As the Olympics wind down in London, there can be little doubt in anyone’s mind that this Olympics is about politics. How else can one explain the string of smears against Chinese athletes and their performances – coming from unexpected sources such as the prestigious journal of Nature – all in the name of “science and objectivity” – as well as expected sources such as the NY Times – where personal tragic setbacks such as Liu Xiang’s can be made into a kind of political statement?
Nature’s article on Ye Shiwen was especially troublesome. The editors of Nature wrote:
At the Olympics, how fast is too fast? That question has dogged Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen after the 16-year-old shattered the world record in the women’s 400-metre individual medley (400 IM) on Saturday. In the wake of that race, some swimming experts wondered whether Ye’s win was aided by performance-enhancing drugs. She has never tested positive for a banned substance and the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday declared that her post-race test was clean. The resulting debate has been tinged with racial and political undertones, but little science. Nature examines whether and how an athlete’s performance history and the limits of human physiology could be used to catch dopers.
Nature then went through the “science” of how unusual, super-human Ye’s performance and how a clean drug test during competition does not necessarily rule out the possibility of doping. Continue reading The Political Olympics
Beijing landlords reap disappointment at Olympics
Overall, I would say that the games have been a staggering success. I’m extremely happy for China.
But… since Xinhua broke the ice, one of the concerns I had leading up to the games was the shortfall of the economic benefit from expectations. Landlords didn’t get the occupancy they hoped for – 60% of the units were vacant. It will be some time before the ledgers are all balanced but I expect that it will be more than the landlords looking at much less profits than expected. A friend of mine in Beijing has decided to return to her home town because business just wasn’t happening for her.
What will the impact be?
There is “A Reporter’s Guide to Covering the Olympics“, supposedly found in the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, at Time’s China Blog. It is well worth a read. Continue reading A must-read: a reporter's guide to covering the Olympics
– written by Brandon
It has been the case for well over 2000 years that with a huge population and rich diversities in custom, cuisines, dialects, culture, religions, ethnicities, and political views, it’s always a challenge for any Chinese government to unit its people. However, recent events provided the Central Empire another silver bullet in its arsenal to achieve just that, the butterfly effect.
It takes a real expert to explain the effect in details. The short and layman version is that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear. In other words, a small disturbance might have huge and unintended consequences somewhere and somehow.
Examining what happened since middle of March will better illustrate my point.
Continue reading (Letter from Brandon) The Butterfly Effect – How to Unite the Chinese