Monday, January 03, 2011

Daily Links, Jan 3, 2011

Before we get into the Daily Links, I'd like to post my favorites from 2010, as is my New Year wont. Not in order, here are my ten favorite, starting with the pic above of Drew Kerslake's wife Joyce climbing along the sea-cliffs in Kenting.

I love everything about this pic, the clouds, the horses, the romantic interplay of light, dark, and shadow. Taken in Kenting in August.

It's not much of a picture, and it's only a dung beetle. But this photograph touched my secret heart, which misses Africa passionately, where I first saw dung beetles in action. Finding it by the roadside above Taroko was like stumbling across an old friend.

I waited for a few minutes trying to get the waves crashing against the breakwater as if trying to grab this fisherman fishing unconcernedly next to them. This wonderful shot was the reward.

Took this one on 169 not far from Fenchihu above the tea farms near Alishan. Lovely.

I love this picture because of the way it suggests the endless, open road, pregnant with possibility. That's my friend Karl on the bike. Taken on the east coast in January.

On that same ride as the shot above, near Hualien harbor, I shot these men hanging around on the giant concrete jacks that protect both the harbor and concrete companies' bottom lines.

I usually ride past the lovely Liyu Reservoir in Miaoli two or three times a month on my way to points north. This is probably my favorite photo of it.

The light broke, illuminating the road and all the infinite beauty of riding in that area. Taken from Rte 9 between Hsintien and Pinglin.

This photo was taken on 159A, one of the loveliest roads on the island, on our ride to Alishan last month. Make sure you put a ride on it on your own schedule.

Meanwhile, what's on the blogs this week?

Before you read anything else, first see this awesome piece from Paul Monk in Quadrant Online. Monk disputes that the rise of China will inevitably lead to war. In that I disagree with him; I think we are on course for a couple rounds of hegemonic warfare and there is little that can be done about it. But it is a far ranging, erudite, and historically informed response.
The corollary of this is that it is not the rational self-interest of states which drives them to engage in intense security competitions and fight wars, but often deeply flawed, ideologically coloured and seriously information-poor calculations of costs and benefits by a shifting combination of competing national elites and ignorant popular opinion. This is what Thucydides showed in his classic history of the Peloponnesian War. It is what history after history has shown regarding the First World War. It is what Winston Churchill demonstrated with regard to the origins of the Second World War. It is what we must bear in mind with regard to China, if we are to avoid a war with that great and complex empire as its wealth and power increase.
Yup. And because of that fundamental lack of rationality that colors states-as-actors, China is currently pursuing a path that will bring it into conflict with all its neighbors, when it need not. Nobody threatens China.

On to today's links:

Jan 8, Jerome Keating is hosting another meet up at the usual venue. Frank Dikotter is the speaker. Jan 10 Heritage symposium in Taipei. See the left sidebar under HOT HOT HOT for links.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


catherine_sr. said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks for linking to my post! I just wanted to point out that my post is about how my newspaper articles for the Taipei Times might be affected, not my blog.

Robert Scott Kelly said...

That first pic of riding in Kenting is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

That blog Free Taiwan has got to be the dumbest blog on the net. What a retard.