Another Benefit of China

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China – Already been there, done that – in the Cultural Revolution

As reported in the Washington Post, campuses in the US are hotbeds of factionalism and political correctness. The US is going through its own version of that China went through in the late 1960s: a “Cultural Revolution” to force everyone to conform to some new standard.

Here is a quote:

“Academics and scholars must be mindful about using research done by only straight, white men, according to two scientists who argued that it oppresses diverse voices and bolsters the status of already privileged and established white male scholars.”

“Geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argued in a recent paper that doing so also perpetuates what they call “white heteromasculinism,” which they defined as a “system of oppression” that benefits only those who are “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” (Cisgendered describes people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.)”

I happened to be born in 1962 to a certain kind of parents. As a result, I am white, middle aged, American, and hetero. Should I apologize for something that I did not control? Should I stop doing any academic research, or editing the work of others, because of my standpoint?

I usually have less than a grand in my bank account. I have no real power over anyone, and even my kids, despite liking me, never heed my advice. I have been unemployed on and off in my life. Funny, I don’t feel like I belong to any patriarchy or power structure. But I would not be allowed into a campus safe space because I represent a system of oppression.

One nice thing about campuses in China is that they are absent of all this PC groupthink. People here just go to work to get ahead. Striding purposefully into the future. Fighting spirit.

True, there is less protest, and less freedom of speech, on Chinese campuses. But then again, except for a small portion of students grumbling about Internet restrictions, there are very few complaints about the overall system.

Another benefit is that, as I’ve mentioned before, there is less distance between the genders in China than in the West. This is the legacy of a particular kind of rice growing culture where everyone worked at once. The revolution also pretty much eliminated the old Confucian ideas about gender.

No campus is paradise. Every country has its issues, its particular workplace struggles. But at least in China, one does not have to deal with politically correct bullshit.

Street-Level Free Enterprise

An article in Zerohedge got me thinking:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/us-restaurant-industry-stuck-worst-collapse-2009

Apart from the financial ups and downs, one of the tragedies of modern America has been the steady monopolization of the restaurant industry by the big chains, the fast-food franchises and even other kinds of operations such as Olive Garden (good food, but the menu is virtually the same from maine to California).

The operating principle in the US has been standardization and monopolization. A few Mom-and-Pops exist, and some small-time ethnic restaurants. But these are on the margins of the economy.

While there are challenging aspects to living in China, and a some things with which I do not agree, the overall picture is positive. The benefits are visible in everyday life, and the restaurant scene is varied. Most restaurants here are not chains. There are certain themes holding the experience together (hot pots, dishes, etc.), but each city and even each neighborhood has a lot of variation. McDonald’s and KFC have actually struggled in China.

Also, there is a lot of street food. People cart things around, cooking right from these platforms, or selling oven-baked potatoes and so on. There does not seem to be much licensing or regulation involved. The civilization or culture sets the standards. When people fall short of those standards, there are formal and informal ways to address it.

By contrast, anyone trying to sell potatoes in the US out of the back of their cars would be arrested. That’s not even debatable.

The general model of the Chinese economy actually makes more sense than the US model. In China there is small-scale free enterprise (freer than in any American sector). It is infinitely easier to open a restaurant or small business in Chengdu than it is in Chicago.

However, as one goes up the economy of scale, to involve vast industries such as energy, communications and so on, with tens of thousands of employees, then the state becomes increasingly involved as it should be (the only other alternative is to have oligarchic families run the show). Of course there is local and provincial corruption in China, with the ever present factor of human nature.

However, generally speaking, “the state” in China, along with its officials, are subject to, and live by, rather strict guidelines of ethical behavior – kind of a mix of Confucianism and China’s version of socialism, whose ideology centers on modernization, modernization, and modernization.

The new American model is to have very little economic space at the street level, where rules and regulations are written by larger economic players (in the proivate sector). Also, the American state has been subject to oligarchic and financial capture in the fullest sense of the word. The state is a mere appendage of Wall Street and the public-private partnership known as the military-industrial complex.

I think I’m being objective. If I had to bet which of the two countries would be enjoying greater prosperity in the year 2030, I’d guess it would be China. It is a safe bet.

Insult to Injury

There is something particularly odious about Trump’s travel ban, if placed into the context of the past few decades. Ideally, people applying for visas to the United States are accepted or rejected based upon their individual profiles.

But what makes the travel ban particularly heinous is that Afghanistan and Libya, two countries on the on-and-off ban, were invaded by the US and allies on the promise that they would become beacons of “freedom and democracy” and all that jazz.

The US has been in Afghanistan for a very long time, again with little to show for it. Enterprising young women had to fight tooth and nail – and receive tons of media attention – before they could attend a robotics conference.

Libya has been utterly destroyed and partitioned, with no effective government. No one is held accountable.

It’s as if the controllers had the memory erase device of the film Men in Black, but on a mass scale.

Meantime, the so-called leaders and governments or Afghanistan and Libya are feeding at the trough of American and international aid, taking their cut for allowing their countries to remain under de facto occupation, and now they look the other way as their own citizens are insulted by a blanket travel ban.

It is difficult to knonw who is the worst enemy of the ordinary person in Afghanistan and Libya: western governments and their puppet leaders? Or their own governments and their own puppet leaders?

 

Strange or Not Really

What I am about to describe could be chalked up to sheer coincidence – to some kind of inexplicable synchronicity. But it happens often and with increasing regularity at least to me.

Usually this happens on my Facebook feed or on Youtube’s list of recommended videos. Something will appear about a topic that I have been thinking about but never, ever searched online.

Let’s just make up an example to illustrate. Suppose I spent a few minutes, while walking to the convenience store, thinking about the Icelandic language. That Icelandic might be strange to learn. That it might be similar to Old English. That it might not be very useful after all, with virtually all Icelanders fluent in English. But I never did a search online, on any platform, regarding Icelandic.

Then in my Facebook feed there will appear something about learning Icelandic. Pretty weird. It’s worth running an experiment if you are inclined or curious.

This all could be a coincidence. Some people might attribute it to D-Wave computing. Other people might say that the usual above-and-beyond operatives, the telepathic stalkers, like to “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” from time to time, to let you know that they know what you know.

So those are the three explanations. What’s my theory? You can probably figure it out.

Summer I Retrospective

These are the better photos from Summer Session I. We begin Session II on Saturday.

We had a combination of American students and Chinese students (normally in US, now doing a study abroad in their own country, in Chengdu, where most have never been).

It’s a pretty cush job… The classes are chill and there are plenty of special events. Of course, issues arise, but still.

yoga festival (143) yoga festival (128)

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sport day 1 (46)

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calligraphy (35)

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taichi (31)

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calligraphy (20)

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Your Battery is Low

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Apparently, this is a photograph of the Moon. Mainstream media had an explanation:

“The cold sea cooled the air above it, which affected a pocket of higher warmer air.”

“The rays pass through this inverted air and its bent and twisted into strange images – combining to create the ‘iceberg’ you can see in the snap.”

Or the controllers did not switch to “Power Saver” or to “Balanced” modes when the battery got low. They are just running the it on “High Performance” and hoping few people notice the glitches? Or that they can be explained away?

The Aztecs would have had their solution to keep the celestial bodies turning, to keep the vortex spinning: more human sacrifice, more bodies a’rollin down the pyramid steps, more human souls – shoveled like coal – into the cosmic furnace.

 

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/3992043/incredible-rectangular-moon-sighting-sparks-alien-conspiracy-theories-but-theres-a-scientific-explanation/

China: Mandela Effected

Here is a two and a half minute video about two Mandela effects in China/Taiwan. These are classic cases dealing with a Chinese celebrity, whom people thought was dead but was not, and another celebrity who apparently died twice.

A Challenge

It is fair to say that the truth community has reached a near consensus on many topics, with only slight differences. These topics include 9-11, Sandy Hook, chemtrails, etc…

Perhaps the sharpest division in this community is over religion – not that it is important to reach any kind of consensus here. Just saying. Truthers are united on many fronts, but certainly not on theology.

If I were to accept a label for myself, I suppose I’d say I’m a Deist with a belief in the divinity of an eternal soul. This belief is reached through reason and experience. Faith has nothing to do with it.

I would like to pose some challenging questions to mainline Christians, or to evangelicals, and to offer up some food for thought.

Let’s consider the Bible. Let’s accept that the Bible was divinely inspired, originally at least, for the sake of argument.

This text has spend the last 1,500 years – at a minimum – in the exclusive hands of Roman, Byzantine, and Jewish propagandists, with at least 1,000 years of that timeline in the exclusive hands of the Crowned Heads of Europe and their snake-tongued advisors.

Why is it not surprising that the anti-human “Divine Right of Kings” shows up everywhere in the Bible? This is proof of the Bible’s profane dimension, but I digress.

So the Bible spent 1,500 years in the hands of power elites who stain everything they touch.

But somehow, these same elites (playing the long, long game) restrained themselves from revising, altering, deleting, or even inverting the Bible?

Somehow, the Bible is the only artifact to emerge, through the mud of history, in a condition that evangelicals insist is pristine. Not one letter has been changed!

I’d even say that western evangelicals have even taken to worshipping the Bible itself, as if it were some kind of sacred relic: idolatry.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the possibility that the Bible remained intact across 1,500 years under the possession of the most nefarious, corrupt, and demon-possessed elites the world has ever seen.

This is absurd. This is like handing one’s attractive 13-year-old daughter to a brothel and returning, after a long decade, and expecting her to be a virgin. Give me a break.

The controllers, Illuminati, or whatever one wishes to call them, altered the Bible for their benefit. But there were and are “rules of the game.”

One of the rules is that core truths have to remain, like “the kingdom of God is within you.” But then the New Testament’s baroque mythology leads to endless distraction.

Personally, I think it is a safe bet – and certainly a legitimate hypothesis – that important messages regarding the soul were cloaked with the mythology of Jesus.

How severely have Christians been duped? The vision of a Creator’s connection to the human soul has been blurred, and replaced by a new focus, an obsession really: accept Jesus (or fry in Hell).

I know many evangelicals who actually believe that a good, decent person, say a secular person living in China, or a Buddhist person living in India, who respects human dignity, and who cherishes this world and God’s creatures, are going to Hell because they do not believe in… you guessed it… Jesus.

They believe that because the scripture they cite – chapter and verse – may well have been written, or altered, by snickering demons. To put it into their own parlance.

There is the proof of the devil’s handiwork in the Bible: distracting people away from the kingdom within, and towards pagan Hero Worship; and promoting divide-and-conquer religious imperialism. Our way or the highway! Seems pretty satanic to me, the more I think about it.

I remained convinced that reason and experience are the only dependable ways of knowing the Creator.

Faith is blind, and leaves people vulnerable to manipulation, as has been evident for millennia.

Metro Manila

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This is just a small portion of the city. Today I went to the Bonifacio Global Center, where a housing complex is getting its finishing touches. Very modern.

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I will be venturing into a project with a rugby friend of mine from Chengdu, Jianne Torres (left), who is Filipina but raised in China (fluent in Chinese, Tagalog and English). Most of her family still lives in China, so she stays with her grandmother.She sees the benefit in steering more Chinese to live, work and invest in Manila.

She could have studied and worked in the US and/or China, but decided to return to the Philippines, and wants to go into its foreign service after university at La Salle. She’s a vocal supporter for Pres. Duterte, and backs the independent direction of the country.

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Above: The residential area is split between high-rise living and smaller units.

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Good Sunday Reflection

I ran across several videos by a channel called “pocketsofthefuture,” and the narrator, Paul Romano, provides some excellent wisdom. Raised a Catholic but having immersed himself in India, he seems to have transcended religion, identifying the core elements of a spiritual awakening, which for Romano includes the teachings of Jesus regarding the connection between God and the soul.

This channel is refreshingly independent. The narrator is on his own path. According to the narrator, American evangelicalism is particularly ideological and dogmatic. He rightly identifies their three “twisted teachings” of a fear-based conception of God, the idea of original sin, and the idea of an exclusive Christian monopoly on salvation. Of course, anything American evangelicals do not understand (anything foreign or exotic, like yoga) is considered demonic.

Romano explains how aspects of Christianity got hijacked and inverted.

I think Romano is right about it all.  I would even extend or amplify this message probably beyond what he would consider reasonable. In a related video, Paul shows how a particular passage of the Bible makes more sense if we replace the word “Jesus” with the word “soul.” Here I think he is on to something and venture that the entire book makes much more sense if Jesus becomes a metaphor for the soul. In every instance.

I think it is important to regonize the divine nature of the soul – not the mythology erected around a Middle Eastern carpenter, however inspirational his message may have been.

In any case, these videos provide real food for thought.