ecodelta's Comments

43 A Glass Cup of Water on Left Hand

Any Fengshui primer recomendation?
Posted by ecodelta at 2009-03-17 04:48:58. More

42 How Cold is Shanghai Today

I wonder if it is possible to prepare an special dish using this weather effect.

For example, get some fruits , maybe even prepared fruits (cooked for example), put them outside at the right moment and wait till they are covered with ice. Then keep in refrigerator until eat time.

Taste would depend on air quality though. Better do it in a clear area.
Posted by ecodelta at 2009-01-26 06:41:24. More

41 National Flag of China in Airport - Part II

"who accepted our travel papers with a smile.....After being in transit for 14 or 15 hours, it is really nice to feel welcomed when you finally get there."

That is one of the best things a country can do to give a first good impression to visitors... The best flag they can show ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-12-05 14:52:34. More

40 National Flag of China in Airport - Part II

They should put the flag better horizontally.

The yellow stars pattern looks disturbingly like a smiley.

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-12-05 07:05:15. More

39 Bus Seems Better than Taxi

Just found interesting solution for long commuting times for company workers.

Maybe a transport company could be created using that idea. Equip small buses with the necessary hardware: internet and laptop connections. ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-11-08 16:54:59. More

38 I Use Public Transportation Now

Public transportation is good for one's health.

You now wake up earlier and go to bed earlier. What could be better? ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-10-09 01:18:17. More

37 How A Young Couple and a Kid Live in Shanghai

Hhhmmm..... Maybe for some couple it could be a good opportunity for the wife to work as "Tagesmutter" (Mother by day).

I have seen this arrangement in Germany, where kindergarten are also scarce.

Usually a middle age lady, with enough room at home, takes care of kids in the neighborhood at a lower price than a kindergarten.

Another option, is a group of people agree to use the roomiest house of one of them and look for a Tagesmutter.
A Tagesmutter could also be one or several of the members of the group, or a hired, external to the group, person.

Web of trust must be build of course. Nothing that a sort of social network could not help to address.
Internet solutions could also help mothers(and fathers) to ease worries. They could check whenever they want about the kids: Webcams in the room where kids stay, chats with the tagesmutter, mobile phone for tagesmutter...

Maybe a web site could be setup to provide such kind of service. Something similar to what is done with car sharing to easy traffic transportation problems: "Tagesmutter sharing"

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-07-20 18:41:21. More

36 Gas Price and Plastic Bags

Waste is the product of wealth.
But being being wasteful may bring you to poverty again.

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-06-21 21:08:02. More

35 Gas Price and Plastic Bags


Yes. One problem is the way electricity is generated. But the advantage of electricity is that is can be generated from different energy resources.
China may rely now in coal, but in the future it may be otherwise. Coal fired plants can also be improved to reduce polutions. No rocket science technology is needed, and you have less points to control, there not so many coal plants as cars.. ;-)

Besides. If you have the plug in+battery infrastructure in place now, half the work would already be done. When nuclear, hydroelectric or any other energy sources is installed the work will be done.
There are two main goals: energy diversification and emission control

About emission control with buses and trucks... Hybrid technology can also be applied to them, and as you indicate it may be more meaningful to do it with them. Applying hybrid technology to these means of transportation should not be more complicated than cars.

By the way, there are already electric powered buses which uses batteries to bridge the gaps between the street hovering power cables they connect to to get power. Give them more flexibility.
There is also an invention about a transport system, equivalent to capacity to a surface tram system, but thanks to robotics so flexible like bus. It is not tied to a rail network, can use normal roads. And propulsion can be gas+electric combination. But it is patent pending, can say nothing more about it ;-)

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-06-21 11:44:04. More

34 Gas Price and Plastic Bags

Another option would be to provide bags to customers, either of resistant plastic or fabric (with business propaganda).
Customers will pay a fee to use the bags to carry their bought products to their cars or even home.
If the bag is returned they collect the fee back. The shop that provide the bags can get besides a free publicity with that bags, get some additional income providing publicity space for other companies (For example for manufacturers of the products sold in the shop) or using it to announce special offers to attract more customers.

Similar strategy is used in some EU countries. When you buy a drink you pay with the price and additional fee, which is returned when you bring the bottle or can to a recycling collection center in the same or different shop were you bought it.
I think this last environmental friendly policy coming soon to CH too

About cars, I wonder why CH car manufactures are not pushing hybrid plug in cars more intensively. Given that many of car movements in CH are urban,the great concentration of traffic which produces pollution and the demands of foreign gas they produce, a plug in hybrid car could be a good solution.

Plug in option in cars allows to diversify the sources of energy used to power the cars.
Electricity could come from locally generated sources: nuclear, coal, hydroelectric and renewable energies. A greater number of car running total or partially under electric power while circulating in the cities would lower significantly the gas emissions produced by car circulations, and also reducing the consumption of imported gas.
Plug in centers would be installed at home, company and public garages, where the battery will be charged while the car is parked there.

Such hybrid cars could also be optionally equipped with removable battery packs. While circulating in the city the car can be equipped with a battery pack that uses more of the available space in car's trunk. When moving on long trips, well beyond range of electric batteries, and where also more place is needed in car's trunk for baggages, the additional batteries could be removed and the car will run mostly or alone with gas engine.

Additional battery packs shape and connections could be standardized. In this way they could be also be available in gas stations (or electric power stations) for any cars to change them for newly recharged ones.

One usage would be the following. On a long trip to another city, a car owner can leave the additional battery pack on the "electric power station" to be recharged and used by other cars later. After the long trip, when the car approaches its destination, a new additional battery pack could be installed for using during the trips inside destination city.

Maybe a similar solution could also be applied for small trucks.

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-06-21 08:25:59. More

33 Hangzhou Bay Bridge - More Photos

Nice photos.

I am always interested in new infrastructure construction in China.

Thanks for the pics.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-06-07 06:30:28. More

32 Hard to Use Metro Instead of a Car

Or car sharing
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-31 17:17:06. More

31 Hard to Use Metro Instead of a Car

What about motorbike?

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-31 17:14:47. More

30 Hard to Use Metro Instead of a Car

Move to home close to subway station, and if possible with direct line to your office, or at least with as few and easier transfers as possible.

That can widen your options in the housing market.

When I was working abroad I located all subway and city train lines that went to my office. Selected a quiet neighborhood which has a good connection to office in city outskirts, and also to city downtown.

Only needed to use car on weekends to visit touristic sites.

Needed just 20 minutes from house door to office door by bus and subway. Very convenient.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-30 07:00:27. More

29 Leave Home Early to Avoid Traffic Jam

"its true that if you do not use the car your will not show to people that your own a car (status symbol),"

Just wear a T-Shirt in the metro with a photo of your car, and a logo saying "This is my car" ;-)

"1) save petrol money bills in your pockets as well save the cost of car usage"
Saving money could allow you to spare it to buy a better one. Increase of status symbol. ;-)

And you will be contributing to reduce pollution and keep you fitter.
Everything perfect.

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-29 11:07:00. More

28 Leave Home Early to Avoid Traffic Jam

How about Teleworking?

Or Car sharing?

Or taking subway?

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-27 00:50:13. More

27 Still Watching TV about Earthquake

How about a donation banner?

For example

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-18 04:50:54. More

26 Earthquake and Flee from 18th Floor

A system to measure accumulated tensions in tectonic plaques and seismic faults could be build to give a measure of energy accumulated on earth, and possible strength and like hood of earthquakes. I think it is already done in Japan.

Areas can be assigned risk levels according to measurements from such a system. Risk levels will in turn define construction standards and city planing for areas where risk is high or severe.
Same thing for education standards in school and adult people on correct behavior and protection measures during earthquakes.

Redundancies and duplications should be build in transportation, telecommunication and electric power distribution infrastructures in high risk areas.

Same thing should be done with in medical facilities and any installation necessary for providing first help in case of major earthquake.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-13 04:22:27. More

25 Earthquake and Flee from 18th Floor

Glad to know you are safe.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-12 21:37:56. More

24 Introduce Yourself

I'm Alfonso. A Spaniard from Spain. Living in Madrid. I'm Software engineer. Find your blog fascinating. Like your photos a lot. Specially about live, cities and new constructions in China.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-10 16:31:48. More

23 Photos of Shanghai in May, 2008

I find the high voltage lines impressive.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-07 06:46:31. More

22 Photos of Carrefour after Boycott

Best time to go shopping in Carrefour!

No parking problems either :-)

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-04 04:55:56. More

21 Generalization Plays the Trick

For those who can see beyond the GCF here is the link to original text in my previous comment
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-02 20:16:38. More

20 Generalization Plays the Trick

Answering to Chinese grievances

When we were the Sick Man of Asia, We were called The Yellow Peril.
Actually, the Japanese were called the “Yellow Peril.” Kaiser Wilhelm II coined the term after Japan defeated China in the first Sino-Japanese War in 1895. I accept the broader point—that there is a racial component to Western worries about China—but it’s best to be clear about the historical facts. And while the racial element is there, that doesn’t mean that western attitudes can be reduced to racism. The illegitimate aspects of Western fears do not prove that there are no legitimate grounds for concern.

When we are billed to be the next Superpower, we are called The Threat.
Well, yes. Welcome to the club. “Superpower” has never been an unalloyed compliment. China, as you know, has been a leading critic of American hegemony.

When we closed our doors, you smuggled drugs to open markets.
True. That was bad. It is also true that most of the opium smoked in China during the period referred to was grown in China and, of course, transported and smoked by Chinese. That doesn’t excuse Western perfidy, but it does cast doubt on the simplistic Evil Foreigners/Innocent Chinese narrative that is peddled in much Chinese writing about the period. It is also true that, during the same period, the “imperialists” brought the first universities, modern hospitals, women’s education, railroads, streetlights, etc., to China. You might fairly respond that Chinese were perfectly capable of adapting the fruits of modernity to China in their own time and manner, without arrogant foreigners forcing these things upon them while violating China’s sovereignty, exploiting its natural resources, etc. This is the classic argument between colonizers and colonized. Interestingly, China now stands on the colonizer side of the discussion when it defends its actions in Tibet by pointing out how investment has saved the Tibetan people from their own feudal, backward ways. How worms do turn.

When we embrace Free Trade, You blame us for taking away your jobs.
It’s a complicated issue, but the West can be tagged with some hypocrisy on this one. Sorry about the whining. And hey, congratulations on raising the standard of living of so many people. The Chinese have worked hard and deserve to live more comfortably.

When we were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your fair share.
There was some marching, but it wasn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things. Take a look at the experience of countries that were really colonized, like the Belgian Congo, to put China’s experience in perspective. Again, the forcing open of China’s door brought benefits to China together with the insults and exploitation. See the “What did the Romans ever do for us?” scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet you screamed, It Was an Invasion!
The history of Sino-Tibetan relations is more complex that either the People’s Daily or the Free Tibet movement claim. For a balanced discussion, listen to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ recent conference call at here.

When we tried Communism, you hated us for being Communist.
True, more or less. And China hated America for being a capitalist liberal democracy. It was a hate- and fear-filled time all around.

When we embrace Capitalism, you hate us for being Capitalist.
Not exactly. But America does fear China, in part, because China is gaining wealth and power through following (with Chinese characteristics) prescriptions that were offered by the West.

When we have a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.
The United States is obviously not in any position to offer a moral critique of environmental destruction wrought by other nations. But it is in an excellent position to offer observations from environmental science, to describe best practices based on long experience, and to promote greener technologies in concert with the many Chinese, in and out of government, who are concerned about China’s poisoning of its own land, air, and water. The complaint in this line is symptomatic of one of the most dangerous (and charmless) Chinese psycho-rhetorical moves: the tendency to focus on the emotional response to a critique—the perceived insult—rather than the factual claims of a critique. My suggestion is that the Chinese ignore the insults, evaluate the facts, and clean up China’s environment for the sake of the Chinese themselves.

When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.
The issue was not the goal, but the methods. In my experience, most Chinese support the One Child policy, at least in theory, even as they are saddened by it. This difficult moral equation is best worked out by the Chinese themselves. But I would have more confidence in China’s ability to create an effective and humane population policy if every aspect of the issue could be openly debated and continually re-evaluated.

When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.
This is untrue, and the self-pity in the line is worrisome. America’s long record of sympathy for China’s poverty is one of the brighter spots in the history of bilateral relations. Americans have donated money, materiel, expertise, and, in some cases, their lives to alleviate Chinese suffering. While China’s great material progress is due primarily to the hard work and sacrifice of the Chinese people, one would be hard-pressed to point to any aspect of China’s development that has no connection to the United States. There was some condescension and self-aggrandizement in American sympathy for China, but it’s an imperfect world and motives are always mixed.

When we loan you cash, you blame us for your national debts.
Yeah. Sorry about that. And thanks for the cash.

When we build our industries, you call us Polluters.
China’s industries are major polluters, as China itself acknowledges. America is a major polluter too. We must work on the issue together. Again, the tone of the line is worrisome: one should be able to point out, as a matter of fact, that a country is producing a lot of pollution, without being accused of “calling that nation a polluter.” A doctor who tells a patient she has cancer is not calling that patient “cancerous,” or asserting his superiority, or claiming that he has never had or does not currently have cancer himself. He is simply taking an essential step on the road to a cure.

When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.
I think we’ve covered this one. I’ll try not to be as redundant in my comments as the author was in his or her indictment.

When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.
No one has said that buying oil is genocide. What has been said is that arming and abetting an oil-rich government that slaughters its own people makes one complicit in genocide. The point seems too obvious to spell out, as is the point that the American government has underwritten more than its share of noxious regimes.

When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.
I don’t want to defend the invasion, but I should point out that Americans do not speak of “The Liberation of Iraq.” They call it simply “The Iraq War,” and most of them oppose it. They oppose it freely in print, in film, and on street corners. They are free to criticize their government’s positions, to unpack their government’s propaganda, and to not vote for politicians who support the war.

Sorry to get up on the soapbox. Two of the nice things about defending American positions, no matter how wrongheaded they may be, are (1) in a pluralistic society, there is no such thing as “the American position” because the government doesn’t have a monopoly on meaning. There is therefore no such thing as the unitary “You” in China’s Grievances. (I don’t believe in the unitary “We” either.) (2) No foreign critique of the United States is ever as scathing, informed, or effective as critiques offered by Americans themselves. That gives us a thick skin, confidence, a certain immunity to insult.

When we were lost in chaos and rampage, you demanded rules of law.
No. Deng Xiaoping set China on the road toward Rule of Law so that that China, in its own interest, could escape from chaos by attracting foreign investment, technology, and managerial expertise.

When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it violating human rights.
“Law and Order” is not the same thing as “Rule of Law.”

When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.

When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed- xenophobics.
Americans are too quick to call the Chinese by unpleasant names: brainwashed, xenophobic, nationalistic. This impulse hurts American understanding of what is really occurring in China. But asking your opponents where they get their information, requesting that they make reasoned arguments that consider all of the available evidence, and suggesting that serious historians be consulted in discussions of history is not the same thing as name calling.

Why do you hate us so much, we asked.

No, you answered, we don’t hate you.

We don’t hate you either,
Glad to hear it. One of the things that has concerned me about this spring’s dustups is that they have created the impression that Americans are anti-Chinese and Chinese are anti-American. Neither is true. I’ve worked in U.S.-China relations for 22 years, spending equal amounts of time in both countries. There are blowhards in both nations. On balance, however, our mutual fascination outweighs our mutual frustration. The Chinese are gracious hosts, are internationally minded, and are more patriotic than nationalistic. Americans are interested in and impressed by China. That is why we welcome so many Chinese to our universities, our workplaces, and our families.

But, do you understand us?
When most of my Chinese friends use phrases like “understand China,” they really mean “accept China’s understanding of itself” or, more specifically, “accept the Chinese Communist Party’s interpretation of things (the π˙«È).” But nobody gets to be viewed only as they wish to be viewed. People are smarter than that. My understanding of China is no doubt incomplete (how could it be otherwise?), and is certainly different than the CCP’s, but that doesn’t make it illegitimate. There are innumerable Chinese “understandings” of China just as there are innumerable American understandings of America. Perhaps we’d be better off if we dropped talk of “understanding” altogether.

Of course we do, you said,

We have AFP, CNN and BBC’s…
The writer is simply putting words into the mouth of an American straw man.

What do you really want from us?

Think hard first, then answer…
Excellent question. I don’t think Americans know the answer. It will take time to figure out. China’s growth over the past two decades is without precedent or historical analogy. It has major implications for every sphere of human endeavor. But China is changing and those implications are evolving so rapidly that it is impossible to come to any conclusions about them. How are we to evaluate China’s progress and problems? We don’t have an adequate measure yet. We couldn’t possibly have. China doesn’t know what to make of its progress either. As Deng said, it is crossing the river by feeling for stones. But we do know that the stakes are high. That is one of the reasons that events in China are watched with the closest scrutiny and subjected to the most skeptical analysis by non-Chinese. The whole world has a stake in what China becomes so, yes, the world asks questions and, no, the world will not take the Chinese government’s word for anything without conducting its own investigations. Congratulations are due to China and are frequently given. But the West, the East—everyone—like the Chinese themselves, has reason to ask where China is heading.

Because you only get so many chances.
Don’t end on a threat. It undermines your declared interest in peace.

Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for This One World.
Plenty of hypocrisy to go around. But hypocrisy is an easy and uninteresting accusation. Let’s scrap it. Our joint challenge is to manage complexity.

We want One World, One Dream, and Peace on Earth.
We have One World, whether we want it or not, and everyone wants Peace on Earth. The cultural divide is this: much of the non-Chinese world believes in Many Dreams and it wants them all at once: my dream, your dream, the dreams of people I dislike and disagree with, all competing and evolving and interbreeding in one chaotic, peaceful mess, and may the most beautiful dreams prevail. The One Dream can only be imposed by the One Power. People dislike the One Power. That’s the main reason that the Olympic torch was hounded in the West and East.

This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.
It had better be.

Good luck in the Olympic games.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-05-02 20:10:39. More

19 Minpu Bridge Under Construction


I find them very interesting anyway ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-04-28 21:13:07. More

18 "Love China" Blooms on MSN Messenger

Copied from another blog...

"On the other side, I've been considering a boycott of Chinese products, recently. Not because of the human rights situation or because of Tibet or because of any political reason, but a friend of mine has been attacked by a few drunkards in a bar in Shanghai. Those drunkards weren't Chinese, they obviously were foreign tourists, actually the Chinese owner and the Chinese staff of the bar did their best to protect my friend and he managed to get out of there with only a scratch and a few bruises, but still I think that bar should be boycotted from now on, since they allowed the whole incident to happen in the first place. Actually, since it happened on Chinese soil, I think all Chinese products should be boycotted."

(L)China+(L)Tibet ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-04-16 20:54:03. More

17 Not Just Identify Problems for China - Solve Them!

After reading your blog entries I changed my mind about the boycott to the OG proposed in the EU parliament. According to the proposal the head of state and other major politicians should be absent from the opening ceremony.

I consider now such a boycott to be too clumsy, could be misunderstood and would unwittingly hurt the sensibilities of a great part of a CH people.

I agree with you in that we should not ruin wedding just because we do not totally agree how the governor is running the town. Specially if so much effort, passion and expectation has been put into it by normal CH people. To do so would be a lack of respect from our part.

There are better ways to express our disagreement on several issues and I think that they could be better expressed by being there than not.

I also consider important to separate our opinions and differences with the government in CH and some of its policies from our view and perception of CH people. I consider it wrong to accuse them of just being brainwashed when their views do not coincide with our preconceived perception of their problems and feelings.

Thanks to your blog I has been able to get a clearer view of what is going in CH people minds, how their struggle with the current problems and what are their feelings about them.

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-04-14 04:17:12. More

16 Not Just Identify Problems for China - Solve Them!

My congratulations again for your great blog.

I do not use to contribute here, just find reading it fascinating.

Hope Wendy will change soon her mind about French products, the French really know what to offer a woman to make her even more elegant ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-04-13 05:52:28. More

15 What's Wrong with China?

1) For a modern society you need.
Transparency: you can see clearly what is going on
Accountability: people are held responsible for her acts.
Democracy: you can replace something is not working (or not satisfied with)
You may get T and A but without D it gets increasingly difficult.

With an authoritarian system you may get a quick jump start. That is just like standing on your feet for the first time. But then you have to learn to walk...

2 )Hhhhmm.... I really think is starting to run wild.....
The problem as I see it, is the lack of enough compensating areas, no checks and balances.
Such systems can also be corrected.... after a total breakdown! Not the most desirable course of action.
Nature have more than enough checks and balances. Product of millions of years of evolution. We humans have not so much experience.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-03-08 08:24:41. More

14 Yifan has his Second Haircut

In third photo he looks like int that famous photo from Einstein, but with less hair ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-03-03 05:46:13. More

13 What is Knock Knock?

Can someone translate it to Chinese please?
Not only with Chinese characters but also in pinyin.
Just curious to know how it (aproximately) sounds in that language. ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-16 23:46:41. More

12 Yifan Eats Orange

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-16 06:40:35. More

11 Why Things in China is Cheap?

Almost 18 years ago I saw Korea starting to export good to the world. I remember I bought then a small TV set made in Korea. The quality was very good.
Then came ships, cars, flat screen TV set, etc. all made in Korea. I thought then "If Korea, a small country, can export so many products what will happen when China starts to do the same".
And now it is happening!!
The problem is that China is too big. The world has now a HUGE production overcapacity.
The strains are been felt now all over the world. The results are: fierce competition, copycat of every thinkable product, huge pressure to low price and profits for foreign companies, workers losing its jobs in Europe and USA, etc.

The recent problem with tainted products may be just an indication that the societies in other countries are becoming highly sensitive to the competition coming from China. Not good for China exports, of which most of is economic growth depends.

One of the problems for the future of China is how to fit this excess of production in the world economy. New opportunities could be open through this new production capacity, but also many dangers.... and mainly for China development.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-11 08:09:33. More

10 Learning Swimming

A good trick to learn to swim.
Use scuba glasses and a snorkel in the beginning!

With this equipment you can breath even when your head is under water. The glasses allow you to see better and improve your orientation. The snorkel helps you to breath when your head is under water.
The reason to use them is first to improve your movements in the water, without having to worry about breathing. That is very important They will also improve your confidence, allowing you to swim without fear where the water is deep. You will sure enjoy it.

Once you have improved your swimming skills.... and confidence...., you can practice without the snorkel. Keep still using the swimming glasses for a while, they help you still.

In the end, when you have enough practice, you will find that it is easier now to swim without the help of glasses nor snorkel.

I recommend this trick. I used it personally as a kid when learning to swim. Results guaranteed.
After a lot of swimming classes this was the only method that worked for me. :-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-09 15:00:34. More

9 Why Snow Caused Power Failure

(Blues Mansion post translation, courtesy of bablefish)
South and north contrasts, south the air is moist, therefore no matter is the snow, the rain can rapidly ice up in under the cold air function, therefore in the electric wire can have the very thick ice layer. The electric wire has the tensity under the ice layer oppression, causes the telephone pole, the tower to collapse. North because the climate is dry, generally all is the snow, but cannot ice up.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-03 16:00:14. More

8 Shanghai Snows Again

Forgot to tell that those guys deserve an extra new year bonus for the idea ;-) ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-02 23:06:09. More

7 Shanghai Snows Again

Had no idea about "kijiji" until I saw it written in the snow.
Good promotional move!! ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-02 22:57:26. More

6 The Most Severe Disaster I Experienced

My deep sympathy also for the people trapped in that fool weather unable to go home.
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-02-02 22:44:12. More

5 Diesel Shortage Caused Traffic Jam

"the authority will be aware of the importance of improving our firewall system."

Improve? Why not take it away completely? Much better solution ;-)

Posted by ecodelta at 2008-01-30 06:40:55. More

4 Just Few Steps Away from My New Car

About fiat cars. They are not too bad and the Italian have better feeling for style but reliability and repair costs may be a problem sometimes.
When I was working in Germany a coworker told me a joke about fiat cars.
He said to me

"All fiat autos owners are very good friends, because the meet very often at the workshop for repairs."

Maybe my German colleague was simply defending German cars against Italian ones. ;-)
Any way, my tow cents.

PS:I personally prefer a Citroen with diesel engine. PSA group diesel engines are extremely reliable. Have one with almost 200.000k in the odometer and no problems whatsoever. Still consumes 6.5 L x 100 Km. Real measurement in most varied driving conditions.
But I do not know if Citroens are available in China. My next car will be a C4 Diesel ( and if possible hybrid)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-01-27 14:59:13. More

3 Shanghai Metro Line #6

Great photos.
Agree with you that pink color makes this line rather.... special.
Like the design of the stations.
Maybe should copy the idea for public Toilets in german U-Banhs.
I find the publicity in the handles a genial idea.
Problem I see for foreigners(western) with ticket and maps is the lack of pinyin or English. Hard for us to read.
Why 15 m frequency? Limits in train signaling system? That is too slow for high density line.
Maybe my company should send an unsolicited offer to Shanghai's people committee. ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2008-01-03 16:28:02. More

2 Current University Students are Different

I still remember when I went to MIT for the first time. Not as freshmen but to the department of advanced engineering studies. A god place to go to for working people who want to extend their knowledge in new areas.
In my application form I filled as many subjects as I could, but then the director told me to take just a few. When I asked why he answered me, "You need time to discover new things, if you take so many you will not have time for anything".

I think is a mistake to make a educational system just for passing exams. You get only people that are good at passing... exams. No innovation, no new ideas.

Also think it is extremely damaging to promote excessive elitism. They should take a look at the system in Germany. There you have a lot of options to make a career: vocational training, technical school and university schools. Anyone should have the opportunity to go as far as he/she can go according to his/her capabilities and wishes.

I fear more than one Einstein or Da Vinci is falling through this exam hell system... ;-)
Posted by ecodelta at 2007-12-25 18:03:44. More

1 What's Wrong with China?

Well ... my two cents. Maybe I am wrong but here they are.

I think one of the reasons of the backwardness of China is a combination of centralized imperial power structure and invasions of foreign, mainly nomadic peoples.

After the victory of the Qin dinasty which resulted in the creation of the imperial system, china has been most of the time governed by a centralized power/pyramidal structure. When the Imperial dynasties were local (i.e. chinese)
there were on the most part oriented to good government of the country. For most of time in known history the government structures in China were far ahead of those in Europe.
But when foreign invader successfully conquered China, their may objection was to keep themselves in power while controlling the society. On those government institution were, sometime subtly, transformed into ways to subjugate the Chinese people.

My feeling about the last imperial dynasty, of Manchu origin, is that they thwarted the development of China by closing it out of the world. The may reason of this was better control the society and keeps its grip on power. Specially commerce with foreign powers, which could led for example to increased economic power to Chinese merchant classes, and contact with other forms of government. That could put in question the dominance of the ruling Manchu class.

The timing was disastrous. At the same time Europe was experiencing the industrial revolution, which pushed its technology and production capacities far beyond those of China, with the final results we all known in the military/colonial conflicts between the west and China.

Another disastrous disaster was the prevention of the evolution of the political system in a similar way as it occurred in Japan during the Meiji restoration.
The imperial system could have evolved into a sort of Parlamentary Monarchy, which could have facilatated the evolution to more effeicient form of government. But the Manchu Dinasty was considered a "foreign" dynasty. That helped, among other things, quite a bit in creating the basis for the proclamation of the Chinese Republic of doctor Sun Yat Sen.

Although the intentions of Doctor Sun Yat Sen were to create a modern China, the disruptions at the political and social levels were to great, as result the country fall in a chaotic situation.

Not much luck fur China again this time. The rising of 20th century revolutionary political ideas together with the Chino-Japanese conflict threw China in absolute Chaos.

Last but not all was the civil war after WWII and the proclamation of the Chinese Popular Republic. Again China closed itself out of the world and what started as a revolution that promised the final emergence of China, because ideological strait jackets and delusions, turned itself in one of its worth historical nightmares.

Only after Deng reforms in 1989 has China started the way towards a more modern society, but from the point of view of an European like me, the current political, economic and social system is highly unstable, and also verydifficult for us to foresee its final outcome. The result... a lot of books about China ;-)

My diagnosis of the problem....
Basically, the CCP has no legitimacy to power, they fear they own people more than anything else, but the country can not go back to a closed authoritarian system because, it will fall again back technologically with respect to other countries. History would repeat itself again!

There is now a pact wit the devil between CCP and Chinese people, basically is this: do not question my power and I will let you enough freedom so you can prosper and enjoy life. And life is much better now for many Chinese across the social scale, no matter the problems we all see.

But the system is, form my point of view, incompatible with what is required to correctly govern a modern society: there is no rule of law, exacerbation of nationalisms as a way to deflect attention from local problems, no way for impartial conflict resolutions, no transparency, no accountability and no way for the people to change things in power... no peoples government (Demo=people) Kratos=government). China, more than any other country, needs the most efficient economic, social and political system possible to be able to compensate the huge mismatch between population size and available natural resources (counting also foreign natural resources!)

The current situation in China is similar to a very complex machine, running at full gear, but without systems to correctly detect what is going wrong, why it is going wrong, who/what is responsible of the malfunction and the means to fix it.
Such a machine has the risks to run wild at the least chance... with, I fear, dire consequences.

I really hope this "machine" can be fixed....


Posted by ecodelta at 2007-12-16 15:48:19. More