Saturday, February 4, 2017

蝴蝶


他曾是 多麽醜陋的 小毛蟲

艱難的蛻變後 才如此出眾

他曾滿足地 蟄伏在

生命的原點

美妙的起飛 終於催起了 他的夢

當綠色的和風 輕輕的

吹起

破繭而出

竟是他夢寐以求的

美麗多彩的 蝴蝶

Thursday, January 26, 2017

明德除夕依舊艷陽藍天







Trip in UK: Lots of Culture Shocks


Embark on the trip from Stuttgart airport. I felt the Taiwan, ROC passport is really difficult to use, since the name is really similar to China, they are checked a lot longer. Since UK is not part of Schengen, the two inexperienced lady spend lots of time checking the passport, make me feel really sad.

 The lady at the costume asked tones of questions to assure you are not a terrorists. That gave me a very bad first impression, as if it didn’t welcome tourists. My first culture shock is how popular UK is for Indian and Chinese, Southeast Asia tourists. The total number of visitors lining up at the costume were so much that I felt London is really a convergent point of all nations. It is indeed an international cities that filled with perspective young people coming here to either make a living, or to pursue their dreams.

The costume staffs consists of predominantly Indian descents. I don’t know how many generations are there for India immigrations. It just stroke me that London is an immigrant society, pretty much like Berlin. I was not my first time having this ethnical melting pot shock, but the intercultural fusion and interchange in London is magnitude higher than Berlin.

Although I was a tourist who visited London for the first day, I felt there seems to be a camouflage for minorities (tourist / Asian ) to get away with discrimination either simply because of novelty, or real resistance to immigrant/foreigners in UK. The reason is there are simply too many people come and go from UK everyday. Business travelers, foreign job seekers, tourists, students, or immigrants and immigrant’s children. They all bring in their own culture, and therefore resulting in an organic, vibrant, and tolerative community. 

I can imaging such an influx of emigrants should have formed a strong social anxiety to the native anglo-saxon citizens, because the immigrants are changing their original way of lives. The traditional Christian values of society were deprived from orthodox, and the veils and robes that from Arabic countries starting to take an important seat in the scene of the city. Muslim culture is extremely adamant, even though the immigrant group were outnumbered by the native citizens. It is because Islam is monotheism, and the doctrines has a very strict rule of how dividends should be punished. Islam was like the old Christianity before the 30 years war. Christians learned the lesson and modified the doctrines after the 30 years war, henceforth built up a tolerant religion. However, Islam has not learned that lesson. The fast growing Islam community in London has caused a strong pressure to people who wants to keep their original way of lives. To harness the cheap, young manpower that form the fundamental base of the mechanistic of the city, old Londoners gave up their own cultural dominance bit by bit. More and more Islam women wearing robes and veils on the streets. It can be a seemingly harmless cultural preference, but would it not be a sign that the gender equality, the decree of a modern society, is actually being compromised ? Yes, regarding to the upcoming referendum whether UK should leave EU, Kent 

Should the social tolerance should be unlimited expanded, allowing some radical extremism to eroding the basics of modern Christian values that hold the peace and growth of the country ? How can we guarantee the equality of all race, religion, and gender, while preventing extremism to take over ? The line of enforcement is actually very blur.

Aside from pessimist sociological discussion, the immigrants have brought vitality to the society, they provided new perspectives to old problems, sparks ingenious ideas, and injects adventurous genes to the country. Walking out of hammersmith Bush Market Station, I found most shops around the stations were run by immigrants. They are the small business owner, and blue collar labors that fill the strong demand of cheap labor of UK, a rich, powerful economy. On the other hand, a morality of white Englishman, and a small group of Indians, and East Asians occupy the top of the economy hierarchy. They work in financial or technological companies seated in modern looking glass skyscrapers around bustling business areas, such as Liverpool station. They work 8 to 5, wearing tailored suits and letter shoes, commuting either by bikes, or via tube. The society doesn’t really achieve the Utopia of all-equal. But more like the Utopia depicted by Huxley, where the homogeneous equality is not the wisest way for humanity. Mega cities like London is stratified, and it is hard to conceive how this kind of stratification, results not from race, but parenting and education, which is strongly correlated with race and their culture, would not fall pray as an easy target to opportunists to provoke hatred and class struggle, or social conflicts. Beyond all this foreseeable issues, London seems to be a harmonious society. One is that the immigrants are not as strong to contend the upper-middle class, the Anglo-Saxon class. Two is that the thriving economy brought about by this subtle collaboration have benefited the both sides. They are both very contended right now. Would it be the peacefulness before the arrival of thunderstorms ?

As mentioned, skilled foreign workers, second generation of immigrants have made it difficult to tell one’s origin in an international city. It shocked me how quick I was able to adapt to this new norm. Staying in this international environment truly converted me into a non-chauvinists individual. Here in London I finally was converted into a devotee of global citizen. Nationality, race, religion, gender cannot be used to define who we are, because we are all imperfect, or perfectly imperfect. In Monkeys in the tree, I met funny looking British guy Jonathon (reminds me of Dobbey), a transgender Danish freelancing engineer, Kent. He is a senior developer for a company called ARM based in Barcelona. He inspired me to invent my own career, and design my own ‘University’ for myself. Also, Ariana, a business contractor and a life coach. She taught me the way to think of the long term goals as composition of thing that can be done in 24 hours, which is really powerful.
There are Italian guys coming to London to find a job. It let me see the dark side of Italy that is usually unseen.
The hostel is full of amazing people. Yes, I see the world in a hostel in Fish Bush Market, London.





Interesting people I met

Gordon & Chris Canadian Engineer and Financial consultant.

Markus Karlesrule based software engineer.

Kent del Pino, an expat inventor live in London. He talked about a hacker/maker’s studio. It charges monthly to the members. But the amount of fee is totally voluntarily. I think it is a good idea that should be implemented in Taiwan. He also mentioned the double deck bus hostel/ or lunge bar. I also like that Ideas a lot.

Mirian a young lawyer in Montreal

She was an extraordinary nice person.

Trip to Paris

Paris Diary

Day 1, Friday

Visited Musee du Louvre, and stayed in the museum for more than 6 hours.
Met Florent in front of Mona Lisa.
Saw many sculptures and paintings.
Had a great dinner together.
 Ate chicken and white wine, very delicious.
The Airbnb was kind of shitty. No wifi, and no cooking.
Food is very expensive here. I guess the dinner cost over 20 per person, but Florent paid for me.

Day 2, Saturday
Musee d’Orsay
Another great day for 18,19th century arts.
Saw many famous paintings here, too. Learned a lot about Impressionism here. To put Impressionism in one word, is they emphasis the effect of light, more than the accuracy of the object itself. This was manifested in those works with sunset sky. Where everything was covered with a pink-orange hue. Besides, they found the shadow is not merely different shade of black, but the complimentary color of the objects color. They were playing the illusion of human vision that makes the painting more realistic to our experience instead of perception. 
There are free wifi outside the museum, which saved my life. I am able to contact Gordon and Chris, Thi.
After visited the museum, I went to Notre Dame by bus. The Church is on Cite Island. 
So many people. Food are also very expensive there, but the snacks were delicious.
There were police and securities checking backpack at the door of every tourist site. But the enforcement is the loosest I have ever seen. I bumped into a small inn in the Alley. Beautiful.
Then when I was looking for wifi and cafe. I met an old men who recommended me to have some Crepe. So we shared 2 crepes. One with chocolate bananas, another with bacon and cheese.
I gave up contacting Gordon. and I found the old man is a conductor/cellist living in Basel, Switzerland. We agreed to keep in touch, and I will listen to the Music he recommend. His name is Albert Roman. And hopefully I will go back to Shanghai on 15th September, and we can meet there again. We took some photos together in front of Notre Dame. And we walked to a pub area near Chatelet Metro, passing Pompidou Museum. There we found a good outdoor table and have beers.

I went home, slightly drunk as yesterday. I used the microwave to warn the frozen pizza as dinner at 1 am. I took a shower, and the condition of the shower compartment was a disaster. I should give it negative review on Airbnb.

Day 3, Sunday

Today I woke up pretty late, and one to Musee Rodin. Great sculptures in the park and in the mansion where he used to use a his studio in the last part of his life. To be honest, his work before his 40 is just mundane. He, like many other painters, mature in his own style after 40. The muscular from of the male sculptures captures the animations and mortal nature of humans. The object of his works are the normal people, thanks to his patron. So he more of less broke the limit of the purpose of art — doing portraits for the royals and higher class. There aren’t too many of his work there. The best sculpture might have been seen somewhere else before I visited here. The thinker is on repair. There are tons of young Korean tourist everywhere. That will make a huge change to their country in the next 30 years. After Rodin Museum, I went to Grand Palais, but did not enter. Tens of thousands of tourists were gathering alone Champ Elisee, to welcome the end of the France de Tour, the biggest cycling race in the world. That was really exciting to be part of it. I also went to Eiffel Tower. it was beautiful. There’s nothing to see on Camp de Mars. and River Siene is just okay, the scene is not as beautiful as in Cologne, or Florence. I went home early around 8 pm

Day 4 Monday.

Today  I packed up and went to Notre Dame, and it was just okay. Not very big, and not especially decorative comparing to other Cathedrals. I checked in around 11:30 at Sant Mercel, and found Bastille a bustling place to visit. Many cafe there, and much fewer tourists. To my surprise, the room was even worse. I realized probably that was what you can get if you want to be in that location with that price. Then I went to Pompidou Museum. I got a shrimp curry and rice noodles in a Chinese fast food shop nearby. Tasty. There is a high proportion of East Asian descent in Paris. Even locals can’t tell I am a tourist. Meaning I am not getting a lot of attention on the street, making my trip very comfortable. In addition, there are Asian tourists everywhere in Paris, but I approve it is one of the most impressive cities in Europe.
Pompidou is the Louvre of Modern Arts. All famous works in Dadaism, Cubism, etc can be found here. Once again Picasso proved he was a genius.
I left there, and went to Bastille, and found a good restaurant and dug in my medium lamb shaft. Delicious. 


Day 5 Tuesday.

So the last day in Paris. I visited the famous cemetery that buries historical figures such as Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Ingres, Dumeire, Proust, Bellini, Bizet, Jim Morrison, etc. It was for free. A must see in Paris.

Then I had lunch in a Korean restaurant. Tested good.

In the afternoon I went to MontMarte. It is a high ground where you can overlook the whole Paris, and on the very top of it stands a Basilica, which is much magnificent than Notre Dame. It was the area where painters like Van Gough and Cezanne, Picasso gathered and worked because it was cheaper in their time. However, it has become very expensive after the tourism comes in. Most of the streets are filled with cheap souvenir shops, and not so much about artists anymore. The food here is cheaper than the city center though.

Before I left the place, I started random wandering in the region to kill the remaining time. Montmartre now then showed its most lively part to me when I went off the main tourist route. It was the area that locals considered ‘dangerous’ at night. It is an area where black people live. There were Afro barbershops, cheap electronic, clothes, and many other things. I think it not dangerous before sunset, and it was indeed an eye-opener to me.

I think I have seen a lot in this trip, and shortly touched the real life of Parisian in the last minute. I saw Gypsies got searched by police and soldiers patrolled in small groups with machine guns. However, Parisians were not scared and loose their friendly nature as I experienced many time when I was looking for directions. As long as they are still having the long noon coffee break and enjoy their lives just seating at an outdoor table watching papers or taking sunbath. The ‘No Problemo’ philosophy will marched on, until the defeat of terrorism.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

阿姆斯特丹之旅


2016 揭穿自由市場假面的一年。


2016是充滿失望以及悲傷的一年。今年我們歷經了不斷的恐攻挑戰歐洲對自由人權的底限,也經歷了英國脫離歐盟,以及美國選出川普這樣歷史性的重大政治環境轉折。這樣的轉折將對歷史的進程產生決定性的影響,許多人將這兩個事件看成西方自由價值的失守,或是恐怖主義以及威權主義對抗民主陣營的勝利。2016 年也可以說是充滿意外以及錯愕的一年。主流媒體對英國脫歐公投以及美國總統大選的篤定預測,襯托出依賴主流媒體形成輿論的我們才是脫離現實的非主流。以往看似穩固一致的核心價值觀在英美的兩個投票中現出原形。原來意識形態的分裂已到達可以撕裂社會認同的程度。一群過去沈默的多數在這次選舉中獲得勝利。或許是該我們閉嘴檢討的時候了。自以爲是多數的我們到底做錯了什麼?

若要我定義2016年,我會說是揭穿自由市場假面的一年,以及揭穿社群網路影響力的一年。其實根究今年所有意外以及錯愕的最大公約數,就是對放任自由市場剝削勞工的建制派的反抗。因為至金融海嘯以來,M型化更嚴重了。這波浪潮的受壓迫者就是在社會M型化下消失的中產階級。在M型化底端的所謂的消失的中產階級應該是景氣復甦的受益者,但是多數人不但沒有受惠,反而受到自由市場資金勞工的自由移動而面對來自全世界的競爭。而身為金融海嘯罪魁禍手的財閥們,則隨著全球景氣復甦迅速累積資產,並且依然佔據著財富金字塔頂端。承諾要改革的自由派並未大刀闊斧解決國家財富分配問題的沉痾,百分之一的富人們還是繼續死性不改,以各種不公平的手段避稅,但是人民束手無策。

以道德掛帥的自由貿易主義在全球呼風喚雨,房地產等生活必需品成為炒作商品。自由主義除了放任意義下的自由,自由伴隨而來的道德義務卻完全不被重視。跨國企業迅速擴大,資產家財富翻倍。但是以勞力賺錢的多數人卻未被企業保護,隨時面臨不適任汰除的財富狀況危機。極化的經濟階級強烈對比出為道德承諾做出犧牲的是脆弱,貧困的多數人,而獲益的卻是逃避道德責任的富人。自詡為自由主義的建制派因而無法在下屆選舉中取得人民的信任,因為人民已經看穿其虛偽的道德大旗,裡子裡與公然擁護富人的保守派並無二致。輪替太久而腐化趨同的兩黨就是所謂的建制。獨立參選人的出線,表示選民已經厭倦建制。

或許西方陣營的意識形態還未極化到無法彌合,但是我們是該檢討自由主義的道德律是否被所有人共同遵守。我們不能一邊高唱自由主義,卻一邊讓守規矩的人受害。要檢討的不是自由主義,而是這面大旗是否淪為富人合理化財富分配不均的工具,而為何受害的多數人必須為虛偽不義的政策付出代價。我們看著大企業們高來高去,大談雲端,人工智能,以及工業4.0,但是我們真正在乎的是我們會不會再下一波的浪潮中失業。年薪百萬以及三十歲退休的夢想離多數人已經十分遙遠,買不起都會區的房子以及無力傳宗接代才是多數人的現實。高唱自由主義的國家若未能提供人民更好的經濟條件,如何期待威權國家效法西方價值?

我對未來一年走向的看法是中立的,自由主義將持續與權威主義以及恐怖主義拉鋸,明年與今年不會有太大的變化。歐盟將弱化。德國在西方的影響力會強化。西方自由主義聯盟的瓦解也給的東方的強權更好的機會去競逐道德話語權。中國以及俄國將在明年有更大的影響力。印度將成為下一個民主制度的希望。若是印度能夠崛起,民主制度可能能與威權制度繼續抗衡,若是印度不能複製東亞民主國家的經濟奇蹟,西方的霸權地位將受到嚴重挑戰。



Saturday, December 24, 2016

偈語

偈語



小和尚端湯上了塔,塔上了蠟,蠟滑了襪,湯灑了塔,燙了小和尚,小和尚白跑一趟,還需把地擦。方丈愛吃臘八,吃緊燙了嘴巴,湯裡下了巴豆,疼了八肚,還把肚子拉。 方丈提了袈裟,望了草房,撒腿奔下塔。忘了塔上了蠟很滑。小和尚剛才把地擦,罵湯不該燙他,蠟不該滑襪,方丈不該上塔,廚房不該煮臘八。正端湯上塔,卻撞著方丈忙下塔,老和尚叫不好,塔上了蠟,腳底一滑,湯燙了老和尚一把,老和尚拉了一袈裟,摔了大馬趴。哈哈哈,臘八白搭。