The Chinese are eager to hear what foreigners think about them, as a nation and a people, to the point of helpfully suggesting essentialist pigeonholes the observer might want to put them into. One prevailing explanation for the countries’ different attitudes is that America has always had a dynamic culture, while China is more tradition-bound. This is a terrible explanation. A 30-year-old Chinese citizen has seen more disruption and change than a 60-year-old American has; a 60-year-old Chinese citizen has seen more than a 200-year-old American would have. It was routine business for the government to rewrite the entire holiday calendar, or outlaw a whole category of motor vehicles, or ban and un-ban particular enterprises or classes of merchandise or kinds of information.—Tom Scocca, “What Chinese People Are Like”
Also, like all civilized people I know that 168 is the next number in the sequence whose previous two numbers are 59, 125 and 145, but how did it escape my notice that Wikipedia has an individual article about every New York City subway station? Of course it does. What was I thinking.
Continued from Open thread 167
Continued in Open Thread 169