People in China are somehow getting angrier and angrier at each other, especially around holiday time. I personally witnessed at least three public humiliating arguments between strangers in one day. Two happened at a shopping center right before the Chinese new year. Rules are observed and then derived by myself:
1. The two strangers, often involves one young and one old;
2. At least one female. This is crucial (often there are more than one female involved).
3. At least one has to be an out-of-towner. Two beijingers never argue like that in public(recently I found that this might not be true).
4. Very little things can set off the fight. Like getting in the line before someone else while getting on a bus.
5. The first stage of the fight is simple arguments with elevated volume in voice;
6. The moment someone swears, uttering dirty words, the argument becomes a fight.
7. Everyone around enjoys watching.
(from last winter)In front of Iberia Contemporary Art Center, 798 Art District, Beijing--a bunch of furniture randomly put in front of the building (art); versus: a ice "sculpture" on the ground, with a water hole in the middle (actually formed because of hot water dripping from a pipe above). A lot of people thought the latter is intended as art and took pictures. Cute ah?
1. When you take the subway anywhere, you have to put all your bags through the x-ray security check machine.
2. Crazy drivers everywhere on the street(applies to the motorcyle and powered bikers too).
3. People do not dare to make their voice heard in the situation they are being treated poorly.
4. Government employees (even those assuming low-level positions) do not give a damn to citizens asking for help.
5. People go super crazy (always) in the buffets of KTVs and elsewhere acting like free food is of the utmost importance and they have not had meals for days.
6.Sometimes people are more judgmental and have certain fixed ideas about how to live your life.
7.People are not as straightforward when they deal with you(sometimes I really like the way Americans do things in this respect)
8.The law is really not all that powerful in many aspects.
9.Kids are too burdened from school work.
10. Those long walks through the subway connection tunnels.
I can't remember how long haven't I been here. Old Summer Palace, or Yuan Ming Yuan, used to be one of the most brilliant and spectacular royal palaces for the Chinese emperor more than 100 years ago. It was big, filled with architecture styles from all over the world,and tons of books and treasures. Some time in late 1800s, however, European invaders robbed it, and destroyed it.
Looking at this piece of history, which is all pretty much a few broken walls and bricks, it is very hard to imagine how grand it looked like in its days. One question comes to mind: why did those Europeans burnt down all of these? That is a weird logic. It's understandable that they wanted to robbed it, and take home all the gold and silvers and treasures that is worth lots of money. But why burnt the whole thing down?
One way the officials put it is that, if something that can't take away, they have to break it. It's like, if I can't have it, you can't have it either. That makes sense.But then again, these people were really mean.
Then I watched a documentary there. It revealed that the psychology behind it was kind of a complex one, at least according to the documentary. The Europeans have heard so much about this palace, and admired this place for a long time, and the Chinese culture and history too. But then, when they were here, they had no idea that Chinese government then was so weak, that their weapons for the military were 200 years behind the Western standard. Therefore, the Europeans conquered this city of Beijing without much effort, an event even to their own surprise. Then they decided that, because the old summer palace is the Emperor's favorite place, in order to defeat him psychologically and show that the Westerners are great despite China's history and reputation, they have to destroy the most brilliant garden of China.
Well that makes sense for the logic. But as far as history goes, there is no use to moan of the loss any more; the only thing we should take from this is that, the world is tough and competitive; if you don't want your ass to be kicked, you have to to have the ability to kick ass.
What does it mean to be short sighted, and why people are against it? Well, think about this: some species, like Turtles, have been around on this planet for more than 200 millions years. They lay low, until dinosaurs came around and ruled the planet. And then dinosaurs died out, the turtles are still around. And when later human beings rose up, until today, until we die out (when?will we?), and they're still around, and probably will be around for a long time after that. So these turtles, small, laying low, and don't have much exciting movements,sometimes with their heart beating once in 9 minutes. But they last a very very long time.
No wonder evolutionary biologists say that being highly evolved (like us) doesn't mean it's better. It just means that it is a more complex structure (say, what our brains can do). But eventually, being advanced also have down sides--it requires a lot for us to survive than those simpler species along the evolutionary scale.
Therefore, back to human world, if you think you do well today, don't be too arrogant, because those appear to be not doing so well today might just do well years later when you are down.Way down. More importantly, it's not about comparison, it's about ambition and being content, and also what you have sacrificed in your pursuit of a "better" future, or anything in the present. And which one of these two do you want to be?
That, my friend, is also probably why China, with its "in the middle" kind of philosophy, never-going-extreme way of dealing with this world, is the one rare exception in human history, who has a long long line of history of continuous civilization. And it is still on the rise today.
(From CMU Release)OmniTouch, a wearable projection system developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft Research, enables users to turn pads of paper, walls or even their own hands, arms and legs into graphical, interactive surfaces.
In other words, there will be no need to find that pen you keep misplacing — or even to dig your smartphone out of your pocket to record a note.
The system employs a depth-sensing camera, similar to the Microsoft Kinect, to track the user's fingers on everyday surfaces.
This allows users to control interactive applications by tapping or dragging their fingers, much as they would with touchscreens found on smartphones or tablet computers.
The projector can superimpose keyboards, keypads and other controls onto any surface, automatically adjusting for the surface's shape and orientation to minimize distortion of the projected images.
"It's conceivable that anything you can do on today's mobile devices, you will be able to do on your hand using OmniTouch," said Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute.
US/Russian/Moldova concert pianist Alexander Paley visited Beijing this week to play the complete Mozart piano sonata in three nights. It was somehow amusing to see that a lot of the audiences got rather uneasy on the first half of the concert when the pianist played literally non-stop for more than an hour of 3 (or 4?) of Mozart's piano sonata. It was a treat though. Too bad I was unable to attend the second and third night.