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Don Tow's Website https://www.dontow.com Wed, 01 Sep 2021 21:36:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 Campaign to Demonize China Must Not Be Left Unchallenged https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/campaign-to-demonize-china-must-not-be-left-unchallenged/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/campaign-to-demonize-china-must-not-be-left-unchallenged/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:15:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7213 The recent deluge of Western mass media reports and U.S. government pronouncements are full of false accusations against China. [1][2] This has critical implications for not only Chinese Americans, but for Americans in general, and also for other citizens of the world, because it seriously increases world tension and could easily lead to wars, including nuclear wars that can destroy the world as we know it.

We understand that China is a major competitor to the U.S., in economics, in military, in politics, and in all other aspects, but it is immoral and illegal to create and spread false accusations on your opponent. This is stooping down to the Tonya Harding treatment of your opponent. Unfortunately, the consequences in this case are much more serious. Such demonization of China based on fabricated accusations will surely increase tension between the U.S. and China, and drastically increases the risk of war between the world’s two major military powers, each with sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world multiple times.

Of all the critical problems facing humanity today, none is more important than war and peace. The occurrence of nuclear wars must be stopped.  We must promote peace and stop hate.

There are many peace-promoting organizations doing very important work.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have enough support or powerful enough, as evident by wars still occurring in various parts of the world just during the 21st century, as well as the recently escalating amount of hate crimes.

Perhaps a coalition of various peace-promoting organizations can consolidate and create enough influence and power to make a difference [3].  In light of the recent neglect of science and truth, to promote peace and stop hate must be done with truth and accuracy as reflected in the banner shown below:

Educational Webinar Program:

As part of our program to promote peace and stop hate, we are organizing an educational webinar program to begin on Wednesday, 9/22/2021, 8:00-9:00 PM (Eastern Time) for 9 consecutive Wednesdays ending on 11/17/2021, on the three following topics:

  • U.S.-China Relationship: To understand current U.S.-China relationship, we need to understand the historical relationship between U.S. and China and the evolution of that relationship, as well as how the world has evolved over time.
  • Modern Chinese History: We need to understand how China was treated by the foreign powers, including the U.S., starting with the 19th century, then into the 20th century with non-acknowledgement of history leading to potential flash points in the 21st century, and recently with the demonization of China.
  • Chinese American Experience in the U.S.: U.S.-China relationship is also reflected in the Chinese American experience in the U.S., starting with the first Chinese settlers during the days of the gold rush and the building of the first trans-continenatal railroad, to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and to the recent increase of hate crimes and fabricated espionage charges against Chinese Americans.

Details about the webinar program, including the bylines of the speakers, and the list of co-sponsors, can be found in Ref. [4]. We hope that as the result of the webinar program:

  • Chinese Americans, and more generally speaking Asian Americans, will realize that the current political climate leads to a lot of unfair treatments, and they will take actions to raise their concerns and eliminate the unfairness.
  • Americans in general will realize that a lot of valuable resources will be taken away for military and war expenditures, instead of using it to improve our competitiveness, our economy, environment, infrastructure, healthcare, racial harmony, and peace, and Americans will steer our country to a more far-sighted direction.
  • People of the world will realize that there will not be resources to spend on critical global problems like hunger, illiteracy, climate change, pandemics, terrorism, and peace, and will push the governments of the world away from a zero-sum game.

All these people will realize that the fabrication of false accusations will just increase the animosity between nations and therefore the probability of wars, instead of the world working cooperatively to increase the size of the pie and share it more equitably in a win-win situation.


[1] For a discussion of false accusations of China in Xinjiang Province, see D. Tow “Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation?”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/.

[2] For other flash points between U.S. and China arising from U.S. not acknowledging history, see D. Tow: “It Is Time for the U.S. to Acknowledge History”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/.

[3] For a description of the Coalition Peace Initiative, see https://www.change.org/CoalitionPeaceInitiative.

[4] See the accompanying article “Educational Webinar Program” by D. Tow posted under “Other” category of this release.


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Can Taiji Be of General Appeal to Youths? https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/can-taiji-be-of-general-appeal-to-youths-2/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/can-taiji-be-of-general-appeal-to-youths-2/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7281 Taiji is an established and well-known exercise around the world, especially in China.  Why the majority of people who practice Taiji are senior citizens?  Why there are not many young people, like teenagers and younger, who practice Taiji?  Furthermore, why we seldom see children, like 10 and younger, in a Taiji class?

This article answers the question whether Taiji is a useful and relevant exercise for youths and children. [1]  It answers that question in the affirmative, and it discusses how we can make Taiji appeal to youths and children, as well as to their parents who have a strong influence in how their children should spend their time.  There are two main reasons why Taiji Is a worthwhile exercise for youths and children:

MindfulnessRecently, a number of schools has stressed the importance of the need to focus on the social and emotional health of young students, especially in the current environment of epidemics, school closings, racial conflicts, social unrest, layoffs, and poverty.

One approach adopted by some schools to help young students to handle social and emotional health problems that may arise from this environment is the focus on mindfulness. Mindfulness means that the mind is focused on the present task at hand, being aware of the environment but at least for that moment not overly anxious or worry by what is going on around us. Mindfulness can help a person concentrate on the current work, and not get distracted or overwhelmed by other events and the greater environment in which we live. Children attending school need to learn what the teacher is teaching them or the homework problem they are trying to solve, and at least for that moment do not worry about other things, such as that they may have sick siblings at home, or they may be bullied during recess, or their parents have been laid off.

The ability to concentrate is especially important when there is an observed increase among children experiencing ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), stress, depression, and even suicides.

A common technique of mindfulness is to focus on our breathing, e.g., teach the students to sit down comfortably, relax the body and mind, and focus on breathing in and out softly and slowly, paying special attention to the expansion and contraction of the tummy during the breathing in and out process. The mind is very conscious of our immediate environment, although extraneous thoughts are driven from the mind and forgotten at that moment.

Mindfulness, as well as the more general technique of meditation, is really an integral component of Taiji, where the body and mind are relaxed, where slow and relax deep breathing is practiced, and sensitivity and responsiveness of our bodily environment are enhanced. Most Taiji movements are soft and slow. Slow and deep breathing is practiced. Furthermore, utilizing the ability to relax, the practitioner’s sensitivity via touch is increased to become more aware of the opponent’s movement as well as the opponent’s motive or intended movement, while at the same time the practitioner’s body is so relaxed, his opponent cannot sense the practitioner’s movement and motive or intended movement. This is why Taiji, besides being considered to be an exercise that is good for health, is also considered to be a good martial art.  This leads to the second reason that Taiji is a worthwhile exercise for youths and children.

Self DefenseTaiji, besides being a good exercise for health, is also good for self-defense.  As a matter of fact, from the very beginning, Taiji was invented as a martial art.  A Taiji class, especially for youths and children, should always include the martial applications of Taiji.  For example, one doesn’t resist a force head-on, because then whoever is bigger and stronger will win.  In Taiji, you are taught to deflect and defend yourself and then once getting your opponent off balance, you counter attack with a force opposite to the direction of your opponent’s original attacking force.  This is the essence of the old saying that “four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds.”  It is also the meaning of the Taiji symbol:

Within the white part representing offense (or your opponent), there is a black dot representing defense (or you).  With constant motion, the small black dot can transform to become a big black part of the symbol, i.e., you change from being a defender to become the dominant attacker, and the original attacker becomes a small defender.

Every Taiji course, including those taught to senior citizens primarily for health purpose should also illustrate the martial applications of Taiji.  The reason is because by seeing the martial applications of the various Taiji forms, one can practice more correctly the forms and appreciate why the forms should be done in that particular way.

In summary:  Taiji is a wonderful exercise for all ages. It is not only a good exercise for senior citizens, but also a good exercise for young people and children. With the emphasis on mindfulness and self-defense, Taiji should appeal to youths and children, and their parents.


[1] This article contains ideas discussed in three earlier articles in this website: (1) “Can Taiji Be of General Appeal to Youths?” (June 2011): https://www.dontow.com/2011/06/can-taiji-be-of-general-appeal-to-youths/, (2) “How to Popularize Taiji?” (June 2015): https://www.dontow.com/2015/06/how-to-popularize-taiji-in-the-u-s/, and (3) “Mindfulness, Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School Initiative” (September 2020): https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/mindfulness-childrens-social-and-emotional-health-and-school-initiative/.

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Educational Webinar Program https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/educational-webinar-program/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/educational-webinar-program/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7275 Because the deluge of Western mass media reports and government pronouncements (especially pronouncements from the U.S. government) contain numerous fabricated accusations against China, for the interest of humanity, including the interest of the citizens of the U.S., this development must not be left unchallenged. [1]

As part of the initial program of the Coalition Peace Initiative, an educational webinar program has been set up with the first webinar to begin on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 8:00-9:00 PM (East Coast Time), that will be recurrent for the subsequent eight Wednesdays. The 9 webinars will cover three topics with each topic discussed in three webinars each.

Nine Webinars on Three Topics: name(s) of speaker(s) in parentheses:

A.  Chinese American Experience in the U.S.:  Review the experience, contributions, discriminations, and massacres of Chinese Americans in the U.S.

  • Webinar 1 – 9/22/2021:  19th Century:  Gold Rush, Continental Railroad, Chinese Exclusion Act (Ling-chi Wang)
  • Webinar 2 –  9/29/2021:  Internment of Japanese Americans:  1942-1945 (Karen Korematsu)
  • Webinar 3 – 10/6/2021:  McCarthyism of the 1950s, Vincent Chin, Wen Ho Lee, recent anti-Chinese and anti-Asian hate crimes and fabricated espionage charges against Chinese Americans (Russell Jeung and Ling-chi Wang:  Moderated by Lillian Sing)

B.  Modern Chinese History:  To understand the treatment of Chinese Americans, we need to understand modern Chinese history and how China was treated by foreign powers

  • Webinar 4 – 10/13/2021: 19th Century Imperialism and Unequal Treaties, First Sino-Japanese War of 1894 (Kenneth Hammond)
  • Webinar 5 – 10/20/2021:  1919 May 4 Student Movement, Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII, 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty.  Potential flash points:  Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands, South China Sea Islands (Kenneth Hammond)
  • Webinar 6 – 10/27/2021:  Hong Kong (Julie Tang)   &   Xinjiang (Don Tow)

C.  Current US-China Relationship:  To understand modern US-China relationship, we need to understand how that relationship and the world have evolved over time

  • Webinar 7 – 11/3/2021:  19th Century US-China Relation of Unequal Treaties, except for the transient flash of diplomatic brilliance of the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 (George Koo)
  • Webinar 8 – 11/10/2021:  20th & 21st Centuries – Developments in China 1980-2020, Policies of Obama, Trump, and Biden (George Koo)
  • Webinar 9 – 11/17/2021:  China Is Not United States’ Enemy (Sheila Xiao)

Byline of Speakers:

  • Kenneth Hammond:  Professor of History at New Mexico State University
  • Russell Jeung:  Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University
  • George Koo:  Founder and Former Managing Director of International Strategic Alliances
  • Karen Korematsu:  Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute
  • Lillian Sing: Retired Judge, first Asian American female Judge in Northern California; Co-Founder of Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition (RNRC), Comfort Women Justice Coalition (CWJC), and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA)
  • Julie Tang:  Retired Judge of San Francisco Superior Court; Co-Founder of Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition (RNRC), Comfort Women Justice Coalition (CWJC), and Pivot to Peace
  • Don Tow:  President of NJ-ALPHA and Co-Founder of 10,000 Cries for Justice
  • Ling-chi Wang:  Professor Emeritus of Asian-American Studies at University of California, Berkeley; Co-Founder of Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA)
  • Sheila Xiao:  Co-Founder of Pivot to Peace

Sponsor:  Coalition Peace Initiative (www.CoalitionPeaceInitiative.org)

Co – Sponsors (listed in alphabetical order):

  • CODEPINK-Women for Peace
  • Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (GA)
  • Hawai’i Peace and Justice
  • International Peace Bureau (IPB)
  • New Jersey Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (NJ-ALPHA)
  • Pivot to Peace
  • Toronto ALPHA Education
  • Veterans for Peace-Chapter 113-Hawai’i.

We hope that people who:

  • Believe in win-win instead of zero sum
  • Favor making decisions based on truth and accuracy
  • Believe in competition with conscience and honesty
  • Choose peace over war

will attend and urge their friends, relatives, and colleagues to attend. 

All these webinars are free.  But you must register to attend.  Registration can be done by clicking at the registration link:  http://tiny.cc/RegisterTruth

This registration link can also be found in the left bottom of the publicity flyer.

 


 

[1] See the accompanying article “Campaign to Demonize China Must Not Be Left Unchallenged” by D. Tow under “Political/Social Commentary” category of this release.

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Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation? https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/#comments Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:12:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7029 In the last few years, especially during the past year, we are constantly being bombarded with horror stories about Xinjiang, the western most province of China. We hear news articles like:

  • The Chinese government is carrying out a genocide program against the Uyghur minority
  • The Chinese government is wiping out the Muslim mosques
  • Millions of Uyghur men and women are put in internment camps
  • Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are forced laborers

In other words, the minority people in Xinjiang, the Uyghurs, are living under a genocide program, and are living miserably and without hope. This seems to be the image that we get from reading the news reports about Xinjiang from mainstream Western mass media and from the speeches of Western government leaders.

In this article, we examine these accusations and found that the accusations are mostly false, over generalized, fabricated fake news, and often outright lies. As a matter of fact, the conclusions in these reports are sometimes even contradicted by the data presented. Furthermore, these reports completely ignore or purposely ignore what and how China is transforming the country.

Genocide:

Since a lot of the data used in many of these accusations originated from reports by Adrian Zenz of the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, D.C. and reports from the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), we will reference their reports. Let’s first discuss the most serious accusation as stated in the conclusion of Ref. 1: the Chinese government is carrying a genocide program to eradicate the Uyghur minority from the Xinjiang Province. First, what is the definition of genocide? The UN defines genocide to mean committing acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. Is there any evidence to support such a serious accusation? The answer is a definite no. Ref. 1 talks about a lot of data, but no data was presented that substantiates this conclusion at all.

As a matter of fact, the population data in Xinjiang presented in Ref. 1 contradicts this conclusion. For example, Fig. 3 in Ref. 1 shows that from 2005 to 2015, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew about 20%, while the Han population in Xinjiang grew by only about 8%. And Fig. 1 in Ref. 1 shows that from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew from about 10.1 millions to about 11.5 millions, or grew by about 14%, while in the same period, the Han population in Xinjiang shrank from about 8.2 millions to about 7.5 millions, or shrank by about 8%! Furthermore, Fig. 1 also shows that consistently starting from 1985, the percentage increase of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang has always been significantly higher than the percentage increase of the Han population in Xinjiang.

In other words, Adrian Zenz’s conclusion of a genocide program being carried out by the Chinese government in Xinjiang is completely fabricated and is so easy to disprove, even by the data he presented. The fact that such accusation has consistently been repeatedly spread, including by our former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the current Biden administration, leads one to conclude that the only possible explanation is because the U.S. government wants to spread such false accusation, and as a matter of fact, the U.S. government is behind the spreading and perhaps the creation of such fake news.

Wiping Out the Muslim Mosques:

One of the accusations is that a large number (thousands) of Muslim mosques has been destroyed or removed in Xinjiang. [2] Ref. 2 is a September 2020 article in the New York Times that is based on a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) from satellite images of a randomized sample of 533 known mosque sites in Xinjiang. It is possible that for various reasons that some mosques in Xinjiang are no longer operational. However, it is definitely not true that thousands, or about one-third, of the mosques have been destroyed or removed. This is easily refuted by anyone who has visited Xinjiang, as has been pointed by various observers (Australian, British, Canadian, American and other citizens who have lived in China) [3] that there are mosques almost everywhere you go in Xinjiang, and the Uyghur people attend mosque regularly. This is also consistent with our own observation when we went on a two-week visit to Xinjiang in the summer of 2010. It is also important to note that the number of mosques in Xinjiang is over 20,000, which is 10 times more than the number of mosques in the U.S.

Some Historical Facts on the Xinjiang Region:

We want to discuss some historical facts on the Xinjiang region, because they help to understand what is happening in Xinjiang today. It has been long recognized that the resource-rich territory of Central Asia [from the western part of China, to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, southern part of USSR (now Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe] is an important part of the world. From the 19th century to early 20th century Central Asia has been a strategic competitive target, e.g, between USSR and Britain. Afghanistan is an important part of Central Asia, and was not a strong country with a stable government. In 1978 a civil war began between insurgent forces against the government in power. USSR was trying to support the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and starting in 1979 became heavily involved militarily in a costly 10-year civil war in Afghanistan.

A major supporter and supplier of military equipment to the insurgent forces, often based in Pakistan, was the U.S. government. The insurgent forces included various mujahideen forces (or holy-war guerrillas) such as the Talibans which are closely related to Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, as well as other Muslim supporters from nearby territories, including Uyghurs originally from Xinjiang who have been involved in terrorist activities like those associated with the East Turkistan Islamist Movement (ETIM) that advocates that Xinjiang should be separated from China to form the country of East Turkistan. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989 and after the target of the Taliban forces changed, and especially after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, then the Talibans became an enemy of the U.S. government.

Some of these mujahideen forces, including the Uyghurs associated with ETIM, later also participated in other terrorist and military conflicts, such as those in Syria against the Syrian-Russian forces. So these Uyghurs have been trained and have combat experience involved in terrorist activities. As a matter of fact, during the last dozen years many of these Uyghur terrorists had engaged in a large number of terrorist activities in Xinjiang as well as other places in China, including:

  • The 7/5/2009 large coordinated terrorist attack in multiple places in Urumqi (capital of the Xinjiang province)
  • The 10/28/2013 suicide car bombing attack in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square
  • The 3/1/2014 deadly stabbing at the Kunming Main Railway Station
  • The 4/30/2014 deadly blast at Urumqi’s south railway station
  • The 2/14/2017 deadly knife-wielding attack in Pishan County in southern part of Xinjiang

The other historical fact is that Central Asia is right in the middle of the modern silk road, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a critical part of the proposed economic revival and expansion of this whole region. Although it is a program initiated by China, it is a win-win situation for every country involved. The revival of the old silk road was already proposed and discussed in a conference in 1996 under the subject “Economic Development of the Regions along the New Euro-Asia Continenetal Bridge.” Experts from multiple countries, including Iran, Russia, China, and other Eurasian nations discussed proposals for cooperation on ambitious infrastructure projects of high-speed railways, ports, and agro-industrial corridors. However, from the very beginning, countries like Britain were strongly against and tried to sabotage the proposal. Similarly, today countries like the U.S. and Britain are trying hard to make the BRI from being realized. That is why they are trying so hard to create fake news about Xinjiang and China.

Millions of Uyghur Men and Women Are Put In Internment Camps:

One of the accusations on Xinjiang is that 1.8 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities have been put in as many as 1,300 to 1,400 internment camps. This came from Adrian Zenz in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA). [4]

Recall that one of the facts we discussed about Xinjiang is that there is a number of ETIM terrorists who are involved in various terrorist activities including those advocating for the independence of Xinjiang. As a matter of fact, many of these ETIM terrorists were originally from Xinjiang and some of them may still live or have relatives in Xinjiang. Some of them are probably currently convicted criminals of terrorist activities. So they should be under guards under highly secured prisons.

But the overwhelming majority of Uyghurs are not ETIM terrorists, although some may have disgruntles about the multi-ethnic society and who may even know of people who may be sympathetic to ETIM ideaology. So they may be put in re-education training to help them understand that advocating independence for Xinjiang is not in the best interest of the Uyghur people. These people are in re-education classes, and are not in detention camps in highly guarded facilities.

However, what is most important is that Adrian Zenz ignores or purposely ignores that most of the people in what he calls “detention camps” are actually in various types of schools to train the large number of lowly educated and unskilled workers so they can have more education and skills to become more productive members of the society. This is part of the program that allows China in the last 40 years to eliminate about 80% of its impoverished population, a feat that is remarkable and unmatched in history and admired around the world. This, as we discuss next, also helps to explain the accusation of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs as forced laborers.

Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Are Forced Laborers:

Another accusation by Adrian Zenz is that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are forced laborers working in grueling poorly paid jobs, especially as cotton pickers. He misses the crucial point of the critically important and extremely difficult job of trying to raise the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of possibly unskilled and poorly trained rural people. That is what the Chinese government is trying to accomplish, and that is one of the methods that China has used to eliminate about 80% of poverty from the country, a feat as mentioned earlier that is remarkable and unmatched in history and admired around the world. Zenz does not talk about what skills these workers have and what other jobs might be available to them, and how China is helping to educate and train these people.

Furthermore, the article mentions that the salary income of such seasonal cotton pickers are only (meaning that it could be more) 1,670 and 1.805 RMB per month, and the article also states that China’s rural absolute poverty income line in 2019 stood at 4,000 RMB per person per year. This means that these seasonal cotton pickers working for only 3 months per year would earn more than the poverty income. So the data presented in Zenz’s paper again does not support his own claim. As in other countries, including the U.S., many farm workers are seasonal. During the harvesting season, a large number of workers may be required to do the work, and a lot of such seasonal workers may come from other areas.

Cotton is a major product of Xinjiang. The world’s two largest producers of cotton are India and China (with the U.S. as number 3). Xinjiang cotton accounts for 85% of cotton produced in China and 20% of the world supply. In spite of the fact that Zenz’s accusation is not valid, it has already led to boycotts of products using cotton from Xinjiang, such as from H&M (Swedish), Nike (American), and Adidas (German). The Trump administration on 1/13/2021 also announced a ban on imports of cotton (as well as tomatoes) from Xinjiang. Zenz’s paper on forced labor related to cotton came out only in December 2020, and yet the U.S. government already issued a sanction against Xinjiang cotton on 1/13/2021. [6] This suggests an intimate relationship between Zenz and the U.S. government.

There are other accusations by Zenz, ASPI, and others. But suffice to say, these accusations are also mostly false, over generalized, fabricated fake news, and often outright lies, and will not be discussed in this article.

Summary:

In the last few years, we are heard of many reports about horrendous things happening in Xinjiang, including the Chinese government is carrying out a genocide program on the Uyghur ethnic minority. However, the conclusions of these reports are in general false, not supported by evidence, and the data presented often even contradict their own conclusions. What is even more important is that these reports do not understand or purposely ignore how the Chinese government has eliminated about 80% from the previous poverty-level class and successfully transformed the country from an extremely poor and backward country to a modernized society.

This caused us to look more carefully into the sources of these reports. The major source of these reports is from Adrian Zenz of The Jamestown Foundation of Washington, DC, which has close connection to the CIA and NED. Furthermore, Adrian Zenz has claimed that he is “led by God” against China’s government. The other major source is the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) which is funded by the Australian Department of Defense, and supported by the British government and the U.S. government. These and other additional reports are then repeated by organizations like the World Uyghur Congress, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Radio Free Asia (RFA), Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), which are all supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Then these reports are repeated in our mass media newspapers and TV channels and by our government leaders.

The fact that such flimsily supported accusations have consistently been repeatedly spread, including by our former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the current Biden administration, leads one to conclude that the only possible explanation is because the U.S. government wants to spread such false accusations, and as a matter of fact, the U.S. government is behind the spreading and perhaps the creation of such fake news.

We understand that China is now the U.S.’s major economic competitor. But we should not create or spread fake news to damage the reputation of our competitors. The world is not blind and sooner or later can see through the smokescreen. Doing so will not increase American competitiveness, but will isolate the U.S. and will lead to confrontations and world conflicts with disaster consequences for everyone involved.

Finally, it is important to remind us that that part of Central Asia has encountered a lot of terrorist activities, that terrorist organizations like the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) is active in Xinjiang and many terrorist acts have occurred in Xinjiang. That is why the Chinese government must implement actions to counter such terrorist activities. Furthermore, Xinjiang is a society with multiple ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, and religions. It is very easy for conflicts and misunderstandings to develop among such groups. China is working very hard to resolve and eliminate such issues, and they should be commended in making a lot of progress, instead of creating fake news to foment such problems.

————————————-

[1] Adrian Zenz “Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang, Jamestown Foundation Report, Washington, D.C., June 2020: https://jamestown.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Zenz-Internment-Sterilizations-and-IUDs-REVISED-March-17-2021.pdf?x38094.

[2] “China Is Erasing Mosques and Precious Shrines in Xinjiang” by C. Buckley and A. Ramzy, New York Times, September 25, 2020 based on report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI): https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/25/world/asia/xinjiang-china-religious-site.html.

[3] There are many eyewitnesses who have recently visited Xinjiang, including (a) an Australian British Jerry Grey and his wife Ann who have visited Xinjiang several times and who have cycled across China, including Xinjiang:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jlUy2DR8TQ, (b) Daniel Dumbrill, a Canadian businessman who has lived in China for many years and visited Xinjiang in 2021 in “Xinjiang Genocide: An Except from the ‘Genocide’ Panel”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH-0l_zToN4, (c) an interview by Cyrus Janssen (an American businessman who lived in China for about 10 years) of two expatriates in China Fernando Munoz and Noel Lee who visited Xinjiang in 2021 in “What It’s Really Like to Travel to Xinjiang, China?”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qnr8DXZOc.

[4] “Expert Says 1.8 Million Uyghurs, Muslim Minorities Held in Xinjiang’s Internment Camps” by J. Lipes, Radio Free Asia (RFA) report, 11/24/2019: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detainees-11232019223242.html.

[5] “Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton” by Adrian Zenz, December 2020: https://newlinesinstitute.org/china/coercive-labor-in-xinjiang-labor-transfer-and-the-mobilization-of-ethnic-minorities-to-pick-cotton/.

[6] “U.S. Bans All Cotton and Tomatoes from Xinjiang Region of China” by Ana Swanson, New York Times, Jan. 13, 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/business/economy/xinjiang-cotton-tomato-ban.html.

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Some Speculative Thoughts on Qigong https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/some-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/some-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:10:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7112 We offer some speculative thoughts on the scientific basis of Qigong. This speculation borrows and extends on the field concept of physics that started in the 19th century with the work of Faraday and Maxwell related to the electromagnetic force, and is now the fundamental concept underlying all modern physics covering all types of interactions, including gravitation, electromagnetism, strong force, and weak force.

Gravitational Field:

Before I discuss the electromagnetic force, let me first discuss the gravitational force which is more familiar to everyone. Two objects are always attracted to each other by a gravitational force that is proportional to the masses of the two objects and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This is how we now understand planetary motions and sending satellites into orbits around the earth. [1]

At the beginning, people thought that there is action at a distance, i.e., as soon as object B is in the vicinity of object A, then there is a force that A instantaneously exerts on B (and vice versa, a force that B instantaneously exerts on A). No matter what is the distance between the two objects, the force is transmitted instantaneously (this is where the term action at a distance comes from). To some people, this explanation is not acceptable because it raises the question how does the force get transmitted so quickly. If the distance is large, then it is not only action at a distance, but instant action at a distance.

This is why people started to think that an object changes the space around it. For example, an object bends the space around it, so that object A bends the space around it from a flat space to a curve space. When object B is in the vicinity of A, it is on a curved space that is sloping from B to A. Another way of saying this is that any object with mass sets up a gravitational field around it (or changes the geometry of the space around it), and that field will affect any object that is in it. Once the concept of field is introduced, then there is no longer any need for action at a distance, because the field permeates all of space, although the strength of the field decreases with distance.

Electromagnetic Field:

Similarly, any object A with electric charge sets up an electric field around it, and any object B with electric charge also sets up an electric field around it. When A and B are in the vicinity of each other, they feel each other’s electric field, or equivalently, there is an electric force between them. The electric force does not act at a distance, because the electric field permeates all of space, although the strength of the field decreases with distance.

We also know from doing experiments that a moving electric charge produces a magnetic force around it (i.e., unlike a stationary electric charge, a moving electric charge can affect magnets around it). Therefore, a moving electric charge or electric current sets up an electric field and a magnetic field around it and creates an electric force and a magnetic force, or an electromagnetic force, that affects other charges and currents around it. Again without requiring action at a distance, we say that a moving electric charge or electric current sets up an electromagnetic field around it. This electromagnetic field changes the space around it, although unlike gravitation it does not change the geometry of the space. This is the great contribution of the British physicist Michael Faraday and the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell when Faraday first introduced the field concept which was then developed by Maxwell in 1865 in his fundamental theory of the electromagnetic field that unified electricity, magnetism, and light.

Extension of the Field Concept to Other Forces of Nature:

Once the field concept was introduced for the electromagnetic force, then it was quickly applied to the gravitational force, and in the 20th century its application was extended to the other two known forces of nature: the “strong” force and the “weak” force. The strong force is the force that bounds subatomic particles together and governs the structure of the nuclei and atoms of matter. The weak” force is the force that governs radioactive nuclear decays and nuclear fusions that power the sun. So now we have the electromagnetic field, the gravitational field, the strong field, and the weak field. In each case, a physical object affects the space around it, and it exerts forces on other objects around it. With the field concept, we no longer have to talk about an object exerting a force on another object via action at a distance since the field permeates all of space. In general, the strength of these forces diminishes with distance, although in the case of the strong force, the strength of the force also diminishes when the distance is very small, a property known as “asymptotic freedom” that was discovered in 1973.

Speculative Thoughts on Qigong:

In Qigong, the fundamental concept is that some sort of bio-electric energy or life-force called Qi (氣) that is vital to the health of an individual, is circulating throughout the human body. Illnesses are due to insufficient or excess Qi or blockages of Qi, and illnesses can be cured by helping the body to generate more Qi when there is a deficiency, or to get rid of some Qi when there is an excess, or to remove the blockages so that Qi can flow freely and thus getting rid of the problem of excessive or insufficient amount of Qi.

Although it is not clear what is this life-force Qi and what is the scientific basis of Qi, modern scientific and medical research during the last 20-30 years [2, 3, 4] provide many indications that there are many health benefits to practicing Qigong and Taiji, although many more such studies are still needed, involving larger sample sizes and duplication of results by other groups.

We don’t have yet a good scientific definition of Qi that is generally accepted by scientists, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Qi doesn’t exist.  To the many people who have practiced Qigong for an extended period and on a regular basis, Qi is very real to them.  They can feel Qi in their body, and some can guide Qi to circulate to different parts of their body, or even externally to other people around them.

If Qi, or some sort of bio-electric energy or life-force, is circulating in the body, let’s call these circulation channels “Qi-vessels”, which could be our arteries and veins that circulate our blood, and/or the nerves in our nervous system that exchange neurons or information between different parts of the nervous system. Then just like what we observe in nature that each of the forces of nature sets up a field that permeates all of space, let’s speculate that a Qi-field may be associated with Qi, so that the circulation of Qi will set up a Qi-field around it, both inside and outside the body.

Doing exercises that can affect the amount of Qi generated or govern how the Qi is circulated could affect the health of that individual. It could also affect the strength of the muscles of that person, or the ability to absorb the amount of forces that hits that part of the body, as evident in all types of martial arts feats demonstrated by various Qigong practitioners.

Now, the Qi-field is not necessarily restricted to just inside the Qigong practitioner’s own body. Therefore, his Qi-field can affect other people around him, and thus an expert Qigong practitioner can use his Qigong to help improve other people’s health, which has also been observed. [5]

Summary:

We have utilized the fundamental concept of a field that is used so successfully in physics to explain all kinds of physical phenomena, and applied it in some speculative thoughts on Qigong. This provides a framework that perhaps can understand some of the demonstrations by martial arts Qigong practitioners and also by Qigong health practitioners.

These speculative thoughts have also raised many questions. What is this bio-electric or life force Qi? How is it generated, and how does it get circulated? What are the effects of the Qi-field on the space around it? What is the range of the Qi-field, or how does it vary with distance? Can the Qi-field be blocked or diminished by a barrier? And perhaps many other questions. These questions pose difficult challenges, but they are extremely important questions in our understanding of our health and our scientific world.


[1] The reason that the earth doesn’t just fall to the sun is because the earth also has a velocity moving in a direction that is tangential to the earth’s orbit around the sun (or in the case of satellites, why the satellite doesn’t fall to the earth is because the satellite also has a velocity moving in a direction that is tangential to the satellite’s orbit around the earth.

[2] Chinese Medical Qigong, Editor in Chief:  Tianjun Liu, O.M.D., and Associate Editor in Chief:  Kevin W. Chen, Ph.D., published by Singing Dragon, United Kingdom, 2010, 653 pages.  This book is the first English translation of the only official textbook of medical Qigong, now in its third edition, used in colleges and universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China.  This book is the result of more than 30 faculty members in a dozen colleges and universities of  TCM in China.

[3] See, e.g., “A Comprehensive Review of the Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi,” R. Jahnke, L. Larkey, C. Rogers, J. Etnier, and F. Lin, American Journal of Health Promotion, 2010 July/August;  24(6), e1-e25.  A copy of this paper can also be found at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/.  More information about the work of R. Jahnke and his collaborators can be found in the following links: http://IIQTC.org, http://FeeltheQi.com, http://TaiChiEasy.org.

[4] See also the article “A Comprehensive Review of the Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi”:  http://www.dontow.com/2010/12/a-comprehensive-review-of-health-benefits-of-qigong-and-tai-chi/.

[5] See, e.g., the discussion reported in the last part of the article “Myth or Reality”: http://www.dontow.com/2007/06/myth-or-reality/.

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It Is Time for the U.S. to Acknowledge History https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/#comments Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:05:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7116 It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge who won the civil war in China in 1949:  It was the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that after Japan was defeated in WWII, Japan should have returned the island of Taiwan to China.

It is time to correct the omission of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty that was supposed to officially end WWII and to allocate compensation to the Allied powers.  Besides stating that Japan should give up the territories including Taiwan that Japan took from China, it should have also stated that such territories should be returned to China. [1]  This then would be consistent with the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the September 25, 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender.  Note:  Although China was the country that suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII, neither the PRC nor the Republic of China (ROC) was invited to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty when over 50 countries were invited and which was masterminded by the U.S.

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that the Diaoyu Islands (also called Senkaku Islands) belong to China.  This is a set of eight, small, uninhabited islands about 130 miles northeast of Taiwan on the continental shelf of Taiwan in the East China Sea, that for several centuries have been recognized as parts of China in various international maps (including Japan’s), and have been used by Chinese fishermen as temporary shelters. [2]

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that the U.S.’s Mutual Defense Treaty with Japan is not applicable over the Diaoyu Islands since the U.S.’s official position is that the territorial sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands is still undetermined.

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that historically and legally China has territorial sovereignty over many islands in the South China Sea. [3] Just because an island is close to the territory of another country, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that country has territorial sovereignty over that island.  It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that China has the legal right to landfill part of the water around some of its islands in the South China Sea, just like United Arab Emirates landfilled to make the Palm Islands in Dubai.

It is time for the U.S. to stop interfering in the internal affairs of China.  It is time for the U.S. to stop creating and spreading fake news about Xinjiang, like China is carrying out a genocide in Xinjiang during the last decade or so, whereas in reality, from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang has grown by about 14%, while the Han population in Xinjiang has shrunk by about 8%. [4] 

It is time for the U.S. to assess and judge fairly and equitably. It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that such fake news contributes to the rising anti-Asian racism and crimes.

It is time for the U.S. to discontinue its hostile attitude to isolate, surround, weaken, and interfere in the internal affairs of China.  Such attitude is not going to increase the competitiveness of the U.S., and it is wrong and is not in the best interests of the American people, and it is also not in the best interests of the people of the rest of the world.

Instead of trying to create conflicts with China that could lead to wars resulting in a no-win situation for everyone and possibly destroying the world as we know it for our children and grandchildren, it is time for the U.S. to adopt an attitude toward China that is mutually respectful.  While competing with each other, the U.S. and China can also collaborate to solve the many crucially important problems facing the world today, such as climate change, poverty, terrorism, global arms escalation, global pandemic.   Instead of looking at the world as a zero-sum game, it is time to find ways to grow and share the pie.  This is the right strategy to grow the U.S. economy, to repair the U.S. reputation, and to improve the world. [5]


[1] For background information on the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, see, e.g., the section “America’s Foreign Policy Toward China Since the Late 1940s” in the article “US-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/12/u-s-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame/. A slightly shorter version of the Burlingame article is published in December 20, 2016 of China-US Focus:  English version:  http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/us-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame.  Chinese version:  http://cn.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/20161219/11328.html.

[2] For background information on the Diaoyu Islands, see, e.g., the article “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 50 Years Later”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/.

[3] For background information on the South China Sea dispute, see, e.g., the article “South China Sea Dispute: Abuse of World Power”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/09/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/. That article has also been published on September 15, 2016 in China-US Focus.  For the English version:  http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/.  For the Chinese version:  http://cn.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/20160915/8681.html.

[4] For assessment of various reports on bad things happening in Xinjiang, see, e.g., the article “Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation?”: http://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/.

[5] For a discussion of US-China relationship, see, e.g., the article “US-China Relationship at a Crossroad”: http://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/.

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U.S.-China Relationship at a Crossroad https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:10:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6871 There is no doubt that the relationship between the U.S. and China is crucially important not only for the welfare of the U.S. and China, but also for the welfare of the world. That relationship impacts the health, economics, war and peace, and the survival of the human race. Unfortunately, the trajectory of that relationship from the past two decades is leading us to increasing tension, conflicts, ultimately to war, and possibly mutual annihilation.

That relationship does not have to progress in that direction. It can lead to a direction that is mutually beneficial for the U.S. and China, as well as for the rest of the world. However, it will require a change in attitude that is not easy. But it could decide on the ultimate welfare of our children and grandchildren in the U.S., China, and the rest of the world. Are we courageous and farsighted enough to make that change?

That is the subject of this article.

What Is the Current Relationship?

In the last 40 years, China has transformed itself from an extremely poor and backward country into a healthy country where most of the poverty throughout the country has been eliminated. It is ranked second in the world (2nd only to the U.S.) in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [1], and is ranked first in the world in terms of GDP if purchasing power parity (PPP) is taken into account [2]. China is now engaged in the whole spectrum of the manufacturing process, not only in the lower ends requiring only cheap labor, but also in high technology areas which require deep technical knowledge and also creative innovations. For example, it tops the world in terms of the number of patent applications. [3] China has also developed militarily, with a formidable air force and navy to supplement its large army, with a nuclear arsenal and missiles to deliver them. After suffering more than 100 years of foreign domination and occupation, enduring numerous unequal treaties, China has stood up and is now able to defend its territories that have been encroached on by foreign powers.

Because China has stood up and is now able to defend itself from foreign powers that want to continue their encroachments on China, the U.S. and other foreign powers have been adopting an attitude and position with respect to China that is still based on the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

U.S. Attitude Toward China:

Because the U.S. is leading the world in terms of economic and military power, the attitude of the U.S. toward China is the most important and that attitude influences strongly the attitude of the other countries. What has been the attitude of the U.S. toward China since China’s rapid rise in the last 30-40 years, especially during the last 10-15 years? In short, the U.S. considers China to be a major threat, not only economically, but also politically, militarily, and ideologically. Furthermore, the threat is not only to the U.S., but also to other countries in southeast Asia and the rest of the world. The U.S. considers China to be a country that needs to be held back, to expose and magnify any mistake or shortcoming, to criticize and attack the country from all angles, to transform China fundamentally, and to find other countries to form alliances to isolate, surround, and weaken China. This attitude is not just representative of one political party, but it represents the view of both the Republican party and the Democratic party over several decades of our presidential administrations, including that of President Biden. It also represents the position of essentially all the major think tanks of our country and the editorial position of all our mass media. [4]

Why Is the U.S. Adopting This Attitude?

The usual answer is that China is now the U.S.’s chief economic competitor. If China is not held back, if China is not exposed, if we don’t find partners to isolate, surround, and weaken China, then China will unfairly out compete the U.S. and unfairly replace the U.S. as the leading financial power in the world.

Even if we ignore the racist and unethical mentality behind that attitude, the above argument may make sense superficially from the U.S. perspective except that it ignores two important considerations.

First, why can’t the U.S. compete successfully against China? Traditionally, it was because of cheap labor in China, so that products made in China are significantly cheaper than products made in the U.S. As the standard of living in China continues to increase, that gap between the standard of living in China and in the U.S. will continue to decrease. Therefore, China will need to move up to the higher end of the economic chain to manufacture products that require more technical knowledge and greater creativity and ingenuity. China has been doing that, and China is doing very well in this higher end of the economic chain. Some examples are high speed trains, large engineering projects like complex bridges, sea terminals and wharfs, solar energy, electric buses, satellites and space explorations, 5G networks, quantum computers, etc. This was already mentioned previously in China leading the world in the number of patent applications. [3]

Why can’t the U.S. continue to remain at the top of the economic chain and outperform China? Since the U.S. is the most technically advanced country in the world and still leads the world in research and also has the best universities in the world, it should be able to accomplish that. But the answer could be very much in the negative if we realize that the U.S. is now so dependent on foreign-born talent as can be seen in the make-up of its graduate students in engineering and a few related science programs. As a matter of fact, the statistics are downright frightening.  Here are the data from a 2017 Inside Higher Ed report [5]:

Field of StudyPercent InternationalNumber of Full-Time International Graduate Students in 2015Number of Full-Time U.S. Graduate Students in 2015
Electrical Engineering81%32,7367,783
Petroleum Engineering81%1,258302
Computer Science79%45,79012,539
Industrial Engineering75%7,6762,539
Statistics69%4,3211,966
Economics63%7,7704,492
Mechanical Engineering62%12,6767,644
Civil Engineering59%9,1596,284
Chemical Engineering57%5,0013,834
Pharmaceutical Sciences56%1,9311,502
Metallurgical/Materials Engineering55%3,7233,103
Agricultural Engineering53%726654
Agricultural Economics53%881796

For example, the percentages of international graduate students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2015 are respectively 81% and 79%!  I think 15-20 years in the future, for the U.S. to compete successfully in the higher end of the economic chain, there has to be an overhaul in the U.S. in addressing for the country as a whole what is important for our country, how to prepare ourselves for the long haul, and the drive needed to achieve that.

In other words, the U.S. must look within itself to reinvent itself: to refocus on education, to rebuild our long-neglected infrastructure, to rekindle our commitment to hard work, to welcome the competitive challenge, to unleash our desire to do the best to our abilities, and to elect leaders who work for the benefits of the whole country, and not opportunists who work to enhance their own political future. We must not keep on blaming other people and other countries for our own shortcomings.

The second argument is that the market is not necessarily a zero-sum game. One country’s gain does not always mean another country’s loss, i.e., the output of a team working collaboratively could be greater than the sum of the individual parts. For example, outstanding research breakthroughs are often the results of research collaborations of two or more researchers working together over an extended period. Mutual discussions can trigger new ideas and creative thoughts. Furthermore, some problems require more than one country to solve.

Problems like global warming and climate change, poverty and hunger, terrorism, nuclear wars and annihilation are huge problems that require the world to work together to solve, instead of sabotaging each other. Furthermore, each country has its own strengths. For example, U.S. imports a large amount of minerals like cobalt, indium, tellurium, and rare earth elements, while China imports a large amount of minerals like iron, copper, and beryllium. [6] By pooling our resources, we may have a much better chance of solving these problems, instead of making the problems more serious and unsolvable that could lead to mutual annihilation and the end of civilization as we know it.

It Is Time to Adopt a New U.S.-China Relationship:

In the previous section, we discussed why the U.S.’s current attitude toward China of adopting an antagonistic view toward China does not make sense, and is not good for the U.S. or the rest of the world. That attitude will not help the U.S. to compete more successfully versus China and will not make the world economy grow and will not help to solve the world’s many urgent problems.

Let us consider another attitude. First we need to take a historical perspective that China was under foreign domination and occupation and endured more than 100 years of unequal treaties. China is not going to take that any more. That is why China is not going to let any foreign country like the U.S. to try to make Taiwan or Hong Kong to become independent [7], or Japan trying to occupy the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea [8], or any country trying to take away any of the islands in the South China Sea that historically and legally belong to China. [9] Therefore, anyone who accuses China of taking aggressive action toward any territorial dispute has not studied past history and is trying to impose more unequal treaties on China. If they have studied their history, they will not make any more such accusations against China, they instead will understand that it is the other countries taking aggressive actions toward China’s territories.

If you listen to almost any statement from world leaders, especially those from leaders of the West or their think tanks, or read almost any article in the Western mass media about China, invariably the statement or article will always include some major negative or critical comments about China. This is not to say that there aren’t things in China that should not be criticized. But the criticism is often not warranted by the evidence at hand, even though that there are often contrary evidence provided by more knowledgeable people, including foreigners who have been living in China for extended period.

Very often, these negative assessments hide the true motive of trying to camouflage their true intentions, which often include aggression toward another country. This is especially with the U.S. who has the power to instigate various umbrella or color movements to destabilize another country’s government, and is now exhibiting the dangerous sign of even destabilizing the U.S. government itself.

Summary:

With the emergence of China as a bona fide competitor to the U.S., the U.S. should look upon China as a worthy competitor. Instead of trying to knock down China at every opportunity and to force fundamental changes in the Chinese government and system, U.S. should on the one hand seriously look within itself to see how we can improve our country for the benefits of the American people and to compete successfully against China, and on the other hand while competing with China, figure out ways in which U.S. and China can work together collaboratively to grow the pie and to work with other countries to solve the many serious problems the world is facing. Instead of adopting a Tonya Harding-like foreign policy toward a competitor [10] by unethically making false accusations about China and sabotaging against China, U.S. should work with China and other countries of the world to grow the pie for everyone and to find common areas of cooperation that can help solve many of the world’s pressing and critical problems.

We are now in an age of nuclear weapons and with the ability to mutually annihilate each other as well as the rest of the world. It is time for the U.S. to abandon the outdated imperialistic foreign policy of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, and adopt a foreign policy based on equality of men and equality of nations. [11] It is not easy to make this change of attitude, especially when the current attitude reflects both the Republican party and the Democratic party. What we really need to address is whether continuing with the traditional strategy or adopting this new strategy is in the best interest of the U.S. and the world. After all, the difference could be avoiding nuclear war and world annihilation, and gives our children and grandchildren a viable world to live in.


[1] “List of Countries by GDP (nominal): ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)#cite_note-China-THM-23.

[2] “List of Countries by GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP).

[3] “World Intellectual Property Indicators”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators.

[4] For U.S. government’s policy toward China, see, e.g., “Biden, Covering Range of Thorny Issues, Talks With Xi for First Time as President,” by Michael Crowley, The New York Times, February 10, 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/politics/biden-xi-jinping-call.html. For an example of U.S. think tank position, see, e.g., “The Longer Telegram: Toward A New American China Strategy,” by Autonomous from the Atlantic Council, February 2021: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/The-Longer-Telegram-Toward-A-New-American-China-Strategy.pdf. For a brief summary of this long position paper, see, “The Atlantic Council’s Anti-China Containment Strategy,” by Andrew Korybko, Global Research, February 01, 2021: https://www.globalresearch.ca/atlantic-council-anti-chinese-containment-strategy-fail/5736087. Note: A recent Rand think tank report “Implementing Restraint: Changes in U.S. Regional Security Policies to Operationalize a Realist Grand Strategy of Restraint,” Rand Corporation, 2021, adopts, relatively speaking, a less aggressive global strategy taking into account restraints on what the U.S. can do.

[5] Elizabeth Redden, “Foreign Students and Graduate STEM Enrollment“, Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2017.

[6] “China, the U.S., and the Competition of Resources That Enable Emerging Technologies,” by A. L. Gulley, N. T. Nassur, and S. Xun, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, April 17, 2018: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/16/4111.

[7] For a discussion Taiwan and the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, see, e.g., the section “America’s Foreign Policy Toward China Since the Late 1940s) in the article “U.S.-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/12/u-s-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame/. For a discussion of Hong Kong, see, e.g., the article “Hong Kong: Past, Present, and Future”: http://www.dontow.com/2019/09/hong-kong-past-present-and-future/.

[8] For a discussion of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, see, e.g., the article “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 50 Years Later”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/.

[9] For a discussion of the islands in the South China Sea, see, e.g., the article “South China Sea: Abuse of World Power,” by Don M. Tow, China-US Focus, September 15, 2016: https://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/, and the article “Some Thoughts on the South China Sea Dispute”: http://www.dontow.com/2015/12/some-thoughts-on-south-china-sea-dispute/.

[10] “United States’ Tonya Harding-like Foreign Policy”: http://www.dontow.com/2015/06/united-states-tonya-harding-like-foreign-policy/.

[11] “U.S.-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame” by Don M. Tow, China-US Focus, December 20, 2016: https://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/us-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame.

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Some Thoughts on Meditation: What Is It, Benefits, and Scientific Basis https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/some-thoughts-on-meditation-what-is-it-benefits-and-scientific-basis/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/some-thoughts-on-meditation-what-is-it-benefits-and-scientific-basis/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:07:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6919

In a recent article in this website "Mindfulness: Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School" [1], we discussed "Mindfulness", and how mindfulness is a technique of meditation to relax our body and mind, to increase our concentration and reduce stress. Because in these times of the pandemic, people getting sick and dying, the need to attend schools virtually, high unemployment, poverty, discrimination, social unrest, and lack of opportunities to exercise and socialize with friends, young students may be more unhappy, feel more stress, experience more depression, and commit more suicides. One approach adopted by some schools to help young students to handle such social and emotional health problems is the focus on mindfulness.

Mindfulness is to train the mind to focus on the present task at hand, being aware of the environment but at least for that moment not overly anxious or worry by what is going on around us.  Mindfulness is also known as meditation.

This article discusses the benefits of meditation and discusses the current understanding of the scientific basis of meditation.

Health Benefits of Meditation

Even though meditation is an ancient practice dating back to several hundreds or thousands of years ago, it didn’t really spread to the U.S. until the 1960s-1970s.  Only in the past decade or two has mainstream medicine starting to acknowledge this ancient practice as research surrounding its benefits grows.  “I recommend all people learn and practice meditation routinely, because meditation doesn’t have any negative side effects – and it’s free,” paraphrasing a quote from Dr. Mike Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic..  However, we are only beginning to understand how meditation works and its benefits.  For example, here is a quote from Madhav Goyal, M.D. and M.PH. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who does research on the effects of meditation on overall well-being:  “It’s only recently that we’re starting to see studies that are good, randomized, controlled trials that are larger in size.”

Here is a brief summary [2] of the health benefits of meditation from recent scientific investigations:

  • Improves mental health:  The strongest link we have between meditation and overall health is its ability to reduce stress, which can trigger or exacerbate several serious conditions, including heart disease, obesity, and even anxiety disorders.  Meditation can boost your mood and reduce your depression risk.

  • Reduces harmful inflammation:  Inflammation is the body’s reaction to something it doesn’t want where it is, which is a good thing.  But chronic inflammation has been tied to several major chronic diseases, like cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and Alzheimer’s.  But meditation may help to mitigate inflammation.

  • Controls your cravings:  Meditation may curb mindless eating.

  • Gives your brain a boost:  Meditation may actually make parts of your brain thicker, including areas associated with attention and introspection.  For example, one study found that mediating for 40 minutes a day for just two months was enough to increase brain volume in areas related to stress, learning, memory, empathy, perspective, and compassion.

  • Helps fight premature aging:  By reducing stress, it may also reduce the aging effect of stress.  One study after spending six days in retreat where the participants just relaxed or did a meditation program, the latter participants from their blood samples showed improvements in biomarkers related to aging.

  • Helps to prevent colds:  One study over the duration of eight weeks divided the group of 150 participants of 50 or older into three groups of meditation training, moderate-intensity exercise training, or a control group, and found that over the course of the study the first two groups took just over half as many sick days due to colds as the control group.  Again, stress can get in the way of our immune system’s ability to fight an infection such as a cold.

  • Helps to deal with pain:  In one study during an MRI scan, the participants were applied a small amount of heat to their calves and were asked to rate their pain during the scan.  After four days of meditation training, the participants repeated the process, and the study showed that they reported a 57% reduction in unpleasantness and a 40% reduction in pain intensity.  The brain scans show meditation reduced brain activity in areas associated with sensation.

Note that in these studies the word “may” appears several times indicating that these are preliminary findings.  These conclusions will need to be verified by similar and larger studies.

Scientific Basis of Meditation

The key health benefit of meditation is that it can reduce stress, which we now know that stress can lead to all kinds of health problems. [3]  Although it has been known for centuries that meditation can reduce stress, the medical basis of how the mind and body work together as one system was generally not recognized in the West until the pioneer work of Herbert Benson, M.D. at Harvard Medical School starting in the 1960s, and the pioneer work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Ph.D. molecular biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1970s. [4]  

How does meditation lead to a reduction of stress. To address this question, we need to dwell a little into the stress response. [5]  When a human is facing imminent danger or a crisis, such as a falling tree about to hit you, a speeding car heading uncontrollably toward you, an imminent deadline that is fast approaching, the human body triggers a “fight or flight response” that can release a cascade of stress hormones, including adrenaline, that produce well-orchestrated physiological changes that can make the heart pound and breathing quicken, muscles tense and beads of sweat appear.  This “flight or flight response” is part of the automated “Sympathetic Nervous System” (SNS), which acts like the gas pedal in a car and is necessary for our survival whenever we need a quick automated response to imminent danger or crisis.  However, during this period, your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, breath quickens, pupils dilated, pain response blunted, you become tense or trembling, lose voluntary control of your bladder, and your blood pressure is elevated. 

During the fight or flight response your body is trying to prioritize, so things your body doesn’t need for immediate survival is placed on the back burner. This means that digestion, reproductive and growth hormone production and tissue repair are all temporarily halted. Although these bodily responses may help you get out of danger or crisis, if continued for an extended period, it is not good for your health.  Furthermore, even when the emergency is over, your automated response doe not subside by itself for an extended period, which could be 30 minutes or more.  This means that the “Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which acts like the brake on a car cannot restore your body to its normal operation.  If these experiences are repeated frequently, then you may be in a perpetual hyper tensed state with high blood pressure, high heart rate and rapid breathing.  This could easily lead to more serious health problems or poor health in general.

This is where meditation can help to improve your health.  Meditation can help relax you, and can quickly restore your Parasympathetic Nervous System so your body will function normally, or never let the situation to trigger your Sympathetic Nervous System.  This is the scientific basis of why meditation can be so helpful to your health.

This is why meditation is an important component of Taiji and Qigong.  More information on practicing meditation can be found in our earlier articles.  [6]

I want to end this article with a quote (half in jest) “You should meditate for 20 minutes every day – unless you’re too busy, then you should meditate for an hour.”

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[1] “Mindfulness: Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School”: https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/mindfulness-childrens-social-and-emotional-health-and-school-initiative/.

[2] “7 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Meditation, According to Experts,” by Macaela Mackenzie, Prevention Magazine, June 29, 2019:  https://www.prevention.com/health/a22679621/health-benefits-of-meditation/.  See also “12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation,” by Matthew Thorpe, MD, Ph.D. and Rachael Link, MS, RD, Healthline, October 27, 2020:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation.

[3] See, e.g., the article “The Effects of Stress on Your Body,” by Ann Pietrangelo, Healthline, updated on March 29, 2020.

[4] See, e.g., Herbert Benson, Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Benson, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn.

[5] See, e.g., the article “Understanding the Stress Response,” a pamphlet published by the Harvard Health Publishing of the Harvard Medical School, updated on July 6, 2020:  https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-responsehttps://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response.

[6] “Why Meditation Is An Important Part of Taiji and Qigong”:  http://www.dontow.com/2017/03/why-meditation-is-an-important-part-of-taiji-and-qigong/, and “Meditation:  An Often Negated Component of Taiji Practice”:  http://www.dontow.com/2010/04/meditation-an-often-neglected-component-of-taiji-practice/.

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Quantum Physics and Quantum Computers https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/quantum-physics-and-quantum-computing/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/quantum-physics-and-quantum-computing/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:05:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6808 In two recent articles in this website, we discuss Quantum Physics (QP), the remarkable scientific discovery of the 20th century that has revolutionized science as well as all aspects of our civilian and military lives.

The first article [1] discussed several mysteries of QP, notably, particle-wave duality, uncertainty principle, probabilistic interpretation of experiments, act of measurement can change what you are observing, and the superposition principle.

The second article [2] discussed what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” experimental verification of QP versus deterministic predictions of local hidden variable theories a la Bell’s Theorem, and quantum entanglement.

The current article discusses how Quantum Physics’ superposition principle and the concept of entanglement can lead to major breakthroughs for computer processing power and computer security.

Brief Review of Computer Bits and Their Physical Implementation:

First we briefly review some of the basics of computers. All information in computers are represented by bits of data. A bit of data can be represented by a 0 or 1, or on or off in terms of an electrical circuit or switch. When we process data in a computer, we are processing a stream of electrical or optical pulses representing 0s and 1s. For example, if we are describing the result of a coin flip, the result is either head (1) or tail (0). So we can represent coin flip with a wire with either electricity or no electricity flowing through it. With transistors, the transistor is turned on when the amount of electricity flowing through the wire connected to the transistor is above a certain threshold, and is turned off when the electricity is less than that threshold. Thus, the coin flip can be described with a single wire connected to a transistor.

What about a more complex situation than describing a coin flip, such as describing which of 3 light bulbs is turned on. Then you need more bits, or more wires, each connected to a transistor, and in this case of 3 light bulbs, you need 3 wires. Thus we see that we can describe more complex physical phenomena by using more and more bits, or more and more wires and transistors.

If we combine 8 bits of data in what is called a byte, which has 28 or 64 combinations. Then a byte can represent the English alphabet. Therefore, information about our world can be represented by combining more bits and bytes together. That is why we hear of terms like kilobytes (a thousand bytes), megabytes (a million bytes), gigabytes (a billion bytes), terabytes (a trillion bytes), petabytes (1,000 terabytes). [3] Bigger and faster computers can simultaneously handle larger and larger number of bytes.

A 200-page book with about 300 words per page has about 60,000 words. A word on the average has about 6 characters. This means that a 200-page book has about 360,000 characters. If we use one byte to represent each character, then this book would have about 360 kilobytes of data.

A newer and better computer usually can process more data and process the data faster than the previous generation of computers. So newer computers will normally have larger or more compact and faster processors and with creative designs in algorithms and software to get additional processing power.

From Bits to Qubits and the Superposition Principle:

With quantum computers, there is a novel way of increasing the processing power and speed without adding more bits which are manifested by adding more circuits and transistors. Instead of using streams of electrical or optical pulses representing 1s or 0s associated with bits, quantum computers use subatomic particles such as electrons or photons and the quantum physics concept of the superposition of states so that a quantum physical system is a superposition of many states. [3] And the system does not collapse to a single state until there is a measurement. The quantum physical system is called a quantum bit or Qubit. So if the quantum physical system is a superposition of n states, then there are n possible 1s or 0s. This means that using a quantum system instead of a traditional system, the number of bits has just been increased by a factor of n.

It is not easy to create these quantum physical systems. Generating and managing Qubits is a great scientific and engineering challenge. Currently only a small number of companies and university research labs (such as IBM, Google, Rigetti Computing in Berkeley, and IonQ in College Park) have constructed quantum computers. They use superconducting circuits cooled to temperatures colder than deep space, or trap individual atoms in electromagnetic fields on a silicon chip in ultra-high-vacuum chambers. In both cases, the goal is to isolate the Qubits in a controlled quantum state. To put Qubits into superposition, researchers manipulate them using precision lasers or microwave beams. We are currently at the beginning of the age of quantum computers. That is why most current quantum computers have only a few dozen Qubits, although IBM has announced that they will build a a quantum computer with 1,000 Qubits by 2023. [4]

Picture of a Quantum Computer (Ref 3)
Picture of a Quantum Computer (Ref 3)

Partially because of the increase in the number of bits via using Qubits and partially because quantum computers allow novel ways of doing calculations such as simultaneously performing a large number of calculations, quantum computers have the potential of doing calculations that can never be done, or cannot be done in any reasonable amount of time, by traditional computers.

China is also a major player in quantum computers, both in building quantum computers [5] and also in its applications. [6]

Quantum Entanglement and Implications for Cryptography:

In our second article [2] in this series of three article on Quantum Physics, we discuss the hard-to-imagine property of quantum entanglement. This means that a measurement on the state of one particle in a quantum system of two related particles will determine the state of the other particle even if the two particles are now separated in space by a very large distance. This is the QP property that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” and is one of the reasons why Einstein and many other physicists did not believe and preferred deterministic theories like “Local Hidden Variable Theories” over a probabilitic theory like Quantum Theory. However, experiments performed during the last 50 years related to Bell’s Theorem have repeatedly verified the predictions of Quantum Theory and ruled out the predictions of “Local Hidden Variable Theories.”

This quantum entanglement property can be beautifully applied to cryptography, which is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries.

Key to cryptography is to assure that (1) only the intended recipient of any exchange of information can receive the information or can decipher the information, and (2) the information received has not been altered in any way by an adversary. To accomplish (1), we rely on security keys which only the sender and recipient know, or it is too complicated for any adversary to figure out the security key in any reasonable amount of time. To accomplish (2), we need to be alerted if there has been an intrusion.

Quantum computers can help to achieve both (1) and (2). For (1), because of the processing speed of quantum computers, security keys currently used may not be secured enough, i.e., quantum computers can break these security keys. So the expectation of forthcoming larger and larger quantum computers is moving us to use more complex security keys. [7] Furthermore, quantum computers may also offer novel encryption methods. For (2), the entanglement feature of quantum computers will be able to detect that there has been an intrusion, because any action of the intruder will perturb the system and change the state of the system even if one part of the system may be far away from the place of intrusion. [8]

Summary:

In its almost 100 years of existence, quantum physics has completely revolutionized the world and our lives. It has given us many wonderful products that we use everyday, including computers and our daily gadgets such as cell phones, television, GPS. However, we are beginning to enter another revolution brought on by quantum physics when we utilize the superposition principle and quantum entanglement in the construction of our computers. Both the superposition principle and entanglement are fundamental consequences of the probabilistic nature of quantum physics.


[1] “Wonders and Mysteries of Quantum Physics”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/wonders-and-mysteries-of-quantum-physics/.

[2] “Paradoxes of Quantum Physics, Bell’s Theorem, What Do Experiments Tell Us?”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/12/paradoxes-of-quantum-physics-bells-theorem-and-experimental-confirmation/.

[3] I found the article “Explainer: What is a quantum computer?” by Martin Giles, in the January 29, 2019 issue of MIT Technology Review an excellent short article summarizing quantum computers: https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/01/29/66141/what-is-quantum-computing/.

[4] “IBM promises 1000-qubit quantum computer—a milestone—by 2023” by Adrian Cho, in Science, September 15, 2020: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/ibm-promises-1000-qubit-quantum-computer-milestone-2023.

[5] “China Claims Fastest Quantum Computer in the World,” by Rafi Letzter, LifeScience, December 7, 2020: https://www.livescience.com/china-quantum-supremacy.html.

[6] See, e.g., the article “China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy,” by Tom Simonite, Business, December 3, 2020: https://www.wired.com/story/china-stakes-claim-quantum-supremacy/, and the article “Physicists in China challenge Google’s ‘quantum advantage’,” by Philip Ball, Nature, December 3, 2020: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03434-7.

[7] For example, the commonly used 2,048-bit RSA system or even the more difficult 4,096-bit key will need to be replaced by even more complex cryotographic systems. See, e.g., “Is Quantum Computing a Cybersecurity Threat?,” by Dorothy E. Denning, March-April 2019, American Scientist: https://www.americanscientist.org/article/is-quantum-computing-a-cybersecurity-threat.

[8] The implementation of quantum entanglement in a communication system was first demonstrated in 2020 by a Chinese team led by Jian-Wei Pan of the University of Science and Technology of China when they simultaneously transmitted a pair of secret keys between two ground stations (located 1,120 kilometers apart) in China via the Chinese satellite Micius. See, e.g., “China Reaches New Milestone in Space-Based Quantum Communications,” by Karen Kwon, June 25, 2020, Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/china-reaches-new-milestone-in-space-based-quantum-communications/. This research was published in June 15, 2020, in Nature.

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Some Thoughts on How We can Experience and Learn from the Past Virtually https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/some-thoughts-on-virtually-experience-and-learn-from-the-past/ https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/some-thoughts-on-virtually-experience-and-learn-from-the-past/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2020 05:15:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6742 We know that time runs in only one dimension:  going forward.  What has happened in the past has already occurred and we cannot go back in time to relive that period.  The question is whether we can make use of the information from the past, not only to relive past events, but also to make use of that information to learn from it.

We discuss an idea that by combining artificial intelligence (AI), we can utilize the memories of the past that exist in our memories, as well as information we know about the people from the past (that we might have or might not have interacted with) to virtually recreate events and even more importantly to create new events that could lead to new insights or discoveries.

We can virtually recreate past events.  For example, we can virtually recreate:

  • a fond memory of our holding our new-born son or daughter
  • a reenactment of an athletic or musical achievement
  • a replay of an important speech we gave in the past

This is like playing back a recorded movie of that event. However, we can do much more than that. 

We can also create events that might not have occurred, but could have occurred.  For example, we can create a virtual event:

  • involving a high school student discussing with his/her parents for advice on which colleges to apply to and possibly the field to major in
  • involving family members or business partners to discuss whether and how to proceed with a potential new business
  • involving a group discussion on an important social or political issue
  • involving a brainstorm of a group of scientific researchers on a difficult problem

The end result is that we could end up with new insights and solutions in addressing difficult and important social, political, economic, engineering, or scientific issues.  We can reap the benefits of such collective virtual brainstorms.

We can populate the database with:

  • dates and times
  • descriptions of the relevant people (not only physical characteristics, but also their personalities, background, knowledge, and experience)
  • happenings of related events (e.g., hurricanes, forest fires, pandemic, mass demonstrations, current important and outstanding problems in science or engineering)
  • social and political environments of that time for the community, state, country, and the world (e.g., unemployment, stock market, health, hunger, climate change, terrorism, conflicts between races, conflicts between countries, arms races, wars or tensions/marching toward wars)
  • other relevant factors or statistics

There are at least four objectives for creating and implementing such virtual events:

  • Enjoy reliving real or simulated past events
  • Analyze important past events to see whether we should make adjustments to guide our future actions
  • Discuss important issues to see whether we can reach consensus and move forward toward winning solutions
  • Brainstorm on outstanding scientific or engineering problems that could lead to new insights or discoveries

Of course such AI tools and conclusions may be only as good as the inputs we populate in the database.  Initially the basic input data and the learning and decision making algorithms may be primitive, unrealistic, and unsophisticated.  However, with time and experience, the database will increase in accuracy, completeness, and sophistication, and the AI algorithms will also improve in breadth, depth, speed of analysis, and creativity.  Therefore, such virtual creation of the past could create real values so that it can become a powerful tool for us to learn from the past.

Yes, we cannot turn the arrow of time backward, but we can make use of our past experience to learn virtually and lead us to a better path for the future.

Of course, if this idea merits further investigation, and new discoveries can emerge from this idea, then just like any scientific advancement in the past, both positive and negative results could emerge from such discoveries, and it will be up to us (the human race) to decide which path to follow.

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