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’m heading off to China today for a whistle-stop tour of Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen for our company’s Chinese New Year parties known as “weiya”. There was a time when I used to enjoy knocking back cups of Maotaijiu (white spirit) as part of the celebrations, but these days I’m a lot more restrained. My body simply doesn’t have the powers of recovery that it once had.
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.
I always enjoy taking a stroll around the Moulton whenever I stay here – even when being battered by the chilly fenland winds. By many standards it is a quintessential English village, with its twelfth-century church overlooking a neatly-mown village green which is surrounded by charming old houses that testify to the place’s enduring wealth resulting from the rich agricultural land in the area.