Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beatiful Photography of Mor (bcnbits)


Portal - Casa Sebastià Pratjusà - Barcelona(via Mor (bcnbits))


Beaulieu (via Mor (bcnbits))


Positano (via Mor (bcnbits))


twilight (via Mor (bcnbits))


libreria (via Mor (bcnbits))


The last sunray (via Mor (bcnbits))


Cadaqués
(via Mor (bcnbits))


Sunset (via Mor (bcnbits))


Després de l'aiguat - Amsterdam
(via Mor (bcnbits))

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sahil - Dil Chahay

Sahil is an awesome Pakistani band. And here is, their Dil Chahay...
Thanks to my Lahore friend, Farhan, now I'm hooked by these Punjabi songs:)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Vision Speaks

Bold and splendid is the architecture of Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk. New York Times just reviewed their latest work: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.


Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision


Classical Music on Youtube

Piano Solos

Glenn Gould playing J.S.Bach Partita No.2




Wilhelm Kempff plays Beethoven Moonlight Sonata

2nd Movement


3rd Movement



Nikolai Lugansky plays Rachmaninoff Prelude Op. 23 No. 7 and No.5/ Moment Musical 4




Piano Concertos
Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9, 3rd Movement



Wilhelm Kempff plays Mozart Piano Concerto No.24 In C Minor, K491


Rubinstein plays Beethoven piano concerto No.4 3rd Movement in 1967



Murray Perahia plays Beethoven Piano Concerto no.1
1st Movement


2nd Movement


3rd Movement


Symphonies


Mehta conducts Mahler: Symphony 5

Movement 1




Movement 2




Herbert von Karajan Conducting Beethoven's 5th Symphony, 1966
Movements 1 and 2


Movement 3 and 4


Herbert Von Karajan Conducting Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, 1986






For Classical Music on YouTube 2 (Cello Concertos and Contemporary Classical)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Love in an Notebook

I thought I'm not the kind of girl that would cry when reading a sad romance. I was wrong. Nicholas Sparks, who is this man? How could he write something so mournfully beautiful as the Notebook?
I have watched the movie before, I had anticipated the story, yet when I read the words, when I saw the love unfolding, I couldn't hold back my tears. "The romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy. " -- the author was right from the beginning. Summer love, long separation, return of the bride-to-be, passion and obligation, disease, again separation, but all overcome by the everlasting, devoting love.

The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this good-bye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.
When I look at you, I see your beauty and grace and know they have grown stronger with every life you have lived. And I know I have spent every life before this one searching for you. Not someone like you, but you, for your soul and mine must always come together. And then, for a reason neither of us understands, we've been forced to say good-bye.
I would love to tell you that everything will work out for us, and I promise to do all I can to make sure it does. But if we never meet again and this is truly good-bye, I know we will see each other again in another life. We will find each other again, and maybe the stars will have changed, and we will not only love each other in that time, but for all the times we've had before.

There's more...

"You are Hannah, a lover of life, a strength to those who shared in your friendships. You are a dream, a creator of happiness, an artist who has touched a thousand souls. You've led a full life and wanted for nothing because your needs are spiritual and you have only to look inside you. You are kind and loyal, and you are able to see beauty where others do not. You are a teacher of wonderful lessons, a dreamer of better things."... "Hannah, there is no reason to feel lost, for: Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, No birth, identity, form--no object of the
world, Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing;... The body, sluggish, aged, cold--the embers left from earlier fires, ... shall duly flame again;"

Richard Serra


Sequence - Richard Serra, MoMA American sculptor

A piece of genius. The artistic curve, the way it engages the visitors in a progressing motion, both in space and time. The shadow and slope ratio make the seemingly simple piece profound.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon at 100

Name the best known work of Pablo Picasso. Guernica! And? Demoiselles d'Avignon.
Picasso, what can I say about this man? What can I possibly say about his artwork? The tension and expression in his art is just so striking that it makes your heart ache.
Demoiselles d'Avignon is in exhibition in MoMA now, celebrating its 100 anniversary. The exhibit lasts until August 27.

Guernica

Demoiselles d'Avignon

Summer of Love

Light, music, color. Hippie, LSD, losing yourself. The 60s art could forever be alluring.
New York Times reviews “Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era” remains at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, through Sept. 16.

Panton Design, Basel/Vitra Design Museum
Phantasy Landscape Visiona II (View 3)

Albert Alotta
A still from the film "Peacemeal" (1967).

Photography of Sara Wight

Beautiful, emotional photography of Sara Wight






The Deep (Blue)

“It was as though a veil had been lifted... revealing unexpected points of view, vaster and more promising.” -- Claire Nouvian, French journalist and film director, arthor of “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” (University of Chicago Press, 2007)

New York Times recently reviewed the book.













Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Something Everyone Can Relate To

( as far as I know, this dates earliest back to 2002 from someone's friendster bulletin, please help find the author...)

What it says is so true...
They call it the “Quarter-life Crisis.”

It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are a lot of things about yourself that you didn't know and may or may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you do not realize is that they are realizing that too and are not really cold or catty or mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at your job. It is not even close to what you thought you would be doing or maybe you are looking for one and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and are scared.

You miss the comforts of college, of groups, of socializing with the same people on a constant basis. But then you realize that maybe they weren't so great after all.

You are beginning to understand yourself and what you want and do not want. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging a bit more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and add things to your list of what is acceptable and what is not. You are insecure and then secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you or you lay in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough to get to know better. You love someone but maybe love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you are not a bad person.

One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap and getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision.

You worry about loans and money and the future and making a life for yourself and while wining the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recently Discovered Nice Photography



Dom zu Limburg - 2006-01-27 11:27:32
CAM: Dynax 7D | FL: 18 mm | EXP: 1/8 sec | AP: f 5 | ISO: 400






Your Ultimate Guide to Free Books

Posted on April 9th, 2007 in Useful Tips by James Yeang

  1. ManyBooks - Free eBooks for your PDA, iPod, or eBook reader - Thanks Tony Bryan & abben
  2. BookCrossing - Where real books are released into the wild to be found by others - Thanks Engtech
  3. LibraryElf - The perfect companion to a public library system - Thanks Engtech
  4. Scribd - Open library to publish and discover documents online - Thanks CincauHangus
  5. Word Public Library - 400,000 PDF ebooks for download - Thanks Ellen
  6. Free Tech Books - Free computer science and engineering books (+ lecture notes) - Thanks Ellen
  7. Bookins - Swap real books with other readers - Thanks Jimbob
  8. WellToldTales - Free short story podcasts (like audiobooks, but shorter) - Thanks Kevin C.
  9. Wowio - Public domain, free legitimate copyrighted materials & one of the only with a selection of Comic Books - Thanks Jane and Art Dardia
  10. BizBooktalk - Free book giveaway contests on Fridays - Thanks Brandon
  11. MoochMuch - Organize your book lending with your friends - Thanks Bobby
  12. CHMPDF - A collection of general interest and technical ebooks - Thanks Manish Garg & Brian Di Croce
  13. Realtime Publishers - free IT eBooks by many of the world’s best authors - Thanks Kevin
  14. FrugalReader - Trade Books for free - Thanks Brent
  15. TitleTrader - Swap books, movies, and music - Thanks Brent
  16. ZunaFish - Trade your old media and books items for new titles you’d rather have - Thanks Brent
  17. SwapSimple - Swap your used books here - Thanks Brent
  18. SwapThing - Community of users who swap items including books - Thanks Brent
  19. BookCart - Internet paperback exchange - Thanks Brent
  20. SF-Books - Exchange Sci-Fi Books here - Thanks Brent
  21. PaperbackSwap - Swap books for free - Thanks jane dough, IBelieveInFairies, & Lauren
  22. PinkMonkey - 450 Study Guides / Booknotes / Online Chapter Summary Notes and Analysis - Thanks Spellchecker
  23. eBookWorld - Technical resources - Thanks 5n7p3r
  24. Flaxx - IT and computer books - Thanks tejinder
  25. Baen Library - Free science fiction and fantasy novels - Thanks lanthus & Glen Davis
  26. LibraryThing - Social networking and free books - Thanks Michael
  27. Online Books Page - Facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet - Thanks Aman
  28. Podiobooks - free audiobooks that you can subscribe to with iTunes or any other podcatcher - Thanks KJToo
  29. BookRags - Research material in the form of eBooks - Thanks Henry Delany
  30. Technical Books Online - Old tech books from the “vacuum tube age” of electronics- Thanks obiewiz
  31. ebookSearchr - Google powered Thanks Rico & Rokker
  32. Internet Archive - The Intenet indexed - that includes a vast text library - Thanks jojo
  33. BookYards - Books, videos, education materials- Thanks Victor
  34. Memoware - Free books for your PDA - Thanks Doug

Original Top 10 list with full reviews (here and here)

  1. Gutenberg Project Top 100 - Popular books from the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet
  2. BookMooch - Community for exchanging used books
  3. ebookSpyder - Specializes in technical books ranging anywhere from C# to AJAX
  4. Google Book Search - Read the classics online
  5. Dwalin - plain text novels
  6. Free Computer Books - Technical resources about computers
  7. Librivox - Audio works and podcasts of books
  8. CliffsNotes - Get the notes to cram for the exam
  9. WIkibooks - Free textbooks
  10. DailyLit - Receive small parts of books via email

I Wish You Enough

Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?
I sure have, though in fact, at that moment, you would always try to convince yourself that you are wrong.
Just read a story on Help Others. org, lovely. So I'd like to share it here.

Next time when you leave someone, say: "I love you, I wish you enough."

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Good-bye."

PHotoEspana 2007



10th International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts
Madrid. 30 May - 22 July

Monday, May 21, 2007

One Hour No Power


At midday On Sunday July 1st 2007

we are asking everyone concerned about the effects of climate change to simply turn everything off for an hour. That is one hour with no cars, mobile phones, televisions, household appliances or any other non-vital equipment. We would also like as many businesses as possible to join in and publicly show their commitment to tackling climate change. Effectively, we want to unplug the world for an hour or at least your little bit of it.

One Hour No Power is not just another event about raising our awareness of global warming; after all, the media has been pretty good at scaring us all silly on that one. One Hour No Power is an event to raise awareness of our collective ability to tackle climate change through our everyday lives.

This is a people powered event for all, old and young, multi race, multi faith, as well as for those of no faith. It is an opportunity for us to come together and publicise an event ourselves, help to shape it, swap green ideas and talk to each other instead of being talked to.

It is up to you how you spend the hour. You could hold a sponsored event for your favourite environmental group, take to the roads on your bike, hug a tree (while stocks last), write your personal green action plan for the coming year or even hold a John and Yoko style love-in.

Visit www.onehournopower.com for more information about how you can join in.

Please help to promote One Hour No Power by circulating this email to friends and family.

Thank You!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

If You Want Peace, You Must Not Keep Hurting Taiwan

龙应台应英国剑桥大学之邀,担任今年度「川流讲座」学者,於五月十七日所作公开演讲,以下是讲稿内容摘要:

我们都知道,台湾海峡是全球「危险区」之一。五六百枚飞弹布在中国海岸,对准台湾岛群。需要这麽多飞弹来对付那麽小一个岛,其实是蛮令人惊异的──中国的面积是台湾的两百五十六倍,人口是五十八倍。两岸之间有多远?从马祖的海岸,你其实看得见对面行走的乡亲。一个战斗机飞行官告诉我,从新竹机场起飞到抵达对岸,六分钟。

成长的经验塑造价值

说台湾海峡是个可能威胁世界和平的「引爆点」这个用语,对台湾人而言,一点也不夸张。「引爆」不是说着玩的。在一个不到一百五十平方公里的金门岛上,仍有一百五十万枚炸弹,每一平方公里有一万枚炸弹,而这还不包括五十万枚地雷和五十万颗子弹在库藏中。金门岛上七万居民每一个人可以「分享」到二十二个炸弹,八个地雷,四十四颗子弹。台湾岛上的军火库,也常常传出爆炸。

战争离我们的记忆不远。从一九五八之后的二十年里,大概有一百万个炸弹投进金门的土地上。我们在一种「战时」状态下成长。在我十二岁之前,我已经在学校演过很多次背着枪的小兵,用刺刀杀「敌人」,在我十八岁之前,我已经参加过无数次的「国语演讲比赛」,针对「光复大陆,拯救同胞」提出我的智慧和慷慨激昂的见解。

出海的渔民受严格管控,而且基於「安全」理由,长年不被允许备有充分的通讯器材,暴风来时,只有沈灭的命运。我们有一千五百公里的海岸,但是,海岸是军事重地,所以很多人不会游泳。对海,我们恐惧。

所谓siege mentality,「被封锁心态」,我们是很熟悉的。

我在一九七九年认识了第一个大陆的「中国人」。比较彼此的成长过程,发现我们其实很像:他也演过小兵「杀敌」,他也参加过演讲比赛,唱过无数的爱国歌曲。我们之间的差别只不过在於:他的「英雄」和「烈士」是我的「叛徒」和「罪人」,我的「伟人」和「救星」是他的「匪」和「帮」。「革命」这种词在我听来带点儿恐怖,在他却是义正辞严。他说的「左」,代表「反动」,落后,保守,刚好是我心目中的「右」。

因此,我们之间的价值观差别大吗?在深层的价值上,我们其实是一模一样的。英雄和烈士、叛徒和罪人的名字换了,但是判取忠奸的价值标准,完全是同一套。

差别,是在一九八七年台湾正式地成为一个民主社会之后才显着的。在台湾,一统的「大叙述」、大写的「真理」被无数细碎的「小叙述」所取代,大写的任何伟大理念都被小写的个人价值所凌驾於上。任何共识都不得不经过争取和格斗而后获得。民主使得台湾人的价值观有了一个深刻的改变:国家集体和个人的关系,两者之间的权利和义务的认定,和从前,也和现在的中国,有了比较根本的不同。

中国不是铁板一块

人权,是民主体制里一个核心的价值。在这个关键的观念上,台湾和中国大陆也有严重的分歧。但是,当我把「人权」和「中国」两个词相提并论时,诸位很可能以为我要谈的是有多少作家、记者以言论获罪,被关在牢中,或者,中国每年有多少死刑犯,每年有多少农民房舍被强制拆除而流离失所。诸位是西欧人,我认为,这种谈论人权的方式,你们听得太多了,因为这是西欧的主流谈法,我反而愿意提出另一个角度供诸位思索。

没有错,言论控制是中国每天的现实,而且随着科技发展,它控制个人和媒体的技术跟着日新月异。但是在这我们目睹的集权管控的同时,我们或许也不能不同时看见正在发生的改变。在二○○五年,据统计有九万多次的大型群众示威和抗议事件在中国发生。这代表人民的权利意识在快速成长中,二○○三年甚至被中国媒体称呼为「维权年」:年轻的律师协助农民控告政府侵权,中产阶级为自己的私有财产上法庭,作父母的争取教育权,爱狗的上街呼吁尊重「宠物权」等等。

我认识到的是,中国并非一块铁板,它的价值观也在分裂中,而且在我们比较看不到的内部,价值正在进行彼此的拉锯。全球社区的责任可能就在於,深刻认识这个价值观在变动中的新中国,然后清楚知道我们要做些什麽,不做些什麽,才能使中国内部理性、开放、和平的那一半力量在价值的拉锯中得到上风。

台湾有人权问题?

诸位可能觉得奇怪,台湾有人权问题吗?

这样说,假定我们有这麽一个小社区,因为什麽理由,我们不准许这个社区里的人出席任何会议,参与任何决策,我们不准许他们出现在任何全体社区的庆典、哀悼、纪念的重要场合上,而且,我们禁止这个社区的领袖离开他的社区进入我们的?围内。甚至於,如果大社区失火了,我们不通知他们。甚至於,我们不准许他们以自己的名字称呼自己。

请问,这叫不叫人权侵犯呢?

就经济力来说,台湾是全球第十五大经济实体。就人口来说,台湾是全球两百多个国家中第四十八大。但台湾被摒除在几乎所有国际组织之外。它必须用金钱来「买」外交。它的领袖出行时,受尽羞辱。陈水扁总统在二○○六年「迷航」国际,固然是他个人的行事方式极为可议,但是他所招来的屈辱,不是他个人的屈辱,是整体台湾人的屈辱。

国际社区对於台湾在政治上的孤立处境,是有所了解的,但是我认为,国际社区对於这种孤立的深度和广度,以及它对台湾人民伤害的程度,没有丝毫认识。并非只在政治领域台湾被「隔离」,「隔离」其实渗透所有层面:艺术、学术、公共卫生、教育,所有领域。就以艺术来说,譬如在威尼斯展中,台湾无法在公共的国家馆园区中展出,必须在区外另找场馆,而已有的展馆,还要年年担忧是否保存得住。

最突出而尖锐的例子,当然是「非典」事件。疾病爆发时,台湾卫生官员紧急知会世界卫生组织,要求其提供资料和协助,得到的答案是,你不是会员,请去找北京。但是在疾病爆发初期,北京官方根本还没准备好如何处理自己的问题。

台湾的两千三百万人先是经过三十七年之久的戒严,戒严就是一种锁国,然后在戒严的后期,又开始了长达三十五年的国际封锁,一直到今天。三十七年戒严和三十五年封锁,不可能没有「症状」出现。二○○六年一份台湾杂志的调查结果是惊人的:

八十%的台湾人不知道联合国总部在哪里

八十%的人不知道诺贝尔文学奖在哪一个城市颁发

八十%的人说不出世界最大的雨林在哪里

六十%的人说不出德国用什麽货币

六十%的人说不出雅典在哪一个洲

你不能以为这个调查是在偏远乡村里做的,不,它的主要调查对象是在台北,而台北的人口,是华人世界里平均教育水准最高的城市。

联合国成员怎麽解释?

所谓国际,其实已经变成一个共同的全球社区,而台湾人完全被剥夺了参与全球社区的社会权和文化权。诸位是否知道,剥夺社会权和文化权,是违反联合国的人权宪章的。请读一下联合国人权宪章第二条和第二十二条的条文:

本章所涵盖之权利,不可因个人所属的政治、司法或国家的国际地位而有受影响,不论他所属的是独立的,托管的,不自主的,或任何其他形式的主权管辖。

透过国家的努力或者国际的合作,每一个个人都有经济权、社会权和文化权,这些权利对於他的尊严和个人发展是不可或缺的。

西欧国家都是联合国的成员,请问你要怎麽对台湾的孩子们解释这两个条款的精神呢?

为了世界和平

三十七年的自动封锁,三十五年的被迫封锁,不论自动或被迫,人民何辜?今天国际对台湾的孤立和「遗弃」,使台湾人觉得,他们因为争取到了民主而反受「惩罚」。全球社区一旁冷眼观看的,是一代又一代的台湾孩子,明明在全球化的大村子里头成长,他们禀质优秀而且加倍努力,但是他们被剥夺了全球公民籍,也被剥夺公民的基本尊严。

这种剥夺的伤害后果是双重的:

一,台湾的民主无法做实质的提升。请诸位告诉我,一个完全无法参与国际事务,无法从国际事务中得到演练,更无法对国际尽责任、负义务的社会,有可能成为高品质的民主吗?

二,台湾的孤立持续,人民的挫折加深,对於孤立的「始作俑者」─中国─的敌意更强,与中国对抗或分离的意愿也就更甚,台海冲突的可能性,更高。

国际社区要关心台湾处境,不是只为了台湾人,而是为了全球村本身的安全。逻辑其实这样简单:在中国寻求现代化的路途上,台湾经验──不论是好的还是坏的,都是中国一个最重要的参考系。如果说,一个开放、理性、有公民参与的中国对於世界的和平稳定是必要的,那麽全球社区就不能不重视台湾的重要。也就是说,台湾的民主愈得到全球社区的支持和呵护,台海的稳定,世界的和平,就愈得到保障。

国际对於台湾的封锁,对於台湾孩子全球公民人权的剥夺,你不能视而不见,它必须停止,不仅只为了台湾,更为了国际的和平。

── 原载 中国时报



If You Want Peace, You Must Not Keep Hurting Taiwan. By Lung Ying-tai (龍應台). May 18, 2007. Public speech on May 17, 2007 at Cambridge University, England.

[in translation]

We all know that the Taiwan strait is one of the "danger zones" in the world. Five to six hundred missiles are located on the Chinese coast and aimed at the Taiwan islands. It is actually astonishing why so many missiles are needed against such a small island. The area of China is 256 times that of Taiwan and the population size is 58 times as big. How far apart are the two coasts? From the Matsu coast, you can see the people walking on the opposite side. A fighter plane pilot said that it takes 6 minutes to go from Hsin Chu Airport to reach the opposite shore.

It is no exaggeration for the Taiwanese people to say that the Taiwan strait could be an "ignition point" that threatens world peace. "Ignition" is no joke. On the fewer than 150 square kilometers of Kinmen island, there are 1,500,000 bombs or about 10,000 bombs per square kilometer. This does not include the 500,000 land mines and 500,000 gun shells. The 70,000 inhabitants of Kinmen island get to "share" 22 bombs, 8 land mines and 44 gun shells each. The ammunition depots on Taiwan often explode.

War is not far back in our memories. For the 20 years after 1958, about 1,000,000 explosive bombs crashed into the ground at Kinmen. We grew up in a state of "wartime." Before I was 12 years old, I had already acted many times in school plays as a little soldier carrying a rifle on my back and killing "enemies" with a bayonet. Before I was 18 years old, I had participated in numerous "Mandarin oration performances" to offer my wisdom and impassioned views on "recovering the mainland and saving the compatriots."

The seafaring fishermen were under strict control. For "safety" reasons, they were not permitted to have adequate communication equipment. When the storms came, they faced the fate of sinking into the ocean. We have 1,500 kilometers of sea coast. But the sea coast was a military zone and therefore many people do not know how to swim. We are afraid of the ocean.

We are familiar with the so-called "siege mentality."

In 1979, I met the first "Chinese person" from mainland China. In comparing our growing-up process, we found that we were actually very much alike: he had played a little soldier who "killed enemies" and he participated in oration competitions and sang innumerable patriotic songs. Our differences were: his "heros" and "martyrs" were my "traitors" and "sinners"; my "great men" and "saviors" were his "bandits" and "gangs." The word "revolution" sounded terrifying to me, but it was righteous to him. When he said "left," he meant "reactionary," backwards and conservative, which is "right" for me.

Was there so much difference between our values? At the deeper level of values, we are actually identical to each other. Heros and martyrs, traitors and sinners. The names were changed but the standards for telling good from bad were identical.

The difference began to show after Taiwan officially became a democratic society in 1987. In Taiwan, the singular "Grand Narrative" and the sole "Truth" were replaced by many "small narratives." Any grand concept was superseded by the small narratives of personal values. Any consensus had to go through struggling and fighting. Democracy led to a deep transformation of the value system of Taiwanese people: the relationship between the national collective whole and the individual including the beliefs about the rights and obligations between the two became different from Taiwan before and with the present China in a fundamental way.

Human rights is one of the core values in a democratic system. On this key concept, there is a serious divergence between Taiwan and mainland China. When I bring up the words "human rights" and "China" at the same time, you must think that I am going to talk about the number of writers and reporters who have been sent to jail, or the number of death penalties in China each year, or the number of peasant homes that were demolished with their inhabitants left homeless. You are western Europeans and I believe that you must have heard enough about human rights being discussed this way. This is the mainstream approach in western Europe. I would rather offer a different angle for you.

It is true that the control of speech is a daily reality in China. Following the development of science and technology, the technology to control people and media are also changing. But at the same time that we watch the collective controls, we cannot help but see the ongoing changes. In 2005, it is estimated that more than 90,000 large-scale mass demonstrations and protests occurred in China. This showed that the people's awareness of their rights has grown rapidly. The year 2003 was even referred to as the Year of Rights Defense by the Chinese media: young lawyers helped farmers to sue the government for violating their rights; the middle-class went to court to defend their private property; the parents fought for the right of education; dog lovers marched in the street to call for respect of the rights of pets, etc.

I recognize that China is not just a single slab of iron. Its values are also in the process of being divided. In the inside part which we cannot see too clearly, the various values are combatting in a seesaw battle. The responsibility of the global community is to know this new China with the changing values. Then we will know what to do and what not to do so, that the rational, open and peaceful half of the forces in the seesaw battle of values can gain the upper hand.

Perhaps you wonder, Is there a human rights problem with Taiwan?

Put it this way -- suppose we have a small community here. For what reasons do we have to not permit the people from this community to attend any conference or participate in any decisions. We do not allow them to appear at any important festive, mourning or memorial functions. Furthermore, we forbid the leaders of this community to step out of their community and enter our area. Worse yet, if there is a huge fire, we will not notify them. We don't even allow them to call themselves by their own name.

Please ask yourselves: Why is this not a violation of human rights?

In terms of economic power, Taiwan is the fifteenth largest economic system in the world. In terms of population size, Taiwan is the 48th largest in the more than 200 nations of the world. But Taiwan has been excluded from almost all international organizations. It has to spend money to "buy" diplomacy. When its leader travels abroad, he is insulted and humiliated. In 2006, President Chen Shui-bian went on the "lost" international mission. Although his personal ways can be criticized, the humiliation heaped on him was not just his personal one. It was a humiliation of all the people of Taiwan.

The international community knows about the political isolation of Taiwan. But I think that the international community has no awareness whatsoever about the depth and breadth of this isolation and the degree of damage done to the people of Taiwan. This is not just about the "isolation" of Taiwan in the realm of politics, but the "isolation" pervades at all levels: art, academics, public health, education, every field. Using art an example, Taiwan cannot be represented in the public national museum venue at the Venice Art Exposition. Instead, it must find another venue for which it has to worry about being able to retain for the next year.

The most prominent and acute example is the SARS episode. When the epidemic broke out, Taiwan health officials immediately contact the World Health Organisation for information and assistance. They received the response, "You are not a member. Please go and talk to Beijing." But during the initial stages when the epidemic first broke out, the Beijing officials were not even prepared to deal with their own problems.

The 23 million people in Taiwan went through a martial law period of 37 years. Martial law meant a form of siege. After the martial law period, there was another 35 years of international blockade up to now. After 37 years of martial law and 35 years of blockage, there has to be some "symptoms." In 2006, the survey results from a certain Taiwan magazine are astonishing.

* 80% of the Taiwanese do not know where the United Nations headquarters is located
* 80% of the people do not know in which city the Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded
* 80% of the people do not know where the largest rainforest in the world is located
* 60% of the people do not know the name of the currency in Germany
* 60% of the people do not know which continent Athens is located in

You should not think that this survey was conducted in some remote village. No, the principal sample came from Taipei, and the people of Taipei are supposed to have the highest educational level in the Chinese world.

The so-called international world has become a common global community. But the people of Taiwan have been deprived of the social and cultural rights to participate in this global community. Do you know that the deprivation of social and cultural rights is against the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Please read Articles 2 and 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

The western European countries are members of the United Nations. I ask how you would explain the spirit of these two articles to the children of Taiwan.

37 years of self-imposed blockage and 35 years of forced blockage. No matter whether it was self-imposed or forced, aren't the people innocent? The international isolation and "abandonment" of Taiwan made the people of Taiwan feel that they are being "punished" because they fought for democracy. The global community watch coldly that one generation after another of Taiwan children grow up in the global village, they are talented and they work hard, but they are deprived of their global citizenship as well as the basic dignity of citizens.

The damage from this deprivation is twofold:

1. Democracy in Taiwan cannot be improved materially. You tell me whether a society that cannot participate in international affairs, that cannot gain experience from international affairs and cannot that fulfill its international duties and obligations can possibly become a democracy with better quality?

2. The continuation of the isolation of Taiwan and the repeated defeats inflicted on its people has caused greater hostility towards the "originator" of the isolation: China. As the desire to oppose or separate from China grows, the possibility of conflict in the Taiwan strait becomes higher.

The international community should care about the situation of Taiwan not just for the sake of the people of Taiwan, but also for the sake of the security of the global village itself. The logic is actually simple: on the path of China's question for modernization, the Taiwan experience -- whether the good or the bad part -- should be an importance reference point for China. If an open and rational China with citizen participation is essential to world peace and stability, then the global community must not ignore the importance of Taiwan. That is to say, the more the global community supports and looks after democracy in Taiwan, the more guarantee there is for stability in the Taiwan strait and world peace.

You cannot ignore the international blockade of Taiwan and the deprivation of global citizenship to the children of Taiwan. This has to stop, not just for Taiwan but for the sake of international peace.