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Reflections from Spain - Econlib

The quickest way to explain Spain to an American: Spain is the California of Europe.  I grew up in Los Angeles, and often found myself looking around and thinking, “This could easily be California.”  The parallel is most obvious for geography – the deserts, the mountains, the coasts.  But it’s also true architecturally; the typical building in Madrid looks like it was built in California in 1975.  And at least in summer, the climates of Spain and California match closely.  Spain’s left-wing politics would also resonate with Californians, but Spain doesn’t seem very leftist by European standards.  Indeed, Spaniards often told me that their parents remain staunch Franco supporters.
espagna  europe  economy  immigration  opinion  travel  optimism  spanish 
5 hours ago by aries1988
新疆的“再教育”:从“多元帝国”到“民族同化”|广场|端传媒 Initium Media
这些估测都不包括一般监狱中监押人数近期的剧增:据中国政府官方数据显示,2016至2017年间新疆的刑事拘捕人数增加了20万人,占全国2017年总拘捕人数的21%。要注意,新疆总人口数当时才占全国总人数的1.5%左右。人们相信,截至目前中国政府已经拘禁了新疆成年穆斯林人口的10%以上。

“如果我们不根除宗教极端主义,那么暴力恐怖袭击事件就会像无法治愈的恶性肿瘤一样蔓延开来。”
“虽然一些被灌输极端主义意识形态的人还没有犯下任何罪行,但他们已经感染了这种疾病。这种疾病随时都有可能表现出来,一旦症状暴发将会对公众造成严重伤害。这就是为什么他们必须要及时被送入再教育营进行治疗,要将极端思想病毒从他们大脑中清除出去,恢复他们的正常思维。我们必须澄清的是,被送入再教育营接受治疗并不算强行逮捕,也不能被认为是将个人锁起来进行惩罚的一种方式。这是一项拯救他们的全面的,综合的,详尽的救援任务的一部分。”

到底该怎么治理新疆?是采用清朝式的帝国民族多元主义,还是以汉族为中心的民族同化主义。

当汉族占绝大多数的共产党重新占领在中亚的前清朝帝国领土时,它也面临了与以俄罗斯人为中心的苏联共产党同样的问题:如何治理一个帝国而又看起来不像个殖民者?中国政府大致效仿了苏联的例子,即官方认可了55个非汉族群体为少数民族,赋予其特殊权利并载入中国宪法。一些名义上自治的行政区域重新以民族名称命名:如像新疆和西藏等省级地区被改名为新疆维吾尔自治区和西藏自治区。

尽管所有维吾尔人的群体抵抗事件都会被中国官方声明和央视媒体贴上 “恐怖主义” 和 “分裂主义” 标签,但西方观察者对过去十年中发生的大多数暴力事件的解读更多是 “骚乱” 或 “抵抗” 而非“恐怖主义”——比如说街头示威或袭击当地政府办公室或农民持刀具、农具来袭击警察等行为。

新疆当局如今定义为“极端主义”表现的事物或行为有:面纱,头巾,“不正常胡须”,罩袍或类似罩袍的服饰,斋月禁食,问候时说assalam alaykum(阿拉伯语中的‘愿平和安宁与你同在’ ),避开酒精,不吸烟,给新生儿取有“伊斯兰”意味的名字,如穆罕默德或法蒂玛,星星和新月的符号,宗教教育,出入清真寺,举办过于简单的婚礼,举办有宗教意味的婚礼,举办没有音乐的婚礼,埋葬前清洗尸体,埋葬尸体(而非火化),参观苏菲圣陵 ,苏菲宗教舞蹈,双脚分开祷告,有国外游学或旅行经历,对国外游学或旅历感兴趣,与身居国外的朋友或亲戚有联系,家中有禁书或手机中有不该有的内容,不收听国家电台或不收看央视等。

像这样用训练不足的警务人员来强行关押多达一百万人以强制进行灌输的操作是非常危险的。即使假设新疆再教育古拉格能避免其他地方与种族清洗相伴的大规模虐待,强奸和杀戮,即使假设维吾尔人和其他突厥人民能忍受再教育营造成的心理创伤,再教育营的存在还是一个悲剧,意味着中国政府已经摒弃了中国传统,并开始采纳西方的民族主义意识形态来治理其多民族社会。这是多么地不符合那个中国共产党憧憬塑造的全球化时代。尤其是想到中共曾经还创制了自治区,经济特区,以及“一国两制”的概念。

中国政府曾经颇具创造性地试验过重新分配政治和经济主权的模式,以解决之前清朝遗留下来的边疆问题(新疆,西藏,香港,台湾)。中国为此所实施的政策理念多来源于前清朝的实践(即帝国多元化,边境贸易飞地,免税区,条约口岸)。
xinjiang  opinion  ethnic  policy  history  origin  terrorism 
8 days ago by aries1988
Language Log » Chinese characters and eyesight

Yet China and many other East Asian countries do not prize time outdoors. At the age of six, children in China and Australia have similar rates of myopia. Once they start school, Chinese children spend about an hour a day outside, compared with three or four hours for Australian ones.

The incidence of myopia is high across East Asia, afflicting 80-90% of urban 18-year-olds in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The problem is social rather than genetic.

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face.  This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that would seem to indicate a connection between myopia and Chinese characters

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face. This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

The questions is, though, why don't Chinese school children spend more time outdoors? Perhaps it's because they want to master those high maintenance characters, and to do so requires writing each one of them hundreds and hundreds of time so that one can recognize them accurately and reproduce them correctly when called upon to do so in tīngxiě 听写 ("dictation" [lit., "hear-write"]) quizzes.
opinion  chinese  writing  kid  eye  health  harm  research  reading  comparison  theory 
10 days ago by aries1988
专访许颖婷:“我係香港人”,纪念六四反对“送中”,但其实我比以前更温和了

许:我现在有一两个我觉得头脑还蛮清晰的中国朋友,那时候文章写出来后,她们都会支持鼓励我。我们有时候也会一起讨论中国的政情,可是我始终不能很完整地跟她们讨论香港的情况,因为她们说到底也是在中共控制的教育下成长,信息和观点会有不同。
我觉得中国内部的人也开始对外界接触变多,其中一部分人的思想比起其他人更加进步及理性,也因为如此,中国内地也出现批评中共的思潮,像是我们有时会在网络上会看到一些人摄录的剖白影片,他们很多都以“最后一次说真话”的态度去向外界揭露中共的丑恶。但是这些言论通常都会被政府迅速拿下,所以中国人距离思想开放仍然还有很长的路。

端:因为有些大陆学生在谈到新疆时会有羞愧感,这也从另一个侧面显示出国家认同的强度。

这个条例如果通过的话,无论你是香港人还是外国人,在香港境内都已经成为可以被引渡的对象。我们最担心的,是如果中国成为引渡目的地的问题。中国的法治排名是82,香港是16,他们的定罪率是99.9%,我们怎么能信任中国的司法,让香港人去受审呢?
而且这个条例一旦通过,中国会有更大权力把政治犯、商人或者记者带到中国,那我们的自由基本上就没了。不管是集会、言论还是媒体自由都是如此,因为我们自己会开始自我审查,怕被抓而不敢说话。

我看到最近一项民调显示,如果条例通过,一半香港人会考虑移民,我觉得可能这就是他们(北京)想要达到的目的,因为在香港受过自由教育的人会离开,而他们会注入来自大陆的人,那香港就要“灰飞烟灭”了。
hongkong  independence  democracy  china  opinion  freedom  expression  youth  conflict  autocracy  authoritarian  ccp  leader  manif  interview  explained  stereotype  identity 
25 days ago by aries1988
曲卫国 | 2019复旦毕业典礼的发言

这些年的毕业典礼,我每次都反复絮叨非正式版的民间复旦校训:自由而无用。遗憾的是,翻看前几次的发言,我发现我的心情一年比一年沉重。2017年我主要谈的是无用,non-instrumental。2018年我发现有必要对于自由好好地思考一番,因为说到自由,大家似乎更关注自己的自由权利。
fudan  university  ceremony  talk  leader  linguist  freedom  culture  opinion  2019 
29 days ago by aries1988
The Perfect Storm Confronting Xi Jinping

China, however, has been a net food importer since at least 2007. This includes both grains and soybeans, central pillars of the Chinese diet. This is partly due to the growing need for animal feed, as China’s livestock production has expanded to meet increasing demands from a wealthier population.

“Experts report that there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.” There is no natural predator in China that feeds on the fall armyworm, nor are there any registered pesticides in China to counter it.
agriculture  2019  disaster  opinion 
29 days ago by aries1988
What's not happened since May 35, 1989 | The Japan Times
Now in Beijing everybody feigns ignorance. I don’t blame those ordinary Chinese interviewed on the streets who unanimously said, “I don’t know about it.” Their behavior isn’t wrong; it’s politically correct. What was wrong were the views of those of us in the West who dreamed a dream about China after June 4.

No civil society developed in China, although we thought in the late 1990s that the veterans of the 1989 Tiananmen incident would remain in the Communist Party and would eventually change the system from the inside toward democratization. We were wrong again. It’s time for us to stop our wishful thinking and become more realistic.
opinion  1989/6/4  japanese 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
日本还会再次发动战争吗? 日经中文网

日本不可能侵略中国的原因之一还有就是无法获得现在日本国民的支持。在1930年代日本存在侵略中国的背景。当时陷入经济大萧条的美国限制日本的产品进口,依赖对美出口的日本经济跌落深渊。日本缺乏石油等资源,经济陷入绝境。当时的日本处于人口爆炸式增加的时期,国内充满失业者。在当时的日本国民之中,对于通过战争和侵略解决困难局面显示出理解的人也不在少数。因此趁着经济和社会的混乱,主张对外扩张的军人从文官政治家手中夺取了政权。

但是,现代的日本则完全相反。人口正在减少,经济也保持良好,几乎接近充分就业状态。失业率降至2%,正受到劳动力短缺的困扰。经常项目收支维持顺差,政府和民间均拥有丰富的外汇,必要的资源和农作物可以从外国购买。通过武力夺取他国资源和土地的理由完全不存在。在现代日本,贫富差距扩大和少子老龄化等社会问题虽大量存在,但并不存在像1930年代那样军人不断暗杀政治家的严重社会矛盾和对立。即使有极端的民族主义者煽动侵略中国,大部分的日本国民也不会配合。
opinion  china  japan  war  numbers  military 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
罗新 | 一切史料都是史学 文汇学人

传统的中国史学固然不是不辨真伪地使用文献和材料,但没有在理论上区分史料与史学,对古代史料缺乏批判鉴别的方法自觉,这使得读史者更倾向于盲目崇古信古,越古老越盲从。古代,无论东方还是西方,当然也有许多优秀的学者能处理混乱复杂的史料,并从中获得至今仍有价值的历史解释,但他们的成就主要依赖于经验与才能,他们基本上不具备理论和方法的自觉。更多的学者则是盲从教条。无论中国的传统史学多么发达,但那是在古代条件下的发达,学科本身没有发展出史学与史料学的理论自觉。史料是历史学的关键因素。中国现代学科体系中的历史学,发端于重审史料,由此告别了、解放了并且现代化了中国传统史学。

无论是完整的还是残碎的,哪怕是一句话,哪怕是一个碎片,都可被视为一部史书的残剩部分,都有特定的写作者(authorship),其作者本有清楚的诉说对象(readership),有明确的、特定的写作目的。这样的材料,我们都应该把它当作史学来对待,如分析一部史著那样去分析其作者、读者和写作目的,而不是简单地认定为某种客观史料。

我们现在要讨论的是积极的遗忘,是出于某种目标,主动地、有意识地切断与过去之间联系的遗忘。焚书、文字狱等等,就是要造成一种主动的遗忘、一种强制性的遗忘。对于研究者来说,这样的遗忘是有历史学意义的。

我常常强调“遗忘的竞争”,因为我们能够了解的所谓过去、所谓历史,都是不完整的碎片,这些碎片是往昔岁月中持续进行的各种竞争——记忆与记忆的竞争、遗忘与遗忘的竞争、记忆与遗忘的竞争——的结果。
那些相互矛盾冲突的史料碎片,不再是简单的孰是孰非、孰真孰伪的关系,值得我们辨识的是它们各自体现着怎样的叙述传统,代表着怎样的竞争力量,反映了什么样的竞争过程。我们要考察那些被排斥在集体记忆之外的内容,回顾过去几千年我们能够看到的传统史学。中国史学有官修正史悠久的、独特的传统,这反映了政治权力作为历史叙述竞争力量的绝对优势地位,所有其他的竞争者都因弱势而难以发声。

我们要知道,历史越是单一、纯粹、清晰,越是危险,被隐藏、被改写、被遗忘的就越多。我们要拂去竞争的烟尘理解过去,展示历史本来的多种可能。

学习和研究历史,不是为了预测未来,而是为了扩大人类的视野,理解我们现在所处的情况既不是自然的,也不是不可避免的。我们必须知道,我们的过去有非常丰富的可能,而不是如今天呈现在我们面前、特别是呈现在某些叙述中的那样单一和绝对。
historian  historiography  opinion  future  chinese  history 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
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 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
Fire of Notre-Dame: An elegy of Western decline - CGTN
if the collapse of the Twin Towers of New York City in 911 represented a deep wound of American capitalism, the fall of Notre-Dame spire is at least a sign of decay of Christendom in France and perhaps even a deny of the state's political order.
opinion  2019  chinese  intelligentsia  west  civ  christianity  france  crisis 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
周濂: 个人自由与大国崛起——从马克斯.韦伯的政治光谱谈起

韦伯政治思考的基本单位是“民族”与“文化”而非“个人”与“制度”,韦伯更认同精英而非大众,更热衷实现少数人的自由而非普世的平等自由,更推崇权力为导向的政治而非以权利为基础的政治。德国的危机是韦伯思考政治问题的根本出发点和终极原则,而韦伯对于自由主义危机的诊断和应对则进一步呼应和强化了他对德国危机的诊断和应对,最终导致韦伯放弃自由主义和宪政民主,转而拥抱民族主义以及克里斯玛型的政治领袖。

韦伯的政治思考对于具体的政治实践同样意义深远。从正面的角度说,韦伯告诫作为经济上升阶段的资产阶级要形成担当政治责任的新意愿,组建利益集团参与政治,不做当局的附庸者而要做政治的领导者和社会的压仓石。从负面的角度说,韦伯用他的失败经验(以及德国的失败经验)提醒资产阶级和自由主义者与其半心半意、工具化地接受普选制与福利政策,不如真心实意地响应普罗大众和社会底层的利益要求和社会公正议题,在面对大国崛起、民族复兴的诱惑时,必须恪守自由主义个体权利和程序正义的底线,从内部夯实宪政民主制度,始终警惕来自民族主义话语以及卡理斯玛型领袖人物的威胁。
opinion  book  politics  deutsch  nationalism  liberalism 
april 2019 by aries1988
White Privilege Is Real, but Well-Meaning White Liberals Are Helping to Perpetuate It - Quillette

with progressive ideology. A system that disadvantages blacks, immigrants, Hispanics or Muslims comes to be imagined as a machine operated by an omnipotent white god.

Liberals tend to believe in a kind of reverse white exceptionalism: that whites, in contrast to every other ethnic and racial group, should suppress their communal identity because it’s linked to a system of racial inequality. They seek to deconstruct white identity as an ideological construct designed to maintain power. Cultural conservatives, by contrast, consider whites a group like any other—attached to particular myths, symbols and memories—which should be able to express its identity and interests without fear of censure.

Rather than imagining a world of conflicting groups in which whites oppress non-whites, we should think of white privilege as a complex structure which all people of all races and ethnicities bear some responsibility for. Instead of adopting a simple minded narrative which demonises white identity and casts white people as the villains, we should encourage the whole of society to work collaboratively to reduce system bias.
contrarian  conservatism  usa  race  racism  stereotype  policy  opinion  caucasian  society 
april 2019 by aries1988
When Asia Ruled the World
Nonfiction The Pudong skyline, Shanghai. Credit Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times Amazon Local Booksellers Barnes and Noble When you purchase an independently…
contrarian  west  empire  conflict  world  war  success  europe  fail  qing  ottoman  book  opinion  history  prediction  theory 
april 2019 by aries1988
讲稿|许宏:考古学视角下的“中国”诞生史
我们一直以来就存在着历史文献学和考古学两大话语系统,这两大话语系统最初是边界明显的:一边是历史文献上的伏羲、女娲、三皇五帝、夏商周王朝;一边是考古学上的前仰韶、仰韶、龙山、二里头、二里岗时代。这两大话语系统的合流是在殷墟。为什么是在殷墟?有一个绝对不可逾越的条件就是,当时有可以证明自己族属和王朝归属的文字材料出现,这才可以把这两大话语系统整合

从历史学阐释来讲,大家可能注意到了,我们正在逐渐放弃奴隶社会、封建社会的这样一些概念。比如像封建社会这样的概念,完全是误译和误用,完全不符合中国的历史实际。如果说中国有过封建时代的话,那么它应该指的是秦汉帝国之前西周王朝“封邦建国”的那个时代,它是一种政治的分权化,而不是后来大一统的、郡县制的、中央集权的东西。中国可能出现过奴隶,但是没有什么证据能证明当时存在过一个叫奴隶制的时代。在中国国家博物馆“古代中国陈列”中,开宗明义就说我们已经放弃了这套话语系统,但是在该馆对面的“复兴之路”那个展览上,半封建半殖民地社会这样的说法还有,这实际上也是社会进步比较大的一个表现。

大体上在距今四千年前后,有一个大的断裂,从那儿开始,像二里头、二里岗、殷墟文化就是所谓的夏商文化,这样大的中原文明出现了。我现在是二里头考古队的队长,二里头这个遗址既不是最大的,也不是最早的,但它是整个东亚大陆人类群团从多元走向一体,从满天星斗变成月明星稀的这么一个节点,而青铜在其中起到了极大的作用。

黄帝是土生土长的中国人吗?这也是个问题。黄帝号称轩辕氏,最拿手的是“以师兵为营卫”,善用兵车,而车完全是外来的。在青铜时代及之前,在五百年前的大航海时代之前,西北地区才是中国改革开放的前沿阵地,等于说陕北的重要性就在于它是连接欧亚大陆内陆和中原地区的一个纽带和桥梁,这样一看就明白了。

吉德炜教授从器物的组合来推想当时人们思维的复杂化,推想当时的制作是需要有一定的组织与管理,从而可能会导致思维的复杂化,甚至这种合作会导致语言的复杂化。而这种思维和语言方面的复杂化,使得整个东部的中国人在最初的时候是走在前列的,然后大家逐鹿中原,到最后才导致一个更高的文明实体出现。

说到中国的饮食习惯,南北方的主食完全不同、生活习俗完全不同,但是后来由于文字和整个政治架构的因素,被融合在了一起,这其中也有不少问题有待于探究。

德国著名汉学家雷德侯教授的《万物》一书,就是从模件和它的规模化生产,引申出中国人的行为方式甚至思维方式,像汉字的偏旁部首,也就那么几个,却让中国人出神入化地造出了那么丰富的汉字。

在这里,我们还发现了中国最早的中轴线布局的、四合院式的宫殿建筑群。大家知道,中轴线对中国人太重要了,坐北朝南、封闭式结构、土木建筑、中轴对称……这样一些建筑原则甚至是礼制、政治原则,一直为后代中国所承继。这些东西,从建中立极到中庸,甚至河南话的“中不中?中!”,这就是“中”文化,是原典文化。
用什么方式来显现类似于巴特农神庙那种带有纪念碑性质的东西呢?由于中国的土木建筑堆不高,我们就向纵深发展,“庭院深深深几许”,注重多进院落,大家说单进的四合院就是小门小户,三进的和五进的恐怕就得是贵族和王爷一级的居所了。

在二里头和此后的二里岗时期,就是郑州商城的那个时期,二里头和郑州商城以外,绝对不允许也不可能有任何一个地方能够或敢于铸造青铜礼器,这就是“国之大事,在祀与戎”。祭祀,就是青铜礼器这套东西;戎,就是绝对的打击能力。这也是“两手抓,两手都要硬”,这些就代表了当时“先进文化的发展方向”。这些东西使得二里头发达起来了,现在看来,这“立国之本”在古代和现代都是一样的。以前是祭祀,现在是开会,都是提高凝聚力。所以就是这样一套与礼制相关的东西已经开始出来了,大家看在此前是相对平等的社会,还没有这些东西。

整个黄河上、中、下游,包括三星堆都受到二里头的影响,三星堆青铜文明高度发达,已经到了殷墟时期,跟二里头比还是相对很晚的。在各地出土的跟二里头很相近的东西,模仿品,说明二里头的扩散应该不是强力的军事推进,而是各地的酋长、首长或者是人民选择性地接受二里头元素的产物,就是以它为高、为大、为上,导致文明向外扩散。

长程地看,前国家时代和国家文明还是泾渭分明的。这种向心、开放的聚落形态是属于原始民主制的,这样的模式跟这种封闭性、独占性、秩序性的聚落形态形成鲜明对比。不少著名学者在他们的书里都说,“不让看”是中国古代政治文明的一个重要特征,账本不让看、地图不让看、紫禁城不让看,它是封闭性的、独占性的,它很难形成广场上纪念碑式的东西,这些都是一脉相承的。大家看从二里头开始,整个大四合院的建筑、多进院落宫室建筑群一直到明清紫禁城,这是一脉相承发展下来的。
如果现在观察中国中西部农村,跟两千年以前,就是战国到汉代铁犁铧发明之后的农民生活,几乎是一样的,但我们不能说中国没有进步,还是要看都邑,看金字塔的塔尖。

我们如果放开眼界,就会发现以青铜冶铸为代表的一些外来的因素有东渐的趋势,很明显,这种交流和传递是一波一波的。我的下一本小书就想以“东亚青铜潮”为主题,以前甲骨文时代的千年变局为主线,从全球文明史的视角,来写这个宏阔的态势,探究中国是怎么诞生的。有种叫塞伊玛-图尔宾诺的文化现象在中亚地区最初出现年代比较早,可能对西北的齐家文化,甚至二里头文化产生过重要的影响,所以说那个时候我们不是封闭的,我们的青铜文明的发生大量吸收了外来的文化因素。

文字是否一定要通过几千年的积累才能成型?契丹文字和日本文字可以在很快的时间,吸收外来的刺激和影响后产生

比如说兵马俑,古代中国人的解剖学常识是非常差的,兵马俑那样的非常逼真的东西是纯本土的吗?甚至我们现在也有同仁在研究,像秦汉帝国这样大的帝国统治方式是不是我们自己的发明。要知道,在它二三百年之前,波斯帝国已经形成了,非常有意思。所以从这个意义上讲,只懂考古,已经搞不好考古了,只懂中国,已经搞不清中国了。是不是这样的道理?诸位年轻人外语非常好,一定要开阔眼界,在全球文明史的层面来看我们中华文明的形成。今后一定要从这样大的视野来做整合研究。
world  history  advice  archaeology  china  origin  opinion  asia  historiography 
march 2019 by aries1988
futurists and historians
What best distinguishes our species is an ability that scientists are just beginning to appreciate: We contemplate the future. Our singular foresight created…
history  future  mind  animal  human  question  opinion  futurism  historian 
march 2019 by aries1988
White Words – Popula
“Eskimos Have Fifty Words for Snow” is an amazing phrase, because every word in it is wrong.

For Boas, every language has its own unique features and complexity but nothing, in that account, would prevent Eskimo-speakers from learning English words for water or English-speakers from learning Eskimo words for snow. But Whorf takes that idea and emphasizes a mutual incomprehension flowing out of this difference: our singular term for snow “would be almost unthinkable” to an Eskimo, he suggests, and then hypothesizes an Eskimo who helpfully explains why he can’t think it, using phrases like “sensuously and operationally different.”
contrarian  language  theory  opinion  culture 
march 2019 by aries1988
疾病王国:超越中与西|端傳媒 Initium Media
在传统中医的思想影响之下,许多人认为以消炎抗菌等功效为主的西药,大多很散,必然会为人体带来副作用,有些甚至会影响肝肾。

所谓得散,实质就是指人的精气变散。气,是中国文化体系中的主轴。天人合一的中国哲学认为,天地之气是宇宙自然的根本,人是气之聚,而人的阴阳之气则是安生立命之基础,只有当阴阳之气达到平衡,顺应天地之气的规律变化,才能保持天人和谐,从而生生不息。我们得祖先正是通过气的观念来审视自己,了解宇宙,建立社会秩序。在传统医学中,气血与经络、阴阳五行等共同建构形成身体经验的知识。正是由于这种气论身体观主导了汉人对身体的认知。
tradition  medicine  canton  chinese  opinion  health 
march 2019 by aries1988
再访 Ian Johnson:宗教复兴遭遇收紧治理,中国要打一场“灵魂之战”吗?|深度|探索学院|端传媒 Initium Media
中国宗教政策的转机其实始于1982年,邓小平宣布落实“宗教信仰自由”政策,中共下发19号文件要求重新认识宗教和民族问题。即便是在文件公布的数字里,人们也惊奇地发现,在中国宗教遭受过控制、打压、改造甚至消灭的环境下,基督教人数仍然取得惊人增长。香港中文大学神学院院长邢福增认为,这绝不可能是1979年之后才发生的,他引用自己有关中国基督徒的口述史研究,佐证这场复苏是从文革期间的地下状态或第二社会(The Second Society)开始的。

英文学界的一些主张曾经认为,只有制度性的、正统的宗教才能酝酿出真正的信仰,并以此认为中国没有宗教。张彦没有囿于这种认识,他对中国宗教信仰的评价更接近学者杨庆堃的“弥散性宗教”(diffused religion,又译分散性宗教)的概念,即不成系统却无处不在。张彦形容所有宗教像在一个持续的光谱(Spectrum)里:“一方面,宗教是非常哲学化的,是关于精神领域的,另外一方面,宗教有纯仪式的一面。”因此,他不轻视“拜拜求平安”这样的普通民众看似“无主”的宗教生活,同时分配了一大部分注意力给不经中国政府认证的“地下教会”。

为加强“党的全面领导”,中国各地开展“四进”活动,意指国旗、宪法、社会主义核心价值观、中华优秀传统文化进入宗教场所,这些做法为境外各类“中国禁闻”增添了啼笑皆非的谈资。

我认为宗教复兴提供了一种新的方式,让中国人自己产出一套新的、属于中国人自己的价值体系。你知道,政府想要将自己的价值体系(社会主义核心价值观)强加到人民身上,政府也拥有这种至上而下的权力。虽然社会主义核心价值观中,也包涵一些有价值的传统观念,但这些传统观念是对政府有利的。我注意到的一件事是,很多人觉得中国在过去的一个半世纪里,丢失了很多框架、传统、价值体系和人们在社会中共同生存的方式。这些年人们尝试重新去寻找这些东西,很多底层的中国人民开始寻找自己的传统和价值观。

欧洲,柏林墙也倒塌了。中国的共产党看到并研究了欧洲的这一变化,他们注意到共产主义在欧洲失败的部分原因是因为那里有太多民主社会组织了,比如说波兰的基督教会、东德的新教教会,贸易组织等等。中国领导是不会允许宗教组织发展到如此有组织性的地步的。

我个人不认为任何一种宗教可以拯救中国,但中国可以通过发展宗教去改变自己。

政府想要利用宗教,并且选择宗教中的赢家和输家。比如现在,政府选择的就是佛教和道教,于是他们就攻击基督教和伊斯兰教,于是便会发生各种情况。

宗教局前局长叶小文,他管理宗教局很长一段时间,他相对比较独立、是个很有意思的人物,但是政府可能不喜欢这样,可能政府认为宗教局有太多所谓专家,而且对宗教太过同情。即便宗教局的人是无神论者,他们还是会同情并理解宗教。

法轮功跟基督教家庭教会相比,规模还是算小的。所以我认为政府不会再这样打压宗教。

去年政府关闭了三个最有名的地下教会(编注:北京锡安教会、成都秋雨教会、广州荣桂里)

政府注意到了宗教的复兴并且想去控制它,就像几年前政府控制了非营利组织(NGO)一样,在这之前他们还控制了网络。共产党有时可能需要一些时间去做出反应,但他们总是会做出反应的。

假如在中国有1600万天主教徒,一半在独立教会一半在政府教会,如果每个独立教会有500名成员,那么就会有16000个教会。实际数字一定比这个更多,因为不是所有教会都有500人这么大的规模。所以我认为政府不可能关闭所有教会,他们所做的是在警告:第一,不要有政治倾向,第二,不要有太高的组织性。

新疆发生的一切是很可怕的悲剧,你不能用武力去改变人们的想法。

中国对不同的宗教有不同的应对方式,培植佛教、道教、民间信仰,但打击外来宗教如天主教及伊斯兰教。

我认为“政府”(government)也是一样,它没办法控制社会的所有方面。它或许可以控制非营利组织、关闭独立电影节、终止女性运动、民办教会,但是到最后这些只会毁了政府自身。我认为一个健康的社会需要非营利组织和各种公民组织。一个稳定的社会不应是人造的、外表强大的国家,看似坚硬实则易碎,都是外强中干的。

天主教在过去几年间的人数增长几乎“停滞”。你看,新教教徒从1949年的100万人到今天,大概有5000-6000万的规模,佛教、道教的人数以亿计,而天主教徒仅仅是从300万到了1000万,这期间中国人口数量翻了三倍(编注:1949年的4亿到如今的近14亿),意味著天主教教徒的增幅仅与人口增长相当。

我认为天主教的问题是它没有参与到宗教复兴中去,它是唯一一个没有发展壮大的。教皇可能认为如果解决了牧师等人事问题,比如若是可以让主教、牧师都被合法认证,那么教会就可以更好的发展。

当中国政府说“宗教本土化”的时候,他们的真正意思其实是所有在中国的宗教都应该被完全控制。

我认为这种爱国主义的问题在于人们获取的信息有限,所以他们经常下意识的就认为政府有在做事。

至于共产主义,我认为现在几乎没有人真的信仰共产主义了。我觉得对很多人来说,他们寻找的是一种理想主义的东西,而这其中共产主义相对来说比较安全可靠,因为毕竟中国还是一个共产主义国家。但我不确定人们是否还真的有被共产主义所激励著。

有机的(Organic)东西是从公民社会中产生的。不管怎么说,好莱坞就是美国的一个软实力,但它不是政府的产物。所有的好莱坞电影,以及这些电影所传播的美国思想,都不是政府权力。

真正的软实力是,以佛教为例,如果中国的佛教足够活跃,有新的佛教思想家出现、新的佛教书籍出现,就像20世纪太虚大师创办的“人间佛教”,那么世界其他地方的人会赞叹中国发生的这一切,他们会认为中国一定是一个非常好的国家。这才是真正的软实力,而不是孔子学院这种政府控制的东西。
religion  interview  chinese  government  today  buddhism  christianity  opinion  explained  policy 
march 2019 by aries1988
葛兆光:十八世纪中国的盛世危机

徐中约《中国近代史》曾经把大清帝国“国运逆转,由盛到衰”,归咎于“行政无能”、“腐败普遍”和“财政窘迫”,这当然有一定道理。但我想和大家讨论的是另外三点:第一,帝国庞大疆域和复杂族群,造成控制成本过大;第二,思想文化与意识形态无法面向世界,越来越凝固和僵化;第三,归根结底,是皇权或国家权力过于集中,封杀了变革的可能性。

在二十世纪上半叶之后,“训政”与“党国”成为主流的时代,更是变本加厉。那么,在皇权笼罩一切的专制政治制度底下,说得好,唯有“得君行道”的路径和“作帝王师”的理想,说不好就只能“著书都为稻粱谋”。知识分子怎么能轻易挣脱专制皇权、政治制度对文化思想的钳制?而在专制皇权、政治制度的控制之下,自由思想空间越来越窄仄,我们又怎么能相信凭着这种传统,中国能给世界带来惠及全球的价值,发展出保证现代科学、技术和经济自由发展的制度?

当四库全书的编纂,鼓励了学者们把精力和智慧都用在古典的注释和发挥上的时候,可是,欧洲的实用知识却在发展和整合。

在中国,皇帝就是政治权力、神圣象征和文化真理三合一的,以前史华兹(Benjamin Schwartz)就说中国是“普遍王权”(Universal Kingship),皇权或者国家的权力太大,始终是“普天之下莫非王土”。

在我们有关历史的印象中,华盛顿好像比乾隆皇帝晚得多,好像华盛顿是现代的事情,乾隆皇帝好遥好远,其实,他们是同时代人,他们两人同样在1799年,也就是漫长的十八世纪最后一年去世,不是华盛顿近乾隆远,只是从制度上看,确实一个太古代,一个很现代。
qing  talk  opinion  comparison  west  question  king  politics  government  19C  china  book 
february 2019 by aries1988
The Parable of the Hanukkah Scolds (With a Lesson for Non-Jews, Too)
Gift giving is thought to be a holdover from Roman winter festivals. Santa Claus is a Greek saint who got garbled into something very different by medieval Dutch and English folk culture. The reindeer are from Finland. Jesus and his early followers would probably find the traditional Christmas ham to be just as shocking and un-Christian as the elves in the North Pole.

It’s one of the most persistent myths about how identity works: that there is some true core version — of Hanukkah, of Jewishness, of Americanness — constantly at risk of foreign contamination. But there is no pure core. It’s foreign contamination all the way through.

But just because identity is made up -- a more formal phrase is "socially constructed" -- doesn't make it meaningless.
jewish  identity  usa  conflict  opinion  christmas  children  tradition 
january 2019 by aries1988
专访洪源远:「改革」与「开放」都面临空前危机,中国正处于历史转折点|改革开放40年|深度|端传媒Initium Media
殖民的经验对一个国家的意识有根深蒂固的影响,即使独立后,仍然会用西方人的眼光看自己。中国没有被西方统治,因此在思想和选择上有更大的自主空间,相对不受外国标准的约束。在这样的历史条件下,一旦改革开放,中国便冒出各种「别出心裁」的发展策略。

如果正确理解「改革开放」的故事,西方就不应该惧怕「中国模式」,应该担忧的是人们误解了这个故事,利用中国的经济起飞把专制行为合理化,又或者是某些中国人自己误解了这个故事。

打压贪腐本身是好事,但是现在的问题是卡在中间。如果说像过去那样,将官僚体制整个企业化,它起码能发挥一些优势,官员们敢于冒风险、担责任。相反的,如果让官僚系统变得循规蹈矩,也有好处。尤其是在一些一线城市中,经济已经发展到了一定程度,这时官僚系统就应该是服务型的,老老实实做事,权力受到制约的。

坦率讲,我认为「一带一路」只是一项愿景,而不是周密的计划,更不是西方想像的阴谋。「一带一路」官方网站上的一份《行动计划(2015-2017)》,只有短短七页纸,具体措施其实非常少,留下了许多空间给下面的人去想如何执行,这种做法在中国是很典型的,尤其符合「运动」的逻辑。

一些过分夸大的语言,它总是会和民族主义绑在一起,这对民主的发展也是没有好处的。真正的民主不单单包括选举、言论自由等等,还包括你思想开放了,能包容不同意见,能听进批评,能自我反省,但如果你整天都说自己「厉害了」,那其他人就没什么可说的了,因为你已经很「厉害了」。
china  opinion  reform  today  future 
january 2019 by aries1988
How the Inkas governed, thrived and fell without alphabetic writing

Instead of writing, the Inkas’ principal bureaucratic tool was the khipu. A khipu consists of a number of strings or cords, either cotton or wool, systematically punctuated with knots, hanging from a master cord or length of wood; pendant cords might also have subsidiary cords. The basis of khipu accounting practice was the decimal system, achieved by tying knots with between one and nine loops to represent single numerals, then adding elaborations to designate 10s, 100s or 1,000s. By varying the length, width, colour and number of the pendant cords, and tying knots of differing size and type to differentiate data, the Inkas turned the khipu into a remarkably versatile device for recording, checking and preserving information.

It is hard to see how alphabetic writing would have helped the Inkas to administer Tahuantinsuyu more efficiently: this was not an intensively governed empire but a federation of tribute-paying and politically allegiant provinces. In other spheres of government, such as law, writing would doubtless have made more of a difference, leading perhaps to the development of written law-codes, arguably even a ‘constitution’. But since writing was never developed, imperial rule remained weakly institutionalised, leading to a concentration of power and office, which meant that when the Sapa Inka was removed, there was little to fall back on.

Inka religion, which was broadly speaking animistic, acknowledged many gods, ranging from heavenly bodies (Sun, Moon, stars) to topographical features (mountains, rivers, springs) to ancestors, whose earthly remains were venerated to a degree that baffled Europeans – although most of them made little attempt to understand such practices, disparaging them as heathen, folk-magic or simply childish.
americas  civ  opinion  writing  religion  fail  espagna 
january 2019 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
The Woman Who Still Finds Louis C.K. Lovable
The French comedian Blanche Gardin is taking on all of feminism’s orthodoxies.
2018  female  feminism  français  movement  opinion  culture  comedy  artist 
november 2018 by aries1988
黄宇和:21世纪初西方鸦片战争研究反映的重大问题-中国社会科学网
根深蒂固的西方偏见之一,是英国人坚称其发动鸦片战争是正义的,所持理由是扫除广东十三行强加于外国商人的种种极度苛刻的通商条件与限制,近乎于种族歧视。

盖尔伯把其研究第一次鸦片战争的心得,归纳如下:
从英国的政治角度看,1840—1842那场与中国的战争,并非一场鸦片战争,而只是区区一些地方性的小摩擦。英国坚决反抗那腐朽透顶,却高高在上而又狂妄无知的中国,坚决维护英王的尊严,坚决保护英国男女的性命安全,坚决追偿被中国政府抢夺了的财物。没有任何一个伦敦人,也没有任何一个带兵攻打中国的军官,会认为该场战争与鸦片有任何关系。若中国人有本领堵塞鸦片走私,就让他们大显身手吧,英军则绝对不会代劳。那场战争,打起来不费吹灰之力;却后患无穷,盖数十年后,传教士目睹中国的苦难,悲天悯人,错误地怪罪英国把鸦片强加于中国,才改变了英美舆论。

他进一步阐明其理论说:“鸦片在中国以外的地方,包括英国和印度,都是合法的,单单在中国不合法。结果在中国,不但成千上万的中国商人与黑帮,疯狂地走私鸦片;就连最上层的高官,也染指其中。”
opinion  qing  uk  war  west  narrative 
october 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
“First Man,” Reviewed: Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong Bio-Pic Is an Accidental Right-Wing Fetish Object | The New Yorker

First Man is worthy of enduring as a right-wing fetish object. It is a film of deluded, cultish longing for an earlier era of American life, one defined not by conservative politics but, rather, by a narrow and regressive emotional perspective that shapes and distorts the substance of the film.

the movie doesn’t stint on the distinctive Americanism of the action onscreen (including, in a scene of Armstrong ascending from the ground to the capsule of Apollo 11 in an elevator, a point-of-view shot that reveals, majestically, the words United States painted, vertically, on the side of the very tall rocket).

In its explicit content, and by artful omission, First Man subscribes to the misbegotten political premise that America used to be greater—and that the liberating and equalizing activism of the sixties ignored, dismissed, and even undermined that greatness.
critic  movie  rightwing  astronaut  nasa  society  usa  american  hollywood  hero  family  personality  children  death  moon  opinion  1960s 
october 2018 by aries1988
Stretch Genes

the genomes of various human beings fall into several reasonably well-defined clusters when analyzed statistically, and these clusters generally correspond to continent of origin. In this statistical sense, races are real.

To Wade, the implications are big. While behavioral differences among races would surely be subtle, they can, he insists, become amplified at the level of entire societies. Slight differences in behavioral predisposition—to cooperation, aggression, trust, propensity to follow rules, and so on—probably pushed different races in directions that led to different social institutions. Indeed the seeds of difference between the world’s great civilizations were perhaps present from the first settlements.

the evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker. (Evolutionary psychologists, while acknowledging that human behavior has a partly genetic basis, generally assume that all people share the same predispositions. They then try to explain these human universals.)

This sends Wade into paroxysms of righteous indignation and he declares that whether or not a thesis might be politically incendiary should have no bearing on the estimate of its scientific validity. What Wade doesn’t tell you is that this is what Pinker himself says in his very next sentence: The fact that a hypothesis is politically uncomfortable does not mean that it is false, but it does mean that we should consider the evidence very carefully before concluding that it is true.
book  critic  gene  human  race  biology  political  opinion  debate  society  evolution  racism 
october 2018 by aries1988
A history of true civilisation is not one of monuments | Aeon Ideas
The 20th-century French anthropologist Marcel Mauss thought that civilisation should not be reduced to a list of technical or aesthetic achievements. Nor should it represent a particular stage of cultural development (‘civilisation’ versus ‘barbarism’, and so on). Civilisation could be found in material things, but above all it referred to a potential in human societies. In Mauss’s view, civilisation is what happens when discrete societies share morally and materially across boundaries, forming durable relationships that transcend differences.

Sacrifice is the shadow lurking behind this concept of civilisation; the sacrifice of freedoms, of life itself, for the sake of something always out of reach – an idea of world order, the mandate of heaven, blessings from those insatiable gods.

Mutual aid, social cooperation, civic activism, hospitality or simply caring for others: these are the kind of things that actually go to make civilisations.

What until now has passed for ‘civilisation’ might in fact be nothing more than a gendered appropriation – by men, etching their claims in stone – of some earlier system of knowledge that had women at its centre.
civ  opinion  definition  culture  life  monument  archaeology  antiquity 
october 2018 by aries1988
Fantasy, Fantastique, SF... mais pourquoi la France a-t-elle un problème avec l'imaginaire ?
Pourtant on ne peut pas dire que l’imaginaire ait manqué à l’histoire littéraire du pays de Rabelais, avec Jules Verne, les surréalistes, Julien Gracq, Marcel Aymé, Pierre Boulle («la Planète des singes»), René Barjavel («la Nuit des temps») ou encore Pierre Paireault alias Stefan Wul («Niourk») pour n’en citer que quelques-uns. Mais dès qu’ils sont considérés comme des classiques, ces romans quittent bien vite le rayon du genre.

Voyons le Goncourt, le plus célèbre de nos prix littéraires, dont les créateurs ont voulu qu’il récompense «le meilleur ouvrage d'imagination en prose» de l’année. De fait, il est remis pour la première fois en 1903 à un roman de science-fiction, «Force ennemie» de John-Antoine Nau, dont le héros est possédé par l’esprit d’un extraterrestre ayant fui sa planète. Et depuis ?

Certes, l’Imaginaire ne représente que 7% du marché français de la fiction… Mais occupe-t-il 7% des rayons des libraires, 7% des pages livres de la presse écrite, 7% des émissions culturelles à la radio ou à la télévision? Non, loin de là.
culture  france  scifi  book  bookstore  opinion  art 
october 2018 by aries1988
In Defense of Empire - The Atlantic
From Rome’s widespread offer of citizenship to its subject peoples, to France’s offer of a measure of equality to fluent Francophone Africans, to Britain’s arrangement of truces among the Yemeni tribes, to the epic array of agricultural and educational services provided by the Europeans throughout their tropical domains—Britain’s Indian Civil Service stands out—imperialism and enlightenment (albeit self-interested) have often been inextricable.

That, I submit, would be a policy direction that internalizes both the drawbacks and the benefits of imperialism, not as it has been conventionally thought of, but as it has actually been practiced throughout history.
usa  today  world  empire  opinion  politics  order 
october 2018 by aries1988
How Islam Created Europe - The Atlantic
“the West” emerged in northern Europe (albeit in a very slow and tortuous manner) mainly after Islam had divided the Mediterranean world.

“The West,” if it does have a meaning beyond geography, manifests a spirit of ever more inclusive liberalism. Just as in the 19th century there was no going back to feudalism, there is no going back now to nationalism, not without courting disaster. As the great Russian intellectual Alexander Herzen observed, “History does not turn back … All reinstatements, all restorations have always been masquerades.”

Europe must now find some other way to dynamically incorporate the world of Islam without diluting its devotion to the rule-of-law-based system that arose in Europe’s north, a system in which individual rights and agency are uppermost in a hierarchy of needs.
europe  today  immigration  future  opinion  islam  mediterranean 
october 2018 by aries1988
Being There - The Atlantic
Let me bore you with the old days: In the early 1980s, nobody had advance notice of my arrival anywhere. I’d fly to Addis Ababa to cover a famine, or to Sarajevo to cover the preparations for the Winter Olympics, armed with only about eight names and telephone numbers. Because I did not have to waste time sending e-mails back and forth for days to set up appointments, I had that much more time to read about the history and geography of the country to which I was headed. And you know what? When I arrived and dialed those numbers, about half the people on the list answered and were pleased to meet with me: after all, I had come all this way, completely dependent on their hospitality. And so hospitality was offered. And those people introduced me to other people. It was all so much more efficient then. Now, after corresponding for days with someone just to arrange a meeting, when you arrive at his office thousands of miles away, he answers some of your questions by referring you to a Web site.
1980s  journalist  anecdote  voyage  east-europe  self  now  experience  local  opinion 
october 2018 by aries1988
Why fake miniatures depicting Islamic science are everywhere | Aeon Essays
With these ideals in mind, do the ends justify the means? Using a reproduction or fake to draw attention to the rich and oft-overlooked intellectual legacy of the Middle East and South Asia might be a small price to pay for widening the circle of cross-cultural curiosity. If the material remains of the science do not exist, or don’t fit the narrative we wish to construct, then maybe it’s acceptable to imaginatively reconstruct them. Faced with the gap between our scant knowledge of the actual intellectual endeavours of bygone Muslims, and the imagined Islamic past upon which we’ve laid our weighty expectations, we indulge in the ‘freedom’ to recreate.
museum  fake  muslim  science  history  opinion 
october 2018 by aries1988
Homo sapiens devient-il homo informaticus ?
oisif, oisive

adjectif et nom
(ancien français oidif, avec l'influence de oiseux)

Qui n'exerce aucune activité permanente et dispose de nombreux loisirs, qui vit sans travailler.
human  workforce  future  book  français  opinion  work  self  ai  data 
september 2018 by aries1988
我为什么抛弃Kindle,重新回归纸质书?
当你并不明确你的问题,你对某个问题思考良久,需要一些启发,但是你又不太记得你在哪个章节里看到过的时候,怎么办?

或者我们再一起想想:你是如何将一个问题,从模糊「了解」到可以「运用」,这个过程是如何发生的?
我猜想,在阅读的情境中,这个过程大概会是:当我们读同一类大主题的书,不同作者谈到同一个话题的时候,所引发的你的思考。这个思考的片段让你兴奋。
在你兴奋的时候,在这本书勾起沉睡在你脑中的相似的知识片段的时候,如果你能「即时」捕捉记录下来,这对你将知识碎片串联成成体系的知识结构有莫大帮助。这或许是最为关键的动作。

所以纸质书对人的思考最有帮助的地方在于:那些模糊的、呼之欲出的、似是而非的、就差捅一下窗户纸你就快理解和「想清楚」了的时刻,是最需要借助纸和笔帮助你厘清思考的时候。
ebook  book  reading  choice  opinion 
september 2018 by aries1988
Advantages of Structured Grids Over Unstructured Grids
The elements generated are typically either triangles or quadrilaterals in 2D and volumes are generally tetrahedral or hexahedral in 3D.

In a structured mesh, a repeated pattern is followed where every node is uniquely defined according to a specified algorithm; while in an unstructured grid all nodes are typically arbitrarily defined automatically and no regular pattern is followed. In a structured grid, a node or vertex is surrounded by an equal number of nodes or vertices across space while there is no such requirement in unstructured grids.

Traditionally, structured meshes were the norm but currently unstructured meshes have become commonplace due to their advantages in faster grid generation, ability to handle complex geometry and not much need of grid generation experience.
opinion  comparison  mesh  cfd 
september 2018 by aries1988
作为一个中产阶级,我对国家有哪些不满意
我的文章,很多上面的人都能看到,有的在内部刊物发表,有的被相关领导批示过,也有政府部门联系过我,还有智库针对我的文章发表过评论。所以这一篇,我也希望能被看到。这一篇讲下,作为一个看好国家前途的中产阶…
opinion  city  middle-class  comparison  usa  china  lifestyle 
august 2018 by aries1988
Looking Through the Eyes of China’s Surveillance State - The New York Times
Many critics call China’s surveillance ambitions Orwellian, and they are. But for China today, the world imagined by Franz Kafka offers a closer vision: bureaucratic, unknowable and ruled by uncertainty as much as fear.
opinion  china  today  politics  state 
july 2018 by aries1988
Hardliners Learn That Democracy Can Pay Off - Bloomberg
The big innovation in authoritarian governance has been this: subsequent autocratic leaders, most of all in China, have found ways of both liberalizing and staying in power.

A second development was when authoritarian leaders realized that absolute prohibitions on free speech were counterproductive, and they learned how to manage an intermediate solution.

These days, the Communist Party monitors public opinion closely, to learn what people are unhappy about (e.g., forced resettlements, pollution), so those problems can be ameliorated, or at least the government can position its failings appropriately.
opinion  autocracy  china  history  soviet  communism  democracy  howto 
july 2018 by aries1988
这是今年最犀利的演讲:国家命运与个人命运
我认为,马克思在一百多年前的一些关于资本主义发展的具体结论有些时空的局限性,但马克思主义的基本原理是正确的,那就是生产力决定生产关系、经济基础决定上层建筑。美国经济结构的变化决定社会结构变化,也一定决定着美国政治利益、国家核心利益的变化。

从这个意义上讲,即便特朗普两年或者六年后下台,美国也不会因为更换总统而在战略上改变对中国的基本立场。这是我的一个基本看法。

经济全球化时代国家间竞争的本质是什么?二十几年前我就提出是制度竞争,即看谁的制度安排更有利于经济增长和发展。因此,改革那些阻碍创新的制度安排,创建更加包容、可以自主经营、自主选择和自主流动的现代市场经济体系是至关重要的。

欧洲人出口的是古老的贵族文明积淀下来的审美,几乎所有的奢侈品都来自欧洲。审美是一种历史积淀,前提是一个国家历史、文化的连续性。

这个话题其实是很沉重的,在此我只想谈谈自己的体会。对个人而言,审美是一种品质和修养。一个审美能力低下的民族不仅素养、品格不高,道德水准也会有问题。

一个人做好自己每一个人生阶段中应该做好的事情,把自己喜欢做的事情尽可能地做到极致甚至像清教徒那样对待自己喜欢的职业并愿意为此努力一生,你就是一个具有使命感的人。所谓工匠精神,本质上与这种对职业的敬畏和使命感的理解与坚守密不可分。
talk  china  usa  economy  today  opinion  youth  self  patriotism  advice  2018  trump 
july 2018 by aries1988
黄章晋: 在隔壁的中国,那些孩子已经长大了
2001年国务院颁布《国务院关于基础教育改革与发展的决定》,提出「农村地区学校布局调整」的改革计划,通俗的话讲,就是撤销村里的幼儿园、小学,将之合并到大的乡镇,有些地方,则是撤销乡镇教学点,集中到县城,这就是所谓的「撤点并校」。

我们同事邓飞采访时有个颠覆认知的意外发现,造成2万余学生伤亡的质量低劣校舍,几乎都是1990年代「普九」验收期间突击建造。「普九」即1986年颁布的教育法提出20世纪末普及九年义务教育。它有一套从校舍到图书室在内的验收标准。

当时国家财力不济,任务全部压在最基层的乡镇一级:资金自行筹募,自行设计、自行建设、自行验收。为满足必须一次验收通过、无楼不成校等硬性任务,各地普遍采取采取一次建校、逐年集资的办法应付建筑商。

也就是说,校车事故大幅减少,很大程度是越来越多的孩子在学校寄宿而不是乘坐校车。
today  china  countryside  children  school  transport  crisis  opinion 
july 2018 by aries1988
徐賁:「強制說服」下的羊群變異──五七幹校與中國知識分子|深度|探索學院|端傳媒 Initium Media
思想改造是一種 「強制說服」(coercive persuasion),在各國普遍存在於一些強制社會化程序中(如罪犯改造、戒毒、反邪教、心理治療等)。而在中國語境裏,強制說服則是一種意識形態主導的大規模思想改造,其涉及面之廣、強制手段之發達是其他國家難以相比的。

「認知失調」。它指的是人在接觸到一些有違原先信念或價值的事情之後所出現的衝突狀態。這種衝突會引起不適和焦慮,而當事人則會採取化解措施。許多知識分子在被改造時,會在自己的獨立人格理想與被迫的無條件服從之間感受到一種惱人的矛盾衝突。倘若放棄獨立人格,許多人會為此感到羞愧。為了平息內心的羞愧,他們需要為自己的放棄找到合理解釋,勸藉自己稱這是一個正確選擇。自己選擇放棄獨立人格不是因為懦弱和害怕,而是因為有了新的「覺悟」,是一種思想「進步」。這種調適開始是一種自我欺騙,但最後會弄假成真,「轉變」便是弄假成真的結果。

再也不可能恢復到1949年以前的狀態了,他們已經固定而持久地變成了一個具有中國特色的新品種——狡黠、精明、犬儒、善於偽裝。半個多世紀以來中國知識人的人格破損、自尊心坍塌、道德意識崩潰,已經在新環境下適者生存需要的過程中演化出新的「文化人」基因。

德熱拉斯(M. Djilas)在著名的《新階級》一書裏指出,無論為意識形態的思想改造投入多少人力物力,「這一切手段所收穫的效果並不大。在任何情況下,效果與所花費的力量及方法都不相稱」,它之所以還在繼續,不是因為它真能改變人們的思想和信念,而是因為它能「使一切與官方不同的意識都不可能表現出來」。
opinion  history  china  mao  intelligentsia  mind  education 
june 2018 by aries1988
论 RSS 的「复兴」 - 少数派

要认识到无论是处于舆论风口浪尖的算法、还是重新被人想起的 RSS,它们作为筛选工具解决的都只是一个最初级的问题——如何获取信息。但在这之后,如何鉴别价值、去粗存精?如何纵横分析、延伸发散?如何理解吸收、化为己有?
opinion  rss 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Case Against Civilization
We don’t give the technology of fire enough credit, Scott suggests, because we don’t give our ancestors much credit for their ingenuity over the long period—ninety-five per cent of human history—during which most of our species were hunter-gatherers.

To demonstrate the significance of fire, he points to what we’ve found in certain caves in southern Africa. The earliest, oldest strata of the caves contain whole skeletons of carnivores and many chewed-up bone fragments of the things they were eating, including us. Then comes the layer from when we discovered fire, and ownership of the caves switches: the human skeletons are whole, and the carnivores are bone fragments. Fire is the difference between eating lunch and being lunch.

Anatomically modern humans have been around for roughly two hundred thousand years. For most of that time, we lived as hunter-gatherers. Then, about twelve thousand years ago, came what is generally agreed to be the definitive before-and-after moment in our ascent to planetary dominance: the Neolithic Revolution. This was our adoption of, to use Scott’s word, a “package” of agricultural innovations, notably the domestication of animals such as the cow and the pig, and the transition from hunting and gathering to planting and cultivating crops.

His best-known book, “Seeing Like a State,” has become a touchstone for political scientists, and amounts to a blistering critique of central planning and “high modernism,” the idea that officials at the center of a state know better than the people they are governing. Scott argues that a state’s interests and the interests of subjects are often not just different but opposite.

The big news to emerge from recent archeological research concerns the time lag between “sedentism,” or living in settled communities, and the adoption of agriculture.

The evidence shows that this isn’t true: there’s an enormous gap—four thousand years—separating the “two key domestications,” of animals and cereals, from the first agrarian economies based on them.

It was the ability to tax and to extract a surplus from the produce of agriculture that, in Scott’s account, led to the birth of the state, and also to the creation of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, specialist jobs (soldier, priest, servant, administrator), and an élite presiding over them.

The web of food sources that the hunting-and-gathering Ju/’hoansi use is, exactly as Scott argues for Neolithic people, a complex one, with a wide range of animal protein, including porcupines, kudu, wildebeests, and elephants, and a hundred and twenty-five edible plant species, with different seasonal cycles, ecological niches, and responses to weather fluctuations.

The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy.
history  culture  agriculture  debate  human  choice  farming  animal  book  opinion 
april 2018 by aries1988
梁文道:艱辛探索的價值觀
在我看來,這才是廣被引述的這個採訪裏面最值得注意的問題。那就是認命,是對現實的完全肯定乃至於投降,是對權力以及贏家的絕對服從。假如那兩位年輕人所說的每一句都是真心話,那麼他們所接受的教育就可以說得上是十分完整了,與這次被修改的歷史教科書裏面所傳達的價值觀完全一致。

過去這麼多年,每次遇到和六四有關的爭議,不也有很多人告訴我們,要不是當年政府果斷,今天的中國又怎能成為全球第二大經濟體呢?每當有人批評中國共產黨幾十年前犯下的種種大錯,不也總是有人反駁,說今天的中國是全靠共產黨才能變得這麼有錢嗎?現在修改對於文革的認知,其背後的邏輯和上述這些說法是相當一貫的,乃過去二十多年來逐漸彌漫的主流價值觀。這種價值觀在某個意義上講,甚至是反價值的,因為它似乎要強調一切的是非對錯都是平等的,根本沒有絕對的錯誤,有的只是絕對的生死勝負,活下來就是對的,勝出了就是對的。兩個中學生能夠如此靈活運用這種「價值觀」,恰好說明這次教科書的修改,在整個教育之中只不過是水到渠成而已。

他們移民當然是為了生存,他們過去曾在公開場合表達自己的愛國,同樣也是為了生存。比起一本教科書上的一個章節,這種環境才是學生們的真正老師;比起不斷背誦「社會主義核心價值觀」的條目,這才是真正的德育教室。
essay  education  youth  opinion  chinese  today 
january 2018 by aries1988
The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions - The New York Times

Given self-control’s importance for success, it seems as if evolution should have provided us with a tool for it that was less excruciating to use.

I believe it did; we’re just ignoring it. That tool is our social emotions. These are the emotions — things like gratitude and compassion — that support the positive aspects of social life. For years I’ve been studying the effects of these emotions on decision-making and behavior, and I’ve found that unlike reason and willpower, they naturally incline us to be patient and persevere. When you are experiencing these emotions, self-control is no longer a battle, for they work not by squashing our desires for pleasure in the moment but by increasing how much we value the future.

For millenniums, what led to success wasn’t the ability to study for exams, save for retirement, go to the gym or wait for a second marshmallow. For most of our evolutionary history, none of these self-focused goals mattered or even existed. It’s far more likely that what led to success was strong social bonds — relationships that would encourage people to cooperate and lend support to one another, which helped to ensure that their sacrifices would be returned time and again when required in the future.
emotion  rational  GTD  opinion  howto 
december 2017 by aries1988
« C’est devenu compliqué d’être un homme »

La drague, le flirt, la séduction obéissaient aux mêmes codes qui les avaient régis depuis la nuit des temps (approche, sourires, beaux habits, beaux discours, recherche du point de contact – physique, sentimental ou intellectuel) à la seule différence que le chemin vers l’arrivée (un baiser, une caresse) était sans doute plus bref.

J’ai en mémoire cette fameuse phrase de Roland Barthes à propos du langage dans sa leçon inaugurale au Collège de France (1977) : « Le fascisme, ce n’est pas d’empêcher de dire mais d’obliger de dire. » On en est là, non ?

J’attends à présent que mes petits-enfants grandissent pour les emmener au cinéma. Et si jamais James Bond doit envoyer deux SMS et trois e-mails pour obtenir le consentement d’une James Bond Girl, si Han Solo doit se mettre aux genoux de la princesse Leia pour un baiser, si Indiana Jones doit ranger son fouet, bref si on doit en arriver là, je leur passerai les DVD des vieux films. Vaillant et entêté, je résisterai sur mon petit îlot battu par les flots.
essay  france  usa  female  movement  movie  sex  sexism  opinion  censorship 
december 2017 by aries1988
Opinion | Does Religion Make People Moral?

In the past, he noted, moral conservatives like him would argue that “there could be no morality without religion.” But now, he wrote, “there should be no religion without morality.”

My humble answer is: It depends. Religion can work in two fundamentally different ways: It can be a source of self-education, or it can be a source of self-glorification. Self-education can make people more moral, while self-glorification can make them considerably less moral.

Religion can be a source of self-education, because religious texts often have moral teachings with which people can question and instruct themselves.

But trying to nurture moral virtues is one thing; assuming that you are already moral and virtuous simply because you identify with a particular religion is another. The latter turns religion into a tool for self-glorification.
religion  morality  opinion  turkey 
december 2017 by aries1988
【林忌书评】 《中国洼地︰一部内亚主导东亚的简史》
所谓「中国」的历史,只是内亚地区的游牧民族,一次又一次征服东亚的「被殖民」的历史,由战国秦国赵国的胡服骑射、五胡十六国北朝的鲜卑蛮族入侵与统治,以至五代十国由契丹大辽、金国与蒙古征服宋朝等,在「中国历史上」近千年即一半时间,都是外族入侵统治,作者刘仲敬称之为「蛮族替代模型」。

作者指「貌似落后」的内亚可主导东亚,则是地理因素,即内亚位于两河流域文明中心,而骑马的游牧民族可以骑马自由流通,刘仲敬的观点认为,内亚把先进的技术与秩序,一面向东带到东亚,一面向西带到波兰草原的欧洲,亦因此「中国」长期都「被迫西化」与「胡化」,早在英清之间的「鸦片战争」之前,早已发生了;刘仲敬甚至以此推论,共产主义入侵中国,也是源于上述相同的模式。

民族主义其实是拿破仑战争的产物,在此之前的族群与部族,能否如作者以「国际化」或「输出革命」等副题目来说明,也有很大的争议。
book  china  history  opinion  idea  debate  middle-asia  civ 
december 2017 by aries1988
胡平:如何解读中国之崛起-墙外楼

用托克维尔在《旧制度与大革命》中的话来讲:一个坏政府最危险的时候,不是它政绩最恶劣的时候,而是它试图改革的时候。因为改革本身,使它的弱点显露于天下,改革本身会释放出一些原来被压制的力量,所以反而会促成它的灭亡。这是一个一般性的规律。

在中国,由于采用了权贵私有化,倒是一步到位地解决了这个问题。它没有通过大众私有化,把资产分给大家,再通过市场运作把资产集中到少数人手里,而是直截了当地把资产分给了党委,给了党委书记,所以中国成了这个样子,共产党成了中国的唯一的大股东,党委会成了董事会,书记成了CEO,免除了大众私有化过程中资产零碎化的问题。因此在它的经济发展中,就没有资产零碎化导致的经济衰退,得以保持持续的发展。当然这种转变是特别恶劣的,因为共产党就是靠打倒地主资本家起家的,现在你怎么成了地主资本家了呢?所以这种做法,如果没有六四造成的那种威慑背景,根本不可能发生。但是因为中国有那么一个背景,这个情况就在我们眼前发生了。

避免了大众私有化造成的资产零碎化所带来的问题。它使得大资本一步到位地从所谓的全民的手中集中到了少数权贵的手中,就完成了资本主义的变化。

环球日报写得很清楚,实行民主对于别的国家就是政党轮替的问题,对于中国就是翻天覆地。因为它很清楚,它整个的统治,都是建立在这种压制之上的。现在不谈它政治上的压迫引起人们的反感,单单它的经济上、财富上的这种配置,就是建立在高压之下,完全是不公不义的。

大部分就是建立在对所谓全民资产的这种掠夺之上的。尤其是在六四之后,这种掠夺几乎是公开进行的。因此这些权贵不得不担心,一旦政治开放了,且不说以前当局犯下的政治错误会受到追究,单单是目前这种不合理的财富分配的格局,人们就不可能接受。也就是说,一旦中国人民有了发言权,他们很有可能就会要求对过去的经济问题进行清算,要求获得不义之财的权贵们把不义之财交出来。这一点让权贵们更难以接受。因此他们对政治的自由化、政治开发就抱有比原来更为敌视的态度。
opinion  china  politics  state  party  history  1990s  economy  future 
december 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation: iNaturalist - The New York Times

Most of us are oblivious to this winged panoply, even in our own backyards, because our perception is circumscribed by our ecological illiteracy. Learning the names of our many wild neighbors is an exercise in perspective and empathy, transforming the outdoors from a pastoral backdrop into a world of parallel societies inhabited by diverse creatures, each with its own character and career.
nature  love  apps  life  knowledge  howto  tool  opinion  earth  epistemic 
december 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter Friday, December 1, 2017: The Problem With Political Quarantines
In some countries, including France and Germany, mainstream political parties practice so-called “cordon sanitaire” politics, in which they agree to work together to keep far-right politicians in a sort of political quarantine. They won’t allow the far right into political coalitions, or work with it on joint legislation.
opinion  idea  politics  election  democracy  deutschland  france  europe  2017 
december 2017 by aries1988
“上火”、病毒与中毒
    疱疹病毒则采用一种温和得多的方式来与宿主共处。它们在感染细胞后,会让自己的遗传物质注入到细胞核,潜伏在那里,有的疱疹病毒甚至能把自己的遗传物质结合到细胞染色体中,变成染色体的一部分,随着染色体复制、细胞分裂而一代代地传给了新的细胞。所以一旦被疱疹病毒感染上,它就变成了永远潜伏在人体细胞中的敌人,不可能彻底把它清除掉了。这些潜伏的敌人有可能会导致癌变,不过一般来说是无害的。但是在某些情况下(例如精神压力大、生了某种疾病),由于某种未知的因素,潜伏的病毒遗传物质会突然被激活,开始复制新的病毒,让细胞死亡、破裂,去感染新的细胞。这时候你就觉得你“上火”了。不过,这个过程一般持续一周左右,然后又恢复正常了。然而,以后病毒还可能再次被激活。目前没有任何药物可以用以去除在细胞核中潜伏的病毒,以后也不太可能,所以“上火”是不可能根除的。最先进的药物只能做到抑制住病毒的复制,不让它爆发。
medicine  chinese  health  opinion  moi 
november 2017 by aries1988
来福:肆无忌惮的删帖时代,“谣言”才是抵达真相的途径?|一周精选|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
一天之内,发布消息的微信公众号遭到轮番删帖,微博热搜榜也被删去了与此事件相关的关键词。但屏蔽机制这次并没有太奏效,事件的热度接连暴涨,人们既为北京在寒冬里驱逐的外来“低端人口”鸣不平,又为京城里连城市中产的孩子都无法逃离魔掌而感到绝望(编注:该幼儿园的学费为5500元人民币/月)。

“底层”与“中产”,此刻才强烈意识到彼此是休戚与共的命运共同体。

问题在于,我们处在一个正常的社会吗?

在一个正常的社会,当家长发现了自己的孩子身上有针孔,从她的话里得知其在学校可能被陌生人脱光衣服后,一定会报警,警方会迅速介入,控制嫌疑人,启动侦查程序;之后检察院会介入,对案件进行审查起诉,再由法院进行公平裁决,无论嫌疑人有多大背景,司法程序都可以流畅运转;媒体当然也会介入全程,发布详实可信的调查报导;待到事件落幕,整个教育系统会有针对性地启动结构性改革,同时社会组织会推动未成年性教育,使其成为重要的社会议题。

文章在标题把红黄蓝幼儿园虐童事件(以下简称“红黄蓝”事件)和江歌案相提并论,但却不提为什么江歌案事件里几乎没有媒体和自媒体被删帖,而“红黄蓝”事件中,一开始发消息的媒体报导和公众号文章,几乎全都被屏蔽了。不把删帖这个因素考虑进去,单纯地将教科书里的传播学理论拿出来套用在事件上,才是真正的“失焦”。

江歌案可以被随意讨论,那是“人民内部矛盾”,你们怎么撕都无所谓;而这次的事件之所以要“全覆盖、无死角”地删帖,那是因为这已是人民与高墙间的“敌我矛盾”——我们只能这么解读,删帖的规则在“黑盒”里,无法被看到,只能从现象反推回去分析。

此类呼声,无论初心如何,实质上都模糊了问题的真正所在,也是删帖的源头之处。不讨论不受制约的权力,转而以“疑罪从无”的司法原则去谴责沸腾的民意,并以此为接近真相的方式,大概算是中国当代一大奇观。
opinion  essay  2017  beijing  scandal  children  kid  media  communication  academia 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人——胡清心:一碗九龙城海派清真牛肉汤,带我重新认识“没文化”的香港|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
港人以身处国际金融中心为傲,充满活力的中环更是象征,可我却发现那印在香港名片上的光鲜亮丽的景象,只是属于某一部分高收入人群而已,而大多数人都过着营营役役的生活,为着可以蜗居的斗室而劳碌至死;港人往往为自己城市的国际化自豪,殖民历史带来中西交汇的香港文化,每年更有大量来自世界各地的留学生、外籍雇员、游客光顾香港。作为一座国际大都市,比如纽约、伦敦,应当有着百花齐放的多元文化与价值观,不同族裔和社群都有展示自己独特文化的空间,更应当有丰富的文化艺术及创意事业,为非主流或者亚文化的生活形式及创作提供舞台。但在香港,整个社会不仅是华人文化占据绝对主流,社会价值观更趋向单一,人生的目标不过是工作、投资、赚钱、买车、买楼、买名牌,只要不循规蹈矩走这一条路,都会被斥为不思进取,狭窄逼兀的空间让夹缝中的另类声音与少数派难以扎根成长;因为使用繁体字、家庭及社区中仍有着浓重的中国传统民俗,港人往往自认保留了被中共摧毁的中国传统文化,可我却发现无论教育水平高低,大多港人几乎很难写出一手流畅通顺更勿论词藻优美的书面中文,掌握文字方面的能力更比不上用“残体字”的陆生;而港人虽然言必及香港的廉政公署、法治昌明、言论自由,可就我观察大多数香港人的生活只不过是逛商场、吃饭、买名牌、看好莱坞(好莱坞)大片,对其他的事物和历史根本毫无兴趣。

最令我吃惊的是,清真牛肉馆的咖喱牛肉粉丝汤竟然吃出了我童年上海的味道——在上海的生煎锅贴小吃店,传统的上海人点上一份生煎或锅贴,总要搭配一份咖喱牛肉粉丝汤。这咖喱味不是印度或者日本咖喱,而是用咖喱粉冲出来的,夹杂着浓烈的胡椒味,颜色暗沉的汤里面飘着香菜叶子,用筷子一捞,透明的粉丝夹着一片片牛肉一起浮出水面。

而这个放下成见、开放对话的过程,更是一个逐渐放下大中华主义的过程。尽管当代社会推崇的是多元文化,但是但凡在中国大陆接受过基础教育的人,总是被深深植入了一套东西二元对立的,以中国为中心的叙述与思维模式。祖国幅员辽阔的国土与丰富多彩的民族及出产,中国上下五千年的历史和源远流长的传统文化,无论是地理、历史、常识还是语文课,经过筛选的常识,经过铺排的知识,甚至对于中文语言的规范化使用,其目的不仅仅是知识教育,更是一种教化,作为一个中国人有哪些常识需要理解,应该如何叙述自我身份。这一整套身为中国人的知识体系,成了我们内部进行对话的常识体系,也是与他者对话的平台。

港人与内地人之所以对话困难重重,原因之一正是对这套大中华主义底下的知识体系的不同态度。

大中华主义文化可怕的,不是中华文化,而是大中华主义;那种必须压倒其他一切认识世界方式的霸权,并非中华文化,而是大中华主义让香港被打上了“没文化”的标签。如何让香港摆脱“没文化”的标签,一则是让属于香港的带有温度的故事不仅仅活在博物馆内、留在过期的报纸上,更应透过我们带有情意的叙述和记忆,让它们重新活过来;另一方面,是在面对大中华主义文化的挤压的时候,无所畏惧和焦虑,并非因为香港文化优越过大中华文化,而是因为,一方水土一方人,并不需要以贬低他人才能获得认同感。
hongkong  opinion  china  chinese  debate  identity 
november 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:乾貨該有多乾?

依照這種想法,文學閱讀就算真能讓我們學到一些什麼有用的知識,花時間去看一部長篇,也還是太過浪費時間,因為裏面有太多的情景形容,太多的人物描述,和太多的角色對白,為什麼作者不能夠再乾一點,用幾句話去說明他要強調的主旨呢?不止文學,就連一些本身應該很「乾」的書,比如哲學,其實也都還可以再多榨點水分出來。

我還記得那年春天。我用一個晚上,只讀了韋伯一本著作的其中一頁。韋伯的作品並不頂難,後來回想,那本書其實也不是很艱澀。但是那幾個鐘頭,不知道為什麼我就是卡在那裏了,動彈不得。直至拂曉,非常戲劇性的,窗外一聲雀鳥鳴叫,我猛然一拍桌子,忽然我搞懂了,我明白他想說什麼了。我肯定無數讀者都曾有過這類eureka時刻,它帶給我們的不止是一種狂喜,更是一種不可斷裂的聯繫。自此之後,這頁紙上的言語徹底消融在我的血脈,是我的一部分了。
reading  opinion  debate  nonfiction  book  instapaper_favs 
november 2017 by aries1988
专访王柯:极端的民族主义,一定是与世界为敌|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
实际上,本身中华文化是多重的,其最早就是由不同的异民族创造,并不是汉人自己创造的文化,而是来自于异民族向这个地方的移动。他们到达之后,为了说明自己建立政权的正当性,用神话来解释自己的历史,才导致了“权威的产生”。

夏商周三代,都是异民族开始的政权,他们到中原来建立政权的时候,就一定要对中原的人说他们建立政权的正当性。说明正当性的方法是什么呢?就是天命,我们应天命而来。

所以在清朝,北京叫顺天,南京叫应天,满洲就叫奉天。

所谓的天,日本说的“天无私照”,这就是日本的大神──“天照大神”的来源。所以实际上,向心力不是别的东西,其实就是一种对公平正义平等的向往。

最后,我对民族主义深恶痛绝。

也许从小的方面来看,对一个民族或有好处,但从整体来看,民族主义一定是需要敌人的。这个角度来看,我对中国过去通过民族主义来建国这条路,是深恶痛绝的。
opinion  research  politics  history  china  chinese  japan  nation  state  religion  ethnic  crisis  bio 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Islamic World Doesn't Need a Reformation - The Atlantic

There is simply is no “Muslim Pope,” or a central organization like the Catholic hierarchy, whose suffocating authority needs to be broken. Quite the contrary, the Muslim world—at least the Sunni Muslim world, which constitutes its overwhelming majority—has no central authority at all, especially since the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 by Republican Turkey. The ensuing chaos in itself seems be a part of “the problem.”

The contemporary Muslim world needs not a Martin Luther but a John Locke, whose arguments for freedom of conscience and religious toleration planted the seeds of liberalism. In particular, the more religion-friendly British Enlightenment, rather than the French one, can serve as a constructive model.

Islam, as a legalist religion, has more commonalities with Judaism than with Christianity.

in a reality where the state is already deeply involved in religion, its steps toward moderation and liberalization should be welcome. It’s also worth remembering that the success of the Enlightenment in Europe was partly thanks to the era of “Enlightened despots,” the monarchs who preserved their power even as they realized crucial legal, social, and educational reforms.
from:rss  religion  islam  opinion  enlightenment  future  comparison  christianity  history  politics 
november 2017 by aries1988
How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power - The New York Times
Though free speech is constitutionally protected in America, there is always more lurking in the country’s psyche than can be safely, or politely, expressed. The laws around speech are broad, but the norms are narrower, and the norms govern much of what is actually said. Those norms are changing right now, for better and for worse.
race  politics  debate  opinion  society  expression 
october 2017 by aries1988
Cyberpunk Cities Fetishize Asian Culture But Have No Asians - Motherboard
The neon kanji billboards. Neander Wallace's yukata, and Joi's cheongsam. The busy Chinatown. The interactive wall of anime apps. K's rice-filled bento box. The dual Japanese-English text on everything. All signs that point to a vibrant, multicultural city, but somehow devoid of non-white characters.

"Since the late 1970s, a key idea in Western science fiction has been that Japan represents the future. Japan's 'weird' culture is a figure for an incomprehensible tomorrow," wrote Annalee Newitz about our fetishization of Japan's idiosyncrasies.
scifi  asia  ethnic  american  culture  movie  opinion 
october 2017 by aries1988
The West should stop worrying about China’s AI revolution
China has some big advantages in AI. It has a wealth of talented engineers and scientists, for one. It also is rich in the data necessary to train AI systems. With fewer obstacles to data collection and use, China is amassing huge databases that don’t exist in other countries. The results can be seen in the growth of facial-recognition systems based on machine learning: they now identify workers at offices and customers in stores, and they authenticate users of mobile apps.

The location of the institute is well chosen. From the office windows, you can see the campuses of both Peking University and Tsinghua University, two of China’s top academic institutions. Sinovation provides machine-learning tools and data sets to train Chinese engineers, and it offers expertise for companies hoping to make use of AI. The institute has about 30 full-time employees so far, but the plan is to employ more than 100 by next year, and to train hundreds of AI experts each year through internships and boot camps. Right now, roughly 80 percent of the institute’s funding and projects are aimed at commercializing AI, while the rest is focused on more far-out technology research and startup incubation.

The goal isn’t to invent the next AlphaGo, though; it’s to upgrade thousands of companies across China using AI.

“The titans of industry [in China] have seen fortunes made and fortunes lost all within their lifetime,” he says. “When you see the tech trends shift, you had better move quickly, or someone else will beat you.”
ai  china  list  entrepreneurial  company  internet  innovation  today  comparison  opinion  reportage  shenzhen 
october 2017 by aries1988
Interview with Emmanuel Macron: 'We Need to Develop Political Heroism' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International

Nothing here should become habitual, because routine lends one a deceptive feeling of security. You begin not noticing certain things and lose your focus on what's important. Uncertainty and change keep you attentive.

It is a place laden with history. The emperors spent time here, Napoleon I and Napoleon III. In the Fourth Republic, it was the palace of a president without powers. Only in the Fifth Republic did Charles de Gaulle move back in.

Germany is different from France. You are more Protestant, which results in a significant difference. Through the church, through Catholicism, French society was structured vertically, from top to bottom. I am convinced that it has remained so until today.

France is a country of regicidal monarchists. It is a paradox: The French want to elect a king, but they would like to be able to overthrow him whenever they want.

I am a strong believer that modern political life must rediscover a sense for symbolism. We need to develop a kind of political heroism. I don't mean that I want to play the hero. But we need to be amenable once again to creating grand narratives. If you like, post-modernism was the worst thing that could have happened to our democracy. The idea that you have to deconstruct and destroy all grand narratives is not a good one. Since then, trust has evaporated in everything and everyone.

I am putting an end to the cronyism between politics and the media. For a president, constantly speaking to journalists, constantly being surrounded by journalists, has nothing to do with closeness to the people. A president should keep the media at arm's length.
interview  français  deutschland  newspaper  2017  macron  democracy  europe  politics  france  state  president  opinion  comparison  protestant  society  hierarchy  narrative  post  modernity  trust  media  idea  reform  heroism 
october 2017 by aries1988
What Happens When We Give up Control of Our Cars? | Feature | Car and Driver
Drivers’ licenses origi­nated as a means of reining in the early chauffeurs. Garages installed security systems. Meanwhile, cars themselves grew steadily more reliable, making the chauffeur less and less necessary. And as the automobile matured, owners ultimately realized that what they wanted from the new technology was not convenience at all. They wanted control. They discovered that the act of driving was the kind of pleasure best kept for themselves.

Words like “autonomous” and “self-driving” mislead because they promise a kind of self-sufficiency on the part of the machine. The autonomous entity is the thing that is supposed to take care of itself. But the coming class of cars does not take care of itself at all. These cars are dependent and, as such, require a larger conversation about what the rules and expectations of that dependency should look like. Once a car belongs to a network, you have to worry about whether the network is safe. Once an algorithm is in command, you have to worry about how the algorithm thinks. We are surrendering control as surely as the first car owners of a century ago did, and when you surrender control, you could end up with a chauffeur problem.

It was Apple, Google, and Intel, companies for which the automobile is not primarily an aesthetic object and driving is not an instrument of pleasure.
driving  car  future  opinion  gadget  automation  debate  history 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions - MIT Technology Review

We see a similar pattern with other technologies over the last 30 years. A big promise up front, disappointment, and then slowly growing confidence in results that exceed the original expectations. This is true of computation, genome sequencing, solar power, wind power, and even home delivery of groceries.

modern-day AGI research is not doing well at all on either being general or supporting an independent entity with an ongoing existence. It mostly seems stuck on the same issues in reasoning and common sense that AI has had problems with for at least 50 years. All the evidence that I see says we have no real idea yet how to build one. Its properties are completely unknown, so rhetorically it quickly becomes magical, powerful without limit.

Today’s machine learning is not at all the sponge-like learning that humans engage in, making rapid progress in a new domain without having to be surgically altered or purpose-built.

What Gordon Moore actually said was that the number of components that could fit on a microchip would double every year. That held true for 50 years, although the time constant for doubling gradually lengthened from one year to over two years, and the pattern is coming to an end.

The U.S. Air Force still flies the B-52H variant of the B-52 bomber. This version was introduced in 1961, making it 56 years old. The last one was built in 1962, a mere 55 years ago. Currently these planes are expected to keep flying until at least 2040, and perhaps longer—there is talk of extending their life to 100 years.
robot  ai  future  technology  opinion 
october 2017 by aries1988
The tyranny of transparency | Privacy | spiked
Its undermining marks a significant shift in the values of the West. Although many chart the development of the idea of privacy from the Ancients onwards, drawing attention to Aristotle’s distinction between polis (political, public life) and oikos (domestic, family life), actually the importance we have long attached to it in liberal societies is largely a modern, post-Enlightenment achievement. That is, the idea of privacy as we understand it today developed as part of that broader struggle for liberty from the 16th century onwards, drawing initially on the deepening concept of private property, of every man’s home being his castle, and the calls for religious toleration and freedom of conscience, before then acquiring a moral and psychological dimension during the 19th and 20th centuries. By the time of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, written during the 1850s, the private sphere, a space in which the individual was free to think, to experiment and to pursue his life as he deemed fit, was clearly delimited and sacrosanct: a space into which the state was not to intrude, and over which majority opinion was not to dominate.

‘Behind closed doors’. It’s quite a turnaround. The closed door might once have represented the legitimate limit to the public’s gaze; now it’s an impediment to seeing what we, the public, need to see, a sign that something untoward could be happening, something sexually deviant, ideologically improper, politically incorrect, perhaps involving marital infidelity and olive oil, perhaps not.
freedom  privacy  opinion  essay 
october 2017 by aries1988
Capitalists need the nation-state more than it needs them – Dani Rodrik | Aeon Essays

Among the intelligentsia, the nation-state finds few advocates. Most often, it is regarded as ineffectual – morally irrelevant, or even reactionary – in the face of the challenges posed by globalisation. Economists and centrist politicians tend to view globalism’s recent setbacks as regrettable, fuelled by populist and nativist politicians who managed to capitalise on the grievances of those who feel they have been left behind and deserted by the globalist elites.

The globalist worldview is grounded in the argument that an interconnected world economy requires collective action at the global level. But this premise is largely false.

Global governance remains crucial in some areas, for example climate change or health pandemics, where the provision of global public goods is essential. But in the economic sphere the best way in which nations can serve the global good is by putting their own economic house in order.

The best definition of the nation remains that of Abbé Sieyès, one of the theorists of the French Revolution: ‘What is a nation? A body of associates living under one common law, and represented by the same legislature.’ Ethno-nationalists, with their emphasis on race, ethnicity or religion as the basis of nation, have it backward.

Institutional design comes with a fundamental trade-off. The diversity of social needs and preferences push governance down, to the local level. Meanwhile, the scale and scope of market integration push governance up, to the global level. An intermediate outcome, a world divided into diverse polities, is the best that we can do.
instituition  economy  today  opinion  politics  nation 
october 2017 by aries1988
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