Tag Archives: Social Media
- Sunday on Facebook: My wife’s paper has just arrived with the self congratulatory front page headline of, New Law To Tackle Moped Muggers. I wasn’t aware that we needed a new law, I thought that such people were already breaking the law. The problem seems to be in apprehending those responsible for breaking the law. Making new laws brings no comfort to my wife who now imagines a mugger being every moped rider and is now pressurising me to install more home security.
This week on Facebook: Last week I wrote about Political Meritocracy & Authoritarian Democracy and would that global politics could be divided neatly between ‘the political good and the political bad’. One of the problems in trying to write objectively is that of history and the version of it that people choose to believe in. The justification for any conflict by one State with another is set by the victor in any conflict, in reality the contemporaneous reasons for conflicts are always subject changes driven by politics. These are used to disguise the economic and political justifications behind the conflict, with the victor and the vanquished each presenting their own version to it.
Such was the case when I wrote about the 2011 conflict in Libya — Sticks and Stones and looking back even further the 2003 conflict in Iraq that I wrote about in A Chilcot Retort! Both conflicts initiated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), whereby 29 North American and European countries signed a 1949 treaty to constitute a collective defence in response to an attack by any external party.
China’s actions in Xinjiang illustrates the power written into the constitution of the State and the significance that freedom of expression contributes to a democracy. Regardless of the State constitution it’s clear the all States propagate disinformation and it is only a constitutional right to freedom of expression that can exposes it and its initiators.
China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other: Kashgar, the largest Uighur city, has four camps, of which the largest is in Number 5 Middle School. A local security chief said in 2017 that “approximately 120,000” people were being held in the city. In Korla, in the middle of the province, a security official recently said the camps are so full that officials in them are begging the police to stop bringing people.
Xinjiang Authorities Subsidise Uighurs to Relocate to Han Districts of Urumqi: As part of a bid to promote ethnic “friendship” and stability following his appointment in August 2016, Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo initiated a new “become relatives” policy in October which aimed to assign a Han Chinese “relative” to each Uyghur household who would monitor the family’s adherence to Chinese rule and report its activities to the authorities.
China created a new terrorist threat by repressing secessionist fervour in its western frontier: In the 1940s, the Uighurs enlisted the help of the Soviet Union to create a separatist state, called the East Turkestan Republic. As close cultural and ethnic cousins of the Uighurs, the Turkish lent a hand in the administrative and cultural shaping of the republic. It didn’t last; five years later, the USSR’s loyalties switched to Chairman Mao, and the Russians helped The Communist People’s Liberation Army recapture the nascent state. In October 1949, East Turkestan was absorbed into Communist China.
Terror threats transform China’s Uighur heartland into security state: China says it faces a serious threat from Islamist extremists in this far Western Xinjiang region. Beijing accuses separatists among the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority there of stirring up tensions with the ethnic Han Chinese majority and plotting attacks elsewhere in China. A historic trading post, Kashgar is also central to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign and economic policy involving massive infrastructure spending linking China to Asia, the Middle East and beyond.
On Uighurs, Han, and general racial attitudes in China: Your mentioning the sign [“Han Chinese only”] in Xinjiang provides half the question. It’s pretty obvious why the Uighurs are angry, but that doesn’t explain why Han Chinese in Xinjiang are angry. I think that if you see this simply as a majority group trying to crush a minority group, then you miss the fact that the average Han Chinese in Xinjiang probably feels as oppressed and repressed as the Uighurs, and since they are competing for the same pool of jobs. Just because you are Han Chinese doesn’t mean that you are going to be in the Politburo.
Referenced Articles & Books: A book or pdf (usually free), or simply a url that may sometimes link to a download that is also usually free. Sometimes a link to JSTOR is used, this lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
Han Migration to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Between State Schemes and Migrants’ Strategies (JSTOR): Post-1949 Han migration to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China is a hotly debated issue among Xinjiang scholars as well as among the population of the region itself. While it is often discussed as a large-scale historical process using statistical data, in this article I argue for a more differentiated view of Han migrants. I demonstrate that in the popular discourse, migrants are distinguished into numerous categories like Bingtuaners, Profit-Driven Migrants, Border Supporters, Qualified Personnel, Educated Youth and others. Accordingly, I argue that Han migrants to Xinjiang should not be understood as a homogeneous category of participants in a singular state project intended to establish state control over the region. High return rates demonstrate that state attempts to make Han migrants settle in Xinjiang are only partly successful and that migrants follow their own strategies when the situation permits, rather than fulfill the government’s plans. Individuals who have migrated since the 1980s are especially careful in their assessment of the economic incentives of settlement and many decide to remain mobile.
Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.
Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post
All Fool’s Day seems an appropriate time to post a short piece about; Morituri te Salutant, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, an allusion to H. Rider Haggard (well, more Horace Rumpole really): leading to the ‘Money Advice Service’ on UK funeral costs. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Is prosperity and wealth the same thing I asked myself a year ago and concluded that it depended on how you defined each word and who that definition applied to:
Oxfam thinks that $8-coffee-drinking millennials with student debt are amongst the world’s neediest and they are if you define wealth without taking into account its context. A millennial who can indulge in an $8 cup of coffee may not be wealthy but is certainly prosperous. The Scramble for Growth! (Aasof’s Reflections)
This week on Facebook: Increasingly there is a notion that our cyborg traits are in conflict with those traits that determine our ethics and that of our humanity, and yet for the centuries, scientists speculated that we could tap into the body’s system to restore lost functions or enhance our powers, like machines. The concept of acupuncture, which began in China at least 2,500 years ago, premised that there are essential patterns of energy flow (Qi) throughout the body. Modern human cybernetic enhancements emulate the stimuli flowing throughout the body by creating pulses of electrical energy.
Perhaps it is always the human creative ability to form images, ideas, and sensations in the mind without any immediate input of the senses, and an innate ability to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from sense perceptions of a shared world that has led to our success as a species. Such imaginings are readily recognised in an artistic world, for example; literature, writing, art, poetry, but imagineering is hardly ever given recognition and credit in the technological world. Yet it may well be the artistic world of imagineering that has led to this world of cyborgs.
This week on Facebook: The voting system used by Ranker suggests that female authors are remembered better than female artists (I wonder how many can name famous female authors prior to the 19th century?).
The word painters is used instead of artist to identify (in this case) female artists from those to whom a much wider genre is generally applied to the word ‘artist‘.
If the following seems an homage to the now ‘famous’ feminist art historian Linda Nochlin who changed the art world with her 1971 essay in which she asked, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists”?¹ Perhaps it can be read as such!
This week on Facebook: The article that it is claimed everyone has been talking about doesn’t include me, I only came across ‘What the Internet is doing to our brains’ when I began researching what and why we read. Last week I posted a link to an audio recording of the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, this was quite interesting as in the English version on Librivox, each chapter of the novel was (for the most part) read by different contributor. Read more of this post
Today on Facebook: For someone who wrote with an element of disdain about Les Misérables last week, it may be that I should have finished with the book and the latest film offering on that note. However, my research into Les Misérables led me to an old version of Slate’s Culture Brow Beat where I found an article that questioned the length of Hugo’s novel. Not wanting to distract from last weeks post, and wondering how to use the article, I placed it here¹. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Or should I say, “Everything you always wanted to know about ‘Les Mis’ but were afraid to ask”. I like musicals but have been put off ‘Les Mis’ by colleagues who cannot fail to talk about it in anything but rapturous, perhaps even reverential tones. Whether they are waxing lyrically about a stage production, the film, a DVD or simply a CD of the music from it, their adoration of ‘Les Mis’ has driven me further and further from any desire to watch or listen to the music from ‘Les Mis’. I don’t know what conclusions I would draw were to see the show in any form.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo has had many adaptations over time, but perhaps non that have induced the fervour of the musical adaptation than what has become known as ‘Les Mis’.
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