艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头

April 6, 2012

WeiWeiCam - bedroom pix

BBC, “艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头

RT @bengmugenr “摄像头果然下线了。难为@aiww了,整天和一帮神经病打交道。他们装摄像头看你可以,你装摄像头帮他们看你却不可以。呵呵,荒唐至极。RT@Scswga: RT @langzichn RT @thisisrui: 艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头”

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中國走上資本主義 邊際革命之路 – Video interview Ning Wang – How China Became Capitalist, co-author with Ronald Coase Nobel Laureate in Economics

March 29, 2012

Kempton interview Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) re their new book How China Became Capitalist

諾貝爾經濟學獎得主高斯(Ronald Coase, 科斯)今年101歲,他與亞利桑那州立大學(Arizona State University)的Ning Wang合作出版一本花了四年時間研究和撰寫的新書(How China Became Capitalist)(我臨時中譯成為《中國微革 走上資本主義之路》)。我很高興有機會訪問Ning。這裡是我跟Ning的英文訪問。(see note 1 re book’s temp Chinese title)

I had a great interview with Ning Wang (co-author with Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics)) to talk about their new book How China Became Capitalist. (Sample Chapter: You can download a free sample book chapter from Palgrave.)

I appreciate very much professor Wang spending over an hour sharing his insight with me about How China Became Capitalist and answering questions I have related to the Chinese economy. The following are edited clips of the video interview. By the way, feel free to share your comments and questions. When I finish reading the book, I plan to arrange another interview with Ning to talk more. And I may be able to incorporate some of the comments/questions into my next interview.

I have edited the interview into 3 clips with a list of questions/themes. Enjoy.

*** Main interview (see below for list of questions/themes)

Main interview (list of questions/themes)

Q1) Can you talk about the Shenzhen stock exchange in mid-90s where it had 300 offices for people to buy or sell stocks when the stock exchange actually had NO official permission to allow for these trades?!

Q2) China is now the world largest producer of Ph.Ds. Yet Qian Xuesen (錢學森), a most respected Chinese scientist asked a sobering question before his death in 2009 and the question is known as the “Qian Puzzle”.

“Why have Chinese universities not produced a single world-class original thinker or innovative scientist since 1949 ?”

Q3) Quoting the book,

“After more than three decades, the Chinese legal system is still far away from where it can “guarantee the equality of all people before the people’s laws and deny anyone the privilege of being above the law.”” 

This is a tough assessment which I agree with very much. Can you share your thoughts?

Q4) So far I’ve only read parts of the book but I feel more pessimistic of the possibility in seeing China makeing positive changes. I’m feeling more constrained by the history I now know. Can you share your thoughts?

Q5) I love this quote in the book,

“Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is very much like traffic in Chinese cities, chaotic and intimidating for many western tourists. Yet Chinese roads deliver more goods and transport more passengers than those in any other country.

Can you share your thoughts?

*** More in-depth questions

List of more in-depth questions/themes

Q1) China’s “Rule by Law” as opposite to the western practice of “Rule of Law“, that one word (“by” vs “of”) makes the difference of night and day! Can you share your thoughts? (see note 2)

Q2) “Do you see institutional arrangement as something culturally oriented or is base upon universally applicable principles? i.e. if every country is of certain uniqueness or that there exists a ‘one size fits all’ economic system?” [Thanks goes to my economist friend Wallace for this question.]

Q3) What is your and prof. Coase’s main discovery or new understanding gained from the years of research compare to the original understanding in 2008 when you started the research?

Q4) Can you talk about research topics that you and prof. Coase like to see more of? Any interesting puzzles worth further research?

*** Background questions about the book

List of background questions/themes about the book

Q1) Can you talk about the process of writing the book with professor Coase? I understand there was the 2008 Chicago Conference on China’s Market Transformation and then the 2010 Chicago Workshop on the Industrial Structure of Production.

Q2) I understand the book title has a history and may be traced back to 1982! Can you talk about it?

Q3) Given Ning’s Ph.D. wasn’t in Economics, how did he get to write this economics book and meet professor Coase?

How China Became Capitalist by Ronald Coase (Nobel Laureate in Economics) & Ning Wang - published Mar 23, 2012

Notes:

1) The book “How China Became Capitalist” currently does NOT have an official Chinese title. I originally translated “How China Became Capitalist” in a straight forward manner as “中國怎樣變成資本主義國家”. And then I found someone else translated it as “中國如何走向資本主義” which seems ok too. But I just realized that a good name can only come after reading the whole book which I haven’t done yet. I thought of using “中國微革 走上資本主義之路” You see, Marginal Revolution is an important concept in the book but its straight forward translation “邊際革命”  doesn’t quite work for me. I like “微革” for Marginal Revolution but I am also coining a new term here. So I am not happy but settling for “中國走上資本主義 邊際革命之路” for now. If “資本主義” is too sensitive to be used, I am ok with “中國邊際革命之路” or “中國微革之路”.

2) During the writing of this post, I found a link to a book chapter “The Institutional Diffusion of Courts in China: Evidence from Survey Data” (pdf) by Pierre F. Landry, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. This book chapter is one of the chapters in the book “Rule By Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes“. While I haven’t read it, it may be something that is worth reading further.


“Hannibal and Me” 美國總統杜魯門在韓戰中大敗於中國? Harry S Truman in Korean War

February 24, 2012

Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

有很多中國人都認為美國總統杜魯門在韓戰中大敗於中國手上,但“Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“ 的作者 Andreas Kluth在以下短片談到他對杜魯門當時處理戰事的見解。 Andreas 是經濟學人(The Economist)的美國西岸通訊員,前駐香港通訊員。

Andreas Kluth, “Hannibal and Me” author, on Harry S Truman – interview extra


“Hannibal and Me” 從文化大革命中的劉少奇學習 – 防人之心不可無

February 24, 2012

Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

近日讀完”Hannibal and Me“一書,書中讓讀者從文化大革命中的劉少奇學習。以下是我訪問 “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“ 的作者 Andreas Kluth談到劉少奇的短片。 Andreas 是經濟學人(The Economist)的美國西岸通訊員,前駐香港通訊員。

Andreas Kluth, “Hannibal and Me” author, on Liu Shaoqi (劉少奇) in Cultural Revolution (文化大革命) – interview extra


Interviewing Andreas Kluth author of “Hannibal and Me”

February 24, 2012

Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

Earlier this week, I had an insightful and fun interview with Andreas Kluth (Google+). Andreas is The Economist‘s US West Coast correspondent and author of a brand new book “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“.

I highly recommend “Hannibal and Me” and will write a book review later. For now, have a watch of my interview with Andreas. I hope to give you a sense of why I love the book so much.

Interviewing Andreas Kluth author of “Hannibal and Me”


Best Defence Against the 50 Cent Army if you support @aiww 帮艾未未时,如何应付五毛党

February 8, 2012

What is 50 Cent Army (五毛党)? According to Wikipedia50 Cent Army/Party is a term for (emphasis added with minor edit),

Internet commentators (网络评论员) hired by the government of the People’s Republic of China (both local and central) or the Communist Party to post comments favorable towards party policies in an attempt to shape and sway public opinion on various Internet message boards.

How did I get myself tangled with the 50 Cent Army (五毛党)? Well, I’ve written about Ai Weiwei (艾未未 @aiww) once in a while since I think he is a great Chinese artist/political activist. Recently, when I tweeted something about Weiwei that got retweeted by @aiww, I would get Twitter mentioned by one of the 50 Cent Army (in this case Twitter user 20uI30a)!

OK, the best defence against the 50 Cent Army (五毛党) is to ignore them. Yes, ignore them! Don’t waste your energy, just ignore them!

In my case, so far I’ve taken one step further to confirm the offending Twitter accounts actually have the telltale signs of 50 Cent Army and I then will block the user and report them for spam. Of course, my act of blocking and reporting the accounts for spam is a complete waste of time! Why? Because these type spam Twitter accounts are disposable accounts! They are automatically created. Once these accounts did their job of wasting your time/energy to read and reply, etc the posters had already moved on to a brand new spam account. The spammers are “smart” and fully expected these accounts to be suspended. So after posting a few tweets (127), they will stop using an account and move on.

So save yourself the time, just ignore the 50 Cent Army. I’ve wasted my time to write this post so that you don’t have to waste your time. :)

P.S. Part of me is sad for people in the 50 Cent Army but then thinking they get 50 cents per post, it makes me laugh at the topsy turvy world of China.


指天罵地 中指森林

January 29, 2012

Pictures of Middle Fingers Salute to the Absentee Ai Weiwei as Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry won U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at Sundance 2012. RT@aiww:指天骂地 RT @denghaoyang:中指森林。@aiww RT @AWWNeverSorry:昨夜 圣丹斯颁奖给@aliklay @AWWNeverSorry @aiww现场,表彰他们’道歉你妹’的反抗精神

For the record, two film reviews from industry respected sources. Excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter review (emphasis added),

“The filming is much of the point: Like Warhol 2.0, Ai documents his surroundings obsessively and views Twitter as a necessity. Through a constant online presence, he has become “Teacher Ai” to a legion of followers, and some of his most important art/politics hybrid projects — like one intent on uncovering facts about the Sichuan earthquake that the government wants buried — rely on their participation. As we spend time with him in his studios and home, Ai seems authentically driven by a need for more freedom than China is currently offering.”

Excerpt from Variety review (emphasis added),

“Rather than dwelling too heavily on his museum shows, much of the film expands upon Ai’s key tweets of the past few years. Hence, the incidents that take precedence include the wrenchingly unjust demolition of his Shanghai artist’s studio and his confrontational attempts to seek justice for a police raid that left him with a bleeding head wound — both major events for Klayman to have caught oncamera.

Among Ai’s better-known work is a series of photographs that feature his extended middle finger superimposed over Tiananmen Square and other iconic sites. Whereas many contemporary artists question authority via their work, Ai does not confine his criticism of hegemony to galleries and museums. Instead, he takes the assault directly to the powers that be, which in turn expands the scope of his work to a form of pseudo-performance art, providing Klayman with a handful of lively “happenings” to include in her film, such as Ai’s heated confrontation with the officer who allegedly beat him.

Though the docu provides occasional insights into Ai’s personality, China serves as the more interesting character here, a complex adversary capable of inspiring a range of creative reactions from the artist. By opening with a metaphor about exceptional cat that has learned to open doors, Klayman stresses the one-in-a-billion odds of someone like Ai existing. The film is a good start, but such an important artist deserves a more rigorous portrait.”

As I tweeted, I am very much looking forward to watch Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Alison has captured some very important moments and stories in Ai Weiwei‘s life and it is about time more of us get to know him.