Showing posts from May, 2017


I find, hopefully, temporarily, that this interlude between my posts will not continue to widen.  However, I find the subjects I wish to talk about simply becoming too difficult to write about so simply. The below is an example. While living in Guangzhou in the early 90’s, I found that using 港币 to pay a bill was not only convenient for myself, but welcome by the Chinese.   People always mention that going overseas is great for one’s worldly growth and cultural experience.   But no one ever mentions it’s great for deepening your understanding of economics as well! In the beginning if a bill was say 10 rmb, I’d simply pay 10 HKD.   No one ever told me I could pay a bill using less.   And I never thought to ask.  On the black market at the time, one 港币 was probably worth 1.5 rmb.   I mention the above as context only for the privilege and status Hong Kong had at the time in China.    It is different today of course.   The father not so charitable. Not so patient.  But I

Twenty thousand bucks

An English Minister died in America at the ripe old age of 31.    His legacy?  The gift of 700 British Pounds towards the funding of a College whose main purpose would be to upgrade the quality of the clergy for The Church.   The Man’s name was of course John and his last name Harvard. A few generations later a few other “Colleges” got started.  What do the College of New Jersey and the Collegiate School have in common?  Both were founded for the sole purpose of training clergy.   Today one of these is known as Princeton and the other as Yale.  (I’ll let you figure out which is which.) These schools were all started with charity and a perhaps  overly zealous fear of God.   Today they have only recently regained a bit of that charity through generous tuition breaks.  Nevermind the tuition breaks will eventually wind their way towards a bunch of upper middle class kids fortunate enough to afford academic camps during the summer, along with Robotics classes.  The tuition of which

All that Chinese and Korean History....

There has been much ado and even more indignation regarding Chinese-Korean history, ie the supposed Chinese dominance of Korea throughout the centuries.   Much of it from the Korean side.  Well, I’m a few weeks late to this party, but I’m here to say sorry folks, it’s pretty straight forward and not at all pretty.  So let’s just ask one question: Who paid tribute to whom? And that should answer the question. The Chinese thoroughly dominated Korea for hundreds of years, and if you don’t want to believe any certain individual stating as such, please see above.  The Han ruled North Korea for 400 years.   Nevermind the Qing dominance of Korea.  The Joseon dynasty that ruled for over 500 years, from 1392 to 1910 actually began paying tribute to the Ming in 1401.  Basically right away.  That is, to shore up the stability of his newfound dynasty, the first true king Taejo found it more important to “pay off” his powerful Northern neighbor than he did to immediately quel