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'China 'to overtake US on science'. Not a good thing that.


The following are some comments extracted from the BBC under the entitled title - China 'to overtake US on science' in two years. Thoughts follow.





123. humanworth
4 Hours Ago

This article is a load of bull!

The Chinese may be producing a lot of published research but, as a well read scientist, I see that the majority of papers & research done by the them are regurgitated from Western papers and research.

To be blunt, most Chinese researchers are plagiarists. They find a western study, translate it to Chinese and claim it as their own and become national heroes.

118. Reg
6 Hours Ago

Seems like a few people didn't pick up on the points made in the article that quantity doesn't equal quality, others have already asked, how much of this stems from original research? I don't have an issue with ideas being improved.

Judging by the chinese manufacturing ethos of copy everything it doesn't seem that much of this research ends up in into their own production of unique technology.

121. vmitchell
6 Hours Ago

Unfortunately for China, it will never have what it truly, deeply craves: the sincere and overwhelming respect of others. China is unapologetically ruthless, duplicitous, engaging in spying, cheating, censoring, denying, suppressing, jailing, intimidating, and all other sorts of 'great' traits. It takes talent to have ALL of your neighbors be suspicous of you - rightly the whole world is too.

1. Daniel
Editors' Pick
29th March 2011 - 12:33

The NYT recently ran an article about the high volume of plagiarized Chinese scientific papers. Chinese academics are evaluated based on how many publications they contribute to or how many articles they write.

3. Daedeus
29th March 2011 - 13:07

I've been working on a literature review about the controversial science of 'Cold Fusion'. Chinese papers make up most of the litter, making ridiculous claims that have been disproved in well in advance by physicists as old as Oppenheimer. The Chinese may be set to overtake the US in number, but I couldn't say that the quality would make half of these worth reading.

123. humanworth
4 Hours Ago

This article is a load of bull!

The Chinese may be producing a lot of published research but, as a well read scientist, I see that the majority of papers & research done by the them are regurgitated from Western papers and research.

To be blunt, most Chinese researchers are plagiarists. They find a western study, translate it to Chinese and claim it as their own and become national heroes.

125. a2ed
57 Minutes Ago

What's going on here has to be seen in the larger context of china perceiving itself as the 'middle kingdom' or 'central land', which is the translation of the chinese characters for 'china'. It's never been about humanity, empathy, or the simple quest for truth and knowledge. It's always been, for 2000 years, since the Qin dynasty, about fascist domination and control for the profit of its elite.

126. a2ed
24 Minutes Ago

Are the chinese really getting smart, or is it just that they have far greater numbers in terms of population and thus might seem to be producing more where they might be producing less in proportion to their greater population. Secondly, with democracy in other states, intelligence and creativity might be more developed and hence professionally versatile, in China, however, given its authoritarian legalist-confucian creed, intelligence, creativity, would be severely compromised, and hence, focus, might be only in a few arenas and is thus able to garner greater numbers.


*****

The truth of the matter is, when the Chinese get smart, they don’t.

In other words, it is the elite that gets smart whilst the people keep on with their 2000 year old tradition, enforced at the initial Qin and shortly after, of being led by the nose by said elite - just about all elements of ‘chinese’ culture can be said to originate from, or find its significance and meaning from weakness. That is the Chinese formula for ‘success’, and which has been in the formulation since 221 b.c.

The western method of advance lies in the elevation of the people through democracy, multiculturalism, and education (as far as capitalism allows), extraction of ideas from the thus-elevated people, and advance. The ‘disadvantage’ of such a method is that political parties can’t ensure their own longevity in power as the people will acquire the intelligence and inclination to 2nd guess their governments and challenge them. However, in Chinese societies, and especially throughout s.e.Asia, they are trained to have neither of either as do their counterparts in western lands.

with the chinese ethos of doing as directed by the ‘son of heaven’ ruling over them, this great source of ideas is eradicated as the ‘back-rooms’ where human imagination thrives is replaced by the state-sponsored Chinese production line.So what happens here is that a few make the decisions in Chinese societies (parents in families, employers at work, teachers in schools, wives in marriages, the rich and status-endowed in social circles, the chinese in mixed-race groups, the government in the nation), and the rest are expected to follow mindlessly. Hence, they are able to advance far quicker in a sense. But that doesn’t mean that they are advancing in the right direction. But as the people are dumbed down by this well-practiced and *acculturalised follow-thy-leader principle, they generally wouldn’t know better, or enough, to 2nd guess ‘our leaders’ (which is what they refer to their governments as, and which is a bit of a freudian slip indicating a subservient-herd mentality). That is how the elite is protected from mass blame.

However, at the same time, ‘our leaders’ will have the advantage of extracting the resources from an unquestioning people to plagiarize via ‘foreign talent’ and the acquisition of foreign intellectual capital via the purchase of companies, research & development, etc, to allay the negative effects of having a dumbed-down population, or to constrain the development of the critical and intellectual acuity of the people down economic paths. The ‘advance’ that comes with this gives the chinese people a false sense of their own competence. But it would be more true to say that the population in general can only have the credit of following and not really being the intellectual and creative cause of their progress as this is left to ‘our leaders’. You could say that Chinese cultural/national pride is a vicarious one where they take pride in the achievements of their leaders' ability to play copy-cat and the people's ability to do as they're told without question or thought.

The best of ideas will always tend to come from a people whom are professionally, intellectually, creatively, and culturally versatile. They will be the people whom push the boundaries of imagination, whilst a people, like the Chinese, amongst others of a similar perspectival ilk, will always operate within the imaginative achievements of others. You could say that they make their money from reproducing cheaply or/and en masse the ideas of others, or making simple innovations. However, relatively ‘backward’ others will be depended on for the the next stage of significant invention and innovation, before they move in again to ‘produce cheaply or/and en masse. That is how they do it within Chinese states, and it can be expected that they follow this practice on a global stage. That is the context within which we can understand the forecast, 'Chinese overtaking the U.S in science' - but then again, it’s not that the U.S. did not plagiarize significantly from w.Europe before and during its advance, i.e. creation of the atom bombs, space technology, etc. In that, they are not too dissimilar to the Chinese.

But, is the Chinese model worth emulating, or lauding? Certainly not.

The main reason is that when the people are left troublesomely intelligent, politically vibrant, multicultural (the chinese throughout s.e.Asia are gross racists and xenophobes, which is a consequence of the top-imposed ethos of conformism and traditionalism), and creative enough, input can be expected from non-state-sponsored arenas. The imaginative produce of one seemingly unrelated arena can have a great impact on the imaginative impetus of another. You could say that imaginative freedom within a generally free state is not unlike sending people out to forage for hitherto unknown perspectives that can only be acquired from previously unexplored and unmarketable ‘geeky’ or sub-cultural pastimes. You could say that, in America, and throughout human history, ideas reared, groomed and pruned in dimly-lit back-rooms are that which added the spark that set humanity to chart the skies decades, centuries, and millennia later, even if they had no market, nor commonly appreciated when they were first produced.

Of course, progress will be slower as such a people aren't going to move when they are told to by their governments, or just because they are told to, like the Chinese. However, when they do move, its going to be with greater ideas as the reason for their delay in moving is to allow quite a few ideas to incubate to maturity. With the Chinese, they just have to move with the tried and tested ideas of the west without delay. Hence, we, and they, get a false sense of their achievements. If this ethos of just moving without thinking - a phrase commonly used by the chinese, i.e. 'don't think, just do', 'don't think so much', 'why be different', 'don't ask too many questions', etc - is promoted with Chinese 'success' being used as evidence for its usefulness, then we are going to be undoing the benefits of thinking before moving - which has produced much that has enabled the chinese today to advance. We would be cutting off the source of our progress. Thereafter, progress, as it is with the Chinese, will be what we can aspire to after we have been dumbed down to view the sky that we the frog sees through the mouth of a well as their entirety of the universe.

with the chinese ethos of doing as directed by the ‘son of heaven’ ruling over them, this great people-cum-popular curiosity as a source of ideas is eradicated as the ‘back-rooms’ where human imagination thrives is replaced by the state-sponsored Chinese production line
However, with the chinese ethos of doing as directed by the ‘son of heaven’ ruling over them, this great people-cum-popular curiosity as a source of ideas is eradicated as the ‘back-rooms’ where human imagination thrives is replaced by the state-sponsored Chinese production line - as has been the case in China with the institution of the Civil Service Examinations and the imposition of Legalist-Confucian thought on the entire Chinese population. Too much has been made of Chinese inventions in the historical past. Be it the mechanical clock, gunpowder, paper, etc, one forgets that these inventions did not make more of the people, but rather, it was invented to subjugate, control, and regulate them.

What the chinese have lacked for close to two millennia, unlike, say the west, or India, is what i would term, popular intellectual individualism. The people aren’t intellectually and creatively free enough to do what can be done despite it not be ‘practical’. Hence, the absence of this has seen their being controlled via the aforementioned inventions. Compare this to the invention of the printing press in Europe. It helped fuel revolutions and great change and innovation. In China, it just served to disseminate the dictates of the ruling elite. Today, it’s no different. All they seek is a vindication of ‘Chinese culture’, which took a major beating when the west scrambled for concessions and greedily carved up China during the colonial period. China never recovered from this blow to their severely nationalistic/xenophobic pride as it was an affront to their belief that they were the ‘central land’ or ‘middle kingdom’ and all others were barbarians or ‘foreign devils’.

Sum

Given such a perspective, I shudder to think what might transpire if China did overtake the U.S. as a superpower in a host of arenas. I had hoped that India would serve to temper the fascist temperament of China, but, given its multicultural history, they, as expected, aren’t into mobilising the entire nation to outdo anyone. Hence, that will eventually be their undoing, as it already is. The difference between the west/India and China is that the former will do business with anyone and give a chance to anyone. China does business with anyone but generally only keeps all gains for its own nationally and racially-defined own. Which state do you think is going to come out tops in such a situation, and what state do you think the global populace is going to be left in thereafter.

The difference between the west/India and China is that the former will do business with anyone and give a chance to anyone. China does business with anyone but generally only keeps all gains for its own nationally and racially-defined own. Which state do you think is going to come out tops in such a situation, and what state do you think the global populace is going to be left in thereafter.If China is to lead the world in ideas, it would mean either the burning down of all ‘back-rooms’ of creativity and imaginative belligerence - as did Qin Shih Huang Ti with alternative thought 2000 years ago when he burnt books and buried scholars alive that/whom contradicted his self-aggrandizing vision of how society ought to be and set the Chinese on a path which even their pre-Qin ancestors might have shunned - or allowing all back-rooms to thrive once alternative visions have been obliterated. Nothing much other than what can be expected will be produced then. Taking the lead, and then slowing everyone else down thereafter for its own end. They did it with their own population, and throughout s.e.Asia (with the partial exception of Taiwan, and once, Hong Kong) via their diaspora, and the setting up of Confucian institutes and states from Singapore to the Philippines and Central Asia.

I’d rather the U.S. keep its lead, not because i favour its elite or the 'Great U.S.of A', but i can rely on a greater modicum of n.American ‘back-rooms’ to keep the government on its toes, at least every now and then.


ed

note:
I'm not anti-chinese, or china. I'm pro global-integration, empathy, egalitarianism, and equality. If i take issue with any nation, it is only because of their willful deviation from these laudable aspirations. In that, they are the cause of the negative feelings that are engendered in the face of their self-absorption. This article is a call for critical introspection, not condemnation. If people of any race were to be subjected to a Legalist-Confucian upbringing, they would be no different. So, it's not a race thing. But it does become a 'race-thing' if one race is made to identify with such a perspective, and then moves on to operate along such lines in the face of all 'others'.


(acculturalised - author’s term for, ‘principles strongly embedded within the culture, or influencing the evolution of a culture, or serving as a criteria utilised to determine what attitudes, behaviours are allowed inclusion into one’s culture)







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