Tuesday, March 22, 2011

True Luck, Panglossian versus Utopian.

  • I did a little DVD shopping yesterday. At Nanchang Temple, third floor of the book market, I bought DVDs with the movies Mr. Smith goes to Washington, and The Magnificent Ambersons. Then at a little shop on Xueqian Street, I found a copy of the original True Grit with John Wayne, which I thought was truly lucky. I watched the first 75 minutes and can't wait to watch the rest, if I get a chance.
  • A Panglossian says "the world as it is, is the best of all worlds." The Utopian believes that the best possible world can be perfect. Most people fall in between these two extremes. Some believe that we can find better worlds improving on what we have got, taking into account the fact that it will never be perfect. Some want to improve the world at all costs. Some want to keep what is the best. Some bemoan the fact that the best is not perfect enough. And so on. I fall back on the fact that life is a paradox, and you just have to accept that one must always try to make things perfect, even if the goal is never reached.
  • Most of the major figures of the Wuxi China Expatdom have gone to Manitoba, Canada.
  • Where does the word "China" come from? Christian Missionaries, writing in Latin, mentioned an old dynasty called the Chin. They referred to it as Chin-a in their writing, and it became adopted as a name for the Middle Kingdom. I have sometimes mentioned the Latin origins of English words to students, without mentioning the Latin origins of their country's English name.
  • A student tells me her family's home in Yunnan province doesn't have a fridge because they never needed one. True enough, I suppose.
  • What's my son Tony up to? Find out here.

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