…for 2017, anyhow.
It’s still half an hour to the New Year but I won’t wait up for it. What’s surprising to me is my total lack of fanfare and fuss over the transition. In the past I always treated the threshhold like some momentous occasion. But not so this year. I really must be getting old.
Good night, and see you tomorrow.
History, Space, and Ethnicity: The Chinese Worldview is a relatively short article on how the pre-contact Chinese viewed their place in the world. From the introduction:
(1) What was the Chinese perception of the world, or world history, before China came into close contact with the rest of the world in the nineteenth century? And (2) how did this perception affect the work of historians from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) onward?
I am just about to finish a book on Islamic history, bookmarking this for future reference.
HBR summarizes the big corporate mergers of 2017 and how they will shape the big movements in years to come. Primarily US-centric but it does give a way of looking at the direction of corporations. The areas this past year are in health and pharma, transportation, media and entertainment, retail, and manufacturing.
I just discovered DUST, a YouTube channel that showcases short science fiction films. There are a few hits and a few misses but all in all they’re enjoyable and refreshing to watch as compared to mainstream Hollywood fare.
DUST featured Genghis Khan Conquers the Moon recently and though I found the story somewhat middling (a consequence of its limited length) I was amazed at the two lead actors they snagged: Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shao Khan from Mortal Kombat) and James Hong (Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China and Po’s Dad in Kung Fu Panda). Quite a pedigree for a student film!
A capsule history of how the kilt came to be. It was born out of a royal ban and out of workman’s necessity, but its rise as a symbol of national identity was due to an equally famed author.
This interview with Cornel West, American philosopher and professor at Harvard and Yale, among other universities, touches on many of the issues and concerns I see in the Philippines, even though West is talking about the situation in the United States. As West sees it, the US has not done enough to tackle the underlying issues of poverty, instead becoming too focused on window dressing solutions like diversity. ‘Black faces in high places’ as he calls it.
There are too many quotable passages so I’ll just leave off with two:
First, on the flag controversy in the US:
For me, every flag is under the cross. So often, the flag becomes an idol to worship or fetishize, to defer before––whereas for a Christian like me, the cross signifies unarmed truth, unconditional love. The flag is always a national symbol, and that national symbol is under unconditional truth, unconditional love––so the cross is always a critique of the flag. I never really thought that the flag required my uncritical allegiance.
Then, on how to face the present tide:
As things become more hopeless, we have to fight more intensely because of issues of integrity, honesty, decency, truth, justice. You have to choose ways of being in the world, even when it looks as if you have very little chance of being victorious at the present moment.