Shanghai

Talk: Dan Washburn on “The Forbidden Game – Golf & the Chinese Dream”, Saturday 8 Nov @ M on the Bund

R.S.V.P. required to M on the Bund
4pm – ¥75 (one drink included)

On Saturday the 8th of November, journalist Dan Washburn will give a talk on the unlikely topic of the Communist Party and golf in China.

Being a bourgeois and counterrevolutionary activity, golf is officially banned in China; in practice, however, party officials play on and profit from the not-so-secret golf courses around the county.

Read a review of Washburn’s book The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream here.

Advertisements

Green Initiatives: Saving Energy through Technology, 16 Oct @ Arup Associates

6:30 pm – R.S.V.P. required to greeninitiatives.cn/
Free Event

Local environmental network Green Initiatives (formerly Green Drinks) are having their monthly forum on Thursday. The topic this time is Saving Energy through Technology. The people who you meet at Green Initiatives events are a great bunch and the speakers are always really inspiring and knowledgeable; in short, it’s a great excuse to grab a drink and do some networking on a Thursday night! Some more information from the organizer’s website:

…in the day of smart technology, energy-saving solutions can quickly be implemented within any given space.

From smart thermostats to sensors, technologies are being innovated to truly change energy consumption patterns without compromising functionality. Nest Labs Inc. has designed a thermostat that learns the user’s schedule and can even detect heat differences between humans and animals. Developers in Sweden have become the first to create a ‘passive house museum’, using only the body heat of visitors and equipment located inside to effectively heat the facility.

This forum will talk about the various innovations, how these technologies are becoming mainstream, and how home and office owners can cut down on their energy consumption with some technological upgrades, equipments and data.

A Random《禮記》Quote on a Wall

When I was walking around last night I came across this quote on the wall of a middle school:

“Isn’t that classical Chinese? I thought Mao got rid of all that.” The quote was attributed to 《禮記·中庸》, which is the “The Doctrine of the Mean” from The Book of Rites. I had to look it up, even if I knew it wouldn’t be worthwhile; whenever there’s a quote like this, it’s invariably something that an ultra-conservative octogenarian back in the early Zhou dynasty thought would be a great way to round off a graduation speech.
And yes,  that was the case this time as well. I found a decent bilingual version of  “The Doctrine of the Mean” translated by A.C. Muller. It turned out the two lines are spliced together from different parts of the text.  The first part, “栽者培之”:

We can also know that Heaven develops each thing according to its preparation. Thus, Heaven nourishes the growing sprout, and throws down the leaning tree.

The second part, “雖愚必明”:

If someone else gets it in one try, I will try one hundred times. If someone else gets it in ten tries, I will try one thousand times. If you are able to follow this Way, then even if you are stupid, you will become enlightened.

So basically, this is the message: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re not the brightest crayon in the box: you’ll eventually learn something if you work hard, and those who work hard will be rewarded’.

The school, by the way, is Peiming Middle School [培明中學], founded in 1925. It’s name comes from the ‘pei’ and the ‘ming’ from the quote above.