2010年12月30日 星期四

In the season…

of saying non-original things.

Using the shanghaied students in the PISA tests as your “sample” is about as representative as using any major American big city’s public school students. And that’s assuming no fishiness with things on the red side, which is not something regular Chinese people would even think to consider.

It would be somewhat like taking Gansu (no offense Gansu, you great Arkansas of the East) high school students (the ones who go to school, and therefore have schools) and putting them up against the elite private schools on the east coast. And those elite private school kids were drilled their whole life with a testing culture, and told if they did bad it would shame the country and their family (and they would have to care about those things), and were not allowed to have lives, and studied all day, and learned essentially the things that would be on the test, and then you selected the most capable of those as your sample.

I’m not making any apologies about American schools, I went to them. The problem isn’t always the schools. Most of the kids at the schools are dumb. We try to educate everybody and fail to educate many of them successfully, not always due to the fault of the school. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, mandarin oranges, which I think are just 橘子.

The things you don’t know about the Chinese school system could fill a map of the world, life-size.

2010年12月28日 星期二


Sometimes I write long posts and don’t post them. Then I find the parts of the post that sound less like me preaching and end up posting little more than the chinese quote I like.

昔者,天子有諍臣七人,雖無道,不失其天下;諸侯有諍臣五人,雖無道,不失其國;大夫有諍臣三人,雖無道,不失其家;士有諍友,則身不離於令名;父有諍子,則身不陷於不義。故當不義,則 子不可以不諍於父;臣不可以不諍於君;故當不義則諍之,從父之令,又焉得為孝乎!

2010年11月20日 星期六

If America were a twitter account…

It would have about a million followers, and follow about ten people, including completely worthless and irrelevant accounts like British Monarchy. Probably because there would be such disdain for twitter that day to day managing would be left to some former Brit.

Whenever some foreign news story managed to make it into the stream, America would be the first to fly some rock of meaning out there to tell it how it is.

The thing about Koppel is that he doesn’t sense the transformation in it’s entirety, while someone like Sarah Palin does. I hate to call it an age thing, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. Even someone like Obama really doesn’t seem to understand the internet or the media or information landscape. Koppel seems to think there’s always going to be these foreign reporters flying out to places or based in places giving us the news we need and should know about. (Yes, in the newsletter model, maybe, not the newspaper model.) Jarvis is at least a little more forward thinking in saying, uh, why not just talk to the people there, why do we need any filter, or an “American” filter. No one bought your quality control or reputation in the first place. If they did, they wouldn’t have abandoned it like a sex crime victim on the side of the road.

Palin, the communications/journalism major, is shockingly more able to connect with people than Big O. Sure, Palin doesn’t connect with everyone politically, but she connects with people. And she knows that. She was smart enough to learn during her  many years and schools that communication (and journalism) is about connection. Without connection, you don’t have communication. You have yelling, you have informing, you have transmission, but you don’t have communication. Koppel or a place like the nytimes aren’t in the business of communication, they are in the business of journalism, or informing. Journalism is not a two-way street, and the kind of function they perform for some people just doesn’t make that much sense.

Prior to something like the Internet, there was a desire to enter the world of the press, for without it, reach, ie reaching a massive audience, was difficult. But Sarah Palin knows entering the world of “serious” journalists entails criticism and a price. The journos think it’s crap she won’t talk to them, and the she owes it to them. No, no one owes anyone anything. (The Press claims it’s a stand-in for the people, not the other way around.) And she doesn’t have to play ball, because she can connect to people through the internet, or media organizations that are partial to her. Why does she owe Katie an interview? She can go on FB and answer any question she wants, or field some requests from Twitter followers, or hold an online forum streamed online and take questions live from anyone. (Even Lebron James gets this.) What does the press offer her? Reach? She’s got plenty. The news journos want to print on Palin should come from research, and last time I checked, they don’t need to talk to her for that.

So basically, journalistic enterprises see their purpose as being arbiters or judgers or deciders, and establishing reputation. This entails hierarchy, and that entails transmission versus communication. People don’t need these organizations for transmission of information, it slides around fluidly from a press release, or a friend, or whatever. It’s a commodity, not a product. I don’t need you to print press releases for me anymore, thanks.

from: http://www.npr.org/2010/11/16/131361367/should-objectivity-still-be-the-standard-in-news (emphasis added)

KOPPEL: One of reasons that I regret the absence of that so much is that we have no way anymore of judging the validity of information that we get from overseas. As often as not, if you listen to the accents, it's no longer even American reporters over there.

CONAN: Jeff Jarvis.

Prof. JARVIS: Well, what's wrong with - wait, wait, wait. What's wrong with that? We have people who actually know the territory and are natives. Do you think we have to have Americans tell Americans the news?

KOPPEL: I would like to have American reporters conveying the news to Americans, yes.

Prof. JARVIS: Whoa. That seems like a kind of strange bit of xenophobia, journalistic xenophobia. I would love to have people - I love being able to go to blogs and elsewhere and read the people who are in Iraq and in Iran explain it to me far better than someone who just jetted in.

KOPPEL: You're making precisely my point. I don't want someone who just jetted in. I want someone who's lived there for two or three years, speaks the local language, and knows something about it.

Prof. JARVIS: How about someone who's lived there for 40 or 50 years and truly understands it and can use these magnificent new tools - which you still haven't answered for me. What do you think of the new tools? Do you see new hope for journalism here?

KOPPEL: I don't see new hope for journalism, I see new hope for the exchange of information. But you haven't responded to my part, which is unless one knows the provenance of the information, unless I know who's putting the information out, I can't judge the validity of that.


What’s weird about Koppel is that he seems to be insinuating that regular consumers used to have the ability to judge the validity of foreign news. How? By trusting him? Or one of the three networks? Stranger still is how he seems to think this is somehow connected with getting it from an American or from an American agency. Is that how we think of the world? Unless we send one of our own out there we don’t trust it? Are cross-border journalistic ethics that non-existent? Why in the hell did people ever like us with this kind of attitude? Did we secretly believe everyone was just dumb for believing us, when in fact we’d never believe any of their country’s people? Or did we really believe we were the only beacon of quality and good in the world to be trusted?

2010年11月8日 星期一

Who does these translations? And yes, I am game.

And whoever is updating this page, god bless your hearts.


Singapore is just fascinating. From the Ministry of Manpower, to the “promote mandarin council”, to the “华语COOL” slogan to promote mandarin, they clearly are on to something. I’m waiting to discover the “be good committee” or the “Like government more program”. America should have committee’s titled in the form of commands, maybe then more people will listen or do the things the committee is supposed to be supporting. Compare:


The Campaign for Healthy Living


Be skinnier and more fit! council.

The style mostly makes me think of things like the The New York Times or the The USA Today.


It’s hard picking a favorite, I’m stuck between:


Mandarin’s In. Dialect’s Out

(I like the whole, if we assert it, maybe it’ll become true theme going on here, combined with the utter disinterest in attempting a translation. )


Mandarin is Chinese

(Because it says so little, and what little it says is so unclear, yet ultimately undeniable, and not what they meant in the first place.)

Which allows the dark horse to win, mostly because it makes life sound life a dish to be enjoyed:

Better with more Mandarin, less dialect

That’s how I always feel about my 水餃.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speak_Mandarin_Campaign

Slogans for Past Movements

  • 1979 (Target Audience: Chinese Community)
    Speak More Mandarin, Speak Less dialects
  • 1981 (Target Audience: Chinese Community)
    Learn Mandarin, Speak Mandarin
  • 1982 (Target Audience: Work Place)
    Speak Mandarin while at work
  • 1983 (Target Audience: Markets & Food Centres)
    Mandarin’s In. Dialect’s Out
  • 1984 (Target Audience: Chinese Parents)
    Speak Mandarin. Your children’s future depends on your effort today
  • 1985 (Target Audience: Public Transport Workers )
    Mandarin is Chinese
  • 1986 (Target Audience: Food and Drinks Establishments)
    Start with Mandarin, not Dialect
  • 1987 (Target Audience: Shopping Centres)
    Start with Mandarin, speak it more often
  • 1988 (Target Audience: White Collar Workers)
    Better with more Mandarin, less dialect
  • 1989 (Target Audience: Chinese community)
    More Mandarin, Less Dialect. Make it a way of life
  • 1990 (Target Audience: Senior Executives)
    Mandarin is Chinese
  • 1991 (Target Audience:English educated Chinese Singaporeans)
    Mandarin for Chinese Singaporeans: More Than a Language
  • 1992 (Target Audience: English educated Chinese Singaporeans)
    Say it in Mandarin
  • 1993 (Target Audience: English educated Chinese Singaporeans)
    Speak Mandarin. It helps
  • 1994/1995 (Target Audience: English educated Chinese and business professionals)
    Mandarin. Use It or Lose It
  • 1996/1997 (Target Audience: English educated Chinese working adults)
    Speak Mandarin, Explore New Horizons
  • 1998/1999 (Target Audience: English educated Chinese working adults)
    Speak Mandarin, It's An Asset [12]; [13]
  • 2000
    Speak Mandarin? No problem!
  • 2006/ 2007 (Target Audience: Post-1965 English Speaking Chinese Singaporeans)
    Mandarin Cool!
  • 2007/ 2008 (Target Audience: Post-1965 English Speaking Chinese Singaporeans)
    Speak Mandarin - 讲华语, 你肯吗?
    Are You Game?
  • 2009/ 2010 (Audience : Youths)
    Be Heard in Chinese

2010年10月9日 星期六

Maybe I’m just a huge dick,

but I think Liu Xiaobo is dumb.

Congratulations and all that, but let’s be honest here.

I don’t read Evan Osnos, but here you go,

“I think my open letter is quite mild,” he told me. “Western countries are asking the Chinese government to fulfill its promises to improve the human-rights situation, but if there’s no voice from inside the country, then the government will say, ’It’s only a request from abroad; the domestic population doesn’t demand it.’ I want to show that it’s not only the hope of the international community, but also the hope of the Chinese people to improve their human-rights situation.”

(emphasis added)


(And I’m going to forgive the shorthand about 西方國家 as THE ONLY PART OF THE WORLD THAT CARES ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS because, well, it’s shorthand. But it’s the opposite side of the coin of all the nonsense that puts all this obsession on “Western” shit, particularly the Nobel. And China did already win the Nobel. (Maybe they should be a little more talkative about why all the other “Chinese” winners had long ago acquired foreign citizenship before they won. I know, being poor sucks.) So who is the “prostitute claiming to be a virgin” after all?”

I don’t know if Liu is dumb or people just say things like that, but c’mon. You don’t lose games when you get to set the rules. Wikipedia presented an interesting case for China. You didn’t have some “foreign company”, you had something of a stateless, non-profit organization. China didn’t want to be caught up in an editing war, or any other kind of war, with a group that just kind of wants to do generally good things, particularly one without a profit motive or real national roots. So, what did they do? Same thing they do with Oxfam, they just kind of block them (or never let them in in the first place) and replace them with their own shit. Once their own shit is all set up and has kind of captured the market/mindshare, and no real threat is posed, sure, the HK chapter can hang out in China as long as it doesn’t make a fuss. And that’s why you get lovely situations like Wikipedia Unblocked in China for All Languages But Chinese.

The point is the government will say whatever it wants, or it will say nothing at all. That’s the joy of being the government. Being the government means you never have to say you’re sorry. You don’t have to answer to anyone. You don’t even have to listen to anyone. That’s why the saying is “It’s good to be the king”, not “It’s bad to be the king.”

I’m a bigger fan of the “You do something because you believe it’s right.”

The gentleman will observe regular order and sit down!

I really hope it’s not that kind of bone-headed thinking that sets back any sort of progress, and leaves Grandpa Wen as the leading (and soon to be departing) reformer.

“I often say that we should not only let people have the freedom of speech. We, more importantly, must create conditions to let them criticize the work of the government," (from link above)

The translation from the English is open to debate (ok, it’s wrong, there’s no 更重要, there’s an 而且. And yes, in this case it makes a giant difference, but who the fuck checks A languages anyway when you don’t really care.), but he quite literally does say that he often says this (我經常講一句話), which if true, would be somewhat incredible.

Anyway, Wen is so dangerous he even has to censor himself.

“The people could not even listen to the words of their premier. Even he himself does not have freedom of speech.” (from the link above)

Reform is Hard

I wish I were anywhere but here right now.

So, this is the blowback. You can put lipstick on a pig, and people can ooh and ahh at your fancy spectacles, but if you ask them what they really think, they’ll tell you they don’t respect you, (read: hate you) and at the first chance they’ll spit in your face. If money can buy anything then I guess you guys are going to need some more money, because these people don’t seem to want to be your friends. You didn’t really think you’d get the Olympics for nothing, did you?

“I mean, I’ve got this thing, and it’s fucking golden. And I'm just not giving it up for fucking nothing."

And because any asshole can write or say anything they want, I will now provide something that a google account can’t (I dare you, try using google translate for things besides the always risky Dutch to English, oooh, scary.)

Great liberties were taken with the translation below, and I didn’t really edit it, because I don’t get paid for this, and it’s hard, and I have stuff to do. Maybe I’ll feel more call of duty or faithfulness tomorrow.

Why are we so obsessed with winning a Nobel?

by: Huang Xiuqing


Every year when they winners are announced we always have this thorn stuck in our side. This year, besides Yang Zhenning's (Chen Ning Yang) vigorous calls and the weak rumblings of some bloggers, the vast majority of Chinese people couldn't care less about Nobel Prizes. While some believe our country has matured, our completely dejected and resigned expression is just like our attitude toward the national soccer team. Most people don't talk about it, don't watch it, don't listen to it and don't care about it.

The truth is, the government wants a Nobel far more than regular people do. It needs to prove that Chinese people are intelligent, that the system of government used is good and that the education system is successful. It's just like the Olympics, they wanted to prove that they weren't still the sick man of East Asian. However, winning a Nobel has turned out to be much tougher than they expected. At this point their desire has turned to desperation and they're progressively more willing to do anything to get a prize. But exactly how many people are really thinking about why we're not winning a prize?

Yang Zhenning is our country's academic hero, but he's become a little bit over-excited lately. Last year he said China would win a Nobel Prize within 20 years. This year he said we would be able to do it in 10 years. Unfortunately, that's not exactly how the uncertainty principle works. Do we really have to pretend we don't know the root of our problem? I think we're just playing dumb, so let this idiot help you out a bit: our education system has problems. Not small problems, giant, fucking problems. The Nobel Prize is a trivial matter; the survival of our people is an important one.

Teaching is not taming animals. Besides teaching our kids to be obedient, what exactly should we be teaching them? This seems to be the question no one is willing to answer. Training people to be obedient animals isn't difficult. We're able to train lions and tigers to be obedient, people, obviously, are quite a bit easier. From an evolutionary perspective, this "taming" follows genetic changes. Two traits compete until one triumphs over the other. Those peoples that were relatively lacking in suspicion and wildness were made turned into subjects by other peoples. I'm not trying to be alarmist, our failure to win a Nobel Prize is simply a sign of the crisis we are facing.

Qinghua and Beijing University are the two best universities in China. For decades nearly all our best and brightest, including our Olympic Gold medal winners, have studied at these two schools. Regular people assume you send in the best and out come the Nobel prizes, the Newtons, the Einsteins and the Gates'. What we get now is you send in the best, a group of perfectly obedient students, and you get out a group of perfectly capable professionals. In response, the University presidents and the government officials working on education are united not in their shame, but in their pride: "Look at the progress our graduates have made!" Wasn't it Yang Zhenning that said the basic science education that Chinese universities are providing is a pinnacle of success?

There's no doubt that one of these years someone from our country will step up on stage and accept a Nobel Prize. I hope they don't come from Qinghua or Beijing University. I hope they aren't some genius our country specifically tried to create. I merely hope they are someone who hasn't been completely tamed. If that happens, our leaders will finally be able to look at how our education system operates. They'll finally be able to do some deep thinking about it, and yes, hopefully, start on some comprehensive reforms.

Li Zhengdao (Tsung-Dao Lee) once said, "What Chinese science currently lacks is successful role models. I believe the mark of a successful role model isn't in whether they can win a Nobel Prize, but rather that they will be able to inspire us all to search for a new, correct way to educate people."


2010年10月2日 星期六

Why it can be hard to get people to work for the government

Probably also why I don’t give much thought to it:


"There are about 6,000 FSOs," or Foreign Service officers, he told an audience in San Francisco this month. He drew laughter when he added that former secretary of state "Condi Rice used to say, 'We have more people in military bands than they have in the Foreign Service.' She was not far wrong."



2010年7月26日 星期一





I'm a big fan of this story, and love 黃睿靜 for coming out and saying what everyone else is saying, "Look at this guy. You really think this is a guy who's sneaking around with prostitutes?"

There's journalistic integrity, and then there's just plain silliness. If you're going to try to pin a prostie story on Chen Zhizhong, you better get some pictures. I can only imagine an editor hearing this story:

"So, we caught Chen Zhizhong with a prostitute."
"The dorky one with the glasses?"
"Yea, yeah, the ex-president's son."
"You think he gets prostitutes? Have you seen him? Are you sure it wasn't someone else?"
"No, it was totally him."
"Let me see the pictures."
"No pictures."
"No pictures?"
"Naw, we missed him."
"No one's going to believe this fucking story."
"Eh, run with it anyway, it'll sell a lot of copies regardless."
“Good point."

I struggled at first with what she said about magazines, saying 不值得說是雜誌, but then I thought about it, and I guess things like the national enquirer would fall so below the standards of "newspapers" that we'd talk about them exclusively as tabloids, and not as "newspapers." I don't think the same scale exists for magazines. I don't look at People magazine and say, ok, still a magazine, and then get to US weekly and think, "nearing non-magazine threshold", and arrive at something really weak, I don't know, what's the print version of gawker?, and think, "nope, now it's a tabloid." I guess the word "magazine" has so little cachet for me (and the language at large) that it's perhaps impossible to debase a product such that it no longer is worthy of the appellation.

2010年5月20日 星期四

Translation and Dickheads

The only difference between giant financial institutions and giant media institutions is that there is no difference. Money blinds people and turn them into complete idiots and assholes.


"The point of [charging online subscriptions] is to make money so we can invest in journalism. Pay journalists decent salaries, send them places, get better reporting," he said, having earlier pointed out it cost The Times a million pounds per year to maintain a Baghdad correspondent.

"The danger of this other model is that gradually the journalism will diminish, it will get poorer and poorer, you won't be able to afford things, you won't be able to do things and so everybody is poorer as a result."

(emphasis added)

Are the journalists really rich now? Besides the bunch of fucks who make bank for large mega-entities? Doesn't most of that money go to boards, managers, editors and shit?

It's very simple. You either believe in progress, reducing costs, capitalism mother-fuckers! Or you just believe in making sure you are rich. Everyone wants free trade when it's some poor kids in China making your microwave and getting cancer, or making your socks and getting cancer, or making your iphone and getting cancer. Then everyone loves markets. When it's your ass that's getting taken down by your own people then all of a sudden it's an existential crisis for democracy.

and more:

"The competition isn't from the bundled newspaper sites, it's from the people who have a much lower cost model who are going to do it for free," he said.

I mean, can people even hear how they sound? Try Globalpost. Try translation. Try to stop being the Britain everyone knows and loves. God.

Keen is right, we are going to build a new hierarchy on the web, but at least we'll be able to get rid of some of these fucks along the way, hopefully. Propublica, Bay Area Citizen, you're on fucking notice! Charity can be evil because it distorts incentives and creates unnatural and potentially unfixable outcomes. It's a bitter pill to swallow, so take it with something sweet.

2010年5月4日 星期二

Three Diamond

Skip to minute 36 for full effect:


What happened to Jim?

Wake up Claire, Jim's dead. They're dead, they're all dead!

Some people seem to think that the publishing industry somehow made the right move by not embracing the internet/getting their audience used to a free model to consume their content. They are wrong. The publishing "industry" will survive, in a radically smaller, less profit-rich, and influential form, but like the other media, factors outside of their control are the controlling ones.

I don't feel like mentioning sites who are talking about this, but I read about this and listen to stuff about this all the time.

Publishing, it's true, still has people paying for their stuff. However, they're off the map now. Radar can't even find them.


Publishing, like music, and news, existed based on a scarcity model. The sites that add value (curation, commentary, convenience, etc) are the sites that actually exist in the online world. And the online world is the one that matters. CDs still sell, and they still sold 5 or 10 years ago, but they're dinosaurs. They might not be completely gone in 5 or 10 years, but the joke won't even be funny anymore.

There's an idea that the physical book may survive longer than say, the newspaper, or the magazine, (obviously the "physicality of music" is out), and there may be something to that. I think that's more what e-paper is about. I'm not sure how serious the dead-tree business is long-term. Undead sand, a little bit of plastic, maybe some metal, yes, but wood pulp? Not so sure.

It's never easy to give up your base (single women in their 60s) and embrace a new world where the world has moved on without you, where what you sold as scarce (words, ideas, communication, etc) is so passe that people don't know the word passe anymore, and you can hardly get them to care about anything other calling Tommy is a douche on his wall, watching Hulu, or staring at all the girls pics in FB (turns out there are actually three drivers of the internet, one, porn, of course, and two, talking/chatting/etc, and three, anonymously creepily stalking/staring at people's pictures, (and 4, whatever the fuck farmville is, crack?)). So where does that put publishing and writing? Well, there's defeat and retreat route, academia. 1, force kids to keep on reading books, and be that provider. 2, leech off the post-secondary world which exists in its own time-capsule (peer-reviewed journals?, tenure?, teaching "duties" transferred to "assistants" while you do "real research" to earn "prestige" for yourself and the school? Even the profs are starting to get that they can't exist in a bubble forever. And no, MIT, you can't win either. You're just a bunch of dicks. But until we fix the "I need to see your certification" problem, the academy is going to be able to pull this shit. You see it more often, but it used to be a cold day in hell when normal people would openly say shit like "college is for suckers". The rise of the online schools and the for-profit, schools, B-schoools (I know, redundant) all point to the same thing. The old system is for shit.

So where can the publishing/"book" industry move to do not die? Well, that's a good question. Is there even any money to be made? Perhaps, at least through indirect means (optioning for movies, video games, etc (other forms of media that still bring in cash). At best, however, I think the industry can get on the internet and make their presence felt. They have to become the new curators of the world of ideas/thoughts, and somehow make people notice and care about them. Is there room for this kind of monolith when you have the social monolith opposite? That's a good question. People seem to think it's there for news (no one thinks ALL news orgs will die, just most of them) and for music (no one thinks the major lables will dissappear altogether). But "books" is perhaps the most problematic of the three. Judging by the people who run the "major" media empires, I'm guessing they simply lack the ability to do this themselves. There's no other reason to explain why the NYTimes is still a giant clusterfuck, and why it took Apple fucking computer to get them any money at all on the internet.

Like the other areas, it may very well be that the internet will have to build this shit up by themselves because the companies are so pathetic. Places like bookslut might have to expand their presence and turn themselves into giant hubs that do conferences, consulting, publishing, reviews, job boards, etc, (yknow, the things the industry should have been doing/getting involved in the past 10-15 years). Old media really sometimes can't fix itself. It's got this staff, and all these office chairs, and a legal department, and all this legacy shit. All filler, no killer.

I hate writing long posts, but I was just reminded recently about how backward/conservative some people are about these things and how unknowing they are of their unknowing that this is going to be a disaster. Whatever I intended to write here, I've long since forgotten.


Good follow up, Jim.

A Diamond record is one that sells ten million copies. You usually hear people talk about platinum, one million. Only people like Eminem can talk about being "multi-diamond", no one even understands what the means, because no one ever talks about it. Needless to say, those days are gone.

2010年4月19日 星期一

美國不是我們的家 - 野火集 龍應台

Slow Learner

Part 1: http://transliterationisms.blogspot.com/2009/10/blog-post.html

America isn't our home
Long Yingtai

Part 2

It's very admirable; Socrates was an ideal citizen because he believed in following the rules. However, let's notice that there were two conditions embedded in his statement. First, he said if he was unable to accept the rules, it was his right to leave the country. Second, he said the country was required to provide him a way to change the aspects of the system he did not like. If Athens forbade him from leaving, and provided no opportunity to reform the system, he was under no obligation to follow its rules.

So what is the situation like for us today? The environment around us is horrible. The choices available to ordinary citizens are exactly those Socrates had. Although he could have done so only after great difficulty, he would have been able to leave Taiwan. On the other hand, would he have been able to follow the rules and change the status quo? Do we have a legal method for doing this that isn't obstructed?

I received a letter from a doctor telling me about a painful experience he had. One day, out of the blue, an underground iron-working shop opened in his housing complex. The noise and exhaust coming from the shop made the entire community irate. He tried everything from begging in private to threatening to sue, but he didn't get anywhere. One agency said the laws weren't sufficient to do anything about it, another department said it wasn't their responsibility. A police officer even took pity on the owners, saying what hard work it was to run an iron-working shop. Having lost all hope, the doctor asked, "What exactly is it that our government is supposed to do? The laws are something even 17-year old high school students, Taiwan's future, can see through, 'Who cares if they're useless! I'll just leave for America.'"

Are you worried about our future yet?

Who exactly is the cause of our despair?