The Barbarians are Coming

War chariots thunder, horses neigh, the barbarians are coming.

What are we waiting for, young nubile women pointing at the wall,
    the barbarians are coming.

They have heard about a weakened link in the wall.
    So, the barbarians have ears among us.

So deceive yourself with illusions: you are only one woman,
holding one broken brick in the wall.

So deceive yourself with illusions: as if you matter,
that brick and that wall.

The barbarians are coming: they have red beards or beardless
with a top knot.

The barbarians are coming: they are your fathers, brothers,
teachers, lovers; and they are clearly an other.

The barbarians are coming:
If you call me a horse, I must be a horse.
If you call me a bison, I am equally as guilty.

When a thing is true and is correctly described, one doubles
the blame by not admitting it: so, Chuangtzu, himself,
was a barbarian king!

Horse, horse, bison, bison, the barbarians are coming

and how they love to come.
The smells of the great frontier exalt in them!

by Marilyn Chin
from Modern American Poetry

Is the saying: “外儒内法 / Outside Confucian, Inside Legalist” applicable to modern China?

外儒内法 is a simplified term.

Prior to the Emperor Hanwu (the one who adopted Confucianism as the official ideology and promoted 外儒内法), his father and grandfather all used 黄老之道 (the yellow elder’s way) to govern the Empire.

(This painting is trying to show how “relaxed” the society should be and how government should let go of everything like this 黄老/ old man on the left).

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What does の mean in Taiwanese Mandarin?



My theory is that this started it all:

This classic masterpiece from 1986 by Miyazaki Hayao was an immensely popular Japanese film worldwide and possibly the first Japanese production to comprehensively and continually permeate the Chinese world.

To those who read Chinese and know the name of the film in Chinese, the Japanese title also reads 天空之城 and thus people conjecture that の=之 and by extension, の=的 too, since 之 is more common in cultural writing or Classical Chinese than everyday vernacular, where 的 is more common.

Soon, this conjecture became accepted as truth since everyone drew the same conclusion. The marketing people soon appropriated の to denote high quality, since Japan in the late 1980s was an economic powerhouse and its products and services were seen as top quality, the way the Made in Germany is assumed to be top notch too.

As Japan cemented its position as the coolest country in the world, the use of の became even more widespread, for anything that wanted to invoke that same trendy cool factor.

If you want to market something in the Chinese world as trendy, cool, or quality, use の and hope that there won’t be a geopolitical crisis during the campaign!


Tsinghua University may soon top the world league in science research


In China, its rapid rise is not unique

TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY was born out of national humiliation. It was founded in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion—an anti-foreign uprising in 1900—and paid for with the reparations exacted from China by America. Now Tsinghua is a major source of Chinese pride as it contends for accolades for research in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In 2013-16 it produced more of the top 1% most highly cited papers in maths and computing, and more of the 10% most highly cited papers in STEM, than any other university in the world, reckons Simon Marginson of Oxford University (see chart). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) still leads in the top 1% of STEM papers, but Mr Marginson says Tsinghua is on track to be “number one in five years or less”.

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