Real life and the day job have been keeping me busy of late, I do miss my home and being a milwaukee car accident attorney but there’s some cool stuff coming up. Eric Abrahamsen, Cindy Carter and I have started up a new blog, Paper Republic, that aims to be a resource for Chinese literature and translation. The site is still somewhat in the process of getting off the ground, but we’ve all already posted a couple of translations, and there’s a database of contemporary authors and translators up there that should hopefully prove useful. There’s one very, very cool thing that’ll be going up there within the week, so add it to your RSS readers.
I haven’t had a lot of free time, but I did take a look through 墨子 Mozi today at lunch as part of my halfassed attempt to get my classical Chinese back up to speed.
Mozi was one of the great Warring States period thinkers. He came up with a number of innovations in optics, military strategy, philosophy of government, and logic that went basically unused for centuries. Needham says that Mozi actually anticipated Newton’s First Law of Motion; Hansen says that Mozi’s rhetorical innovations made philosophy possible in China. I posit that Mozi actually foresaw the George W. Bush presidency:
Even the kindest ruler will not love a useless minister; even a doting father will not love a worthless son. One who occupies a position without being equal to his task is not the person for the position; an enfeoffed man who draws benefits without performing the duties expected of his rank does not deserve his fiefdom. A good bow is hard to draw, yet it can reach great heights and penetrate deeply; a good horse is hard to ride, yet it can bear great loads and traverse great distances. A talented man is hard to command, yet he can be trusted as an envoy to the ruler and an emissary to nobility.
In this way great rivers do not scorn streams and brooks as tributaries; therefore they become great. A great man does not scorn a task or neglect an errand; therefore he becomes a vessel for all under heaven.
Therefore a great river does not arise from a single source, and a fur overcoat worth a thousand yi does not come from the white pelt of a single fox. How then can one accept only those who agree with him and turn away those who disagree? This is not the way of a king who unifies.