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Posts Tagged ‘Society and Culture

Lapham’s Quarterly, a treasure that I want to subscribe to

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Zhongshan Square in the city of Dalian, Liaoni...
Image via Wikipedia

Here is the latest, a chart of Friends, lover and  family of celebrity artists.

In  certain ways I feel cut off from that world of arts and culture epitomized by Lapham’s Quarterly while I’m in Dalian.

My days and nights are dominated by teaching and promoting Globish interests. I expect to soon begin training at 2 different companies in Dalian. The first is a small to medium sized industrial automation manufacturer in Dalian Development Zone. The other is a large international service company, NTT Communications, which has a big backbone IP network in China and many service offices across the middle kingdom.

But I pine for cultural enrichment from the likes of Lapham’s Quarterly. I will have 21 days in August and September to get back to that cultural connection.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/06/10 at 16:53

The seemier side of life of proles in Hong Kong

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You can feel, smell, and see the seeminess of ordinary living in that paragon of Asian luxury, Hong Kong, in this piece from Southern Weekend:

Thx to CDT for this link!

 

Hong Kong
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/11 at 06:21

Quality of life

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Much is written about this and it’s probably the most important factor about living. I am a lucky retiree. I am 73 years old and I enjoy a high level of physical and mental well being. My wife who is 28 years younger than I continues to tell me that I look and act much younger than my biological age. A lot of that has to do with where I was brought up and have lived. Here’s what I look like in a photo taken about a month ago:

I look pretty healthy and lively even at 7AM leaving China earlier this month. This morning I saw the image of a man in Peru looking much the worse for the wear and tear of his life.

Photo by Tomas Munita for NY Times

This is Jesus Guitan, 60, who worked for 17 years at a base metals smelter in Peru. He now suffers from several health problems, which he attributes to the pollution he was exposed to during his working years. It’s this image that got me thinking about the depth and breadth of my well being in comparison with so many less fortunate than I.

And then there is the image of this man in China who clearly has to work very hard for meager wages:

Three men, three different living conditions and three quite different images of well being! I am quite happy with mine, thank you very much!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/06/25 at 08:18

To answer why psychology became the subject he wanted most to study …

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Steven Pinker has written this in NY Times Sunday Magazine:

The very fact that I had to think so hard brought home what scholars of autobiography and memoir have long recognized. None of us know what made us what we are, and when we have to say something, we make up a good story.

Steven Pinker
Image via Wikipedia

An obvious candidate for the real answer is that we are shaped by our genes in ways that none of us can directly know. Of course genes can’t pull the levers of our behavior directly. But they affect the wiring and workings of the brain, and the brain is the seat of our drives, temperaments and patterns of thought. Each of us is dealt a unique hand of tastes and aptitudes, like curiosity, ambition, empathy, a thirst for novelty or for security, a comfort level with the social or the mechanical or the abstract. Some opportunities we come across click with our constitutions and set us along a path in life.

Given the story of where I was born, Barcelona, Spain, and of how I got to live in Canada – my parents were born on Ile Madame next to Cape Breton Island – beginning in mid-July 1940, I have been messing around with the notion of writing the story of my “path in life” to this point.

I am 73some now and in 4 days I fly off to live and work in China, Dalian in Liaoning Province next to the Yellow Sea. So my “path in life” is going to take on a whole new orientation. And there is no doubt that I will blog post about the quirks and turns of that “path in life”.

photo-8

Barcelona
Image via Wikipedia

So writing that memoir, whether it will be semi-fictional and how semi-, takes on a new life.

But it occurs to me that not the least important fact today is that I feel that I have reached a milestone as an “aspiring writer“. In the last week I have wakened, with the help of a continuing conversation about why I write, to the sense that I am now a learning writer and I won’t refer to being an “aspiring writer” any more.

I feel in my gut that that means I have given myself permission to write that memoir in a more deliberate way than I have been doing since I began messing around with it about 12 years ago.

Now I accept that I have to write my way into a way of telling that memoir story in way that compels my interest to write it and then get a sense of it’s value to me most of all, once I have finished the writing of it. If I can do that then I will have a better chance that my completed memoir will have some redeeming interest to my own children and grandchildren, who are the primary audience I am aiming at.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/01/10 at 05:52

“The will to believe is strong in all realms”

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Television journalist...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

From the NY Times commenting on the latest Oprah “will to believe”:

In the book, he wrote not only that he reunited with his wife in New York years after she threw apples to him over the fence, but also that he had actually gone on a

“You’d think somebody would say, ‘Hmm, that’s amazing, let’s just spend an hour or a day seeing how plausible that is,’ ” said

Mr. Andersen compared Mr. Rosenblat to

“The will to believe something that is convenient to believe is strong in all realms,” he said.

I suppose that Oprah’s rep will end up slightly tattered for those who take the trouble to read serious journalism, but many people don’t bother to examine what they prefer to “believe” especially if “Oprah said it!”.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/31 at 05:35

Truly amazing images of foodscapes!

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The Daily Telegraph

Image via Wikipedia

The headline in Telegraph.co.uk reads:

Foodscapes: amazing food art by Carl Warner

He makes them, shoots them and sells ‘em!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/28 at 17:55

Obama moves outside the “box” again

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Excitement and Anxiety Swirl as Chicago Prepares to Host Obama Event - NYTimes.com.jpg

I do believe choosing such a large public setting to spend election night with so many people is a first in US politics, or politics anywhere in the world!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/02 at 05:26

North Korea – a mind numbing image

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North Kor...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Whereas China uses lots of dancers, acrobats and such for Olympic openings, North Korea specializes in gigantic people involvement in ritual state leadership appreciation.

Recent scenes from North Korea - The Big Picture - Boston.com.jpg

Big Picture has a series of images taken by one photographer that give an overall image of mind numbing life and leisure in that edgy totalitarian country.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/09/19 at 06:22

“Ho and the books” about publishing political literature via Danwei

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2 International Finance Centre, the tallest bu...Image via Wikipedia

Quite a story about “Two countries, two systems” that outlines how some freedom to print is allowed in Hong Kong and gets back to China.

Quoted from the Danwei text:

Ho Pin (何频), founder of Mirror Books, one of the best-known political publishers. Ho talks about balancing commercial sensationalism with a desire to give authors an outlet for works that are unpublishable on the mainland.

I will email this piece to Lorne Gunter and John Kay, cheap shot columnists with the National Post.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/19 at 10:15

More about La Leopolda’s sale and other expensive real estate

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The Tower of Babel in the background of a depi...Image via Wikipedia

BBC News has this report

Here’s the last paragraph:

But even the latest record may not last long. Asia’s richest man, industrialist Mukesh Ambani is expected to move into the 27-storey property he has built to house his family and offices in Mumbai next year.

With a value reported to be up to $2bn, the design was said to have be inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/16 at 09:11

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