See you in a few days?

Or is this goodbye for another year?

I don’t know whether this is going to be goodbye until the next time I’m somewhere I can access WordPress, or whether I’m not going to see this place again until who knows when.

If this place falls silent again, there’s always Green Bamboo on Live Journal, which has remained immune from Nanny’s hysterical behaviour so far. From what I’ve read online, I find that things may get worse again, but I’m hoping that because of LJ’s close association with the Grand Duchy of Muskovy, it will be spared for the time being at least.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading Hidden tigers: why do Chinese children do so well at school? on The Guardian along with the associated comments. One person hits the nail on the head. Chinese children are only really good at any subject which a computer or robot could be programmed to do. Ask them to do anything which requires independent thought, creativity, imagination, or critical thinking and most of them fall flat on their faces. They might all be made to learn the violin or piano, but though they may be technically good, they play as an automaton might play.

The problem with Chinese children is that they’re one-dimensional, but generally very good in that dimension. Since western universities want potential students to have a second dimension, our students end up doing the most perfunctory extracurricular activities (e.g. going to some orphanage or picking up rubbish), but their parents never allow them the chance to indulge in some hobby which might be tangentially related to some subject they want to study. Of course, most of them would play World of Warcraft or Counter-Strike until they dropped dead from want of food and sleep.

So until Chinese school children show evidence of another dimension or two, I’m disinclined to be too impressed with their narrow range of academic achievements.

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