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aries1988 : mentality   36

Why Are Americans Still Uncomfortable with Atheism?

Lack of belief in God is still too often taken to mean the absence of any other meaningful moral beliefs, and that has made atheists an easy minority to revile. This is especially true in America, where an insistence on the idea that we are a Christian nation has tied patriotism to religiosity, leading to such strange paroxysms as the one produced by President Trump at last year’s Values Voter Summit: “In America, we don’t worship government—we worship God.”

the national prejudice against them long predates Daniel Seeger and his draft board. It has its roots both in the intellectual history of the country and in a persistent anti-intellectual impulse: the widespread failure to consider what it is that unbelievers actually believe.

From John Locke they inherited the idea that atheists cannot be good citizens and should not be brought into the social contract; in “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” Locke had written, “Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God.”

Two centuries after the Founders wrote a godless constitution, the federal government got religion: between 1953 and 1957, a prayer breakfast appeared on the White House calendar, a prayer room opened in the Capitol, “In God We Trust” was added to all currency, and “under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes, the courts concluded, these “under God”s and “In God We Trust”s are innocuous; they belong to the realm of patriotism, not prayer.

Much of the animosity and opprobrium directed at nonbelievers in America comes from the suspicion that those who do not believe in God could not possibly believe in anything else, moral or otherwise.

Unlike the linguist—and new atheist—Steven Pinker, Gray regards the idea that the world is getting better as self-evidently silly. “The cumulative increase of knowledge in science has no parallel in ethics or politics,” he points out. Religions are still thriving, as are wars between them, and secular regimes have wrought as much, if not more, havoc under the auspices of Jacobinism, Bolshevism, Nazism, and Maoism.
religion  law  usa  american  mentality  politics  atheism 
october 2018 by aries1988
访谈|彭慕然:中国为什么这么大?

《东方历史评论》:在您的著作中,我注意到您很强调两个因素,一个是环境因素,另一个是制度因素,您怎样看待环境与制度之间的关系呢?对于以道格拉斯·诺斯为代表的制度经济学派的观点(当然也包括赵鼎新教授对您的批判)您怎么看呢?

彭慕然:诺斯提出的“制度经济学”概念非常的重要,但是它过于狭隘,甚至于有些过于僵化。我认为,这种僵化(包括你提及过的赵的观点)在于毫无道理地认为,在各种情况下,相同类型的制度都是最理想的。从可以在现实世界抽象出理论模型的经济学角度看 ,你当然可以认为,一系列的制度运作可以应对各种情况,但是现实情况并不是这样。《大分流》尤其想要说明的是,在一定情况下,一系列的制度运作可以发挥作用,但是在其他情况下,这样的制度则不行。

中国在长期的统治中意识到,要比较充分地维持北方边境的成本非常高,仅凭华北的财力物力,根本无力承担。维持边境所需的军队规模、首都的规模都远远超出了华北所能产出的农业剩余(agricultural surplus)

如果你在18世纪初或18世纪50年代问那些汉人士大夫,新疆、蒙古、东北甚至像云南的部分山区,都能说是你所处世界的一部分吗?他们会说:当然不是

我认为新清史的缺点在于,他们能够解释为何清朝可以在1683年至1759年将版图扩大了两倍,但却无法解释那些区域在清朝走向衰落以后,为何依然是中国的一部分。要理解这个问题,你需要了解汉人精英阶层为何会认为,那些地方是国家的一部分。这种观点并不是自然而然就出现的。
qing  book  nation  mentality  china  comparison  economy  england  debate  research  theory 
september 2018 by aries1988
Yuval Noah Harari on Why Technology Favors Tyranny - The Atlantic

- In 2018 the common person feels increasingly irrelevant.
By 2050, a useless class might emerge, the result not only of a shortage of jobs or a lack of relevant education but also of insufficient mental stamina to continue learning new skills.

- whatever liberal democracy’s philosophical appeal, it has gained strength in no small part thanks to a practical advantage: The decentralized approach to decision making that is characteristic of liberalism—in both politics and economics.
In the late 20th century, democracies usually outperformed dictatorships, because they were far better at processing information.
Democracy distributes the power to process information and make decisions among many people and institutions, whereas dictatorship concentrates information and power in one place.
- If you disregard all privacy concerns and concentrate all the information relating to a billion people in one database, you’ll wind up with much better algorithms than if you respect individual privacy and have in your database only partial information on a million people.

- What will happen to this view of life as we rely on AI to make ever more decisions for us?
once we begin to count on AI to decide what to study, where to work, and whom to date or even marry, human life will cease to be a drama of decision making, and our conception of life will need to change. Democratic elections and free markets might cease to make sense. So might most religions and works of art.
If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world.

- For starters, we need to place a much higher priority on understanding how the human mind works—particularly how our own wisdom and compassion can be cultivated.
- More practically, and more immediately, if we want to prevent the concentration of all wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, we must regulate the ownership of data.
advice  future  crisis  ai  society  politics  people  life  work  mentality  human  democracy  dictatorship  competition  liberalism 
september 2018 by aries1988
Bright Lights, Big Shoulder Pads: A Timid Japan Recalls Its Bubble Era - The New York Times
She performs in a pop-music duo called Bed In that borrows heavily from the keyboard lines, electric drums and power chords of the ’80s. They dress ’80s, too: The shoulder pads are big, the skirts are mini and the hues are Day-Glo when they aren’t just plain shiny.

That era came to an abrupt end. Japan’s stock market crashed in 1990, and property prices plummeted. The period that followed is often called the Lost Decade, as Japan grappled with falling prices, slow growth and burdensome debt.

“I feel like back then, people weren’t afraid to be noticed,” said one dancer, Nanako Meguro, 18, who recently graduated from Tomioka High School in Osaka, about 250 miles southwest of Tokyo. “They wanted to be No. 1. I think that compared to people nowadays, everyone seemed to have a lot more confidence.”
1980s  japan  japanese  music  today  economy  mentality  future  youth  dance 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Interpreter: A British crime drama bleeds into the real world
The researchers concluded that popular television shows’ portrayals of family life led to these changes by shifting public perceptions about the appropriate role of women.
Television isn’t new to Britain, of course. But in a world where media consumption is increasingly fragmented, popular shows are one of the few mass experiences left. That kind of shared understanding is rare, and it can be a powerful thing for politicians to take advantage of.
tv  africa  mentality  family  female  crime  uk  2018 
february 2018 by aries1988
Steven Pinker: The Disconnect Between Pessimism and Optimism | Time

It’s not that people are naturally glum. On the contrary, they tend to see their lives through rosetinted glasses: they say they are happy, their schools are good, their neighborhoods are safe and that they are less likely than the average person to become the victim of an accident, a disease, a layoff or crime.

But when people are asked about their countries, they switch from Pollyanna to Eeyore: everyone else is miserable, they insist, and the world is going to hell in a handcart.

Most positive developments are not camera-friendly, and they aren’t built in a day. You never see a headline about a country that is not at war, or a city that has not been attacked by terrorists–or the fact that since yesterday, 180,000 people have escaped extreme poverty.

A quantitative mind-set, despite its nerdy aura, is not just a smarter way to understand the world but the morally enlightened one. It treats every human life as equal, rather than privileging the people who are closest to us or most photogenic. And it holds out the hope that we might identify the causes of our problems and thereby implement the measures that are most likely to solve them.
optimism  pessimism  history  mindset  enlightenment  perception  society  mentality  people  idea  development 
february 2018 by aries1988
A Stranger at the Family Table | The New Yorker

fundamentally, we are a traditional Chinese family, and this is no more clearly seen than in the way we interact with one another, in the things we reveal about ourselves. We do not admit weakness or sadness. Romantic heartbreak, depression, existential doubts—those are topics of conversation that belong to different cultures and younger generations, educated people who know about Freud and psychotherapy and organic vegetables. Vulnerability is shameful, even taboo; and in the spectrum of human shortcomings, poverty is the greatest frailty. All that is broken must remain in the past.

With my cousins in rural Perak and Kelantan, I spoke a pidgin of Malay, Mandarin, English, and Cantonese. I became quite skilled quite young at modulating my speech to suit whomever I was speaking to. I knew what proportion of Malay or Mandarin or colloquial English to use, and in what situation, knew when to swear in Cantonese, knew when to be correct, when to be urban-cool, when to be country-direct.
banyan  family  story  children  hardship  immigrant  mentality  grandparent  parents  malaysia 
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 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
Why are we so hard on the cheats between the sheets?
For a sense of the neuralgic hold that cheating still has over us, see the Pew Research Center’s survey of moral attitudes from 2014. The US numbers obey the global pattern. Only 7 per cent of Americans find contraception morally unacceptable. The figure is 22 per cent for divorce, 30 for premarital sex and 84 per cent for infidelity. Of 40 surveyed countries, as varied as Canada and Egypt, only in France did less than half of respondents say infidelity was unacceptable. Most countries scored in the 70s and 80s. Nothing else — gambling, abortion, alcohol — aroused this near-unanimity of opprobrium. It bonds east and west, octogenarian and millennial.
marriage  numbers  mentality  love  fidelity  cheat  future  taboo 
october 2017 by aries1988
Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - The Atlantic
De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices -- and unassailable -- that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever -- "forever" in the sense that they should never be resold.

Specifically, the Ayer study stressed the need to strengthen the association in the public's mind of diamonds with romance. Since "young men buy over 90% of all engagement rings" it would be crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

"We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic's sweetheart say 'I wish I had what she has.'"

N. W. Ayer proposed to apply to the diamond market Thorstein Veblen's idea, stated in The Theory of the Leisure Class, that Americans were motivated in their purchases not by utility but by "conspicuous consumption."

The message was clear: diamonds represent a sharp break with the Oriental past and a sign of entry into modern life.

DeBeers devised the "eternity ring," made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love. Again, sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.
business  advertising  jewelry  diamond  marriage  tv  marketing  usa  japan  mentality  psychology  story  success 
october 2017 by aries1988
How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613 | Aeon Ideas

By this criterion, Caliban is part of the prehistory of ‘how the Irish became white’, as the historian Noel Ignatiev put it in 1995. None of this is to say that Caliban is actually any of these particular identities, nor that the Dark Lady should literally be identified as belonging to any specific group either, rather that both examples provide a window on the earliest period when our current racial categorisations began to take shape, while still being divergent enough from how our racialised system would ultimately develop.

there are compelling reasons to think that many in a Jacobean audience would rather understand Caliban as being more akin to the first targets of English colonialism, the Irish.

Middleton’s play indicates the coalescing of another racial pole in contrast to blackness, and that’s whiteness – but which groups belonged to which pole was often in flux.
history  ethnic  race  invention  mentality  theater  human  identity  racism 
october 2017 by aries1988
What the Rich Won’t Tell You - The New York Times

We often imagine that the wealthy are unconflicted about their advantages and in fact eager to display them. Since the economist Thorstein Veblen coined the term conspicuous consumption more than a century ago, the rich have typically been represented as competing for status by showing off their wealth.

Yet we believe that wealthy people seek visibility because those we see are, by definition, visible. In contrast, the people I spoke with expressed a deep ambivalence about identifying as affluent. Rather than brag about their money or show it off, they kept quiet about their advantages. They described themselves as normal people who worked hard and spent prudently, distancing themselves from common stereotypes of the wealthy as ostentatious, selfish, snobby and entitled. Ultimately, their accounts illuminate a moral stigma of privilege.

American culture has long been marked by questions about the moral caliber of wealthy people. Capitalist entrepreneurs are often celebrated, but they are also represented as greedy and ruthless. Inheritors of fortunes, especially women, are portrayed as glamorous, but also as self-indulgent.
rich  usa  mentality  society  book  money  inequality 
september 2017 by aries1988
'You should consider our feelings': for Chinese students the state is an extension of family | Merriden Varrall

What is immediately notable is that while the student is not satisfied with his teacher’s position, he does not even attempt to deploy what he may consider to be relevant facts or rational counter-arguments to support his own case. He is not trying to draw on his understanding of history, or setting out what he might see to be the relevant details of the arrangements that currently influence the relationship between the mainland and the island.

This tendency to be easily offended taps into the narrative of “national humiliation” which many Chinese subscribe to – the idea that the outside world deliberately carved China up during the opium wars of the mid-1800s, leaving it weak and vulnerable. President Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” of rejuvenation is a direct response to this view.

Some Chinese people have explained to me that the tendency to take offence when an outsider comments on China in a way they perceive as a criticism stems from the idea the country and the family are conceptually conflated such that they are understood as deserving equal loyalty.

Officially, the status of Taiwan is a “core interest” for China. That is to say, most Chinese consider the idea that Taiwan is an indisputable part of China is sacrosanct. They learn it at school, and in almost everything they see and hear as they grow up. To them, Taiwan is a family member; that is why discussions about its sovereignty tend to be emotional. Many Chinese students find it difficult to articulate why they feel the way they do about Taiwan – particularly because they have not had much training in debating or critically arguing a point. And they find it impossible to fathom that foreigners cannot understand their position on Taiwan.
chinese  young  uk  student  gaijin  conflict  emotion  explained  education  taiwan  reflex  university  mentality  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
What the West Can Learn From Japan About the Cultural Value of Work

That’s a thing you notice in Japan, the deep personal investment people make in their work. The word shokunin, which has no direct translation, sums it up: It means something like master or mastery of one’s profession, and it captures the way Japanese workers spend every day trying to be better at what they do.

unionized manufacturing work gave a sense of community and meaning that more atomized, more modern, more service-based work struggles to do.

Hard manual work created tangible products, and that tangibility was part of what made the work seem meaningful.
japan  workforce  work  comparison  mentality 
december 2016 by aries1988
The search goes on | The Economist
The West has gained a lot from Christianity. There is still more to learn
The Christianisation of Europe, he says, was not a bunch of reactionary clerics trying to shut down a noble, free, secular ancient world, but a new idea of “a voluntary basis for human association in which people joined together through will and love rather than blood or shared material objectives”. Christianity declared that humans “have access to the deepest reality as individuals rather than merely as members of a group”.

Out of this, with a reinjection at the Reformation, came the origins of the modern world: a belief in equality of status as the proper basis for a legal system and the assertion of natural rights leading to individual liberty, as well as the notion that a society built on the assumption of moral equality should have a representative form of government.




The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values. By Nick Spencer. SPCK; 190 pages; £9.99.
book  religion  christianity  europe  Renaissance  history  mentality  study  society  opinion  debate  middle-age  antiquity 
november 2016 by aries1988
The Minecraft Generation
Jordan wanted to build an unpredictable trap. An 11-year-old in dark horn-­rimmed glasses, Jordan is a devotee of Minecraft, the computer game in which you…
story  fun  children  game  tradition  scandinavia  teamwork  organisation  sexism  mentality  tool  solution 
april 2016 by aries1988
Europe will fail the values test on refugees - FT.com
For almost 500 years, European nations dominated, colonised and populated the rest of the world. After 1945, the states of western Europe signed up to a new post-imperial and post-fascist set of values, based on universal human rights and enshrined in documents such as the 1951 UN Convention on refugees.

At some point, the desperation and hopes of the refugees are likely to collide with the fears and resentments of European voters. The eastern European members of the EU have made their unhappiness with refugee quotas very clear. Recent opinion polls also show that a majority of French people oppose any softening of asylum rules, and a British majority back the Cameron government’s determination not to accept EU-mandated quotas.
opinion  immigration  europe  2015  people  mentality 
september 2015 by aries1988
Talk文化
几乎没有一个成年后才出国的中国人能彻底的摆脱这种冲突带来的问题 —— 比如中国员工在会议里
极少说话,有的人说话很多,但非常不合礼仪,遇到不同意见,马上出现辩论心态和辩论状态,
最后无论如何达不到意见统一,或者表面上同意了别人的做法,最后离开讨论会议的时候一肚子不服气。

这是一个前提。我们常常认为有些人很笨,听不懂某些东西,但老外不这样认为。某种情况下,
你总能把问题说明白,你说明白后,别人自然就听明白了;反过来,如果别人没听明白,你应该换一种
说法来说明白 —— 当然,这样说也太绝对了,只是基本思想是这样。
comparison  communication  debate  expat  mentality 
may 2015 by aries1988
New Young Puritans: students get serious - FT.com
At well past midnight, Reading university is fully awake. The midweek club night, known as Flirt, emits a dull thud of bass, and from time to time revellers…
school  university  study  student  mentality  success  comparison  today 
may 2015 by aries1988
What Russians really think - FT.com
May 9 highlights the chasm that has opened between Russia’s view of itself and perceptions elsewhere. While many European countries mark the day with Holocaust commemorations and appeals for peace and international understanding, the Russian emphasis is on military glory and the Red Army’s role in liberating Europe.

Rationally I think the Lithuanians have the right to establish their own identity and have their own views on this, but I wanted to say: ‘No, no, don’t talk so bad about the Soviet Union!

The Baltics had very little industry before the Soviet Union — we gave them everything. But now they are throwing it away.

any kind of reappraisal of wartime history is politically difficult because the conventional version has become so central to Russian national identity. Of course, they want to preserve the victory narrative and the perspective that the Soviet Union acted to the benefit of its neighbours, but you have to have a dialogue about these things

Stalin was our wartime leader, and for every Russian the second world war is an issue so close to the heart because every family lost someone in that war.
reportage  russia  people  interview  history  narrative  mentality  europe  2015 
april 2015 by aries1988
Environnement : les vérités de l’imaginaire
C’est la rapidité des bouleversements imposés à l’environnement qui produit cette étrangeté. Alors que les citadins occidentaux imaginent que ces bouleversements ne seront un problème que dans un futur lointain et hypothétique – une bonne part les tient même pour de purs fantasmes –, d’autres populations les vivent et les affrontent déjà au quotidien. La science-fiction des uns est, en somme, devenue l’actualité des autres.

Je me trouvais en Chine, en 2007, lors de la première convention de science-fiction et de fantasy de l'histoire chinoise à être approuvée par le Parti. A un moment, j'ai pris à part un officiel de haut rang et je lui ai demandé : «Pourquoi ?» La science-fiction faisait depuis longtemps l'objet d'une désapprobation, qu'est-ce qui avait changé ? "." C'est simple, m'a-t-il répondu. Les Chinois excellaient à créer des choses si d'autres leur en apportaient les plans. Mais ils n'innovaient pas, ils n'inventaient pas. Ils n'imaginaient pas. Aussi ont-ils envoyé une délégation chez Apple, Microsoft, Google et ils ont posé là-bas, aux gens qui inventaient le futur, des questions sur eux-mêmes. Et ils ont découvert que tous lisaient de la science-fiction lorsqu'ils étaient enfants.
scifi  environment  future  opinion  mentality 
december 2014 by aries1988
Chinese Can't Understand Why The French Work So Little
They don’t expect anything from the French state, since they learned to stay hidden, often arriving without papers,” he said. “Unemployment in France is of little concern, because essentially they’re all entrepreneurs. It’s a state of mind.

Wenzhou, a port city 500 km south of Shanghai, is known for a culture of private enterprise, which the immigrants bring with them. Family members furnish labor and capital - it takes seed money of just 50,000 euros ($67,800) to start a takeout food shop, said Beraha, and staffing it with relatives keeps labor costs low.

Many are pouring their energies into bar-tabacs - a focal point of French life where locals can drink, buy cigarettes and bet on horses that is being abandoned by many French owners on the grounds it is too labor-intensive for too little profit. Sixty percent of the businesses for sale in Paris are being purchased by Asian buyers, most of them Chinese, said Gerard Bohelay, head of the Paris federation of bar-tabac owners.

Conflicts a decade ago between locals and Chinese were resolved after wholesale businesses agreed to shut on Sundays and workshops stopped using sewing machines after 8pm, he said.

"We have more problems today with the noise from the cafe terraces than the noise from the Chinese workshops," he said.

Those immigrants further down the ladder are often the ones who are really struggling. Often recent arrivals from northeast China, lacking family in France, they are looked down upon by those from Wenzhou and scrape by as nannies, cooks, delivery men and manicurists. Many women struggling to support a family turn to prostitution in order to repay the cost of being smuggled into the country - often more than 12,000 euros - police say.
chinese  immigration  france  work  mentality  comparison 
october 2014 by aries1988
New Statesman | Wouldn’t be seen dead there: what our choice of café says about us
A handful of “crossover” places aside though, there is hardly any mixing in the bars and cafés – the shisha and tea houses are the preserve of the locals of North African origin, the Bangladeshis congregate in the call shops and convenience stores, Chinese and Orthodox Jewish residents rarely socialise en masse in bars, while the more affluent white residents drink in the craft-beer bars and more design-oriented cafés that have sprung up in recent years.
people  mentality  race  society  today 
august 2014 by aries1988
National Stupidity
The twin ideas that the human race is divided up into various "nations" (i.e., peoples with various shared traits who regard themselves as part of the same "imagined community"), and that these various nations are entitled to their own "state," have shaped the formation of the European system, inspired the anti-colonial revolutions that dismantled the British, French, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Soviet empires, and help explain why the number of states has risen steadily for decades and shows no signs of stopping.
mentality  today 
march 2014 by aries1988
当年日本何以不能征服中国? - 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网...
“公”是平分,造福于众,“私”是各谋自利的奸邪这种观念深深刻在国人的骨子里。但如果认为中国人没有谋“私”的正当性欲望那就错了,只不过中国人常常故意假装抑制对“私”的渴求,必须把它包装成“公”的企盼,去偷偷摸摸地徇私,缺乏真正的“隐私权”,心灵为此常常扭曲。在日本,“私”却是可以堂而皇之地当作第一人称来使用的。

日本的武士和商人基本上都是世袭的,而且是长子继承制,财产不能分家,故而形成相当刻板严格的职业和等级意识。中国人的家产则不断遭到拆分,职业选择也是流动无常,飘忽不定,难以形成固定的职业操守。在中国,“公”是“私”人因素连带凝聚而成的东西,没有严格的界限,所以才会导致公和私不分相互掺杂难辨这种状况。
japan  china  mentality  comparison 
november 2013 by aries1988
鱼翅与中国新娘 - 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览
当我还是个孩子时,鱼翅就属于婚宴必备的菜。一有人结婚,呼噜呼噜——我们就会坐在唐人街宴会包间里,在桌上的十道精致大餐中喝到那种翅丝汤。它令人愉悦,但和感恩节肉汁一样,它只是多盐、胶稠而已。鱼翅本身实际上是没有味道的——汤的口味主要依靠鸡汤、火腿和大量的中国红醋。因为每个人都喝,所以我们也喝,而其他人的理由也都一样。

中国中产阶级消费模式若能发生改变,对于从牛肉到电力和水的一切可能商品都会产生重大影响。政府表现出对反对鱼翅消费的支持也十分关键。任何解决过度捕鱼——或气候变化或空气污染——的长期方案都需要进步的政策,以及进步的消费者。
from:kindle  food  middle-class  china  chinese  mentality  consumer  change 
july 2013 by aries1988
南方周末 - 为什么我们总不满于美国人的道歉
问题恐怕在于文化差异,西方人是动机效果二元论者,而中国人是动机效果统一论者。我们是否也应该多多了解美国文化,不要把无谓的小事和本来可以平和解决的问题,随意拉升到“维护民族尊严”的高度?
http://www.instapaper.com/read/279544034
culture  conflict  comparison  mentality  debate  chinese  american  opinion 
august 2012 by aries1988

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