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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Which is more annoying? Scientific fundamentalism or Sino-racialism?

A: If you dismiss Rupert Sheldrake and his low-IQ followers as snake oil pedlars not worthy of your time and consideration like I certainly do, you're not alone. I'm sorry to have to break it to you that we aren't the only intelligent people on earth. Jerry Coyne thinks so too and here is a link to his blog post. Sheldrake gives new depth to the word "STUPID" with his utterly insane suggestion that the speed of light dropped some time in the early 20th century. Anyway, the post was written in early March. After Sheldrake's looney talk, TED decided to ban his talk and removed it from their website. I'm surprised nobody put Rupert Insane Sheldrake in a triple-layered straitjacket and threw him into a padded cell but that's the West for you- always giving freedom to all kinds of freaks of nature.

Me: China puts lots of freaks in triple-layered straitjackets and throws them into padded cells

A: But China does it for a political reason. We should do it to fact-deniers and pedlars of pseudo-science.

Me: When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience

Continental Drift (the forerunner of Plate Tectonics) used to be considered pseudoscience

Should Alfred Wegener have been put in a triple-layered straitjacket and thrown into a padded cell?

A: there is a huge chasm separating Wegener from the likes of Rupert Looney Sheldrake. Have you seen Sheldrake's video? Do you know Sheldrake's credentials or the lack of them? Have you seen how Sheldrake loves to talk about what someone says in order to discredit him? If you come up with a hypothesis, you jolly well work on it and come up with the evidence or a test that proves the hypothesis correct. You don't jump from one wild speculation to another wilder speculation as Sheldrake does. In one video, he was furious with Dawkins for asking for evidence for telepathy which Sheldrake insanely believes in. Dawkins says an extraordinary claim needs strong evidence to back it up. His reply was it wasn't an extraordinary claim to say there is telepathy. He went on to say all of us had some experiences with telepathy at one time or another. So it's for Dawkins to show strong evidence that telepathy doesn't exist. To compare such a disgraceful looney to Wegener or other brilliant people is to do a great disservice to humanity. Sheldrake belongs to the padded cell.

That the earth goes round the sun was also considered wrong. It was worse. It was heresy. But all that is different from what Barmy Sheldrake is doing. We must not say that just because the entire world got it wrong once, now we can let every snake oil pedlar go round selling their dubious wares. If Sheldrake thinks there is telepathy, show the evidence. Don't say all of us have at one point or another experienced telepathy as he is saying. And then he jumps into what he calls cosmic resonance or something like that - I've forgotten his mumbo jumbo term for the lunatic belief that if you train a mouse in Singapore to do tricks, mice in New York would be able to do the same tricks because of a universal consciousness. And when you corner him for evidence, he will go on to another crackpot idea. Such a person must be locked up. I would suggest the gas chamber but I've always been a bit of an extremist. LOL

Me: A, you are saying this with the benefit from hindsight.

As ***'s favourite author Thomas Kuhn points out, we are all stuck in our paradigms.

Bear in mind that Newton was an alchemist.

No one is saying we shouldn't vigorously condemn Sheldrake's views

A: I disagree. It's very simple. Let's say Sheldrake postulates telepathy. Well, that's nothing new. Lots of crackpots have done that in their time. But let's say he does that. I would respect him if after postulating such a fanciful notion, he goes about to perform experiments to support his idea. It's very easy to do an experiment. Even a child of 3 knows how to do it. If the evidence shows his idea is bunkum, then he should have the decency to say he was wrong. Now, I would respect such a person. But no, that's not how Woodbridge Sheldrake goes about like any honest human being would. Instead when Dawkins challenged him for clear evidence, he replied that all of us had at one time or another experienced telepathy so it's for Dawkins to show the evidence that there is no telepathy. Now, you tell me if such a good-for-nothing ought not to be hanged drawn and quartered! Talking to Sheldrake is like talking to some of my fellow Christians.


A: Quote a friend's status: Oh goosh! The chinese nationals are changing seats anyhow and anywhere they like! They dont care if those seats are assigned.
And the poor stewardess had problem getting them to change back to their orginal!

Poor ang mo tourist is standing waiting to get back his seats.

... And they are shouting and screaming loudly in the plane.
I need my peace! Help!!!

I never remember this scene when I visited shanghai 6 years ago.. — at Changi International Airport (Terminal 3).

the stewardess should just get the pilot and taser all of them.

B: I think they do not realise that laws do apply on airliners.

Me: My plane landed and all the PRCs immediately stood up and opened the compartments

The attendants asked them to sit down, no response

The attendants had to forcibly walk down the aisles and shut the compartments

C: Same as some Indian tourists from India. And yes, can't stand those PRC nationals.

D: Ack. Their general anti-social behaviour never fails to amaze me.

E: Noted the same bad habits of (some of) the folk from PRC and India in the roads around Aljunied. I had seen people knocked down 3 times in 2 years, because they totally ignore the damn traffic laws, cross the road when others have the right of way, and recklessly get in the way of vehicles.

I get called discriminatory if I point it out... but they really need to educate these guys on how not to behave overseas.

Me: It's okay, let them get knocked down. Better that than "discriminating" against them

A: it's the lack of education I suppose, most of us are trained from young to behave in our accepted socially acceptable behavior.


Just saw this today.

E: And one of the most vexing things is... Their boorish behavior reflects badly on anyone who even looks vaguely Asian - i.e. us!

It is especially vexing especially if the person accusing me of xenophobia (for criticizing the boorish behavior) is Asian him/herself, and doesn't immediately understand this greater objective - of protecting the Asian image on the world stage.

That's only the mild stuff... Wait till you see the ones with them taking a dump in public. :(

hoho stewardess friend complained about some prc fellow putting newspaper on the floor of the plane and taking a shit right there.
=.=#) I shit you not. apparently that bloke was from a village. first time taking a plane. didn't now where's the toilet.

F: Dear All,

As I live half the time in China, please hear me out.

China is a place that has only in the last 25 years come out of poverty after a century of chaos, civil war and rape by Westerners, followed by a self-inflicted cultural revolution.

It has however in the last 25 years brough 600 million people out of poverty. Many still are poor and live in a developing world.

You will find that if you went to the big cities of Shanghai and Beijing, the professionals, the white collared workers do not behave any different from us.

Their high society is more sophisticated than our high society.

It is just that our average across the WHOLE country is a lot higher.

Many of those you see behaving badly are from smaller cities or villages.

Overall however, because in China there are so many people fighting for scarce resources, it pays to be aggressive. If you don't rush and push, you don't get on the train, you don't get on the lift, you wait a long time to get in or out of anywhere. This will improve over time as more infrastructure is built.

In absolute numbers, there are probably more 'civilised' PRC nationals than Singaporeans. Our population is but that of one district in Beijing.

Instead of attacking them, I normally try to defend them because I know this is part of the process of development and that the PRC friends that I have (white collared professionals) are as much global citizens as the next white man.

G: I'm living in China now and what F said is true. It's only within the last 20 years that huge numbers of Chinese people are lifted straight from poverty to the middle class and most of the PRC that you see in SG are from this class. If you only understand that it was just yesterday these people were living in villages without proper toilets (hole in the floor), no electricity and running water then you'd understand why they behave this way.

As for the manner of crossing roads, it's because in China cities there are harsh penalties for motorists who knock down pedestrians, cyclists. Not only they face fine, jail plus demerit points, they must pay the hospital bills, funereal expenses and any other indemnities regardless even if the fault lies with the pedestrians. That's why it is often said that the motorist better kill the pedestrian instead of just injuring and crippling which means a life time of paying. It's actually very good as there are really very few cases of speeding in the cities as all junctions are monitored by CCTVS and speed cameras.
So now you see why PRCs in SG cross road without looking out for cars on either side. This is exactly how they stroll across roads here in China. Remember this is the first time they have been out anywhere outside of China.

If you lived in 1st tier cities like Beijing or Shanghai then you'd find the residents actually better mannered than us in SG. They take pride in having good social habits. They usually don't talk on the mobiles in the subways but if they do then it's very softly. And we are loud compared to them.

There are very cultured PRCs but you won't find them here in SG. They are so rich they just go straight to Europe, UK, USA.

It's a culture thing so unless you have lived some time inside China as a local you won't understand why they are like that in SG.

E: I agree with your points and notes on China. However, we do need to continue to point out to them that their behaviour is wrong. It is part of the process. They will not learn if we just put up with them. And so must the white collared PRC correct their own, without favour, and not just stay silent.

This can take the form of criticism, which unfortunately, can go overboard into generalising the whole lot. Best we can do is to carefully control how we apply criticism, while staying aware of the circumstances that made them this way.

F: You don't need to point out to them. Their city cousins point it out to them every day. :) On the net there is a huge discussion on this. The city cousins find it even more shameful than you. You are afraid people treat you like them because you are ethnic Chinese. These city cousins are actual PRC nationals. Imagine their embarrassment ! :0

And let's not get too much on the moral high horse. Why do we have no-spitting signs in Singapore? it's because just 2 generations ago, ethnic chinese here were spitting also ;)

G: But have we even stopped littering after 40 years? Just as bad as the PRC litter in their own country. Just need to be honest.

F: That is true. But human beings everywhere litter. I especially despise Westerners who criticise PRCs when back in their home countries, their men urinate everywhere when they are drunk.

Me: As Isaac Asimov said, "if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together"

Nobody is perfect but some people are worse than others

A: I call bullshit on the moral high horse reference.
Whats next you wana use the race card and xenophobia card?

They did something socially unacceptable, they should be taken to task for it.

Oh lets not judge them because we were like them in the past, might as well say slavery is ok because there were slave owners in singapore too.

F: I think A needs to get whacked by some 'barbarians' before he gets off his moral high horse. ;) I was descended from these 'barbarians' and know they have thousands of years of culture that is being re discovered at frightening speed at the moment. and didn't know there were slave owners in Singapore. Must be an alternate history.

See you in the great Middle Kingdom one day. Lets leave the PRC bashers to themselves. Our country unfortunately is nothing to them - not even the size of a 3rd tier city :(

A: Oh so you lived in china, so you think anyone who has anything bad to say about certain aspects of their behavior is considered anti prc?

Sure sure, point out the westerners do bad behavior too, so that excuses the PRC's.

My ex gf of 5 years was a student from wuhan, I have lived with a whole house of PRC students for 4 years. I experienced an awkward situation where most of the people living in the flat cheered when they saw the news on 911 on the TV and how americans deserve it.

In fact at one point, my mandarin have an accent because of my ex gf. I have spoken to them about all the different provinces where they are from and their culture.

I also worked in the construction industry and have worked with PRC construction workers.

F G When both of you finish playing with your soggy biscuit. i hope the two of you enjoy it.

A: The Chinese distinguish between wenhua (culture) and wenming (good behavior). One can have one without the other. Just because a people was great historically does not mean it is great now.

Yep, it's the alternate history of Singapore you didn't learnin school

"As in many ancient societies, it would have been the slave class that provided the aristocracy with their main source of power, sustaining the kings of early Singapore in royal luxury up on Bukit Larangan, from where they could survey life" - Singapore: A Biography / Mark Ravinder Frost, Yu-Mei Balasingamchow

"Slavery had long been a commonplace in the territories surrounding Singapore, and in Singapore itself it survived in various forms for many years. In the early days of the British settlement, Bugis traders imported boy and girl slaves annually and are said to have sold them at the riverside, close to the Resident's house, and to have offered them as presents both to the Resident and to..." - Singapore / Sally Backhouse

A: I find their lack of sense amusing.

Their baseless assumption that anyone has bad thing to say about any group is automatically put into neat little boxes. Oh "anti PRC basher!!" box

Hate the behavior, not the people.

Their attempts at being smart with thinly veiled threats of me experiencing bodily harm is amusing at best.

F: And the bugis is relevant to me a Chinese Singaporean in what way?

There was no Singapore during the days of the 'kings'. It was part of the Johor Riau sultanate. Most of our ancestors weren't even here when there was 'slavery'. As an ethnic Chinese, the history of china is your history too.

Me: Oh yes I forgot. As Chinese Singaporeans we don't have anything to do with the other races.

You: "didn't know there were slave owners in Singapore. Must be an alternate history"

You were the one who talked about Singaporean history, not me. And in the passage about Bugis traders, we were already in the era of "modern Singapore". The fact is that slavery is present both in the "Temasek" days and in the British period, so either way you are wrong.

If you want to talk about history, since you allude to how "Singapore" did not exist during the Riau sultanate, the identity of "China" as a nation is problematic. It did not spring into being and stay as a contiguous, continuous entity throughout many millennia.

Anyway I don't believe in hereditary culture.

F: In the early British period was it really Singapore or just a colonial outpost. Was bugis history part of the history of Singapore the colony? China may not have been a contiguous state throughout the millennia but definitely a continuos civilisation.

Doesn't matter whether you believe in hereditary culture.

Mr. SEAH when you look into the mirror every day, a chinese person stares back. People expect you to speak mandarin. Foreigners see a chinaman. If you are not fluent in mandarin , you are despised. Harsh but true.

Me: Why are we talking about Bugis history here? Please read the whole passage instead of zooming in on keywords. And if you consider China a continuous civilization I find it puzzling why in British times it wasn't "really Singapore"

Actually often foreigners think I'm Japanese, and my Vietnamese and Korean colleagues get mistaken for ethnically Chinese. Anyway people have the right to hold their misconceptions.

Incidentally the only people I am aware of who consider my poor Mandarin proficiency in a poor light... are Singaporean Chinese. Which is ironic given how atrocious the vast majority of them are in Mandarin.

F: Bugis owning slaves in Singapore and ancients malay kings owning slaves in the island before the British arrived are tangential to the history of Singapore the crown colony and Singapore the independent state, at best.

F: We might as well also say in the early days of Singapore women used to bind their feet since the early Chinese female immigrants had bound feet.

Me: Yep that's true

And no one is saying that because we used to bind women's feet, that we don't have the right to say anything about women's rights

G: Weird shit's happening.

F: I agree lol

A: The only weird shit I see is two self righteous people who lived in china, assuming that everyone who posts something bad about certain groups of individuals, labeling people and automatically put into your neat little convenient box of "anti xxx basher". The two same individuals who assert that we can say anything bad about tourists, who come to our country because we used to do it too.

The "let who is without sin, cast the first stone" logic is stupid.
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