…….Why is the river laughing?

Why, because the sun is tickling the river

…….Why is the river singing?

Because the skylark praised the river’s voice.

…….Why is the river cold?

It remembers being once loved by the snow.

…….How old is the river?

It’s the same age as the forever young springtime.

…….Why does the river never rest?

Well, you see it’s because the mother sea
is waiting for the river to come home.

by Shuntaro Tanikawa
The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry
Vintage Books, 1996

The Lies About World War II


In the aftermath of a war, history cannot be written. The losing side has no one to speak for it. Historians on the winning side are constrained by years of war propaganda that demonized the enemy while obscuring the crimes of the righteous victors. People want to enjoy and feel good about their victory, not learn that their side was responsible for the war or that the war could have been avoided except for the hidden agendas of their own leaders. Historians are also constrained by the unavailability of information. To hide mistakes, corruption, and crimes, governments lock up documents for decades. Memoirs of participants are not yet written. Diaries are lost or withheld from fear of retribution. It is expensive and time consuming to locate witnesses, especially those on the losing side, and to convince them to answer questions. Any account that challenges the “happy account” requires a great deal of confirmation from official documents, interviews, letters, diaries, and memoirs, and even that won’t be enough. For the history of World War II in Europe, these documents can be spread from New Zealand and Australia across Canada and the US through Great Britain and Europe and into Russia. A historian on the track of the truth faces long years of strenuous investigation and development of the acumen to judge and assimilate the evidence he uncovers into a truthful picture of what transpired. The truth is always immensely different from the victor’s war propaganda.

Continue reading “The Lies About World War II”

The most disruptive office distractions, ranked


Open plan office

Of all the distractions that come with working in an office, the biggest is not the room temperature or the traffic sounds from outside. It’s ourselves.

In a survey commissioned by office-equipment maker Poly and conducted by research firm Future Workplace, 76% of respondents said a co-worker talking loudly on the phone created a moderate, high, or very high level of distraction for them while at work in their primary workspace, making it the most commonly cited disruption in the survey. Noise from a co-worker talking nearby was cited by 65% of respondents.

Continue reading “The most disruptive office distractions, ranked”

What Buddhism Taught Me About Product Management


Taken at one of my all-time favorite Airbnb’s in Joshua Tree

The Buddha would have made an excellent product manager ?. He was obsessed with solving people’s problems, he summarized his ideas into handy lists, and he developed simple frameworks for achieving his vision. He was also one of the earliest practitioners of working from first principles, famously sitting under a Bodhi tree for forty nine days straight in order to “see things as they truly were.” ?‍♂️

Continue reading “What Buddhism Taught Me About Product Management”

China has overestimated Trump’s desperation to do a deal


For anyone who has negotiated with either Donald Trump or the Chinese Communist party, the collapse of US-China trade talks thanks to last-minute brinkmanship will come as no surprise.

At noon Beijing time on Friday — midnight Thursday in Washington — the US increased tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent after it accused China of “reneging” on earlier promises at the eleventh hour.

Continue reading “China has overestimated Trump’s desperation to do a deal”

China’s Sinking Online Lenders Seek Lifeline From Big Investors


Can China’s peer-to-peer lending industry be saved?

The prospect seemed far-fetched just a few months ago, when P2P platforms were failing by the dozens and angry investors were protesting in major cities across the country. But after a nearly two-year government campaign to root out fraud and improve lending standards, a potential path to recovery for the world’s biggest P2P market is becoming clearer.

Industry insiders are betting that a handful of closely regulated players will emerge from the cull. They envision a revamped model — similar to the one adopted in America — in which P2P platforms match small borrowers with institutional money managers and banks, instead of individual savers. That would allow China to keep funneling much-needed credit to small companies, while at the same time containing exposure to investors who can bear the risk.

Continue reading “China’s Sinking Online Lenders Seek Lifeline From Big Investors”

100 years of Western hypocrisy: how the ghosts of 1919 still haunt China as it forges its own development path


Opinion: The View by Winston Mok

The failure of the Paris Peace Conference not only led to another world war, it also taught China to be wary of the US-led global order. It triggered the May Fourth Movement and a brand of nationalism that is still potent today

A century ago, Paris was the centre of the world’s attention, including China’s. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, unfair treatment of China triggered the May Fourth Movement – with profound repercussions for China’s intellectual, social and political development. Amid protests and boycotts, Chinese society was radicalised away from intellectual elitism. Western liberal democracy was discredited while Bolshevism’s appeal grew. The Communist Party of China was founded two years later.

Continue reading “100 years of Western hypocrisy: how the ghosts of 1919 still haunt China as it forges its own development path”