👓 U.S. vs. North Korea: The Winner? China | The American Prospect

U.S. vs. North Korea: The Winner? China by Robert Kuttner (The American Prospect)
China has no reason to restrain Kim too soon, or for too modest a price. I keep thinking of the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This terrifying episode was a very complicated game of diplomatic maneuvering and military posturing, with a thermonuclear exchange between the U.S. and the USSR as the consequence of a misstep. But that apocalyptic situation had one big advantage over the present one: John Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, and Fidel Castro were all sane, rational beings. The same cannot be said about the two protagonists to the Korea crisis, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. In Kim, Trump has met his match.

This is apparently the article that began Bannon’s ouster from the administration.

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Here's What Trump's Latest Executive Orders Do

Here's What Trump's Latest Executive Orders Do by Matt Ford (The Atlantic)
With a penstroke, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from Trans-Pacific Partnership, imposed a federal hiring freeze, and reinstated the ‘Mexico City policy’ on defunding international abortion-related services.

I have a sinking feeling that he spent more time actually signing these than he did reading them.

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Chris Aldrich is reading “Donald Trump speaks with Taiwan’s president—a massive diplomatic reversal that will enrage China”

Donald Trump speaks with Taiwan's president—a massive diplomatic reversal that will enrage China by Nikhil Sonnad (Quartz)
Trump is also interested in opening a hotel there.
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📖 On page 16 of Dealing with China by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

📖 On page 16 of 448 of Dealing with China by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

A simple preface followed by an anecdote about the beginning of a deal relating to telecom. The style is quick moving and history, details, and philosophy are liberally injected into the story as it moves along. This seems both interesting as well as instructive.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

“There are some who believe that an immutable law of history holds that conflict is inevitable when a rising power begins to bump up against an established one. But no law is immutable. Choices matter. Lessons can be learned.”

—page XIV

“Prescriptions, after all, are easier to make than predictions.”

—page XIV

“Note taking allows Party and government officials to get quick reads on what went on at meetings they didn’t attend. […] Private meetings with senior government officials without recoring devices or note takers are rare and highly sought after.”

—page 10

“…the so-called iron rice bowl, the cradle-to-grave care and support guaranteed by the government through the big companies people worked for.”

—page 11

“The Party had made a simple bargain with the people: economic growth in return for political stability. That in turn meant Party control. Prosperity was the source of Party legitimacy.”

—page 11

“Messages in China are sent in ways that aren’t always direct; you have to read the signs.”

—page 14

“It was the nature of dealing with China: nothing was done until it was done.”

—page 14

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📗 Started reading Dealing with China by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

📗 Started reading Dealing with China by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

Former head of Goldman Sachs and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson , Jr. and the cover of his 2015 book Dealing with China
Former head of Goldman Sachs and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson , Jr. and the cover of his 2015 book Dealing with China

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🔖 Want to read Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

🔖 Want to read Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower by Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

Picked up a copy at Little Free Library #21797 at 8:29 am
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0421-3 First Edition Hardcover

Former head of Goldman Sachs and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson , Jr. and the cover of his 2015 book Dealing with China
Former head of Goldman Sachs and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson , Jr. and the cover of his 2015 book Dealing with China
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Book Review: The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester (Harper Perennial)
The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom Book Cover The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom
Simon Winchester
Biography & Autobiography
Harper Perennial
April 28, 2009
Paperback
352

In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham—the brilliant Cambridge scientist, freethinking intellectual, and practicing nudist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, once the world's most technologically advanced country.

Winchester really is a magnificent writer. Although I am a bigger fan of some of his other works, this certainly fits well into the rest of his life’s opus. Somehow he manages to cover bits of science, technology, philosophy, history, (his love) geology, archaeology, culture, politics and even uses his flair for travel writing with great ethos and pathos to tell an interesting story.

Aside from the breadth of topics he covers while telling the story of one man’s life’s work, he writes about and discusses topics which should be part of everyone’s personal cultural knowledge. As a small example, he makes mention of one of the real life archaeologists who served as a model for Indiana Jones – though sadly he only makes the direct connection in a footnote which many may not likely read.

Though I had originally picked up the book out of general curiosity (not to diminish the fact that I’m on a quest to read every word Winchester has written), I find that it also neatly fits into providing some spectacular background on the concept of “Big History” (see Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History) as it relates to China’s place in the world. In particular “Needham’s question” (briefly: Why, given China’s illustrious past, did modern science not develop there after the 1500’s?) turned around becomes a interesting illustration on the course of human history and the rises and falls of cultures and societies since the Holocene.

For those who may miss the significance, I was particularly impressed with the overall literary power imbued to the book by the use of the book-ended contrasts of Needham’s Chongqing at the opening of the work and modern day Chongqing at the close. This is one of the few times that the mechanics behind how Winchester, the master of telling often non-linear stories, has been patently obvious to me. I hope one day to unravel all of his other secrets. I can only imagine that in his heavy research of his topics, he somehow internally sees the ultimately magical ways in which he will present the information.

I will note that, in contrast to some of his past works, this one had some better physical maps and photos to go along with the text, although I was highly disappointed in their unusable presentation in the e-book version of the book. (Higher dpi versions would have gone a long way, particularly with the ability to zoom in on them in most e-readers.) For those unfortunate enough to have the e-book copy, I commend picking up a physical copy of the book for better interpretations of the photos and maps included.

Finally, perhaps for Winchester’s benefit, I’ll note that typically I would give this book a full five stars in comparing it will all others, but I’m comparing it only with Winchester’s other works and, so it stands at four, and that only because there isn’t the ability to give tenths or hundredths.

Reading Progress
  • 12/17/09 marked as: want to read; “Purchased copy from Amazon.com.”
  • 12/27/09 Purchased copy from Amazon.com.
  • 02/05/10 started reading
  • 04/24/10 started reading again
  • 04/24/2010 8.81% done or on page 31 of 316; “Simon Winchester has such a lovely writing style and grasp of language. I’m depressed that I’ve finished reading most of his works.”
  • 12/03/12 started reading again from the beginning
  • 12/03/2012 09.0% done
  • 12/10/2012 20.0% done
  • 12/17/2012 30.0% done
  • 12/20/2012 40.0% done
  • 12/31/12 Finished book

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

John Hay, America’s secretary of state at the turn of the twentieth century, remarked in 1899 that China was now the “storm center of the world,” and that whoever took the time and trouble to understand “this mighty empire” would have “a key to politics for the next five centuries.”

Highlight (blue) – Location XXX
China – storm center of the world;
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Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

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