My comments on other blogs, blogged.

(ie, the poor man's trackback)

A focus on sex? Beautiful women, also. See Xinhuanet's coverage of this year's China Auto Exhibit in Guangzhou.

Regarding her name, I've seen many Chinese bloggers abbreviating it as "MM" (in roman letters). So would it be even better as Muzi Mei? Beauty of the wood? Wood is beautiful?

Replies are always welcome, Li En. On a second reading of your original post, I can see where your point is, and how my own post was a good example of the single-mindedness you were pointing out. I think the reason some people spend so much time "pontificating" on their own points is because they don't understand what you are saying, that their argument is totally orthogonal to the Chinese reasoning and so completely fails to convince. And that's why these arguments go on for so long, because both Chinese and Westerners are aiming at the wrong targets.

I think that what I wrote is still true, but I see now how it is one-sided and not very useful. Please have patience with me, I'm still learning how to think about this stuff. Your explanation helped a lot.

You're right, it was pretty petty of me to start off that way. It's just hard to see such a dynamic and forward-thinking community bogged down in these debates.

And you're right that there are many bright Chinese who have a clear-headed, but very different opinion on these issues. I just wish more of them would get online so we could have a more balanced discussion... or maybe this is a call for me to be more diligent in practicing my Chinese.

Regardless, I want to emphasize that I greatly appreciate the chance to exchange ideas with mainland Chinese bloggers, and that I support 100% your point showing cultural sensitivity to bloggers on the other side of the cultural divide (and to those in the middle).

First off, let me say that I think this is so cute. The China blogger community has finally gotten large and diverse enough to have its own nasty squabbles, vicious rumors and hurt feelings. Hooray!

Secondly, at the risk of being flamed to cinders, let me state that I think Li En is exactly wrong. This idea that both sides are equally ignorant is a position taken by the weaker side to deny that it's position has less validity than that taken by the more educated crowd. Now, I'm not siding wither either side of the Taiwan argument here. But I don't think the issue is muddy because both sides are ignorant; there was plenty of intelligent conversation from both sides of the argument. And I disagree with his implication that if we were all better educated on Taiwan, we could find a suitable ending for this argument. It's precisely this intelligence that makes us aware that the issue is not at all black and white, and that the only agreement we could reach is to disagree.

Also, let me address the stereotypes that Richard brings up. Not all Americans are dumb. Many of the world's most reknowned universities are in the United States. These universities are host to professors and students that are very intelligent, and also are disproportionately represented online. The Americans who think Tibet is a Wonderland either died before the Watergate scandal (where Americans learned to distrust the government), or are out cleaning their gun racks and marrying their cousins. Please give them more credit, and don't make sweeping generalizations about the nature of ideas held by Americans.

That said, the Chinese don't have some sort of mysical, Oriental advantage over foreigners when it comes to the facts about modern Chinese history. Or even an objective advantage; the history courses that students in China take are heavily tainted by ideology, and frequently misrepresent or ignore certain facts. You hear how certain Chinese people crow about Japanese textbooks nowadays? I imagine the Tibetans will someday do the same regarding Chinese textbooks. Go back and re-read the Taiwan threads (say, on Brainysmurf's site) and you'll find that the more informed comments on both sides of the argument tend to be from Westerners. I sincerely hope that (and look forward to the day when) the Chinese education system will address its shortcomings so that more Chinese people can play a constructive role in the world -- but until they remove these ideological blinders, they are relegating their citizens to a default second fiddle.

double dog dare ya:

$71 at the time of posting.

Edit styles is fun. It's the ultimate in giving up control over the presentation of your webpage.

First of all, the parent/child analogy is very arrogant on the part of the PRC. Taiwan is *not* a child: it's a perfectly capable economy/government/population that has come out *ahead* of the mainland on the road to development. Taiwan doesn't need to be "taught", or "corrected", or brought back home. In fact, it has a democratic system of feedback, namely elections, by which the government can find out the will of the people and follow this will regarding whether or not it will join the mainland.

Regarding the ethnic connection between Taiwan and the mainland, I think it is a very weak argument for bringing Taiwan back to the PRC. The United States is very privileged to be a country having nearly every ethnicity of the world represented in its population. Because of this, we have bonds of friendship and commerce with many, many countries. But this has no bearing on the sovereignty of our government: the democratic government of the United States of America exists by the will/choice of the people (in theory, at least). In my time in China, I found the concept of a multi-ethnic country *extremely* difficult to communicate to mainland Chinese people. I think that understanding this concept would go far towards resolving the Taiwan debate.

To bring this back to the analogy, families don't live together forever. If your brother leaves home to start his own family you can't force him to come back and live at home, forever. It is his choice.

Downloaded Rag Fair, Goto Maki, and the venerable Mr Children. Thanks for making these available, MelodyBomb; it's good to see you back, hope everything is well with you.

Requests? Crystal Kay definitely, for anything else I'll trust your judgement.

I've heard "behind the 8-ball", which I think means you're in a dangerous position because you're going to have to hit the 8-ball before you can do anything else.

"Do an end run" is, I believe, a football term. And "five by five" I've never heard before either.

Is your boss from somewhere exotic? or are we just out of it?

In my limited experience, the only reason Mac IE "sucked" was because the rendering engine was developed (semi-?)independently of the Windows version, which meant a list of new rendering quirks and thus more CSS hacks for designers to keep track of. The reason I put "sucked" in quotes is because the list was much smaller for Mac IE than for any other browsers at the time it came out, and because it extended support to many new CSS properties.

Back on the topic, I think Joe has made design history with his hack (can you call it that?). A real turning point, at least until Longhorn comes out.

For completeness, both in people and in code, I wouldn't forget "Dive Into" Mark Pilgrim. As far as accesibility goes, he's top notch, and would round off your team of designers.

Digital; but not on the wrist, it’s kept in the right front pocket. It is a cheapo made-in-China plastic watch that I picked up for two dollars from a street vendor on my trip through San Jose, Costa Rica. It sets itself back to noon about once a week.

Wow, thanks for pointing out Jewel Boxing, that really is an elegant design. It even got a nod from 37 Signals. Kudos on the nice use of your tabs.

Can I claim prior art on the vertical mini-tabs?

The little black triangles on the navigation links aren’t showing up now due to path issues with the archived style sheet. Anyhow, I’m sure my mini-tabs weren’t completely original either, as this was designed in the hey-day of css-discuss when many innovative ideas about CSS were being bandied about and the box model was being wrestled to the ground. Simon’s comment about IE 5 sounds hauntingly familiar - thank goodness its browser share is not what it used to be.

Anyhow, great work updating this stuff. Particularly the Other Tab, which made me chuckle.

Prof's comments: Sivin is around 70 years old right now, and is not known to have contributed any significant original work to the field in a long time. Not only that, but he still holds ideas that are outmoded about science in China. Regarding the book, a lot of the ideas in the book are too simplistic -- for example, the idea that China was purely bureaucratic, and she echoed the review's criticism that it makes generalizations about a dynamic and evolving China (and Greece) over long periods of time.

That said, this is from the standpoint of somebody who is heavily grounded in the study of science in China, and got that way by reading dozens (if not hundreds) of pieces on the subject, and might think that the only way to truly understand it is through repeating that feat. So you make the call.

Funny, I'm taking a grad seminar right now on the History of Chinese Science. We've read a couple works by Sivin -- he's an academic heavyweight in Sinology for his work in the history of science, and he has a real passion for finding out why people think about nature the way they do. I read the review and I think that for the most part the reviewer is correct in his criticisms. But I would say that this was a *very* ambitious work, and probably a good first try. If I had *any* time to read stuff outside of class I would buy it, read it, and mail it to you. Unfortunately for both of us, that's not likely to happen. Regardless, I'll ask my prof about this book in class tomorrow.