Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pattberg: Deutscher Justizangestellter ging zum Philosophieren nach Schottland (June 2001)

Aus dem Archiv (6/2001): Thorsten Pattberg beginnt im Oktober ein Studium an der Universität in Edinburgh. Justizangestellter machte Abitur am Abendgymnasium in Hamm:
This was featured in our local newspaper, WA, back in June 2001 upon my departure from Hamm, heading for gorgeous Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. What a great adventure and journey into the unknown... but also... at the age of 24: so much loss (job, car, house) and separation from life-long friends and my dear family. My ultimate goal, then as now: To become the next Hegel, or at least a better Schopenhauer, no kidding! :-D

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Confucius : Flavors.me

China, Shengren, and the Rise of the Junzi:
This is fun! Flavors.me offers a neat, sophisticated web-act. Ideal, we think, for individual portfolios, activism, web presentations, and all kinds of art projects. (The upgrade to full-fledged website/blog status -including your own domain name- is possible against a reasonable annual maintenance fee.) Ours was inspired by Marc Perton who is also the Vice-President of Content at Big Think and builder of useful internet things. Image source: xiaokedou.

Der Konfuzius aus Bockum-Hövel

WE enjoyed a splendid, unforgettable summer time in Hamm, NRW, seeing livelong friends and staying, for four full weeks, with my beloved German family! And, what a rare honor, upon our departure, to be so generously featured in the Westfälischer Anzeiger (WA) as a messenger of learning and the Confucian way:
Source: WA, 29. August 2014, 'Vor 13 Jahren verließ Thorsten Pattberg seine Heimat zum Studieren'

Monday, September 1, 2014

日媒:中国国家人才流失 学子日益迷恋常春藤

Image: Tsinghua University in Beijing - China experiences massive 'brain drain', says Thorsten Pattberg in Global Times
    日本《外交学者》7月31日文章,原题:中国对常春藤联盟的恋情  不投资本国高等教育,中国将无法缓和人才向西方大学“流失”的趋势。中国学子对哈佛大学趋之若鹜,并非秘密。正如体坛精英加入顶尖俱乐部,中国的年轻才俊也被名牌大学所吸引。如今外国顶尖大学也正以前所未有的规模吸引中国尖子生。
2014-08-02 02:02:00 来源:环球时报 责任编辑:赵衍龙 作者:作者裴德思,王会聪译

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. [...]

READ MORE AT: http://www.chinaculture.org/info/2014-08/12/content_556302.htm

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 truth-out.org 

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 Amazon.com. 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) idealshanghai.com
"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: hz1188.com

Cross-posted at Dragons and Pandas, Big Think.

To keep up to date with this blog you can follow me on TwitterRSS, my Website, or my other Blog.

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".