Thursday, 28 April 2016

What About True Democracy? 講到真普選


Duh... So? What has it got to do with True Democracy?
要講服一個聰明人挺困難。但要說服一個蠢人簡直不可能!

Believe it or not, I’m a traditionalist. I think revolutionaries should have a nominal understanding of what they fight for. I have therefore enclosed two articles (excerpts and links at the end) for the information of Hong Kong’s Democracy Revolutionaries. There are plenty more information about their Cause, but I know I shouldn’t overload.

The first article explains the super complicated phenomenon of “super delegates” or “unbound delegates” in the US. If you can’t fully understand the mechanism, don’t feel bad. Not even ordinary party members do. It’s designed to obfuscate. Suffice to say that each super delegate is equivalent to thousands of ordinary party members in terms of voting power — like a condensed expression of democracy I suppose. 

The second article is a Harvard study which shows American election to be the most unfair among Western Democracies. Hong Kong Revolutionaries who understand English may find these information helpful in their current endeavours, and when the time comes for them to export “True Democracy” — a grand experiment they’re pushing in Hong Kong, between happy hours — to pay back supportive countries such as the United States or United Kingdom.

Since many Freedom Fighters a la Hong Kong are functional illiterates in English and modern Chinese, I’ve prepared a short summary in traditional script for their benefit.

在香港喊破喉嚨爭取「真普選」的民主鬥士們,懂英語的幾位可以自己閱讀以下鏈接的兩篇文章 :第一篇有關「超級委託人」。第二篇是哈佛的專家調查報告:有系統地比較所有西方民主國家的選舉工程後,專家們認為美國選舉的公平性倒數第一。這類資料很多,港式「革命家」應該負荷不了。但能夠咬緊牙關略讀一兩篇,稍微認識民主偶像大美超級金主共和國的「真普選」實況,對他們的革命事業會有幫助。假如有朝一日他們在香港成功爭取到「真普選」的話,說不定可以輸出回灌通通沒有實現「真普選」的英美贊助國,也算投桃報李。

為了照顧英語有限,看不懂原文的港式革命家,我特別用繁體中文粗略歸納了一下,以供參考。

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Tuning into Man's Last Song


I’ve never managed to give a talk according to script. 
But this is a reasonably close approximation of my presentation at 
the University of Hong Kong Main Library on 31 March 2016. 

I discussed the problems of our world today (oh dear) and 
how simulated hindsight had led me to writing Man’s Last Song 


First I’d like to thank the HKU Library for the invitation and excellent organisation. When giving a talk on campus, one never knows who’s in the audience. There could be a specialist present on everything I pretend to know something about. It’s therefore safe to declare my ignorance from the onset. 

I don’t read newspapers, and haven’t had a TV since 1982. These days, I rely mostly on books for attitude reinforcement, and the internet for a selective glimpse of current affairs, avoiding distortions and misdirections by the mainstream media as much as possible. That’s why I won’t protest when someone tells me I don’t know what’s going on. I know they’re right. Just that they often don’t know they also don’t know what’s going on. 

According to my non-mainstream impression, the world has become dangerously disoriented for quite some time now. Nearly everyone, regardless of race, cultural background, nationality, religious affiliation, intelligence, degree of sanity and political persuasion seems to agree on one thing: There’s something wrong with the way things are headed. They just can’t agree on what, why, and how to rectify. Incumbent “universal values” seem to promote perpetual procrastination over major and pressing issues of enormous consequences, and endless debates over petty and abstract ones. Even without any knowledge in anthropology, I suspect that wasn’t how Homo sapiens climbed to the top of the food chain.

Anyways, it’s impossible to list all the problems. Just that some of them will eventually affect the planet, or, more precisely, the suitability of this planet for human habitation at current population level and rate of consumption. 

“笙歌” 的世界


這是我2016331日在香港大學圖書館的演講的中文譯本
細節跟現場所述雖然有分別,但希望基本上能反映當晚很有意思的探討和交流答問



首先我要感謝港大圖書館的邀請和安排。我知道在大學校園演說要特別小心。座上臥虎藏龍,所有我平時裝懂的課題,都可能有專家在場。為保險計,我想首先來個自白。

1982年到今天,我家裡都沒有電視。最近十多年我更戒絕了報紙。今天我對世情的模糊印象,主要來自書本和篩選過的互聯網消息,盡量避免了主流傳媒的誤導和污染。所以每當有人指穿我不知所謂,我例不反駁。因為我心知是事實,只不過他們不知自己也是一無所知的迷道中人而已。

根據我的非主流印象,今天的世界一塌糊塗,程度史無前例。這不是由於我個人悲觀,或神經衰弱。全球人士不論背景,唯一的共識是世界不對版了。至於如何走樣,則看法很多,無法一致,更莫論應對方法了。當今流行的 「普世價值」,最顯著的效果似乎是瑣碎事爭辯不休,大談原則;與人類未來有關鍵性影響的巨大事情,則猶疑不決,一拖再拖。我雖然不懂人類學,但夠膽打賭:我們的祖先當初肯定不是光靠嘴巴當上了動物霸主的。

當今人類面對的問題多不勝數,繼續惡化的話,其中不少會影響地球繼續負荷現時的人口水平和資源需求的能力,可以說事關重大。

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

A Little Soho Story 蘇豪區的小故事



Ah! Soho! Sounds so Chinese. But the name originated in London, probably as hunting grounds for Henry Number Eight and friends. Nobody’s sure. Gradually, the area was taken over by brothels and bars and restaurants, pleasure establishments favoured by privileged gentlemen after shooting foxes. Since the 1980s, prostitutes have been replaced by high margin shops and posh restaurants. Foxes had been long gone. 

蘇豪這個名字很有中國味道,出處卻在倫敦。據說蘇豪區原來是亨利八號和哥們的狩獵場。貴族獵狐完畢,都要輕鬆一下。於是妓院,酒吧和食肆慢慢蓬勃起來。自八十年代後,貨真價實的妓女雖然佔地不多,也難逃被貨真價不實的高級商鋪取代。不知為何,蘇豪這名字甚受歡迎。紐約抄了之後,香港又抄。美國人抄襲肯定有一番道理,說 Soho 代表 South of Houston 街。於是香港連這命名之術也照抄,話 Soho 代表 「荷里活道之南」 -South of Hollywood 才真。其實 Soho 位置在歌賦街以北,叫做 No Go (North of Gough Street)會較有創意。不過香港的強項是抄襲,和取笑大陸人抄襲,不是創新。 

The name Soho attracts copycats for some reason. It’s been recycled in New York and Hong Kong at least. Soho, after due American justification, means South of Houston Street in NYC. Hong Kong  feels the need to copy semanticity as well, and claims it stands for South of Hollywood Road. But Soho Hong Kong is also north of Gough Street. Why not call it NoGo instead? Too original I suppose. I personally prefer the vagueness of Soho London; truly seminal things tend to be shrouded by time, elusive to definition.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Trump for President



The US election is a reality show which many outsiders follow as if their own. But non-Americans of the Brave New World should remember there’s no point agonising over the theatric competition. Entertainment is just entertainment. Don’t risk hypertension over it. Moreover, pardon my perennial repetition: Whoever wins makes no difference. That said, I still have an impertinent preference for Donald I over Clinton II, and I’m not even being sarcastic.

Many non-Americans irrationally cringe at the prospect of a President Trump. Well, I confess I wouldn’t want a friend like him. My contact list is full. But the arguments against him, from an outsider’s perspective, are mostly invalid or irrelevant.

我也來撐唐納德



美國大選就像一場連載真人秀。很多外人越看越投入,連自己不是美國人也忘記了。看到唐納德這個混蛋越戰越勇,血壓跟著上升。這個壞傢伙也可以當總統!氣死人了!見到他那髮型,真不開胃!我奉勸大家且不要動氣。第一,這是美國大選,不關咱們屁事。第二,民主選舉不過娛樂事業,誰當選最後都一樣。看了哪麼多場表演還看不出來,不會是腦筋出了毛病吧?

不錯,唐納德擺明是個混蛋。但哪個美國政客不是呢?布希一世不是?布希二世不是?克林頓一世不是?和平獎得主,無人飛機殺人王,當年以「改革」為競選口號的奧巴馬不是?難道好戰婆娘克林頓二世不是?唐納德不同之處,是他一舉一動都擺明是個徹頭徹尾的大混蛋。在美國政壇,很久沒有見過這樣言行一致的人物了。老實說我也被感動了。

Friday, 26 February 2016

A Beginner Meditator's Reflections




Homo sapiens are but one recent life-form on a mediocre planet in a universe comprising hundreds of billions more impressive ones. Genetically, we overlap banana by about 50%. Nevertheless, probably through some short-term evolutionary mishaps, modern humans manage to disregard these humbling facts with baffling self-confidence. Our contemporaries have no qualms about dismissing “reality” if it transcends their five dull senses. That’s partly why meditation — a human discovery which has been tested for a few thousand years — are commonly viewed with suspicion, even derision, by present-day urbanites. Fortunately, many “amazing” claims of meditation have been verified by inquisitive remnants of our species. Google for researches on the subject by any reputable institution (try Harvard, for example), and you might be surprised by the amount of investigations done in the past few decades.

Naturally, most meditation guides and insights are from accomplished masters. However, the experience of a beginner may prove comforting, if not necessarily helpful, to someone who’s curious about the basics such as what to do during meditation and how to deal with mental noises. I don’t have the answers, of course, but do have conjectures based on a few months of daily practice. I hope they are worth sharing.

初學靜坐筆記



不少摩登 「智人」 都忘記了我們不過是宇宙數以千億星球其中一顆小恆星的表皮寄生新物種,身上的遺傳因子有一半與香蕉相同,客觀說絕不出色。但任何咱們遲鈍六根覺得難以掌握的現象,他們都會毫不猶疑地斷定不應該!不可能!心理作用云云。幸而科研人員的努力,某程度上打擊了21世紀智人的巨大自信。這在量子物理的領域最為明顯。鮮為人知的是,經過幾千年考驗,卻被現代人懷疑的 「靜坐」,這幾十年來亦被科研 「平反」。頂級的中西學府如哈佛之類,都做了大量工作。有興趣不妨花幾分鐘搜狐或Google一下。

大部分有關靜坐的論述和指導文章,都出自高人手筆。不過對一個有興趣卻未開始的人來說,另一個初學者的經驗和 「心得」 可能有更貼身的啓發作用。初學靜坐的人,有兩個最通常的問題。其一是:「打坐時做什麼?」 其二是:「念頭不斷,如何處置?」 這些問題看似簡單,其實很深。我雖然沒有答案,但短短十個月的靜坐經驗,給了我某些大家可能覺得有趣的妄想,便儘管寫出來分享一下吧。

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Hong Kong & Taiwan's "Brain Drain"


The following SCMP article doesn’t surprise me (http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1300687/more-residents-leave-hong-kong-experts-worry-about-brain).  I think a severe “brain drain” has been going on for some time, as evidenced by the high proportion of intellectual dross in the community. 

Historically, HK’s talent outflow was predominantly westward. Now it’s north and west. Both Taiwan and HK suffer a silent leakage of useful people. Silent because the more serious the depletion, the less we hear about it. The mainstream media don’t like the story, and the alternative voices are gone. Two million Taiwanese live in mainland China. Serious enough? Hush hush.

港臺 ”腦外洩“




友人傳來南華早報有關香港人才外流的文章(http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1300687/more-residents-leave-hong-kong-experts-worry-about-brain)雖無新意,卻頗有警示作用。

其實香港的人才外流,英文的所謂 「腦外洩」,已經流了一段時間。稍為留意今天社會上腦渣滓的不尋常比例,便可一瞥端倪。香港過往的腦外洩都往西去,後期回流的也不少。二十一世紀的流向比較多樣,有北有西,有喜有悲。台灣跟香港都有嚴重的腦外洩問題,但聲音不多。傳媒不報道,大家便聽不到。而外洩越嚴重,警號聲便越微弱,因為會發警號的人都跑了。兩百萬台灣人搬了回大陸生活工作,夠嚴重吧!還是別提了。不提便沒有問題啦!台灣是塊民主福地,有美國認同,請大家鼓掌!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

咕嚕的心魔



                                                                                                                               illustration claire tam : clairetam.com
十三年的牢獄生涯快將過去。雖則度日如年,回頭看也不過眨眼之間。
再過五個星期,咕嚕便可以恢復自由,重新做人。
他現在才發覺,做人難,重新做人更難。
太陽出來之後,心魔還有活下去的空間嗎?
————————————————————————————————
Read English Version: Gollum's Demon

一陣壓迫的拍門聲,把咕嚕嚇得坐直起來。
「警察查房!」
他感覺全身冰冷,腦袋空白,像中了邪,也像被點了穴,不能彈動。他感到反胃,卻沒有氣力嘔吐。
外面又敲了三下門,節拍沒有剛才急促,力度也減了大半,似乎有些敷衍,正在拖延時間。門外有人低聲交談。接著是片刻死靜,和鑰匙的混亂金屬聲。
身邊的她,痴痴地望著他。時鐘酒店的窗門,都用黑卡紙封了。一線微弱的陽光,從卡紙間的裂縫擠了進來,正好照著她圓白的臉龐。他剛才努力的汗水,在她的臉上反射著暗淡的晶瑩。兩片瘀紅厚唇,一斑斑的像隔夜豬肝。瘀唇間夾了一束粗糙油膩的長髮。望著她大得異常的微突眼睛,咕嚕突然覺得她好像日本電影中的魔童。
「陳先生,咩事呀?」 她也感覺到氣氛不對勁。
她這一問,倒把他解了穴。他攤開雙手,竪起手指,像魔術師準備變戲法的姿勢:「乖乖,唔好出聲。吁!乖!」 他一邊說,一邊拉濕膩的被單,把她蓋上。
她很乖地讓他將自己蓋起來。她一向都很乖。
門被大力推開。霎那間地動山搖。只有感覺,沒有聲音。
一條光柱直插他雙眼。手電筒的光十分熾熱。整個頭被熱力逼得要爆裂。
「警察!」
被一喝之下,他膀胱失禁。暖暖的尿液不住地流,好像他有個無限大的尿囊。尿液的暖氣把他冰冷的身體解凍。他打了個大冷戰,然後往自己身上和床上猛吐。濕透了的被單,令下面的細小人型更突出。她很乖地捲曲在他身旁,動也不動。
——————

Gollum's Demon

                                                                                                                         illustration claire tam : www.clairetam.com

Gollum will soon be discharged. 
Thirteen years had passed slowly. Some days had felt like eternity. 
Life is hard, but starting a new life is much harder.
The sun will be up soon. Will Demon survive?
______________________________________________________
中文版:咕嚕的心魔


The pounding on the door sends him sitting bolt upright.
“Open! Police check!”
He can’t move or think. All his blood seems to have drained. He’s cold, so cold that he can’t shiver. His stomach is churning, but too weak to throw up.  
Three more knocks, ominously gentler.
An indistinct discussion outside, followed by the confused sound of keys clinking…
She stares up at him. 
Through a chink in the black paper taped over the windows of the hourly motel, a dim shaft of light lands on her waxy oval face. A thick strand of greasy hair, damp with his sweat, is caught between burgundy lips. Plump yet dry and faintly wrinkled, they look like pig livers after a long day at the butcher’s counter.
Her dark round eyes, vacuous and wide like a Japanese voodoo doll’s, reveal a dazed trepidation.
Mud si ah? Chan Sang? What’s the matter Mr. Chan? Her abstract voice unfreezes him. He raises his hands as if to show nothing’s hidden in his palms. 
Shhh. Guai guai. Be good. Be very quiet. Shhh. 
He pulls the clammy blanket over her. She doesn’t protest. She never does. 
The door swings wide open. 
“Police!” A bright light shines on his face. Searing heat penetrates his frozen head, setting off a deafening ring inside. 
Startled, he pees the bed. The urine keeps flowing, as if his bladder is infinite. The warmth feels comforting for an instant. The stomach lets go. He convulses violently, and vomits all over himself and the unmoving shape of her tiny body, curled up against him like a foetus.
__________

Friday, 9 October 2015

Her Majesty and Commies



The irony of history often becomes sharper with time. Given enough of it, the intricate matrix of cause and effect often produces results which were previously unimaginable. The significance of any event does remain “too early to tell” for a very long period. 
In 1792, King George III (Why couldn’t they name them something other than Henry and George to avoid version numbers?) had recently lost the American colonies. It probably drove him nuts, and to pivot towards Africa and Asia. He sent Lord Macartney (who’s also George by the way) to open trade with China. “Get some kind of a free trade agreement, George,” said George. But Britain and China were going through drastically different phases in their life cycles. Britain was in the middle of a world shattering industrial revolution. After centuries of religious bondage, it had discovered a newfound sense of enlightenment, enjoying an unprecedented level of confidence and ambition. On the other hand, the ageing Emperor Qian Long was tired. Go tell your O King Georgie Number Three the Celestial Empire doesn’t need gadgets, he told George lethargically, then dozed off.

英女皇與共產黨


歷史有時像一壇酒,時間可以把它變醇變辣變香變酸。因果循環這東西,並非十年八載可以看得出來的。
話說1792年,英皇喬治三世(外國的皇室替孩子改名似乎不大創新,來來去去不是亨利便是喬治,結果要加版本號辨認)剛剛丟了北美州這大片殖民地,氣得發瘋,於是跟今天的美國一樣,把精力轉移亞非。他派高檔外交家馬戛爾尼伯爵(名字也是喬治!)訪華,要求中國開放市場,最好搞個自貿協議之類。但當時的天朝和大英帝國正處國運循環的對立方位,無法溝通。英國剛擺脫了千多年的宗教枷鎖,啓了蒙,正處工業革命高潮,意氣風發,活力無窮。乾隆則是個快要死的老皇帝,對馬戛爾尼的建議,根本聽不進去。只想要這老外扣扣頭過過癮,然後送點禮物打發回國算數。「喬治先生,回去告訴你的喬治三號,咱天朝啥都有,不需要你們的小玩意。」 皇上說罷,倒頭便睡。

Friday, 11 September 2015

Giving American Citizenship to 300M Chinese is Win-Win



Xi and Obama should seriously discuss granting American citizenship to three hundred million Chinese. It would be a win-win-win solution to many problems.

The Chinese government, authoritarian and terrible according to Western corporate media and miscellaneous China-collapse Voodooists, has an approval rating approaching 80% from the Chinese people, according to reputable surveys such as PEW. Although an order of magnitude more popular than Democratic congresses hovering at single digit approval, it nonetheless means 300 million Chinese are unhappy with their government. That’s a big headache for the Communist Party (CCP). Furthermore, China being big, diverse, scattered and nervously on guard, CIA finds it difficult to fully develop this vast number of potential colour revolutionaries. A valuable human resource capable of causing great havoc is once again frustrated by CCP policies. It’s time that the international community, namely the USA, finds alternative means to get the most out of these disenfranchised Chinese.

給三億中國人美籍是三贏政策




習近平和奧巴馬應該在即將舉行的高峰會議中,研究把三億中國人轉移美國。這是個三贏方案。

根據國際民調機構(如 PEW)的報告,中國政府的民間支持率大概80%。如此高的民望,單數位的「民主國家」 望塵莫及。可惜中國太大。20%的人不滿,代表 3億之眾,不能說不是個大問題。而共產黨又處處刁難戒備,令中情局無法把這批不滿人士組織起來搞 「顏色革命」。看來美國是時候變通,好好利用這批被壓逼的中國人民。

Sunday, 30 August 2015

What Academic Freedom?

鏈接:風馬牛不相及的學術自由

Hong Kong politicshas decomposed into a tiny repertoire of elemental clichés. Nonetheless, they can cause disproportional disruptions when deployed vociferously by ardent sloganeers with singular determination. By far the most overworked slogan is of course —  freedom and democracy. Its become licence to do practically anything without consequence. Well, freedom is pointless if fettered by legal constraints, isnt it? Other banners in the arsenal include, in order of perceived popularity, social justice; freedom of press/speech/expression, academic freedom, and a few other simplistic beauties.

Freedom and democracy, having worked overtime during Occupy Central, is taking a break. Academic freedom has taken centre stage, with the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as backdrop. 

風馬牛不相及的學術自由


香港目前的政治環境簡單得出奇,幾句過期口號可以完全描述。排頭的口號當然是佔中期間每天加班的 「民主自由」 啦。這是免死金牌,跟著喊可以愛啥幹啥,毫無後顧之憂。想落也合理。依然有法有天的話,要自由來幹嘛呢?其他熱門口號,根據熟悉程度排位,大概包括:公義!新聞和言論自由!還有最近紅極一時, 由港大招聘副校長的茶杯颶風引發的 「學術自由」。

長臭瘋話短說,港大正在物色負責人事和財務的副校長。不過副校長的直接上司 「首席副校長」 的職位,也正懸空。有人說稍有份量的學者,都不會上當打這份工。看來這說法不無道理。信不信由你,交給校委會蓋圖章的副校長人選,只有一人:法律系院長陳文敏先生是也。陳先生的背景的確有些非一般。當今的學術界,連教補鍋的也有博士學位。巴士的車身廣告大家有目共睹:綽號化學天王,物理奇葩等中學補習老師,都是博士,比港大副校長要求的學術地位更高,有文革特徵吧!陳先生大概因為沒有進修博士,沒有什麼學術研究可做,比較清閒,於是利用多餘時間幫手創立了「公民黨」。公民黨骨幹都是律師,靠耍法律搵食,所以對法律有種專業性鄙視,完全不放眼內。此外,陳先生身為法律系院長期間,手下戴耀庭先生亂用研究經費,在灣仔佔中環。雖然戴先生有 「民主自由」 免死金牌,最後大概也是不了了之,但身為他事頭的陳先生,有承擔的話,也難辭其責。

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

香江山賊

香江山賊

話說伶仃洋外,有小島香江,遠看似仙山,近看像沙灘。島上住了六七百人,打魚摸蜆為生,也算安居樂業,戶戶炊煙。島民捕來海鮮,自吃不下,拿來炒炒賣賣與經過的夷船商販,日子逐漸富裕。唯富不過三代乃不易真理,靈驗如同魔咒,十中難一幸免。三代下來,不少香江伙子變得渾身妖氣,頭腦恍惚,口臭異常,卻自以為英明俊俏,頻頻照鏡,顧影自畫,並互傳贊美,得意非常。
伙子終日無事,只懂網上閒聊,結果搭上狀棍流氓,繼而勾結花旗役畜,經常借勢取鬧,撒野尋釁。家長嬌寵已慣,那敢責難?大人忙於炒賣,亦無暇理會,便任其生滅。日久,童黨膽子越粗,開始招搖撞騙,欺壓老叟婦孺,還胸纏黃巾,自稱 「天經地義童民黨」,約期舉事。首領自號 「瘋人將軍」,身長五尺多少許,眼神痴瘋,面额無肉,鼻孔朝天,耳後見腮,唇若蜆肉,黃里透黑。見者或不禁失笑,或咬牙切齒,或搖頭嘆息。但瘋人小子得花旗高人傳授,舞得一手「馬桶棍」,能於一尺之內翻雲覆雨,臭氣熏天,被藩王班主吹捧為當今江湖十大高手之一。島民忌之,便任由坐大。

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Caucasus (3) Faces of Armenia & Azerbaijan 高加索掠影(3)阿塞拜疆與亞美尼亞的面


A capella singer in a stone chamber at Garni, Armenia
在亚美尼亚古迹 Garni 石室清唱圣诗的歌手

我將阿塞拜疆與亞美尼亞兩個世仇放在一起,是對他們的一種友好祝願。早在一戰前,這兩族人一有機會便你插我眼珠,我咬你耳朵。20世紀期間,奧斯曼帝國,大英帝國,和蘇聯都先後當過監護人,亦分別播下了新衝突的種子。

By mixing Armenian and Azerbaijani faces in this post, I’ve probably committed a capital offence in both countries. Animosity between the two neighbours goes way back to before WW1, for untraceable reasons which have long been distilled down to elemental hatred. For more than a century now, they’d kick and bite and scratch each other whenever a big guy isn’t around. The Ottoman, British, and Soviet empires had all played guardian here, and sowed new seeds for future conflict.

高加索掠影 The Caucasus (4) -格魯吉亞的面目 Faces of Georgia


Woman outside Church 教堂外的老婦

要瞭解格魯吉亞的處境,失業率是個好參數。蘇聯瓦解後,格魯吉亞獨立,失業率狂飆至85%,社會動蕩了二十多年。現在比較安定,失業率降了下來,仍然停留在65%的懸崖邊上。導遊指出,格魯吉亞人的傳統本領是務農和打仗。現在人口只有三百多萬,要把本事擴大,經濟多元化,談何容易?美國,北約和以色列於是把握機會,大發好心,在一個名為 「軍備培訓」 的資助計劃下,大力培養格魯吉亞人的戰爭天分。

格魯吉亞人給我的印象很淳樸倔強,老實勤勞。但很多人的眼神都帶著幾分無奈與憂戚。


Unemployment in Georgia is a good indicator of the disheartening situation. When first separated from the USSR in 1991, the newborn nation plunged promptly into chaos. Unemployment rocketed to 85%. Relative calmness has been restored, but unemployment still stands at an astounding 65%. Georgians, in the words of the tour guide, are traditionally farmers and warriors. With only 3.5 million of them, holding on to strong traditions, diversifying the economy is much easier dreamt than done. Israel, NATO and the USA are currently helping to develop one of two Georgian talents under an aid programme prosaically and ominously named Arm and Train.

Many Georgians look sad.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Caucasus (1) — A Brief Intro 高加索掠影(1)-文明摇篮的面貌


Azerbaijan 阿塞拜疆

A few months ago, I was still misspelling Caucasus as “Caucuses”. Now that I’ve visited Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia for 18 days, less travel time, I have learnt a few trivia about the Southern Caucasus, and formed some superficial impressions of my own.
老實說,幾個月前,我連高加索是哪個「索」字也搞不清。但花了18天時間參觀南高三國 -- 阿塞拜疆,亞美尼亞,格魯吉亞 --之後,除了知道了一點點他們的歷史文化和風土人情外,也對這歐亞要塞多了幾分模糊印象和片面看法。
Tsminda Sameba Church against Kazbegi 格魯吉亞著名的卡茲別吉風貌

The Caucasus (2) — Religion 高加索掠影(2)-宗教


We are supposed to be tolerant of religion no matter how absurd it is; but religions have not been very tolerant of others. Throughout the Caucasus, there’s nearly nothing left of its pre-Christian glories; they have been brutally destroyed or craftily painted over by organised religions long ago. All that’s left from five millennia of Caucasian civilisation are churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and memories of savage conflicts incited by gods. In less than three weeks, I saw a lifetime’s worth of crosses and churches and monasteries. I suspect there are more crucifixes and monasteries in Armenia and Georgia than in Heaven itself. 
無論多荒誕的宗教,現代文明人都不只要包容,還得尊重。這國際規矩是由宗教文化養大的人定的,不得破壞。但回顧歷史,宗教本身對異見通常不留情面,手起刀落。在有幾千年歷史的高加索,差不多所有古蹟都是四世紀歸奉了基督以後的遺物。在這之前的異教建設,祭祀聖殿之類,都被清洗乾淨,考古無從。幾千年老的文明搖籃,剩下的都是教堂和修道院。我看在亞美尼亞和格魯吉亞的十字架,可能比天堂的還要多。

Pilgrims at Geghard Cave Monastery, Armenia
亞美尼亞 Geghard 山洞修院的朝聖信徒

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Movie Review: September 11, the New Pearl Harbour



September 11, the New Pearl Harbor, a five-hour documentary by Massimo Mazzucco, surprises even a reasonably informed “Conspiracy Theorist” like myself. It's an eye-opening tour of the glaringly questionable tragedy. Mazzucco packs a prodigious amount of irrefutable information into three DVDs without sacrificing clarity, objectivity, or “entertainment values”. Issues are explained in lay terms before queries are raised. Prominent Debunkers — defenders of the official story — then answer or “debunk” these queries. The audience is then left to make his own judgement.
We all like to bemoan mass ignorance, though social stupidity isn’t all bad from a personal standpoint. Contrary to popular belief, humans are actually rather dumb. Nevertheless, intelligence is relative. Having correctly noticed collective dumbness means having seen something with better clarity, or a step ahead of others. Hey, that’s potential competitive advantage, even undeserved profits to the individual — something to be secretly happy about right?

There are exceptions though. The mass gullibility about 911 is unsettling and ominous, like being locked up with a roomful of blind and gung-ho idiots. 911 is a blatant atrocity of historic proportion and consequence, but ironically also the most clearly documented to those who care to look. Yet few would bother. Is it in fact mass connivance with an innocent look, rather than wholesale ignorance of ming-boggling proportion then? More likely, it’s simply too disturbing, even frightening, to look; so everyone turns his head the other way. Life goes on.

影評:911 - 重演珍珠港


Massimo Mazzucco 的紀錄片 September 11, the New Pearl Harbor,收集了大量各方面的證據,足以錄滿三隻 DVD,連播五個小時而毫無冷場。片中把每一個技術論點都以淺易的方法清楚介紹後,才發出疑問。而每一個疑問之後,都播放了各 「官方代言人」 的駁斥,讓觀眾自己作出判斷。
雖然大家都喜歡埋冤 「大眾愚昧」, 但大眾的愚昧其實對個人來說並非壞事。能夠正確洞察到大眾愚昧,等於自己相對聰明,競爭能力相對提升,「搵食」也容易了。不勞而獲或者少勞多得的機會增加了,心底應該暗暗高興才是!不過凡事都有例外。大眾對十五年前 911事件的愚昧,再繼續下去的話,後果會越來越嚴重,不止搞出阿拉伯人命那麼簡單。

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A New EurAsian Century?



While stock markets climb relentlessly, humanity sits blithely at the brink of self-destruction through military conflicts and environmental devastation. But being only at the brink also means we may still be able to avoid it. I believe a key hope depends on how successful Eurasia manages to restore a world order which belongs to the world, not just one or two bullies. Unthinkable? Not according to history.
For years, the Western media have been hyperventilating between China’s “imminent collapse by five in the afternoon” and a looming “Chinese Century”. Entertaining only extreme outcomes, however, they have overlooked a highly probable scenario outside their thinking box — a multi-polar world evolving around a Eurasian axis.  This is a scenario which dominated most of human history until very recently — the last century or two.

夢想亞歐新紀元




這個歌舞昇平,股票飆升的世界,其實十分危險。一下擦槍走火,隨時要承受人類史上最嚴重的災難。不過有危便有機。我相信化解目前危機的一個現實希望,是歐亞攜手創造一個真正屬於大多數人的世界新秩序,擺脫單靠槍桿子打造一言堂的所謂 「世界秩序」。難以想象?但幾千年來,這世界絕大部分時候都由歐亞主導,並非什麼新噱頭。
西方的 「自由傳媒」 散播中國威脅論多年,已成耳邊之風。它們這分鐘預測中國會於今天下午收工前崩潰,另一分鐘估計中國即將取代美國;二十一世紀會是 「中國世紀」 云云。這兩個極端的預測都很刺激,戲劇性豐富,迎合市場口味,卻忽略了最有可能發生,也最應該發生的 「歐亞新秩序」。

Sunday, 7 June 2015

小说 “笙歌” 第五章 之(8)“挖洞型经济(下篇)”

挖洞型經濟(下)

老馬認為發達社會的經濟活動,
很大程度上是你挖一個洞,我來填上,
最後大家都很忙,也有了為事業而努力的目標。。。




續上篇。。。

老馬故意把當年如何按照規則,跟足程序,把項目引進死胡同兜圈的 “業績” 說得眉飛色舞,旨在刺激尊信。尊信果然面色起了反應,越來越紅潤。你這種行為,跟跟跟。。。偷有甚麼分別他終於忍不住要打斷老馬。
有!有天淵之別。老馬竪起食指,肯定地回答。
尊信沒有等他解釋,便繼續說道:政府和納稅人給你工資,指望你做好環保工作。你不但未有盡職,還耍花招把項目搞成大昏迷,薪水卻照支,這不是偷是甚麼?
呃,何止支薪水那麼簡單。我其它的福利和補貼多不勝數呢!
還有,外國的知識產權。。。
這點你放心!政府辦事,最尊重知識產權。這類文章,連原作者的親生媽媽也讀不下去。我肯用,他們都再三感謝賞臉。馬依力頓了一頓,一臉嚴肅地繼續說下去:社會通過人民選出來的代表,清楚說明了他們根本不知道希望我做些甚麼。那我最後沒有執行老闆自己也不明所以的任命,又何來失職之言呢?

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

回覆日本人寫給中國人的信

友人傳來一封網上流行,據說是一個日本人寫給中國人的信。標題很有感嘆,說:「一封日本人寫給中國人的信(讀完心好痛,感覺無法呼吸)」

哈!我看罷此信,卻十分安心,呼吸暢順。文中所提到的很多缺點,的確是中華民族的「弱點」,但也同時是強項,人生就是這樣模稜兩可。「刀沒有兩頭利」,中國的哲人在這方面看得很透,這智慧也深入民間。

「中國人」 對付外族侵略很有經驗,所以很實際,處下風陷絕境之時,不會包條頭巾做 「神風死士」,或剖腹放腸餵野狗。那麼暫時容忍,甚至服從侵略者,是否等於「投降」呢?從歷史的角度看,倒要放長雙眼!蒙古當時是「外族」,打敗了中國,幾百年後變成「中國的少數民族」,在五星旗上一顆小星。與蒙古人一般凶悍,但文化修養較佳的女真人,亦復如是。滿清皇帝最後漢語比自已的母語強。日本人上次給跑掉了,是緣分,否則也是同樣下場,三百年後要受中央政府特別保護,穿和服跳舞娛樂遊客。可惜日本自投羅網的機會可能已經難逢了。。。