It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that China has been so successful in building such a strong and efficient transportation and industrial infrastructure including – among many other marvels – the world’s largest highway and high-speed train networks. The ability to build and manage massive public works projects has been an integral part of the DNA of the ruling class and bureaucracy since at least 2000 BC when the legendary sage king Yu the Great is said to have created a network of dikes, dams, and canals to control the flooding that plagued the rich farmland around the Yellow River.
Not exactly the warmest of welcomes back to Taipei. I don’t think I can ever remember it being so cold and miserable here! And while I’ve experienced heavier earthquakes than the 5.8 one that hit the island last night, the tremors were more than enough to set my heart pounding and blood pumping a little too quickly for comfort.
Even after so many years of coming China, I still get a spring in my step whenever I arrive here. The economic growth that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the last forty years is the greatest achievement in all human history.
I’ve swapped the stark fenland fields for the grey skies of Taipei. At least it’s a little warmer here.
Even though in HR-terms I’m on vacation, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in Moulton preparing all the marketing collateral for Embedded World 2018. There’s nothing like a long rural walk to clear the mind and get the creative juices flowing.
The greatest polarity of our times is the one between truth and lies. Not a single day goes by without some new apocalyptic warning that flood of fake news will sweep away the very foundations of human civilization.
One of the most useful ideas in the Daodejing is the one that many scholars label as reversion. Also known as the law of opposites or polarities, this is the process that governs the natural life cycle of a plant, animal, human, even inanimate objects such as a rock.
While I wouldn’t say that I’ve encountered any moments of inspiration or enlightenment during my daily walks among the bleak Fenland fields, I would say that they have been very good for the soul.
During my daily hikes to hit my target of 12K steps, I’ve been thinking about how new IoT, AI, and robotics technologies might impact villages like Moulton over the next twenty years. Here are few tentative predictions:
There has of course always been a much harsher side to rural life in Moulton that is best captured by the old laborers’ cottages just behind the church – not to mention the inscriptions on the gravestones in the churchyard.