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Jun 02

The BBC has run an article by James Miles, its Beijing correspondent who witnessed the events of the 3rd and 4th June, putting across his memories of those days, as well as subsequent thoughts on issues like their reporting and how the protests are seen today. I have selected a number of passages from the larger article.
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Jun 02

Over the past year, we have had many heated debate on issues related to Tibet. Little has been discussed, however, on how to move things forward. To me, it is more important to address grievances of the common Tibetan people than to win historical or political debates. Furthermore, it should be recognized that the discontent of Tibetan people are genuine and the current governmental policies are at least partially responsible. Sticking one’s head in the sand or blaming the all the troubles on outside forces will not solve any real problems in Tibet.

I am the person who believes communication, dialogue and mutual understanding are the best route to solve complicated ethnic issues. So it gives me great hope that Gongmeng, a Chinese NGO, took the initiative to provide an in-depth analysis of the social and economical challenges faced by Tibetans. I think this report will signal the beginning of a new bottom-up approach to solve the mistrusts demonstrated on both sides. The initial steps will be small and the progress will probably be slow, but, let’s get started!
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Jun 02

在我上学的路上,我看见美丽的花朵

Written by: BMY | Filed under:-chinese-posts, education | Tags:
1 Comment » newest 2009-06-10 16:18:30

刚上一年级的女儿在给我读她的作业:在上学的的路上,我看见美丽的花朵。有的挂在花枝上,有的被大雨打在了草地上。

想起了自己二十年前六月四日的早上,在回学校的路上,同样看到了凋零的生命。不过不是花朵。

不,是花朵。每一个生命都是一枝美丽的花朵。

1989年五月底,经过了无数大小示威和9天的绝食,我和大多数北京的学生一样,已撤离了广场。6月1日夜晚几位同学坐在校园外的长椅上聊天,忽然听到有人高呼:“鬼子进村了,鬼子进村了“ 只见有三四个学生模样的骑着自行车有人大,从海淀方向飞快的经过我们面前,一路高呼着南去。

军队要进城了。前晚上,骑车去天安门,看到有黑压压的摩托车绕着广场高呼:保卫大学生!

第二天晚上听说人群在白天堵住了几辆载着便装士兵的公共汽车,发生了肢体冲突。

六月三日中午,去人大正门口,有传言2x军和3x军已经在城外开战了,内战已经爆发了。傍晚,电视广播劝告广大市民为确保自己的人身安全呆在家里。

军队要强行驱赶学生出广场了。

走出校门,农科院门外人们表情严肃议论纷纷。我与另外两位同学有散步去人大。已有学生组织的高音喇叭在发布最新局势,说军队开枪了。有位女生的哭腔说男友被子弹击中,送进了医院。

橡皮子弹也很危险,我在想。到底在发生着什么?作为一个积极投身于早期游行罢课绝食的我来讲,仍然心系这场运动,一定要去看看放生了什么。

我回到宿舍楼下,取了我的自行车,沿着中关村南路,往南骑去。路过魏公村,一个步行的学生搭上了后坐。我们能渐渐听到远处啪啪啪的枪声了,依稀闻到橡胶燃烧的味道。我判断一定是橡皮子弹的味道。

离木樨地越来越近,枪声也越来越近,橡胶燃烧的味道也越来越重。

快到木樨地了,能看到木樨地的火光。枪声和人群的呼喊就在前面,交通已经被堵住了。救护车以一辆又一辆地呼啸而出。后座上的那位同学向我挥手道别,消失在了人群中。路中间,一位维吾尔模样的学生挥舞着手臂,喊叫着在指挥交通。

我下了自行车,不再敢继续前行。周围的人们有两次赴下身子,我站在那儿不知所措,可能有枪声从我们头顶上方飞过。橡皮子弹,也还是要小心一些,我在想。于是便躲在一棵树后。

枪声逐渐地向东远去。不知过了多久,枪声很远了。我推着车走到木樨地十字路口,看到有两辆熊熊燃烧的小轿车,两辆横在路上的公共汽车。原来橡胶燃烧的味道其实是汽车燃烧的味道。地铁站的玻璃和水泥墙上有几个弹孔,正对着地铁站人行横道的铁栅栏上也可看到个弹孔。直到这时,才知道那些枪声不是橡皮子弹发出的。再往前走十几米,有一辆板车,车上和四周全是碎酸奶玻璃瓶。显然,酸奶瓶被当作了武器。

我不再敢沿着长安街走了,骑车穿过一条巷子拐到了复兴门大街,向东往广场方向骑去。

骑了不远,便看到长长的一列军车停在路上,车上满载着士兵。一些市民站在车下对着士兵们说话,说一些学生不是在搞动乱,要打倒腐败之类的话。士兵们抱着枪,低着头不应答。及个别的摇摇头。我想一定有不许说话的命令。有几个军官站在路边有何市民在交谈。

我逗留了一会儿,便接着前行。看见第一辆军车的不远的路上横着一辆公共汽车和其他一些路障,已有市民开始挪开小的路障了。

天蒙蒙亮时,我骑到了广场的西南角,看到了前门。纪念堂和前门间的地上已经坐满了士兵。前门东南方向不远处,有一群男性市民,在情绪激昂地对着士兵们高呼

“一二,法西斯!一二,法西斯!”

我同时看到,最后一批学生排着队,举着旗,往广场的东南角走出.在他们身后,有装甲车方阵缓缓的从北向南填补着学生们撤出后留下的空地。

天已经大亮了,我已经能够看清我眼前每张士兵的面孔。他们和我年龄相仿,头戴钢盔,紧握钢枪席地面南而坐。很多士兵有着农村少年纯朴眼神和透红的面庞。

我和另外几位市民在小声对眼前的士兵们说:学生们不是在搞动乱之类的话。一位士兵用不服气的口气说:看你们把首都搞成什么样了。其他士兵都不说话。突然一位中年军官站起来向我身边的一位女士呵斥:不许照相,把相机拿过来没收。说着跨过两步夺过相机。那位女士请求说:你可以把胶卷拿走把相机还给我 。那军官仍然呵斥:“全部没收了。”

突然,一串枪声从我身后响起,坐在我眼前的一些士兵纷纷起身向我身后张望。我赶紧回头,十几米外,另外一队席地面西而坐的军人中一位军官和他身边的一位士兵站着。军官在向二三十米外广场边的一群人呵斥,那身边站着的士兵枪口斜向上发出几串声响。人群有男女老少。

我还没回过神来,一辆救护车已不知从何处赶到,有人被抬进救护车,救护车又呼啸而去。一位老者站在那里,手指军官的方向义愤填膺地说着什么。

看着周围不安全,不能再呆在广场了。我决定回学校了。出广场,沿复兴门大街往西,骑到第一个街口时,我想沿着长安街回去。便向北拐,巷子头长安街口,一辆坦克车炮口朝着巷子,把住街口。两三个头戴钢盔的军人站在坦克边。我有些紧张地和几个上班的市民经过坦克车,进入了长安街。

长安街上已有些骑车上班的市民了。行了一段路,一辆装甲车飞速由西行驶过来。行人纷纷躲避。我很愤怒于这辆危险行车的装甲车。

我昏昏沉沉的骑着车,街边一位学生模样的人在大声呼喊着。我停下来。他身边的地上,有两辆扭曲变形的自行车,自行车边有两具头部和上身被医务遮住的尸体。在尸体和自行车之间的地面,有一滩红色和一滩白色。我从来没有见过尸体,我的头更晕,感到呼吸困难。那站着呼喊的同学带着黑塑料框眼镜,有泪水滑落他的脸颊。我站在他对面两米外,他喊的声音很大,但我听不清,隐隐约约地听到他再在喊:有人能帮我么?能帮我挪一下他们么?我很茫然,我没有勇气去帮他挪动尸体。我默然怯怯地走开了,没有回头。我知道自己是个懦夫。

我默然恍然地骑着车,旁边一位骑车的市民问我:同学,昨晚到底发生了什么?我没有回答他,我哭了。

快到木樨地了,看到一具尸体静静的躺在路中央,面部被盖着。

又走了不远,北面人行道和一栋大楼下的台阶上,几个市民在呼啸着追赶一位穿军装的人。

我没有停留。

紫竹园附近的路上,孤零零的一辆坦克,顶盖开着。这条路上看不见军队。

终于回到了宿舍,快上午十一点了。宿舍同学问我去哪了,我说出去了一圈,倒头睡了。

六月五日中午,又去了木樨地,弹孔依然可见。复兴医院外有人群,看到医院外墙上贴车布告要家属认领尸体。我顺着人流往里走,从一扇窗外,看到了地板上十几局面部遮住的尸体。

我们学校正门口的电杆上,有布告说本校有两名学生死了,有他们的名字,班级。有人为他们设了灵堂。我去那位88级的灵堂,对着他的遗像,鞠三躬。

传言军队要进驻校园了。有学生要誓死保卫学校,有学生要清校以抗议。路过北大,看见有两位骑车,黑衣,腰间插斧的青年行在黄庄大街上。

同学们纷纷打道回家了。班主任和系里老师走进每个宿舍请求大家回家。

六月九号,我和另外两位同学是班里最后一批离校的。从宿舍到校门口15分钟的路上,往日生龙活虎的校园,只有我们三人。

当公共汽车路过首都体育馆时,我们看到体育馆院内的空地上坐满了全副武装的军人,他们的钢盔在阳光下闪闪发亮。车上的人们大都扭头看着军人的方向,但没有人说话。

六月十一号早晨,数月来杳无音信的我终于踏进了家门。父亲第一句话缓缓的说:饿了吧,赶紧吃早饭。母亲眼里闪着泪花,背过脸去。

那天早上,还有很多父母在等他们的孩子回来。一些,再也没有等到。

Jun 02

Political paradigm

Written by: raventhorn4000 | Filed under:-guest-posts, General | Tags:,
2 Comments » newest 2009-06-15 22:07:41

A supernova occurring on July 4, 1054 formed the Crab Nebula, a well known supernova remnant in Taurus. The ancient Chinese recorded detailed observations. It was a previously unseen star that became for a time bright enough to be visible in the daytime. Some Native American Tribes also made records of the event.

Around the same time, Venice, Genoa, and the Byzantine Empire (or the Eastern Roman Empire) were near their full power. Yet strangely, none of these Christian nations of the time made any observation of the visible event, which lasted almost 2 years.

Historians attributed this to the problem of “paradigm” in scientific theories, where upon the scholars of the Western world were simply unable to break some basic assumptions of their theories, and thus consciously or subconsciously decided to ignore ALL data that does not fit their assumptions.

Western nations of the time, because of the Christian Church, believed in the “Immutable Heaven”, ie. the “celestial sphere” cannot change.

**
Some historians have explained also, that Chinese astronomers were not bound by any theoretical assumptions, and therefore, they were able to make very detailed and accurate observations of the stars, without worrying about running into contradicting “Holy assumptions” of their times.

On the same explanation, there was a general argument that ancient Chinese were less interested in “theoretical causes”, ie. they didn’t bother to formulate too many theories about “why”.

Afterall, with the volumes of astronomical data in the Chinese historical archives, and the amazing astrological clocks built by the ancient Chinese, why is it that the Chinese never bothered to make many models for the solar system??

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Some have also theorized that the Chinese version of the “scientific theory” is more about systematic “trial and error” rather than a “Method and test” (as in the Western and modern scientific methodology).

Indeed, many Chinese inventions and discoveries were often more based upon “accidents”, rather than any methods of search.

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Of course, now we assume that the “Method and test” scientific method is the better way to get at the truth.

But we also know that historically, the “method and test” method has ran headlong into the “paradigm” problem over and over again.

**

On the parallel of Political theories, analogous systems are seen in modern China and the West.

China, with its “trial and error” method of political reforms and leadership selections. Versus the West, “Method” is always right, regardless of the actual results.

Which one is better?

But let us challenge another basic assumption, Is the Chinese system really simply “trial and error”???

One could argue that one can develop mathematics and algebra by simple “trial and error”. Afterall, if one count the results of “1+1”, one can easily arrive at 2 as the answer.

One can reach “result oriented theories”, ie. 1 star will be at this location at this particular time of the year, just by repeated detailed observations. Without ever having known the composition or actual location of the star itself.

Given the problem of “paradigm”, I would posit that the “Western Method” of “democracy” is in a problem of “paradigm”, that its assumptions of “correctness” is simply another way for the adherents to ignore unwanted data.

In actuality, all political systems are based upon “trial and error”. Trying to develop a method to explain the correctness of own’s “accidental choice” is rather like explaining why one rolled a 5 in craps. Yes, you rolled the dice, but it’s not really a choice.