看清楚林中一颗颗的树,否则便不免如傅斯年的名言所说,可能将天际浮云当作森林了。

有关我研究中国史的构想所在,简略概括:在西方现代文化及其发展出来的普世价值挑战之下,我们怎样才能认识中国传统文化的特色?我认为只有抓住了它的特色,我们才能够认识中、西文化的异同,并进一步追问,中国文化中有哪些成分和现代普世价值是互相冲突的?哪些是可以互相呼应的?

我研究中国史特别选择变革时代的独特动态。因为这种独特动态最能显示出精神价值的流变。

已故陈荣捷先生毕生在美国介绍中国哲学和思想。他曾说,如果用一个词字来概括全部中国哲学史的话,那个字便是“人文主义”。这句话在西方已被普遍地接受了。陈先生的人文主义当然是指中国文化对“人”的尊重,尤以儒家为最显著。孔子的“仁”便是“人道”,孟子强调人性善,又特别提醒“人之异于禽兽”,更是把人的尊严提升到最高的地位。所以“天地之性人为贵”成为中国人的共同信仰。稍稍认识西方近代文化史的人都知道,“人文主义”兴起于文艺复兴时期的意大利,当时人文主义者特别倡导人的尊严和人在宇宙中的独特地位。这种人文主义的精神稍后进入西方教育界,塑造了西方现代的独立人格,其影响一直延续到十九世纪。西方自由和民主的成长得力于人文主义教育,无人不知,就不用再说了。

中古时期,由于种种原因,希腊文学传统已在意大利地区消失无踪,既无人讲授,也无人研究。直到十三四世纪以后,意大利人文学者才逐渐从法国图书馆中发现希腊文稿,包括荷马史诗的原稿之类,终于酿成了“文艺复兴”运动。这是文化价值失而复得的一个最伟大的史证。中国经史子集的典籍俱在,何况,当年在传统精神价值中成长起来的先一辈人,早就在有意无意之间把他们的价值意识传到下一代身上。所以“守先待后”决不是一种幻想。

1949年以后的大错误,不在其为“进步史观”,而在其“定于一尊”。

西方的思想界是开放的,种种不同的史观都出现过,其中还有反“进步”的史观大行其道的,如斯宾格勒(Oswald Spengler 1880-1936)的《西方的没落》(The Decline of the West)和汤因比(Arnold J Toynbee 1889-1975)的《历史研究》(A Study of History)

今天很少人还相信有什么普遍规律为各民族或文化所共有;更不相信西方是先走上“现代”阶段,其他各民族落后了一步,但最后也会赶上来。换句话说,现在不存在什么“进步史观”足以构成“挑战”的对象了。
confucianism  chinese  tradition  culture  crisis  evolution  west  book  leader  intelligentsia  taiwan  dissident  instapaper_favs 
october 2018 by aries1988
The Clash of Ignorance

Samuel Huntington’s article "The Clash of Civilizations?" appeared in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs, where it immediately attracted a surprising amount of attention and reaction
to supply Americans with an original thesis about "a new phase" in world politics after the end of the cold war,

Certainly neither Huntington nor Lewis has much time to spare for the internal dynamics and plurality of every civilization, or for the fact that the major contest in most modern cultures concerns the definition or interpretation of each culture, or for the unattractive possibility that a great deal of demagogy and downright ignorance is involved in presuming to speak for a whole religion or civilization. No, the West is the West, and Islam Islam.

Instead of seeing it for what it is–the capture of big ideas (I use the word loosely) by a tiny band of crazed fanatics for criminal purposes–

what is so threatening about that presence? Buried in the collective culture are memories of the first great Arab-Islamic conquests, which began in the seventh century and which, as the celebrated Belgian historian Henri Pirenne wrote in his landmark book Mohammed and Charlemagne (1939), shattered once and for all the ancient unity of the Mediterranean, destroyed the Christian-Roman synthesis and gave rise to a new civilization dominated by northern powers (Germany and Carolingian France) whose mission, he seemed to be saying, is to resume defense of the "West" against its historical-cultural enemies.

These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis
muslim  debate  islam  terrorism  power  community  civ  conflict  europe  population  theory  leader  instapaper_favs 
october 2018 by aries1988
Delacroix: last of the Old Masters or first of the new?

Romanticism was a cultural movement that began in Britain and Germany in the late 18th century and soon spread to the rest of Europe. It prioritised inspiration and individual experience over the rational values of the Enlightenment.

Delacroix uses visible brushstrokes to convey dynamism: it’s as though he has frozen a single frame and the slaughter could resume at any second. Like “Chios”, “The Death of Sardanapalus” provokes conflicting emotions in the viewer. Do we recoil in disgust or marvel at the vividness?

While she bears her chest, she is not eroticised. Her combination of robust, earthly features and celestial radiance places her somewhere between a woman-of-the-people and a goddess. Delacroix modelled her form on the Venus de Milo, which was discovered in 1820 and arrived at the Louvre the following year.

The “Women of Algiers”, more restrained than his earlier paintings, is a sumptuous depiction of a harem.

Delacroix has been described as “the last Old Master”, his paintings a culmination of four centuries of European art.

Looking at this quickness of the brushstrokes in this painting, it’s clear how Delacroix, although he painted from memory rather than en plain air, laid the ground for the Impressionists.
painting  painter  story  art  XVIIII  leader  français  louvre  comparison 
may 2018 by aries1988
Ballasting the US-China Relationship - John Pomfret & Paul Pickowicz | China 21
Historian Paul Pickowicz interviews acclaimed author John Pomfret about patterns in the long history of US-China relations, and how it informs the controversies in the current moment of Sino-American relations ranging from the impact of Chinese students on US universities, Xi Jinping’s end to presidential term limits, and trade and business relations.
podcast  book  usa  china  history  today  politics  leader  people 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Interpreter: How to tell if your president is a "strongman"
The country is run by a vast bureaucracy, divided among powerful institutions. Any individual official fits within a system of hierarchies and factions. The whole thing operates on norms that are authoritarian but at least consistent.
Mr. Xi is changing this system. He’s centralizing more authority for himself than a modern Chinese leader is supposed to have. He’s defying norms, like presidential term limits. He’s purging some officials who belong to opposing political factions. He’s borrowing some pages from the strongman playbook.
But! Mr. Xi is doing all of this within the existing political system. The Chinese state is still deeply institutionalized. He’s not changing that. He is of the system.
Personalist leaders tend to smash the system. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela treated much of the government as something to conquer or destroy. So did Mr. Putin.
china  2018  today  politics  comparison  russia  leader 
march 2018 by aries1988
Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao? | by Ian Johnson | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Their most prominent spokesperson is Sun Jingxian, a mathematician at Shandong University and Jiangsu Normal University. He attributes changes in China’s population during this period as due to faulty statistics, changes in how households were registered, and a series of other obfuscatory factors. His conclusion: famine killed only 3.66 million people. This contradicts almost every other serious effort at accounting for the effects of Mao’s changes.

According to Chang, Mao was responsible for 70 million deaths in peacetime—more than any other twentieth-century leader.

The peacetime adjective is significant because it gets Hitler out of the picture. But is starting a war of aggression less of a crime than launching economic policies that cause a famine?

How, finally, does Mao’s record compare to those of Hitler or Stalin? Snyder estimates that Hitler was responsible for between 11 million and 12 million noncombatant deaths, while Stalin was responsible for at least 6 million, and as many as 9 million if foreseeable deaths caused by deportation, starvation, and incarceration in concentration camps are included.

If one includes the combatant deaths, and the deaths due to war-related famine and disease, the numbers shoot up astronomically. The Soviet Union suffered upward of 8 million combatant deaths and many more due to famine and disease—perhaps about 20 million.

As for Hitler, should his deaths include the hundreds of thousands who died in the aerial bombardments of Germans cities? After all, it was his decision to strip German cities of anti-aircraft batteries to replace lost artillery following the debacle at Stalingrad.

Mao didn’t order people to their deaths in the same way that Hitler did, so it’s fair to say that Mao’s famine deaths were not genocide—in contrast, arguably, to Stalin’s Holodomor in the Ukraine, the terror-famine described by journalist and historian Anne Applebaum in Red Famine (2017). One can argue that by closing down discussion in 1959, Mao sealed the fate of tens of millions, but almost every legal system in the world recognizes the difference between murder in the first degree and manslaughter or negligence. Shouldn’t the same standards apply to dictators?

By contrast, Mao himself and his successors have always realized that he was both China’s Lenin and its Stalin.

In Xi’s way of looking at China, the country had roughly thirty years of Maoism and thirty years of Deng Xiaoping’s economic liberalization and rapid growth. Xi has warned that neither era can negate the other; they are inseparable.
comparison  dictator  leader  china  soviet  nazi  history  today  death  disaster  famine  numbers  research  narrative  mao  debate  ethic 
february 2018 by aries1988
Meet the pirate queen making academic papers free online
She cared less about the form than the function: she wanted a global brain. To her, paywalls began to seem like the plaques in an Alzheimer’s-riddled mind, clogging up the flow of information.
academia  stans  story  science  piracy  female  leader  russia  today  idea  world  brain  knowledge  share 
february 2018 by aries1988
‘Reason is non-negotiable’: Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment
What is enlightenment? In a 1784 essay with that question as its title, Immanuel Kant answered that it consists of “humankind’s emergence from its self-incurred immaturity”, its “lazy and cowardly” submission to the “dogmas and formulas” of religious or political authority. Enlightenment’s motto, he proclaimed, is: “Dare to understand!” and its foundational demand is freedom of thought and speech.

The thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment saw an urgent need for a secular foundation for morality, because they were haunted by a historical memory of centuries of religious carnage: the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch-hunts, the European wars of religion.
bbc  podcast  leader  thinking  rationalism  history  reasoning 
february 2018 by aries1988
From imitation to innovation: How China became a tech superpower
The most obvious example is DJI, a Shenzhen-based startup that virtually created the category of consumer drones, including the popular Phantom and Mavic series.

As Gu was discussing genius and mortality, his robot farted. The little machine is programmed to do so, but it happens

Now his team is working on “far-field speech recognition”, deciphering commands shouted or whispered from three to five metres away.
chinese  technology  leader  today  reportage 
february 2018 by aries1988
He died as he lived: David Hume, philosopher and infidel | Aeon Ideas

Ever tactful, Boswell immediately brought up the subject of the afterlife, asking if there might not be a future state. Hume replied that ‘it was possible that a piece of coal put upon the fire would not burn; and he added that it was a most unreasonable fancy that we should exist for ever’.

Boswell persisted, asking if he was not made uneasy by the thought of annihilation, to which Hume responded that he was no more perturbed by the idea of ceasing to exist than by the idea that he had not existed before he was born.
scotland  death  religion  thinking  leader  philosophy  19C 
february 2018 by aries1988
Tech trends for 2018: the big will get bigger
the main engines of growth for the biggest tech companies in 2018 are ones that have already become a deeply ingrained part of business life: digital advertising, ecommerce and the wholesale move of global IT to the cloud.

Ecommerce accounts for about 14 per cent of sales in the US and 9 per cent in western Europe, according to Goldman Sachs. In China, the figure is 22 per cent.

The US platform companies that have positioned themselves to ride these waves are ending 2017 as the world’s five most valuable groups: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. And even with Apple expected to show barely any revenue growth in 2018, these companies are forecast to add $100bn in sales between them next year — a collective growth rate of 14 per cent.
2017  2018  prediction  technology  leader  company 
december 2017 by aries1988
Hans Rosling, physician and statistician, 1948-2017

Rosling, who has died aged 68, was the closest thing statisticians had to a rock star. His most famous talk, 2006’s The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen, has been watched online more than 11m times. Its ambitious scope and sweeping narrative epitomised Rosling’s ability to rise above the ebb and flow of current affairs and see generational trends.

It led him to conclude that on most measures of human progress — the impact of climate change being a notable exception — most countries were improving rapidly.

Public perceptions had not kept up with the pace of economic and demographic development and much of the media was hobbled by its adherence to false balance, he said. The world is discussed in terms of feelings and ideologies rather than as an area of knowledge, he once told the Financial Times.
leader  statistics  communication  science  world  data  debate  politics  ideology  optimism  explained  population 
december 2017 by aries1988
UN secretary-general António Guterres on Trump and North Korea
“We were invited to a stadium to see a show of what is called Massive Gymnastics. And it included, during one hour and a half, 15,000 children doing all kinds of things . . . complicated gymnastic things, acrobatics gymnastics. During one hour and a half, 15,000 children . . . and there is not one single wrong movement. This tells you about the nature of the society . . . ”

“A crucial lesson for my political life is this very simple [psychological] analysis,” he explains. “When you have two persons in a room, you do not have two, you have six: what each person is; what each person thinks he or she is; and what each person thinks the other is. This is the reason personal relations are so complex. But what is true for persons is true for groups, and countries,” he adds.
UN  interview  world  diplomacy  2017  leader  peace  organization 
november 2017 by aries1988
Comment Martin Luther a inventé le buzz, 500 ans avant Internet

Il y a 500 ans, Martin Luther publiait ses 95 thèses pour dénoncer le trafic de l'Eglise catholique qui vendait littéralement des places au paradis. Mais le père de la réforme protestante ne s'attendait pas à un si grand succès médiatique. Un entretien avec son biographe en démonte les ressorts.

Beaucoup de laïcs, de gens moyennement cultivés mais qui pouvaient au moins écrire en allemand, se sont faits les diffuseurs des idées de Luther, parce qu’il leur avait apporté un message qui les réconfortait.

C’est aussi quelqu’un qui a su donner une réponse pastorale, apaisante, réconfortante, cohérente, au tourment de ses contemporains qui se demandaient vraiment : "Est-ce que je peux réussir ma mort ? Comment est-ce que ça va se passer pour moi dans l’au-delà ?"

Ce que Luther a compris, c’est qu’il y avait un certain nombre de questions que l’on pouvait traiter dans de petits écrits destinés à un large public et rédigés en allemand. Et cela, ses adversaires ne l’ont pas compris d’emblée.

un bon nombre de clercs et de laïcs se sont mis à leur tour à écrire, à publier ce qu’on appelle des feuilles volantes, des Flugschriften, de petits écrits imprimés, dans lesquels ils exprimaient la manière dont eux avaient compris les idées de Luther. Donc ils se sont faits en quelque sorte des démultiplicateurs des écrits de Luther, et ça, c’est tout à fait nouveau à cette époque.
deutsch  media  communication  mass  religion  zeitgeist  middle-age  leader  movement  europe  history  explained  mentality  question  death  life  bio  book  français 
november 2017 by aries1988
How Martin Luther Changed the World

If the Ninety-five Theses sprouted a myth, that is no surprise. Luther was one of those figures who touched off something much larger than himself; namely, the Reformation—the sundering of the Church and a fundamental revision of its theology. Once he had divided the Church, it could not be healed. His reforms survived to breed other reforms, many of which he disapproved of. His church splintered and splintered. To tote up the Protestant denominations discussed in Alec Ryrie’s new book, “Protestants” (Viking), is almost comical, there are so many of them. That means a lot of people, though. An eighth of the human race is now Protestant.

Indeed, the horrific Thirty Years’ War, in which, basically, Europe’s Roman Catholics killed all the Protestants they could, and vice versa, can in some measure be laid at Luther’s door. Although it did not begin until decades after his death, it arose in part because he had created no institutional structure to replace the one he walked away from.

The Reformation wasn’t led, exactly; it just spread, metastasized.

Why had God given his only begotten son? And why had the son died on the cross? Because that’s how much God loved the world. And that alone, Luther now reasoned, was sufficient for a person to be found “justified,” or worthy. From this thought, the Ninety-five Theses were born. Most of them were challenges to the sale of indulgences. And out of them came what would be the two guiding principles of Luther’s theology: sola fide and sola scriptura.

Luther’s collected writings come to a hundred and twenty volumes. In the first half of the sixteenth century, a third of all books published in German were written by him.

Luther very consciously sought a fresh, vigorous idiom. For his Bible’s vocabulary, he said, “we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street,” and, like other writers with such aims—William Blake, for example—he ended up with something songlike. He loved alliteration—“Der Herr ist mein Hirte” (“The Lord is my shepherd”); “Dein Stecken und Stab” (“thy rod and thy staff”)—and he loved repetition and forceful rhythms. This made his texts easy and pleasing to read aloud, at home, to the children.

His goal was not to usher in modernity but simply to make religion religious again. Heinz Schilling writes, “Just when the lustre of religion threatened to be outdone by the atheistic and political brilliance of the secularized Renaissance papacy, the Wittenberg monk defined humankind’s relationship to God anew and gave back to religion its existential plausibility.” Lyndal Roper thinks much the same. She quotes Luther saying that the Church’s sacraments “are not fulfilled when they are taking place but when they are being believed.” All he asked for was sincerity, but this made a great difference.
book  bio  reform  leader  religion  history  europe  medieval  story  printing 
november 2017 by aries1988
How Martin Luther has shaped Germany for half a millennium

Start with aesthetics. For Luther this was, like everything else, a serious matter. He believed that Christians were guaranteed salvation through Jesus but had a duty to live in such a way as to deserve it.

Ostentation was thus a disgraceful distraction from the asceticism required to examine one’s own conscience. The traces of this severity live on in Germany’s early 20th-century Bauhaus architecture, and even in the furniture styles at IKEA (from Lutheran Sweden).

The Swiss Protestants John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli viewed music as sensual temptation and frowned on it. But to Luther music was a divinely inspired weapon against the devil. He wanted believers to sing together—in German, in church and at home, and with instruments accompanying them. Today Germany has 130 publicly financed orchestras, more than any other country. And concerts are still attended like sermons, sombrely and seriously.

Germany, the world’s 17th-most populous country, has the second-largest book market after America’s. After he translated the Bible into German, Luther wanted everyone, male or female, rich or poor, to read it. At first Protestants became more literate than Catholics; ultimately all Germans became bookish.

To Luther, Christians were already saved, so wealth was suspect. Instead of amassing it, Christians should work for their community, not themselves. Work (Beruf) thus became a calling (Berufung). Not profit but redistribution was the goal. According to Gerhard Wegner, a professor of theology, this “Lutheran socialism” finds secular expression in the welfare states of Scandinavia and Germany.
deutschland  deutsch  leader  religion  reform  anniversary  protestant  comparison  music  legacy  culture  society  mentality 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Thoughts of Chairman Xi - BBC News
“Tell China’s story well,” he urges people with Chinese roots, wherever they are in the world. He insists that they should “identify with China’s interests” whether or not they are Chinese nationals.

Beijing’s embassies encourage the growing Chinese student bodies on campuses in the West to silence competing narratives.

Under Xi Jinping, dwelling on inconvenient facts of history or insulting revolutionary heroes and martyrs is now a punishable offence called “historical nihilism”.

He wants his citizens to identify with “the motherland, the Chinese nation or race, Chinese culture, and the Chinese socialist road”. He calls these the “four identifications” and has distilled them into two key slogans - the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the Chinese dream.

Richard Nixon had argued: “Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbours.”

When the door to the West inched open a decade later, some princelings of Xi’s generation took the opportunity to leave.
portrait  mao  2017  china  politics  leader  photo  story 
october 2017 by aries1988
Orbiting Jupiter: my week with Emmanuel Macron

He takes her hand and his face divides in two – something I’ve often seen it do: the right half, brow creased, is determined, grave, almost severe, giving you the feeling that whatever he does, he’s doing it in the eyes of history. The left half, meanwhile, is cordial, optimistic, almost mischievous, giving you the feeling that now he’s there, things will be all right.

When I asked the president’s office for permission to accompany and interview Macron, it went without saying that he would not read the piece prior to publication. The one condition: that I send them the sentences I quote Macron as saying. This is customary in the press, and protects the person being interviewed from journalistic extrapolations. But it also protects the journalist against the interviewee’s bad faith: once he had approved the sentences, the interviewee can’t then turn around and say he didn’t say them, or that they were misrepresented.
president  leader  politics  français  bio  quotes  interview  young 
october 2017 by aries1988
Can Microsoft’s chief Satya Nadella restore it to glory?
He has a neat metaphor to sum up quantum computing, an area where Microsoft has big ambitions. If you think of computing problems as a corn maze, he says, a conventional computer would tackle each possible path, turning back when blocked. Quantum computing, by contrast, can take all the paths at the same time, vastly increasing users’ ability to cut through complexity.

Nadella says he combines a top-down and bottom-up approach — “both evangelising and listening”.

Nadella says he wants to change Microsoft’s mindset from a “fixed” know-it-all culture to a “growth mindset”, open to learning and trying new approaches. Anu, Nadella’s wife, introduced him to the idea, developed by psychologist Carol Dweck.
interview  microsoft  leader 
october 2017 by aries1988
Xi Jinping, l’empereur rouge
Le grand accomplissement de Xi Jinping, et peut-être son apport personnel à la charte du parti, se veut la « gouvernance ». D’où le titre de l’ouvrage-phare de son mandat écoulé, un volume de plus de 500 pages, publié il y a exactement trois ans et compilant ses discours et essais : La Gouvernance de la Chine.

« Il y a quatre ou cinq ans, j’étais optimiste, comme beaucoup dans ma génération. Le scénario dominant était que nous nous dirigions vers un modèle de type occidental, européen, que notre société devenait de plus en plus libre. Ce n’est plus le cas, il faut abandonner cette fantaisie. Les rouages du totalitarisme n’ont pas disparu. On croyait toucher du velours, mais on ne réalisait pas qu’il entourait des barreaux »
china  today  politics  leader 
october 2017 by aries1988
Liu Qiangdong, the ‘Jeff Bezos of China’, on making billions with JD.com

“From June until September we were able to eat corn — cornmeal porridge for breakfast, corn pancakes for lunch and dry cornbread for dinner; cornbread so tough it made your throat bleed,” he tells me. “The other eight months we ate boiled sweet potato for breakfast, sweet potato pancake for lunch and dried sweet potato for dinner.”

JD.COM HQ
18 Kechuang 11 Street, Beijing
Spanish shrimp tartare with Canadian lobster Rmb210 (£24)
Mushroom veloute Rmb8 (£9)
Scottish salmon Rmb150 (£17)
Roasted rack of lamb Rmb200 (£23)
There de Moine cheese Rmb30 (£3.40)
Bottle Amiral de Beychevelle Saint-Julien Rmb 368 (£42.50)
Total (cost estimated from JD.com prices) Rmb966 (£119)

the modern super-wealthy often turn out to be descended from an earlier capitalist class. Richard is no exception. Before the 1949 revolution his family were wealthy shipowners who transported goods along the Yangtze river and the ancient imperial canal from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south. They lost everything when the communists took over and were forcibly resettled at least twice. One academic survey found more than 80 per cent of Chinese “elites” (those with income at least 12 times higher than the average in their area) are descended from the pre-1949 elite. Richard puts this down to “family culture”.

Observing how most of his competitors earned money by cheating their customers, selling counterfeit or substandard goods and haggling over every sale, Richard decided to test a different strategy.

“I was the first and only stall in that market to put price labels on everything and give official receipts; from day one I never sold any counterfeits and I soon had the best reputation,”

Beijing became a ghost town. Richard closed all his stores but redeployed a handful of staff to offer products through online bulletin boards. The panic passed and his stores reopened, but he kept one person employed full time on the internet. At the end of the year he looked at sales numbers, realised e-commerce’s potential and decided this was his future.
entrepreneurial  leader  business  retail  b2c  china  internet  story  jiangsu  chinese  1949 
september 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter: Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Myanmar’s transition to democracy was ascribed to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s heroism. Now its persecution of Rohingya is ascribed to her cowardice. Maybe she was always more a symptom of Myanmar’s best and worst than she was their cause.
myanmar  leader  hero  essay  howto  world  complexity 
september 2017 by aries1988
Aux Etats-Unis, la révolution éducative des charter schools

J'ai visité de nombreux établissements scolaires aux États-Unis. Je le fais dans tous les pays où je passe, dès que je le peux. Les écoles me semblent être les marqueurs tangibles de la situation véritable d'une nation. Il y a toujours un lien entre l'investissement des États dans les systèmes éducatifs et leur niveau de développement.

C'est la volonté délibérée des «élites locales», qui investissent leurs ressources nationales dans des armées et des forces de police, c'est-à-dire dans les moyens de faire perdurer leur domination féodale.
education  usa  leader  idea  reform  school  comparison  français  children  learn 
september 2017 by aries1988
Science fiction translator Ken Liu on Invisible Planets: the first English language anthology of Chinese science fiction | South China Morning Post

I realised even though I was enjoying a lot of Chinese science fiction from my friends, very little of it was published in the West, in English, or any other languages. Since I was enjoying so many of these stories, I’m a fan, I love to share more of these works with my fellow readers – that’s what fans do, they discover things they enjoy and want to share them with everybody else they know – so I got into translation. I translated more short stories, I got them published, introduced more authors to readers here in the US and UK, and it’s been great.
scifi  chinese  book  english  leader 
august 2017 by aries1988
Back on his pedestal: the return of Friedrich Engels

Finally they came to Mala Pereshchepina, where the local authorities were only too glad to get rid of what was by now a legally toxic artefact.

The artist’s timing is impeccable. June’s UK general election saw a surge of support for the Labour party led by the far-left Jeremy Corbyn. Like Bernie Sanders in last year’s US Democratic primaries, this ageing socialist appealed first of all to the young.

Even now, when — for all the excesses of capitalism — the stark exploitation Engels evoked has disappeared in the western world, The Condition of the Working Class is an uncomfortable read. The homelessness of the rising generation; the precariousness of freelance work; the feared mass unemployment once artificial replaces human intelligence; the long, spiky tail of the banking collapse of 2008; the end of the postwar expectation that children will ascend further and richer than their parents — these are plausibly presented by the left as a 21st-century equivalent of the Condition of the Working, and even Middle Class of England, and the rest of the capitalist world.

It’s the only building left where Engels definitely was. He worked with Marx at a table, still there, with the books they both used. When I take Chinese visitors to see it, some of them cry.
uk  politics  communist  leader  thinking  russia  today  sculpture  economy  crisis  history  art  manchest  artist 
july 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:結局之後的劇情

這種宣傳,這個版本的劉曉波故事,對於香港、台灣和其他地方的人而言,應該沒有多大作用,因為我們有另一套截然不同的劉曉波故事。但是對於言路閉塞,信息封鎖,浸泡在主旋律正能量大浴缸下的大陸居民,乃至於到了海外仍然不離這種心理環境的大陸居民來講,這可能就是他們所知的劉曉波生平了。
2017  narrative  democracy  leader  death  china  today  politics  state 
july 2017 by aries1988
The Jujitsu Master Turning an Ancient Art Into a Modern Science
Slight young men, they developed a system that relied on leverage rather than size or strength. Wrestling and judo prized pinning or throwing an opponent on his back. The Gracies realized that, in a real fight, the opposite is often more effective—control from behind, ideally with the opponent belly-down, so that he can be strangled into submission.

The sport has evolved technically as well, spawning hundreds, even thousands, of potential moves and countermoves. (The human body in motion is a complicated thing, and two of them in antagonistic combination exponentially more so.)

He rarely wears a coat in winter, which he explains by invoking the decimating French retreat of 1812: “If Napoleon’s troops could walk three and a half months through one of the worst Russian winters in history, in summer clothing, and a significant number of them returned, we shouldn’t have any problem.”
martial-arts  brazil  leader  idea  innovation  reportage  science 
july 2017 by aries1988
His Kampf

Was Hitchens’s critique of Christianity, he said, not as wan and naive as Christianity itself? Christianity had bound together the civilizations of Europe, and now Hitchens wanted to replace it with—well, what exactly? American neoliberal internationalism? Why should anyone care if Christianity was irrational and illiberal, when rationality and liberalism had never been its purpose? Hitchens had missed the point.

In his view, the Bush administration had manipulated the country into war. “Spreading democracy” and “freedom” are, Spencer said, false ideals, distracting Americans from what really matters—namely, a consciousness of their identity as whites with a shared Christian heritage.

In December, the hipster-Marxist magazine Jacobin published an online essay, “The Elite Roots of Richard Spencer’s Racism,” that sought to understand his white supremacy. “He represents a common and longstanding (if overlooked) phenomenon: the well-educated and financially comfortable bigot,” the author, Michael Phillips, wrote. “His blend of racism and elitism represents only an extreme version of a worldview that has long prevailed among the affluent in Spencer’s hometown.”

Among the German ideas he adopted was a concept of race different from the one he and I had been taught in our multicultural workshops in the ’90s. In the modern era, American discussion of race has limited itself, by convention, to a few canonical categories: black, white, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic. “Race isn’t just color,” Spencer told an audience in December. “Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race.”

For Spencer, race is more akin to the German Volksgeist, literally “the spirit of a people.” Volksgeist is associated, historically, with Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), and Germans became enchanted with it during the 19th century. Some would say the Second World War was the culmination of German devotion to their own Volksgeist. Herder’s followers proposed that each people has an essence that distinguishes it from others.

As one who knew Spencer when we were both hapless, overprivileged adolescents, sharing a desire to transcend our origins, what interests me the most about him is his self-reinvention, the intellectual costume changes (foppish actor, grad-school blowhard, opera-director manqué, and now architect of a white utopian dream of world-historical consequence) spanning three decades. After all, it is said that one of the great advantages of America is that its daughters and sons can escape the strictures of the world in which they were raised, be unlike their forefathers. Spencer has certainly done that.
portrait  altright  leader  university  idea  opinion  religion  usa  west  african  racism  Philosophy  intelligentsia  nazi 
june 2017 by aries1988
The Long Shot - The New Yorker
Jia is not much interested in plot. His attraction to film seems to owe more to the dictum of André Bazin, the French theorist whom he counts as an inspiration, that photography “embalms time.” Jia crams his movies with so many hair styles, pop songs, and news references that they feel like time capsules of the here and now. He has a single, unwavering theme: the liminal space in which individuals try, usually in vain, to move from one life to another—floating migrants, laid-off factory hands, restless teen-agers, all trapped on the margins of China’s boom, with enough technology to glimpse the wider world but no way to reach it. In Jia’s cosmology, trains usually speed out of sight before you can catch them and motorcycles break down.

His characters are often inspired by people he grew up with—friends, in his words, “as ignorant and coarse and full of vitality as roadside weeds.”

the movement made a searing impression on him. “Although it failed, it didn’t really fail,” he said, “because it took freedom and democracy, individualism, individual rights, all these concepts, and disseminated them to many people, including me.”

Jia immersed himself in films from Taiwan and Europe, often watching three a day. Those which he could not find in the school archives he found on the street, as pirated V.H.S. tapes. He often pedalled his bicycle across town to watch screenings at a French cultural center in Beijing.

In contrast to the epic historical Chinese dramas that were popular at the time, Jia had revealed a bitterly unadorned image of contemporary life and its discontents. To older Chinese admirers especially, the film’s honesty was bittersweet. “We had been forbidden from telling the truth for such a long time that once we were allowed to do so, we did not know how to tell the truth,” the painter Chen Danqing wrote of the film.

He felt powerless. “My motivation for making films was not simply a love of movies but also a sense of idealism, a hope that I could help to change society.”

In “Still Life,” a building launches into the air like a rocket, and a flying saucer zips across the sky. (As Jia has explained to a film magazine, China’s “official speeches and pictures are like U.F.O.s that never touch the ground.”)

“Not because they are kung-fu movies—I like kung-fu movies—but because the film underscores power, that we should ‘bow down’ before power! For ‘harmony in the world,’ we should give up individual fights and efforts. The ‘authority of power,’ the focus of his films, is what makes me extremely uncomfortable.”

“My expression, my view on history, my view on the truth must be independent,” he says, “but I tell myself not to get marginalized, because being marginalized means you can’t do anything. Marginalization can be a kind of pleasant stance—I really admire many of those people—but I would rather expend enormous energy trying to dance with the many levels of the era in which we live.”
reportage  bio  movie  chinese  china  leader  art  idea  people  nostalgia  countryside  shanxi 
june 2017 by aries1988
Les Inrocks - Sanjay Subrahmanyam, gourou de “l’histoire globale”

Il y avait un mur qu’on avait construit entre l’histoire européenne et l’histoire extra-européenne. C’était un mur institutionnel. On était dans une sorte d’apartheid absurde. C’était comme si, nous autres travaillant sur le monde extra-européen, on était des historiens de seconde classe. Là où dans n’importe quel département d’histoire aux Etats-Unis, on trouve côte à côte celui qui travaille sur le Japon, celui sur l’Inde et celui sur l’Allemagne médiévale, en France, on faisait en sorte de séparer ces gens. On ne pouvait pas avoir de conversations, donc pas de résultats qui découlent de ces conversations. Il y a eu un vrai problème en France. Il y avait beaucoup d’universités en France où étudier par exemple l’histoire de l’Amérique latine était exclu dans le cadre d’un département d’histoire.

Par-delà le réexamen de la séparation des aires géographiques, le découpage du temps entre grandes périodes clés est lui aussi critiqué par l’histoire globale

on a beaucoup de difficultés à se mettre d’accord entre chercheurs sur une périodisation commune.
history  historian  world  leader  research 
march 2017 by aries1988
Hayao Miyazaki Meets Akira Kurosawa: Watch the Titans of Japanese Film in Conversation (1993)

If you let things slide thinking ‘well, this won’t be in view of the camera,' Kurosawa warns, then there’s no end to how lazy you can get. You either give it your all, or don’t even bother.

KUROSAWA – You know, I really liked that bus in Totoro.

MIYAZAKI – [Gleefully] Thank you.

[Miyazaki seems to be at a loss for words here]

KUROSAWA – What I think is really interesting about the Sengoku-era [1467-1567] is that. . .it’s perceived to be a time when, for example, one had to be loyal to his lord and obey similar moral and ethical codes. But in actuality, those only came into existence during the Tokugawa Shogunate [Edo-era; approximately 1603-1867] as an attempt to maintain some degree of order [and peace for the Tokugawa family]. The Sengoku-era, on the other hand, was quite the opposite — people had a lot of freedom then.

KUROSAWA – And that’s the kind of environment that spawned people like Hideyoshi [1536-1598]. They’re free-thinkers. You must be loyal to your husband — that wasn’t the case then. If he wasn’t worthy, then you could just abandon him. That’s what it was like.

KUROSAWA – Shakespeare might be uniquely British, but actually. . .Japan did have people like Macbeth during that era. You’d be surprised how easily you could make a Japanese story that parallels something out of Shakespeare.

The utter devastation of Kyoto towards the end of the Heian-era [794-1185], as depicted in the Houjouki [Tale of the Ten-Foot Square Hut] — earthquakes, great fires, dead bodies everywhere. . .rushing back from Fukuhara [modern day Kobe area] only to find your estate in complete ruins. . .

KUROSAWA – [Nod] Our physique undoubtedly deteriorated during the 300 years under Tokugawa. At first, I didn’t think such a drastic change was reasonable, or even possible. But when you look at the clothes from the early Showa-era [pre WWII] and compare it to those of today. . .in just 40 years, look at how much we’ve changed. They just don’t fit!
interview  japanese  movie  animation  history  leader  art 
march 2017 by aries1988
'Geert Peddles Illusions': Dutch Populist's Brother Speaks Out - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International

SPIEGEL: And yet he is surprisingly popular among the Dutch.

Wilders: He is a master of short messages. And in this complex age, that is precisely what many people want: a simple political vision without any nuance. Geert gives them that. He creates an identity: We, the Dutch people. And he also creates opposite poles: Muslims, the European Union, the elites. Terrorist attacks, refugees and the euro crisis engender fear and dissatisfaction. My brother, French populist Marine Le Pen and others take advantage of this mood and offer seemingly simple solutions: out with the migrants, close the borders, exit the EU. But our problems are far more complex. Geert peddles illusions to people.
netherlands  politics  leader 
march 2017 by aries1988
The history man: how Saul Friedländer told his own story

But when he began working on Nazi anti-Semitism in the early 1960s, little had been written on it, and it was not regarded as an entirely respectable subject either in West Germany or in Israel. Where Memory Leads offers a close-to-the-ground view of the debates, scholarly and less scholarly, that erupted in both countries from the Auschwitz trials of 1963-65 to the so-called Historians’ Battle of the late 1980s. It is a powerful reminder of just how much intellectual labour was required in West Germany to get the country to where it is today, the most historically self-aware democracy in the world. But engaging with Nazism was no simple matter for Israeli historians either, especially after 1967. The founders of the new state wanted to turn their back on a European past of victimhood and celebrate the virile heroes of the war of independence. They did at first not take kindly to Friedländer’s insistence that this too was part of the country’s past, and it took time before the political elite became as comfortable as it is today invoking the memory of the Holocaust.
holocaust  intelligentsia  book  thinking  isreal  jewish  question  deutschland  ww2  leader  germany 
november 2016 by aries1988
SpaceX's Big Fucking Rocket – The Full Story - Wait But Why
The moon has few natural resources, a 28-day day, and with no atmosphere to either provide protection against the sun during the day or warm things up at night, both day and night become murderous.

We’re currently pretty close to Mars, since the last Mars opposition happened on May 22, 2016. That’s why, if you happen to be an “oh shit there’s a way-too-bright star let me take out my Sky Guide app and figure out which planet that is and then tell everyone I’m with and find that, yet again, no one cares, because everyone is a horrible person” nerd like me, you know that all summer, Mars has been super prominent and bright in our night sky.11 A year from now, Mars will be on the other side of the sun from us, and we won’t see it in our night sky at all.
explained  future  human  leader  planet  project  tesla 
october 2016 by aries1988
Barack Obama: anthropologist-in-chief — FT.com
But it’s in Obama’s diplomacy that the organic anthropologist shows clearest. After talks last year with the Afghan president and anthropologist Ashraf Ghani, Obama quoted the anthropologist Ruth Benedict: “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.”` Anthropologists accept that different people see the world differently: Indonesian blacksmiths don’t think like Californian accountants. The anthropologist attempts to communicate with the other tribe, understand it, and bridge those differences rather than try to erase them.

Gudeman says: “You never hear Obama talk about rogue nations. An anthropologist does not say, ‘My culture is superior.’”
anthropoligist  politics  obama  usa  leader  portrait  story  childhood  comparison 
september 2016 by aries1988
Zuckerberg/Chan philanthropy offers hubris and hope — FT.com
Finally, there is a risk of hubris, which in turn could lead to disillusionment and a loss of momentum. Bill Gates, who has spent billions of dollars over the past 15 years on global health, has yet to achieve the eradication of malaria or polio, let alone either a vaccine or a cure for HIV. Former US president Jimmy Carter’s 30-year campaign to wipe out Guinea worm disease is still not achieved, a reminder that goodwill alone cannot provide all the solutions.

The Zuckerbergs’ ambition “to cure, prevent or manage all disease in our children’s lifetime” seems grandiose. To give the gift some perspective each year, the US National Institutes of Health alone spends ten times the Zuckerbergs’ pledged decade-long $3bn. The UK’s Wellcome Trust will spend more than twice their contribution over the next five years.
philanthropy  health  business  leader 
september 2016 by aries1988
Marconi forged today's interconnected world of communication | New Scientist
He may not have had Einstein's orginality, but Marconi pioneered the modern communication systems that led to cellphones and the internet

After Marconi’s death, Franklin wrote of his boss with a mixture of respect and criticism: “His scientific knowledge was weak, his engineering knowledge was weak, but he had a damned lot of intuition and common sense. He may have initiated the beam system but he didn’t know a thing about it.”
book  leader  communication  italia  engineering  radio  invention 
august 2016 by aries1988
Revenge of the nerds | The Economist
Strava, a mobile app, allows cyclists and joggers to compete with each other even if they live thousands of miles apart.
technology  leader  teenager  life  lifestyle  psychology  health 
august 2016 by aries1988
The new political divide | The Economist
Farewell, left versus right. The contest that matters now is open against closed

Too many friends of globalisation are retreating, mumbling about “responsible nationalism”. Only a handful of politicians—Justin Trudeau in Canada, Emmanuel Macron in France—are brave enough to stand up for openness. Those who believe in it must fight for it.
world  leader  globalization  2016  conflict  politics  democracy 
july 2016 by aries1988
Three-piece dream suit | The Economist
After years of falling prices and fitful growth, Japan’s nominal GDP was roughly the same in 2015 as it was 20 years earlier. America’s grew by 134% in the same time period; even Italy’s went up by two-thirds. Now Japan is in the spotlight for a different reason: its attempts at economic resuscitation.

Japanese seem to prefer kaizen, or continuous improvement, to kaikaku, a pejorative word for reform.
2016  japan  leader  reform  state  economy  opinion 
july 2016 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Rob Rhinehart — FT.com
“Humans have this novelty bias where they think that new information is somehow more relevant, but most of the information generated in a day is noise and what’s really important is the patterns that have held true through generations. I feel like I could be reading a philosophy book that has held true for centuries or I could get stressed out by what’s on the news today.”

really creative work comes from states of flow and concentration, and it’s really hard to get into that and it’s really easy to become distracted from that. I think having that flexible day allows people to increase the chance of entering that creative flow, and that’s good for them and it’s good for the business.”
thinking  opinion  leader  entrepreneurial  food  revolution  body  nutrition  lifestyle 
july 2016 by aries1988
一百年后,人类社会会如何评价比尔·盖茨? - Arthur Tang 的回答 - 知乎
我们可以看到,读书塑造了他的理性,无论在什么访谈节目,他并不像中国的企业家,比如柳传志,刘强东,由于生长于一个高压的,类似战争的环境中,显得十分锐利,强调”血性“和”霸气“;也不像Jobs那样有非常严重的偏执的倾向(由于童年的心理缺陷带来的自虐心理)。他生长于一个幸福的家庭,有着健全的人格(但有很多技术宅身上的毛病XDD)。他永远在不停地,不停地思考,对世界保持新鲜的态度,眼神很纯净,右边嘴角微微上扬,像教科书一样地回答问题,你可以十分清晰地感受到他是一个高度理性的人。
portrait  leader  pc  computer  critic  opinion  reading 
may 2016 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Xavier Niel — FT.com
Niel is almost as much a French Citizen Kane as a Steve Jobs. He also backs the investigative website Mediapart, which exposed Cahuzac. Why fund media? “I like having a free press.” I start to say, “A businessman who buys France’s most powerful paper because he believes in …” but Niel interrupts: “I finance newspapers of the right and the left.”

He also invests in two new start-ups a week, he says. “It’s more profitable than playing the lottery, and much more fun.” Anyway, he explains, he wants to give money away. “I wasn’t born with much and the day I die, money won’t be much use to me. Why leave my children such responsibility? Why take from them all desire to have a life? They have enough for what they want. The rest I’d like to redistribute.” Incidentally, he notes: “I don’t think Steve Jobs had much desire to share his fortune.”
interview  français  entrepreneurial  leader  internet 
may 2016 by aries1988
How to change the face of Europe - FT.com
‘Europe today faces a problem: it lacks a clear creation myth with unifying heroes’
https://www.instapaper.com/read/721544683
europe  crisis  opinion  currency  people  nation  globalization  leader  myth  human  concept  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL’s Despair
Fellow officers saw the death of Cmdr. Job W. Price, which was ruled a suicide, as a cautionary tale of how men were ground down by years of fighting and losing comrades.
story  american  soldier  afghanistan  war  leader  local  camaraderie 
january 2016 by aries1988
The Ford Foundation’s Quest to Fix the World
Walker at the Ford headquarters. “In the sixties, when you came to see the president,” he says, “it was meant to be intimidating.” Credit Photograph by Andrew…
project  philanthropy  inequality  world  instapaper_favs  leader 
january 2016 by aries1988
The wise man of the East
But four peculiarities of Singapore make it look like an anomaly. First is its size. It is a city with a foreign policy, which means it has a cohesion that vast, diverse countries cannot match. Second, this cohesion is reinforced by the turbulent circumstances of its birth. After a painful divorce from Malaysia in 1965, the government has never let Singaporeans forget that a Chinese-majority island, surrounded by Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia, would always be vulnerable. Geography is third. Singapore has flourished in part because of the failings of the rest of its region. Rather as Hong Kong’s prosperity was based on being Chinese but not entirely part of China, so Singapore is in South-East Asia, but not of it.
state  leader  history  china 
march 2015 by aries1988
‘Out of My Mouth Comes Unimpeachable Manly Truth’
The evening news on Rossiya 1 starts off with Ukraine. The anchors of the three networks are a clan of attractive, dead-eyed men and women. They speak in the same unshakable “out of my mouth comes unimpeachable manly truth” tone that Putin uses in his public addresses, sometimes mixing in a dollop of chilly sarcasm. Their patter has a hypnotic staccato quality, like a machine gun going off at regular intervals, often making it hard to remember that they are moving their mouths or inhaling and exhaling oxygen.

Few Russian families escaped unscathed from Hitler’s onslaught, and Nazi imagery, which remains stingingly potent, is invoked frequently and opportunistically, as a way of keeping historical wounds fresh.
russia  people  leader  tv  opinion  media 
february 2015 by aries1988
A toxic monarch
Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Concise Life. By John Röhl. Cambridge University Press; 240 pages; $24.99 and £16.99. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
IT IS hard not to…
history  germany  ww1  leader  book 
october 2014 by aries1988
On TV, Hong Kong Openly Debates Democracy
After more than three weeks of protests, the meeting resembled less a negotiating session than a high school debate.

Mr. Leung is a focus of the students’ anger, and they reminded the government officials, on at least two occasions during the debate, of comments he made on Monday about how full democracy would mean “a numbers game” that would force the government to skew “politics and policies” toward poor people.

“Is he going to be serving the tycoons and the business sector?” Mr. Chow asked. “Is this system democratic? Is it free?”
leader  hongkong  youth  debate 
october 2014 by aries1988
Making Merkel Wait, Finding Time for Truffles
President Vladimir V. Putin kept Chancellor Angela Merkel waiting for hours, met after 2 a.m. with Silvio Berlusconi, and joked at a news conference, but budged little on the Ukraine crisis.

If Mr. Putin is easy to caricature, with his macho photo ops, posing shirtless in the Russian wilderness, for instance, his style underpins a method. Even with Russia’s economy steadily grinding downward, with a recession looming and the ruble hitting new lows almost daily, Mr. Putin is wildly popular at home, using the state press to stir up a nationalistic fervor that has sown unease in the West, but that has created broad public support for his Ukraine policies within Russia.
russia  today  leader  story 
october 2014 by aries1988
Joshua Wong, le lycéen qui défie Pékin
Coupe au bol, frange qui se pose en désordre sur le cadre rectangulaire de ses lunettes, le corps en pleine croissance, Joshua Wong a toutes les apparences des lycéens hongkongais âgés comme lui de 15 ans. Mais son discours le sort du rang : pressé, inquiet, concis et allant droit au but, surtout quand il explique à un mur de micros tendus vers lui pourquoi il faut à tout prix s'opposer aux cours d'"éducation morale et nationale", une nouvelle matière scolaire qu'il affirme être du lavage de cerveau et que le gouvernement de Hongkong avait l'intention d'imposer aux quelque 1 300 écoles, primaires et secondaires, d'ici à 2016.

Scholarism a également attiré l'attention du public sur des voyages scolaires culturels en Chine, fortement subventionnés par le ministère hongkongais de l'éducation et qui ressembleraient un peu trop à des pèlerinages maoïstes.
democracy  leader  reportage  today 
october 2014 by aries1988

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