2018-11-24 周六

每一次写Blog都像是给一个远方的老朋友写信,虽然他总不回信。

最近在《世界报》读报小组的网站上,加了一个新功能,能够在上面放“弹幕”,或者说,可以做批注。虽然这个功能目前只有我自己使用,就好像wiki的编排目前是老徐一人操办,但是对自己有用,又能服务大家的事,何乐而不为?

最近在刷碗,洗澡,走路上下班的时候(这段时间用来想问题),喜欢用喜马拉雅听书。听林达的《西班牙旅行笔记》。用来听法语新闻讲解,或者法语语音,总觉得有点不大感兴趣。虽然,语言的学习的确是枯燥的,但我更愿意把他用来当作交流的工具。用力挤出一滴蜜汁来解渴。

但是,读法语报纸也有局限性,就是阅读速度慢。我的法语学习要求饱和了,对新想法的需求没有满足,对交流的需求没有满足。读报和看纪录片,目前来说很好,能给我装进去很多新的原材料,虽然还没有能够达到让我输出的阶段。

我越来越不知道这个网站的定位了。之前,我在舞台的幕后;但是,并没有观众;于是我走到台前,来回踱步,自言自语。以至于几天后的自己根本也看不懂当时我在说什么。于是,强迫自己来写信,来精神分裂。

来继续说,我觉得值得记录的事。

(1) 看了著名芭蕾舞《胡桃夹子》,很失望。俄罗斯Kazhan国立巴黎舞蹈团。我们买的1欧的票,坐在很前面,乐队的位置。视线与舞台地面平行。演员很卖力,也比较专业。但是我似乎是一个旁观者。我为古典艺术感到悲哀。也许,100年后,电影也会落到如此地步。情节, 噱头,追逐场景。我希望看到一点新意。我希望得到的不仅仅是“我见过这个有名的(人,物,电影)”而已,不是仅仅为了有名。我希望我不再是为了一个人一个地方有名而去尝试,我希望得到更personal的互动。

(2)11月19日,法国涨学费的事。从天而降,没有任何征兆。合理,但却令穷学生沮丧。用钱来做筛选么?

(3)持续一周的Gilets Jaunes。没什么好说的。又一次游行而已。我不知道德国,意大利,西班牙,英国,他们的人民是怎么看自己的国家,自己国家的政治人物,和欧盟。我不知自己为何关心这些,企图从现在的政治中学到一点什么吗?

(4)大同和太原的前市长,耿市长,雷厉风行的实干家,是否是国内的唯一出路?民主是否太慢?

(5) 放弃打卡,自暴自弃。为自己学习,凭心情,也凭计划。

威尔逊,麦克苏利,天一和黄背心

最近在看一个关于一战的纪录片,顺便学法语。法国国家电视台拍的纪录片《Apocalypse》,B站和Youtube有链接。很喜欢这种从平常人的视角来开世界的角度。昨晚洗澡时听了10分钟喜马拉雅上的,中国大爷读的,关于一战的一个资料的书,那京味十足,说书一般,仿佛是英雄们在打架,吃瓜群众看热闹。法国人,起码导演,并没有表达痛恨德国人的民族主义情绪。这种公平感很难描述。题目中的威尔逊是1912-1920年的美国总统。律师。前普林大学校长。wiki 上说美国最伟大总统之一。有点像奥巴马。创立了国联(League of Nation),却没能说服自己的国家加入(参议院否决)。

今天洗碗时在听林达,也是喜马拉雅上的,东方雨e读的。她读了林达的不少书,谢谢她。林达(一对儿大陆去的留美夫妇的化名)在普及推广一种观念,一种理想,一种法治制度能约束人本性的恶的社会。这个案子我听了感叹不已。

想起来今天还没有翻喷嚏图卦。于是看到了因为写YY文而判刑10年的天一。估计,希望,媒体的压力会将其改判。我虽然不读这种书,但每个人都应被公平对待。还好有媒体捅出这件事。

今天法国抗议。黄背心。一抗议者不幸车祸死亡。法国的低收入人群。一个话题是,和中国对比。有人说;中国多好,没人抗议。那么问题是,当你想抗议的时候,你怎么办?

NYT影评|Who’s the Real American Psycho?

Dick Cheney 和 Trump 的比较。作者在文末的一个比较点题了,“你想要一个专业杀手还是一个拿着电锯的疯子来追杀你?” 那么Dick Cheney到底做了什么坏事了?

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is running wild — and running scared.

He’s such a menace that it’s tempting to cheer any vituperative critic and grab any handy truncheon. But villainizing Trump should not entail sanitizing other malefactors.

And we should acknowledge that the president is right on one point: For neocons, journalists, authors, political hacks and pundits, there is a financial incentive to demonize the president, not to mention an instant halo effect. Only Trump could get the pussy-hat crowd to fill Times Square to protest Jeff Sessions’s firing.

We make the president the devil spawn and he makes us the enemy of the people and everybody wins. Or do they? To what extent is lucrative Trump hysteria warping our discourse?

Trump may not be sweaty and swarthy, but he makes a good bad guy. As with Nixon and Watergate, the correct moral response and the lavish remunerative rewards neatly dovetail.

Even for Washington, the capital of do-overs and the soulless swamp where horrendous mistakes never prevent you from cashing in and getting another security clearance, this is a repellent spectacle. War criminals-turned-liberal heroes are festooned with book and TV contracts, podcasts and op-ed perches.

Those who sold us the “cakewalk” Iraq war and the outrageously unprepared Sarah Palin and torture as “enhanced interrogation,” those who left the Middle East shattered with a cascading refugee crisis and a rising ISIS, and those who midwifed the birth of the Tea Party are washing away their sins in a basin of Trump hate.

The very same Republicans who eroded America’s moral authority in the 2000s are, staggeringly, being treated as the new guardians of America’s moral authority.

They bellow that Trump is a blight on democracy. But where were these patriots when the Bush administration was deceiving us with a cooked-up war in Iraq?

Michelle Obama has written in her memoir that she will never forgive Trump for pushing the birther movement. Yet the Pygmalions of Palin, who backed Trump on the birther filth, are now among the most celebrated voices in Michelle’s party.

The architects and enablers of the Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are still being listened to on foreign policy, both inside the administration (John Bolton and Gina Haspel) and out. NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote the Washington Post op-ed after the election telling conservatives not to work for Trump; Max Boot, who urged an invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam was involved in 9/11, is now a CNN analyst, Post columnist and the author of a new book bashing Trump; John Yoo, who wrote the unconstitutional torture memo, is suddenly concerned that Trump’s appointment of his ghastly acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

MSNBC is awash in nostalgia for Ronald Reagan and W.

So it’s a good moment for Adam McKay, the inventive director of “The Big Short,” to enter the debate with a movie that raises the question: Is insidious destruction of our democracy by a bureaucratic samurai with the soothing voice of a boys’ school headmaster even more dangerous than a self-destructive buffoon ripping up our values in plain sight?

How do you like your norms broken? Over Twitter or in a torture memo? By a tinpot demagogue stomping on checks and balances he can’t even fathom or a shadowy authoritarian expertly and quietly dismantling checks and balances he knows are sacred?

McKay grappled with the W.-Cheney debacle in 2009, when he co-wrote a black comedywith Will Ferrell called “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush.” In the Broadway hit, Ferrell’s W. dismissed waterboarding as a Bliss spa treatment and confided that he had once discovered Cheney locked in an embrace with a giant goat devil in a room full of pentagrams.

When McKay was home with the flu three years ago, he grabbed a book and began reading up on Cheney. He ended up writing and directing “Vice,” a film that uses real-life imagery, witty cinematic asides and cultural touchstones to explore the irreparable damage Cheney did to the planet, and how his blunders and plunders led to many of our current crises.

With an echo of his Batman growl, Christian Bale brilliantly shape-shifts into another American psycho, the lumbering, scheming vice president who easily manipulates the naïve and insecure W., deliciously played by Sam Rockwell. While W. strives to impress his father, Cheney strives to impress his wife, Lynne, commandingly portrayed by Amy Adams.

Before we had Trump’s swarm of bloodsucking lobbyists gutting government regulations from within, we had Cheney’s. Before Trump brazenly used the White House to boost his brand, we had Cheney wallowing in emoluments: He let his energy industry pals shape energy policy; he pushed to invade Iraq, giving no-bid contracts to his former employer, Halliburton, and helping his Big Oil cronies reap the spoils in Iraq.

The movie opens at Christmas, but it’s no sugary Hallmark fable. It’s a harrowing cautionary tale showing that democracy can be sabotaged even more diabolically by a trusted insider, respected by most of the press, than by a clownish outsider, disdained by most of the press.

After a screening of “Vice” Thursday, I asked McKay which of our two right-wing Dementors was worse, Cheney or Trump.

“Here’s the question,” he said. “Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I’d rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It’s not even close, right?”

NYT|I Will Miss You, German Schools

德国中小学教育很丰富:和美国相比学得多,和中国相比学得杂。虽然到了中学,只有学的好的学生能进高级高中(gymnasium,不是体育馆哦),但是确实是精英教育。法国的放养呢?希望将来找一篇来看看。

After almost six years in Munich, my family and I will soon be returning to California, and there are a few things I already know I will miss. I am not talking about the obvious (fresh pretzels, fresh pretzels with cheese, fresh pretzels with cheese and pumpkin seeds, no potholes, universal health care) but the less known differences that come with spending time in schools.

We are fortunate to live in a part of Munich with top-notch public schools, similar to where we lived in America. We pay a few percentage points more in taxes than we paid in California, but holy Betsy DeVos, do we get more!

I Will Miss You, German Schools

Our daughter’s elementary school, which she graduated from a few years ago, offered a rich curriculum, from math and sciences to arts and languages. After school, in addition to the more traditional offerings of chess, theater and computers, she could take circus lessons, where children learned to juggle, walk on a tightrope and ride a unicycle. Since her school did not have a pool, students were bused every week to a nearby sports club for swim lessons, at no extra charge.

The school also offered a weeklong enrichment program that varied year to year. One year, students spent five days visiting sports clubs, each day being introduced by experts to sports such as fencing, ice hockey and volleyball. Once a real circus came to her school for a week and trained the students, who then put on a performance. We did have to contribute $25 per student for that, since constructing an actual circus tent was costly.

We have also paid for extras like trips to museums (about $4 each) and $250 for a weeklong class trip to Austria intended to foster independence (a highlight was that each child did a short walk alone at night in a field), but that’s it. On the few occasions when the school organized fund-raising efforts, the recipients were in other countries.

Based on their academic performance in fourth grade, children in Germany are divided into three tracks. I do not agree with this system but high-performing children benefit greatly. The top track qualifies for “gymnasium,” the most advanced secondary school, with a curriculum that prepares students for higher education. The gleaming facilities of our daughter’s gymnasium, complete with sports halls, music rooms and a library housing ancient books, rivals those of any top university. Did I mention that higher education is free?

Continue reading “NYT|I Will Miss You, German Schools”

NYT|The New Jim Crow

先说看完这个文章的第一印象:这是一篇讲我们是否应该用计算机来判断一个嫌疑犯是否应该被保释,而不是看他是否拿得出来保释金。这个作者说:这个看似公平的系统,其实已经是在歧视了,比如黑人,穷人更有可能犯罪,所以当前的嫌疑犯如果是个穷黑人,那计算机的算法一定就会建议法官不要保释。不知道你看完如何感觉

By Michelle Alexander

In the midterms, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana, Florida restored the vote to over 1.4 million people with felony convictions, and Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment requiring unanimous jury verdicts in felony trials. These are the latest examples of the astonishing progress that has been made in the last several years on a wide range of criminal justice issues. Since 2010, when I published “The New Jim Crow” — which argued that a system of legal discrimination and segregation had been born again in this country because of the war on drugs and mass incarceration — there have been significant changes to drug policy, sentencing and re-entry, including “ban the box” initiatives aimed at eliminating barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people.

This progress is unquestionably good news, but there are warning signs blinking brightly. Many of the current reform efforts contain the seeds of the next generation of racial and social control, a system of “e-carceration” that may prove more dangerous and more difficult to challenge than the one we hope to leave behind.

Bail reform is a case in point. Thanks in part to new laws and policies — as well as actions like the mass bailout of inmates in New York City jails that’s underway — the unconscionable practice of cash bail is finally coming to an end. In August, California became the first state to decide to get rid of its cash bail system; last year, New Jersey virtually eliminated the use of money bonds.

But what’s taking the place of cash bail may prove even worse in the long run. In California, a presumption of detention will effectively replace eligibility for immediate release when the new law takes effect in October 2019. And increasingly, computer algorithms are helping to determine who should be caged and who should be set “free.” Freedom — even when it’s granted, it turns out — isn’t really free.

Continue reading “NYT|The New Jim Crow”

关于乡村在线教育

和一个朋友聊这个话题。她比较悲观。说农村的问题在于人,“父母的愚昧无知”,“看不到希望”。

我之前看了一个纪录片, 《出路》(B站链接),拍摄者跟随了三个阶层的三个孩子,6年时间:一个偏远山村里的10岁女孩,想读书,最终15岁嫁给了表哥,大着肚子;一个是复读3年的3线城市孩子,终于考上3本大学,毕业后就业难;一个北京女孩,17岁,辍学学艺术,后来被送到德国读大学,有钱却也迷茫,最后开了一个“艺术品公司”。— 你可以说,这都是命。

可以想象,只有硬件,和在线视频,无法解决这些问题。没有人逼着,带着这些小朋友们,他们为什么要在家学,不去网吧玩游戏?(学习本身是反人性的)。“为什么”,是最难的问题。为什么学钢琴,为什么做数学,为什么学法语,为什么读报?问了三个“为什么”后,你最终得到的答案是,没有意义(“为了幸福”这种鸡汤答案不算)。

有这么一篇报道。在线教育,真的能帮乡村教育走出困境吗? 说的是,光买iPad,老师不带着学生用,不去引导,根本没有用。结论是,要加大乡村教师的投入。

网上还有很多教学视频网站,说公益的:网易公开课洋葱数学,台湾的《均一课堂》 . 但显然还不够多。平台类也有。

这个不是一时半会儿的事。集思广益吧。