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From tea to opium: how the Scots left their mark on China | Aeon Essays
Like their 18th-century predecessors, Jardine and Matheson financed Britain’s lucrative tea trade in Canton by moving their clients’ money from India to China. Instead of transferring these fortunes through a variety of legal Indian and Southeast Asian commodities, namely cotton, pepper, wood, tin and saltpetre, as had been done in the past, the Scottish traders relied increasingly on a contraband product: Indian opium. In defiance of the laws of China they, along with private traders of different nationalities including Americans and Indian Parsis, smuggled tens of thousands of chests of opium into China each year during the first half of the 19th century.

In 1848 and again in 1849, Fortune travelled in full disguise, including the traditional Qing dynasty hairstyle with a shaved hairline and long braid, deep into the countryside of Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian provinces. He was searching for the finest tea plants in China. Having acquired thousands of specimens and seeds, he shipped them all, carefully packed in airtight glass cases, from Hong Kong to the East India Company’s Botanical Gardens in Calcutta. From there, they went further, to the Company’s gardens in the Himalayas.

Scots played an outsized role in the intertwined trades of tea and opium, giving rise to social, economic and cultural developments that changed the macro relationship between Britain and China as well as everyday cultural practices and patterns of sociability.

When British consumers began sweetening their Chinese tea with Caribbean sugar, these two commodities, one from the East Indies, the other from the West, reinforced one another. The result was new fuel for the industrial revolution. In addition to coal, sugary tea made the revolution possible by helping British workers endure inhumanely long shifts in the textile factories of the industrial North.
drinking  uk  china  qing  history  scotland 
4 days ago by aries1988


ww1  deutsch  zeitgeist  art  book  war  uk  explained  civ  culture 
16 days ago by aries1988
Emilia Clarke, of “Game of Thrones,” on Surviving Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms

But I kept at it. In school productions, I played Anita in “West Side Story,” Abigail in “The Crucible,” one of the witches in “Macbeth,” Viola in “Twelfth Night.” After secondary school, I took a gap year, during which I worked as a waitress and went backpacking in Asia. Then I started classes at the Drama Centre London to pursue my B.A. As fledgling actors, we studied everything from “The Cherry Orchard” to “The Wire.” I didn’t get the ingénue parts. Those went to the tall, willowy, impossibly blond girls. I got cast as a Jewish mother in “Awake and Sing!” You should hear my Bronx accent.

In those days, I thought of myself as healthy. Sometimes I got a little light-headed, because I often had low blood pressure and a low heart rate. Once in a while, I’d get dizzy and pass out. When I was fourteen, I had a migraine that kept me in bed for a couple of days, and in drama school I’d collapse once in a while. But it all seemed manageable, part of the stress of being an actor and of life in general. Now I think that I might have been experiencing warning signs of what was to come.

I could hardly catch my breath. I went back to the hotel, where some people invited me to a party on the roof. “I think I’m good!” I told them. Instead, I went to my room, ate Oreos, watched “Friends,” and called everyone I knew.

The “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said that Daenerys Targaryen is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia.
GOT  tv  actor  story  hospital  death  struggle  growup  uk  health  acting  female  fame  success  girl  interview  job 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
DeepMind and Google: the battle to control artificial intelligence
Hassabis thought DeepMind would be a hybrid: it would have the drive of a startup, the brains of the greatest universities, and the deep pockets of one of the world’s most valuable companies. Every element was in place to hasten the arrival of AGI and solve the causes of human misery.

Demis Hassabis was born in north London in 1976 to a Greek-Cypriot father and a Chinese-Singaporean mother. He was the eldest of three siblings. His mother worked at John Lewis, a British department store, and his father ran a toy shop. He took up chess at the age of four, after watching his father and uncle play. Within weeks he was beating the grown-ups. By 13 he was the second-best chess player in the world for his age. At eight, he taught himself to code on a basic computer.

Hassabis officially founded DeepMind on November 15th 2010. The company’s mission statement was the same then as it is now: to “solve intelligence”, and then use it to solve everything else. As Hassabis told the Singularity Summit attendees, this means translating our understanding of how the brain accomplished tasks into software that could use the same methods to teach itself.

It’s an impressive demo. But Hassabis leaves a few things out. If the virtual paddle were moved even fractionally higher, the program would fail. The skill learned by DeepMind’s program is so restricted that it cannot react even to tiny changes to the environment that a person would take in their stride – at least not without thousands more rounds of reinforcement learning. But the world has jitter like this built into it. For diagnostic intelligence, no two bodily organs are ever the same. For mechanical intelligence, no two engines can be tuned in the same way. So releasing programs perfected in virtual space into the wild is fraught with difficulty.
google  ai  story  uk  game  startup  reportage 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
origin  war  russia  uk  france  ukraine  medical 
january 2019 by aries1988
British Political Chaos, Explained for Chrissy Teigen (and for Americans in General)
This is not to say that polarization is good, but the non-polarization of this issue, and the composition of party politics, has paralyzed both parties on the matter. And both parties are internally fractured on what to do, making it even harder for either to act.

When you talk to people here, whether they support Brexit or oppose it, they tend to evince a decidedly un-British optimism about what leaving the European Union will mean. Often, it seems to begin with the assumption that Britain is still a great power, that the world needs Britain more than Britain needs the world.
uk  politics  usa  democracy  crisis  2018 
december 2018 by aries1988
The good war? - History Extra
Peter Hitchens challenges a number of popular beliefs about the Second World War
ww2  myth  historian  history  deutschland  uk  leader  opinion 
november 2018 by aries1988
What did the Anglo-Saxons ever do for us?

But the English never forgot 1066. Nor of course did the Welsh and, later, the Irish (the centuries-long assault on their culture began with an Anglo-Norman invasion in the 1170s). The Normans bequeathed wounds yet to heal. Even in the 21st century, we are trying to negotiate the legacy of these events: in Scottish and Welsh independence movements, and in the Irish border question. As the historian Eric John wrote in the 20th century: “It was the Anglo-Saxons who made England, the Normans who attempted to make Great Britain. And as yet they have not succeeded so well.”
history  england  uk  nation 
november 2018 by aries1988
The end of the First World War - History Extra
As we approach the centenary of the armistice, Gary Sheffield explores the final moments of the conflict that devastated the world for four and a half years
ww1  comparison  deutschland  uk  france  war  why 
november 2018 by aries1988


opinion  qing  uk  war  west  narrative 
october 2018 by aries1988

interview  uk  book  war  qing 
october 2018 by aries1988
英国人为什么对鸦片战争避而不谈?_文化课_澎湃新闻-The Paper

interview  uk  war  qing  book  imperialism  education  chinese 
october 2018 by aries1988
Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today | The New Yorker

interpretation of his work made after his death by people like Karl Kautsky, who was his chief German-language exponent; Georgi Plekhanov, his chief Russian exponent; and, most influentially, Engels. It was thanks mainly to those writers that people started to refer to Marxism as “scientific socialism,” a phrase that sums up what was most frightening about twentieth-century Communism: the idea that human beings can be reëngineered in accordance with a theory that presents itself as a law of history. The word the twentieth century coined for that was totalitarianism.
politics  book  revolution  ideology  uk  19C  leader  communism  economy  capitalism  utopia 
october 2018 by aries1988
就士游 | 陈浩武:从启蒙运动到大革命——法国旅行手记(中)

angers  uk 
october 2018 by aries1988
A New Citizen Decides to Leave the Tumult of Trump’s America
Rebecca Mead on the wrenching choice, after decades in New York and securing U.S. citizenship, to return to Britain.
story  british  london  newyork  american  son  culture  uk  immigrant 
august 2018 by aries1988
The End of ‘Civilisation’
The new program is best understood as a kind of delayed rebuttal, sometimes quite explicit, to Clark and his view of history.

An example of his method was a book the gallery published called 100 Details from Pictures in the National Gallery. Clark wanted to draw the attention of untutored viewers to specific elements in each work and place them alongside similar details from other works, with the aim of building up knowledge and interest piece by piece, element by element.

There was no stinting on travel either. By the time they were through Clark and crew had visited 118 museums and 117 other locations in 11 countries.

It was television of an intensified kind, meant to seduce a mass audience.

An act or piece of art that is life-enhancing—that allows us to have life, and to have it more abundantly—is civilized; one that isn’t isn’t.

The Greco-Roman ideal, he says, was “without doubt the most extraordinary creation in the whole of history.” It was nearly lost with the sacking of Rome—by barbarians, did he mention?—in the 5th century and then barely survived the advance of Islam in the 8th. It lay dormant, tended by monks, until the millennium, when it began to manifest itself in a variety of ways in Europe.
civ  art  politics  debate  west  documentary  2018  1969  bbc  uk 
august 2018 by aries1988
Song Ma on Twitter
“去年在参观曼彻斯特“科学与工业博物馆” @msimanchester 时,从珍妮纺纱机一直看到罗尔斯罗伊斯飞机发动机,电力机车头和曼城大学研发的第一台电子计算机,突然意识到英国这个小岛有着完备工业体系,可以自己独立制造大部分重要民用和军用工业产品。不过好像也不足为奇,毕竟现代工业就是他们发明的。”
uk  idea  museum  travel  moi  manchester 
august 2018 by aries1988
What’s in my name: tales that cross continents and generations | Life and style | The Guardian

While I didn’t like the English aspect of my name, I was embarrassed by what that double “e” in Sheela symbolised – my own Indian-ness. I was embarrassed by my parents, our food, our language, cringing at the sound of them speaking Bengali to me in public. But as I grew up I began to shed the layers of stigma. I started hanging out with my Bengali friends in west London pubs. I went to college and studied African and Asian studies in the radicalised environment of Sussex University. I started looking back at the world in which I had grown up through a different lens.

Banerjees – upper-middle-class Bengalis – often became quite close to the British. They did business with them, were educated in their schooling system, and taught to speak English (like my father and my grandfather before him). My grandfather was the manager of a company which supplied porters and teashops to the British-owned railways. He remained a devout Hindu all his life, but the influence of the British filtered down to his son, my father, who grew up dreaming of coming to England.

The most significant aspect of my surname, however, is that in India it identifies where I belong in the Hindu caste system. My grandparents were devout Brahmins – the name Banerjee, along with others such as Mukherjee, Chatterjee and Bhattacharjee, signified that they belonged to the priestly class, the highest tier of the Bengali caste system. Their name and their whole way of life was an embodiment of this.

Even further back in time, being a Banerjee, a Brahmin, means that we must have been Aryan invaders who crossed mountains and rivers in central Asia, fought and pillaged our way through harsh terrain and subjugated the original inhabitants of India – the Dravidians.
india  name  story  uk  british 
july 2018 by aries1988
Mary Beard Takes On Her Sexist Detractors | The New Yorker

In “The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found” (2008), she points out that the ancient city lacked zoning regulations, which meant that a blacksmith’s noisy shop could lie on the other side of the wall from a wealthy family’s frescoed dining room. Her deductive observation from the presence of tartar on the teeth of skeletons—that Pompeii was a city of bad breath—is a typical Beardian turn.

Beard does not wear makeup and she doesn’t color her abundant gray hair. She dresses casually, with minor eccentricities: purple-rimmed spectacles, gold sneakers. She looks comfortable both in her skin and in her shoes—much more preoccupied with what she is saying than with how she looks as she is saying it.

She is a frequent contributor to Radio 4, the British equivalent of NPR, offering audio essays on subjects as varied as dementia, the four-minute mile, and academic testing.
bbc  female  culture  classic  university  intelligentsia  uk  history  roman 
june 2018 by aries1988
The Interpreter: A British crime drama bleeds into the real world
The researchers concluded that popular television shows’ portrayals of family life led to these changes by shifting public perceptions about the appropriate role of women.
Television isn’t new to Britain, of course. But in a world where media consumption is increasingly fragmented, popular shows are one of the few mass experiences left. That kind of shared understanding is rare, and it can be a powerful thing for politicians to take advantage of.
tv  africa  mentality  family  female  crime  uk  2018 
february 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
Apple and Shazam sing the same tune
The core audio-recognition software itself was created in Silicon Valley by Avery Wang, a specialist in digital signal processing with a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Mr Wang was sitting in a café in Palo Alto in 2000 when he came up with the breakthrough technique for identifying a song from recordings, even with low-quality phone microphones and background noise. 

His original patent, filed in 2001 jointly with his Stanford professor Julius Smith, for a “system and methods for recognising sound and music signals in high noise and distortion” remains a foundational part of Shazam’s technology and intellectual property portfolio. 

Mr Wang is the only one of Shazam’s four co-founders still working at the company. After he joins Apple, along with the rest of Shazam’s research and development team in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, the iPhone maker will have fresh capabilities not only in music identification but the ability to recognise a wide range of audio signals, from TV and movies to the sound of people laughing or clapping.

“Apple isn’t buying Shazam for music. Instead, Shazam is an augmented-reality play,” Neil Cybart, an Apple analyst, said in his Above Avalon email newsletter on Monday.

US companies, he adds, have been more successful at commercialisation and scaling up a new technology than their British counterparts. “What we are really good at in this country is innovation and creativity. We should try to play to our strengths and be willing to partner or sell out to US companies.”
usa  uk  music  innovation  app  mobile  2017  apple  technology 
december 2017 by aries1988
12-year-old prodigy Alma Deutscher on homeschooling and Mozart

she is proudly out of step with the iGeneration. Lots of children spend all the time on video games, I don’t like that at all. I don’t have a phone or computer or anything, I just read a lot, she says, listing Philippa Pearce, Joan Aiken and Shannon Hale as some of her favourite authors. I don’t really know what they do — Minecraft or whatever — some of my friends do that but I think it’s a complete waste of time and it ruins your brain as well because you can’t imagine anything for yourself.
prodigy  piano  music  uk  reading  loisir  interview  teenager 
december 2017 by aries1988
‘We will all be dust soon’: Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss on death, despair and drama
He’s watched by millions, so why does the actor and writer feel a loser in today’s culture war?
interview  uk  culture  2017  tv  actor  bio  british 
november 2017 by aries1988
你真想在大英博物馆谈笑风扔,这 1100 页书还能挡得住你?

uk  british  manifesto  intelligentsia  chinese  loveletter 
november 2017 by aries1988
Fermented food may be good for your gut, but does it taste good?

Anything that has undergone a form of chemical breakdown by bacteria, yeast or other microbes — from blue cheese to sourdough bread — is fermented.

To ferment, a food needs to be put in an airless environment (a sealed jar filled with liquid, for example) in which microbes are encouraged to feed off its natural sugars. The result is an acid that both kills off harmful bacteria and transforms the original food. Put cabbage in brine and the result is soft, tart sauerkraut. Ferment soy beans, as they do at Flat Three, and the result tastes a bit like a raisin.

Booth, who dedicated a chapter of his book, The Meaning of Rice, to the mould koji, calls the Japanese the kings of fermented foods. Miso soup is my go-to hangover cure, he says. I am totally convinced of the benefits of naturally fermented foods and I do think it is one of the reasons why the traditional Japanese diet is so good for you.
trend  food  restaurant  uk  asia  japanese  korean  innovation  health  body  microbe  fermentation 
november 2017 by aries1988
Judith Kerr on refugees, Hitler and ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’

We loved the change, the interest of different places, and learning a language. I think the language is a huge thing because something that appears impossible, suddenly you find you’ve done it. I loved the brevity of French after the endless sentences in German. In 1935, two years after arriving in Paris speaking no French, she and her brother finished top in French in the final exams, she writes.
children  book  writing  writer  uk  ww2  nazi  kid  memory  refugee  france 
october 2017 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Literature Prize
The British writer is known for novels including The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.
2017  writer  japanese  uk  movie 
october 2017 by aries1988
Why has England lost its medieval taste for violence? | Aeon Essays
England’s experience seems to have been mirrored by developments in Scandinavia, what is now the Netherlands and Belgium, and northern Germany, suggesting that the decline of homicide in England was part of a northern-European phenomenon whose causes remain in large measure conjectural, but that must be related to broad cultural shifts interacting with processes of state formation.

the 600th anniversary of the affair in 1955, when the University of Oxford granted the city’s mayor an honorary degree, and Oxford made the vice chancellor of the university an honorary freeman of the city. It was perhaps fitting that this act of closure for an episode of medieval mayhem came in the 1950s, now widely regarded as the most stable and non-violent decade in recent British history.
history  violence  uk 
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
'You should consider our feelings': for Chinese students the state is an extension of family | Merriden Varrall

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

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

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

Officially, the status of Taiwan is a “core interest” for China. That is to say, most Chinese consider the idea that Taiwan is an indisputable part of China is sacrosanct. They learn it at school, and in almost everything they see and hear as they grow up. To them, Taiwan is a family member; that is why discussions about its sovereignty tend to be emotional. Many Chinese students find it difficult to articulate why they feel the way they do about Taiwan – particularly because they have not had much training in debating or critically arguing a point. And they find it impossible to fathom that foreigners cannot understand their position on Taiwan.
chinese  young  uk  student  gaijin  conflict  emotion  explained  education  taiwan  reflex  university  mentality  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
India and Pakistan are still paying for a botched partition
No help was at hand — at that point, the UN was still some years away from defining what constituted refugee status. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, who had lived side by side for years, slaughtered each other. Partition is estimated to have cost up to a million lives; the tragedy created at least 11m refugees.

If only wiser and cooler heads had prevailed 70 years ago, partition would have been avoided. It has proved a catastrophe — in lives lost, the millions wasted in military confrontation, not to mention the collective exhaustion induced by decades of mutual antipathy. The architects of this disaster imagined, rather naively, a peaceful coexistence rather than today’s deadly rivalry. Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dreamt of a secular state, a far cry from the Islamic and sectarian nation that exists today. India’s leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, envisioned a pluralist and tolerant India, rather than the Hindu nationalist fantasies gripping parts of the country today.
pakistan  india  history  uk  nation  story 
august 2017 by aries1988
Back on his pedestal: the return of Friedrich Engels

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

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

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

It’s the only building left where Engels definitely was. He worked with Marx at a table, still there, with the books they both used. When I take Chinese visitors to see it, some of them cry.
uk  politics  communist  leader  thinking  russia  today  sculpture  economy  crisis  history  art  manchest  artist 
july 2017 by aries1988
TV : « Le Génie des lieux : l’ENS, l’école de l’engagement »
Notre choix du soir. Dans une passionnante série documentaire, Antoine de Gaudemar nous ouvre les portes de trois temples du savoir européens (sur Arte à 0 h 00)
arte  tv  documentary  france  uk  swiss  university  education  spirit  comparison  elite 
july 2017 by aries1988
How to tackle terrorism, by Oxford university’s vice-chancellor
Richardson’s insight into the terrorist mindset goes well beyond academic expertise. As a teenager, she was a Republican sympathiser, attending meetings and adopting Gaelic as her first language. She “would have joined the IRA in a heartbeat”, she confessed in her 2006 book What Terrorists Want. Her sympathies were the result of growing up in rural Ireland where a Republican version of history was taught, which she questioned when she learnt a different version at Trinity College, Dublin.

Education is the best form of counteracting extremism, she says. She is not in favour of the “safe spaces” that have crept into UK universities. Students should be exposed to extreme views, even those of radical imams, in a space where orthodoxies can be challenged. “We are educating students to go into the real world where you are not protected from views you don’t like.”
education  home  interview  university  uk  terrorism 
july 2017 by aries1988
That’s the Way it Crumbles by Matthew Engel — the conquest of English
Words not indigenous to these shores subsequently flooded in, “like the beetle that killed Britain’s elm trees”. Now American words “are in danger of taking over” — and Engel’s comprehensive list includes cans (tins), goose bumps (goose pimples), autopsy (post-mortem), cars (railway carriages), fries (chips), cookies (biscuits), short pants (short trousers) and baggage (luggage).

We “testify” in court, where it used to be called “giving evidence”. People who should know better want employees who “think outside the box” and “push the envelope”. They talk about being mad when they mean angry, or of fighting when they mean having a verbal argument.
english  book  american  uk  culture  vocabulary  comparison  british 
june 2017 by aries1988
1. (美)威廉·麦克尼尔:《西方的兴起:人类共同体史》,中信出版社,2015年。
2. (美)威廉·麦克尼尔:《世界史:从史前到21世纪》,中信出版社,2013年。
3. (美)威廉·麦克尼尔:《人类之网:鸟瞰世界历史》,北京大学出版社,2011年。
4. (美)杰里·本特利、赫伯特·齐格勒:《新全球史:文明的传承与交流》,北京大学出版社,2014年。
5. (以)尤瓦尔·赫拉利:《人类简史》,中信出版社,2014年。
6. (美)贾雷德·戴蒙德:《枪炮、细菌与钢铁:人类社会的命运》,上海译文,2006年。
7. (美)J.M.罗伯茨:《全球史》,东方出版中心,2013年。
8. (美)杰克·哥德斯通:《为什么是欧洲:世界史视角下的西方崛起》,浙江大学出版社,2010年。
9. (美)芮乐伟·韩森:《丝绸之路新史》,北京联合出版公司,2015年。
10. (日)山杉正明:《游牧民的世界史》,中华工商联合出版社,2014年。
11. (日)盐野七生:《罗马灭亡后的地中海世界》,中信出版社,2014年。
12. (美)小约翰·威尔斯:《1688年:当中国走向世界》,,新世界出版社,2013年。
13. (德)贡得·弗兰克:《白银资本:重视经济全球化中的东方》,中央编译出版社,2008年。
14. (瑞士)布克哈特:《意大利文艺复兴时期的文化》,商务印书馆
15. (英)彼得·伯克:《意大利文艺复兴时期的文化与社会》,东方出版社,2007年。
17. (英)伊芙琳·韦尔奇:《文艺复兴时期的意大利艺术》,上海人民出版社,2014年。
18. (澳)安东尼·瑞德:《东南亚的贸易时代:1450——1680》,商务印书馆,2010年。
19. (意)弗兰切斯卡·罗曼那·罗马尼:《伊斯兰:阿拉伯文明之光》,河北教育出版社,2013年。
20. (美)菲利普·希提:《阿拉伯通史》,新世界出版社,2015。
21. (英)伯纳德·刘易斯:《穆斯林发现欧洲》,三联书店,2013年。
22. (美)彼得·盖伊:《启蒙时代》(上下册),上海人民出版社,2015年。
23. (美)布莱恩·费根:《世界史前史》,世界图书出版公司,2011年。
24. (英)安德鲁·罗宾逊:《唤醒沉睡的文字》,北京大学出版社,2014年。
25. (英)罗杰·克劳利:《1453:君士坦丁堡之战》,社会科学文献出版社,2014年。
26. (英)罗杰·克劳利:《海洋帝国:地中海大决战》,社会科学文献出版社,2014年。
27. (英)罗杰·克劳利:《财富之城:威尼斯的海洋霸权》,社会科学文献出版社,2015年。
28. (英)罗杰·克劳利:《征服者:葡萄牙帝国的崛起》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
29. (英)艾伦·麦克法兰、艾丽丝·麦克法兰:《绿色黄金:茶叶帝国》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
30. (日)浅田实:《东印度公司:巨额商业资本之兴衰》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
31. (美)萨拉·罗斯:《茶叶大盗:改变世界史的中国茶》,社会科学文献出版社,2015年。
32. (英)迈克·达什:《郁金香热》,社会科学文献出版社,2015年。
33. (意)康马泰:《唐风吹拂撒马尔罕:粟特艺术与中国、波斯、印度、拜占庭》,漓江出版社,2016年。
34. (美)薛爱华:《撒马尔罕的金桃:唐代舶来品研究》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
35. 荣新疆:《中古中国与外来文明》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
36. 向达:《唐代长安与西域文明》,商务印书馆,2015年。
38. (美)狄宇宙:《古代中国与其强邻:东亚历史上游牧力量的兴起》,中国社会科学出版社,2010年。
39. (英)彼得·弗兰科潘:《丝绸之路:一部全新的世界史》,浙江大学出版社,2016年。
40. (英)西蒙·蒙蒂菲奥里:《耶路撒冷三千年》,民主与建设出版社,2015年。
41. (美)伊曼纽尔·沃勒斯坦:《现代世界体系》(四卷本),社会科学文献出版社,2013年。
42. (英)苏珊·拉·尼斯:《金子:一部社会史》,北京大学出版社,2016年。
43. (英)菲利帕·梅丽曼:《银子:一部生活史》,北京大学出版社,2016年。
44. 李伯重:《火枪与账簿:早期经济全球化时代的中国与东亚世界》,生活·读书·新知三联书店,2017年。
45. (加)卜正民:《梅维尔的帽子:从一幅画看全球化贸易的兴起》,文汇出版社,2010年。
46. (美)西敏司:《饮食人类学:漫话餐桌上的权力和影响力》,电子工业出版社,2015年。
47. (美)杰弗里·皮尔彻:《世界历史上的食物》,商务印书馆,2015年。
48. (澳)杰克·特纳:《香料传奇:一部由诱惑衍生的历史》,生活·读书·新知三联书店,2015年。
49. (英)尼古拉斯·奥斯特勒:《语言帝国:世界语言史》,上海人民出版社,2016年。
50. (新西兰)斯蒂文·罗杰·费希尔:《书写的历史》,中央编译出版社,2012年。
51. (加)布鲁斯·G·崔格尔:《理解早期文明:比较研究》,北京大学出版社,2014年。
52. (美)吉尔·鲁巴尔卡巴:《玛雅诸帝国》,商务印书馆,2015年。
53. (美)乔治·C·瓦伦特:《阿兹特克文明》,译林出版社,2014年。
54. (秘鲁)印卡·加尔西拉索:《印卡王室述评》,商务印书馆,1993年。
55. (美)普雷斯科特:《秘鲁征服史》,商务印书馆,1996年。
56. (美)戴尔·布朗 主编:《非洲辉煌的历史遗产》,华夏出版社、广西人民出版社,2002年。
57. (美)芭芭拉·萨默维尔:《古代美索不达米亚诸帝国》,商务印书馆,2015年。
58. (美)约翰·D·霍格:《伊斯兰建筑》,中国建筑工业出版社,1999年。
59. (土耳其)悉纳·阿克辛:《土耳其的崛起:1789至今》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
60. (德)于尔根·奥斯特哈默:《世界的演变:19世纪史》,社会科学文献出版社,2016年。
61. (美)林恩·V·福斯特:《古代玛雅社会生活》,商务印书馆,2016年。
62. (美)斯蒂芬·伯特曼:《古代美索不达米亚社会生活》,商务印书馆,2016年。
63. (美)雅克·巴尔赞:《从黎明到衰落——西方文化生活五百年,从1500年至今》,中信出版社,2013年。
64. (美)米尔恰·伊利亚德:《宗教思想史》,上海社会科学院出版社,2004年。
65. (英)尼尔·麦格雷戈:《大英博物馆世界简史》,新星出版社,2014年。
list  book  history  museum  beijing  uk  chnmuseum 
february 2017 by aries1988
Peace and prosperity: it is worth saving the liberal order
The system established after 1945 was built on US power. But it endured and, after the end of the cold war, expanded because US leadership was embedded in multilateral rules and institutions. Everyone had a stake. Washington sometimes over-reached — in Vietnam or with the invasion of Iraq. By history’s standards, however, the Pax Americana was essentially benign, resting as much on the force of example as military might.
history  uk  world  order  crisis  challenge  china  populism  brexit  nostalgia  immigration  society  politics 
february 2017 by aries1988
How Japanese food is revolutionising the way we eat | How To Spend It
The vogue in the food world for all things Japanese, though, is not restricted simply to Japanese chefs cooking French food. When you can find a sushi bar on every street corner, yuzu juice in supermarkets, wagyu beef in steak restaurants and sake being sniffed and swirled as seriously as wine, even in non-Japanese restaurants, something is clearly afoot.

Miso is loaded with umami, the so-called “fifth taste”. It is a word chefs have bandied around freely for a while and it is now gaining currency among the general public. Originally isolated and described in 1908, it is a sort of savoury, meaty quality in food that can be detected on the palate, along with saltiness, bitterness, sourness and sweetness.

Western cuisine has always contained umami – roast beef, anchovies, Parmesan, tomatoes and mushrooms all contain the glutamates responsible for umami – but it is only recently that European cooks have given it the same status as the four other basic tastes.
uk  story  entrepreneurial  japanese  cuisine  fruit  food  local 
february 2017 by aries1988
Why are schools in China looking west for lessons in creativity?

Asia is the fastest-growing market in the global private tuition industry, which is forecast by Global Industry Analysts to be worth nearly $200bn by 2020. Students in Shanghai also spend almost 14 hours a week on homework, close to three times the average given by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Initially, the class was very shy: silent unless instructed to be otherwise, they were especially anxious when they had to perform individually.

one of the mainstays of drama classes in the west is the notion that mistakes are OK, as long as you are trying things out — an idea about as far away as you can get from Chinese educational principles.

One teacher was astonished to learn that in the UK studying history might involve assessing the rule of various monarchs; here, where history teaching means imparting facts, such evaluations are all but unimaginable, if not dangerously dissident.
comparison  chinese  education  uk  art  creativity  pisa  numbers  instapaper_favs 
february 2017 by aries1988
La compétition mondiale des universités
La rivalité entre grandes universités existe depuis le Moyen Age en Europe. Devenue planétaire, elle est dominée par les grandes institutions américaines et britanniques à la pointe de l'innovation, assurant le capital humain qui contribue à la croissance. Quels enjeux et quel rôle des [...]
comparison  français  uk  usa  education  university  numbers  policy  opinion  research  student  chinese  ranking 
january 2017 by aries1988
SuperGroup - Wikipedia
The company's products include frequently meaningless excerpts of Japanese text, inspired by the common Japanese practice of placing decorative English text on items to increase their fashionability and appeal, a phenomenon known as Engrish. The company explained to a Japanese television crew in 2011 that they deliberately use simple machine translation to generate Japanese text, and that they are aware that the texts often have no meaning.[12] The Japanese text incorporated in the brand's logo—極度乾燥(しなさい) (kyokudo kansō (shinasai)?)—literally translates as "Extreme dry (Do it)", the text in brackets being due to the translation software used offering alternatives depending on whether dry is intended as a noun (e.g., super dryness) or an imperative, (e.g., dry this shirt out).[13]
fun  marketing  brand  uk  japan 
january 2017 by aries1988
Eton and the making of a modern elite | 1843

Eton is, as the headmaster puts it, unashamed in its pursuit of excellence. The school aims to educate the elite, as it always has, but it has reshaped itself in order to accommodate a new elite defined by money, brains and ambition, not pedigree, titles and acres.

The percentage of pupils at the school with an OE father went down from 60% in 1960 to 33% in 1994 to 20% now. Eton has gone from being an heirloom handed down through the generations to a revolving door.

The contest isn’t simply between candidates. It’s a battle of wits between a school whose proclaimed intention is to identify deserving talent and ambition, and parents who will do everything to stack things in their child’s favour. Well-off, well-organised parents prepare their sons ruthlessly, hiring tutors, making the boys do ceaseless verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests and sending them to interview classes to learn how to be sparky and empathetic. The school is wise to these constantly evolving efforts to game the system, however, and a lot of boys who have done brilliantly in the computerised test are turned down because they aren’t interesting at inter­view. If a boy makes me laugh, says one of the school’s interviewers, he stands a good chance of getting in.

The story of Eton’s reconquest of the commanding heights of Britain is one of gradual rehabilitation. With the weakening of the hard left, the prospect of private schools being abolished receded, while Eton’s efforts to present itself less as a throwback to an earlier age than a guarantor of achievement in the current one began to pay dividends.

If Eton hasn’t quite become the liberal, socially transformative institution the reformists seek, it is undeniably more discerning in allocating one of the best starts in life that money (or brains, or ambition) can get you.
uk  education  school  boy  elite  reform  system 
december 2016 by aries1988
FT correspondent James Crabtree on bringing up a baby in Mumbai

For the next two years I wrote happily about Indian business for the FT while we travelled avidly at weekends, from skiing in the Himalayas to tiger safaris in Madhya Pradesh.

Walking through an Indian airport with my son is perhaps the closest I will come to celebrity, as heads turned to watch the baby, and strangers approached, embarrassed and smiling, asking for selfies.

Back at home, we learnt the benefits of being parents in India, not least the plentiful childcare. There was even the unheard of option of night nurses, women who stay through the night to help look after the baby, allowing parents to rest. We turned that down, thinking we should learn the hard way, perplexing Indian friends. Others seemed confused that we put Alexander to bed at the primly European hour of 7pm, while many Indian babies head off to sleep rather closer to midnight.

It is often said that India is a land of contrasts, but few are more jarring than that between the grim conditions in which many children live and the profoundly child-loving culture in the country as a whole.

I hope Alexander comes to enjoy his secret Indian middle name. And even if he does not, I will remember fondly how he came to have it, and even more so the country that welcomed him into the world.

Charming colonial architecture
story  children  parenting  india  expat  uk  travel  name  tradition  culture 
november 2016 by aries1988
资本主义是怎么诞生的?历史社会学家这么说 | 政见







针对孔诰烽的观点,另一位历史社会学家Mark Cohen提出了不同意见。在2015年发表于《美国社会学评论》的研究中,Cohen指出,要想真正弄清楚资本主义是如何到来的,就必须对前资本主义经济体的运行模式有更加透彻的理解。







历史社会学家Vivek Chibber指出,在十七世纪早期之前,英国的主要农业生产方式就已经变成了由土地所有者直接组织雇佣工人进行生产、通过市场交易将产出变为利润的“类资本主义”方式,“自给自足的小农——掠夺农民的精英”二元格局已不复存在。

Cohen, M. (2015). Historical sociology’s puzzle of the missing transitions: A case study of early modern Japan. American Sociological Review, 80(3), 603-625.
Hung, H. F. (2008). Agricultural revolution and elite reproduction in Qing China: The transition to capitalism debate revisited. American Sociological Review, 73(4), 569-588.
sociology  modern  history  uk  china  japan  debate  theory  economy  development  comparison 
october 2016 by aries1988
The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla review — ‘the default is always white’
September 23, 2016 by: Arifa Akbar The idea behind this collection of essays by black, Asian and minority ethnic writers came out of the absence of BAME voices…
book  gaijin  uk 
september 2016 by aries1988
Jason Bourne vs James Bond
Matt Damon, the 45-year-old actor who plays him, summed up the difference between the two men in a recent interview. “Bond is a misogynist who likes swilling martinis and killing people and then telling jokes about it. Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist — he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people. And Bourne would obviously win in a fight!” Obviously.
essay  movie  hero  masculine  comparison  uk  usa  spy  female 
september 2016 by aries1988
Staunch secularist entrusted to quell France’s row over Islam -
France will never be like the UK or the US, Mr Chevènement notes. No ‘In God we trust’ on our banknotes, he says. Female police officers wearing headscarves are totally out of the question.

The British and the Americans accept that everybody lives separately according to their own ways. Those communities have gained the right to sort their own affairs, he notes. We believe that citizens should contribute to the common interest by favouring reason and not the display of faith … We are trying to balance freedom and equality.
france  muslim  comparison  uk  government  laicite 
september 2016 by aries1988
Why Singapore’s kids are so good at maths

Aiming to move away from simple rote-learning and to focus instead on teaching children how to problem solve, the textbooks the group produced were influenced by educational psychologists such as the American Jerome Bruner, who posited that people learn in three stages: by using real objects, then pictures, and then through symbols. That theory contributed to Singapore’s strong emphasis on modelling mathematical problems with visual aids; using coloured blocks to represent fractions or ratios, for example.

A switch from an ability-based model of individualised learning, to a model [which says that] all children are capable of anything, depending on how it is presented to them and the effort which they put into learning it.

unlike Singapore’s office buildings, which are so deeply chilled by air conditioning that workers regularly wrap themselves in sweaters, the classrooms are open to the tropical humidity. Ceiling fans stir the air and the chatter of other children sometimes drifts through the open windows.

Meritocracy is an element of the glue that binds Singapore together. Alongside the promise of shared prosperity and security, the idea that the brightest can rise to the top is a component of the political bargain that the city-state has struck with its citizens, under which some political freedoms are restricted in exchange for significant material benefits.

Singaporeans frequently use the Hokkien Chinese word kiasu to describe themselves. The term translates as being afraid to lose out
investigation  interview  singapore  asia  education  children  learn  methodology  comparison  uk  crisis  world  future  creativity  debate  society  history  reportage 
july 2016 by aries1988
Jason Bourne vs James Bond -
Matt Damon, the 45-year-old actor who plays him, summed up the difference between the two men in a recent interview. “Bond is a misogynist who likes swilling martinis and killing people and then telling jokes about it. Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist — he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people. And Bourne would obviously win in a fight!” Obviously.
essay  movie  hero  masculine  comparison  uk  usa  spy  female  hollywood  british  american  manliness  story  world  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988
Britain and Europe: the ties that bind —
The danger with stark dichotomies — and it is a danger with referendums — is that they flatten out nuances and make what is complex overly simple. Yes, in some ways, Britain has followed its own path. But each European country is exceptional in its own way. Switzerland is an extreme form of federalism. France is a highly centralised state, while Italy is more a collection of regions. Each country has laws, values and institutions that have developed over time and reflect its history. Yet ideas such as liberalism, Marxism and fascism have never respected borders.

History should not be asked to provide validation for political arguments in the present, or clear guidance for the future, but what it can do is caution us about taking too simple a view of the past. There are many competing strands in the European story but one thing is sure: Britain’s history cannot be disentangled from that wider one. Its inhabitants carry the genes of waves of migrants from the rest of Europe; Jutes, Danes, Vikings, Normans, Huguenots (who left behind names such as Farage), or Jews from Spain or eastern Europe.

In the late Middle Ages, British kings ruled over a swath of northern France and of Bordeaux. While they had lost most of it by the 15th century, they clung on to a small enclave around Calais until 1558. The then Queen, Mary Tudor, reportedly said the name would be engraved on her heart. Her successors never managed to gain it back but the British crown did not drop its claim to the throne of France until 1801.
history  uk  europe  Brexit  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988




history  china  uk  story 
july 2016 by aries1988
After ‘Brexit’ Vote, Immigrants Feel a Town Turn Against Them -
In this new environment, some immigrants say they have stopped speaking their native tongue in public. Nervous mothers say they worry about their children being bullied at school. Young immigrants say they fear discrimination over jobs and university admissions.
uk  Brexit  immigrant  story 
july 2016 by aries1988
Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote - The New Yorker
To get people to turn out and vote in your favor, you also have to give them something positive to rally behind. The Leave campaign, for all its lies and disinformation, provided just such a lure. It claimed that liberating Britain from the shackles of the E.U. would enable it to reclaim its former glory. The Remain side argued, in effect, that while the E.U. isn’t great, Britain would be even worse off without it. That turned out to be a losing story.
politics  referendum  people  democracy  campaign  opinion  fail  uk  Brexit  2016 
june 2016 by aries1988
Ending estrangement | The Economist
A hundred years ago Britain and Argentina were complementary economic superpowers. Britain built Argentina’s railway, which helped make Argentina one of the world’s ten richest countries, and bought 40% of its exports, mainly beef and grain. In 1914 Harrods, a fancy department store, opened its first overseas branch in Buenos Aires.
history  uk  argentina  latino  diplomacy 
may 2016 by aries1988
What New York can learn from London -
British people are less earnest about religion than many Americans. But, more importantly, in such a diverse city-state as modern London, identities are similarly fluid.

Londoners live in a world where cultural strands are constantly blended in surprising ways. You can see that in day-to-day matters such as cuisine — this is a country where curry became a national dish long ago; today Londoners queue for ramen, bao buns and barbecue. But what is truly striking in the London city-state is the high proportion of mixed-race families.

But when my family moved to New York a few years ago, we found ourselves in a world where identities tend to sit in boxes rather than on spectrums. Yes, America is an amazing melting pot and New York an incredibly diverse city. Yet President Barack Obama is hailed as the first black president, even though he is actually mixed, and universities run special entrance programmes for minorities. On US television, romantic dramas usually match couples along ethnic lines, like a modern Noah’s ark. And when bureaucratic forms require you to identify your ethnic origins, there is sometimes a mixed box on the list, but often there is not.

The fact that Khan has been elected mayor makes me very proud of my London origins — not because he is a Muslim, but because most voters do not particularly care that he is.
race  comparison  multiculturalism  city  uk  usa  election  metropolis  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
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