13 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2019
    1. The Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16 was a victory for the East India Company, but not without heavy casualties inflicted on them by soldiers of the Gorkha Kingdom. Impressed by their discipline and ferocity, the British decided to recruit these soldiers starting in 1815. Since then, the Gurkhas have fought on the side of the British Empire in almost every war, including both World Wars.

      Martial races

  2. Jul 2018
    1. It would be deeply unphilosophical to select a favourite living philosopher without questioning the philosophical assumptions underpinning the task. The emphasis on great individuals reflects an emphasis on innovation, an idea that rationality is best exercised in the solitary thinking of lone minds, and an ideal of autonomy in which we should think not just for ourselves but by ourselves. These are not uniquely western ideas and values but they are more pronounced here than elsewhere in the world. “Authorship of a philosophy resides not in individuals but in groups” For example, although Confucius is revered in China, he is of secondary importance to the school of thought he helped develop. This is Rujia, or the school of the ru (ru is a scholar or learned man, and jia is literally house or family). Confucianism was a term coined by 16th century Jesuit missionaries, superimposing the western value on founding figures on the indigenous tradition. But Confucius saw himself as a preserver of ancient wisdom, not as a creator of a new philosophy. In this way of thinking, authorship of a philosophy resides not in individuals but in groups. Philosophising is a quintessentially collective enterprise. In that spirit, I would nominate the East-West Philosophy Center in Hawai’i as my favourite “philosopher.” It is a unique locus for comparative philosophy, a hub for a community of scholars that extends beyond its formal members. In its orbit are exceptional thinkers like the Confucian philosopher Roger Ames and the Japan specialist Tom Kasulis. Thinkers like these do not receive as much credit as is due in part because non-western philosophy is undervalued but also because they can be dismissed as mere interpreters rather than original thinkers. In fact, all philosophers work in traditions and some of the most creative work has always emerged as a sympathetic response to existing ideas. What is exciting about the work of the likes of Ames and Kasulis is that it breathes new life into old ideas by bringing disparate traditions into dialogue with each other. In contrast, those that plough their lonely furrows risk creeping into stagnation and irrelevance.
  3. Apr 2018
    1. He has since tested his hypothesis in India, which also shows a clear divide in wheat and rice growing regions, with similar results. Almost all the people he questioned are not directly involved in farming, of course – but the historical traditions of their regions are still shaping their thinking. “There’s some inertia in the culture.”
    2. The divide did not seem to correlate with measures of wealth or modernisation, but he noticed that one difference could be the kind of staple crop grown in the region: rice in most southern areas, and wheat in the north. “It splits almost neatly along the Yangtze River,” says Talhelm.Growing rice requires far greater cooperation: it is labour-intensive and requires complex irrigation systems spanning many different farms. Wheat farming, by contrast, takes about half the amount of work and depends on rainfall rather than irrigation, meaning that farmers don’t need to collaborate with their neighbours and can focus on tending their own crops. 
    3. When questioned about their attitudes and behaviours, people in more individualistic, Western societies tend to value personal success over group achievement, which in turn is also associated with the need for greater self-esteem and the pursuit of personal happiness. But this thirst for self-validation also manifests in overconfidence, with many experiments showing that Weird participants are likely to overestimate their abilities. When asked about their competence, for instance, 94% of American professors claimed they were “better than average”.This tendency for self-inflation appears to be almost completely absent in a range of studies across East Asia; in fact, in some cases the participants were more likely to underestimate their abilities than to inflate their sense of self-worth. People living in individualistic societies may also put more emphasis on personal choice and freedom.
    4. But why did the different thinking styles emerge in the first place? The obvious explanation would be that they simply reflect the prevailing philosophies that have come to prominence in each region over time. Nisbett points out that Western philosophers emphasised freedom and independence, whereas Eastern traditions like Taoism tended to focus on concepts of unity. Confucius, for instance, emphasised the “obligations that obtained between emperor and subject, parent and child, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, and between friend and friend”. These diverse ways of viewing the world are embedded in the culture’s literature, education, and political institutions, so it is perhaps of little surprise that those ideas have been internalised, influencing some very basic psychological processes.
  4. Jul 2017
    1. Looking for the latest fashion trends & lifestyle news? Check AMDmode - The best Online Middle East Fashion Magazine covering the latest fashion trends.

  5. Mar 2017
    1. Li Delun, one of the Chinese musicians trained in the West whose career survived the Cultural Revolution, helped lead the revival with a new ideological line, declaring, “People need this product of the West to liberate their cultural thinking from 2,000 years of feudalism.” By the early 1990s, the Chinese government was deliberately encouraging the study of music through its education policy. Students and their parents were keenly aware that musical training could be an advantage in China’s brutal competition for slots at top universities. Knowledge of Beethoven was something to show off, and President Jiang Zemin (in office 1993–2003) enjoyed doing just that, taking the baton to conduct orchestras at state banquets and playing the piano for Western leaders.
    1. “Whenever I play in Korea, I feel like I’m at a rock concert,” says Bell. If there’s any irony to the most quintessentially Western music tradition being kept alive by the East, by now it’s a moot point. Classical music is as Asian as tempura and Spam. Even if it eventually dies in the West, it will have an Asian afterlife, much in the way washed-up American rock bands can still pack stadiums in Manila.
    2. And in contrast to celebrity musicians like Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang, Asians haven’t made much headway into conducting or composing. Asian music education is not famous for its music theory. The Suzuki method, Asia’s most successful classical music export, is a highly mechanical training regimen based on drills and rote memorization, with no emphasis on “feeling” the music
    3. “There was a time when practically every major soloist was Jewish,” says violinist Joshua Bell. “Every Jewish kid grew up wanting to play the violin. Now it’s true among Asians.” (Or at least among Asian parents.)
    1. Bluenose caribou herd

      Many of the same concerns regarding the well-being of the Bluenose caribou herd in the Berger Inquiry are still being discussed today due to continued industrial exploration, specifically regarding oil and gas, in the Northwest Territories and the Arctic. Since oil and gas are still valued resources in our current societies, exploration continues in the North, as described by Anne Dunn and her colleagues in the 2009 Arctic publication. These concerns include changes of habitat due to the introduction or industrial development such as roads, oilfields, mines, etc. The attraction of job opportunity to areas surrounding the Bluenose caribou herd could potentially cause an increase in demand of caribou meat. Increased income as a result of employment for industrial exploration allows for the advancement of hunting methods regarding the locating of caribou and utilization of year-round roads implemented originally for industrial exploration. The concerns regarding the Bluenose East and Bluenose West caribou herds of the Northwest Territories result specifically from oil and gas exploration (Gunn et al. 2009, iii).

      Besides industrial exploration, there are concerns about the population and survival of the Bluenose caribou herd surrounding climate trends. Specifically, warmer temperatures will affect the environmental conditions in which the caribou rely on for sustenance. An increased temperature in the wintertime could correspond to more freeze-thaw cycles (Gunn et al. 2009, iii).

      Regarding population size, according to the Arctic journal, “migratory wild reindeer and caribou numbers have dropped by about one-third since populations peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s”. There are natural periods of abundance and scarcity among migratory tundra caribou herds. These increases and decreases in population size are likely results of “continental climate switches” (Gunn et al. 2009, iii). According to the Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources division, the Bluenose West caribou herd was estimated to have population of 112,000 in 1992. In 2015, its population was estimated to be approximately 15,000. The Bluenose East caribou herd was estimated to have a population of 104,000 in 2000. In 2015, its population was estimated to be between 35,000 and 40,000 (Northwest Territories).

      References

      Gunn, Anne, Don Russell, Robert G. White, and Gary<br> Kofinas. "Facing a Future of Change: Wild<br> Migratory Caribou and Reindeer." Arctic 62, no. 3 (2009): Iii-Vi. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40513303.

      Northwest Territories: Environment and Natural Resources. "Barren-ground Caribou: Northern Herds." Environment and Natural Resources. Accessed March 08, 2017. http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/node/2979.

  6. Oct 2016
    1. If you’re white, you don’t usually need to worry about being monitored by the police.

      Interesting. That NYPD surveillance tower on Pitt Street. Will append sanitized photo at some point. Sad because so many children coming from the Masyrk and Brandeis communities cross Pitt on their way to school.