Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Than 150,000 Read The East-West Dichotomy

Featured this month in China Today magazine:

Does a universe of differences separate the two hemispheres that make up Eastern and Western cultures? Or, even in our multicultural world, has the phenomenon always been that of either the West wind dominating in the East, or the East wind dominating in the West? Is equilibrium between the two great cultural systems of China and the West possible?

German scholar Thorsten Pattberg has been comparing the cultures of China and the West in his online blogs since 2009. His in-depth philosophical, aesthetic, and sociological analyses include cultural comparative studies – from Zhuang Zi to Jackie Chan, from the Confucian concept “Heaven and men are a unit; they form the one” (“天人之际,合而为一”) to the modern Olympics slogan “One World, One Dream,” and from Plato to Nicolaus Copernicus.

The author’s vivid language and apt examples that pinpoint similarities and differences between Eastern and Western cultures touch as well on contemporary social topics. In the process of writing, Pattberg has also communicated online with his readers, so further piquing their interest.

Around 150,000 people in the U.S. have read and downloaded his articles, which have now been compiled and published in the book, The East-West Dichotomy: The Conceptual Contrast between Eastern and Western Cultures. [...]


Friday, July 25, 2014

The 2014 Berlin Espionage Scandal And NSA Surveillance Of German Citizens

US-German Relations in the Wake of NSA Surveillance of German Citizens

"Soon, the soccer after-party and media shindigs will be over, and Berlin gets sober again. German politicians from left and right are trenching in for a US revenge. It won’t be pretty. Ask any senior official or diplomat from Vietnam, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, China, or any place really, what happened when their governments tackled US interests: economic penalties, political manipulations, and personal defamations."

[READ FULL ARTICLE on Dissident Voice ]

Strange World of Tokyo Akihabara

The World of Akihabara: Strange Akiba, Electronic Town, at JR Akihabara Station in Tokyo. A space for computer nerds, comic freaks, toy collectors, and all those other other ‘otaku' -geeks | via Tumblr

Sunday, July 20, 2014

There is a sociological concept called the "East-West dichotomy

Good point by Jay Walker. The East-West Dichotomy indeed marginalizes African cultures (and South-American ones, by the way), but that is largely because European imperialism and colonialism took care of their traditions -with fatal consequences for their declining significance in World history, as we know today.

Likewise, the Slavic territories (Russia, Eastern Europe) and the Middle East were not mentioned enough in the book, partly for limited time and research, but also because those cultures either allied with the West or the East; never did they command or constitute a hemisphere of their own. Islam is largely considered an Oriental cultural system, while Russian-Orthodox is considered an Occidental cultural system respectively. I am well aware that these are generalizations (which are inevitable in philosophy), and that there are plenty of Western elements in Islam (it is, after all, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion) borrowing heavily from the Judaic-Christian tradition; and likewise that a case could be made for the Slavs, because of their geographical destiny, to be thinking people of the East, which by their historical loyalty to Christianity and their fondness of the Greco-Hellenic tradition they are clearly not.

In the end, however, we still talk about "the East" and "the West", and all people, no matter from which part of the world, see themselves as belonging (or leaning toward) either the Eastern hemisphere or the Western hemisphere; while someone who claimed he belonged to nowhere or fell in between, I'm afraid, has no meaningful category to hold onto.

"Politically-minded people and others express it when they allude to "the West", "Western ideas" or make statements about the "East", or "Eastern philosophy". Basically, the East-West dichotomy is used to identify and categorize all world cultures and political systems by way of a single, rigid, binary socio-political model. Dividing the world by who and what is "Western" & "Eastern." Thorsten J. Pattberg reveals his own flawed reasoning with such an over-simplied deduction of the world, in his book The East-West Dichotomy." --Jay Walker, Love Hate Black White

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


裴德思, 系北大毕业

作者裴德思Thorsten Pattberg), 德国籍系北大毕业的比较文学博士曾在北京大学高等人文研究院任职目前在东大



Friday, July 4, 2014

Baidu works for me

BAIDU VS GOOGLE - Advantages and Disadvantages

BEIJING – Baidu (百度), the Chinese 'Search Engine', is virtually unknown in the West; and it is certainly less technologically advanced and thorough than the US rival and global monopoly: Google (some of Baidu's functions are legal imitations of Google’s).

Still, from an individual point of view (your author writes a lot about China-related topics and also under a Chinese name裴德思), Google can be very limited, almost annoyingly so with so many US junk-sites floating on top of most search inquiries, and it is universally biased against Chinese (and other foreign) content. That makes sense. Google is after all a US enterprise and defends US interests. Consequently, if you search, say, for a China news item on Google, it will always offer you US media and websites in the top 10 results.

United States, Empire, Google

US pages, brands, names, and individuals are all privileged on Google's search results, and so are Google’s subsidies such as Wikipedia and Youtube. As they say, if it looks like a syndicate, it probably is one. On top of this, Google is naturally favoring its US peers, internet monopolies in their own right, in particular US social networks and platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, Academia, Ebay, Linkedin, Flickr, Big Think, Huffington Post, Tumblr, Vimeo, Instagram, and many more. The result is that other cultures and foreign views are marginalized or even ruthlessly suppressed (or at least delegated to the bottom of your search results anyway).
People just don’t realize how biased and pro-USA Google often is. Even Google Germany will always offer you non-German results for German search terms –by default, because the US feels it is universal and owns the internet.

Access to China Knowledge

Therefore, it is refreshing to (at least) have this option of using an alternative Chinese Search engine that may be limited and biased in its own rights, alright, but still spares you most US junk-sites. This feels especially privileged since other nations such as France, Germany, or the UK have already been colonized by Google & Co., and thus offer little or no originality. Worse, it has now become apparent that the US government in fact abuses its (subsidized) internet monopolies and illegally collects the data of all users who apply to US internet services -even if those countries are close allies like Germany.

Anyway, if you don't already know, you will be surprised to see how different some of the search results on Baidu and Google are; in fact, I would always recommend anyone working with China to regularly use Baidu –especially if searching for Chinese people, brands, information, and news.

That said, Baidu is successful mostly because the Chinese government banned or restricted Google and most of the above-mentioned US internet monopolies in China. The Chinese have good reasons for this. The authorities hope to limit US influence on world knowledge and how it is presented.

One search engine to fit all nations

Here’s the point. Imagine you are Chinese person in China trying to find information and the top 10 search results are all from US-sponsored corporations (again: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Wikipedia, Wikihow, IMD, Academia, BooksGoogle, Answers, Amazon, Ebay... you name it). In effect, Google is helping all US conglomerates and corporate media pushing and spamming their electronic presence into Asia, even if it’s not in the local language, because Google and its partners (including the US government) all profit immensely from this form of digital patronage and de facto cultural imperialism.

On the other hand, a quick search on Baidu thankfully omits (most of) the US-spam and shows Chinese websites that are (sadly) mostly completely unheard of in the West -sites like Baike, Wenku, Douban, Zhidao, 163, Wenwen, Docin, Sina, Aisixiang and many others. It feels liberating to look at a world not yet perverted by stars and stripes. [Example: 杜维明]

The Chinese fear of a US world monopoly on knowledge is understandable and very real, and China and Baidu are trying to dodge a fierce stand-off with Google that for now they couldn't possibly win.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spamming The World With Blair Faith

Pattberg on 

They used to say that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were the great losers of the 20th Century, but that's just convenient Anglophone propaganda.

READ FULL ARTICLE: Tony Blair - War Criminal, Narcissist, Cult of Personality

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Language Makers

Confucius is a "Shengren"
"As a result we still live in this very backward, controlled society violently guarded by often arrogant but ultimately extremely short-sighted mono-speakers who naturally (and who can blame them) prefer to keep their language pedigree and pure. [This is going to change.]"

READ THE ARTICLE ON LINKEDIN: A Call for more Diversity: Liberating the World’s Vocabularies

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Торстен Паттберг – Автор книги «Дихотомия Восток-Запад»

По мнению автора книги «Дихотомия Восток-Запад» Торстена Паттберга, западные санкции никак не скажутся на отношениях между Россией и Китаем. Хотя КНР обеспокоена ситуацией с Крымом, китайское руководство рассматривает действия России как реакцию на западный империализм в Центральной Азии.

беглый обзор:

ключевые слова:

Торстен Паттберг - Книги, Дихотомия Восток-Запад, Язык Империализм, Конец перевода, конфуцианство, конфуцианские мудрецы, Язык революция, Глобальный язык, Пекинский университет, Токийский университет, Гарвардский университет, автор, лингвист, Немецкий диссидент, Немецкий философ, Культура критик, Большой Подумайте, интервью, китайские терминологии, Конкурс на терминологии, Блог, Знание является Полиглот, Внутри Пекинского университета, Восстание Junzi

Sunday, June 15, 2014

儒家世界 - 裴德思 - 中国的儒家圣诞节



Friday, June 13, 2014

As Chinese Middle Class Marches, Quality and Emotions Of Food Plays A Part

Got interviewed at RT Actualidad about the ethics of GMO in China: "Representatives of the growing middle class in China have a very serious attitude towards the goods they buy. If you buy something like strawberry in appearance, flavor and aroma, but no such a fruit, it has no value to the consumer." --T. Pattberg
Image credit: REUTERS Thierry Roge

Friday, June 6, 2014

Shanghai Daily Publishes Chinese Dream Compilation

The Chinese Dream, 2014
   SHANGHAI - They say that when Xi Jinping elucidated the 'Chinese Dream' in Beijing in 2013, in Shanghai they were already living it for decades. The "Paris" of Asia, world-renowned for its fashion, its education system (No 1 in the world, according to student performance measured by the OECD), its gorgeous skyline, and its beautiful people and culture, Shanghai is also a metropolis of stark contrasts -the gap between the wealthy and the poor is mind-blowing, and its out-of-control "red capitalism" a great source of concern.

   One of the first Chinese aphorisms I learned was: "If the forest is big enough, there are all kind of birds." True, this is the city of adventurers, of foreign drifters, of gold-diggers, expats, of migrant workers, of tycoons, and of dreamers.

   Shanghai Daily now published a compilation of authentic, inspiring, and often touching stories covering most strata of this complex society -from Zhang Junguo the taxi driver, and Yan Zhilin the retired factory worker, to Derek Wang and Kay Gao to whom picking American given names comes with the territory and means business. This is book covers three generations of Shanghai's hopefuls recalling the hardships, struggles, but also the unbroken enthusiasm toward a better tomorrow and -finally- the rejuvenation of China's economy.

   Some of these tales have been featured in Shanghai Daily's cultural section, but are now available, for the first time, in e-book form here at I think that Wu Zheng (the book's Editorial Director, and a graduate from Fudan University) and her team did a great job. Special thanks to Yao Minji for the interview and for mentioning my work in the preface.
Ms WU Zheng, Shanghai Daily, (c)
"When Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the nation to pursue the "Chinese Dream," he triggered a public dialogue about people's expectations and how they are fulfilled. Shanghai Daily launched this series in 2013 to explore the dream theme through different generations." --THE CHINESE DREAM

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cult Killings at McDonald's in China: Killer claimed she was an "evil spirit" (Video)

Woman killed in a McDonald's in China by Cult member Zhang Lidong who claimed she was an "evil spirit"
A nation sees its public morals dwindling:

ZHAOYUAN – Six people, four of them related, have been arrested for assaulting and killing a 37-years old woman at a McDonald's in China, Shandong Province, on May 29th.

As of May 30th, little details are known,* and there are conflicting reports (some say the woman was in her 20s; and that she “spurned his advances”) about the perpetrators (allegedly members of a Christian cult). A quarrel insured. The victim is said to have refused to give her phone number. What is undisputed, however, is the crime itself which was video-recorded. In addition, images from what looks like a security camera footage were broadcast on the province's TV.

RELATED China’s new eugenics: the poor are aborted, the rich shall live

Net citizens (China has over 600 million internet users) were outraged at what presents itself as yet another instance of complete moral failure of this pseudo-harmonious nation: The McDonald's was apparently jammed with customers and staff workers who either quickly left the scene, stood by and watched, or (helpful for police and investigators -it needs to be said), even filmed the gory incident: YOU WILL BE ASKED TO VERIFY YOUR AGE FOR THIS VIDEO FOOTAGE:

Some commentators searched China's soul to blame -they quickly compared it to the case of Yue Yue, a two-years old Chinese girl that a few years ago was run over by two cars in daylight and in a busy place and left to die by at least 18 passers-by.

“Why is nobody helping this poor woman?!” Someone posted, angrily. In addition to the exceptional barbarity of the murder, the case is likely to stir up the debate about widespread violence against women.
Finally, the incident happened at a time when a spell of killing rampages and mass stabbings at train stations and public spaces (often in open daylight) has gripped the nation's psyche, leaving ordinary citizens indeed fearful of meeting with random meaningless death.

RELATED Years of the Knife – The Stabbing Culture in East Asia

To show some leniency for the frightened observers (and staff members) in the video: The action escalated rather quick, and savagely, and after just 2 minutes or so, and after a bullish thug bashed the victim’s skull with what looks like an iron bar, the woman died on the spot. Having said that, in the end it all feels like some form of collective failure to render any assistance to that poor lady.

Chinese society may be harmonious and peaceful and all; but have them watch a stranger suffer pain and injustice… Holy Laozi, you can hear the callousness crackling.

*On May 31, CCTV published this interview with Zhang Lidong in which he said the killed the woman because she was an evil spirit:

Image credits:

Cross-posted at Dragons and Pandas, Big Think.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pattberg: Businessweek Propagandizes "China's War on English"

If you will allow, my thoughts on over-the-top Bloomberg's China's War on English by Dexter Roberts

"Chinese authorities are waging a war on American culture and the use of English." --Dexter Roberts

LIVE COMMENT: Haha, cry me the internet, Bloomberg. If there's a war on language, it is the English one against all others (I am a German native speaker, so take some from me):

It has been shown -over and over again- how European translations of all things Asian have directly misinterpreted those other civilizations, and robbed the Asians of their originality, their inventiveness, and their intellectual property rights.

This great destruction of foreign words follows the history of the Europeans like genocide, colonialism, and orientalism.

For years, established scholars try to reach Western media outlets like Bloomberg, NYT, WSJ, Science, The Economist, and what not to inform people like Mr. Roberts of this systematic, relentless US-Anglophone language imperialism.

RELATED Zero Translation - As Chinese Are Madly In Love With English Words, Abandon The Archaic Habit

But he, like all others, tries to play it safe in life and instead accuses China of a war of resistance against Anglicism. But this resistance has a precursor. I'll suggest, for the sake of a balanced argument, to write about the war on non-Western words some time in your distinguished publication.

To be sure, English may be the international language, but it is NOT the global language. The future of global language would require tens of thousands of non-European vocabularies on top of it. China knows it, Japan knows it, India knows it, Iran knows it... you won't print it, so their ideas do not exist.

RELATED The Resurrection of Non-Western Civilizations

Europeans and Americans have been particularly cruel to the Chinese tradition. Very few words entered the English parlance (as compared to Sanskrit words, or Japanese ones). China has basically sucked up the knowledge of the Western world; yet what it had to offer back in return had been categorically censored, rejected, omitted, obliterated, or translated into convenient (often biblical and philosophical) European vocabularies.

We all know, America takes great pride in having "liberated" the races, the genders, and entire countries from foreign oppression. But you forgot to liberate the words.

China, in all fairness, is far more closer to the truth than America ... that knowledge is a polyglot.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On Sino-Russian Geopolitical Gas Love Affair

Short politico-economic commentary on Sino-Russian techtelmechtel in Shanghai (in lasted the night and ejected a world-record $400bn gas-deal!) has resurfaced from the dark hole that is the interfed...
 On Sino-Russian Geopolitical Love Affair
The Economist had this to say about Asia's "Best frenemies".

Friday, May 16, 2014

PATTBERG: Por qué los países mantienen relaciones abusivas

Por qué los países mantienen relaciones abusivas
Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

No podemos ni debemos convertirnos en chinos, y de corazón tampoco lo queremos. No debemos buscar un sentido ideal o superior de la vida en China o en ninguna otra cosa del pasado; de otra manera nos perdemos y nos adherimos a un fetiche.  (Hermann Hesse, 1921)

Hace unos 111 años, el emperador alemán Guillermo II, despidió el Cuerpo de Expedición Oriente-Asiático desde el puerto de Bremen a China, enviado a fin de reprimir la resistencia de China al imperialismo europeo. Sus órdenes eran inequívocas: llevar la civilización a China, no mostrar piedad ante los reaccionarios y dar a China una lección memorable para que ningún chino se atreviera a mirar con recelo a alguno de nosotros. Por cierto las cosas han cambiado desde entonces.

Han inventado aviones. La ministra federal de Educación e Investigación y su delegación de altos funcionarios volvió a aterrizar en Shanghái. La megalópolis china del delta del río Yangtsé es más populosa que la capital alemana, Berlín, Hamburgo, Múnich, Colonia, Frankfurt, Stuttgart y las siguientes mayores ciudades alemanas en conjunto. Es impresionante.

La ministra federal ciertamente prefiere Pekín, la capital de China y su centro político y educacional. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los alemanes productivos, los que realmente producen valores materiales desde que comenzaron los acuerdos comerciales bilaterales en 1979, se han establecido tradicionalmente en Shanghái y más hacia el sur industrial: Shenzhen y Guangdong, las bases manufactureras chinas. Más de 5.300 compañías alemanas están activas en China y solo en Shanghái se encuentran 8.000 administradores alemanes.

La Universidad Tongji de Shanghái es un aliado de preferencia de los alemanes. Fue cofundada por alemanes, entregó títulos honorarios a políticos como Gerhard Schroeder, excanciller, e invita numerosos profesores alemanes. Sin embargo, solo hay unos 250 estudiantes alemanes estudiando a tiempo completo en toda China, la mayoría solo por intercambio o leyendo dui wai hanyu (chino para extranjeros). Hay que comparar esta cifra con los 25.000 estudiantes chinos que estudian en Alemania. Y a diferencia de los chinos en Alemania, en China no se obliga a los alemanes a presentar pruebas de formación lingüística china de 200 horas antes de solicitar una visa de estudiante.

Más de dos docenas de cátedras en alemán en Tongji están patrocinadas por corporaciones alemanas; por cierto la mayoría de esos alumnos de último año no habla chino, es una antigua tradición que no discutiré en este trabajo. Mientras tanto, los partidos políticos alemanes, los medios alemanes, el Servicio Alemán de Intercambio Académico, la Sociedad Max-Planck, la Cámara Alemana de Comercio, el Instituto Goethe -todas organizaciones patrocinadas por el Estado, pro gubernamentales– han llegado al Reino del Medio con la misión de hacer que los chinos hagan lo que hacen los europeos, o comienzan a despotricar contra China si China no lo hace.

La hostilidad de Alemania contra China es abierta y oficial. Los medios alemanes satanizan constantemente a China porque es demasiado china y demasiado comunista. Según el documento de estrategia en Asia del 23 de octubre de 2007, la gobernante Unión Cristiana Demócrata y el partido menor con el que gobierna, la Unión Social Cristiana de Baviera (¿pensabais que Alemania era un país laico, verdad?) calificaban a China de “amenaza para los valores, la economía y el desarrollo político de Europa”.

Volvamos a la ministra federal; en el Chinesisch-Deutsches Hochschulkolleg en Tongji dio una conferencia con respecto a China sobre “Responsabilidad global”. Sin embargo, suena sospechosamente como un monólogo sobre que China debiera occidentalizarse y civilizarse al hacerlo.

Los alemanes tratan de rectificar la cultura china siempre que pueden. Los funcionarios alemanes en Shanghái, analfabetos en la lengua y la tradición chinas, se quejan de que los nombres y apellidos chinos están al revés y deberían modificarse de modo que Wang Yuhe se convierta en "Yuhe Wang", Jin Li en "Li Jin", Li Hao en "Hao Li", etc. Sorprendentemente aún no han probado "Zedong Mao", "Weiwei Ai", o "Jiabao Wen".

Por cierto, Alemania no puede tratar con condescendencia al mundo de habla inglesa, pero sí puede hacerlo con la mayor parte de los Estados europeos más pequeños, y lo hace. Algunos observadores occidentales recuerdan ahora la primera misión diplomática prusiana a Asia oriental, la Expedición Eulenburg. En 1861, cuando Gran Bretaña y Francia acababan de invadir Pekín por una disputa comercial respecto al opio, el conde Friedrich Albrecht zu Eulenburg impuso un tratado comercial al Imperio Qing en nombre de toda la Unión Aduanera Alemana. En la actualidad, los alemanes consultan a China por cuenta de toda la Unión Europea. Cualquier tratado desigual que se haga actualmente será tanto más importante.

Ahora, ¿son compatibles las industrias de investigación de China y Alemania? Desde luego lo son, si los chinos se hacen más alemanes. No existe ningún otro escenario futuro. La idea de que Alemania pueda aprender algo de China es absurda, los chinos quieren conducir coches alemanes cómo hacen los alemanes. Es una metáfora.

¿Son compatibles los sistemas educacionales de China y Alemania? La respuesta es evidente mafan [molestia, N. del. T.]. Primero, Alemania carece históricamente de universidades de elite y de categorías universitarias que se encuentran con tanta naturalidad en EE.UU., el Reino Unido, Japón, o China. Se ve a “directores” y “profesores” llevados de sitios tan oscuros como la Universidad Bochum o la Universidad Greifswald, quienes luego comparten una cátedra con tecnócratas de la elite china graduados de las escuelas más competitivas de Asia como la Universidad de Pekín, la Universidad Tsinghua o la Universidad Fudan. Es un honor para los alemanes, ¿pero para los chinos? Preferirían trabajar con sus pares de la Universidad Harvard o de la Universidad Cambridge. También puede ser molesto aprender inglés de los alemanes.

Segundo, las cifras importan: Alemania tiene solo un 1,2% de la población del mundo, China tiene el 20%. Alemania se unificó en 1871, China en 221 antes de Cristo Sin embargo, ya que los alemanes se entregan a la fantasía oriental de que los europeos son más importantes frecuentemente la falacia de la categoría: Recientemente presenciamos el ego del ministro presidente de Baviera (un sitio que tiene apenas la población de Linyi en el sur de la provincia Shandong) durante un fugaz viaje a la capital de China, quien se quedó indignado e incrédulo porque el presidente Hu Jintao y el primer ministro Wen Jiabao no se sintieron obligados a recibirlo.

Luego, el viejo sistema de educación alemán se ha deteriorado, ahora se modela lentamente según el anglosajón. Mientras los títulos alemanes en el Siglo XX no tenían comparación, los alemanes asumieron la superioridad, pero después del final de la Reforma de Bolonia en 2010, se puede evaluar a los estudiantes alemanes en comparación con sus pares globales. Resulta que las cualificaciones alemanas, según el Programa PISA de la OCDE, solo llegan a un rango mediocre. Irónicamente, los estudiantes de Shanghái ahora son oficialmente los mejores del mundo.

En último lugar, Alemania es una sociedad clasista con un sistema escolar a tres niveles que refleja su conciencia de clases. Significa esencialmente que después de que pasan cuatro años juntos en la escuela primaria separan a los niños a los diez años en tres tipos de escuelas diferentes (existen cuotas) que luego predeterminan sus vidas mucho antes de que comprendan la importancia de las cualificaciones, la educación superior, o incluso lleguen a la pubertad. Las Naciones Unidas creen que el sistema se manipula a favor de los padres, no de los niños, y condena a Alemania por hacerlo. Por eso a China le va mucho mejor, pienso, al basarse claramente en la meritocracia, independiente de las clases, que conduce a los chicos de todos los antecedentes al gaokao [examen de acceso a la universidad, N. del T.].

Por cierto, el espíritu alemán es peculiar. Alemania nunca vivió la Ilustración, solo su propia introvertida Aufklärung [esclarecimiento]; carece del desarrollo crucial en el cual el mundo anglosajón aprendió, por experiencia, a coexistir en la diversidad. Por lo menos en teoría.
Hasta hoy, la cultura alemana carece de una concepción holística de la humanidad, prefiere una forma de pensamiento linear en la cual la cultura europea está muy por delante de la china y otras. Todo lo que no es europeo se contempla como una inconveniente desviación del estándar alemán. No es sorprendente que Angela Merkel, la canciller, haya confirmado recientemente que el multiculturalismo ha muerto. No en Shanghái, al parecer, donde los alemanes siempre serán alemanes.

Si no hablamos del tema, el imperialismo nunca se detiene. Cambia de paradigma y luego sigue parloteando. Un estudiante chino preguntó recientemente: ¿Los alemanes desean formar a más estudiantes chinos porque realmente se interesan por nosotros o solo porque lo hacen los estadounidenses?

Recordé vagamente nuestra misión y respondí respetuosamente: No, compartimos verdaderamente ese compromiso. Es nuestra responsabilidad global hacer que seáis más como nosotros. Por eso estamos aquí. Otra vez.

el doctor Thorsten Pattberg es escritor y crítico cultural, se graduó del Instituto de Literatura Mundial de la Universidad de Pekín. Escribe sobre el imperialismo lingüístico y es autor de The East-West dichotomy (2009) y de Shengren (2011).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Academic prestige: Why climb the greasy pole? Because atop there lies Valhalla!

Harvard University
Interesting piece in The Economist today about Academic prestige - Why climb the greasy pole?

I can only speak about the humanities, not the sciences. So, to start with: "better research" has nothing to do with it. That's not the point of elite institutions.

Rather, they are about what the Germans call Deutungshoheit -having the sovereignty over the definition of thought. If you or I have an idea, no ones give a mouse's crap, while if you are associated with a prestigious university and say it you will go down in history for having said it.

That's why Harvard & Co are focused on the sensational and the general. They want to get credit for the big topics and issues in life. And they have unique and easy access to top journals, publishers, and the media. In fact, they are always thought after (while the average academic has to try very hard, too hard). Important governmental and non-governmental institutions, even religious groups, establish offices in Cambridge, for example, such to have proximity to Harvard and MIT brands.

Just presenting a talk there is more valuable than tens of thousands of dollars in marketing. Those academics' opinions matter a million times more (than the rest) precisely because they are Harvard, Princeton, MIT etc. professors -and NOT because they are so original or unique. I love it how the research above concentrates on citations etc. That's laughable and besides the point of education, which is not about knowledge but about privilege.

A professor at some no-name college can write whatever he wants, he will never have access to the elite and powerful in academia. Last, if we look at the human race, the perks, privilege, and opportunities to those few chosen ones with a degree from (or a position at) those elite institutions are (almost) limitless.

Everyone wants to be associated with their brand. They feel like gods and goddesses, and in a way they are. So, Why climb the greasy pole? Because atop there lies Valhalla.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

PATTBERG: Mi lenguaje, tu prisión - Lenguaje e Imperio

El profesor Thorsten Pattberg en su artículo titulado Mi lenguaje, tu prisión. Lenguaje e Imperio. (Global Research, mayo de 2012) pone el foco de atención en la dominación que ejerce actualmente “Occidente” frente a “Oriente” a través del lenguaje y la traducción, y el modo en el que mutilamos su pensamiento y lo acomodamos al nuestro, como una forma más de globalización. Entendiendo globalización como dominación. [...] Source: Franco y algunos más. El lenguaje en la construcción del relato histórico y político at

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

China reveres foreign degrees more than its own diplomas - Shanghai Daily

Shanghai Daily, May 6, 2014
"Remember this, in a healthy and developed society the following order prevails:
First you value your home-grown talents, and then those foreigners who want to learn from you;
followed by distant foreigners who are somewhat innocent."