Analects Book 1: Translation

Chapter I
子曰:「學而時習之,不亦說乎?有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎?人不知而不慍,不亦君子乎?」
The Master said: “Isn’t it a pleasure to study and repeatedly apply the lessons you’ve learned? Isn’t it a joy to have friends visit from afar? Isn’t it the mark of a leader to go unacknowledged without letting it annoy you?”
Continue reading Analects Book 1: Translation

Daodejing: back to the good old days

Ah, the good old days when men were men and, well, I’m sure you get my drift. Just like Confucius did with the Duke of Zhou, Laozi is attempting to evoke a golden age from deep antiquity that almost certainly never existed. He is imploring people to learn from the mythologized behavior of the (nameless) great masters of the past in the hope that everyone returns to the right path. Continue reading Daodejing: back to the good old days

Weekend IoT Reading: big small data

There’s a strong big data flavor to my IoT news round up this week. Or should I say small data? Forbes contributor Mike Kavis provides a very convincing argument about the importance of small datasets captured by sensors on smart devices such as wind turbines and packages in triggering events that can lead to instant savings such as reductions in energy bills. He concludes by saying that “optimizing these business processes can save companies millions of dollars through the analysis of relatively small datasets. Small data knows what a tracked object is doing.” Continue reading Weekend IoT Reading: big small data

Governing a medium-size country

子曰:「道千乘之國,敬事而信,節用而愛人,使民以時。」
Confucius said: “To govern a medium-size country, you must pay strict attention to its affairs and fulfill your promises; be economical and love your people; and only mobilize them for labor at the right times of the year.”

Although Confucius is best known as a teacher and philosopher, he was at heart a politician or perhaps even the ancient Chinese equivalent of a modern-day think tank policy wonk ever eager to grab the ear of any ruler willing or desperate enough to listen to his opinions. Continue reading Governing a medium-size country

The Straight and Narrow

Zengzi may have been a prolific author during his lifetime, but like Confucius he was a strong believer that practical application was a more important aspect of education than the simple acquisition of theoretical knowledge. What would be the point of learning about key ethical principles such as loyalty and sincerity if you are not going to follow them? Continue reading The Straight and Narrow

Zengzi opines

曾子曰:「吾日三省吾身,為人謀而不忠乎?與朋友交而不信乎?傳不習乎?」
Zengzi said: “I examine myself three times every day. Have I been true to other people’s interests when acting on their behalf? Have I been sincere in my interactions with friends? Have I practiced what I have been taught?”

Although he was only twenty-six years of age when Confucius died in 479 BC, Zengzi (曾子) quickly rose to prominence as one of the leading proponents of the sage’s teaching and is said to have written or edited at least ten books, including the rip-roaring Classic of Filial Piety (孝經/xiàojīng). Continue reading Zengzi opines

Daodejing: the unbroken thread

I am beginning to see why the Daodejing appeals to so many people in the west seeking spiritual inspiration. Passages like this one in Chapter 14 do a masterful job of evoking the myriad mysteries of the Dao, which stretches back to the very “beginnings of antiquity”. The richness and ambiguity of the text, no matter whether it’s in Chinese or English, certainly send the brain cells spinning in multiple directions! Continue reading Daodejing: the unbroken thread