Friday, July 4

Taiwan's 9/11!!! or A Lesson in Perspective

Every now and then I make the mistake of once again leafing through the TP that passes as newspapers here, and every time I'm immediately reminded why I stopped doing that. Today's example was this.
Now granted, at first this might not look like something worthy of a rant, but the picture doesn't tell the whole story. The first line pretty much does though:

A remote control airplane lost control and collided with a building, exploding and setting ablaze the living room of a 28th-floor luxury apartment. Six were injured and over 100 evacuated from the building. Residents of the nation's capital were shocked, saying "It's just like 9/11". The controller of the airplane has been charged with endangering the public.

While I'm sure this is a serious thing, and the guy who managed to crash a remote control plane and both create that much smoke and injure six people should be dealt with, how in the Christ is this even remotely like 9/11? Sure, a "plane" hit a building in both cases, but come on, one injured six people, one killed thousands. One was, presumably, an accident, the other a premeditated act of terrorism. That's like a caterer showing up to someone's wedding and going, "Well, I know you wanted a three-tier wedding cake, but here, have this cupcake. It's practically the same thing anyway!" Even as a non-American the way this story is being reported seems borderline offensive on top of just being fucking ridiculous.

Sometimes the Taiwanese media seem either desperate to make Taiwan seem relevant internationally (protip: That day is long passed.) or to sensationalize everything in a rabid grasp for ratings that they forget any sense of proportion, and it fucking irritates me. It makes it damn near impossible to get anything resembling news here.

That said though, credit where it's due, the Public Television Service (website in Chinese only) does do some fantastic work, and not only in news and current affairs, and they really should be commended at every opportunity. If only there were more media outlets willing to follow their model rather than that of the newspaper-shaped turd that is the Apple Daily.
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Condensed China: Chinese History for Beginners

Condensed China: Chinese History for Beginners

And the second link for today: a (very) condensed introduction to Chinese history, from the Xia right through to the modern People's Republic. As is to be expected from something like this, the cross-strait situation is all but entirely ignored, but it is a history of China, so far enough. That caveat aside, this is an awesome introduction to a topic that is otherwise one of the more lengthy, involved, and to be entirely honest stone-cold boring to get into. It gives enough details to be informative and offer a launching pad for further investigation, while not being so detailed as to overwhelm readers. Very well done site and well worth a visit.

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Don’t Fire The Translator … Yet

Don’t Fire The Translator … Yet | The Elastic Life

In lieu of any sort of genuine activity on here - although it's returning to mind - I'm planning to post a few interesting links, articles, and whatnot that I find lying around the Internet, particularly while I'm still in the process of trying to set up a more focused, less personal blog elsewhere. For now, at least, enjoy.

First up is the article linked above which I literally stumbled upon in the course of being bored on the Internet. It's a brief but interesting musing on the business opportunities still available in the translation industry outside of the act of translating and while full machine translation is still a pipe dream. (A period I hope and expect will be a very, very long one.)
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