Michael Dirda at the Washington Post: ‘Sherlock Holmes May Not Have Been A Real Crime-Fighter, But His Creator Was‘
‘In 1908 the wealthy Gilchrist kept lots of expensive jewelry in her home but feared robbery so much that she installed three locks on the entrance door to her apartments. Nonetheless, one afternoon the family residing below heard loud crashing sounds above, followed by three knocks.’
“I must take the view, your Grace, that when a man embarks upon a crime, he is morally guilty of any other crime which may spring from it.”
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A discussion of deductive and inductive reasoning here, as it might relate to solving crimes (which is highly dramatized in our culture, perhaps partly due to Holmes).
Strange Maps has this.
221B Baker Street page here.
Just as I sit back, dear reader, life’s burdens lifting as though a shoe from a swollen foot, tender flesh slaked by the flow of cool prose, my pulse once again quickens.
The race has but begun:
‘Your Hopes Merest Fantasy
Your Vigilance Vanity
Democracy Dies In Darkness
Partake Of This Insanity‘
I’ve since joined a sub-subset of the Human Race.
It’s not the WaPo subscription list, nay, it’s a little club I like to call ‘The Human League.’ Membership is free.
Who says the human soul can be squeezed into 3:52 seconds of sweet 80’s synth?:
If you live in a society which hasn’t developed a profound and enduring concept of the individual in relation to the group, moral philosophies dedicated to the defense of individual liberty, laws emerging from the free association of individuals entering and leaving contracts with authority and with each other, well…,you might be living under a post-ish Communist centralized party apparatus laid atop a few-thousand year-old hierarchy laid atop a rapidly changing chaotic civilization.
Christopher Balding (via Marginal Revolution) has some thoughts about China during his nine years living there, and the turn taken under Xi:
‘I want to make perfectly clear that any complaints I wrote about in any forum are reflective only of my concerns about the illiberal, authoritarian communist government of China and not the Chinese people. Most professor colleagues, even those I would consider pro-Party, were good colleagues whom I enjoyed talking, debating(yes, it happens behind closed doors and I learned a lot from them)…’
Tyler Cowen from his blog: ‘The Rise And Fall Of The Chinese Economy‘
From a George F Kennan article written in 1948 on China.
My how times have changed!:
‘From the analysis in this paper of demographic and economic factors it is concluded that for years to come China will probably be plagued by (1) an implacable population pressure, which is likely to result in (2) a general standard of living around and below the subsistence level, which in turn will tend to cause (3) popular unrest (4) economic backwardness, (5) cultural lag, and (6) an uncontrolled crude birth rate.
The political alternatives which this vicious cycle will permit for China’s future are chaos or authoritarianism. Democracy cannot take root in so harsh an environment.
Authoritarianism may be able to break the cycle by drastic means, such as forcible “socialization”. At best, such measures could be put into effect only at heavy and long protracted cost to the whole social structure; at worst they could provoke such rebellion as to recreate a state of chaos.’
As previously posted:
Our author reviews Evan Osnos’ book about his 8 years spent living on the ground in China:
‘For its part, the government seems to be making efforts to get a grasp on public opinion, though they stem more from its need to buttress its own chances of survival than from any democratic instinct. Attempts at opinion polling have not gone well, mainly because most Chinese are wary about voicing criticism of the government to a stranger on the phone. Nevertheless, there is the sense that the leaders are aware that the ground is shifting. They just don’t know where it is shifting to—and no one else does, either. There is an obsession with establishing the “central melody” of the current culture, but the tune keeps slipping away.’
What’s life like in Beijing for an American editing an English-language Business Magazine?
Interesting quote on author Eveline Chao’s censor:
‘I understood then the mundane nature of all that kept her in place. A job she didn’t like, but worked hard to keep. A system that would never reward her for good work, only punish her for mistakes. And in exchange: Tutors. Traffic. Expensive drumming lessons. They were the same things that kept anyone, anywhere, in place — and it was the very ordinariness of these things that made them intractable.’
Also On This Site: TED Via Youtube: Martin Jacques ‘Understanding The Rise Of China’…From Foreign Affairs: ‘The Geography Of Chinese Power’…From The New Perspectives Quarterly: Francis Fukuyama’s ‘Is America Ready for a Post-American World?’…Repost-From The American Interest Online: Niall Ferguson on ‘What Chimerica Hath Wrought’