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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
The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

The English word honey is madhu in Sanskrit and myod in Russian. Sanskrit and Russian haven’t shared a common ancestor since Indo-European, so these words had to come from the same source. (There are also the words mead in English, met in German and mjød in Danish that refer to an alcoholic drink made from honey.)

The fact that those distantly related Indo-European languages had almost the same pronunciation of a single word meant that the word—and the concept behind it—had most likely existed in the Proto-Indo-European language. “If they had a word for it, they must have lived in a place where there was salmon,” explains Guy. “Salmon is a fish that lives in the ocean, reproduces in fresh water and swims up to rivers to lay eggs and mate. There are only a few places on the planet where that happens.”

In reconstructed Indo-European, there were words for bear, honey, oak tree, and snow, and, which is also important, no words for palm tree, elephant, lion, or zebra. Based on evidence like that, linguists reconstructed what their homeland was. The only possible geographic location turned out to be in a narrow band between Eastern Europe and the Black Sea where animals, trees, and insects matched the ancient Indo-European words.
language  europe  origin 
4 weeks ago by aries1988
Latin is dead—yet it also lives on - Johnson

A millennium or so after Cicero’s moans, in other words, Europeans spoke a range of tongues that were nevertheless related to each other and to Latin. What happened next in Italy had as much to do with politics as with the dynamics of languages. The contrast with its northern neighbour is instructive. France was unified by the conquest of territory spreading out from Paris; the conquerors brought Parisian speech with them, and that became “French”. A mighty state then did its best to teach that language everywhere, and to eradicate local variants.

Italy was unified far later, in the 19th century. “Italian” was thus created by the pen, not the sword. The 13th- and 14th-century works of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio were the peninsula’s most revered literature. So when, in the 16th century, Pietro Bembo sat down to write a grammar for the prestige language of their texts, he used their (by now rather old) Tuscan dialect as his model. In this way “Italian” was born—though Bembo titled his book simply “Writings on the Vulgar Tongue”. It soon spread to elites in other regions.
italia  origin  latin  language 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
李肇祐:在香港,認同「中華民族」的人,心裏是怎樣的「中華」?
在最近一项研究中,我提出香港人的中国人身分认同,或取决于一些关于人类社群的基本信念。具体一点来说,他们到底倾向相信社群的特征会受外在环境影响,抑或是难以改变的?

根据 Molden 和 Dweck (2006)的观点,人们对社群的信念大致可分为两类:可塑(malleable)和固定(fixed)。前者假设社群的属性以至当中成员的行为皆是由环境决定,会因领袖变化等外部因素而改变;后者则相信社群的特征是(近乎)固定的,甚至与生俱来。我们经常听到的“民族性”、“族群基因”论(如“古巴人有快乐的基因”),隐含的正是此类信念。

社群的可塑性为他们在中港矛盾中维持中国人身分认同提供了一个基础。

首先,两个实验组别的参加者对社群的可塑性的看法有显著差异,表明“科普文章”成功刺激他们对有关议题产生特定看法。其次,那些收到强调族群可塑性文章的参加者普遍比另一实验组别的参加者有更高的中国人身分认同。由于参加者所阅读的文章乃随机选出,我们有较大的信心推断参加者关于社群可塑性的想法与中国人身分认同存在一定因果关系。

今天全球环绕身分认同的冲突此起彼落,我们有必要找出,是甚么导致很多文化上有共通点、表面上能够和平共存的群体(如香港人和内地人)隔阂越来越深?

自2000年代以来,香港政府不断努力提高市民对中华民族的认同。通过社会组织,课程改革和交流活动,香港人,特别是学生,被灌输香港“自古以来”就是中华民族的一分子,有共同的历史及文化,中华民族各成员的关系“血浓于水”,彼此“同根同心”。与此同时,中国内不同族群之间的矛盾及差异则被有系统的掩盖。在中港两地人心愈走愈远的今天,或许我们该问,这些看似政治正确的宣传,会否同时令人对社群产生僵化的印象,或如赵永佳教授(2016)所说,令香港人缺乏面对一个复杂多元的中国的“抗体”,导致他们在面对中港间种种冲突时,对“中华民族”更加抗拒呢?
research  community  identity  nation  origin  poll  experiment  hongkong  chinese 
8 weeks ago 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
The Story of the Iberian Peninsula, Told in DNA - The New York Times

The team was able to identify pieces of North African DNA in people across Spain. The researchers estimated that the subjects’ North African ancestors lived about 800 years ago, during Muslim rule.

The researchers were also able to group Spaniards into five genetic clusters. On a map, these groups form five strips running north to south. Those strips line up neatly with history.

At the height of the Muslim rule, a few small Christian states survived on the northern coast of Spain. As Muslims lost power, those states expanded their southern borders, starting roughly 900 years ago.
Iberia  genetics  archaeology  origin  europe  human  migration 
march 2019 by aries1988
战争重塑中国(南北战争三百年)书评

这仍然未能回答东西方为何选择不同的道路,在我看来,这个问题的答案必须回到不同政治文化传统中去寻找:如果说在欧洲,在罗马帝国的废墟上能有效应对战争挑战的是封建军事传统,那么在中国北方,战争所激活的却是一个强国家传统,最终再次证明只有政治力量能有效整合各种资源转化为战斗力。
west  war  state  history  origin  comparison  question  book  review 
january 2019 by aries1988
Last hominin standing – charting our rise and the fall of our closest relatives
Through genome sequencing, we now know that chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing nearly 99 per cent of our DNA. But in the roughly 7 million years since our ancestors split from chimps, Homo sapiens has existed alongside a wide variety of closer evolutionary cousins. This video from the American Museum of Natural History tracks scientists’ current best guess at a timeline of hominin species, including when and where they lived, and how extinctions and interbreeding led to Homo sapiens becoming the last hominin on Earth. And yet, due to gaps in the timeline and continued fossil discoveries, it seems we've found only fragments of our evolutionary past, leaving much still to be learned about our family tree.
video  human  origin  evolution 
january 2019 by aries1988
克里米亚战争:地缘与信仰的千年之战
19世纪时,欧洲的基督教国家与信奉伊斯兰教的奥斯曼帝国已经打了几百年的仗,是不共戴天的仇敌。然而在这场战争中,天主教国家法国和奥地利,联合新教国家英国,与信奉伊斯兰教的奥斯曼帝国携手,共同对抗东正教国家俄罗斯,这在过去是难以想象的。俄罗斯一直以东正教领袖自居,认为自己拥有上天赋予的神圣宗教使命,要把巴尔干地区同样信奉东正教的斯拉夫人从奥斯曼帝国手中“解放”出来。而在欧洲列强看来,虽然同属基督教家庭,一个野蛮、不开化、具有扩张性的俄罗斯所带来的威胁,甚至超过了已是奄奄一息的奥斯曼帝国。
origin  war  russia  uk  france  ukraine  medical 
january 2019 by aries1988
何谓“欧洲文明”?

陈乐民、周弘认为,促进欧洲社会发展和进步的文明,主要是指:以求真善美的希腊思想为源头的哲学、伦理学和美学;重视社会效能的政治学、经济学、法学;凝合人生、人性、人格至善本性的基督教精神;探索宇宙,改造自然,造福人类的科学实践。

马克思在分析希腊和罗马建立殖民地根源时非常精辟的一段论述:“在古代国家,在希腊和罗马,采取周期性地建立殖民地形式的强迫移民是社会制度的一个固定环节。这两个国家的整个制度都是建立在人口的一定限度上的,超过这个限度,古代文明就有毁灭的危险。……由于生产力不够发展,公民权要由一种不可违反的一定数量对比关系来决定。那时,惟一的出路就是强迫移民。”这种贸易和殖民的过程,也是希腊人开始走向文明的过程。
LOL

西欧文明之所以有深厚、持久的历史文化传统和创造性活力,其根本原因在于:西欧进入文明社会以来,在特定历史条件下,它经历了约两千五百年的奴隶制社会,一千多年的封建制社会,近四百年的资本主义社会,这些社会形态及其历史阶段都得到比较充分的发展,而且西欧文明在各历史阶段,又善于从周边的诸多外部文明中吸纳、摄取优秀文化成果,才使自身得以发展、壮大。
FRD Norbert Elias

刘文明认为,“文明”观念在欧洲经历了一个演变过程,它源于中世纪宫廷社会的“宫廷礼仪”,经文艺复兴时期的“礼貌”,最终于18世纪中叶出现“文明”这一名词,到19世纪发展成为具有“现代”意涵的“文明”概念。在这一过程中,通过自诩为“文明”群体的“自我”与被贬低为“野蛮”群体的“他者”之间的互动,欧洲人对“文明”的认知及自我“文明”的认同得到强化,并将“文明阶梯”的空间序列时间化,以欧洲经验为基础的“文明”概念被建构起来。
2000s  book  academia  chinese  europe  civ  origin  debate  greek  emigration  antiquity 
october 2018 by aries1988
L’Allemagne est-elle démunie face à l’extrême-droite ? — Du grain à moudre
durée : 00:40:15 - par : Hervé Gardette - Les manifestations anti-migrants se succèdent depuis plus d’une semaine à Chemnitz, en Allemagne. Face à l’émergence d’un discours raciste décomplexé, les autorités semblent avoir été prises de cours. Comment l’Allemagne peut-elle endiguer cette montée de l’extrême-droite ? - réalisé par : Alexandre Fougeron
deutschland  nation  origin  france  today 
september 2018 by aries1988
Lifelong learners will appreciate this book about the history of everything

Understanding where humanity comes from is crucial to shaping where we go next. Origin Story is an up-to-date history of everything that will leave you with a greater appreciation of our place in the universe.
book  origin  human  bighistory 
july 2018 by aries1988
Why some countries come together, while others fall apart | Aeon Essays

A comparison between Switzerland and Belgium, two countries of similar size, with a similar linguistic composition of the population, and comparable levels of economic development, provides an example. In Switzerland, civil society organisations – such as shooting clubs, reading circles and choral societies – developed throughout the territory during the late 18th and first half of the 19th century. They spread evenly throughout the country because modern industries emerged across all the major regions, and because Switzerland’s city-states lacked both the capacity and the motivation to suppress them. In Belgium, by contrast, Napoleon, as well as the Dutch king who succeeded him, recognised the revolutionary potential of such voluntary associations, and suppressed them. Even more importantly, the associations that did exist in Belgium were confined to the more economically developed and more educated French-speaking regions and segments of the population.

In 1831, when Belgium became independent of the kingdom of the Netherlands, most of the new rulers of the country had long been members of these French-speaking associational networks. Without giving it much thought, they declared French the official language of the administration, army and judiciary. Despite forming a slight demographic majority, those who spoke only Flemish were not part of these networks, and were therefore excluded from the central government. Until the end of the 19th century, the Flemish were ruled as an internal colony of Francophone Belgium. Early nation-building failed, the language divide became heavily politicised during the 20th century, and the country is now close to breaking apart.

Generations of political ties across linguistic divides allowed nationalist intellectuals and politicians to imagine the Han nation as multilingual, but ethnically homogenous.

Supporting civil society organisations can lead to backlash against foreign influence and political interference. The recent crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs in many eastern European countries is just one example of the risks run by a strategy of cultivating civil society organisations from outside. In the long run, however, such organisations help to provide a political infrastructure to establish ties across ethnic divides and move toward national political integration. A consistent and long-term strategy, such as that pursued by Germany’s political foundations or the Soros foundation, might still be the best way to help citizens connect with each other based on a shared cause, rather than shared ethnicity.
book  nation  state  origin  irak  afghanistan  howto  today  aids 
june 2018 by aries1988
A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story - The New York Times
It turns out that those herders contributed about half the genes of Northern European and British skeletons beginning around 5,000 years ago. Evidently, the herders somehow outbred or exterminated most of Europe’s original farmers. How on earth could small numbers of herders have overwhelmed dense farmer populations?

Archaeological and linguistic evidence had already shown that Polynesians can be traced back to the island of Taiwan.
book  human  origin  research  today  gene 
april 2018 by aries1988
蒙元佛道之争
在金庸先生的小说中,以七子为首的全真教道士都是以抵抗外族侵略的仁人志士面目出现的。历史真相并非如此。蒙元史博士鸣飞老师和《路书》主播一起,从文献、史迹这两个维度,细述蒙元时期的佛道辩论和全真教的兴衰。
taoist  religion  history  origin  china 
april 2018 by aries1988
Understanding China’s Rise Under Xi Jinping -- By The Honourable Kevin Rudd
the territorial expanse of the Chinese Empire virtually doubled, occupying some 10 per cent of the world’s land area, 30 percent of the world’s population, and 32 percent of the world’s economy.
Nonetheless, for those who are professionally charged with interpreting China’s future, as you are in this great military academy, it means that we must also take time to understand China’s past. To understand how China perceives the world around it. And to understand how it now perceives its own national destiny in the turbulent world of the 21st century.

# Xi’s Political Authority

there is the personality of Xi Jinping himself as a source of political authority. For those who have met him and had conversations with him, he has a strong intellect, a deep sense of his country’s and the world’s history, and a deeply defined worldview of where he wants to lead his country. Xi Jinping is no accidental president. It’s as if he has been planning for this all his life.

# Xi Jinping’s View of the Party

The Communist Party would continue, therefore, as an unapologetically Leninist party for the future.

China’s historical greatness, across its dynastic histories, lay in a strong, authoritarian hierarchical Confucian state.

# Seven Core Priorities

China’s emerging worldview, in my own estimation, is best understood as a set of seven concentric circles.

## The Party

## National Unity

From Beijing’s perspective, Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan represent a core set of security interests. Each within itself represents a confluence of external and internal security factors.

## The Economy and Environmental Sustainability

Indeed, the systematic treatment of the environment as simply an “economic externality” to the Chinese development process led to wholesale environmental destruction. China is now paying the price.

## China’s Neighbouring States - Securing China’s Continental Periphery across Eurasia

Historically, they’ve been the avenue through which China’s national security has been threatened, resulting in successive foreign invasions.
The failure of the Great Wall of China to provide security from foreign invasion is a classic case in point.

## China’s Maritime Periphery - East Asia and the West Pacific

Xi Jinping has made plain he does not see China’s role as simply replicating the current US-led liberal international order for the future.
China has consistently said that this was an order created by the Western, victorious, and by-and-large colonial powers after the Second World War.
australia  origin  history  usa  world  china  future  sinology  politics  diplomacy  analysis  xi  thinking 
march 2018 by aries1988
Why did we start farming?
What if the origin of farming wasn’t a moment of liberation but of entrapment? Scott offers an alternative to the conventional narrative that is altogether more fascinating, not least in the way it omits any self-congratulation about human achievement.

The perfectly formed city-state is the ideal, deeply ingrained in the Western psyche, on which our notion of the nation-state is founded, ultimately inspiring Donald Trump’s notion of a ‘city’ wall to keep out the barbarian Mexican horde, and Brexiters’ desire to ‘take back control’ from insurgent European bureaucrats.
CPR 都市帝国 宫崎市定

His account of the deep past doesn’t purport to be definitive, but it is surely more accurate than the one we’re used to, and it implicitly exposes the flaws in contemporary political ideas that ultimately rest on a narrative of human progress and on the ideal of the city/nation-state.

domesticated goats had begun to eat up the local vegetation – the first step to today’s barren landscape.

although farming would have significantly increased mortality rates in both infants and adults, sedentism would have increased fertility. Mobile hunter-gatherers were effectively limited by the demands of travel to having one child every four years. An increase in fertility that just about outpaced the increase in mortality would account for the slow, steady increase in population in the villages.

Collapse could mean nothing more than the abandonment of the centre and the redistribution of the population into independent settlements, to be followed by the next cycle of annexation.

According to Scott, the period of early states was the Golden Age for the barbarians.
book  agriculture  human  debate  evolution  question  civ  idea  invention  destiny  whatif  history  origin  state  read  instapaper_favs 
february 2018 by aries1988
How Latin became the language of the Roman Empire | Unravel Magazine

most importantly of all, the Etruscans gave the Latin-speaking people the means to make Latin a written language: an adapted version of a Greek alphabet.

Surprisingly, it is more structurally similar to Central Asian Turkish than any of the Italic languages, or even its contemporaries farther afield such as Punic, Greek, or Gaulish [4].
latin  language  origin  history  italia  comparison 
october 2017 by aries1988
The end of a world of nation-states may be upon us – Jamie Bartlett | Aeon Essays

Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states).

Until the mid-19th century, most of the world was a sprawl of empires, unclaimed land, city-states and principalities, which travellers crossed without checks or passports.

as Karl Marx observed, if you change the dominant mode of production that underpins a society, the social and political structure will change too.

John Perry Barlow’s ‘Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’ (1996) sums it up well: the internet is a technology built on libertarian principles. Censorship-free, decentralised and borderless. And now ubiquitous.

This is the crux of the problem: nation-states rely on control. If they can’t control information, crime, businesses, borders or the money supply, then they will cease to deliver what citizens demand of them. In the end, nation-states are nothing but agreed-upon myths: we give up certain freedoms in order to secure others. But if that transaction no longer works, and we stop agreeing on the myth, it ceases to have power over us.

Clearly, nation-states won’t go down tamely. Carving out a new form of sovereign authority from an existing one is extremely difficult, and is generally frowned upon by the UN.
debate  state  origin  today  death  government  world 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Japanese Origins of Modern Fine Dining

the story really kicks off a few decades later, when some of Point’s disciples — most notably, Paul Bocuse — create nouvelle cuisine. Propelled by the hunger for change in post-1968 France, not to mention its own trio of hype men in the form of André Gayot, Christian Millau, and Henri Gault, this new generation of French chefs exploded the remaining French culinary orthodoxies by introducing light sauces, minimal cooking times, and more artful presentation.

before it appeared suddenly and decisively in France in the 1960s. A great deal of nouvelle cuisine’s innovations, in fact, paralleled classical aspects of Japanese dining, especially the movement’s emphasis on shorter cooking times; minimalist, playful plating; and a focus on extracting the essential aspects of an ingredient, rather than transforming it.

Kaiseki is most easily defined as Japanese haute cuisine, but like many translations, that equivalence leaves out key context. For one, while European haute cuisine descended from royal court banquets, kaiseki’s cultural legacy is tied both to the dining habits of the elite and to the Zen Buddhist tradition of the tea ceremony, which highlighted the rustic and the seasonal as a meditation on impermanence. Niki Nakayama, a classically trained kaiseki chef who is currently exploring the idea of Californian kaiseki at her Los Angeles restaurant N/Naka, describes it simply, as the most formal way of dining in Japan. In her telling, the tea ceremony included food that was simple, vegan, and could be served as a snack; later, the cuisine evolved into a celebratory meal for samurai.

At L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Paul Bocuse serves a dish that’s an homage to his mentor — a fillet of white fish that’s swimming in a yellow-beige sauce and served on a white plate that perfectly evokes the classic dishes of the mid-20th century — and that would never be served on a high-end menu today. At the same restaurant, Bocuse also serves a fish dish of his own invention, featuring a fillet of red mullet covered in potato “scales,” with an artful arrangement of sauce in a leaf-shaped counterpoint. The leap, from white food with white sauce on a white plate to more visual evocation, was made in less than a generation.
gastronomy  français  japanese  cuisine  origin 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Anglo-Saxon is not American or British but a French alter-ego – Emile Chabal | Aeon Essays

when the French refer to ‘the Anglo-Saxon’ or use the term as an adjective, they are usually talking about themselves. The Anglo-Saxon is a mirror on Frenchness; it is France’s alter-ego and often its most feared enemy.

It was only in the 1860s that a new meaning began to appear in the wake of Napoleon III’s abortive attempts to extend the French empire into Latin America. In learned publications such as the Revue des races latines, founded in 1857, ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ was juxtaposed with ‘Latinity’ in an attempt to place France at the heart of a global Latin world that stretched from South America and the Caribbean to Madrid and Paris.

As has been the case ever since, the French both feared and admired the Anglo-Saxon at the turn of the 19th-century – and they used it as a vehicle for discussing their own national anxieties.

At times, English speakers can even fall into the same trap as their French counterparts when they lazily describe an idea or a way of thinking as ‘Anglo-American’ or ‘Atlantic’.
français  concept  uk  american  english  culture  identity  history  origin  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
A Murderous History of Korea

Kim’s reputation was inadvertently enhanced by the Japanese, whose newspapers made a splash of the battle between him and the Korean quislings whom the Japanese employed to track down and kill him, all operating under the command of General Nozoe Shotoku, who ran the Imperial Army’s ‘Special Kim Division’.

A vital figure in the long Japanese counterinsurgency effort was Kishi Nobusuke, who made a name for himself running munitions factories. Labelled a Class A war criminal during the US occupation, Kishi avoided incarceration and became one of the founding fathers of postwar Japan and its longtime ruling organ, the Liberal Democratic Party; he was prime minister twice between 1957 and 1960.

Kim Il-sung and Kishi are meeting again through their grandsons. Eight decades have passed, and the baleful, irreconcilable hostility between North Korea and Japan still hangs in the air.

The demonisation of North Korea transcends party lines, drawing on a host of subliminal racist and Orientalist imagery; no one is willing to accept that North Koreans may have valid reasons for not accepting the American definition of reality.

Congress and the American people knew nothing about this. Several of the planners were Japanophiles who had never challenged Japan’s colonial claims in Korea and now hoped to reconstruct a peaceable and amenable postwar Japan.

They worried that a Soviet occupation of Korea would thwart that goal and harm the postwar security of the Pacific.

it was no surprise that after a series of South Korean incursions into the North, full-scale civil war broke out on 25 June 1950.

South Korea’s stable democracy and vibrant economy from 1988 onwards seem to have overridden any need to acknowledge the previous forty years of history, during which the North could reasonably claim that its own autocracy was necessary to counter military rule in Seoul. It’s only in the present context that the North looks at best like a walking anachronism, at worst like a vicious tyranny.
war  korea  origin  disaster  nuclear  usa  explained  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.
endogeneity
english  writer  language  opinion  origin  today 
april 2017 by aries1988
离开了“外来语”,我们还能思考吗:中西之间的日本
严复根本就没有把学童一类浅学之人当作自己的读者,他的译文是给那些饱学的士大夫读的。严复认为,改造那些饱读古书而往往又顽固守旧者的思想,是最关键的事。这批人的思想改造过来了,整个社会的风气也就会发生变化。而中国的读书人都很讲究文笔之美,严复要让他们读自己的书,首先就必须以一种美文来征服他们,对于那种本厌恶、排斥西学的人,则是给他们送上一枚糖衣炮弹。

他指出了日中两国翻译西文术语方式的不同。日本人多用双字或双字以上的词组去译西文本语,而中国人则习惯用单字,“精密不精密之分,全在于此。”这其实还是在批评严复。用单字译西文术语,正是严复的习惯,如“玄学”、“理学”、“计学”、“群学”都属此类。
chinese  origin  japanese  language  minguo  translation  history  comparison 
february 2017 by aries1988
Does Chinese Civilization Come From Ancient Egypt?
On a cool Sunday evening in March, a geochemist named Sun Weidong gave a public lecture to an audience of laymen, students, and professors at the University of…
archaeology  chinese  origin  egypt  civ  theory 
september 2016 by aries1988
四川话为什么这么统一|大象公会
四川话为什么那么有特色?古代的四川人是如何说话的?现代四川人又是怎样来的?
sichuan  dialect  origin  today  history 
august 2016 by aries1988
Why is English so weirdly different from other languages? – John McWhorter | Aeon Essays

almost all European languages belong to one family – Indo-European – and of all of them, English is the only one that doesn’t assign genders that way.

There is no other language, for example, that is close enough to English that we can get about half of what people are saying without training and the rest with only modest effort.

Crucially, their languages were quite unlike English. For one thing, the verb came first (came first the verb). But also, they had an odd construction with the verb do: they used it to form a question, to make a sentence negative, and even just as a kind of seasoning before any verb. Do you walk? I do not walk. I do walk.

Old English had the crazy genders we would expect of a good European language – but the Scandies didn’t bother with those, and so now we have none. Chalk up one of English’s weirdnesses. What’s more, the Vikings mastered only that one shred of a once-lovely conjugation system: hence the lonely third‑person singular –s, hanging on like a dead bug on a windshield. Here and in other ways, they smoothed out the hard stuff.

English got hit by a firehose spray of words from yet more languages

One result was triplets allowing us to express ideas with varying degrees of formality. Help is English, aid is French, assist is Latin. Or, kingly is English, royal is French, regal is Latin – note how one imagines posture improving with each level: kingly sounds almost mocking, regal is straight-backed like a throne, royal is somewhere in the middle, a worthy but fallible monarch.

Clip on a suffix to the word wonder, and you get wonderful. But – clip on an ending to the word modern and the ending pulls the accent ahead with it: MO-dern, but mo-DERN-ity, not MO-dern-ity. That doesn’t happen with WON-der and WON-der-ful, or CHEER-y and CHEER-i-ly. But it does happen with PER-sonal, person-AL-ity.

What’s the difference? It’s that -ful and -ly are Germanic endings, while -ity came in with French. French and Latin endings pull the accent closer – TEM-pest, tem-PEST-uous – while Germanic ones leave the accent alone. One never notices such a thing, but it’s one way this ‘simple’ language is actually not so.

What English does have on other tongues is that it is deeply peculiar in the structural sense. And it became peculiar because of the slings and arrows – as well as caprices – of outrageous history.
comparison  language  english  history  linguist  culture  scandinavia  origin  vocabulary  instapaper_favs 
august 2016 by aries1988
10 years on Twitter - FT.com
Around lunchtime on March 21 2006, a 29-year-old software developer called Jack Dorsey tapped out a simple message. He only had 140 characters in which to do so…
twitter  instapaper_favs  story  social-network  origin 
march 2016 by aries1988
Afrique du Sud: la découverte homo Naledi - RFI
Retour un événement important en Afrique du Sud. La découverte d’un nouvel ancêtre de l’homme, baptisé homo Naledi, qui a été présenté à grand public il y a quelques...
paleo  human  origin  discovery  africa 
january 2016 by aries1988
Our Cosmic Selves - NYTimes.com
That discovery is relatively recent. Four astrophysicists developed the idea in a landmark paper published in 1957. They argued that almost all the elements in the periodic table were cooked up over time through nuclear reactions inside stars — rather than in the first instants of the Big Bang, as previously thought. The stuff of life, in other words, arose in places and times somewhat more accessible to our telescopic investigations.

Since most of us spend our lives confined to a narrow strip near Earth’s surface, we tend to think of the cosmos as a lofty, empyrean realm far beyond our reach and relevance. We forget that only a thin sliver of atmosphere separates us from the rest of the universe.

Up to half the water on our planet is older than the solar system itself. Ancient water molecules assembled in the chilly confines of a gigantic gas cloud. That cloud spawned our sun and the planets that orbit it — and somehow those ancient water molecules survived the perils of the planetary birth process to end up in our oceans and, presumably, our bodies.

Together, these findings raise the odds that life’s building blocks were concocted in space and blended into the material that formed Earth and its planetary siblings.

Amid the material comforts and the relentless distractions of modern life, the universe at large may appear remote, intangible and irrelevant, especially to those of us who are city dwellers. But the next time you catch a glimpse of the Milky Way in its true glory, from a dark outpost far from city lights, think of those countless stars as nuclear factories and the starless hazy patches as molecular breweries. It is not much of a stretch to imagine the inchoate seeds of life emerging in the distance.
life  cosmos  science  origin 
april 2015 by aries1988
In Sarajevo, Divisions That Drove an Assassin Have Only Begun to Heal

In the centenary commemorations in Sarajevo, culminating on Saturday with a concert in the old city hall, peace is the official theme. But the ethnic and nationalist divisions that motivated Princip are anything but history in this part of the world, which was ravaged only two decades ago by bloody sectarian fighting and is even now the scene of dueling efforts to define Princip’s legacy. As Europe diligently promotes an ideology of harmony, broad areas of the continent, the Middle East and elsewhere continue to struggle with versions of the destructive forces unleashed that day.

In 1914, France was, with Russia, the closest ally of Serbia: the newly independent nation that Princip saw as the linchpin of a new order in the Balkans, one that would unite all Balkan Serbs in a “greater Serbia” once the colonial hold of the Austro-Hungarians and the Ottomans had been broken.
europe  ww1  origin  balkan  crisis  ethnic  war 
june 2014 by aries1988
The Vietnam Solution
How a former enemy became a crucial U.S. ally in balancing China’s rise

Chinese administrative norms were “internalized to the point that their alien origins became irrelevant.” The fierce desire of all Vietnamese to be separate from China was reinforced by their contact with the Chams and Khmers to the south, who were influenced by non-Chinese civilizations, particularly India’s. Given their intense similarity with the Chinese, the Vietnamese are burdened by the narcissism of small differences, and this makes events from the past more vivid to them.

Vietnam’s victories over China and over the Chams and Khmers in the south helped to forge a distinct national identity—a process spurred by China’s inability, up through modern times, to let Vietnam alone. In 1946, China colluded with France to have the Chinese occupation forces in northern Vietnam succeeded by French forces. The Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping “never lost his visceral hatred of the Vietnamese,” Templer writes. In addition to deciding in 1979 to send 100,000 Chinese into Vietnam, Deng devised a policy of “bleeding Hanoi white,” by entangling Vietnam in a guerrilla war in Cambodia.

The South China Sea links the Indian Ocean with the western Pacific, connecting global sea routes through the Malacca, Sunda, Lombok, and Makassar Straits. These choke points see the passage of more than half of the world’s annual merchant-fleet tonnage and a third of all maritime traffic worldwide. The oil transported through the Malacca Strait from the Indian Ocean, en route to East Asia by way of the South China Sea, is triple the amount that passes through the Suez Canal and 15 times the amount that passes through the Panama Canal. Some two-thirds of South Korea’s energy supplies, nearly 60 percent of Japan’s and Taiwan’s energy supplies, and about 80 percent of China’s crude-oil imports come through the South China Sea.

Vietnam and China have largely settled the problems created by the Gulf of Tonkin—in which China’s Hainan Island largely blocks the northern Vietnamese coastline from the open sea—by dividing the energy-rich gulf in half. “But we cannot accept the cow’s tongue,” he said, meaning China’s historic nine-dashed line in the South China Sea. “China says the area is in dispute. We say no. The cow’s tongue violates the claims of five countries.”

A Western defense expert in Hanoi tells me that the sale makes no logical sense: “There is going to be real sticker shock for the Vietnamese when they find out just how much it costs merely to maintain these subs.” More important, the expert says, the Vietnamese will have to train crews to use them—a generational undertaking. “To counter Chinese subs,” the expert says, “they would have been better off concentrating on anti-submarine warfare and littoral defense.” Clearly, the Vietnamese bought these submarines as prestige items, to say We’re serious.
diplomacy  usa  china  vietnam  banyan  nation  origin  history 
may 2014 by aries1988

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