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CCTV reports D301’s blackbox recovered

Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping bows to passengers at press conference (Xinhua)

The Chinese media has been pressing for information relating to why didn’t the D301 train stop in time and instead rear-ended the D3115. In the latest press conference over the collision, Ministry of Rail spokesperson Wang Yongping (王勇平) informed the press that the ‘blackbox’ for the D301 train has been recovered and experts are investigating the cause of the crash. So far, 38 people were confirmed dead with more than 200 injured.

CCTV has also reported the repairs to the rail road is done and rail traffic has resumed.

A passenger sent the first SOS micro-blog message through Sina’s Weibo (username Yangjuan Quanyang) at 8:47pm at the time of the accident and was soon forwarded 112,000 times. Her initial message said:

Help, the train D301 is derailed just ahead of South Wenzhou Station, passengers are crying and we cannot find any train crew, please help us!

At 10:45pm, Yangjuan Quanyang micro-blogged about being rescued and gave her followers a sigh of relief. By 7pm the next day, more than 4 million messages circulated on Sina Weibo alone about the crash. (For more on this story, head over to China Daily’s report here)

Below is CCTV’s coverage of the latest press conference from the Ministry of Rail:

 

From this point on, I would like to offer some opinion.

As I said in a comment in my prior post about this crash, mosquitoes are certain to suck our blood upon landing, expect a large swath of Western media to milk this story into one of blaming the Chinese government. Until Chinese experts conclude what happened through analyzing the blackbox, we simply don’t know. We can only speculate at this point. Making noises and trying to blame at this point is more akin to you hearing a mosquito sound.

Of course, the Chinese government and the people foremost care most about the root-cause of this tragic accident.

There will also be those casting doubt on Chinese bullet train technology. In that context, it is important to remember the ‘D’ series are the first generation bullet trains – not China’s latest. Sure, that reaction is natural and healthy in many ways. First generation or the latest generation, as long as they are all in use, they all must be safe.

There are those who are going to doubt for less honorable reasons. A while ago I wrote about how Toyota was treated by the U.S. media over their recalls related to vehicle braking problems. See, “The U.S. witch hunt against Toyota, and a lesson for foreign corporations?” As I concluded in that article about this type of situation, it is paramount that the Ministry of Rail provide timely information and keep the public informed. If there is actual technical failure, the manufacturers need to be forthcoming, and with the foreign media too, especially to proactively combat smearing that is guaranteed to lay against them (as in Toyota’s case).

Some might also be quick to forget. The fact is there are already many bullet trains running over thousands of kilometers each day in China. A friend left today from San Francisco to Shanghai and will be on a bullet train from Shanghai to Suzhou tomorrow. Trains and airplanes are still by far safer transports compared to cars.

A reader left the following comment in my prior post:

I work for Chinese state media, and the most ironic thing for me is that we just ran a bunch of articles stressing the safety of the bullet trains. People were complaining that the trains automatically cut power and stop in the event of any dangerous conditions, causing delays, and the engineers were stressing “safety first.” And yet, this propensity for the trains to stop if ANYTHING is out of the ordinary is essentially why this one was rear-ended. If the trains are going to stop for hardly any reason, you have to make sure the one behind it stops too…

Indeed, I do hope the blackbox reveals why train D301 didn’t stop in time.

I am not sure taking extra precaution is to blame. It may very well be the mechanism for avoiding this type of accidents is still not robust enough. What is the protocol for warning other trains when one is stopped out of emergency? I hope in the coming weeks we get to hear such details.

In a discussion section in China Daily, a reader pointed out that during Spring Festival, trains in China were filled to maximum capacity; some even spilled into the bathrooms. The need is there, and China won’t be deterred by this accident. Goods also need to move more freely around the country. There are many good reasons for China’s rail infrastructure build-out.

For me, as a China observer, what is interesting out of this besides the investigation itself, are:
1. How transparent the Ministry of Rail is able to conduct this investigation and to inform the public.
2. How hard the Chinese media pries for relevant information.

In both cases, I think they are doing a good job. The Chinese population seems to be keeping the pressure up too.

  1. July 25th, 2011 at 02:24 | #1

    I think what caused D301 to fail to stop is entirely beside the point. Of course, there may be a safety failure there that should have been corrected.

    But the the fact is that D301 wouldn’t have had anything to hit if the train front of it hadn’t been stopped by a lightning-related power problem. It’s become very obvious in the past few weeks that China’s HSR has power issues in lightning (and there’s been a lot of lightning so far this summer). If it had just been one or two trains that had power issues, I’d understand. But it was more than that, and what’s more, these issues were extremely high-profile. I’m not a train mechanic and I don’t know how to fix the problem, but if it came to it, they should have just stopped running HSR trains until they could pinpoint and fix the problems. Sure, that’s bad for business in the short term, but a series of high-profile train stoppages followed by a horrific, bloody crash isn’t great for business either…

    I guess they don’t care; they know it’s China and people will take the trains either way because the demand is just too huge for people to ignore any form of transportation.

    With regards to the Chinese media, they’ve been instructed not to investigate the causes of this accident, so I doubt you’ll see much prying for information there (although you never know when someone’s going to buck the system).

    And you’re satisfied with the government response? They announced TWICE that they’d rescued all the survivors and were wrong both times. When reporters asked him how it was possible a girl could have survived in the wreckage for nearly a DAY without being found (even though it was really just TWO cars that needed to be searched) his response was “That was a miracle.” Really? Because it sounds more like a nightmare to me. I’m happy she was rescued and I hope she survives her surgery, but how could it possibly take them that long to find her?

    And of course, Wang’s response to the allegations of train cars being buried was not actual information, but hearsay from a “comrade” he doesn’t name who called him on the phone. Then he ends it by saying, “Well anyway, I believe it.” Honestly, WTF?? I don’t think they were really burying the train cars to hide evidence, but that has got to be the most vague, inept, sketchily-sourced “explanation” I have ever heard.

    I mean, sure, the guy’s under a lot of pressure. And with all the incidents and bad press before this crash, he’s been having a pretty terrible month. But that’s no excuse.

    And this is not a “foreign media” thing. The “mosquitos” are domestic, and they’re pretty much everyone except you. That Weibo poll I mentioned in a previous thread (http://vote.weibo.com/vid=690625) is up to 70,000+ respondents now, and only 0.5% of them think the government is doing a good job in handling this situation.

  2. July 25th, 2011 at 02:27 | #2

    (One last thing: even the government apparently thinks it’s the government’s fault. They may still be “investigating” the cause of the accident, but they have already sacked three high-profile Shanghai Railway officials…if the government isn’t responsible in some way for the accident, then why fire those guys?)

  3. July 25th, 2011 at 02:42 | #3

    I am going to sleep – it’s late for me, but few comments first.

    1. Regarding the Weibo poll

    I have no doubt people are dissatisfied while emotions are running high right now. When the U.S. shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, it was a really dark time for NASA. The whole country doubted NASA.

    Of course, in this type of accident, nothing is really excusable.

    2. Regarding Chinese media, you said:

    they’ve been instructed not to investigate the causes of this accident

    Are we on different planets? Here is a report where the Chinese press are pushing the Ministry of Rail for why the train didn’t stop in time:

    http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/lihheSpSsjw/

    How do YOU know and what is your source for this instruction?

    3. Regarding the spokesman, Wang Yongping’s remarks, could you share what he said.

  4. jxie
    July 25th, 2011 at 02:45 | #4

    Most of what I want to say has been covered already. This is truly a tragedy, and the public is right to be angry and demand for better, which in turn will force the MoR will improve.

    However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that trains in China carry 4 times more than Japan, and 10 times more than Germany and France (in terms of passenger-km). If you plug in the numbers for the last decade, statistically speaking trains in China are actually quite a bit safer than those in Japan, France and Germany. I know it’s very hard to digest this… but numbers don’t lie.

    I’m not a train mechanic and I don’t know how to fix the problem, but if it came to it, they should have just stopped running HSR trains until they could pinpoint and fix the problems.

    HSR isn’t like space shuttle. If you stop it, passengers will just go to other transportation systems, which inherently are most likely less safer. After some glitches and a horrific accident like this, no country will stop its railroad system.

  5. silentvoice
    July 25th, 2011 at 05:31 | #5

    You can count on the Western media not missing a chance to ‘bash’ China at every opportunity. This week alone, we’ve heard about the fake Apples stores, train delays, the tiff with Japan over patents, the latest train accident, the South China Sea (how a successful conference to sign an agreement can be turned into something negative by Voice of America is beyond me), and reaction to Dalai’s visit from last week.

    I’m going to grant that in the case of the train accident, the Chinese govt does need to assume responsibility. Like Japan’s nuclear accident, ultimately it is the government that’s responsible for oversight and safety standards. However, none of the other incidents should be placed at China’s door.

  6. silentvoice
    July 25th, 2011 at 05:37 | #6

    Also, I can never watch CCTV English. I really dislike the way these announcers try to “fake” their accents. Why can’t they take a page from Al-jazeera or RT, or NHK international for that matter?

  7. July 25th, 2011 at 05:37 | #7

    yinyang :
    I am going to sleep – it’s late for me, but few comments first.
    1. Regarding the Weibo poll
    I have no doubt people are dissatisfied while emotions are running high right now. When the U.S. shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, it was a really dark time for NASA. The whole country doubted NASA.

    True. But sending people into space is a bit more difficult than having trains not stop all the time (apparently right now there’s another high speed train, the G141, that’s stopped right now, has been stopped for 3 hours with no food and little water, according to an acquaintance of mine whose husband is on the train.)

    2. Regarding Chinese media, you said:

    they’ve been instructed not to investigate the causes of this accident

    Are we on different planets? Here is a report where the Chinese press are pushing the Ministry of Rail for why the train didn’t stop in time:
    http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/lihheSpSsjw/
    How do YOU know and what is your source for this instruction?

    Of course they can ask questions at a press conference. That’s the whole point of a press conference. They’re not supposed to go digging around on their own though. At a press conference they can ask whatever they want, but ultimately, the information they get out of that is still 100% controlled by the government official who is answering their questions.

    3. Regarding the spokesman, Wang Yongping’s remarks, could you share what he said.

    I don’t have a transcript, I just saw the video. I don’t have the link now, as I didn’t include it in my post, but it was one of the most watched videos on Youku today, so it can’t be too hard to find. You might also try googling, “至于你信不信…反正我信了“…that’s what he closed with, and it’s become something of a mini-meme:

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-WqP9QMU73N8/Ti0rm3WYEwI/AAAAAAAACp8/ux35nmCdLeQ/w247/believeORnot.gif

    Not sure if that image and/or link will work, but if you can’t see it, it’s an animated gif of Wang saying that quote above.

  8. July 25th, 2011 at 06:17 | #8

    “I’m not a train mechanic and I don’t know how to fix the problem, but if it came to it, they should have just stopped running HSR trains until they could pinpoint and fix the problems.”

    Yeah, wait for the lightning to strike??!!

    Give your 20/20 hindsight a rest already.

    This isn’t some worn out parts, this is a brand new system with brand new problems never seen before. And you can’t even duplicate the “problems” unless you can conjure up lightning strikes.

    “Should have”, would have, blah, blah, blah….

    I was an engineer for 12 years. I’m frankly sick of non-engineers (non-scientists) talking about what engineers should have done to predict/solve a new problem.

    Next time your TV or household appliances get zapped by lightning, don’t call any technical support lines, or the warranty department, because you should have STOPPED using all appliances, until they make appliances completely resistant to lightning strikes. (Good luck waiting for it).

  9. July 25th, 2011 at 06:52 | #9

    “One last thing: even the government apparently thinks it’s the government’s fault. They may still be “investigating” the cause of the accident, but they have already sacked three high-profile Shanghai Railway officials…if the government isn’t responsible in some way for the accident, then why fire those guys?”

    Responsibility doesn’t equal to liability/fault.

    Why fire those guys? Don’t need a reason to fire politicians, doesn’t even matter if they did any thing wrong.

    It’s the fortune of political careers. In DC, plenty of politicians get fired for no reason at all (usually with a new administration coming into power every 4 years), that’s why DC is full of short-term residents.

  10. July 25th, 2011 at 07:30 | #10

    I think it evident that on this day 3 of the post-accident coverage, too many journalists are jumping into all kinds of generalized conclusions.

    Rumors of buried train sections to hide bodies?

    Seriously, if the official denial of these rumors are flimsy, what are the flimsy sources for these rumors??!

  11. Chops
    July 25th, 2011 at 07:40 | #11

    A train collision is highly unlikely to occur on Taiwan’s High Speed Rail line due to built-in safety measures, according to their CEO.

    http://english.rti.org.tw/Content/GetSingleNews.aspx?ContentID=129938

  12. July 25th, 2011 at 07:54 | #12

    March 1, 2003,

    Chiayi, Taiwan: A brake system malfunction aboard a train on the Alishan Forest Railway causes the driver to lose control and the train plummets into a valley. 17 people die, 173 injured.

    *”Highly unlikely” doesn’t mean impossible.

  13. July 25th, 2011 at 08:33 | #13

    Mind you, I don’t know who is at fault. But it is always the government’s responsibility to fully investigate such incidents and prevent future ones, regardless of whether human errors or system errors.

    However, I am against the Media “investigators” eager to pin fault on the “government”, even without understanding the actual cause of the incident.

    To me, such “investigations” don’t help prevent any thing, such “investigators” have little understanding of the REAL issues of HSR, NOR do they have any real interests in preventing real problems.

    Their reaction is to find someone to blame in short order. (Instant opinon polls based upon little information but lots of speculations, of the “Do you think the government should be blamed?” nature. Seriously?!! MOST people who would even participate in such a poll would be people already eager to blame the government. Which does not surprise the “outcome” of the poll.)

    Now, if you conduct another poll on the same bunch of people online, and ask them what the ACTUAL cause of the accident is, they would give you all the rumors they heard. (Which is indicative of the rumor nature of the poll).

    This sort of “opinions”, I do not care much about. Rumors come and go these days. Serious work of a government in a society does not and should not depend on these rumors.

  14. July 25th, 2011 at 08:42 | #14

    @C. Custer
    “True. But sending people into space is a bit more difficult than having trains not stop all the time (apparently right now there’s another high speed train, the G141, that’s stopped right now, has been stopped for 3 hours with no food and little water, according to an acquaintance of mine whose husband is on the train.)”

    I think you better do a research on the cause of the Challenger explosion. That explosion is entirely preventable as it was launched when most engineers feel that the condition is not optimum while the administration was under pressure for having delayed the launch a few times. And the guy who pointed out the flaw was eventually black listed from all NASA program.

    All accidents are prevetable, including this recent crash. However, if you try to imply that this incident is “more preventable” than accidents in other countries because it happened in China, you simply don’t know how deep your own prejudice lies.

  15. July 25th, 2011 at 10:14 | #15

    Wang Yongping (王勇平) answering questions to the Chinese press (from Tudou.com).

    [Update]
    Looks like the video is not embedding, but I urge people to view it themselves to see what’s going on. Don’t just rely on others ‘interpretation’ on how the Chinese media is reporting.

  16. July 25th, 2011 at 10:50 | #16

    @C. Custer
    You have dodged my question and gave a no-answer answer.

    2. Regarding Chinese media, you said:

    they’ve been instructed not to investigate the causes of this accident

    Are we on different planets? Here is a report where the Chinese press are pushing the Ministry of Rail for why the train didn’t stop in time:
    http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/lihheSpSsjw/
    How do YOU know and what is your source for this instruction?

    Of course they can ask questions at a press conference. That’s the whole point of a press conference. They’re not supposed to go digging around on their own though. At a press conference they can ask whatever they want, but ultimately, the information they get out of that is still 100% controlled by the government official who is answering their questions.

    Again, how do YOU know and what is your source for this instruction?

    You said earlier:

    And of course, Wang’s response to the allegations of train cars being buried was not actual information, but hearsay from a “comrade” he doesn’t name who called him on the phone. Then he ends it by saying, “Well anyway, I believe it.” Honestly, WTF?? I don’t think they were really burying the train cars to hide evidence, but that has got to be the most vague, inept, sketchily-sourced “explanation” I have ever heard.

    Look, I have found the video where Wang said the “I believe it” remarks. Here is the link again:
    http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/lgpQHk3r-Bo/

    It is around the 6:30 mark.

    I would say, don’t blame him for not being ‘smooth’ like the PR mavericks you have accustomed to in the West. Absolutely nothing wrong for him to say it is a miracle they found the girl. The Chinese reporters were really upset by that because the understanding was rescue efforts were supposedly over.

    What is going to happen next is the ministry will have to provide Wang the details on how the girl was then found.

    Your reaction is too immature. I understand your stance knowing you think the Chinese government is some sort of ‘evil’ entity. But I disagree. There is no reason for Wang to lie or make things up. Again, I urge people to follow the link and watch the press conference themselves.

    As to your other points, make sure you read comments above from:
    @jxie #4, @raventhorn2000 #13, and @Ray #14.

  17. July 25th, 2011 at 11:01 | #17

    Phoenix TV has a very complete coverage. They even has a reporter interviewing a Japanese HSR expert for his opinion. The Japanese expert said that they lack contingency plan and proper fail/safe procedure, although he did say that the Chinese technology is advanced, he feel that running the train again so soon after the accident is not wise. He also said that in Japan instead of cleaning up the site, it would be left as evidence and for investigation purpose.

    Take a look, it covers everything, too bad they don’t have an English version. But it is a fact that people are angry. Just read the comment section.

    http://v.ifeng.com/shendu/special/wzdczw/

  18. July 25th, 2011 at 11:03 | #18

    The chart also show the detail of the tracks and train types. The D series train is 200km/h while the G series train is 300km/h.

  19. Charles Liu
    July 25th, 2011 at 11:37 | #19

    Here are couple relevant Q&A Wang Yongping gave during the press conference:

    http://focus.scol.com.cn/zgsz/content/2011-07/25/content_2618746.htm?node=540

    Q: Why is the train being burried? Are you trying to destroy evidence?

    A: Will burrying it make it go away? We’ve continuousely clarified this point thry multiple channel. The rescue is complicated. There’s a swamp hindering (mechanical equipment) deployment, as well as reaching other carts. Right now, the locomotive is burried to faciliate resue.

    Q: The black box has been found, can you publish the results? It’s been 26 hours, can the ministry publish related situation.

    A: Regardign the black box, first, it has been found. It contains the train’s systems recording, it will help us analyze, investigate, yield original evidence for the incident. The blackbox is beening investigated and analyzed, once we know clearly, we will immediately make announcement.

    According to article 33 on casualty and loss to passangers caused by train accident, train operator is responsible to every passanger for death and dismemberment up to 150,000 RMB, and up to 2000 RMB for loss of luggage.

  20. July 25th, 2011 at 11:42 | #20

    Earlier C.Custer said this:

    C. Custer :

    (One last thing: even the government apparently thinks it’s the government’s fault. They may still be “investigating” the cause of the accident, but they have already sacked three high-profile Shanghai Railway officials…if the government isn’t responsible in some way for the accident, then why fire those guys?)

    Again, this goes to show how anti-Chinese government your thinking is. Think back to the 1986 Challenger crash. Mistakes were found at NASA. Did you think Reagan should have resigned or reprimanded then? Did you chant, “the U.S. government is responsible!” You see how that doesn’t make much sense?

    NASA is a U.S. government entity like the Ministry of Rail is. It is the government’s job to investigate and find root-cause to ensure that mistake doesn’t repeat.

    It is also the job of the government to make those responsible accountable.

    The chain of responsibility will have to be examined closely. For now, all we have are 3 officials ‘sacked’ and as you will see in this brief report in Xinhua below, they will be investigated.

    Util we hear details of where they were responsible with respect to this tragic event, you are just speculating. Speculating and insinuating in the same way as we see day in and day out in the Western media (on any issue, not just China).

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-07/24/content_12971459.htm

    “Senior officials sacked after deadly train collision”
    Updated: 2011-07-24 19:50
    (Xinhua)

    SHANGHAI – Three railway officials were sacked on Sunday after a train collision killed at least 35 and injured more than 200 others, the Ministry of Railway said.

    Long Jing, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, was removed from his position after a high-speed train smashed into another train Saturday night in east China’s Zhejiang Province, killing at least 35 and injuring 211.

    Li Jia, head of the Shanghai railway bureau’s committee of the Communist Party of China, and deputy chief of the bureau He Shengli were also dismissed from office, said the ministry.

    The three will also be subject to investigation, the ministry said.

  21. July 25th, 2011 at 13:38 | #21

    When I have time, I will do an article on how “non-experts” killed some very good ideas in history.

    (Apparently, if you see the latest “media” rumor-mongers on blogs, they don’t even bother to try to get a fake “expert” to spin their speculations. They just come out in droves, all admit that they are “non-experts”, and proceed to agree with one another on “avoidable” technical problems.)

    Well, as I have commented earlier, in 2006, Germany’s Maglev suffered an accident during its test run, killing 23 passengers.

    In 2008, all the sudden, the German government announced that the cost of the Maglev project had been way underestimated, (about 1/2 of what is actually needed), even though the German government completed rounds of feasibility studies prior to 2002.

    Subsequently, like a snap, the German Maglev project was aborted, cancelled, with the 2 German Maglev companies attempting to salvage their lives with the Chinese Maglev.

    Now, the 2006 crash was largely blamed on human error. But the project getting cancelled in 2008 was hardly coincidental. Bad PR from all the non-experts undoubted had something to do with it.

    (Another example, majority of bad PR against the US patent reform came from non-patent experts).

  22. scl
    July 25th, 2011 at 15:11 | #22

    Time to put radar in the big nose of the train, even high-end cars now have radar-based cruise-control, which automatically brakes if the car ahead slows.

    Chinese aviation safety was a problem in the 80s and early 90s. Since the mid 90s until now, China has one of the best aviation safety record in the world. There is a learning curve for safety.

  23. July 25th, 2011 at 18:14 | #23

    raventhorn2000 :
    “I’m not a train mechanic and I don’t know how to fix the problem, but if it came to it, they should have just stopped running HSR trains until they could pinpoint and fix the problems.”
    Yeah, wait for the lightning to strike??!!
    Give your 20/20 hindsight a rest already.

    Yeah, who could possibly have had the foresight to see something like this coming! I mean, it’s not like lightning had knocked out power to high speed trains multiple times in the weeks leading up to the accident! It’s not as if the entire country was talking about the trains’ power issues on social media and in the mainstream media! It’s not as if LOTS of people didn’t come out and say it’s just a matter of time before these issues cause a serious accident!

    ….Oh, wait…all of that did happen?

  24. July 25th, 2011 at 18:20 | #24

    “Yeah, who could possibly have had the foresight to see something like this coming! I mean, it’s not like lightning had knocked out power to high speed trains multiple times in the weeks leading up to the accident! It’s not as if the entire country was talking about the trains’ power issues on social media and in the mainstream media! It’s not as if LOTS of people didn’t come out and say it’s just a matter of time before these issues cause a serious accident!
    ….Oh, wait…all of that did happen?”

    And you didn’t see it coming at all, You certainly never wrote about “lightning” causing crashes.

    I’ll make it easy for you, if it was that obvious, CITE 1 person who wrote about the “lightning” potentially causing the HSR to crash before hand!!

    You can’t!! That’s what we call 20/20 hindsight!!

    Oh yeah, it’s all obvious now!! Well, why didn’t you say anything before?!!

  25. July 25th, 2011 at 18:20 | #25

    Re the NASA comparison, I didn’t say the challenger explosion wasn’t preventable, I just said that sending people into space is a more complicated endeavor than running a high speed train.

    As for raventhorn’s comments about Germany….who cares? So Germany sucks at HSR. That’s your standard? You want China to be as good as Germany, and not as good as France or Japan, where they’ve never had a fatal derailing in a combined 80+ years of operation?

    That fallacy never gets old, does it — other countries make these mistakes, too! YES. Of course. And it sucks when they do it, too! But this is a discussion forum about China, is it not? I don’t think it’s unreasonable of us to want China to have the best safety standard for their trains. You guys may not believe it, but my concern about this doesn’t come out of some perverse enjoyment at seeing the government fail.

    You see, unlike you, I actually ride these trains on a regular basis. My concern comes from my desire not to see myself or any of my loved ones killed in an utterly preventable train accident.

    And to that end, here’s the latest report from Caixin:
    http://blog.english.caing.com/article/361/

    “Caixin has published a technical piece on the China Train Control System (CTCS), the train operation technology used by both trains involved in the crash. The system, wholly-controlled by an automated computer system, transmits information and monitors speed, taking into account inclement weather conditions like wind, rain and snow.

    The report includes videos and explanations from the technology’s designers, and concludes that the accident was entirely preventable had the system been in full force. According to the system’s designs, the traffic control center should have detected the D3115’s slowdown and subsequent halting, and then notified any trains coming up from behind.

  26. July 25th, 2011 at 18:24 | #26

    “As for raventhorn’s comments about Germany….who cares? So Germany sucks at HSR. That’s your standard? You want China to be as good as Germany, and not as good as France or Japan, where they’ve never had a fatal derailing in a combined 80+ years of operation?”

    Who cares? You get your research halfassed and now you say, who cares??!!

    You are just proving how much Western media “spin”. Yeah, who would care about your halfassed research when you make generalizations when comparing China’s HSR to others?!!

    I already wrote, China should learn to be as good as Japan.

    You need to learn to be better than halfassed in your research.

    “Who cares”?? You mean you don’t care about the WHOLE truth??!! What a surprised!!

  27. July 25th, 2011 at 18:30 | #27

    And you didn’t see it coming at all, You certainly never wrote about “lightning” causing crashes.
    I’ll make it easy for you, if it was that obvious, CITE 1 person who wrote about the “lightning” potentially causing the HSR to crash before hand!!
    You can’t!! That’s what we call 20/20 hindsight!!
    Oh yeah, it’s all obvious now!! Well, why didn’t you say anything before?!!

    I didn’t write about it on my blog, no, but plenty of people did. You obviously don’t have a Weibo account, do you? I’d be happy to dig up some comments if you really want, but it will take a while, as I do have other work to do, and they’re buried under the 6 million+ posts about this most recent crash, so it’s going to be hard to get back that far in a Weibo search.

    Of the stoppages I know of before this crash, 5 of the 6 were related to lightning strikes. You can see, for example, this article: http://cmp.hku.hk/2011/07/13/13764/ which quotes a Chinese media report with in depth analysis of how lightning could cause a train to power down.

  28. July 25th, 2011 at 18:30 | #28

    “Caixin has published a technical piece on the China Train Control System (CTCS), the train operation technology used by both trains involved in the crash. The system, wholly-controlled by an automated computer system, transmits information and monitors speed, taking into account inclement weather conditions like wind, rain and snow.
    The report includes videos and explanations from the technology’s designers, and concludes that the accident was entirely preventable had the system been in full force. According to the system’s designs, the traffic control center should have detected the D3115’s slowdown and subsequent halting, and then notified any trains coming up from behind.“

    1 non-expert reading a technical marketing presentation doesn’t give any reasonable conclusions. There is no support for that conclusion.

    “According to the system’s designs, the traffic control center should have detected the D3115’s slowdown and subsequent halting, and then notified any trains coming up from behind.”

    Is that even the actual cause of the accident? The control center failed to “notify the trains coming up from behind”??

    I thought you said it was freaking lightning, and power system failure that was preventable, not the “failure to notify”!!!

    Do you even READ what you cite???

  29. July 25th, 2011 at 18:33 | #29

    raventhorn2000 :
    “As for raventhorn’s comments about Germany….who cares? So Germany sucks at HSR. That’s your standard? You want China to be as good as Germany, and not as good as France or Japan, where they’ve never had a fatal derailing in a combined 80+ years of operation?”
    Who cares? You get your research halfassed and now you say, who cares??!!
    You are just proving how much Western media “spin”. Yeah, who would care about your halfassed research when you make generalizations when comparing China’s HSR to others?!!
    I already wrote, China should learn to be as good as Japan.
    You need to learn to be better than halfassed in your research.
    “Who cares”?? You mean you don’t care about the WHOLE truth??!! What a surprised!!

    This is not “research,” and I am not “the Western media.” This is an argument in the comments section of a minor English-language China blog. If you want professional research in my comments here, you’re going to have to start paying me.

  30. July 25th, 2011 at 18:34 | #30

    “I didn’t write about it on my blog, no, but plenty of people did. You obviously don’t have a Weibo account, do you? I’d be happy to dig up some comments if you really want, but it will take a while, as I do have other work to do, and they’re buried under the 6 million+ posts about this most recent crash, so it’s going to be hard to get back that far in a Weibo search.
    Of the stoppages I know of before this crash, 5 of the 6 were related to lightning strikes. You can see, for example, this article: http://cmp.hku.hk/2011/07/13/13764/ which quotes a Chinese media report with in depth analysis of how lightning could cause a train to power down.”

    So your conclusion of “preventable” was from Other people?? CITE any one of them predicting this type of accident ahead of time!!

    Just because there were reports of “power failures” would predict this type of accident??

    CITE 1 person who predicted it!!!

    You keep coming back to your 20/20 hindsight. That’s not proof of “preventable”, since you keep reading the same reports, but NONE of you predicted this type of accident ahead of time!!

  31. July 25th, 2011 at 18:36 | #31

    “This is not “research,” and I am not “the Western media.” This is an argument in the comments section of a minor English-language China blog. If you want professional research in my comments here, you’re going to have to start paying me.”

    Yes, you are just some non-expert, making more “suspicions” without any research.

    Glad we cleared that up. (Frankly, I don’t pay for opinions from people who can’t do basic research).

  32. July 25th, 2011 at 18:40 | #32

    Moronic amateurs all making conclusions about technical problems that they have NO clues about.

    Preventable? Loud mouthed ignorami are FAR more preventable than lightning strike power failures!!

  33. July 25th, 2011 at 18:42 | #33

    “I am not “the Western media.””

    No, you just provide perfect illustration on how much Western media “spins”.

  34. July 25th, 2011 at 18:47 | #34

    raventhorn2000 :
    “Caixin has published a technical piece on the China Train Control System (CTCS), the train operation technology used by both trains involved in the crash. The system, wholly-controlled by an automated computer system, transmits information and monitors speed, taking into account inclement weather conditions like wind, rain and snow.
    The report includes videos and explanations from the technology’s designers, and concludes that the accident was entirely preventable had the system been in full force. According to the system’s designs, the traffic control center should have detected the D3115’s slowdown and subsequent halting, and then notified any trains coming up from behind.“
    1 non-expert reading a technical marketing presentation doesn’t give any reasonable conclusions. There is no support for that conclusion.
    “According to the system’s designs, the traffic control center should have detected the D3115’s slowdown and subsequent halting, and then notified any trains coming up from behind.”
    Is that even the actual cause of the accident? The control center failed to “notify the trains coming up from behind”??
    I thought you said it was freaking lightning, and power system failure that was preventable, not the “failure to notify”!!!
    Do you even READ what you cite???

    Lightning caused the train to stop. The second train wasn’t notified, thus it hit the first train. Seriously, are you retarded or something? That is basic information that’s been available since Saturday evening. I sort of assumed since you’ve been arguing about this for the past few days, you’d probably figured out at least that much on your own.

    Anyway, I’m not sure there’s much point in continuing this discussion. Let’s be honest: if a video was released that showed Hu Jintao shooting the train driver in the face right before this accident, you’d still be angrier at the “Western media” than you would at the Chinese government.

    And, in equal honesty, there’s very little you could say to sway me from my position. I do believe I’ve got the facts on my side, and from what I read daily on Weibo and other SNS, as well as conversations with people in my regular life, it seems very clear to me that the vast majority of Chinese people agree with me about this.

    But, to each his own.

  35. July 25th, 2011 at 18:48 | #35

    “This is an argument in the comments section of a minor English-language China blog.”

    Well, yes, here.

    But you had the gall to put your own “conclusions” on your own blog main page. Shameless about your lack of research and “spin” on your own time, eh?

    Great, Shoddy comments from shoddy researched shoddy blog.

  36. July 25th, 2011 at 18:50 | #36

    raventhorn2000 :
    “I didn’t write about it on my blog, no, but plenty of people did. You obviously don’t have a Weibo account, do you? I’d be happy to dig up some comments if you really want, but it will take a while, as I do have other work to do, and they’re buried under the 6 million+ posts about this most recent crash, so it’s going to be hard to get back that far in a Weibo search.
    Of the stoppages I know of before this crash, 5 of the 6 were related to lightning strikes. You can see, for example, this article: http://cmp.hku.hk/2011/07/13/13764/ which quotes a Chinese media report with in depth analysis of how lightning could cause a train to power down.”
    So your conclusion of “preventable” was from Other people?? CITE any one of them predicting this type of accident ahead of time!!
    Just because there were reports of “power failures” would predict this type of accident??
    CITE 1 person who predicted it!!!
    You keep coming back to your 20/20 hindsight. That’s not proof of “preventable”, since you keep reading the same reports, but NONE of you predicted this type of accident ahead of time!!

    Plenty of people did. Like I said, give me some time to dig through the posts. By “time” I mean like a few days, possibly longer. As you’re such a fan of research, you’re probably aware that it takes time.

    And since you’re such an expert on my personal life, you probably know that I have a full time job, several freelance commitments, and am also in the process of shooting a feature-length documentary film. No offense, but “proving someone wrong on some blog” is kind of at the bottom of my list, and it may take me some time before I can go back and find some of those comments.

  37. July 25th, 2011 at 18:52 | #37

    raventhorn2000 :
    “This is an argument in the comments section of a minor English-language China blog.”
    Well, yes, here.
    But you had the gall to put your own “conclusions” on your own blog main page. Shameless about your lack of research and “spin” on your own time, eh?
    Great, Shoddy comments from shoddy researched shoddy blog.

    What on there is improperly researched or cited? Quote me one thing. Of course there is plenty of speculation in those posts, but it’s clearly marked as speculation. The post is not an investigative report on the engineering details of the crash, it’s a personal reflection on the accident coupled with a collection of Chinese responses to the incident.

  38. July 25th, 2011 at 18:54 | #38

    ALSO: I was wrong in my comment earlier. It wasn’t one HSR train that was delayed yesterday. It was TWENTY

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-07/26/content_12979709.htm

    The cause of the delay as cited in that article is pretty vague, but come on, there are obviously SERIOUS power issues with these trains. They should be stopped now and the issues fixed properly. We’ve already lost 39 lives because of this, it would be foolish to continue playing with fire.

  39. July 25th, 2011 at 18:55 | #39

    “Lightning caused the train to stop. The second train wasn’t notified, thus it hit the first train. Seriously, are you retarded or something? That is basic information that’s been available since Saturday evening. I sort of assumed since you’ve been arguing about this for the past few days, you’d probably figured out at least that much on your own.”

    You must be retarded, if you couldn’t predicted it ahead of time, if it was that OBVIOUS!!!

    “Anyway, I’m not sure there’s much point in continuing this discussion. Let’s be honest: if a video was released that showed Hu Jintao shooting the train driver in the face right before this accident, you’d still be angrier at the “Western media” than you would at the Chinese government.”

    Are you trying to predict something? If you have the footage, let’s see your prediction is true or not!!

    “And, in equal honesty, there’s very little you could say to sway me from my position. I do believe I’ve got the facts on my side, and from what I read daily on Weibo and other SNS, as well as conversations with people in my regular life, it seems very clear to me that the vast majority of Chinese people agree with me about this.”

    Yeah, OK, clinch onto your opinion polls. Bush Jr. had his for a while.

    If that’s all you have, it won’t last you long.

    The public is fickle in any country, for your non-expert information.

    At the end of the day, NONE of you predicted anything useful. The world is full of idiots like yourself, who goes around saying, “I saw it coming, but I didn’t say anything.”

  40. July 25th, 2011 at 18:55 | #40

    “Plenty of people did. Like I said, give me some time to dig through the posts. By “time” I mean like a few days, possibly longer. As you’re such a fan of research, you’re probably aware that it takes time.
    And since you’re such an expert on my personal life, you probably know that I have a full time job, several freelance commitments, and am also in the process of shooting a feature-length documentary film. No offense, but “proving someone wrong on some blog” is kind of at the bottom of my list, and it may take me some time before I can go back and find some of those comments.”

    No offense, your work are already pretty shoddy.

  41. July 25th, 2011 at 18:57 | #41

    “What on there is improperly researched or cited? Quote me one thing. Of course there is plenty of speculation in those posts, but it’s clearly marked as speculation. The post is not an investigative report on the engineering details of the crash, it’s a personal reflection on the accident coupled with a collection of Chinese responses to the incident.”

    “PREVENTABLE”!! Your conclusion on your own blog, not someone else’s, at least not according to your blog. Either (1) you plagiarized someone else’s conclusion, or (2) you had no support at all.

  42. July 25th, 2011 at 18:58 | #42

    “The post is not an investigative report on the engineering details of the crash, it’s a personal reflection on the accident coupled with a collection of Chinese responses to the incident.”

    Oh, personal reflection get you to the conclusion of “preventable”? OK!

  43. July 25th, 2011 at 19:00 | #43

    “ALSO: I was wrong in my comment earlier. It wasn’t one HSR train that was delayed yesterday. It was TWENTY
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-07/26/content_12979709.htm
    The cause of the delay as cited in that article is pretty vague, but come on, there are obviously SERIOUS power issues with these trains. They should be stopped now and the issues fixed properly. We’ve already lost 39 lives because of this, it would be foolish to continue playing with fire.”

    TWENTY trains were STOPPED, at the same time on the same line!!

    Did anyone predict that 1 train was going to stop, but another keep going on the same line??!! NO, because it’s completely different problems!!!

  44. July 25th, 2011 at 19:01 | #44

    “They should be stopped now and the issues fixed properly.”

    As soon as you can summon lightning at will, they can duplicate the problem.

  45. July 25th, 2011 at 19:03 | #45

    “They should be stopped now and the issues fixed properly.”

    Define “fixed properly”, because I have no idea what a non-expert mean by that phrase.

    Better yet, if you think it’s that easy, go fix it yourself, OR come up with 1 technical explanation and solution on how to fix it, if you even know what the REAL issue is with the HSR trains!!

  46. July 25th, 2011 at 19:09 | #46

    ““proving someone wrong on some blog””

    You are the one making all sorts of conclusions about what’s “preventable”, and the root cause of the problem.

    And apparently, a bunch of people AGREES with you somehow.

    Why can’t you prove your own conclusions, if so many people “agrees” with you??

    What exactly are they agreeing with you ABOUT???

    What basis are you all “agreeing” with each ON??

    A bunch of people agreeing with each other on their “suspicions” do not make much any kind of logical conclusion!!!

    It’s called MASS DELUSION!!! And you are 1 of the leaders of the nutfarm!!!

  47. pug_ster
    July 25th, 2011 at 19:10 | #47

    C Custer,

    ALSO: I was wrong in my comment earlier. It wasn’t one HSR train that was delayed yesterday. It was TWENTY

    Gees, if one train stop, then the other trains behind supposed to stop so you don’t repeat the accident last Saturday. So 20 trains delayed as a result is not abnormal. You really don’t think before you post do you?

  48. Charles Liu
    July 25th, 2011 at 20:40 | #48

    And for some reason, “hindsight bias” seems to be more prominent when it comes to China. Even after the Sichuan earthquak there were people claiming to have predicted the quake.

  49. July 25th, 2011 at 21:54 | #49

    raventhorn2000 :
    “They should be stopped now and the issues fixed properly.”
    As soon as you can summon lightning at will, they can duplicate the problem.

    Yes, because there’s no way humans could summon electricity out of thin air. Imagine the things we could do if we could MAKE electricity!

    As for your claims about my “work” being shoddy, please point to one example of my actual work that you’ve seen. ChinaGeeks the blog is a hobby, not my job.

    Re: my conclusion that the accident was preventable, there is much evidence for this. Aside from common sense, see the Caixin report I mentioned earlier (or read the much more thorough Chinese original). There’s also a fair amount of expert testimony being passed around on Weibo, although with that it’s always impossible to confirm whether the source is real or not. Anyway, give it time, there will be more authoritative proof forthcoming for you to ignore just like you’ve brushed aside Caixin’s report (despite the fact that it’s probably one of if not THE most respected news organization in China).

    As for why I didn’t say anything about the possibility of an accident before the accident. I actually did. I could produce some sworn witness statements for you, but I’m sure you wouldn’t believe them anyway. I didn’t post it on the blog because honestly I was waiting for more stoppages to have happened to make my argument stronger. I did expect that this issue would eventually lead to an accident, but I did not expect that it would happen so quickly. So in that sense, you’re right to say that I didn’t see it coming either.

    Anyway, I’m sure you don’t believe a word of that, so whatever.

  50. July 25th, 2011 at 21:56 | #50

    pug_ster :
    C Custer,
    ALSO: I was wrong in my comment earlier. It wasn’t one HSR train that was delayed yesterday. It was TWENTY
    Gees, if one train stop, then the other trains behind supposed to stop so you don’t repeat the accident last Saturday. So 20 trains delayed as a result is not abnormal. You really don’t think before you post do you?

    Of course. I never said twenty trains had problems. I was just correcting the previous statement, because it looked like only one train was delayed from the way I said it. And since you guys all live in the US, I wasn’t sure if you were familiar with how many of these trains run on the same line in the course of a day. 😉

  51. jxie
    July 25th, 2011 at 22:31 | #51

    First, the only way to prevent any train accidents from happening is not having any trains at all. There are always risks (for any systems), and it’s all about probability. You can always reduce the risk, at a financial cost. The risk will never go to zero. When it gets to a small value (e.g. 1 fatality every 500 milllion passenger-km), any further risk reduction can be very costly. The “hindsight bias” plays trick on most people who are less scientifically inclined. A specific accident, in retrospect, is “preventable”. But an accident is bound to happen in any system.

    The terms “bullet train”, “high-speed rail” can mean different things. The line (动车)where the accident happened, is more like ICE (primary Germany), than TVG (France) and Shinkansen (Japan). The Wuhan-Guangzhou and Beijing-Shanghai HSR lines (高铁)are more like TVG and Shinkansen. The key differences are,

    * There is no freight train in TVG/Shinkansen/Gao Tie,
    * Between stations, the trains run at the same speed in TVG/Shinkansen/Gao Tie.

    These differences make these dedicated high-speed passenger lines safer — but again the risk won’t be zero.

    For the safety record, you have to look at the railways of a nation as a whole. You can make TVG very safe, but while doing so, you may make TVG carry fewer passengers, and effectively force some to less safe railways with mixed traffic. There is a fine balance you need to strike with many factors.

  52. July 25th, 2011 at 22:39 | #52

    raventhorn2000 :
    Yeah, OK, clinch onto your opinion polls. Bush Jr. had his for a while.
    If that’s all you have, it won’t last you long.
    The public is fickle in any country, for your non-expert information.
    At the end of the day, NONE of you predicted anything useful. The world is full of idiots like yourself, who goes around saying, “I saw it coming, but I didn’t say anything.”

    I do find it amusing that you get so angry when the Western media fails to tell China’s side of the story, yet you yourself just blow off the opinions of actual Chinese people (I mean the ones who actually live in China) whenever they’re inconvenient. If the polls agree with you, like that PEW poll, then I should pay attention to them. But if they don’t agree with you, that’s because Chinese people are “fickle” or are suffering from “mass delusion,” as you put it in another comment.

    Honestly, how on earth can you whine about Western “spin” when you just blew off the public opinion of a whole country as “fickle” and (by your implication) irrelevant and meaningless?

    If you really want to know what Chinese people think, open a Weibo account and start posting this stuff in Chinese with the proper hashtags.

    In fact, you guys probably all have Weibo accounts that you use frequently, right? If not, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t. You want to tell China’s side of the story, Sina Weibo is the best window into that since…well, basically since ever. Unprecedented access to public opinion, and although it’s not a totally fair representation (Weibo users are on average well-to-do and live in cities) there are plenty of people who pass along stories from those who aren’t fortunate enough to have a computer or internet access yet.

  53. July 25th, 2011 at 23:43 | #53

    I think C.Custer deserves a break over this Weibo poll and swelling of ‘discontent’ among the Chinese population over this train crash.

    Forgive me, Custer, I think this is like a wet dream and a gift from god for you in your quest to paint the Chinese government a bogeyman.

    I recall the dismay and sadness across America in the 1986 Challenger explosion.

    Honestly, I am saddened and at the same time upset at this accident too.

    BUT, Custer, seriously, I hope you understand where this blog is coming from – we are tired of the BS hurled at China’s high speed train efforts from the Western press. This is not to gloss over this horrible event, but to shunt the unfounded criticism we always expect from that corner of the world.

  54. July 26th, 2011 at 02:47 | #54

    yinyang :
    I think C.Custer deserves a break over this Weibo poll and swelling of ‘discontent’ among the Chinese population over this train crash.
    Forgive me, Custer, I think this is like a wet dream and a gift from god for you in your quest to paint the Chinese government a bogeyman.
    I recall the dismay and sadness across America in the 1986 Challenger explosion.
    Honestly, I am saddened and at the same time upset at this accident too.
    BUT, Custer, seriously, I hope you understand where this blog is coming from – we are tired of the BS hurled at China’s high speed train efforts from the Western press. This is not to gloss over this horrible event, but to shunt the unfounded criticism we always expect from that corner of the world.

    I understand that completely. And in some cases, I’m on the same page. I don’t agree on some of your examples, but I have taken the media to task numerous times on my own blog for bias, and I saw with my own eyes the ridiculous way some media outlets reported the Tibet riots in 2008. I remember seeing that cropped photo on CNN, then seeing the original and wondering what the fuck they were doing. If you look through this category on my blog, you can find posts dating back to the blog’s origin criticizing Western coverage of China. http://chinageeks.org/category/china-from-the-west/page/4/

    I’ve done less of that recently because frankly, the coverage from major news sources is getting better. It’s far from perfect, true, but it’s getting better. It’s all negative, true, but that’s the news media, that’s what they cover. It may be negative, but it’s generally factual, accurate, and newsworthy (although this idiotic story about the fake Apple store in Kunming is a counter-example; if I see one more idiot write a story on that I will probably make a post about it).

    I am not on a quest to “paint” the Chinese government as anything. But my opinion of it is influenced by what I see and hear every day on Weibo, in the streets, and in my work, through my circle of friends and colleagues, etc.

    I’m just as opposed to unfounded criticism as anyone. But this criticism of the high-speed rail accident? It’s not unfounded. It’s really, really founded.

    The opinion polls are not a wet dream or a gift from god, they are what Chinese people actually think. Honestly, it creeps me out that you guys are so dedicated to blowing off the opinions of Chinese people, or attributing them somehow to me. Their opinions are “my” wet dream, “I” am the leader of the “mass delusion” as raventhorn put it. Seriously, WTF?

    The polls do support my argument, of course, but they have nothing to do with me, and the fact that it’s ME making the argument shouldn’t take away from the polls’ importance. The fact is, these and all the other polls on Weibo (there are dozens about the crash, go check them out) and elsewhere all point to the fact that this criticism is not unfounded. It’s not because Chinese people are “fickle” or because I am somehow misleading them.

    It’s because this stuff that I’m saying — about how people saw this coming, about how people don’t trust the government — they all saw that too. Raventhorn can whine about proof for as long as it takes me to set aside the time to go digging under 6.5 million (and counting) newer posts about the high speed rail, but ultimately, it’s just academic. The people who actually ride these trains every day have spoken, and are speaking, and what they’re saying is very, very, very clear.

    You know it, and Raven knows it too, whether he’ll admit it or not. I assume you can both read Chinese, and I imagine that by now you’ve at least glanced at the Weibo comments, or comments elsewhere on Chinese social media. The question then becomes: why are you so insistent on shielding something from criticism that the Chinese people (by and large) feel should be criticized? I understand it makes Chinese HSR look bad internationally, but really, who cares? Is that more important than justice for the lives lost, or pressure and shame to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?

    I understand the purpose of the blog, and on many issues, I even agree with you that there’s a valid counterargument to be made. But in this case, I must say I really do not understand why you are defending something that, to my view, and to the view of the Chinese public (it seems) is basically indefensible.

    And frankly, even if it’s totally defensible and all the critiques are totally invalid…what’s the worst that could happen? The Railway Ministry will be forced to at least somewhat improve safety procedures, and the West will forget about this story (which they’re mostly ignoring) soon anyway. That is not really a disaster. A slight loss of face, perhaps. Who cares? Face is an abstract concept that keeps officials happy and cocky (or sad and humble). Safety should be a more pressing concern, always.

  55. July 26th, 2011 at 02:55 | #55

    Probably none of you would believe it, but before I had lived in China, I was an adamant defender of the Chinese government on human rights issues and more. My roommates in college used to joke that I was a communist and a traitor, and one of them told me, in some seriousness, that if I ever applied for a job at the CIA (language students at our college were sometimes recruited by the CIA) he would tell the background-check guys that I was too sympathetic to the Chinese government to serve.

    My opinion of the government now is the result of a ruthless campaign that’s been waged by reality since the day I moved to China and started talking to people here.

    I know it’s an annoying argument because it’s impractical for someone to just up and move to another country to prove a point on a blog, but I really think that if you guys moved to China and lived here for a little while — honestly just a year or two would be enough — and you made the effort to get out and meet people, you’d understand pretty well where I’m coming from and you’d see that I don’t have any inherent desire to see China or it’s government fail.

    Quite the contrary, I am angry at the government because I believe on many levels it is failing, and I wish it wouldn’t.

  56. July 26th, 2011 at 05:14 | #56

    “Yes, because there’s no way humans could summon electricity out of thin air. Imagine the things we could do if we could MAKE electricity!”

    Go ahead, make some electricity and see if you can get the trains to stop.

    Sure, all “electricities” are the SAME as “lightning”!! RIIGGGHHHTT!!!

  57. July 26th, 2011 at 05:18 | #57

    CUSTER,

    So to give you some BASIC science knowledge: A bolt of lightning has enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for approximately 1 month. there are average of 1 lightning strike on in Earth Atmosphere every 2 minutes. The lightning is a hollow tube of super heated plasma with temperature at approximately 40,000 degrees F, which is approximately 4 times the temperature of the surface of the Sun!!

    Try make that “electricity” by yourself. Let us know when you succeed.

  58. July 26th, 2011 at 05:23 | #58

    “As for your claims about my “work” being shoddy, please point to one example of my actual work that you’ve seen. ChinaGeeks the blog is a hobby, not my job.”

    Your excuses are all too boring. Only proves that you are not at all serious about talking about this very serious issue!!

    If you can’t manage a simple 2 minute basic google search to look up German HSR accidents (and you were wrong, France did have 1 HSR accident), then you are pretty shoddy at your time management.

    Please, don’t give us the “I have so many other important things to do” excuse. If you are not serious about your “hobby”, then don’t do it halfas*ed.

    And if you can’t manage your time effectively, that’s your problem, and your “Ivy League” degree proved to be pretty worthless!!

    and if you can’t even “prevent” your scheduling problems, then you are hardly the person to talk about what is “preventable” and what isn’t. OBVIOUSLY, you don’t know how to “prevent” even your own schedule problems to squeeze in 2 minutes of basic research!!!

  59. July 26th, 2011 at 05:29 | #59

    “Re: my conclusion that the accident was preventable, there is much evidence for this.”

    If you can’t find an ACTUAL prediction for this type of accident, then your conclusion of “preventable” is HINDSIGHT!!

    OBVIOUSLY, NO one arrived at your conclusion ahead of time, (you didn’t either)!!

  60. July 26th, 2011 at 05:31 | #60

    “As for why I didn’t say anything about the possibility of an accident before the accident. I actually did. I could produce some sworn witness statements for you, but I’m sure you wouldn’t believe them anyway. I didn’t post it on the blog because honestly I was waiting for more stoppages to have happened to make my argument stronger. I did expect that this issue would eventually lead to an accident, but I did not expect that it would happen so quickly. So in that sense, you’re right to say that I didn’t see it coming either.”

    Yeah, sure, right. Like I said, you are running around going, “I saw it coming, but I didn’t say anything.”

    Pretty worthless “suspicions” you had. (You must not have believed in it much, because you are certainly not shy about sharing your “suspicions” all the time, so why didn’t you that time??)

  61. Rhan
    July 26th, 2011 at 05:33 | #61

    C Custer,

    I don’t know about others but I do believe in what you had written here so far.

    I think China shall slow down a bit, sometimes I have the impression that they are now taking on Mao rush of “surpassing Britain and catching up USA”, I even suspect the accelerated grow is to relieve the pressure on political reform, I don’t think Chinese look forward triumph in every contest, and to finish everything in one or two generations, most would prefer a decent and prudent life, and getting better along the years.

  62. July 26th, 2011 at 05:33 | #62

    “I do find it amusing that you get so angry when the Western media fails to tell China’s side of the story, yet you yourself just blow off the opinions of actual Chinese people (I mean the ones who actually live in China) whenever they’re inconvenient. If the polls agree with you, like that PEW poll, then I should pay attention to them. But if they don’t agree with you, that’s because Chinese people are “fickle” or are suffering from “mass delusion,” as you put it in another comment.

    Honestly, how on earth can you whine about Western “spin” when you just blew off the public opinion of a whole country as “fickle” and (by your implication) irrelevant and meaningless?”

    Yeah, right, Weibo poll is the public opinion of a “whole country”. When did you ever believe that??!!

    And country’s opinions are “fickle”. They turned quick on Bush Jr.!!

  63. July 26th, 2011 at 05:47 | #63

    People in general are prone to suffer from “mass delusions”, especially during time of stress and crisis.

    Weibo’s poll only reflects that.

    With little or no actual real information (on actual cause, what the fix is), the few who participate in the poll within the first 3 days are eager to vent, NOT express their rational thinking.

    China should learn from Japan in this respect too.

    Japan suffered 2 disasters in sequence, 2nd one (nuclear reactor meltdown and radiation leak) was also arguably MORE preventable than some lightning strike power failure. (They had overstacked 2-3 times of the amount of spent nuclear fuel rod than designed by the original specification)!!!

    Yet, the Japanese behaved orderly, no rumors/speculations, and no panicky call to shut down all reactors until they “fix it” all!!!

    *Yet what do I see in the blog sphere?

    A bunch of hacks leading speculations and rumors into new height of public panic, exploiting the panic and stress, for popularity and blog traffic.

    Did they predict any of this? NOPE.

    Do they know what the actual cause and fix are? NOPE!!

    What are they selling exactly? MORE speculations and more panic!!

    They “don’t agree with me”??

    I don’t even know what they are agreeing with each other on!! They spout out dozens of stories and theories, based upon nothing, and they call the jumbo their “agreement”??

    They really only agree on 1 thing, that is still PANIC!!

    Like they admit, they are not “expert”, they don’t know how to do the research, they don’t know the cause or the fix.

    But they still insist on telling the public to panic!!

  64. Pete North
    July 26th, 2011 at 05:48 | #64

    Raven, you’re starting to appear desperate and irrational. How about less posts, but more thought into the ones you do?
    As for the Weibo poll not reflecting public opinion in China, what other suggestions do you have which could be considered more representative? Surely not that of an American passport holder residing in America.

  65. July 26th, 2011 at 06:05 | #65

    @Pete North

    I don’t care what I “appear” to you to be. How about focus on the issue, if you want to talk about the issue.

    “As for the Weibo poll not reflecting public opinion in China, what other suggestions do you have which could be considered more representative? Surely not that of an American passport holder residing in America.”

    I don’t know who you are talking about, “american passport holder in America”??

    What other suggestion than the poll?? Take this one from C. Custer himself, “SHUT UP FOR 1 MONTH”!!

    Of course, he was talking about all foreigners who go to China, they should “SHUT UP FOR 1 month” and learn.

    Now, he should take his own advice, “SHUT UP for 1 month” and LEARN about the accident, before speaking about the accident!!

    See, Custer is violating his own earlier mantra, of NOT jumping into conclusions!!!

    He was plastering all over his blog about his conclusions on the accidents.

    Weibo poll is no less than a collection of people, 40,000-50,000 jumping to conclusions within the first 3 days.

    How is that a REAL reflection of the public opinion? (let alone rational opinion)? Out of 450 MILLION online users in China, out of 1.2 billion people??

    Polls can be distorted in the immediate aftermath of a major event.

    See 9/11 (irrational patriotism within first week). See Katrina (panic and outrage within first month).

    See Madrid bombing, (shock and xenophobia in the first month).

    See Oslo bombing, (shock and xenophobia in the first week)

    If you want to buy into these polls, go ahead with the mass delusions. I am confident that they are fickle and they fade when REALITY sets in.

    The reality is, NO ONE Predicted this type of accident in China HSR. China will fix it eventually, and it will get better. HSR will NOT be shut down for long, and there will NOT be a “shut down until fix it” type panic action.

  66. July 26th, 2011 at 06:52 | #66

    C. Custer during an interview, said,

    “That leads right into my second piece of advice, which is keep your mouth shut for the first month or so.”

    Now, I might agree with this advice, except the speaker of this advice has forgotten his own words. He thinks he knows enough, 1 month is enough. Even on brand new issues like HSR accidents, which he has no technical understanding of, he thinks he knows enough to start talking right away.

    Well, MY advice is, Don’t pretend you know what you are talking about, if you are not serious enough to sit down and learn about a serious issue, JUST SHUT UP, until you have the time and the energy to learn.

    You going on “opinion polls” is not you learning, it’s just you blabbing about things you don’t understand.

    If you want to blog about FACTS, go right ahead, keep your opinions and conclusions to yourself.

    Another advice from C. Custer, which he has also forgotten, and I offer in return,

    “refrain from offering up any platitudes”.

  67. Pete North
    July 26th, 2011 at 07:01 | #67

    Hey Raven, maybe you should go on Weibo and tell the Chinese people there to “JUST SHUT UP”

    Be sure to let me know how you get on…

  68. July 26th, 2011 at 07:06 | #68

    “Hey Raven, maybe you should go on Weibo and tell the Chinese people there to “JUST SHUT UP”

    Be sure to let me know how you get on…”

    Sure, I would go, if I think I can get through to people like you or CUSTER.

    But apparently, CUSTER can’t even get through to himself on his own advice.

    Hey, I already pointed it out to you 2, so, my job is done, as far as I’m concerned.

  69. July 26th, 2011 at 07:11 | #69

    Raven, you have got to be the most amusing troll I’ve run across in a while. Have you ever posted a comment on ChinaGeeks? I’m just wondering if you’re jsyang or not?

    Also, I’m impressed you went back and dug up that old interview. But I gotta say, I’m disappointed. No cracks about me being a rapper? I’m sure you could find some way to work that into your rant!

    Re the lightning: My understanding is that the train’s electrical systems were fried by the excess electricity from the lightning (rather than the heat, which presumably affected mostly the outside of the car where lightning struck, since heat is not conducted the way electricity is). Electricity is easy enough to reproduce even if lightning itself is difficult (though not impossible) to reproduce. However, if they needed to use real lightning, it shouldn’t be too difficult to put a big metal pole on a test train during a thunderstorm and do your tests that way. If TWO trains got high by lightning in one night by accident, I’m sure a train placed in an ideal location with a metal pole to attract a strike could work fairly well.

  70. July 26th, 2011 at 07:17 | #70

    raventhorn2000 :
    “Hey Raven, maybe you should go on Weibo and tell the Chinese people there to “JUST SHUT UP”
    Be sure to let me know how you get on…”
    Sure, I would go, if I think I can get through to people like you or CUSTER.
    But apparently, CUSTER can’t even get through to himself on his own advice.
    Hey, I already pointed it out to you 2, so, my job is done, as far as I’m concerned.

    My advice was to not make comments about “China” until you’ve been here for a while. It doesn’t have anything to do with this accident, although interestingly it does relate to what I was suggesting earlier — that if you don’t live in China and haven’t lived here for a while, you really aren’t a particularly credible commentator about what China is like, what the “Chinese perspective” is, etc.

    Anyway, if you want to interpret it as relating to this accident, fine. Let’s BOTH follow “my advice” (as interpreted by you) and shut up about it for a month. See you in late August.

  71. July 26th, 2011 at 07:21 | #71

    Custer,

    You are the most irrelevant troll I have ever met. You are even irrelevant to your own “advice”.

    You being a rapper is also irrelevant to me. Considering how not seriously you take your “hobbies”, I doubt that would amount to anything for you.

    “Electricity is easy enough to reproduce even if lightning itself is difficult (though not impossible) to reproduce. However, if they needed to use real lightning, it shouldn

  72. July 26th, 2011 at 07:22 | #72

    “My advice was to not make comments about “China” until you’ve been here for a while. It doesn’t have anything to do with this accident, although interestingly it does relate to what I was suggesting earlier — that if you don’t live in China and haven’t lived here for a while, you really aren’t a particularly credible commentator about what China is like, what the “Chinese perspective” is, etc.

    Anyway, if you want to interpret it as relating to this accident, fine. Let’s BOTH follow “my advice” (as interpreted by you) and shut up about it for a month. See you in late August.”

    Sure, I’ll see you follow through on your “advice” on your blog!!

  73. July 26th, 2011 at 07:30 | #73

    “Re the lightning: My understanding is that the train’s electrical systems were fried by the excess electricity from the lightning (rather than the heat, which presumably affected mostly the outside of the car where lightning struck, since heat is not conducted the way electricity is). Electricity is easy enough to reproduce even if lightning itself is difficult (though not impossible) to reproduce. However, if they needed to use real lightning, it shouldn’t be too difficult to put a big metal pole on a test train during a thunderstorm and do your tests that way. If TWO trains got high by lightning in one night by accident, I’m sure a train placed in an ideal location with a metal pole to attract a strike could work fairly well.”

    That’s the STUPIDEST IDEA you had yet. Are you trying to duplicate “Back to the Future” or “MythBusters”??!!

    Yeah, let me know if you get that set up working, without getting yourself killed!!

    YET ANOTHER reason why you should SHUT UP!! You are obviously not going to try your own stupid ideas, and you are liable to get some other poor sap killed!!! (Then you will just disclaim yourself as “not an expert”)!!!

  74. July 26th, 2011 at 08:48 | #74

    Nobody is immune from problem with HSR:

    3 Disruptions in a Weekend Add to Bullet Train’s Woes http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/07/18/2011071801213.html

  75. Charles Liu
    July 26th, 2011 at 09:07 | #75

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias

    “Hindsight bias, or alternatively the knew-it-all-along effect and creeping determinism, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place.”

  76. July 26th, 2011 at 10:07 | #76

    Exactly Charles,

    When I first started reading all these “non-experts” on blogs going around saying the accident was “totally preventable”, I realized the extent of their Mass delusion based upon hindsight.

    Oh yes, NOT 1 of them said anything before hand, but afterwards, it’s “totally preventable”???!!

    I used to do “Failure Analysis” on electronic devices. For the 1000’s of failing devices that I have examined in my engineering career, NEVER once have I ever accused any design engineer that the problems were “totally preventable”, because as an engineer, it’s all risks and trade-off’s and probabilities.

    There are never a clear answer of “totally preventable”.

    Any one making such claims AFTER the fact are full of BS.

  77. July 26th, 2011 at 10:58 | #77

    Here’s a good article on Hindsight Bias:

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/hindbias.htm

  78. July 26th, 2011 at 11:51 | #78

    @Everybody

    The Chinese populations’ reaction (including the Weibo poll) to this accident is understandable. Sure, many people on Weibo are indeed voicing discontent at the government. This is no different than the American reaction towards the 1986 Challenger explosion. Neither is this different than from the Japanese anger over TEPCO in containing the meltdown at Fukushima nuclear power plant. When things go wrong at this scale, it IS the government’s responsibility to make things right.

    @Custer #54,

    I appreciate that comment. I am beginning to better understand where you are coming from. Personally, I recognize the fact that you are in China and living it day by day there; that counts.

    Yes, I am Chinese American and having lived the majority of my life in the U.S.. Do you think I have a full understanding of America? I frequently feel I don’t. Your understanding about China may yet change; I presume you have been there for only a few years.

    Agreed – speaking for myself, if I move back to China, I believe my understanding will deepen.

    Funny, I frequently tell my White friends they should visit China to get a better texture of the country.

    You said this to Raventhorn2000:

    My advice was to not make comments about “China” until you’ve been here for a while. It doesn’t have anything to do with this accident, although interestingly it does relate to what I was suggesting earlier — that if you don’t live in China and haven’t lived here for a while, you really aren’t a particularly credible commentator about what China is like, what the “Chinese perspective” is, etc.

    Comparing you and Raventhorn2000, I would say, Raventhorn2000’s understanding of China on most issues will be light years ahead of you for the following reason:

    Your Chinese comprehension is likely elementary compare to his. That makes you incapable of comprehending a lot of ideas, because you won’t have the vocabulary to keep up with exchanges in a thoughtful way.

    Think of it this way – take a Chinese person like you, who now lives in America and has been there for, what, 5 years? Do you think you understand America better or that Chinese person?

    Since you live in China and if you continue, then I think you will get better and better.

  79. July 26th, 2011 at 14:44 | #79

    @YinYang #78

    I appreciate that comment. I am beginning to better understand where you are coming from. Personally, I recognize the fact that you are in China and living it day by day there; that counts.

    Ok … maybe…

    But in my opinion, C. Custer and Pete North appears to have too constantly called attention to where we live in making their arguments; the incessant call appears more an attempt to discredit our argument than anything else. It amounts to nothing less than an ad homenim attack (attacking the person not the argument). This constant smear of overseas Chinese as if overseas Chinese have no understanding of China – that some ex pat in China who lives there for a few years, with a superficial understanding of the Chinese language, culture, and history, now has a profound, deep understanding of China – that to me is laughable.

    When you grow up in a culture, are raised living its history, live in a community that has constant contact with that culture … there is a bond that is difficult to break.

    But even if assuming an overseas Chinese like me is completely off with respect to what people on the ground is thinking – I know my perspectives align well with those of the Chinese gov’t. That coupled with the fact that the vast majority of the Chinese people approve of the gov’t, are behind the Chinese gov’t, and identify with the perspectives of the Chinese gov’t, I just don’t see how far I really can be off on general issues.

    Besides, really, if we guys are really so disconnected and clueless, why bother reading our blog or respond to our nonsense? I mean who cares what a bunch of detached emmigrants think? If you want true Chinese opinion – go to China, mingle with the people there, immerse yourself in its language and culture. We don’t claim to be a substitute for that. But if you speak English and can’t afford to do that, we offer one window by which to understand the Chinese psyche. We do not claim to represent 1.3 billion people – who can? I haven’t met all 1.3 billion Chinese people, and most likely you have not either. While some of us have departed from our homeland a few decades ago, some have only recently left. Regardless of when we left, we all still share a strong sense of Chinese identity, are immersed in many aspects of its culture, and feel a strong intensity for our homeland.

    So let’s stop this credential-based argument. If you comment here, I accept you as you are, I don’t discount you saying you are white or hasn’t lived in China as long as I have. I mean … where does this end?? Should we ask for each other’s resume – comparing our work experience, where we went to school – to assess who is better qualified to blog?

    Now to the specific issue of Chinese criticism of gov’t vs. Western criticism of gov’t in the advent of this disaster, I think there is one key thing that will differentiate them. Whether it’s the sanya milk scandal, the Wen chuan earthquake, or this most recent accident, the Chinese people will look to the gov’t for protection, for explanation, for accountability. In that context, criticisms will naturally be directed at the gov’t. That is the burden and proper role of a responsible (and if you must – patriarchal) gov’t. The Western criticism however will probably go beyond a call for accountability; it will be angled at the directing the blame at the the basic structure of the gov’t, at single-party led gov’ts, calling for its basic illegitimacy. I may be wrong, but I bet some would love use this instance of human suffering to further incite, foment, propagandize….

  80. July 26th, 2011 at 15:23 | #80

    @Allen

    I share your sentiment.

    Custer tells other expats to “shut up for 1 month” and learn in China, but he’s dismissive of overseas Chinese, with assumption that somehow we need to go back to China and learn (Oh, oversea’s Chinese obviously don’t have much to teach an American expat in China!)

    WTF, I go back almost every year, I have almost my entire extended family there. My wife and I call them every week and talk to them.

  81. July 26th, 2011 at 16:42 | #81

    Allen, raventhorn2000,

    I understand what you guys are saying. You are right, what Custer and Pete North are doing here is indeed ad homenim.

    That type of attack is totally worthless and is like a fart in the wind. I am no longer bothered by it, because I know what is deeply unsettling for people like that is their knowing we know how to relate the Chinese perspective to the Western audience. That is truly what we have and what we are able to do.

    For them, they have no way of relating back to the Chinese in Chinese. Drives them up the wall to say they are more of the same crap we see in the Western press.

    Allow me to repeat:

    Comparing you and Raventhorn2000, I would say, Raventhorn2000′s understanding of China on most issues will be light years ahead of you for the following reason:

    Your Chinese comprehension is likely elementary compare to his. That makes you incapable of comprehending a lot of ideas, because you won’t have the vocabulary to keep up with exchanges in a thoughtful way.

    Think of it this way – take a Chinese person like you, who now lives in America and has been there for, what, 5 years? Do you think you understand America better or that Chinese person?

    The thing I do feel Custer is correct is the view that living and working in China does help understanding. We frequently tell those with opposing views to simply visit China to see things for themselves.

    I love the Obama 100,000 Strong Initiative for this reason.

    But that is not giving in on the ‘credibility’ issue – understanding China is a mindset and many factors Allen well articulated.

    We should have infinite patience in articulating, explaining, and exposing the bigotry that gets thrown at us. The Chinese people need to see that to better understand the a segment of the West. Westerners too.

  82. July 26th, 2011 at 19:16 | #82

    yinyang :

    Comparing you and Raventhorn2000, I would say, Raventhorn2000′s understanding of China on most issues will be light years ahead of you for the following reason:
    Your Chinese comprehension is likely elementary compare to his. That makes you incapable of comprehending a lot of ideas, because you won’t have the vocabulary to keep up with exchanges in a thoughtful way.

    If raven is a native speaker, and I assume he is, then certainly his Chinese is better than mine. However, my Chinese is good enough to keep up with thoughtful conversations on most subjects, provided they’re not highly technical or mathematical. I am, for example, currently the only foreigner working at a Chinese company that employs probably 200+ people in this office alone. I couldn’t have gotten this job if I wasn’t able to keep up with Chinese conversation.

    Think of it this way – take a Chinese person like you, who now lives in America and has been there for, what, 5 years? Do you think you understand America better or that Chinese person?
    Since you live in China and if you continue, then I think you will get better and better.

    I probably do, sure. But that’s because I grew up in the US, I lived there for over twenty years, not because I’m American by nationality or “ethnicity”. My point was that ethnic Chinese who have lived most or all of their lives in the US are really on similar footing to any other foreigner. You may speak the language (but so do plenty of other people) and you may have grown up eating home-cooked Chinese food, but in terms of social/political issues, your ethnicity does not give you a leg up because you have no experience in China’s political/social climate. Your language ability might give you a leg up in participating in the debate, but again, ethnic Chinese are not the only people who can speak Chinese fluently.

    If I, for example, were one of those US military kids who grew up on bases around the world rather than in the US proper, I would probably say that the Chinese person who’d been in the US a few years knew more about it than me, assuming they spoke enough English to have some idea what was going on. I had a friend in college who grew up that way, and I know that’s how she felt…she was American but felt she had a much deeper understanding of the countries she had lived in than she did the US, because she had never actually lived in the US for more than a couple months.

    (Amusing unrelated side note: as I was typing this comment, a coworker a few cubicles away said loudly and incredulously into a phone: “你信中国共产党? hahaha 反正我不信!”….three guesses as to what he was talking about! This is not some dissident, he’s a well-to-do lawyer working for one of China’s most prominent tech companies.)

  83. July 26th, 2011 at 19:37 | #83

    Allen :
    @YinYang #78

    I appreciate that comment. I am beginning to better understand where you are coming from. Personally, I recognize the fact that you are in China and living it day by day there; that counts.

    Ok … maybe…
    But in my opinion, C. Custer and Pete North appears to have too constantly called attention to where we live in making their arguments; the incessant call appears more an attempt to discredit our argument than anything else. It amounts to nothing less than an ad homenim attack (attacking the person not the argument). This constant smear of overseas Chinese as if overseas Chinese have no understanding of China – that some ex pat in China who lives there for a few years, with a superficial understanding of the Chinese language, culture, and history, now has a profound, deep understanding of China – that to me is laughable.

    Right, but the assumption that an expat’s understanding of China’s language and culture has to be superficial simply because he’s not ethnically Chinese is totally reasonable.

    I never said overseas Chinese had no understanding of China. But I’m sorry, if you grew up in the US, and we’re talking about social political issues, YOU ARE JUST AS ISOLATED FROM THAT AS ANY OTHER FOREIGNER. The ONLY difference is potentially the language, but there are plenty of expats whose Chinese is good enough for that not to make a real difference. And frankly, there are plenty of overseas Chinese whose language skills suck…how many people do you know who can barely read characters because they grew up in the US school system?

    When you grow up in a culture, are raised living its history, live in a community that has constant contact with that culture … there is a bond that is difficult to break.

    Sure, but that has nothing to do with politics or civil society.

    But even if assuming an overseas Chinese like me is completely off with respect to what people on the ground is thinking – I know my perspectives align well with those of the Chinese gov’t. That coupled with the fact that the vast majority of the Chinese people approve of the gov’t, are behind the Chinese gov’t, and identify with the perspectives of the Chinese gov’t, I just don’t see how far I really can be off on general issues.

    I don’t think it’s really true that the vast majority of Chinese people approve of the government anymore. Yes, I’ve seen the PEW poll, but that’s a few years old, and a LOT has changed since even last fall. The fact is, it’s pretty impossible to accurately poll the “Chinese” opinion on anything. All I know is that cynicism and anger at the government has never, in the time I’ve been living in and before then studying China, been more obvious. You can ask people who’ve been living here for decades and they’ll tell you the same. (I’m thinking here of a Chinese-American I know who has been living in Beijing for the past 30 or so years).

    Besides, really, if we guys are really so disconnected and clueless, why bother reading our blog or respond to our nonsense? I mean who cares what a bunch of detached emmigrants think? If you want true Chinese opinion – go to China, mingle with the people there, immerse yourself in its language and culture. We don’t claim to be a substitute for that. But if you speak English and can’t afford to do that, we offer one window by which to understand the Chinese psyche. We do not claim to represent 1.3 billion people – who can? I haven’t met all 1.3 billion Chinese people, and most likely you have not either. While some of us have departed from our homeland a few decades ago, some have only recently left. Regardless of when we left, we all still share a strong sense of Chinese identity, are immersed in many aspects of its culture, and feel a strong intensity for our homeland.

    That’s fair. To be honest, I’m here for a couple reasons. First, I’m bored at work from time to time. Second, this site isn’t blocked, so when my VPN goes down, it’s one of a few places I have to waste time. Third, I prefer not to discuss issues like this in Chinese online. Call it paranoia, but I have a friend who spent a month in a PSB jail cell because he had some “open” political discussions on the internet. When he got out, he told me that the police had specifically asked him about a conversation he’d had with me in Chinese that was available online. Since then, I keep my Chinese-language discussion of this stuff to private conversation only.

    So let’s stop this credential-based argument. If you comment here, I accept you as you are, I don’t discount you saying you are white or hasn’t lived in China as long as I have. I mean … where does this end?? Should we ask for each other’s resume – comparing our work experience, where we went to school – to assess who is better qualified to blog?

    I agree completely. But some of your other commenters have repeatedly questioned everything from my language ability to my work experience and education.

    And I do think it’s fair that everyone should be open about their shortcomings and biases as they relate to this discussion. The fact that I am a white American is very public, and has been used as an argument against me both implicitly and explicitly, repeatedly. You’ll note that both yinyang and Raven, for example, assume that my Chinese language skills aren’t adequate to understand China, despite the fact that they have no relationship with me whatsoever and no knowledge about my language abilities at all — other than the fact that I’m white, of course.

    In truth — and this is going to make me sound like an arrogant prick, but whatever — my Chinese is good enough that Chinese people frequently confuse me with a Chinese person if we’re speaking on the phone. Certainly, my Chinese is not perfect — but I doubt yours is, either, even if you’re a native speaker. At a certain point of competence, the difference between a native and non-native speaker has no functional effect on one’s ability to conduct a conversation. And frankly I think you’d be surprised how many expats are capable of speaking Chinese at a high enough level to engage in prolonged political and philosophical debates (albeit with the occasional wrong word choice or a botched tone here and there).

    Now to the specific issue of Chinese criticism of gov’t vs. Western criticism of gov’t in the advent of this disaster, I think there is one key thing that will differentiate them. Whether it’s the sanya milk scandal, the Wen chuan earthquake, or this most recent accident, the Chinese people will look to the gov’t for protection, for explanation, for accountability. In that context, criticisms will naturally be directed at the gov’t. That is the burden and proper role of a responsible (and if you must – patriarchal) gov’t. The Western criticism however will probably go beyond a call for accountability; it will be angled at the directing the blame at the the basic structure of the gov’t, at single-party led gov’ts, calling for its basic illegitimacy. I may be wrong, but I bet some would love use this instance of human suffering to further incite, foment, propagandize….

    I guess, and you’re certainly entitled to get angry if that actually happens. But have you seen that in the Western coverage anywhere yet (including my site)? I think it’s fair for Western reporters to point out that this is damaging the regime’s legitimacy, but that’s something plenty of Chinese are saying too; see the note in my comment before this one for an example from literally just a few minutes ago.

  84. Citizen
    July 26th, 2011 at 19:41 | #84

    yinyang: ‘we know how to relate the Chinese perspective to the Western audience’

    That’s just the point – your perspective on this issue, and on many others is simply not that of most people in China. It’s ‘Chinese’ only in the sense of ‘the party line’.

    The delicious irony is that the angry birds here like Raventhorn and yinyang are probably the last people in the world who still believe what the CPG says.

    The crash has produced a remarkable reaction that reflects and exacerbates enormous feelings of mistrust towards the authorities. That has positive and negative elements, and as a topic would make for a far more useful discussion than another pointless bash the NYT session.

  85. July 26th, 2011 at 19:55 | #85

    yinyang :
    Allen, raventhorn2000,
    I understand what you guys are saying. You are right, what Custer and Pete North are doing here is indeed ad homenim.

    Right, but assuming that expats can’t speak Chinese because they’re not ethnically Chinese, that’s just good fun. Not ad hominem at all. *eyeroll*

    That type of attack is totally worthless and is like a fart in the wind. I am no longer bothered by it, because I know what is deeply unsettling for people like that is their knowing we know how to relate the Chinese perspective to the Western audience. That is truly what we have and what we are able to do.
    For them, they have no way of relating back to the Chinese in Chinese. Drives them up the wall to say they are more of the same crap we see in the Western press.

    Yeah, you’re doing a great job relating the Chinese perspective to a Western audience. How’s that going, by the way?

    Note again your assumption — based on nothing — that I (and all other expats and non-ethnic Chinese) are incapable of relating to Chinese people in Chinese.

    The thing I do feel Custer is correct is the view that living and working in China does help understanding. We frequently tell those with opposing views to simply visit China to see things for themselves.

    Right. Then they do go, they live there for a while, and you completely ignore whatever they’ve learned while continuing not to experience life there for yourself, because as a Chinese-American, you must know more about China than a foreigner. After all, they can’t speak Chinese!

    …don’t you see how ridiculous that is?

    Live wherever you want, and support whatever political perspective you choose. But being ethnically Chinese does not make you more qualified to comment on Chinese civil society or political issues if you haven’t spent any real time in that environment.

    Sure, you speak Chinese — so do lots of other people, well enough to understand the same things you understand. Sure, you have family and friends in China you keep in touch with — so do lots of other people, including expats who can keep in touch with those people way more frequently because they live in the same place.

    Does the average overseas Chinese understand China better than the average whitey? Absolutely, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean you understand China better than everyone of a different ethnicity. And you and raven, in your comments, have repeatedly made assumptions about my Chinese ability (both lingusitically, culturally, etc.) that are founded on nothing other than your knowledge that I am not Chinese.

    Either everyone’s backgrounds are on the table or no one’s are. I’m fine with debating this issue based purely on the merits, but if people are going to continually treat me as though I can’t possibly understand China because of my background, then yeah, I’m going to question your backgrounds if I think it’s relevant to the point I’m making.

  86. Pete North
    July 26th, 2011 at 22:46 | #86

    You are far to reasonable Custer, I honestly wonder why you bother. Whats that old saying about the futility of teaching pigs to sing Beijing opera?

    Something about wasting your time and annoying the pigs.

  87. July 26th, 2011 at 22:58 | #87

    @C.Custer

    The reason this background issue has come up is because you started it. So, now you say:

    Either everyone’s backgrounds are on the table or no one’s are. I’m fine with debating this issue based purely on the merits, but if people are going to continually treat me as though I can’t possibly understand China because of my background, then yeah, I’m going to question your backgrounds if I think it’s relevant to the point I’m making.

    If anything that is consistent, it is the hypocrisy.

    And, yes, please stop this background nonsense.

    1. You ignored what I have asked you twice already. What is your source saying the Chinese media cannot investigate the cause of this crash?

    2. You said:

    The second train wasn’t notified, thus it hit the first train. Seriously, are you retarded or something? That is basic information that’s been available since Saturday evening.

    The blackbox was recovered yesterday. To my knowledge, the investigation team hasn’t announced the root-cause of this crash yet.

    Can you explain?

  88. July 26th, 2011 at 23:16 | #88

    yinyang :
    @C.Custer
    The reason this background issue has come up is because you started it. So, now you say:

    Either everyone’s backgrounds are on the table or no one’s are. I’m fine with debating this issue based purely on the merits, but if people are going to continually treat me as though I can’t possibly understand China because of my background, then yeah, I’m going to question your backgrounds if I think it’s relevant to the point I’m making.

    If anything that is consistent, it is the hypocrisy.

    Raven was making allegations about my personal life, work background, and language abilities well before I started any discussion of anyone’s background here. This goes back earlier than this post, see the perspectivehere post or others, I forget where he first made some crack about me being an English teacher (which, of course, is wrong).

    1. You ignored what I have asked you twice already. What is your source saying the Chinese media cannot investigate the cause of this crash?

    I’m fairly certain I answered this a while ago; perhaps it was in one of the comments that disappeared when I was blocked, though. Anyway, that was from a Central Propaganda Department that was leaked onto Weibo by reporters, including photos of their phones displaying the messages. Obviously, that’s not 100% ironclad proof it’s authentic, but it’s about as close as you can get since the CPD is never going to come out and announce something like that publicly.

    These directives are sent out (and leaked to Weibo) pretty much every week, actually. Keep an eye out for posts that mention “真相部”, that’s usually the keyword it’s marked with (for obvious reasons). I have friends in the Chinese media who have confirmed that these are legit, although I haven’t asked anyone about the train directives as yet.

    2. You said:

    The blackbox was recovered yesterday. To my knowledge, the investigation team hasn’t announced the root-cause of this crash yet.

    The official investigation team probably hasn’t announced their results, no. Saying that the second train hit the first one because it wasn’t notified (I should have also said that it might have been notified but not until too late) isn’t talking about what the root cause is anyway. The root cause, as I see it, is twofold.

    (1) What caused the first train to stop? — we know the answer to this; it was hit by lighting.
    (2) Why was the second train unaware that the first train had stopped until it was too late*? — This one we don’t yet know for sure.

    (*Barring that the driver was committing a suicidal act of terrorism, which I think we can probably rule out since he died on the brake handle trying to prevent the crash, we know that the train was not informed about the stopped train ahead either at all or not until it was too late. I suppose it’s also possible the second train’s braking mechanism failed, but everything I have seen in the media, both state and foreign, has suggested that the problem is that the second train wasn’t made aware of the stoppage ahead when they should have been, either because of systemic failure or because of human error at the railway administration).

  89. July 27th, 2011 at 00:04 | #89

    @C. Custer
    You said:

    Raven was making allegations about my personal life, work background, and language abilities well before I started any discussion of anyone’s background here.

    Nope, you started this background thing here – talking about your self, actually, giving your self extra claim because you “LIVE” in China.

    Look, Custer, this is my observation of what you are doing. You make an argument, and when it is flawed, Raventhorn2000 argue back base on it, you get upset.

    You said:

    Anyway, that was from a Central Propaganda Department that was leaked onto Weibo by reporters, including photos of their phones displaying the messages. Obviously, that’s not 100% ironclad proof it’s authentic, but it’s about as close as you can get since the CPD is never going to come out and announce something like that publicly.

    I saw those photos too. Come’on, a photo of a phone with an SMS message. A 10 year-old can fake that. We live in a world full of nut cases (for example, this one from the NYT), so you will have to do much better than that.

    Overzealous in indicting the Chinese government?

    Look, if the actual message from the CPD is to tell journalist not to sensationalize this story, not to propagate rumors, and to give the investigation time and not to interfere in it, I am 100% in support of it.

    You might have a different value judgement about that, and if that is what is getting you all excited about that photo, well, whatever.

    You said:

    (2) Why was the second train unaware that the first train had stopped until it was too late*? — This one we don’t yet know for sure.

    Again, this is what you originally said:

    The second train wasn’t notified, thus it hit the first train. Seriously, are you retarded or something? That is basic information that’s been available since Saturday evening.

    Lies about a lot of things are available all the time. The public knows the investigation team is looking into the blackbox and results haven’t been announced. Why are you so exited and hung up on this ‘second train wasn’t notified’ speculation as if it is fact and dare to call someone ‘retarded?’

    You see why it is helpful if the media acts responsibly and not propagate rumors and speculations?

    All of Chines media have reported about the blackbox, so why are YOU so eager with that ‘fact?’

    If you accept that the D301 was notified and didn’t stop in time, then again, I ask, why are you so eager to rush judgement? As I have stated before, I don’t think people should speculate. I am sure Chinese authorities will reveal their findings soon.

    That’s not even all possibilities. What if the D301 driver tried to break and there were malfunction(s) somewhere – with the braking system or the driver pour tea at the controls by accident, or whatever.

    Again, like Raventhorn2000 said, you are not an expert, and all you are doing is zealously speculating, and apparently wanting to indict the Chinese government.

    You are engaging in tabloid trash activity, that’s what this boils down to. Does that make sense?

  90. July 27th, 2011 at 00:25 | #90

    By the way, in my NYT reference in my previous comment, Andrew Jacobs was lying about a jasmine flower ban in China. But I did wonder why he would write that and the NYT would then publish it.

    Here we go again, another smearing; against the Chinese media. It’s a habit we are absolutely not surprised to seeing though.

    Here is a recent CCTV segment on experts looking at how the Chinese government is handling this:
    Part 1 http://youtu.be/Y8FjtCUgZrY

    Other segments on this accident below:
    Part 2 http://youtu.be/zCvRw7C_w-I
    Part 3 http://youtu.be/C0Fxx4Ih4so
    Part 4 http://youtu.be/n1VyWvs_6Sc
    Part 5 http://youtu.be/QnLNmmyV24o

  91. July 27th, 2011 at 02:30 | #91

    Nope, you started this background thing here – talking about your self, actually, giving your self extra claim because you “LIVE” in China.

    Nonsense. That wasn’t a crack at anyone’s background, it was completely relevant to the point I was making. If you don’t live in China, you didn’t experience the way the census was conducted. That’s not a slight at anyone’s background, it’s just an acknowledgement of a geographical and temporal reality.

    Look, Custer, this is my observation of what you are doing. You make an argument, and when it is flawed, Raventhorn2000 argue back base on it, you get upset.

    I get upset about what? I have certainly made a few errors in my overall argument here, but Raventhorn’s rebuttals are an utter joke, and as for me being “upset”, nah…I just like to use text formatting, and I use curse words all the time. I get more upset when people bump into me on the subway than I do here…

    if it made me upset, why the hell would I even be here? It’s not like there’s any real point to arguing with raven, or for me to be on this site at all given that I have a much more public platform to express my opinions on China when I want to. I come here because it’s fun.

    I can appreciate how that might be hard to understand….but I can’t really explain it. What can I say? I enjoy a good trollfight every now and then.

    Anyway, that was from a Central Propaganda Department that was leaked onto Weibo by reporters, including photos of their phones displaying the messages. Obviously, that’s not 100% ironclad proof it’s authentic, but it’s about as close as you can get since the CPD is never going to come out and announce something like that publicly.

    I saw those photos too. Come’on, a photo of a phone with an SMS message. A 10 year-old can fake that. We live in a world full of nut cases (for example, this one from the NYT), so you will have to do much better than that.
    Oh sure, it COULD be faked. I said that in my original comment. The question is, was it? I believe it wasn’t, for the reasons I laid out in the original comment. You’re welcome to believe whatever you want. But you asked where I got that information; I shared the response with you.

    Overzealous in indicting the Chinese government?

    Yes, it’s all part of my crusade to destroy China, the place where I live and work and the home of many of my friends and family members.

    Look, if the actual message from the CPD is to tell journalist not to sensationalize this story, not to propagate rumors, and to give the investigation time and not to interfere in it, I am 100% in support of it.
    You might have a different value judgement about that, and if that is what is getting you all excited about that photo, well, whatever.

    I do and don’t. I agree the media shouldn’t propogate rumors; the problem is that the government doesn’t have a lot of credibility with anyone at this point, and their lack of transparency makes rumors attractive and valuable. It’s an unfortunate situation that makes the spreading of lies easier, but this could be easily solved if they just dismantled all their censorship apparatus and went transparent (or at least way more transparent than they currently are).

    You said:

    (2) Why was the second train unaware that the first train had stopped until it was too late*? — This one we don’t yet know for sure.

    Again, this is what you originally said:

    The second train wasn’t notified, thus it hit the first train. Seriously, are you retarded or something? That is basic information that’s been available since Saturday evening.

    Lies about a lot of things are available all the time. The public knows the investigation team is looking into the blackbox and results haven’t been announced. Why are you so exited and hung up on this ‘second train wasn’t notified’ speculation as if it is fact and dare to call someone ‘retarded?’
    You see why it is helpful if the media acts responsibly and not propagate rumors and speculations?
    All of Chines media have reported about the blackbox, so why are YOU so eager with that ‘fact?’
    If you accept that the D301 was notified and didn’t stop in time, then again, I ask, why are you so eager to rush judgement? As I have stated before, I don’t think people should speculate. I am sure Chinese authorities will reveal their findings soon.
    That’s not even all possibilities. What if the D301 driver tried to break and there were malfunction(s) somewhere – with the braking system or the driver pour tea at the controls by accident, or whatever.

    I don’t accept that the D301 was notified, what I’m saying is it was either notified too late or not notified at all. I suppose it is also possible the braking system malfunctioned….if that’s the case I’m an asshole for saying otherwise, sure, but that also makes the crash even worse. BOTH trains had separate malfunctions as a result of fairly routine trips? That’s awful.

    So yes, I spoke too soon, and I probably shouldn’t have called raven a retard. Well, I should have, but for different reasons. At the time, all the reports available were suggesting that the accident had been caused by a lack of communication, but you’re right it could theoretically have been something else — although I suspect it will be proved to be that anyway.

    Again, like Raventhorn2000 said, you are not an expert, and all you are doing is zealously speculating, and apparently wanting to indict the Chinese government.
    You are engaging in tabloid trash activity, that’s what this boils down to. Does that make sense?

    No, my main point, which you are so doggedly ignoring is that (a) this accident wouldn’t have happened if the FIRST train hadn’t stopped and (b) given the power issues that had been plaguing HSRs in thunderstorms for the past couple weeks, the government should shut down the trains until the problem could be fixed.

    Now, you can talk about hindsight, at least until I have some time to research. And I’ll never be able to prove what I said in private, or what I was planning to write.

    However, even if I didn’t predict this accident, and neither did any Chinese netizen (which isn’t the case), that isn’t our fucking job.

    However, that IS the job of a number of people in the Railway Ministry! …to oversee safety and to ensure the passengers are as safe as possible… You don’t think they should have maybe made the connection between lightning-based stoppages and a potential accident of some kind? Looked into it, instead of holding arrogant press conferences about how China’s high speed rail is WAY better than Japan’s and patting themselves on the back?

    Even if you’re right (you’re not) and NO ONE made that connection in public beforehand (THEY DID), THESE GUYS ARE PAID WITH MY TAX MONEY TO MAKE THAT CONNECTION.

    It’s not that I’m looking for reasons to indict the government, it’s that you all are looking for reasons not to.

    Does that make sense (he said pedantically)?

  92. Citizen
    July 27th, 2011 at 02:58 | #92

    It makes perfect sense.

    Seen the Global Times editorial? Even the Government is indicting the Government – I guess they must be funded by NED to overthrow themselves.

    Interesting last para in the editorial by the way:

    ‘The relationship between the government and the public is like that of a ship and water. Water can keep the ship afloat or sink it’

    Hmmm.

  93. July 27th, 2011 at 05:36 | #93

    “Now, you can talk about hindsight, at least until I have some time to research. And I’ll never be able to prove what I said in private, or what I was planning to write. However, even if I didn’t predict this accident, and neither did any Chinese netizen (which isn’t the case), that isn’t our fucking job.”

    If you said it private (or PLANNING to write it), that’s not much of a prediction. It only proves that you yourself didn’t believe in it enough to make it PUBLIC and early.

    (And I would caution AGAIN to you, the difference between mere “evidence”, and actual “prediction”.)

    No, it’s not your job, thus, your hindsight conclusion is irrelevant to whether something is “totally preventable”. That’s call “armchair quarterbacking”. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    *As for ad hom attacks, We all know when you blasted this forum with F* bomb and SPAM, and told some of us to “come to China and see”, as if you are the expert and we are out of touch.

    Well, we aim to examine your expertise. And turns out, you just keep making excuses.

    Hey, brag about yourself as some hotshot, you brought yourself into the subject. That’s not ad hom attack. THAT’S RESEARCH!!

  94. JJ
    July 27th, 2011 at 05:44 | #94

    @raventhorn2 & yinyang

    You guys have way too much patience 🙂 But I’m glad there are guys like you who are willing to educate and teach others.

    These days I’m just too tired to keep on correcting people.

  95. Pete North
    July 27th, 2011 at 06:27 | #95

    The overseas Chinese know much more about China than the rest of us.
    The overseas Tibetans know much more about Tibet than the rest of us.
    The overseas Uyghurs know much more about Xinjiang than the rest of us.

    Is this OK with you guys?

  96. JJ
    July 27th, 2011 at 06:52 | #96

    @Pete North

    That doesn’t even make sense. And no one here is arguing that.

    What the folks here are saying is, “The people with knowledge and experience of the language, the culture, the history, and the local people know much more about a place than those who don’t.”

  97. July 27th, 2011 at 06:54 | #97

    “The overseas Chinese know much more about China than the rest of us.
    The overseas Tibetans know much more about Tibet than the rest of us.
    The overseas Uyghurs know much more about Xinjiang than the rest of us.
    Is this OK with you guys?”

    ONLY as response to “If you like China so much, why don’t you go back?”

  98. July 27th, 2011 at 08:30 | #98

    @Pete North #96

    The overseas Chinese know much more about China than the rest of us.
    The overseas Tibetans know much more about Tibet than the rest of us.
    The overseas Uyghurs know much more about Xinjiang than the rest of us.

    Is this OK with you guys?

    To be honest, YES. The overseas Tibetans and the Uyghurs do know more about Tibet and Xinjiang than the typical Westerners. That’s why I wish the typical Westerners would butt out these topics. If they do, I would gladly make those topics off the table of discussion on this blog.

    Now, the assertions made above does not say anything about overseas Uyghurs vs. overseas Chinese or overseas Tibetans vs. overseas Chinese as they make overlapping claims to their “homeland.”

    If overseas Uyghurs and overseas Tibetans want to mount independent movements targeting territories within China, this is a conflict between China and these groups – no one else. As such, it is a conflict among Chinese (or if you don’t like that term, among people claiming homeland to current day territories of China). This is consistent with what I’ve said all along. It’s the domestic affair of China – no one else.

  99. Pete North
    July 27th, 2011 at 08:47 | #99

    “That’s why I wish the typical Westerners would butt out these topics. If they do, I would gladly make those topics off the table of discussion on this blog.”

    I can speak Chinese, and some Uyghur, have lived half my adult life in Xinjiang, have run businesses, “own” property and pay tax there, have a wife from Urumqi, and many friends from across Xinjiang.

    Do I have a right to butt in Allen?
    And if not, do ex-Chinese citizens who have now emigrated to other countries have more of a right to butt in?

  100. July 27th, 2011 at 10:29 | #100

    JJ :

    @raventhorn2 & yinyang

    You guys have way too much patience :) But I’m glad there are guys like you who are willing to educate and teach others.

    These days I’m just too tired to keep on correcting people.

    A blogger just emailed me telling me I am debating the FLG! This is the garbage all FLG related sites are spewing. Pretty funny.

  101. Charles Liu
    July 27th, 2011 at 10:31 | #101

    On the issue of Chinese media not allowed to investigate – here’s an investigation conducted by “30 Minute Economy” on a possible computer malfunction caused rail operators to switch to manual monitoring on the day of the crash:

    http://politics.gmw.cn/2011-07/27/content_2354816.htm

    It is based on a log obtained by the show, but has not been verifed by the government:

    经济半小时栏目得到了一份“动车事故时相关铁路部门调度室的明细记录”,这份记录虽然尚未得到相关部门的官方认定,但是其内容却显得非常专业和详细,而且其中透露了许多蹊跷的情况。

    D3115动车超出正常停车时间长达20多分钟,到底是什么原因所致?记者了解到,当晚永嘉站临时采取了非常站控的调度模式,也就是人工调度代替正常的电脑自动调度。而车站工作人员告诉我们,当晚追尾的D301次动车本是途经永嘉车站,不应该停车的,但是那一晚由于非常站控的原因也在这个永嘉车站停留了10多分钟。

    一位工作人员接受记者采访时说:“当晚整个温州市区因为雷击都出现了短暂的停电。这个基地也是一样,电脑都无法使用。它不是一个点,而是一大片地区,电务都忙不过来。”记者问:“平时安排几个人值班?”“只有一个电务。”

      究竟是什么原因使得不该在永嘉站停靠的D301停在了这里?又是什么原因使得D3115在永嘉站停留了半个小时?本来应该走在D3115前面的D301为什么在这里演变成了追尾事故?在这里,动车的调度指挥、信号系统和列车控制系统三道保险为什么都相继失效,最终导致悲剧发生?太多太多的疑问没有答案

  102. July 27th, 2011 at 11:34 | #102

    @C. Custer
    You said:

    That wasn’t a crack at anyone’s background, it was completely relevant to the point I was making.

    That is being shifty. We are not debating the relevance. We are debating who started getting into people’s background. You in fact got into your own.

    You said:

    No, my main point, which you are so doggedly ignoring is that (a) this accident wouldn’t have happened if the FIRST train hadn’t stopped and (b) given the power issues that had been plaguing HSRs in thunderstorms for the past couple weeks, the government should shut down the trains until the problem could be fixed.

    Tabloid media gets into what you get into. I agree if the first train hadn’t stopped this accident wouldn’t have happened. But that is not the full story. The first train could also have stopped for any other reasons too – not necessary due to thunderstorms. Then what? That’s why the Ministry of Rail have safety systems in place in case of unexpected stops. THAT is how the system is designed.

    Airplanes around the world have been “plagued” (to borrow your word) with failed safety checks with so many flight delays – should all airplanes be grounded before people are allowed to travel on them? Obviously, this is too blunt, so you look at specific instances or classes of failures.

    Raventhorn2000 has already made the point – you are not the expert, but you insist on your speculation is correct.

    Look, if the Ministry of Rail had decided they need to shut down the HSR completely, people like you will cry for your “freedom” to travel on bullet trains or whatever. You are going to whine about China too premature in launching HSR or you are going to cite some “Ministry of Truth” about the CPD giving ridiculous instructions to the Chinese media. That’s FLG crap.


    The difference between your views and mine are rather simple:

    1. You assume the current Chinese government don’t mind accidents and in your view, they should have stopped the trains in the first place.

    2. I assume the current Chinese government have the best interest of the Chinese people at heart, and continuing the train service despite power outages from thunderstorms was based on risk/benefit analysis.

  103. July 27th, 2011 at 11:43 | #103

    @Pete North #99

    You can say whatever you want. This is a blog, I have no resources – nor intentions – or verifying your claims or identity.

    So after all these comments, after I wrote:

    So let’s stop this credential-based argument. If you comment here, I accept you as you are, I don’t discount you saying you are white or hasn’t lived in China as long as I have. I mean … where does this end?? Should we ask for each other’s resume – comparing our work experience, where we went to school – to assess who is better qualified to blog?

    You come out again – and again – to say – hey I have more say than you because of my credentials…

    Sad. I’m done with that train of argument.

    If your point is not credential-based, but that you have a personal stakes. OK. You may spend your time articulating whatever you want. But just because you have some connection to China does not mean your opinion counts. There are 1.3 billion people with more than 1.3 billion opinions. Not every one of those opinions count you know.

    Also, this is our blog. In my opinion, you haven’t made much intelligent comments; nothing interesting and nothing that adds value, only smears here and there. So please shape up – or leave.

    What’s really sad about you is knowing that here is chop who thinks we are trash, but can’t seem to find anything better to do than wallowing in trash. Most of us consider life to be precious. Too bad I just wasted a few minutes of my life on this pathetic soul…

  104. July 27th, 2011 at 18:50 | #104

    JJ :
    @Pete North
    That doesn’t even make sense. And no one here is arguing that.
    What the folks here are saying is, “The people with knowledge and experience of the language, the culture, the history, and the local people know much more about a place than those who don’t.”

    Agreed 100%. My point is just that being an overseas Chinese doesn’t mean you know ” the language, the culture, the history, and the local people.”

    And being a “foreigner” doesn’t mean you don’t.

  105. July 27th, 2011 at 19:14 | #105

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    You said:

    That wasn’t a crack at anyone’s background, it was completely relevant to the point I was making.

    That is being shifty. We are not debating the relevance. We are debating who started getting into people’s background. You in fact got into your own.

    OK, if that’s “shifty” then yeah, whatever. I got into backgrounds first, but it was raven who started attacking mine. I was using it only in that circumstance, where it was completely relevant and necessary to the point that I was making. I think there’s a difference between relevant use to make a point that hinges on my experience/geographical location and irrelevant use as character assassination. But whatever.

    You said:

    No, my main point, which you are so doggedly ignoring is that (a) this accident wouldn’t have happened if the FIRST train hadn’t stopped and (b) given the power issues that had been plaguing HSRs in thunderstorms for the past couple weeks, the government should shut down the trains until the problem could be fixed.

    Tabloid media gets into what you get into. I agree if the first train hadn’t stopped this accident wouldn’t have happened. But that is not the full story. The first train could also have stopped for any other reasons too – not necessary due to thunderstorms. Then what? That’s why the Ministry of Rail have safety systems in place in case of unexpected stops. THAT is how the system is designed.

    Sure, I don’t disagree that there ALSO should have been a way to stop the second train. I just think that both issues need to be resolved. The second issue might have been harder to predict, because (to my knowledge) that sort of thing hadn’t happened before, at least not recently. My focus on the first train stopping as the crux is because I see it as the more obviously preventable problem. As an issue that was plainly evident weeks before this train ever left the station, it should have been looked into more carefully.

    Airplanes around the world have been “plagued” (to borrow your word) with failed safety checks with so many flight delays – should all airplanes be grounded before people are allowed to travel on them? Obviously, this is too blunt, so you look at specific instances or classes of failures.

    Yeah, it’s too blunt if you talk about airplanes worldwide. But if the airplane system in a country, run by a single administration like the HSR in China is, had a series of delays caused by the same issue — hell yes I think the planes should be grounded until the issue is resolved! Better that than having one of them fall out of the sky! (Alternately, if one model of plane was having those issues, say 777s worldwide or whatever, yeah, I would support grounding them too). One or two incidents, you ground that plane and look for the problem. But beyond that, and my feeling is that you should ground all the planes (and put money into investigating the issue as fast and accurately as possible). That’s expensive as hell, but so are plane crashes.

    Raventhorn2000 has already made the point – you are not the expert, but you insist on your speculation is correct.

    No, I just believe it’s supported by the evidence available. If new evidence emerges that proves me wrong, I will happily admit I was wrong. But in the absence of that evidence, I can only conclude what the current evidence I see points to.

    Look, if the Ministry of Rail had decided they need to shut down the HSR completely, people like you will cry for your “freedom” to travel on bullet trains or whatever. You are going to whine about China too premature in launching HSR or you are going to cite some “Ministry of Truth” about the CPD giving ridiculous instructions to the Chinese media. That’s FLG crap.

    Now who’s making totally unfounded speculation? “Freedom to travel on bullet trains” is not a human right. Trust me, I’d rather wait for them to fix the problem than be dead. I take bullet trains generally 1-5 times a month, but if they shut them all down tomorrow, I’m not going to complain. In fact, I’ll be trying to avoid them for a while anyway.

    As for the ministry of truth directives…come on, you know as well as I do that stuff is accurate, even though it’s impossible to verify.


    The difference between your views and mine are rather simple:

    1. You assume the current Chinese government don’t mind accidents and in your view, they should have stopped the trains in the first place.
    2. I assume the current Chinese government have the best interest of the Chinese people at heart, and continuing the train service despite power outages from thunderstorms was based on risk/benefit analysis.

    No, I assume the Chinese government — like all governments — acts first to protect itself and its power. When that serves the people, I’m sure they’re happy, but as a system, it acts primarily in its own interest, not the people’s.

    This is just as true in the US. Look at what Congress is doing with this debt issue — what’s best for THE PEOPLE is just a red herring in their debate, what everybody’s really interested in is making sure their source of campaign contributions doesn’t dry up because — shocker — they want to get re-elected and stay in power. Self-preservation is the number one instinct of officials and the government as a whole in basically any country. The difference between governments is how the system channels those impulses.

    You don’t think your assumption that the government always has the people’s best interests at heart is a bit naiive? I don’t think it even matters what government we’re talking about; no government is that selfless.

  106. July 27th, 2011 at 19:51 | #106

    FYI, looks like I was right about the second train not having been notified:

    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110728/wl_asia_afp/chinaaccidentrailcause

    “Chinese railway officials have blamed “design flaws” in signalling equipment for a high-speed train crash in which at least 39 people were killed, the official Xinhua news agency said Thursday.
    The system “failed to turn the green light into red” after being struck by lightning, Xinhua quoted An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, as saying during a meeting on the investigation into Saturday’s accident.”

    So, the accident was indeed caused by the power failure of the first train.

  107. July 27th, 2011 at 19:58 | #107

    @C. Custer
    So I guess it all boils down to our views about governments is it?

    You said:

    No, I assume the Chinese government — like all governments — acts first to protect itself and its power. When that serves the people, I’m sure they’re happy, but as a system, it acts primarily in its own interest, not the people’s.

    Your views are a bit wacko, and in fact disingenuous as we see what is happening around us in the world.

    You are trying to assert your views based on what? The European experience may be that of brutality by their governments, but for much of the rest of the world in our modern history, theirs were brutality by the colonialists and stronger powers.

    How do you propose the two priorities reconcile?

    Look at Libya. It is subject to NATO bombing precisely because the government isn’t strong enough to hold the country together.

    NATO dare to bomb Russia over Georgia? I don’t think so.

  108. kchew
    July 27th, 2011 at 20:19 | #108

    All countries, big and small do experience setbacks. In the scale of things, this accident, though tragic, is not a large setback for China. People demand better respond and services from the government, and I am sure the railway authority, safety regulators and the government learnt valuable lessons here.

    All the criticisms in the end should be viewed on whether they are constructive or otherwise. Chinese people and the government should not have problems in accepting those that are constructive in nature. However, many of these views being offered by Custer are just clearly speculative in nature, and display clear political bias that serves to undermine the government as part of anti-China propaganda purpose.

  109. Pete North
    July 27th, 2011 at 20:35 | #109

    Kchew, and how about all those views of the Chinese people on for example Weibo? Do they also ” display clear political bias that serves to undermine the government as part of anti-China propaganda purpose.”?

  110. kchew
    July 27th, 2011 at 21:34 | #110

    It is normal for people to be angry given the tragic consequence. Thus it understandable that some people blast the government on the Weibo with all kind of comments.

    It is not much different from the anger many people in Norway feel in regards to the massacre and the apparent slow response by the police. However, it is another matter for foreigners in a country to capitalise on such angers and tragedies, and use these as ammunitions for their own specific (usually ideological , religious or both) agenda to undermine the government of the host country.

  111. Pete North
    July 27th, 2011 at 21:39 | #111

    “capitalise” you think Custer is capitalizing from this? How so, and what evidence do you have? As far as I know Custer works, lives, and has family in China. What possible benefit do you think he could derive from this event? And even if he wanted to, do you think Custer has the power, with posts on his English language blog to actually make any capital, if their was capital to be made?

    Do you think it might just be possible that Custer actually cares, and is also angry at what has happened, and the subsequent response? I mean the guy lives here, and has family here so maybe this makes some sense. Perhaps you should ask him. Hey maybe Custer has more personally vested in China’s success than you, wouldn’t that be something?!

    Absurd speculation.

  112. July 27th, 2011 at 21:49 | #112

    @kchew

    Ignore that troll. See @Allen’s comment above.

  113. July 27th, 2011 at 22:01 | #113

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    So I guess it all boils down to our views about governments is it?
    You said:

    No, I assume the Chinese government — like all governments — acts first to protect itself and its power. When that serves the people, I’m sure they’re happy, but as a system, it acts primarily in its own interest, not the people’s.

    Your views are a bit wacko, and in fact disingenuous as we see what is happening around us in the world.
    You are trying to assert your views based on what? The European experience may be that of brutality by their governments, but for much of the rest of the world in our modern history, theirs were brutality by the colonialists and stronger powers.
    How do you propose the two priorities reconcile?
    Look at Libya. It is subject to NATO bombing precisely because the government isn’t strong enough to hold the country together.
    NATO dare to bomb Russia over Georgia? I don’t think so.

    So some governments are stronger than others. Yes, obviously. That has nothing to do with what we were talking about, though, so I’m not sure why you’re mentioning it.

    If believing that governments — which are made up of people — are self-serving is “wacko” to you, I envy the rosy dream world you must live in.

    Another note: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903635604576472051958404820.html looks like the Ministry of Railways skipped out on lightning protection equipment in 2003.

    Wonder what raven thinks of that…

  114. Pete North
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:03 | #114

    You guys are truly pitiable. kchew insinuates that while it’s OK for Chinese people to feel angry given the tragic events, that if these same feelings are expressed by a foreigner then they must be “capitalizing” from the situation and be guilty of “undermining the government”.
    When I point out that it might be possible for a foreigner to actually care, because you know, they have lots of actual reasons to, I’m called a troll.

    Keep up with the great work!

  115. Citizen
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:35 | #115

    Its becoming clear from the unprecedented criticism aired all over the Chinese media (official and less official) that there is more going on. Wen is going there now, and will no doubt lay into the Railway Ministry too (this blog is the last place on earth where people are actually defending it).

    Looks like fallout from a dispute at the top. Will the monopoly of rail survive? Probably not.

    …So we have similar views expressed by the Chinese leadership, the masses, and some foreigners who live in China. By what logic are those views, when expressed by foreigners, to be dismissed as unconstructive, politically biased and an attempt to undermine/overthrow the Government?

    If all views from foreigners are to be dismissed simply because they are foreigners and naturally hostile, while all views from the leadership are to be supported because they naturally have the welfare of China in mind, then OK, you can have ‘your’ blog, and enjoy your circle jerk, boys.

  116. July 27th, 2011 at 22:47 | #116

    @C. Custer
    You said:

    If believing that governments — which are made up of people — are self-serving is “wacko” to you, I envy the rosy dream world you must live in.

    That’s convenient for you to say if you don’t believe arbitrary bombings of a country is wrong. Don’t you think we all ought to do better?

    I was hoping we’d go further in our debate. Maybe this is where it ends.

    @Pete North

    Don’t worry. My view of Custer? An ideological nut who thinks his views about governments is paramount to others views.

    There are foreigners who genuinely care. There are in fact Americans in America who genuinely care. Obviously that is not what we are talking about.

    The troll in you has always been about credentials. So please stop wasting our forum space.

  117. kchew
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:57 | #117

    yinyang, thanks for the reminder. Agree, it pointless to engage in this 对牛弹琴.

  118. Charles Liu
    July 27th, 2011 at 23:03 | #118

    According to media investigation, there have been multiple points of failures in the safety system, and human errors that contributed to the accident:

    – City of Wenzhou also suffered power outtages due to lightening. Automated monitoring system went down, forcing train operator to switch to manual monitoring/scheduling.

    http://news.eastday.com/c/20110728/u1a6020609.html

    – D3115 restarted after the lightening strike, but was told by operator to stop. D301 overstayed at Yongjia station for 20 minutes and ended up behind D3115 that’s scheduled 15 minutes ahead.

    http://news.cn.yahoo.com/ypen/20110727/493599.html

  119. July 27th, 2011 at 23:29 | #119

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    You said:

    If believing that governments — which are made up of people — are self-serving is “wacko” to you, I envy the rosy dream world you must live in.

    That’s convenient for you to say if you don’t believe arbitrary bombings of a country is wrong. Don’t you think we all ought to do better?

    What are you talking about? What do arbitrary bombings of a county have to do with anything, and where did I say I support them.

    What we were talking about is the nature of governments; more specifically, the Chinese government. I share your concern for the safety of the people of Libya, but you’re either confused or this is a really misguided attempt to throw the discussion off track.

    If Western governments suck for bombing Libya, that has literally no bearing whatsoever on whether or not China’s government has it’s peoples best interests at heart.

    I was hoping we’d go further in our debate. Maybe this is where it ends.

    Yes, because you seem to have shifted to a different, completely unrelated debate, and arbitrarily assigned me a position in it based on your facile, preconceived, stereotypical notions about my views on international relations.

    Don’t worry. My view of Custer? An ideological nut who thinks his views about governments is paramount to others views.

    Some others, yeah. Specifically, your views. But apparently you don’t want to discuss China’s government anymore, and this argument is now about bombing Libya?

  120. July 27th, 2011 at 23:53 | #120

    @C. Custer
    Let me try it this way.

    1. You think governments are ‘bad’ because they are foremost self-serving and plight of the people are secondary.

    2. I believe in strong governments, one of the key reasons for being it able to protect its citizens from foreigners.

    You prioritize interpreting everything through that lens #1. I prioritize based on #2.

    How do you propose we reconcile the difference in our views?

  121. Robin Li
    July 28th, 2011 at 00:03 | #121

    ” I believe in strong governments, one of the key reasons for being it able to protect its citizens from foreigners.”

    Except you live in America right?. And if you like that kind of “strong government” then maybe you are a nut. Or maybe you mean you like strong governments in countries in which you don’t live.

    Please clarify.

  122. July 28th, 2011 at 00:16 | #122

    @Robin Li
    This not the time to take things out of context. Could you save me some effort by reading my past comments in this thread. If it still doesn’t make sense, I will try to explain.

  123. Robin Li
    July 28th, 2011 at 01:20 | #123

    You are a phony yinyang. You think the Chinese liked the “strong government” of Imperial Japan? How about asking Germans neighbors about the strong government of the Third Reich?

    You mean you want the PRC to have a strong government, which makes you no different than any other nationalist in that respect? And yet….and yet you actually prefer to live in the United States of America, whose “strong government” you have such a problem with.

  124. July 28th, 2011 at 01:38 | #124

    @Robin Li
    It’s late in my time zone, and I am going to sleep now. When you have shown a little bit more comprehension, then I think it might be worthwhile to exchange.

    Hint, I think invasions are bad. I also think being invaded is bad. Can you hold unto those two thoughts at once?

  125. July 28th, 2011 at 02:39 | #125

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    Let me try it this way.
    1. You think governments are ‘bad’ because they are foremost self-serving and plight of the people are secondary.
    2. I believe in strong governments, one of the key reasons for being it able to protect its citizens from foreigners.
    You prioritize interpreting everything through that lens #1. I prioritize based on #2.
    How do you propose we reconcile the difference in our views?

    It has nothing to do with strong or weak. It would be perfectly possible for China to maintain a strong government that was more transparent, that allowed freedom of the press, that didn’t imprison people for 文字狱, etc.

    I also don’t think that, in general terms of oppression, people care much about whether or not the oppressors are foreign. If someone burns your house down, are you going to feel better about it because they’re American, too? A good government protects its people from foreign incursions, but it also protects its people from its own excesses.

    I understand the desire not to be invaded, and given China’s history, I understand there is a certain context of victimization and a strong urge not to be put in that place again. But I think the argument that everything the Chinese government does is to maintain stability and sovereignty is a huge red herring. It was probably true in the past, but it’s simply not in 2011.

    Looking at this train crash, for example, we can see that the government’s insistence on not being transparent and restricting press freedom causes nothing but problems. In the absence of believable information — or indeed, any information at all — rumors fly like crazy. And yet it’s like they insist on lying! For example, take Wen Jiabao’s press conference today. He said he hasn’t come to scene until now because he’s been sick and the doctor wouldn’t let him out. He spent the last 11 days in bed, he said. But on Sunday, the day after the crash, he was apparently healthy enough to come out and meet with a Japanese trade delegation, and a few days before the crash he was fine when he met with the president of Cameroon: http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/china/2011/07/reports-about-wen.html

    Those are all Xinhua reports. Now, if you can tell me how that helps make China safer from foreign invasion, or makes life better for anyone at all, maybe I’ll understand where you’re coming from.

  126. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 06:44 | #126

    Really Charlie, I’ve followed – quite amused I must say – your performance till here in silence, waiting for always more bias and prejudice, and u’ve never disappointed me. But now you are bordering pure paranoia…
    Are you Wen Jiabao physician? Or, are you yourseld a physician? I mean, I think that even you can appreciate the difference, for a reportedly ill 69 year old man, between meeting for a short time an official delegation inside 中南海 (Cameroon President), or inside 人民大会堂, a few meters outside the compound (the Japanese delegation) and flying all the way to Wenzhou to meet wounded people in a not easy and stressful situation.
    Or can’t you?

  127. raventhorn2000
    July 28th, 2011 at 07:01 | #127

    C. Custer :FYI, looks like I was right about the second train not having been notified:
    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110728/wl_asia_afp/chinaaccidentrailcause
    “Chinese railway officials have blamed “design flaws” in signalling equipment for a high-speed train crash in which at least 39 people were killed, the official Xinhua news agency said Thursday.The system “failed to turn the green light into red” after being struck by lightning, Xinhua quoted An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, as saying during a meeting on the investigation into Saturday’s accident.”
    So, the accident was indeed caused by the power failure of the first train.

    As usual, you are reading too little of the report, and making up your own conclusions.

    The signalling system is in multiple parts, some on the trains, some in the stations, GO SEE the report on the signalling system you cited earlier. They didn’t say WHICH part was struck by the lightning.

    Furthermore, other articles have even stated, they don’t know what caused the 1st train to stop. Clearly, they are not even sure that the lightning actually hit the 1st train right now.

    The system “failed to turn the green light into red” after being struck by lightning.

    You do know that the light was at a train station?!!

    “looks like I was right about the second train not having been notified.”

    What were you right ON? Just GENERALLY that the second train was not notified?? Well, DUH!…

    Now, let’s be CLEAR about your theory of WHY the second train was not notified:

    Was it lightning hitting the 1st train? Was it lightning hitting the Station? Was it lightning hitting 2nd train? Was it lightning hitting somewhere else along the rail line??

    Because there are substantial differences: The TRAIN was made by a Japanese company. The Signal system components in the train may also be made by a Japanese company. The Rail line signal system components are made by a Chinese company.

    Which portion has the design flaw?

    Saying GENERALLY that the 2nd train was not notified is not even 20% of a theory for CAUSE, because you haven’t even identified if the TRAIN or the STATION was hit by the lightning.

  128. Pete North
    July 28th, 2011 at 07:22 | #128

    The Chinese company that designed the signalling equipment has apologized.

    http://www.news24.com/World/News/Apology-over-China-train-signal-failure-20110728

    ” A spokesman of the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said Thursday that China’s high-speed rail technologies are much better than those used by Japan’s Shinkansen Line.

    The remarks by the MOR spokesman, Wang Yongping…”

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-07/07/c_13972135.htm

    I hope that guy gets his arrogant sorry arse fired, right Raven?

    No one likes a braggart.

  129. raventhorn2000
    July 28th, 2011 at 08:00 | #129

    “I hope that guy gets his arrogant sorry arse fired, right Raven?”

    I don’t care who gets fired. If you think firing an arrogant “spokesman” will solve the problem, you are not very serious about a serious problem.

  130. raventhorn2000
    July 28th, 2011 at 08:01 | #130

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/world/asia/28briefs-Crash.html?_r=1

    “Design flaws were found in the signal light equipment at the Wenzhou South Station

    Oh, “the accident was indeed caused by the power failure of the first train”, was it, Custer???!!

  131. July 28th, 2011 at 12:46 | #131

    @C.Custer

    You said:

    It has nothing to do with strong or weak. It would be perfectly possible for China to maintain a strong government that was more transparent, that allowed freedom of the press, that didn’t imprison people for 文字狱, etc.

    This is why I called you an ideological nut. The reality on the ground is ‘freedom of the press’ do indeed support illegal invasions or cheerlead in WMD lies.

    How can you use that basis to judge the Chinese government? That line of thinking is retarded.

    Don’t get me wrong – I fully support the Chinese law enacted few years ago to guard citizens and media’s right to know. That indeed will make Chinese society more ‘transparent.’

    But the reason I put quote around ‘transparency’ is because that is also not the end all be all that makes a goverment ‘good.’

    Has ‘transparency’ solved the myriad problems in the West? No.

    So, your ideological nuttiness in using the ‘freedom’ and ‘transparency’ yardsticks to measure things is wrong.

    The Chinese government is moving forward with a realist view – they are applying some of these ideas in a pratical way. So it is not outright rejection.

    You said:

    I also don’t think that, in general terms of oppression, people care much about whether or not the oppressors are foreign. If someone burns your house down, are you going to feel better about it because they’re American, too? A good government protects its people from foreign incursions, but it also protects its people from its own excesses.

    If the government takes my house and knock it down to build a highway through it, that’d be one thing. If you are a foreign invader and bomb my house, that is entirely another thing. To equivocate the two shows only retardation in ones thought.

    You really should think about what Al said:

    Really Charlie, I’ve followed – quite amused I must say – your performance till here in silence, waiting for always more bias and prejudice, and u’ve never disappointed me. But now you are bordering pure paranoia…
    Are you Wen Jiabao physician? Or, are you yourseld a physician? I mean, I think that even you can appreciate the difference, for a reportedly ill 69 year old man, between meeting for a short time an official delegation inside 中南海 (Cameroon President), or inside 人民大会堂, a few meters outside the compound (the Japanese delegation) and flying all the way to Wenzhou to meet wounded people in a not easy and stressful situation.
    Or can’t you?

    Because this is exactly what I have been trying to tell you.

    You prioritize interpreting everything through that lens #1.

    Tell me, in your mind, what drives you to do that?

    You said:

    Looking at this train crash, for example, we can see that the government’s insistence on not being transparent and restricting press freedom causes nothing but problems. In the absence of believable information — or indeed, any information at all — rumors fly like crazy. And yet it’s like they insist on lying!

    You keep insisting they are trying not to be transparent. You keep on wanting to speculate and indict. You are in fact spreading rumors.

    Granted, Wang Yongping is clumsy and definitely not up to par compared to some slick PR person from the West. But you all must know China only very recently designated official spokesperson for various government departments broadly. They are doing this and learning as they go.

    Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative is a wonderful idea. The Chinese government suports it substantively too. People to people contacts build understanding.

    Your insistence on viewing how things work in China through your flawed ideological lens breeds misunderstanding. That is where I see you are wrong.

  132. July 28th, 2011 at 15:23 | #132

    @C. Custer #83 ,

    Now to the specific issue of Chinese criticism of gov’t vs. Western criticism of gov’t in the advent of this disaster, I think there is one key thing that will differentiate them. Whether it’s the sanya milk scandal, the Wen chuan earthquake, or this most recent accident, the Chinese people will look to the gov’t for protection, for explanation, for accountability. In that context, criticisms will naturally be directed at the gov’t. That is the burden and proper role of a responsible (and if you must – patriarchal) gov’t. The Western criticism however will probably go beyond a call for accountability; it will be angled at the directing the blame at the the basic structure of the gov’t, at single-party led gov’ts, calling for its basic illegitimacy. I may be wrong, but I bet some would love use this instance of human suffering to further incite, foment, propagandize….

    I guess, and you’re certainly entitled to get angry if that actually happens. But have you seen that in the Western coverage anywhere yet (including my site)?

    Not that I have been looking (too busy with other craps I need to do), but here appears to be one.

    http://www.chinahearsay.com/the-most-insensitive-story-on-the-wenzhou-rail-crash/

    And I don’t intend to use the cited article there to prove some general trend per se (because again I haven’t been paying attention). But seeing such trash also didn’t surprise me.

  133. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 18:50 | #133

    “Looking at this train crash, for example, we can see that the government’s insistence on not being transparent and restricting press freedom causes nothing but problems. In the absence of believable information — or indeed, any information at all — rumors fly like crazy.”

    As if in the “free press” (free to spread uncontrolled rumors and fearmongering, that is) kingdom of the West rumors do not fly like crazy much more than in China….ahaha

    Custer, come on, be serious….if u can

  134. July 28th, 2011 at 19:45 | #134

    Al :
    Really Charlie, I’ve followed – quite amused I must say – your performance till here in silence, waiting for always more bias and prejudice, and u’ve never disappointed me. But now you are bordering pure paranoia…
    Are you Wen Jiabao physician? Or, are you yourseld a physician? I mean, I think that even you can appreciate the difference, for a reportedly ill 69 year old man, between meeting for a short time an official delegation inside 中南海 (Cameroon President), or inside 人民大会堂, a few meters outside the compound (the Japanese delegation) and flying all the way to Wenzhou to meet wounded people in a not easy and stressful situation.
    Or can’t you?

    Indeed. And you, presumably, can tell the difference between “being confined to bed by a doctor” and going out to meet-and-greet MINOR Japanese officials.

    If Wen’s really sick, I’m not saying he should have gone to Wenzhou earlier. What I’m saying is that he was clearly full of shit when he suggested he’d been stuck in bed for the past 11 days. I know what a bed looks like, and he was not in one in either of those photos.

  135. July 28th, 2011 at 20:02 | #135

    yinyang :
    @C.Custer
    You said:

    It has nothing to do with strong or weak. It would be perfectly possible for China to maintain a strong government that was more transparent, that allowed freedom of the press, that didn’t imprison people for 文字狱, etc.

    This is why I called you an ideological nut. The reality on the ground is ‘freedom of the press’ do indeed support illegal invasions or cheerlead in WMD lies.
    How can you use that basis to judge the Chinese government? That line of thinking is retarded.
    Don’t get me wrong – I fully support the Chinese law enacted few years ago to guard citizens and media’s right to know. That indeed will make Chinese society more ‘transparent.’
    But the reason I put quote around ‘transparency’ is because that is also not the end all be all that makes a goverment ‘good.’
    Has ‘transparency’ solved the myriad problems in the West? No.
    So, your ideological nuttiness in using the ‘freedom’ and ‘transparency’ yardsticks to measure things is wrong.

    Of course it hasn’t solved everything in the West. What I’m saying is that NOT having it is causing destabilizing problems in China. And the problems you’re talking about in the free press of the West, where they propagandize the government viewpoint….China already has that. So if that’s the damage a free press does, the damage is already done.

    As far as rumors go, I think it’s quite obvious there’s more rumor in China when things like this happen than in “the West”, precisely because of the lack of trasparency. Look at Japan in the wake of the earthquake. Sure, there were rumors, but NOTHING like the scale of what’s happening in China now. Even with the earthquake, remember it was in CHINA where people were running out to supermarkets and clearing shelves of all their iodized salt, not Japan. Why? Because in a country where the government isn’t transparent and the media isn’t trusted, rumors are the truth, and least until the government sees fit to announce the truth a few days later.

    If the government takes my house and knock it down to build a highway through it, that’d be one thing. If you are a foreign invader and bomb my house, that is entirely another thing. To equivocate the two shows only retardation in ones thought.

    Well if you’re compensated, sure. Otherwise, what’s the practical difference? Either way, you’re out a house.

    You really should think about what Al said:

    Really Charlie, I’ve followed – quite amused I must say – your performance till here in silence, waiting for always more bias and prejudice, and u’ve never disappointed me. But now you are bordering pure paranoia…
    Are you Wen Jiabao physician? Or, are you yourseld a physician? I mean, I think that even you can appreciate the difference, for a reportedly ill 69 year old man, between meeting for a short time an official delegation inside 中南海 (Cameroon President), or inside 人民大会堂, a few meters outside the compound (the Japanese delegation) and flying all the way to Wenzhou to meet wounded people in a not easy and stressful situation.
    Or can’t you?

    Because this is exactly what I have been trying to tell you.
    You prioritize interpreting everything through that lens #1.
    Tell me, in your mind, what drives you to do that?

    Experience.

    You keep insisting they are trying not to be transparent. You keep on wanting to speculate and indict. You are in fact spreading rumors.

    Yes, I am spreading rumors, because in many cases, no other information is available! That’s my point. I don’t think they’re trying to not be transparent so much as they just don’t care. They feel they should be trusted to handle the problem, and they don’t understand what everyone’s so worked up about.

    Granted, Wang Yongping is clumsy and definitely not up to par compared to some slick PR person from the West. But you all must know China only very recently designated official spokesperson for various government departments broadly. They are doing this and learning as they go.

    If you’re going to gloat about how great the HSR is and say things like “China’s high speed rail and Japan’s can’t even be mentioned in the same breath,” you better be ready to handle things if/when the other shoe drops. Inexperience is no excuse, plenty of people who’ve never worked a day of PR in their lives could have done a better job than he did.

    Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative is a wonderful idea. The Chinese government suports it substantively too. People to people contacts build understanding.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Your insistence on viewing how things work in China through your flawed ideological lens breeds misunderstanding. That is where I see you are wrong.

    Your insistence on viewing how things work in China through your flawed ideological lens breeds misunderstanding. That is where I see you are wrong.

    …yeah, I see what you’re saying about this discussion perhaps having reached the limits of its value 🙂

  136. Citizen
    July 28th, 2011 at 20:05 | #136

    Al: As if in the “free press” (free to spread uncontrolled rumors and fearmongering, that is) kingdom of the West rumors do not fly like crazy much more than in China….ahaha

    It’s patently clear that there are far more and far more persistent rumors in China than in the West. Even yinyang acknowledges this in his latest thread:

    China bullet train fake news and false rumors exposed

    They may be fake (and there’s still doubt about Shao Yerong) – but they’re very real!

  137. July 28th, 2011 at 20:16 | #137

    @C. Custer
    It’s probably a good idea to end here for now. By the way, thanks for this exchange. Perhaps I’ll take up on the couch offer, but I have plenty of places to stay too in Beijing.

  138. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 20:19 | #138

    Clearly Custer…you just see your paranoia, don’t u?
    You think that officials, in every country, especially PM can stay in bed for that long without doing nothing? Come on, Zhou Enlai had terminal cancer and still attended state affairs…Wen is clearly not that ill, but it doesn’t mean he can lightheartedly fly over there….
    My god, Charlie, some people really are so full of themselves and of their bias and prejudice that thinks whomever else is stupid…don’t stop at anything…not even in front of the risk of make a joke of themselves…

  139. July 28th, 2011 at 20:28 | #139

    Al :
    Clearly Custer…you just see your paranoia, don’t u?
    You think that officials, in every country, especially PM can stay in bed for that long without doing nothing? Come on, Zhou Enlai had terminal cancer and still attended state affairs…Wen is clearly not that ill, but it doesn’t mean he can lightheartedly fly over there….

    Hey, I agree with you. Wen’s the one who said he was in bed for 11 days, not me.

    At best, he’s guilty of being intentionally misleading — his words gave the impression that he hadn’t left a bed or a doctor’s care for the past 11 days. Even that’s pretty bad though, wouldn’t you say?

    My god, Charlie, some people really are so full of themselves and of their bias and prejudice that thinks whomever else is stupid…don’t stop at anything…not even in front of the risk of make a joke of themselves…

    First of all, you don’t know me, and we’re not friends, so please refrain from calling me “Charlie”. Thanks.

    As for the rest of what you said, I agree with you entirely; I just don’t think it applies to me. Anyway, this conversation and everyone can read through it and come to their own conclusions.

  140. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 20:33 | #140

    Citizen..are we counting false rumors one by one now? Have you checked every single one in any country and made an official ranking?
    Have you considered that rumors are spread by people, and the more the people the more the rumors?
    Even if your assumption (It’s patently clear that there are far more and far more persistent rumors in China than in the West.) was true (and it definitely isn’t…there are no data on that, and not u nor I can possibly know how many rumors are around every single western country…In my experience as a westerner, A LOT) China has more people than USA and Europe, Japan and Australia combined…does this make any ring bell in your head?
    Anyway, the original issue had nothing to do with rankings or “top tens”, and making this kind of statement only serve to further prove your lack of facts; the issue was “not free” (not true as well..but anyway) media lead to rumors, as if “free media” (not true as well…) prevent them..It’s clear that this is not at all true, and it has nothing to do with that (tabloids exists for a reason), nothing more, nothing less.
    Use the “more here, more there” trick to try to deny a simple fact is childish, other than baseless.

  141. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 20:46 | #141

    Hum….pretty “thin-skinned” when challenged and proven wrong, huh Mr. Custer…aren’t we? Quite a revealing temperamental trait…

    Isn’t Charlie (as in Charles?) your name? I usually don’t mind when people call me with my given name, but anyway…

    “Hey, I agree with you. Wen’s the one who said he was in bed for 11 days, not me.
    At best, he’s guilty of being intentionally misleading — his words gave the impression that he hadn’t left a bed or a doctor’s care for the past 11 days. Even that’s pretty bad though, wouldn’t you say?”

    This kind of “word-splitting”, finicky and distorted statement is even more revealing…

    “Anyway, this conversation and everyone can read through it and come to their own conclusions…” On this Thou are completely right Mr. Custer

    As Thou wilt

  142. July 28th, 2011 at 20:47 | #142

    Al :
    Citizen..are we counting false rumors one by one now? Have you checked every single one in any country and made an official ranking?
    Have you considered that rumors are spread by people, and the more the people the more the rumors?
    Even if your assumption (It’s patently clear that there are far more and far more persistent rumors in China than in the West.) was true (and it definitely isn’t…there are no data on that, and not u nor I can possibly know how many rumors are around every single western country…In my experience as a westerner, A LOT) China has more people than USA and Europe, Japan and Australia combined…does this make any ring bell in your head?
    Anyway, the original issue had nothing to do with rankings or “top tens”, and making this kind of statement only serve to further prove your lack of facts; the issue was “not free” (not true as well..but anyway) media lead to rumors, as if “free media” (not true as well…) prevent them..It’s clear that this is not at all true, and it has nothing to do with that (tabloids exists for a reason), nothing more, nothing less.
    Use the “more here, more there” trick to try to deny a simple fact is childish, other than baseless.

    Free media doesn’t prevent rumors, but government transparency combined with a free media offers the best way to combat rumors: reliable information.

    As for the rest of your post…yes, China has more people than the US, but it’s not really a contest. Right now, rumors in China are absolutely out of control, to a degree that I’ve never seen in my life (and I was in the US for 9-11, there were some crazy-ass rumors that morning you probably recall).

    Do I have “data” on this? No, because it would be impossible to collect. However, it’s really pretty obvious if you spend a few minutes on Weibo, read the top news searches on Baidu every day, or even just listen to water-cooler chat in a Beijing office. Rumors in China are full-tilt out of control right now.

  143. July 28th, 2011 at 20:55 | #143

    Al :
    Hum….pretty “thin-skinned” when challenged and proven wrong, huh Mr. Custer…aren’t we? Quite a revealing temperamental trait…

    Huh? I must have missed the point where I was “proven wrong”. Also, the part where i was thin-skinned….care to elaborate?

    Isn’t Charlie (as in Charles?) your name? I usually don’t mind when people call me with my given name, but anyway…

    I don’t mind when friends call me by my given name. But strangers is another story; as is the internet. Did it not occur to you there might be a reason I use “C. Custer” for everything I publish on the internet, rather than my full name? Obviously my full name is no secret, but I still prefer not to advertise it, or make it easy to Google.

    This kind of “word-splitting”, excessively finicky statement is even more revealing…

    Yeah. It reveals my ability to read and understand what the words Wen said mean. If you think I’m unfairly characterizing what he said, by all means, explain to me what he meant when he said 这段时间我病了,11天在病床上,今天医生才勉强允许我出行。The meaning of “11天在病床上” seems pretty clear to me…

    Now, I agree, Wen could have been too sick to travel but well enough to go to that meeting on Sunday. That’s totally plausible, although honestly from a PR perspective he should have skipped the meeting because it looks bad for him to be out and about but not in Wenzhou. However, what he chose to specifically say was “11天在病床上”. It definitely gives on the impression that Wen has been, at least, resting at home rather than going out to meetings.

  144. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 21:04 | #144

    Yes Mr. Custer….

    “Free media doesn’t prevent rumors, but government transparency combined with a free media offers the best way to combat rumors: reliable information.”

    Sorry, but this has already been proven wrong by the reality.

    Anyway, read better….China has more people than whole Europe, USA, Japan and Australia COMBINED 🙂
    it’s a little different, isn’t it?
    As for being out of control, being more there or here (comparing any SINGLE western country to China is often pointless, as China has many times the population of each western country..not taking that into account is being shortsighted at best, prejudiced and biased – as you are – at worst), you urself said it..there are no data and it’d be impossible to gather..so all that we have is just your pretty subjective, groundless opinion on the issue, and yet you keep on stating that “somehow” in China they are “more numerous and common”…You contradict yourself in a few lines, KUDOS!
    Really what is called an “incontrovertible” truth and “sound logic”, isn’t it?

  145. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 21:21 | #145

    Impressions, Mr. Custer…are subjective. You should know that. A biased, prejudiced guy can have one impression (usually those are the ones that “word-split” and analyze sentences to prove to themselves they’re not biased)..a normal, neutral guy can have another..Wen’s words are the perfect example:
    he said he’s been in bed for 11 days, which can be completely true, except for a couple of official duties he had to attend a few hundred meters away…I think that adding all this unnecessary infos (his meetings related news are public after all, no secret..) would have been a PR error, giving the impression of “over saying to excuse onself”..
    He simply said that for the majority of the last 11 days he had been in bed, as in “resting and recovering” (it doesn’t mean he was tied to the bed). When I am sick, I don’t say: last week I’ve never got out, except to buy sigarettes, food, milk etc, and five minutes to throw the garbage…it’s unnecessary, I just say “I’ve been at home for the whole week”….
    Again, the whole thing goes back to square one….a couple of meetings a few hundred meters away is ok, then you go back to rest….A whole flight to Wenzhou for a difficult and stressful issue is not ok.
    Ah, btw, in the news I read, it looks like he said 出院, not 出行…

    Feel free to dissect and analyze 汉字 by 汉字 again at will 🙂

    Talking of “full of shit” (“What I’m saying is that he was clearly full of shit when he suggested he’d been stuck in bed for the past 11 days. “), weren’t you 😀

  146. Citizen
    July 28th, 2011 at 23:11 | #146

    Al –

    You are quite right about the size of China, and I agree people overlook the fact. But you really have to have your head in the sand not to have noticed the enormous proliferation of rumors.

    Roland Soong, who yinyang seems to quote approvingly, so might be a source we can all trust, tries to keep tabs on some of these. In this month alone – apart from all the rail rumours mentioned – tracks
    Checked hats…gymnast beggar…guo meimei…jiang zemin…hk donations to red cross…Yunnan securities… Here’s his list from the previous three months:

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/201104a.brief.htm#030

    In fact he wrote a couple of weeks ago

    ‘A major reason why productivity on this blog has been way down this year is that the Chinese Internet is now full of rumors. For the major breaking stories and scandals, it is now almost certain that at least 9 out of 10 are fabrications or at least contains fabricated elements. ‘

    Notice the proportion – not just the number.

    And look at the ‘mass incidents’ these provoke from Lichuan to Chengdu.

    It’s a genuine phenomenon and one that Beijing is quite well aware of. Again, it seems that some bloggers here are determined to be plus francais que les francais.

    Then again, emigrants are prone to cling to outdated and over rosy views of their homeland…

  147. July 28th, 2011 at 23:35 | #147

    Al :
    Yes Mr. Custer….
    “Free media doesn’t prevent rumors, but government transparency combined with a free media offers the best way to combat rumors: reliable information.”
    Sorry, but this has already been proven wrong by the reality.
    Anyway, read better….China has more people than whole Europe, USA, Japan and Australia COMBINED
    it’s a little different, isn’t it?
    As for being out of control, being more there or here (comparing any SINGLE western country to China is often pointless, as China has many times the population of each western country..not taking that into account is being shortsighted at best, prejudiced and biased – as you are – at worst), you urself said it..there are no data and it’d be impossible to gather..so all that we have is just your pretty subjective, groundless opinion on the issue, and yet you keep on stating that “somehow” in China they are “more numerous and common”…You contradict yourself in a few lines, KUDOS!
    Really what is called an “incontrovertible” truth and “sound logic”, isn’t it?

    It’s not groundless, it’s based on my comparative experience in both countries. Obviously China has a lot of people, but what we’re talking about is sort of rumors-per-capita, the population size isn’t particularly relevant. Yes, all I have to work with in this case is my subjective impression, based on experience. Are you telling me that I should ignore my experience and agree with you, based on the big heap of nothing you’ve offered up (with a side of pedantic horseshit)?

    I don’t really care whether or not you believe my subjective impression is relevant or accurate. But if you want me to change my mind, you’re going to have to offer some sort of attempt to convince me, rather than just “lol wow you are so biased it’s so obvious you have totally revealed yourself now!!!”

    As for how China has more rumors, it’s not “somehow”. You imply that I have no plausible explanation for this phenomenon, but actually I have explained repeatedly and quite clearly exactly why there are more rumors in China (right now) than elsewhere.

    Plenty of people in the Chinese media have said the same thing, even before the train crash happened. Want some links?

  148. July 28th, 2011 at 23:42 | #148

    Al :
    he said he’s been in bed for 11 days, which can be completely true, except for a couple of official duties he had to attend a few hundred meters away…I think that adding all this unnecessary infos (his meetings related news are public after all, no secret..) would have been a PR error, giving the impression of “over saying to excuse onself”..

    Because giving the impression that you’re lying about being sick is better? I question your PR judgement there…

    He simply said that for the majority of the last 11 days he had been in bed, as in “resting and recovering” (it doesn’t mean he was tied to the bed). When I am sick, I don’t say: last week I’ve never got out, except to buy sigarettes, food, milk etc, and five minutes to throw the garbage…it’s unnecessary, I just say “I’ve been at home for the whole week”….

    First of all, he didn’t say “majority”. He said the last 11 days. Don’t add words in an attempt to make it sound vaguer than it was.

    Secondly sure, you don’t include throwing out the garbage or running little errands to pick up food. But if you had gone into the office for several meetings over the past week, would you still say “I’ve been at home for the whole week”?

    Again, the whole thing goes back to square one….a couple of meetings a few hundred meters away is ok, then you go back to rest….A whole flight to Wenzhou for a difficult and stressful issue is not ok.

    I agree completely, and if he’d said that’s what happened — or if he had just said, “I haven’t been feeling well” and left it at that — we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But he specifically said “I’ve been in bed for 11 days.”

    Ah, btw, in the news I read, it looks like he said 出院, not 出行…
    Feel free to dissect and analyze 汉字 by 汉字 again at will

    I have seen both terms in different news stories, not sure which is correct. I chose to quote 出行 here because I figured if I used 出院, someone would say I was being intentionally biased, and using a term that makes it sound like he was in the hospital when he never suggested it was that serious. Anyway, I’m not sure which he actually said; I didn’t watch the press conference live, just read transcripts.

  149. Al
    July 29th, 2011 at 00:43 | #149

    Citizen…where did i say there are no rumors? Don’t read more than I write, please 🙂
    That was NOT the issue

  150. Al
    July 29th, 2011 at 00:52 | #150

    As I said already Mr. Custer…thou feel free to go on analyze and scrutinize 汉字 by 汉字…

    I guess if I told you: “yesterday I swam all day” you would assume I swam 24 hours…and when u’d find out it was not like that, u would accuse me to be lying 🙂

    This is becoming pointless…people like you only interested in keeping the point and wanting to have the last word according to his/her own prejudice and bias, not in discussing and confronting:)

    Anyway I know personally Wen is a liar: he has just admitted with me that it was him who stole the jam in the jar the other day….With you infallible logic and unparalleled analytic ability you would probably have found out the truth on the spot….it took somewhat longer time to me 😀

  151. Citizen
    July 29th, 2011 at 02:48 | #151

    This is not even a discussion. I never said that you said there were no rumors. Whatever. You win.

  152. Pete North
    July 29th, 2011 at 04:50 | #152

    Granpa Wen told a porkie and got found out. Just accept it Al and move on. He said he was sick in bed for 11 days, but actually he conducted meeting, and basically “went to work” as it were. He should never have raised his sickness as an issue for showing up a late, as it seems he hadn’t been criticized for not showing up until that point anyway. His mistake was choosing to embellish the truth, and in doing so making himself look disingenuous or dishonest.

  153. raventhorn2000
    July 29th, 2011 at 05:21 | #153

    So now it’s just “embellish the truth”??

    Aren’t you back tracking now, “and in doing so making yourself look disingenuous or dishonest.”

    OOPS, another fantasy of yours destroyed by yourself.

  154. Pete North
  155. raventhorn2000
    July 29th, 2011 at 05:50 | #155

    I saw your photo in the dictionary under that word.

  156. Al
    July 29th, 2011 at 09:40 | #156

    Thank for participating to the game Pete,as usual ur empty words are completely useless, out of target as well as out of time..try again, you could be luckier next time 🙂

  157. July 30th, 2011 at 01:43 | #157

    Al, I love your argumentative strategy. All celebration, no content. It’s brilliant, in a 13-year-old-troll sort of way.

  158. Al
    July 30th, 2011 at 02:06 | #158

    Ahahah, yes Custer, whatever…..guess u’r not even able to understand what has been written, but that’s ok like this…It’s not surprising coming from you, as you have been told multiple time here, and not by me…

    As I said, it has already becoming pointless

    Go back playing and dissecting sentences to make them agree with your vision of the world, it’d look like it’s the best u can do 🙂

  159. July 30th, 2011 at 06:40 | #159

    Al :
    Ahahah, yes Custer, whatever…..guess u’r not even able to understand what has been written, but that’s ok like this…It’s not surprising coming from you, as you have been told multiple time here, and not by me…
    As I said, it has already becoming pointless
    Go back playing and dissecting sentences to make them agree with your vision of the world, it’d look like it’s the best u can do

    Yes, because “looking at words and discerning their meaning” is “dissecting” them, apparently. I didn’t dissect anything. Read what he said, it’s very clear. You’re the one desperately reaching for something that simply isn’t in what he said.

  160. July 30th, 2011 at 06:45 | #160

    Al :

    I guess if I told you: “yesterday I swam all day” you would assume I swam 24 hours…and when u’d find out it was not like that, u would accuse me to be lying

    No, because in that context it’s clear you didn’t swim all day. Physically, that would be impossible for most people and it’s highly improbable, so I would assume that you meant you spent the bulk of the day swimming.

    If, however, you were an elderly man who told me “yesterday I spent all day in a sick bed,” I would assume you were in the bed for 24 hours (minus bathroom breaks, maybe meals, and some errands, etc.), because it’s perfectly reasonable — expected, even — for sick person to stay in bed all day.

    Back to your swimming metphor though. If I asked you why you hadn’t attended to an important matter at your job, and you said “I spent all yesterday swimming,” I wouldn’t assume you were swimming 24 hours, but I would assume that you hadn’t attended any other, less important meetings for your job.

    Perhaps you think that’s an unreasonable assumption on my part. I like to call it common sense, but there’s clearly precious little of that around here so I don’t imagine you’d recognize it.

  161. Al
    July 30th, 2011 at 07:38 | #161

    Custer, you are still here repeating ad nauseam the same nonsense? Come on, repeating things 1000 times does not make them become real…The issue has been already discussed for much too long, you simply do not listen, too self-centered to confront with other people…talking to you is like talking to a wall…
    No, the wall may be a little more “receptive” than you are…

    For you we can really say: “wrong” seems to be the hardest word

    Come on, stop whining, it’s time to grow up:)

  162. July 30th, 2011 at 20:01 | #162

    Al :
    Custer, you are still here repeating ad nauseam the same nonsense? Come on, repeating things 1000 times does not make them become real…The issue has been already discussed for much too long, you simply do not listen, too self-centered to confront with other people…talking to you is like talking to a wall…
    No, the wall may be a little more “receptive” than you are…
    For you we can really say: “wrong” seems to be the hardest word
    Come on, stop whining, it’s time to grow up:)

    Duck and weave!

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