廷龍政經閱讀 (20120401):相信

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of April 1, 2012


本週所有的閱讀,皆與相信二字相關。尤其推薦Joan Acocella刊於New Yorker的書評,描述美國福音基督教會的見聞,非常發人深思。

Joan Acocella: SEEING AND BELIEVING: Experiences with evangelical congregations (The New Yorker)

Elaine, her “prayer partner”, had terrible problems: she couldn’t pay her rent, but neither could she get a job. She had interview after interview. Before each of them, she and Luhrmann prayed together vigorously, but she received no offer. Elaine said that she understood why: by refusing to grant her a job, Jesus was showing her that he wanted her to depend on him alone. In the end, Elaine decided that she was a prophet.

花總:怎樣在微博扮上流社會 (財新

曬人脈是門大學問,與名伶大導交遊更是雙刃劍:姜文可以有,但友誼必須上溯到十年前,陳道明就算了,以杜憲先生的身份可破例;Jacky Chan 可以不認識,Jet Lee 只局限於在慈善活動上偶遇;你要關心張元的近況,去崔健的《藍色骨頭》片場探過班;絕不要與國際章出現在同一畫面。

The Economist: Old Hands (The Economist)

The Economist rendered too kind a verdict upon Mao’s death in 1976. Among other accomplishments, he was credited with having built an “egalitarian state where nobody starves”; true, perhaps, that nobody was starving to death at the moment of writing, but the horrible fact that 20m to 30m of Mao’s subjects had perished in famine would emerge only years later.

Time Requarth and Meehan Crist: It’s All in Your Head: The Problems with Johah Lehrer’s Imagine (The Millions)

We need good translators of science to the general public, and Lehrer has the public’s ear and the public’s trust. He is at his best when putting his considerable talents to the task of telling a story that is true according to the facts as we know them, rather than telling a story people want to hear.

Richard Wolin: Dreaming in Chinese — On A Recent Trip to China (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Today, communist precepts live on as a type of ideological window-dressing, veiling the CCP’s authoritarian political rule. Ironically, whereas formerly “Mao Zedong Thought” was utilized to foment revolution, today, as the bedrock of CCP orthodoxy, it is used to deter the prospect of contestation from below as well as political radicalism of any and every stripe. As such, Maoist doctrine has been reduced to a conservative vehicle of state legitimation.


廷龍政經閱讀 (20120325):向一國一制進發

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of March 25, 2012


Banyan: Wolf in pig’s clothing(The Economist

To foist Mr Tang on Hong Kong, when it clearly does not want him, might cause real anger. It would also install an incumbent who might struggle for re-election in 2017, when China has promised “universal suffrage”, though how candidates prove their eligibility is yet to be decided. So by securing victory for Mr Leung, China could win kudos for taking popular opinion into account, yet still install a loyal chief.

林行止:順利過渡寫上句號 從今而後逐步華化 (信報


Ann Patchett: Has the Sexual Revolution Been Good for Women? Yes (Wall Street Journal)

It is astonishing, really, this ability we have to complicate things. But we have complicated things, and we will continue to do so. The last time I checked, sex was one of the loveliest of human activities, and it deserves our respect. It’s where we came from, every single one of us, and so in that sense, if perhaps no other, we should manage to find common ground.

Jonathan Haidt: Forget the Money, Follow the Sacredness (New York TImes)

Despite what you might have learned in Economics 101, people aren’t always selfish. In politics, they’re more often groupish. When people feel that a group they value — be it racial, religious, regional or ideological — is under attack, they rally to its defense, even at some cost to themselves. We evolved to be tribal, and politics is a competition among coalitions of tribes.

William Finnegan: Emmett Till in Sanford (New Yorker)

Can the American gun-rights movement ever go too far, politically? In Florida, prosecutors and police associations opposed Stand Your Ground, to no effect. Since the law was passed, the number of “justifiable homicides” has tripled. Last year, according to the Tampa Bay Times, “twice a week, on average, someone’s killing was considered warranted.”

廷龍政經閱讀 (20120318):劇變

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of March 18, 2012







Sir Jonathan Ive: The iMan cometh (London Evening Standard)

What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but then the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.

Dick Teresi: What You Lose When You Sign That Donor Card (Wall Street Journal)

The last time I renewed my driver’s license, the clerk at the DMV asked if she should check me off as an organ donor. I said no. She looked at me and asked again. I said, “No. Just check the box that says, ‘I am a heartless, selfish bastard.'”

Nicholas Kristof: Viral Video, Vicious Warlord (New York Times)

The video doesn’t contain errors, but it does simplify things greatly to hold attention. Complexity is, er, complicated: It has been a leading excuse for inaction during atrocities — during the Armenian genocide, during the Holocaust, during Rwanda, during the Bosnian slaughter. Each episode truly was complicated, but, in retrospect, we let nuance paralyze us.

Paul Graham: Frightening Ambitious Startup Ideas (paulgraham.com)

In 2004 Bill Clinton found he was feeling short of breath. Doctors discovered that several of his arteries were over 90% blocked and 3 days later he had a quadruple bypass. It seems reasonable to assume Bill Clinton has the best medical care available. And yet even he had to wait till his arteries were over 90% blocked to learn that the number was over 90%.

廷龍政經閱讀 (20120311):抵制梁振英 Anyone But CY

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of March 11, 2012







城市: 一個極複雜的個體 (二十一世紀


Matt McAllester: America is Stealing the World’s Doctors (NYT Magazine)

In a globalized economy, the countries that pay the most and offer the greatest chance for advancement tend to get the top talent. South America’s best soccer players generally migrate to Europe, where the salaries are high and the tournaments are glitzier than those in Brazil or Argentina. Many top high-tech workers from India and China move to the United States to work for American companies. And the United States, with its high salaries and technological innovation, is also the world’s most powerful magnet for doctors, attracting more every year than Britain, Canada and Australia — the next most popular destinations for migrating doctors — combined.

Adam Gopnik: The Big Reveal (New Yorker)

The histories of faiths are all essentially the same: a vague and ambiguous millennial doctrine preached by a charismatic founder, Marx or Jesus; mystical variants held by the first generations of followers; and a militant consensus put firmly in place by the power-achieving generation.

Need Burton: Why Is It So Difficult to Do… Nothing at All? (Psychology Today)

The manic defence is the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract the conscious mind either with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings. A general example of the manic defence is the person who spends all of his time rushing around from one task to the next, and who is unable to tolerate even short periods of inactivity. For this person, even leisure time consists in a series of discrete programmed activities that he needs to submit to in order to tick off from an actual or mental list.

Benjamin Wallace: Those Fabulous Confabs (New York Magazine)

Smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity. It’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors. It has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon. But are we running out of things to say?

廷龍政經閱讀 (20120304):王澍

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of March 4, 2012

當王澍獲得素有建築界諾貝爾獎之稱的The Pritzker Architecture Prize的時候,香港媒體僅有《蘋果日報》有醒目的整版報道,另一份所謂知識分子大報遲了一天才發出了惜字如金的報道,內地媒體也語焉不詳。王樹的母校同濟大學和東南大學則發出了簡短的電報式快訊,但很快就被書記主任視察的新聞淹沒。即使是豆瓣上一群活躍的建築師們,亦是祝賀中帶着譏諷,或者寥寥數語帶過。一位港大的建築學副教授接受訪問的時候,也居高臨下地勉勵王澍不要驕傲自滿。這個世界怎麼了?


王澍:同濟記變 (時代建築

同濟建築善變,緊跟國外建築的風向,但這種變基本上是風格之變,構思點子大致在這里相當於上海方言中的“噱頭”。 越過這條界線,一但觸及建築語言的根本,問題就變得嚴重。 事實上,人們總是忘記自己正在說的語言,一旦人們開始自覺地註意它,並試圖變革它,就不亞於一場革命。


談論造園這種“情趣”之事,本不該這麼沉重。 中國歷來多四體不勤的書生,李漁是我欣賞的另一位會親手造園的文人,他的文章涉獵如此廣泛,飲食、起居、化妝、造房甚至討論廁所,討論西湖遊船上窗格該用什麼文雅圖樣,他和袁枚相似,敢開風氣之先,甘冒流俗非議,反抗社會,但敞開胸懷擁抱生活。 這類文士是真能造園的,我們今天的社會同樣偷要這樣一種文士去和建築活動結合,但培養這樣一種人,一種本土文化的活載體,恐怕是今日大學教育難以勝任的。


這些居民才是真正的城市居民,我的老師,他們明白建造房屋的目的:為了一種生活世界的再生。 除此之外,不想表達任何其他的意義。 我曾經談過“建築”與“房子”的區別,不談建築,只造房子,既是為了建造一個寧靜而溫暖的世界,也是為了超越建築本身。 現代建築最無能之處在於,它們首先是一些自足的作品,它們經常找不到返回真實的生活世界的道路。



John F. Kennedy: 1960 Speech on Separation of Church and State (NPR)

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

Ben Macalliseter: Addicted to Data: How an Obsession With Measuring Can Hurt Businesses (The Atlantic)

Measurement can impose a hidden cost on the customer. In Physics, there’s a phenomenon called the Observer Effect. Often confused with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle it refers to the idea that observing a phenomenon can change the phenomenon itself. This is also the case with market research.

David Zweig: What Do Fact-Checkers and Anesthesiologists Have in Common? (The Atlantic)

When we read a respected magazine, though we may disagree with the angle of a piece, we rarely think of the veracity of the facts. And that’s one of the reasons great magazine journalism can be so enjoyable—we’re able to read it and enjoy it with our lie-detector, if not turned off, then at least turned way down (the errant Stephen Glass or John D’Agata be damned).