廷龍政經閱讀 (20120401):相信

廷龍政經閱讀: The Week of April 1, 2012

愚人節當日,你相信你聽到的東西嗎?不是愚人節的時候,你又能相信多少自己聽到的東西?你相信自己可以同上帝交流嗎?你相信自己的預言能力嗎?

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.

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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

一場過程嚴謹透明但實乃兒戲的選舉結束了。香港未來是否會向一國一制進發?本港的評論以林行止先生最為理性中立。今時今日國際媒體關於香港的有深度的分析已經非常罕見(對比之下,關於溫州上海或者重慶的妙筆生花的分析則鋪天蓋地),唯Economist的一篇陳舊的Banyan尚值一讀。

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

為了二○四七年香港以表裡全華化的面貌和祖國合體,民主化的步伐甚難啟步。新政府要啟動的是「去英化」,下屆政府必會在政府及社會各層面逐步引進與英國沒有密切關係更無聯繫的精英,以遂「以華代英」的改革。由於有關政策在在影響香港經濟發展及社會秩序,因此只會作和風細雨的「微調」、不會有狂風驟雨式的大變動,一切阻撓這種進程的反對力量,不論溫和講理的還是激進非理性的,當局會全力痛擊。不必諱言,今後政府管理(不要再濫用政治這個北京並未賜給香港的名詞)、學校教育……都要朝此方向進發;而內地國企民企,則會更積極地進入香港。

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

今年的第一篇政經文摘的主旨是——2012年將會是令人震驚的一年。現在的事態,無論是臭不可聞的香港特首選舉,還是王氏美使館避難,西南王落馬,於一年前都是極其不可思議的事情。

而“烏有之鄉”一眾宣揚中國式納粹的網站遭整頓,乃是普天同慶的喜事。鼓吹納粹,絕對不是言論自由。真正的自由主義者,決不對反人類的文革餘孽們濫發同情心。

沈旭暉:訪毛記——解讀唐梁撕裂建制之謎(明報

現在民主黨領導的泛民,最大的死穴,就是不敢正面面對剛才談及的內地腐敗,以及它與香港的互動關係。他們只會把中共當成很抽象、很遙遠的物體,就像發明了一個永遠邪惡的撒旦,但這個撒旦是一個無人性的神,但他又不貪婪,只不過獨裁而已,這怎麼可能?泛民不能在理論層面解釋為何香港在回歸後會變得愈來愈差,其實就是源自小圈子選舉,那樣市民就會問﹕「中共一黨專政,與我何干?」

梁慕嫻:地下黨已經殺到身邊(開放

香港評論界知識界避重就輕,無視地下黨問題的嚴重性,不知共產黨已經殺到埋身,劍已出鞘,令香港市民被蒙在鼓裡,不能分辨問題之孰輕孰重,找錯了打擊的對象,輕輕放過這些最沒誠信,最應該窮追猛打的地下黨人,竟讓他們一步步安然登上香港統治階層,實屬非常遺憾的事。

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

無論結局如何,兩週之後的香港特首選舉註定將成為一場醜劇。三個候選人,無一個是我心水,但我知道梁振英如果上台將可能摧毀香港引以為榮的核心價值。如果這樣說讓人感覺模糊,那麼請記住一點——狼先生可能會破壞香港聞名世界的郊野公園系統。

如果你愛香港的郊野公園,如果你不想香港的報紙上出現「開發旅遊資源」這樣的字眼,請誓死抵制梁振英。

我恨不似男人的唐英年,但是我害怕不似善人的梁振英。

蔡東豪:我怕梁振英(信報

美國人視國家公園為民主象徵,以身驅、血汗、金錢、法例去保護,確保世代流傳。香港的郊野公園的確是香港人的驕傲,假如梁振英成為下一任行政長官,由他領導的特區政府,會怎對待這一大片可供地產商發展的土地?市民有辦法保護它嗎?

我怕紫蘿蘭山變成一個樓盤,我怕西貢大浪灣變成一個綜合度假村,我怕梁振英。

城市: 一個極複雜的個體 (二十一世紀

香港的高山、綠地和廣大的郊野也常使那些僅僅把香港當做一個鬧市的人感到驚奇。世界上很少有像香港這樣的城市,還有85%以上的未建設土地。

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?

王澍獲得Pritzker的意義,絲毫不低於劉曉波獲得2010年諾貝爾和平獎——改善人類棲居和工作的環境,即是促進人權。對於那些紮根於自己的土地默默地不屈地奮鬥的人,我們理應給予尊重,至少是真心的祝賀。

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。

王澍:造園與造人(建築師

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。

王澍:那一天(建築與文化

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。

王澍:素樸為家(生活

1987年我24歲,血氣方剛目中無人,寫了一篇很長的論文《當代中國建築學的危機》,批判了整個近代中國建築界的狀態,從各位大師一直批到我的導師為止。大師名字裡,當然有梁思成。那篇文章沒有地方給我發表。

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).