Friday, October 06, 2006

End of Story 2 in Wild Grass

Whew! I got through 80 pages to the end of story 2. Overall, I felt like it was a good story and a good addition to the book, but I did feel like the first story gave me a better and more visceral image of the peasants in China. In this story, I felt disconnected from the people, like it was all about the corruption in the government but did not connect me to the people's sorrow in their actions. This was odd too, since this story should have been the one to connect more since it was about people's homes instead of just taking their money. Anyway, let me know what you think. The end of the story did end sadly with Fang Ke going to MIT to study and Old Mr. Zhao's home was torn down. Also, Mr. Feng and Mr. Luo's lawsuit was thrown out the entire way through the justice system. I did notice that most of the story illustrated that how you frame the question is the most important factor in getting the answer that you want and when you ask people whether they want to get involved in politics, they generally say no. But what they mean is that they don't want to get involved in some sort of political movement that is going to get them into trouble. If you relate what people are voting on to what people care about, you actually get people that care alot. Here is what this story has me thinking:

The book points out that Chinese tradition did not have a tradition of scientific observation in the field. This brought me to thinking, the effects of the scientific method have been far-reaching and span across the globe. What effects do you think it has had and can you think of any bad ones?

The book illustrated that only houses from the Ming dynasty were considered important enough to save. I love the art and culture of the Ming dynasty as much as the next person, but what is your favorite period of Chinese culture? Plenty of other dynasties had great accomplishments and someone out there has to have a different favorite than the Ming.

The book says that there is no real market in Beijing because it is all government money. Do you think that there can be no real market, or just no real market in the Western way? And if you think that it is possible to have a market with all government money, can you please outline your ideas to me? I am very interested and I am formulating some ideas myself on how it could work, but until I have my ideas straight in my head, I probably shouldn't publish them on the web to be ripped to shreds by smarter sharks out there than me.

Fang Ke mentions his responsibility to society in the story of how he became an activist on this subject. Do you think everyone has a responsibility to society? If so, what responsibility do you think you have to society?

Be safe and have a good night!

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