Cultural Fascism - Science Magazine: No shengren, please!
US Science Magazine excludes Chinese terminologies from its publications
If the shengren isn’t science, what in China is?
The shengren is the single most important concept in the Chinese tradition. Yet, ‘Science’ magazine “has never heard about it”, and your Asia correspondent in Beijing politely declines to publish a Chinese word, or to report about it. Clearly, Science magazine is practicing a “white vocabulary policy”. It means that foreign terminologies are excluded from publication. Especially if foreigners submit their research, they must use European terminologies and taxonomies in their ‘submissions’. How appropriate a word: s u b m i s s i o n.
Western Academic Imperialism
We have been there before. The west cultivates the dangerous notion that “knowledge only exists if it’s the West that knows it”. The consequences are far-reaching: By not letting Chinese key terminologies like shengren into ‘Science’ publications, Western publishers (including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist) are not only impeding Chinese culture but they are also ruining your own reputation as truly ‘global’ publications. In fact, “globalization” looks like a one way road; as if only one direction was permissible: from the west to the east.
The style, form, and language of Science submissions must follow the Western Anglo-Saxon model. All other sets of vocabularies except the English are excluded. If you put babies in the world today, keep this in mind when planning their future. In addition, Science editors are mostly white (including the China correspondents in Beijing and Shanghai), and anyway they must be Western educated.
The US magazine Science was founded in 1880 and played a pivotal role in the process of Westernization of the world of knowledge and in particular the Americanization of scientific knowledge. It claims to be the leading scientific journal in the world but has yet to include any non-Western thought. Science opened its first China bureau as late as 2007.
Expats among themselves
Unfortunately, their journalists and editors, all Western educated, seem to have little knowledge and interest in the Chinese tradition (they couldn't tell your author what rujia or a shengren was); they jet in the country from one English-language conference to another (they don't speak Chinese), and are mostly looking out for English-speaking compatriots or Chinese ABCs in China to help them fill their pages. That the Chinese people for the last three thousand years have all kinds of jia, jiao, and xue (schools, practices, and teachings), and their own terms, categories, taxonomies, and archetypes of wisdom that the West might want to learn, understand, letting alone to know about seems to be beyond Science's mission to create a Chinese-free world of knowledge. As the historian Howard Zinn once remarked: "If something is omitted from history, people have no way of knowing that it is omitted." It is rather sad.
My Language, Your Prison?
We have been there before. When the Germans, the descendants of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, came to China they naturally desired to evangelize it. Unlike the Anglo-Saxons (and French, by the way) the Germans never had any concept for sages or sagehood. In their effort to christen China, the Germans called the shengren “Heilige” – biblical saints. This German obsession with holiness is deeply rooted in the Germanic biblical and folkloric language; and it is this language and world view that they prayed to project onto Chinese Culture at all costs. Just like the Americans today, the Germans would never have allowed talking philosophy, culture, or science on Chinese terms.
Sovereignty over the definition of thought
The Germans call this ‘deutungshoheit’. It means having the sovereignty over the definition of thought. They simply look at China, Japan, India and any other Asian culture and replace their ideas with German language terminologies. Thus, the discipline of 'Sinologie' was born, in which the Chinese themselves could not participate if they weren't German-educated.
Shengren cannot be adequately translated
A shengren is the highest member in the East-Asian family-value based tradition and has the highest moral standards, called de. He applies the principles of ren, li, yi, zhi and xin, and connects between all the people as if they were, metaphorically speaking, his family. Calling the shengren of East Asia “philosophers”, “saints”, “Heilige” or any other familiar European names is the greatest historical blunder since Christopher Columbus’s discovery of “the Indians” in North America.
One look at the original Chinese text reveals that the shengren of Confucianism are just as clearly defined and non-European as the buddhas of Buddhism are (yes, there are many buddhas, you did know that, didn't you?). Yet, the Western public is kept ignorant about Chinese archetypes of wisdom.
Our schools and universities (and “scientific” journals, sadly) preach that there are “philosophers” and “saints” all over Asia; yet, upon reflection, evidently there isn't a single buddha, bodhisattva, or shengren in Europe. Think. What is that probability?
The word for “philosopher” doesn't appear in the Chinese classics. Our so-called “Chinese Philosophy” departments in the West are reminiscences of the Imperial age. In fact, the Chinese word for philosopher, zhexuejia, came to China via Japan not before 1874, where it is pronounced tetsugakusha.
The Problem of Western ‘China Studies’
What happened to empirical evidence in Western ‘China studies’? The original shengren is permanent and buried in the Chinese texts, beneath all Western convenient biblical and philosophical translations.
The Western practice of constantly producing erroneous translation just to celebrate its own life form and believes – such egocentric practice runs counter to any modern notion of ‘intellectual property rights’. Chinese culture is a victim not only of language imperialism but also of Western “bad science”. Yet, instead of correcting the erroneous translations, Western media and academia carry on with it.
A China without Chinese?
In Europe, have we arrived at a critical time in world history, when the mentioning of a single Chinese concept by its true name is regarded as culture treason? China constitutes a very un-European humanity. The people of China have all the right to be included in the History of thought (History with a capital ‘H’).
The European languages cannot render important Chinese (and other foreign) key concepts with familiar vocabularies that already carry European originality and inventiveness. The ultimate solution may be not to translate at all but to adopt them.
Protecting cultural property
How can we educate the young without protecting our cultures from being translated by a dominant and resourceful conqueror? And how can we overcome Western ‘China studies’ that tells us that we have to translate Chinese culture into European biblical and philosophical vocabulary or else you perish? As Confucius once said: “If the names are not correct, speech is not in accordance with the truth of things.” But the truth is some people just want your culture to die.
Image credit: Oleg Golovnev/Shutterstock.com [Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Russia, with his son. Wilhelm was the eldest son of Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor. German was considered the language of "science" prior to World War One]
Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling has an important favor to ask of the American people.
- Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York state. In this PSA, speaking as someone whose company has seen more COVID-19 patients than any other in the country, Dowling implores Americans to wear masks—not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.
- The CDC reports that there have been close to 7.9 million cases of coronavirus reported in the United States since January. Around 216,000 people have died from the virus so far with hundreds more added to the tally every day. Several labs around the world are working on solutions, but there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
- The most basic thing that everyone can do to help slow the spread is to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and to wear a mask. The CDC recommends that everyone ages two and up wear a mask that is two or more layers of material and that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Gaiters and face shields have been shown to be less effective at blocking droplets. Homemade face coverings are acceptable, but wearers should make sure they are constructed out of the proper materials and that they are washed between uses. Wearing a mask is the most important thing you can do to save lives in your community.
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
What are they?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDA0NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTM1ODc0Mn0.NH33LuauIo__sUBi4tvhwxDcsvhflDFD-Nhx9FjlSNk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=148%2C0%2C149%2C0&height=700" id="cec96" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="acb78abe2ab46a17e419ad30906751d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Artist's impression of the Kordylewski cloud in the night sky (with its brightness greatly enhanced) at the time of the observations.
G. Horváth<p>The<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kordylewski_cloud" target="_blank"> Kordylewski clouds</a> are two dust clouds first observed by Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski in 1961. They are situated at two of the <a href="https://www.space.com/30302-lagrange-points.html" target="_blank">Lagrange points</a> in Earth's orbit. These points are locations where the gravity of two objects, such as the Earth and the Moon or a planet and the Sun, equals the centripetal required to orbit the objects while staying in the same relative position. There are five of these spots between the Earth and Moon. The clouds rest at what are called points four and five, forming a triangle with the clouds and the Earth at the three corners.</p><p>The clouds are enormous, taking up the same space in the night sky as twenty lunar discs; covering an area of 45,000 miles. They are roughly 250,000 miles away, about the same distance from us as the Moon. They are entirely comprised of specks of dust which reflect the light of the sun so faintly most astronomers that looked for them were unable to see them at all. </p><p>The clouds themselves are probably ancient, but the model that the scientists created to learn about them suggests that the individual dust particles that comprise them can be blown away by solar wind and replaced by the dust from other cosmic sources like comet tails. This means that the clouds hardly move but are <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/11/news-earth-moon-dust-clouds-satellites-planets-space/" target="_blank">eternally changing</a>. </p>
How did they discover this?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDAzNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Nzc4MjQ4MX0.7uU9OqmQcWw5Ll1UXAav0PCu4nTg-GdJdAWADHanC7c/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C180%2C0%2C181&height=700" id="952fb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a778280a20f1c54cd2c14c8313224be2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
"In this picture the central region of the Kordylewski dust cloud is visible (bright red pixels). The straight tilted lines are traces of satellites."
J. Slíz-Balogh<p>In their study published in the <a href="https://academic.oup.com/mnras" target="_blank">Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society</a>, Hungarian astronomers Judit Slíz-Balogh, András Barta, and Gábor Horváth described how they were able to find the dust clouds using polarized lenses.</p><p>Since the clouds were expected to polarize the light that bounces off of them, by configuring the telescopes to look for this kind of light the clouds were much easier to spot. What the scientists observed, polarized light in patterns that extended outside the view of the telescope lens, was in line with the predictions of their mathematical model and ruled out other possible sources. </p>
Why are we just learning this now?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDAzOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MjUyNDMyMH0.Zl8GmQ_rJHiL4b7hN0r_YBmgb6_ZqIRvqOVuko2ubpw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C141%2C0%2C185&height=700" id="87afe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd4c0b5088e601d7279cc5eb226f8b7b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
"Mosaic pattern of the angle of polarization around the L5 point (white dot) of the Earth-Moon system. The five rectangular windows correspond to the imaging telescope with which the patterns of the Kordylewski cloud were measured."
J. Slíz-Balogh<p>The objects, being dust clouds, are very faint and hard to see. While Kordylewski observed them in 1961, other astronomers have looked there and given mixed reports over the following decades. This discouraged many astronomers from joining the search, as study co-author Judit Slíz-Balogh <a href="https://ras.ac.uk/news-and-press/research-highlights/earths-dust-cloud-satellites-confirmed" target="_blank">explained</a>, <em>"The Kordylewski clouds are two of the toughest objects to find, and though they are as close to Earth as the Moon are largely overlooked by researchers in astronomy. It is intriguing to confirm that our planet has dusty pseudo-satellites in orbit alongside our lunar neighbor."</em></p>
Will this have any impact on space travel?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c3d797fff5430c64afcb5a49bddc3616"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ou8N3v9SFPE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Lagrange points have been put forward as excellent locations for a space station or satellites like the <a href="https://jwst.nasa.gov/about.html" target="_blank">James Webb Telescope</a> to be put into orbit, as they would require little fuel to stay in place. Knowing about a massive dust cloud that could damage sensitive equipment already being there could save money and lives in the future. While we only know about the clouds at Lagrange points four and five right now, the study's authors suggest there could be more at the other points.</p><p>While the discovery of a couple of dust clouds might not seem all that impressive, it is the result of a half-century of astronomical and mathematical work and reminds us that wonders are still hidden in our cosmic backyard. While you might never need to worry about these clouds again, there is nothing wrong with looking at the sky with wonder at the strange and fantastic things we can discover. </p>
New cancer-scanning technology reveals a previously unknown detail of human anatomy.
- Scientists using new scanning technology and hunting for prostate tumors get a surprise.
- Behind the nasopharynx is a set of salivary glands that no one knew about.
- Finding the glands may allow for more complication-free radiation therapies.
PSMA PET/CT technology<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="676e611b970c9b516cace0870447b325"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RHAyoQF09X4?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>PSMA PET/CT is a new combination of <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pet-scan/about/pac-20385078" target="_blank">PET scans</a> and <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/about/pac-20393675" target="_blank">CT scans</a> that is believed to offer a more reliable means of locating prostate cancer metastasis. A <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/prostate-cancer-psma-pet-ct-metastasis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">study</a> published last spring suggests it may be the most accurate way to diagnose prostate cancer metastasis than any method previously available.</p><p>Prior to PSMA PET/CT, the primary way to look for metastatic prostate cancer was to image the body using x-ray-based CT scans and to perform bone scans, since bone is where prostate cancer often spreads. CT scans, however, often miss small tumors, and bone scans can generate false positives as a result of other damage or abnormalities that have nothing to do with prostate cancer.</p><p>PSMA PET/CT scans track the travels of an intravenously administered radioactive glucose tracer throughout the body. For hunting down prostate cancer, this tracer contains a molecule that binds to the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472940/" target="_blank">PSMA</a> protein that's present in large amounts in prostate tumors. The molecule is linked to a radioisotope, <a href="https://netrf.org/2018/11/13/gallium-68-scan-for-neuroendocrine-tumors/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">gallium-68</a> (Ga-68).</p><p>In last spring's research, PSAM PET/CT was shown to be 27 percent more accurate than previous methods at finding metastases (92 percent accuracy as opposed to 65 percent). In addition, it was found to be much less likely to produce false positives, and it was particularly good at detecting tumors far removed from the prostate.</p>
A good kind of avoidance behavior<p>"Radiation therapy can damage the salivary glands," says Vogel, "which may lead to complications. Patients may have trouble eating, swallowing, or speaking, which can be a real burden."</p><p>The researchers looked back through the cases of 723 patients who had undergone radiation treatment, interested in seeing if inadvertent radiation of the tubarial glands was associated with the complications experienced by the patients. It turned out that this <em>was</em> the case: In cases where more radiation had been delivered to this area, patients did indeed report more in the way of complications of the type one would expect when salivary glands are radiated.</p><p>Now that we know the tubarial salivary glands exist, therapists can stay out of their way. Vogel says, "For most patients, it should technically be possible to avoid delivering radiation to this newly discovered location of the salivary gland system in the same way we try to spare known glands."</p><p>He's hopeful that that things may be about to get at least a bit better for cancer patients: "Our next step is to find out how we can best spare these new glands and in which patients. If we can do this, patients may experience less side effects which will benefit their overall quality of life after treatment."</p>
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