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Helen: Wear a face mask

You mean a gas mask.  Yeah, that may be a good idea actually.

plan to leave.

Nay.  Some things are worth shortening your life for.

Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes.

by marco on Sat Jul 31st, 2010 at 07:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some things may indeed be worth risking your life for, but few are worth leaving yourself facing decades of debilitating lung disorder. I've seen the documentaries about coal miners and "The dust" and it ain't pretty. I speak as someone who was given a legal admission of liability for asbestos contamination by a previous employer and it's not fun always wondering if any shortness of breath you suffer is a beginning of something. You are not unbreakable.

Definitely wear a face mask at least to filter out the particulate pollution, although I have a vague memory that the govt discourage them for bringing them into disrepute.

But nothing, really nothing is worth the risk you're taking with your long term health.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jul 31st, 2010 at 08:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I was a bit too glib in my reply, though that is the implicit principle by which I'm here.

The sorts of documentaries and personal testimonials you raise are precisely one of the things that we need more of in China to influence public opinion and government policy.  Both the public and the government here are susceptible to such influence, but I get the impression that there is a filter and/or bottleneck on getting such material widely disseminated.  The great dams along the Yangtze may serve as a useful analogy here:  so much pressure behind the wall, how do you allow a steady but controlled amount to flow through and have effective impact, without letting the dam burst open a chaotic and destructive flood?  That is the Propaganda Ministry's tricky, delicate task.

Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes.

by marco on Sat Jul 31st, 2010 at 08:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK I'll bite.

What are those things? Why are you there?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 at 10:58:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hardly an original notion, but I'm betting that if China does not collapse, then:

   Britain:19th century::USA:20th century::China:21st century

aside from that, China's cultural impact on the world, especially Asia, has been so huge historically that it's worth living here to understand this culture and society up close and personal (though arguably, what exists in contemporary China is a pale, even twisted, shadow of the earlier incarnations of Chinese society that had such influence).

also, this is a unique window in which China is unusually receptive to foreign ideas, in particular, progressive ones that will benefit the entire planet.  once China has settled in to its position as the world's new "Big Asshole Boss", chances are it will be far less open to constructive input from self-appointed foreign advice-givers-who-know-best.

more practically, here i can make ends meet for a lot longer on my dwindling pool of savings.

finally, this is an incredibly exciting, stimulating and fun place to be right now:  it's almost impossible to get bored.

Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes.

by marco on Thu Aug 5th, 2010 at 04:50:21 AM EST
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