Category Archives: East West

RAND Corporation

Along the jagged coastline of Southern California, past the hills and forests of Malibu, five miles down from the Santa Monica Mountains, just short of Muscle Beach and the town of Venice, there sits some of the most quaintly decrepit oceanside property in America. The Santa Monica beach hardly looks different from the way it did a few years after World War II: the same huge arch along the entryway, the same calliope with the lighthouse-shaped apartment on top, the same small seafood diner.
At the edge of this underdeveloped strip of land, between Ocean Park Avenue and Main Street, stand two adjoining pink-and-white buildings—one is two stories high, the other five—which, from the outside, appear to house nothing more startling than the business offices of the local telephone company. But inside, there is the security guard in the lobby, doors that open only with the flashing of a special pass, dimly lit corridors, offices with papers and books and reports piled on desks and strewn all about, blackboards crammed with diagrams and complex mathematical equations, the library with its top-secret section, the specialclearance room in the basement where war games are played.
This is the RAND Corporation, and during the peak of the Cold War, most of the men and women (mostly men) of RAND did little but sit, think, talk, write, pass around memos, and dream up new ideas about nuclear war. Isolated from the hurly-burly of the rest of the world, they nurtured an esprit de corps, a sense of mission, an air of self-confidence and self-importance. It was, in large measure, this atmosphere that gradually created a doctrine concerning nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence, and nuclear war fighting, and that propagated the notion that the “RAND way” is the only legitimate way of thinking about the bomb.

Louis Dumont

L’extension incontrôlée de ce concept d’« holisme » à un fourre-tout énigmatique de supposées « idéologies traditionnelles », celles par exemple « de la Chine ou du Japon » , ne paraît donc pas recevable.
Dumont distingue l’individu de fait, « le sujet empirique de la parole, de la pensée, de la volonté, échantillon indivisible de l’espèce humaine, tel qu’on le rencontre dans toutes les sociétés », et l’individu de droit, « l’être moral, indépendant, autonome, et ainsi (essentiellement) non social, tel qu’on le rencontre avant tout dans notre idéologie moderne de l’homme et de la société ». Mais l’individuation des sujets dans quelque société que ce soit n’a jamais rien de strictement « empirique ». Elle est toujours institutionnelle, sociale et culturelle, comme en témoigne au premier chef le don fait à chacun d’un nom propre. Comment d’ailleurs un « sujet de la parole, de la pensée, de la volonté » pourrait-il n’être qu’« empirique » ? Sans compter qu’avant d’affirmer péremptoirement un quasi-monopole de l’Occident en ces domaines, mieux vaudrait sans doute se demander quelles dimensions de moralité, d’indépendance et d’autonomie sont promues comme valeurs dans les différentes sociétés du Reste-du-monde.
Dumont précise que l’idéologie holiste n’implique en aucune manière le refus de tout individualisme, mais qu’elle n’autorise la valorisation de cet aspect que dans certaines limites, dans une certaine hiérarchie. Pour lui cependant, holisme et individualisme ne sont pas symétriques. Plaçant en effet l’holisme au principe même de toute vie sociale, il cherche fondamentalement à remettre en lumière la « prémisse hiérarchique [cachée] au fond de l’atomisme individualiste qui domine le monde moderne ». Or société et individu ne sont, on l’a vu, que l’avers et l’envers d’une même réalité ; leur tension est au fondement de toute vie sociale. Pourquoi serait-il nécessaire de privilégier un pôle par rapport à l’autre ? La société en effet « n’est pas seulement facteur de caractérisation et d’uniformisation, elle est aussi le facteur d’individualisation ».

モトール・シーチ(Мотор Січ)

  • モトール・シーチ(Мотор Січ)は、ソ連時代からウクライナのザポリージャに本社を置き、航空用エンジンを生産してきた。
  • 2016年6月に、杜偉が駐ウクライナ中国大使に任命された。
  • 2017年9月に、中国企業がモトール・シーチの株式の41%(実際には56%)を取得した。
  • 2019年、モトール・シーチが中国企業によって買収されることになった。
  • 同年、杜偉駐ウクライナ中国大使は、買収は米中貿易戦争とは何の関係もないと述べた。
  • 同年、米国はウクライナに圧力をかけ、中国企業によるモトール・シーチの買収を阻止した。
  • 2019年12月に、セルゲイ・カミシェフは駐中国ウクライナ大使に任命された。
  • 2020年2月に、杜偉はイスラエルに到着し、3月に駐イスラエル中国大使に任命された。
  • 2020年5月、杜偉はテルアビブ郊外の大使公邸で死亡した。
  • 2021年2月、セルゲイ・カミシェフは北京の大使公邸で死亡した。

Julian Baggini

As language became more complex, we gained the capacity to mean things by what we said and to understand what others meant. Dennett’s most striking thesis is that it is precisely this ability to track other people’s “states of mind” through language that allowed us to track our own—and hence for our highly developed sense of self to emerge. He claims that every organism, even a single cell, has rudimentary selfhood. But when we start communicating richly, we need to be aware of the boundaries of our bodies and the boundaries of our minds—which thoughts are ours and which are other people’s. Words, he argues, “turned our brains into minds—our minds—capable of accepting and rejecting the ideas we encounter, discarding or developing them for reasons we can usually express.”

These minds, however, are not quite what we generally assume them to be. The unified, central-controller self is a “user-illusion.” We tend to think, as Descartes did, that we have privileged access to our own consciousness—“I think, therefore I am”—but in fact our self-awareness is limited, biased and partial. The self is not so much a thing as a “centre of narrative gravity,” a story we tell ourselves to make more coherent the jumbled reality of our minds. Asked why we do what we do, we are quick to find reasons, when “the most honest thing to say is often ‘I don’t know; it just came to me.’”

Leonard Koren

Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness. As dusk approaches in the hinterlands, a traveler ponders shelter for the night. He notices tall rushes growing everywhere, so he bundles an armful together as they stand in the field, and knots them at the top. Presto, a living grass hut. The next morning, before embarking on another day’s journey, he unknots the rushes and presto, the hut de-constructs, disappears, and becomes a virtually indistinguishable part of the larger field of rushes once again. The original wilderness seems to be restored, but minute traces of the shelter remain. A slight twist or bend in a reed here and there. There is also the memory of the hut in the mind of the traveler — and in the mind of the reader reading this description. Wabi-sabi, in its purest, most idealized form, is precisely about these delicate traces, this faint evidence, at the borders of nothingness.



Michael Puett, Christine Gross-Loh

Most of us think we’re doing the right thing when we look within, find ourselves, and determine what our lives should become. We figure out what kind of career would fit best with our personality and proclivities. We think about what sort of person would make a good match for us. And we think that if we find these things—our true self, the career we were meant to have, and our soul mate—life will be fulfilling. We will be nurturing our true self and living out a plan for happiness, prosperity, and personal satisfaction.

… But the very encounter with ideas so different from our own allows us to recognize that our assumptions about a good way to live are just one set among many. And once you recognize that, you can’t return to your old life unchanged.

John Van Sant, Peter Mauch, Yoneyuki Sugita

Certainly the most important bilateral relationship of the latter half of the 20th century into the early 21st is one of the most peculiar. Despite the disparity in size and population, the United States and Japan have been the anchor of relations in East Asia, and Asia more broadly, sometimes having a worldwide impact. It is odd, first of all, because of the huge disproportion in size and population between the two, to say nothing of social and cultural differences. It is also odd in that the United States was initially also much more dynamic economically and was actually willing to tolerate Japan’s rise to economic prominence through trade. But it is particularly unusual in that, just prior to its establishment, the two countries were at war and the former occupied the latter, and presently guarantees its defense. Yet, over the decades the ties have only grown stronger, and along with political, economic, and military links, there are increasingly close and amicable relations between the peoples, due to travel and cultural exchange, as well more recently as inter-marriage and immigration.




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