Bailong Elevator, the highest outdoor elevator in the world

The Bailong Elevator is the world’s highest outdoor elevator, towering an astonishing 1,070 feet high inside the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Opened in 2002, the elevator allows 50 visitors at a time to skip up the mountain in two minutes versus a dangerous five-hour car ride. As you can […]

Why there are three types of chopsticks

People have been eating with chopsticks since the 4th century BC. In the below video, historian Edward Wang explains why the chopsticks in China, Japan, and Korea are all unique: To summarize: The Chinese developed longer chopsticks in the 10th century to share food. Sitting around tables, they needed an extended utensil to reach dishes […]

China’s ‘Chabuduo’ Mindset

Done is better than perfect, in some cases, as in updating a web design or app. But in China, ‘almost’ is a pervasive and dangerous mindset. Known as ‘Chabuduo’ or ‘good/close enough,’ can have disastrous effects when it comes to building everyday things, especially infrastructure. James Palmer is a foreigner living in China and writes […]

Ai Weiwei on Beijing surveillance

One of the key traits of any artist is to protect against and take advantage of the contradictions. It goes back to what F. Scott Fitzgerald said about intelligence: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to […]

Why Europe works

Of course China is growing faster than Europe. It’s easy to grow fast if you starve and impoverish your people, and then suddenly introduce a free market with imported technology, international trade and almost no environmental controls. That’s catch-up. Good artists copy. Great artists steal. China is accelerating faster than all of us but will […]

Authoritarian gatekeepers

Despite the rapid rise of the Internet and social media, governments in China, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Iran, Zimbabwe and elsewhere are finding ways to use state-controlled media to help themselves stay in power. They achieve this through selective censorship of political expression and by using state media to influence crucial audiences. If we think people excessively […]