Friday, February 4, 2011


If you plan on being around 10-20 years from now, you might find this talk on China interesting -- given at a TED conference in London. Especially interesting in the last minute of the talk: a picture comparing the size (gigantic) of a 15th century sailing ship in which a Chinese explorer made his way to the coast of East Africa compared to the size of the Pinta (tiny by comparison) in which Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic, also in the 15th century. Another picture is shown of a painting or tapestry from an early Chinese dynasty of people playing what appears to be golf. Point: what we (most Westerners) don't know about the history and culture of China (in particular, but lots of other nations in general) allows us to maintain an air of unjustified superiority in the West. (I recall having the same "Whoa!" experience when watching the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008).

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