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Posts Tagged ‘ideologies’

Turning a Nobel Prize to a Chinese for Artemisinin Into a Eulogy for Traditional Chinese Medicine?

October 18th, 2015 No comments
Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

Chinese herbal medicine and tea set

A couple of weeks ago, Tu Youyou became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.”  (Tu had already won the Lasker Award a few years ago for the same work, and had described her work this way.)  There were cheers and hopes that with the prize, more people would become aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the tremendous amount of work being put in to update the ancient arts with modern science and technology.

But very soon in the West, I see popping up everywhere “straw man” arguments 1.

First, there is the line of attack that goes something like this: so what if Dr. Tu found one drug from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that turned out to work. That per se doesn’t validate the whole tradition.  As this Daily Kos post noted: Read more…

Notes:

  1. From a wikipedia entry, a straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

Ideology and Facts

May 4th, 2013 3 comments

For some time, I have been on a hiatus from the blog.  That does not mean that I was tuned off from what’s going on in the world.  Despite my temporary leave of absence, I till end up devoting non-trivial amounts of time to corresponding over emails with friends … and editors on this blog about current events.

I was just about to send another email when I realized that instead of not blogging, and just emailing, perhaps I can do some short posts (taking less than 20 minutes each, say) and share my thoughts here and there.  It’s not the way I usually blog, but maybe I can do a few of those before I get time to get back to the way I used to blog.

For today, I will share with you this link: http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0001779.html, a page about the “principal rivers of the world,” instead of just writing privately to the editors of this blog about it. Read more…

The Fall of the Berlin Wall on our Mind…

November 10th, 2009 53 comments

The Fall of the Berlin some 20 years ago is again on the mind of many. According to the NYTimes, “[t]he historical legacy of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and the cold war thawed, is as political as the upheavals of that decisive year.”

For many in the West, the events of 1989 represents the ultimate triumph of the West over East – of democratic, capitalistic liberalism over communist authoritarianism. Many envisioned that we were entering an “End of History.” Writing in 1989, Francis Fukuyama (a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University) wrote: Read more…