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Sep 21

(Letter) To Debate or Not To Debate

Written by guest on Sunday, September 21st, 2008 at 3:00 pm
Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | Tags:,
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It’s not my intention to be critical here. But I find this blog has evolved into a polite debating society. Comments to one post can run up to several tens or even well surpassing 100. However, they are more of opinions and criticisms rather than analysis and suggestions.

Maybe it’s the founders’ intent. If this is the case, I don’t want to judge it good or bad.

But who are the audience of this blog? The 20 or 30 so commenters, or the 20,000 or 30,000 unique visitors (see Admin’s monthly stats reports)? I’d say the latter are the true constituency of this blog. Posters and commenters alike want their messages passed on to them.

Therefore, the purpose is not for posters or commenters to convince one other. It’s very unproductive because many commenters are ideological and are not going to change their mind regardless. And even if you succeeded, you only would have convinced one person. That’s still a laudable effort, but that’s not the point.

I always wonder how the Internet can become a revolutionary social change agent. It definitely has that potential if we use it the right way. I’d say the one-person and no-comments ESWN Blog has a more effective format.

But can we have an equally effective but participatory format?

No debates and critiques please. Suggestions and proposals are welcome.


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41 Responses to “(Letter) To Debate or Not To Debate”

  1. Wukailong Says:

    We could have book reviews, both Chinese and English, perhaps? There have been discussions on 攻坚 earlier, but there are also many books written about China in the US, for example. If there is an interest, I think I wouldn’t be the only one interested in submitting reviews.

  2. Nobody Says:

    This is a great interactive blog…No need to change. Admin is doing a good job as referees.
    IT is fantastic to find in the 30 – 300 comment threads but a very small percentage of bad postings.
    There’s good analysis, emotional debates, polite exchanges, even humor and making appointment
    to meet….That is pretty cool….AS for book reviews, You can’t beat Amazon.com but getting it here from “familiar”sources is cool too.

  3. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I think this blog is perfect the way it is. It attracts intelligent individuals with reasonable things to say, and from more than 1 POV. I don’t think this blog will change the world by tomorrow, but at least the interactive nature allows you to probe different perspectives, and in so doing one might refine and modulate their own, in due time. I’d much rather this than a one-author no-comments blog, which would be nothing more than a sermon. In the age before the internet, such sermons would have come from atop a soapbox.

  4. HKonger Says:

    YeaH, Keep up the good work Fool’s Mountaineers!

  5. Wukailong Says:

    Well, the book reviews at Amazon tend to be a bit too much of a debate… 🙂 And also quite short. What I’m having in mind is something like this:

    http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/kortho49.htm

  6. Dan Says:

    The comments are valuable. Why cut them out? If people don’t want to read them, they don’t have to.

  7. Daniel Says:

    I personally enjoy the site the way it is. My sentiments are similar to S.K. Cheung where the comments here really turn into a discussion. If this were an actual forum, we would have to go through the similar registration procedures like the other sites and be all on our own topic (we sort of do here) instead of what we have here. I was on another China-related blog I blieve where they mentioned Fool’s mountain but the comments were a bit negative. I counter back reasonably and I swore my comment was published but I checked back later and it was gone. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like a government censor but believe me, it’s not just media pundits or nationalistic personages who can’t stand these type of discussions on this site.

    The thing about ESWN is well, how some of the articles are worded seem more like a tabloid, like one of those “info-tainment” outlets. I know that it’s pulling many translations and links from several places, but how it’s organized is an important factor. There’s nothing wrong with that but maybe for my personal tastes it’s a little awkward, especially for such serious topics.

    One of the issues I would consider is if the number of readers and commentators do explode in popularity and such. There’s going to be a lot more things to be concern about and work on than what this post is worrying.

  8. Daniel Says:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure Wukailong. I too get a little wary from the reviews on Amazon that sometimes turn into debates, but if someone wrote a review (essay) like the link you posted, I can imagine even more so. Although it would be quite interesting.

  9. TommyBahamas Says:

    Netizen K., “this blog has evolved into a polite debating society.”

    This was exactly what I was looking for. As a result I have stopped entirely from visiting let alone comment on Time’s China blog, my first intro to such discussion. I still visit Peking Duck at most once a week, but have not bothered to comment there ever since discovering this blog.

    SKC, “and in so doing one might refine and modulate their own [POV], in due time.”

    I know I have.

  10. Netizen K Says:

    Concerning debate, a few years ago CNN had a show called Crossfire, which had two hosts, one from the right and the other from the right. Each night it had two guests, again, one from the right and the other from the left. Then the hosts and guests sitting cross from one other debated on issues of the day.

    One day, Jon Stewart, the fake reporter from the Daily Show of the Comdian Central, was the guest. He, instead of debating issues, condemned the show for its pointedless, for its debasing journalism instead of ehancing it, and saying the show was bad for American.

    The two hosts were shocked and awed, I guess. It was the news of the day across chattering classes in America. Everyone seemed to say Steward did a good thing because he pointed out the emperor had no clothes, the emperor being the Journalism profession.

    A short while later, CNN bossman concelled the useless show.

  11. Nimrod Says:

    I think editorials and discussions are both valuable. That’s why a newspaper has both in its opinions section.

  12. reader Says:

    In general, I learn as much from the comments as the blog entry itself. The key is to keep the comments productive and constructive. Shutting off the comments would be a big mistake and would make the blog much less informatative, interesting and dynamic. The whole point is to get a wide variety about views and leverage the “crowd” to generate great content, unlike say a newspaper or magazine who pay to get great content.

  13. safarinew Says:

    ‘completely missing point’

    the absence of comments in ESWN doesn’t make it better

    in fact, it hinders it.

  14. RMBWhat Says:

    Isn’t the whole point of the comment section is for people to discuss and debate things? If people feel that they are not getting anything out of the comment section then don’t read it. Go on a hike by yourself and ponder on the mysterious universe, all by yourself. Cuz I know I do that a lot. But after said pondering where do I go to make my insane thoughts heard? The comment sections! But that is not a guarantee that people will bother to read it. And that’s the beauty of it, right? You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. But don’t take that ability away!!!

    Internet technology should be used to empower! It also opens up one to a whole gamut of thoughts. If the INTERNET did not exist the only ones you can interact with are those physically around you. The INTERNET erases borders, and propels one into this hyper-reality of telekinesis-like form of communication.

    Like Timothy Leary (I hate that guy) said: “Computers are the LSD of the 90’s.” (But we ain’t in the 90’s no more).

  15. RMBWhat Says:

    Fool’s mountain style blog: Anyone can contribute to headlines, no censoring of comments, etc, is wonderful.

  16. wuming Says:

    The quality of the dialog varies from day to day and topics to topics. Often enough we get sucked into some meaningless back and forth, but there were flashes of brilliance and insight that make the comments on this blog worth our time and attention.

    I would be more worried the other way. As the spot-lights shift away from China, can we keep up the energy level of this blog?

  17. Daniel Says:

    I’m sort of have mixed feelings regarding wuming’s worry. In a sense, the spot-light won’t shift away from China…it is too big to ignore, and it doesn’t have to be politics, economics or popular culture.

    It means something to a very widely dispersed group of people around the world, and there are aspects about this place that attracts people with little connection to China, i.e. culture, arts, history, cuisine, etc. For example, if we are just talking about people with cultural interests, there is no way to avoid China…the country. Not Taiwan, Singapore and none of the overseas Chinese communities around the world can replace that. All you get is but a small sample or a taste of what’s possible.

    You can find someone in virtually every occupation or strata of society who shares the same sentiments or of the same background with what I’ve mentioned. The interesting part is that there is so much potential and a growing number of people who are like that.

    What would be interesting is when the world becomes more balanced and there would be enough interests where each sovereign state gets it’s fair amount of prestigue and dignity. (My idealistic dream)

  18. Charles Liu Says:

    I used to be a staunch anti-communist, but after reading and debating (sometimes not so politely) my positions have changed somewhat.

  19. Hongkonger Says:

    Jon Stewart released his book “Naked pictures of famous people,” in 1998 and in 2004 another book, “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction”.
    I don’t think Stewart was being funny in the CNN show , Crossfire, that you mentioned above Netizen K.
    His biggest comedic influences are Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin. He was being himself. I doubt the demise of Crossfire was a result of Stewart’s criticism. The first thought that came to mind was, perhaps it was because they were going to shelf it that someone decided to invite someone like stewart to effect a controlled demolition, so to speak, of a program which was suffering from low ratings, perhap? However, if you are suggesting that polite debates are non effective in cross-cultural pebble moving, like many here, I feel the alternative are almost on every other blogs, full of bad vibes, and restrictions/policing/censures, which is in effect a total waste of time. Here, we’ve got smart guys, ordinary folks, pros & students, food lovers, world travellers, cross-cultural, language & conspiracy lovers. We’ve got satirists, funny guys, and a few who could probable pass as journalists — All I can say to all that is, this is a really cool to hangout.

  20. Hongkonger Says:

    Jon Stewart released his book “Naked pictures of famous people,” in 1998 and in 2004 another book, “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction.” He was already a well known media personality a decade ago, so it was not like CNN thought that stewart was a real reporter. On the other hand, I don’t think Stewart was being funny in the CNN show , Crossfire, that you mentioned above Netizen K. His biggest comedic influences are Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin. He was actually being himself there. I doubt the demise of Crossfire was a result of Stewart’s criticism. The first thought that came to mind was, perhaps it was because they were going to shelf it that someone decided to invite someone like stewart to effect a controlled demolition, so to speak, of a program which was suffering from low ratings, perhap? However, if you are suggesting that polite debates are non effective in cross-cultural pebble moving, like many here, I feel the alternative are almost on every other blogs, full of bad vibes, and restrictions/policing/censures, which is in effect a total waste of time. Here, we’ve got smart guys, ordinary folks, pros & students, food lovers, world travellers, cross-cultural, language & conspiracy lovers. We’ve got satirists, funny guys, and a few who could probable pass as journalists — All I can say to all that is, this is a really cool place to hangout.

  21. The Trapped! Says:

    Dear Fool’s Mountain,

    Over thousands of mountains, I found you the most worthy to climb on because you are too foolish to mend the facts, too coward to censor the disgusting talks, too blind to pick up enemy among friends.

    Good luck!

  22. Allen Says:

    @The Trapped. Consider yourself among friends here. At least you are willing to speak with us and voice a Tibetan voice – instead of simply walking away.

    I have to disagree with you most of the times because I do not believe Tibetan nationalism and Chinese nationalism can co-exist. However, you do open up my mind with almost every post you write.

    Just as we Chinese try to move mountains of ignorance and rhetoric we perceive the West has regarding China, I hope you, if you believe most Chinese to be ignorant and too rhetorical with respect to Tibetan culture, to also to continue to contribute and engage with us here.

  23. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Netizen K #10:
    Crossfire failed because, after Stewart’s tour de force, the 3 people still watching it finally realized they should be watching The Daily Show, and not those 2 stiffs. It also failed because the program by its nature created a dichotomy out of every issue, and there were ever only 2 points of view. If anything, this blog has demonstrated that many issues pertaining to China aren’t at either extreme of the grayscale, but rather somewhere in between. And if anything, the plethora of commentators here have broached the nuances of many of those issues. And not only is debate a good thing, but participating in one is even better.

    Making this blog a no-comment zone would make each post a Crossfire with just 1 POV. And trust me, something half as good as Crossfire will pretty much blow.

  24. The Trapped! Says:

    @Allen

    “I have to disagree with you most of the times because I do not believe Tibetan nationalism and Chinese nationalism can co-exist.”

    I can not agree with you this time also. I don’t think it’s impossible for Tibetan nationalism and Chinese nationalism co-exist, at least at the level of nationalism being loving one’s nationality does not mean hating another nationality, which is not my definition of nationalism. Your love to your villagers and your love to your family can always co-exist.

    Actually I have been thinking about this question for some time as well. My final conclusion is like this. As we talk about hate and love, this always comes back to “I”. In other word, everything starts from “I love myself”. I love my parents because they are my parents, not because they are just parents. And I love my nationality because it’s my bloodline. I love my country because this is where I belong to. And finally I love world because without this everything above is impossible. If you do not love yourself, it’s impossible to love your parents and so will the logic go till the end.

    If my parents say I am bad, I would get angry on them, but if some villagers say my parents are bad I would get angry. If Hans say Tibetans are bad, I will get angry, but if some westerners say Chinese are bad I will get angry as well. So, whoever is closest to you will always come first, this is the nature of human love. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. Suppose my village is China, the other villagers will be other ethnic groups and my family will be like Tibet. When households are talking about each other, they will say you and me. But when the whole village has to engage with some other village, then they will say we and they. Is there any problem with this?

  25. The Trapped! Says:

    As a matter of fact, I had to argument with a westerner about this. We spent around 4 weeks both in Sichuan and Beijing together. Everywhere we go, he would say this is stupid, that is ridiculous, that is abnormal and so on. He criticizes almost everything that does not comprehend with western culture. For the 1st 2 weeks, I kept shut up my mouth because he was guest in the country anyway. But in 3rd week, I could not bear anymore. I told him that he can not say everything that does not comprehends with western culture is bad. I said if a Chinese goes to west, he will also find lots of strange things. But can he say westerners are stupid just because he can not understand their culture? I told him that he himself is instead very stupid to measure everything with western scale. Wests have their own value of beauty, taste and pleasure. By then he was already angry didn’t talk with me for rest of day. But next for morning apologized though, admitting that westerners like him are in deed really ignorant of lots of things.
    And Chinese people like you found me a Tibetan nationalist. So, from this perspective, you, Allen, still think it’s impossible to Tibetan nationalism and Chinese nationalism. As a matter of fact, I can still remember some commentators (who are Chinese American) here have already showed us that even American nationalism and Chinese nationalism can co-exist within one person. If you have other definition for nationalism, then I don’t know, but my nationalism towards Tibet and China can co-exist.

  26. The Trapped! Says:

    Sorry for spelling and punctuation mistake, but as they are very apparent, please correct by yourself while reading.

  27. Daniel Says:

    Putting aside the usual cultural differences that can make communication difficult, there’s also this perspective issue, for example, seeing with the eyes from another person entirely type of deal I read and heard about.
    One example I could think of (it’s from some sci-fi TV show) where a woman holds a cup of tea to a man and ask what do you see. He says it’s tea. The woman replies that is only one type of expression out of many possibilities. Some people may say liquid, or container of liquid, a cup, the hand holding the cup, or the woman since the cup is an extension of the hands holding it, etc. At first, I didn’t want to take it serious, but than I remember a psychology teacher a while back had a lecture which was similar to this. The teacher showed a picture(pencil-sketched art style) and ask us to explain it. Most of us assumed it is a bus stop with people waiting. She then gave real examples when asked of others of different cultural backgrounds how they saw it. The replies were interesting, one was a tree with people resting, another was a social gathering by the light post, etc.

    Reading a lot of commets, I assumed that most of us had a decent education, much interests in the blog’s theme, and life-experiences which helps connect each of us. Our similar traits are quite helpful in these “debates-discussions”. However, taken into perspective, what if the education levels were different, the interests were more specific instead of broad like us, or the life-experiences were so varied? This is reality and something which many people tend to ignore or can’t possibly pull all these life-varients together to come up with a well-represented statement.

    There’s so much more I wish to type but I’m guessing whoever bothers to read my comment will wonder what does this have to do with the post. I just want to point what other “huge mountains” people might have to climb over for more efficient understanding.
    *Sometimes I wish the english language wasn’t so precise. It really takes a lot of words to explain the whole of something.*

  28. Wukailong Says:

    In the end, I think that the best way to raise people’s understanding is by having more cross-cultural contact by actually living in a country and getting to know people there. The amount of “tacit knowledge” one gains just by staying in a place, having some ups and downs, goes a long way.

    @The Trapped!: I know this very well. I think a lot of people, when going somewhere with compatriots, tend to compare and complain about things because it increases bonding. They don’t realize that people from the country they’re visiting are not as amused by the constant complaints.

    I had an amusing experience once with a friend of mine who was staying in China, meeting my brother (who’s been here twice). My brother is a very level-headed person and needs a lot of bad input to complain, so he was surprised to hear all these things my friend said (which she said probably for the bonding reasons mentioned above). Later he said to me:
    – She just complained all the time. I mean, when people are a bit chaotic here [China] they’re seen as selfish and uncivilized, but the same behavior in Italy or Greece would make people say that Southern European culture is so relaxed.

  29. es.nautilus Says:

    Hey, nice stories and perspectives from The Trapped! and Wukailong! Much enjoyed and appreciated. Oh sorry, that’s just an opinion, which this thread does not apparently welcomed… I feel that discussion has enriched this forum and the experiences of its readership; I can also empathise with those who say that the quality varies thread by thread… (that’s fine also because we all have different things that make us tick!).

    I undoubtedly endorse Netizen K’s call for quality debate, and sure more critical analysis will add further value. However, I also think the serious analysts who have taken the time and effort to write here deserve some feedback from the readers (of course as long as it does not degenerate into slagging matches…). So on that note, more and better debate please from FM…

    P.S. As for ESWN, its posts from the single blogger are evidently rather good so that so many people keep visiting and reading them; at the same time, it is Mr Soong’s wish not to have discussion or feedback on his own site, so that is that. It obviously works so well, and it’s different.

  30. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To es.nautilus:
    you’ve nailed it. For those who like ESWN, it’s there. For those who like mature discussion and debate, it’s here. Something for everyone. What more can you ask for?

  31. Allen Says:

    @The Trapped! #24,

    I agree with you that there are always different levels of loyalties, e.g., loyalty to my family, my friends, my village, my ethnicity, my country, etc. (Of course, many people do put their nation first.)

    But the proposal you have made based on strengthening “Tibetan identity” seem to be geared at tearing the country apart rather than building a better country together.

    In the U.S., there have been two approaches to deal with social inequities. One is based on identity politics, in which groups of people with similar ethnicity band together against the broader society – purportedly to preserve their own sense of identity and to “fight” against further incursions. Another is for the seemingly oppressed to reach out to the broader society, using the laws and institutions to fight for what they see as their rights.

    The first approach focus on our differences and lead to discord and often violence. The second approach requires patience but over the long term lead more substantive and concrete progress.

    Perhaps I am viewing the Chinese Tibetan issue from the lens of an American but I do believe most domestic ethnic based problems should / can be solved through more integration – by which I don’t mean just assimilation, but also the permanent changing of the majority to account for minority – not segregation / disintegration.

  32. Allen Says:

    I came across an interesting article in the Washington Post regarding the decline of the culture of protests in America. It also documents the increasing power of the Internet as a forum for “protest.” So maybe it should be a critical element of this website that we be allowed to debate and argue, after all!

    Here is an excerpt of the article:

    The stock market has gone nuts, and the federal government is treating Wall Street with experimental cures that will cost nearly $1 trillion. An unpopular foreign war, now in its sixth year, has resulted in more than 4,100 American deaths. For the first time in history, the presidential campaign includes an African American candidate for president and a Republican female candidate for vice president.

    Taken together, these data points give this moment in American history a once-in-a-great-while feel of Something Large. But if this is truly a pivot in time, its most peculiar feature may be how un-peculiar it feels. For all the social and political upheaval, for all the 60-point headlines and for all the bipartisan calls for change, there is plenty of unease — but a very notable lack of unrest.

    It’s as though the gods of turmoil threw a party and nobody came. When was the last time you saw a street protest? Or a burning effigy? Or a teach-in? Or a boycott? It’s kind of odd: We have the sense that this is an emergency, but open the window and give a listen. There aren’t any sirens.

    How come?

    Washington Square Park, near Greenwich Village, seemed like a good place to pose that question. Forty years ago, this was one of the city’s counterculture epicenters, a frequent site of protests and rallies and as close to an open-air drug market as one could find downtown. …

    Last Sunday, by contrast, the park looked serene. A jazz band played, a street juggler performed, and the only sign of politics was the “Bakin’ for Barack” sale in the northeast corner. “Make a donation, take a treat,” read the sign next to the slices of banana bread and chocolate chip cookies.

    “There was a culture of confrontation back then,” he said. “You were either on the side of the authorities — not just the president, but the police and the suits — or you were an outlaw. You took psychedelic drugs and you protested and you drew a line between yourself and the prevailing culture.”

    That line is getting harder to draw, Gitlin said, in part because the counterculture has been mainstreamed. Rebellion is no longer a clarion call; it’s a marketing pitch.

    But what if we’re just looking for dissent in the wrong places? What if there’s just as much rage against the machine as ever, but it’s vented in ways and in places that aren’t as loud and unmissable as a street march. Web sites, for instance.

    “I think the Internet has become a channel for all kinds of countercultural expression, including discontent and critique,” said Miles Orvell, a professor of American studies at Temple University. “But it might have this paradoxical effect. It enlarges the conversation, but it can also produce a kind of passivity. It’s like, ‘I’ve said it and that’s all I need to do.’ A lot of young people seem to use the Internet as a surrogate community, and to that extent, it might diminish participation in the visible sphere.”

  33. Daniel Says:

    I was thinking about a suggestion that could be useful for this site…if it’s ok for others.

    Once in a while, I wish there could be a little more comments from people who are involved directly or have great expertise in the subjects on this blog. I don’t mean to belittle anyone else and their experiences/knowledge but for the sake of others who visit this site for the first time-or occasionaly, it might help with increasing the credibility of the posts-comments and overall quality.

    For example, you all notice how on some magazines and sites like national geographic where on the opinion pages they have people there expressing sentiments similar to us, but also they would have several people who could correct or add more information than what was published. Afterwards they would have their name and title—such as professor of this or a member of that, etc. For many readers, it’s a little bit like psychological reactions where that title helps to be a tad bit more convincing that the information is at least genuine in overall aspects rather than pure nonsense.

    I once suggested to a forum I participated in a lot where we could invite people like them…Academians especially but also many other organizations and such. Some people were afraid that this could possibly create an elitist environment and alienate people. A forum staff member emailed me saying that many people with such expertise could be reluctant to express their opinions and knowledge in such open fashion and we would have better luck with the graduate/doctoral students. Also, they are people too—they also have their flaws and sometimes quesitonable content in their words as well.

  34. The Trapped! Says:

    @Allen

    “But the proposal you have made based on strengthening “Tibetan identity” seem to be geared at tearing the country apart rather than building a better country together.”

    This is something that more research is needed on. I feel that Chinese in America are feeling more threatened than people here inside. Because daily contacts with bossy white guys and rude black guys might be making you guys feel that the only way to challenge this is having a strong country behind you guys. This makes it impossible for you guys to think of a more liberal society and more decentralized government in China. And you guys don’t care what this means to the people inside because you guys are out there so that any policy that concerns with people inside the country won’t bother you. I think you guys are more selfish than I am. Anyway, what good things can you learn from west? Technology is in west, but humanity is in east.

    Gedhun Choephel, the first Tibetan scholar who encountered western by learning English concluded his impression of westerners in such lines:

    They have minds quicker than lightning,
    But they have no smell of kindness and humanity.
    They show dishonest path to honest people,
    So, be careful with these yellow-haired monkeys.

    And you are their students anyway….

    I always think that a real harmonious society will only come from respecting each and recognizing each other. Every state in USA has different rules and regulations, but their federal system never weakens the country, instead it’s number one, whether you like or not.

  35. Allen Says:

    @The Trapped!

    I always think that a real harmonious society will only come from respecting each and recognizing each other. Every state in USA has different rules and regulations, but their federal system never weakens the country, instead it’s number one, whether you like or not.

    The federal system is very VERY strong in the US. If you have the opportunity to study law in the states, you will learn that state power is very, very limited. For example, the biggest “moral” debate in the states involves abortion. And the seminal case in abortion involves whether it is the federal gov’t or the state gov’t that should decide on morality of such issues. (the answer is the federal gov’t)

    For your information: in the US, the right for citizen of the nation to freely move about the country is also guaranteed by the federal gov’t under the US constitution (i.e. no limitation on movement of people within the border of the country, whatever the local laws to the contrary). The right against segregation based on ethnicity is also illegal under federal laws and unconstitutional under the US constitution. There is also no right for any state (or county or city) to unilaterally secede under the federal system. I can go on … but I don’t think the federal system per se is the solution you are looking for to nurture Tibetan independence. Maybe you are looking for a loose federal system as a solution – but the US for the last 200 years has a strong federal system, not a weak one.

  36. Allen Says:

    @The Trapped!

    I think you guys are more selfish than I am. Anyway, what good things can you learn from west? Technology is in west, but humanity is in east.

    Hehe… you are going to earn points on this board speaking like that.

    But I think the West really has much to offer to China beyond technology – as does China for the West.

    As for how selfish I am … I don’t know, but I’ll continue to provide my “unique” perspective of a Chinese who grew up in the West but who remain attached to his heritage. The beauty of a forum like this is that you can take as little or as much as what others say. Hopefully we will come out together better and stronger than we could have otherwise been.

  37. Daniel Says:

    Come to think of it… what Trapped is saying is also blunt observation mixed in with a little PC rhetorical words, I sort of notice something like that as well. Although it really isn’t that simple or extreme and it’s probably semi-true in half of the cases. ^-/^

    Actually, in terms of technology, if you all really think about it…it doesn’t quite belong to a particular region–countries but more as in they have the infrastructure, social environment and big support to dare pursue the projects. Having a history of working with it can help…so in a sense, it’s somewhat pointless to compare or “lamenate” if people want to argue about that.
    Other countries-regions including China, if they really want to, it’s certain they can take a big step in improving these areas, perhaps they can “leap forward” in whatever realistic way. Of course, there’s also military technology and other aspects which are important to national goals. I’m pretty sure most countries don’t want to lose that advantage.

    Also the word technology is pretty broad. At least in terms of what most people “really mean” when they think about that word.
    If we’re talking about sctrictly science (discovering and quanitfying the world, build in order to learn, etc.), well nowadays it is very complex and people will need all the help they can get anywhere in the world. Development and engineering such along the same lines. Many people and organizations say that a true scientist must have the curiosity and courage to challenge authority, etc. Well, it’s all true but really anyone with the desire to learn, explore and work hard is capable of doing whatever is necessary. Creativity, in the general sense, is one of those traits that I believe is inherent in all humans.
    If people say culture hinders them, well that may be partly true, although I think judging from what I’ve observed and interacted with others, people can work with it.
    However, there’s too much to really go into and learn, I’ll leave it up to the people who actually work in these areas to judge and explain more if they wish.

    Actually, I’m not entirely sure what do you all want to learn from the “West”?
    If it’s culture, history, art, cuisine, geography and other topics which are “indigenous” or developed there , well I could understand…just like how many others around the world want to learn from China. For a lot of other things, not just “technology” but also business, education, religion, etc. there’s actually a lot which is globally-derived and internationally driven. You literally can find a Chinese person (Mainland Chinese citizen for the sake of this blog) working and “mastering” in every field.
    Pardon me for this long comment.

  38. Daniel Says:

    Sorry…let me rephrase so people won’t misunderstand.
    *You literally can find a Chinese person (Mainland Chinese citizen for the sake of this blog) working and “mastering” in every field.*

    change to—You literally can find a Chinese person (Mainland Chinese citizen for the sake of this blog) participating in all levels in every field, plus being a “Master expert” in some areas.

  39. Wukailong Says:

    Hmm, while I can understand the sentiments behind such reasoning, it would be appreciated if there weren’t all these questions on whether people truly care for Tibet, mainland, Taiwan etc. or whether someone is selfish or not. Also, not all these discussions whether people are “qualified” or not to speak about something (though the latter has rarely appeared on this blog, it’s a commonplace in other areas).

    Even a selfish or unqualified person might have interesting things to say or good arguments.

  40. The Trapped! Says:

    @Allen

    “Hehe… you are going to earn points on this board speaking like that.”

    Thanks hinting me, I didn’t know that such statement will earn some points on this board! Hehe… Guess you must have earned loads of points so far…!

    Seeing this statement, I have no interest spelling out my view towards you for the moment!

    PS: I thought I would get a reply from Allen only by tomorrow as Americans by that time must be in deep sleep, but Allen is very hard working, or maybe America whole might already have become 24hrs active country. Appreciate responding me by midnight, might be sleepy, but don’t go for coffee or you will lose your rest of sleep and will have a black eye tomorrow morning!

  41. Wukailong Says:

    @The Trapped!: You would be surprised if you knew the strange times my colleagues at the other side of the Pacific work. 🙂

    “but don’t go for coffee or you will lose your rest of sleep and will have a black eye tomorrow morning!”

    This has happened to me all too often.

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