December 1, 2010
For a thorough listing of the new Wikileaks revelations, including some that you don't tend to see on American media, try:
It turns out there's a fad for RC kites in Singapore, which was started by a guy named Michael Lim. He is now about 60, but he is still flying RC kites, and we think we saw him out there in that field, flying the biggest and best one.
There's something peculiarly Singaporean about this. Most of the RC kite fliers were teenage males, and rap music was blaring out of an industrial-strength speaker system — a situation I associate with unruly youthful rebellion. But the undisputed master was this guy who looks like, and probably is, a retired businessman. This and other things, like the mix of races involved (both Chinese and Indian), quickly made the situation seem a lot less threatening that it did at first. And that's Singapore for you.
Here's video made at this location. It starts out focused on the bar Lisa and I were in, and then pans around to the woods full of RC kites:
Galac posted these photographs of artworks in the rapidly
transforming downtown of Shanghai.
December 11, 2010
Tonight, Saturday night, we saw LED kites outside our apartment window, like
glistening insects flying in front of the chimneys that have graced the top of
every diary page for the last few months.
I guess we hadn't noticed these until we were sensitized by last weekend's
encounter with the RC kites! But this time what we saw were
actual kites, lit by LED lights and flown at night.
(It later became clear that they come out every Saturday, down at the park by the sea.)
December 12, 2010
The day before yesterday, Lisa and I watched the Nobel Peace Prize
ceremony, with the head of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland,
giving a fiery speech, and Liv Ullmann reading Liu Xiaobo's remarkable
closing statement from his trial: I
Have No Enemies: My Final Statement. You can watch it here, and I
hope you do.
Now a friend is visiting us. She came from Beijing. She was surprised
and pleased to find that in Beijing, many people were criticizing the
government for their absurd reaction to Liu Xiaobo's prize. Taxi drivers.
Artists at parties... not just whispering, but openly complaining. So, while
the authorities can carry out their crackdown, it is not working.
December 23, 2010
Here are some interesting reflections on the Wikileaks case and cypherpunk culture:
© 2010 John Baez