What I have Learned Today

I feel this strong urge to write down what I have learned today, not because I want to propagate any ideas, but because I have learned so much that I need to write them down in order to think about them.

Life at Hampshire is indeed exciting. I have never been bored at this place. Actually, I am taking in too much to properly digest them all. Everyday I am having the most wonderful intellectual massage by ideas and creativity. I am deeply grateful for it.

When we first learn stuff, we don't usually internalize the knowledge. It takes a while to let the new knowledge settle down, ferment, and then turn into my own wisdom. But one problem for me is that I am learning so many new things that I don't have enough time to really think over what I have learned. On one hand, this dilemma is an indication of my progress. But on the other hand, I regret that I can't go deeper in each subject.

OK, now I am going to talk about what exactly I have learned today. In my China Rising class, we looked at three different perspectives on evaluating Chinese foreign policy. All three are valid and valuable. They works perfectly together. We need to look at China from both macro and micro perspective. And we also need to think of China both as a "nation state" and as a "civilization state".

Now, I am also developing my own perspectives: how should I think about China? What kind of framework should I use? Should I think of China as a nation state actor in a Westphalian world? Or should I think about China from internal politics? Or both? This is a big question, and I am very glad that China Rising class is providing us with such a nice variety of different views.

In Economic Development class, we looked at IMF, World Bank, Economic Hitman etc. This is what I love about Hampshire: Hampshire is very critical, but this critical thinking is based on very solid evidence and rigorous study. We are not conspiracy theorists. We are just genuinely concerned with the real world and with the wellbeing of people around us. This is because we believe that our own wellbeing is related and reliant on other people's wellbeing; we believe that we can not achieve real wellbeing if we harm the others during the process.

During lunch, I had the privilege to listen to some brilliant comments on the "social elitism of US academia". The US academia is a very closed circle, filled with people who are interested in self-perpetuation. Again, there's no conspiracy here because no one is actively/aggressively practicing evil. People are just acting rationally to maximize their self interests. But for the outsiders, it does look like a conspiracy.

Talking about "conspiracy theory", this category has become a very convenient label to denounce criticisms. People will say "Oh this is just a conspiracy theory", and then totally reject the real criticism. Why? Because we are living in a world so full of lies that our brain can't even bear the slightest dose of truth. The truth is just too harsh for people to listen to. So let's just totally reject the criticism and go back to our favorite TV show.

In the afternoon, in my Philosophy class we talked about mind-body problem. I love this course not because the course helped me to find the right answer, but because it helped me to ask the right questions.

I always enjoy the after-class discussion with the professors. I love to be destroyed by the intellectual Weapons of Mass Destructions. Then I know what's my blind spot, and I am really to rebuild upon ruins.

What an exciting life! Not only have I been growing, I am also growing at an faster and faster rate. Be a hungry beast!

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