You won’t learn anything here.
I notice that I’ve had quite a few hits via baidu for a history of English lit. and A Dream of Red Mansions recently. I’m not sure why I’m getting hits for the former. Perhaps this term’s major essay at some university here is to write about the history of English literature. Unfortunately, I don’t have any substantive information on that one, but if you go to the antiquated Cambridge History of English Literature on Bartleby, you might find something of use. However, you should be going and doing research in your university library.
As for A Dream of Red Mansions, I wonder whether that’s come up because of a kids-these-day rant that was reported recently on Danwei. It was triggered by a comic version of A Dream of Red Mansions which takes some liberties with the story in the best traditions of parodies. But as the article says, this version was published four years ago and no one seems to have minded at the time. (One note, though. I’m not sure whether this is a comic book [i.e., manga] or a comedic, but otherwise prose rendition.)
Anyway, let’s give baidu what it wants. There was this sexy girl with long legs, and she had big boobs. She was a sexy girl with big boobs. Now, let’s see how long it takes for me to find that I get a hit or two via baidu for these terms. This time I’ll know that I actually wrote them.
Google in China. Noch einmal.
Another article about Google in China in The Observer today along with the usual arguments from both sides.
At the first Internet Governance Forum in Athens, starting tomorrow, the firm will insist its presence in China does more good than harm by getting more information to more people.
As we all know, Google has bugger all market share in China. In reality, it doesn’t appear to be making a significant difference.
‘We’ve made an empirical judgment, though, that being able to hire Chinese employees and have them be part of the Google culture and be free-thinking, freewheeling internet people … when you add it all up, we think we’re helping to advance the cause of change in China.’
Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. Just how many Chinese employees does Google have? Does the company really believe that such a small number of people is really going to make a difference? Also, where’s the main clause after “that”? I’m not sure whether the ellipsis means that material has been omitted, or the commentator simply trailed off.
‘We do see Google with a search engine in China that gives very different results from the one for the rest for us. I think the starkest example is the picture search for Tiananmen Square. We get the man in front of the tank; in China you get a happy, smiling couple, standing in Tiananmen Square as tourists.’
Another tiresome generalisation. It makes it sound as if all Google search results are warped and twisted. I do a search for “sexy girl long legs big boobs”, but all I get is a link to a page on model workers in Hunan, 1954 – 1957. (No, that’s not what I actually get. The top link for such a search is to a site which – I’m guessing ‘cos I’m not going to go near it – aims at “pick[ing] up cullies to increase their stock”.)
[27.08.13. A thought pops into my head while I’m editing this. What if you only want tourists grinning witlessly in Tiananmen Square and don’t want scenes from Tank Parking Day? All right, I suppose you can refine your search.]
I don’t believe it.
In another article from The Observer, it’s reported that books on atheism are the belle du jour of the publishing world.
A glut of popular science books making a trenchant case against religion have soared up the bestseller lists both here and in America.
I’m sure our hack didn’t really mean to imply that only books about science can make a case against religion, but I’d guess that if you asked for the antithesis of religion, most people would say science.
Dawkins’s book is also selling rapidly in the UK. ‘In terms of sales it’s vying with Jamie Oliver,’ said Alister Babb…
Jamie Oliver. Isn’t he that theologian? [Mr Bamboo. Isn’t he that pointless picky pedant? –ed.]
‘The God Delusion is selling four times as many as the next bestselling science book.
But is The God Delusion principally a science book, or is it principally anti-religious polemic? I can’t see how a book that specifically attempts to debunk religion can be described as a science book even if it employs science as part of its arsenal against it. It’s also possible to make a sound case against religion using logic without summoning science to the cause.
However, I am aware that religion has been attempting to subvert science with such idiotic ideas as Intelligent Design, which purports to give nonsense a sound factual basis. If we are going to debunk pseudo-science, then scientists are just the people to do it. But what are the aims of these books? I assume that some of them are intended to address scientific fallacies that have been pressed into religious service rather than debunk religion outright; others may be a more direct attack on religion through science (which seems to be the aim of Dawkins’ book from what I can gather).
If you’re wondering what’s happening, I’m trying to think of a suitable concluding sentence. I fear this may have to be it.