Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Steve Jobs has passed away.

Think of people like him and then think of the idiots who march against capitalism and those who steal Western technology. Humanity has seen better days.

Related: Will China conquer the West? Perhaps not?

China has become a machine for generating wealth and opportunity, but is this nation of exhausted workers really one that can one day lead the world? 

And what of the generation the one-child policy has spawned? Children from the biggest 40 cities are living in the three-screen world (television, computer and mobile), wearing global designer brands, travelling first class, and buying houses and cars for their one or two years’ study overseas. For these young “super-rich”, price has become no object, some even flying to and from Hong Kong for a day’s shopping. 

It’s hard to conceive of them becoming China’s next generation of entrepreneurs, when, unlike their parents and grandparents, many have never touched a cooker and barely know how to make their own beds. They may have had superior schooling but many critics believe China’s education system – with its obsession with test-taking and rote memorisation – stifles rather than encourages creativity. Indeed, today’s entry exam for China’s universities, the “gaokao”, has its origins in a recruitment test devised by the imperial government in the sixth century, and, according to Jiang Xueqin, a Yale-educated school administrator in Beijing, rewards “very strong memory; very strong logical and analytical ability; little imagination; little desire to question authority”. China could be seen as a brilliant imitator but a poor innovator – its talents for replicating anything the Western world has to offer evidenced by the recent uncovering of 22 fake Apple stores across Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in south-west China. So convincing were the stores that even staff members believed they were working for Apple. Genius, in a way. But misdirected genius. 

If China is to dominate the creative industries as it has manufacturing, it needs to borrow a line from Apple’s marketing department: “Think different”. Liu Jun, a businessman recently crowned one of the “50 most creative individuals in China”, says it’s an uphill struggle. 

“The reason the Chinese don’t have global companies is that we don’t have a global vision,” he said recently. “Chinese designers only think about what pleasures them, not the customer. It’s a huge problem.” 

Chinese corporate structures remain very rigid, and, according to Daniel Altman, a consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, original ideas “have to percolate through so many layers of hierarchy that most won’t survive to the top. China has a long way to go before it will be anything like the US in its ability to foster entrepreneurship.” 

Of course, such dreams of corporate domination are a far cry from the lives of China’s peasants and farmers, who make up 70 per cent of the population. And for many lower down the chain, there is a growing resentment at our servicing of the US debt. As our driver put it: “Why, when Chinese people are watering our land with sweat, working hard day and night, are Americans comfortable, wearing sunglasses, able to enjoy the sun and sea? Why do we have to help them with their financial troubles?”

What happens to a country with one of the largest standing armies in the world, a dying yet sprawling population, a penchant for thievery and the West willfully oblivious to the threat it now poses?  Unless the West pulls itself up from its boot straps now, don't count China out yet.

Sarah Palin has decided to remain a kingmaker than run for the highest office in the land. (sigh) But one day....

Ladies and gentlemen, Mama Cass.

Now that he's resigned, find the guy (s) who greenlighted this pervy creep and kick their @$$es.

(hat tips)

And now, a cat-to-cat mind-meld.

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