2,546 reputation
822
bio website dnselite.com
location China
age 37
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen Apr 6 at 8:41

I am an English teacher, born in Scotland but I have been living in China since 2006. In my spare time I build websites and write articles about China. I am also a keen travel photographer and contributor to Getty Images stock library.


Mar
20
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
@called2voyage Nay, I will say that in all the events mentioned, firearms played just as much a role in preventing and delaying democracy as the did in supporting. The US government might be supported by an army, but so too is that of the DPRK. Dictators, Fascists, Communists, Anarchist and other such non-democratic powers have all come to power via the gun.
Mar
20
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
@called2voyage what popycock. I think you'll find that in all the events mentioned, shoes and socks played a supporting role assisting democracy.
Oct
21
comment How did the conquering Mongols and Manchus of China end up becoming part of China?
This is fiction.
Jul
18
comment How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?
As accurate as any other date for any other ancient culture. No, we can't be 100% certain they are correct but we have nothing else.
Jul
17
comment How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?
There are no dates given. There are events, eras and reigns. You can only determine the actual date indirectly.
Jul
17
comment How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?
They didn't date their documents in a style that you would understand as a date until relatively recent times. After European influence they retroactively imposed a system of continuous dating but not in a consistent way. For example, there is no consensus on the epoch. However, such does not matter as the Chinese calendar is not used to measure history but rather to calculate astrological events.
Jul
16
comment How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?
There is no historical documentation that far back. That would be an oxymoron. How could you have a document that pre-dates the first writing.
Jun
25
comment Great Wall of China Controversy
Can you reference the stories/articles you are commenting on? Particularly the 2009 announcement and the 2012 announcement.
Dec
20
comment Why did non-monarchic rule meet with so little success in ancient China?
@Felix Goldberg "Oligarchy...a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
Apr
5
comment In current times is it impossible to win a war if the people of invaded country are determined not to lose?
The Vietnam war was lost not only because of the North Vietnamese army as you say, but also because the South was exactly like Iraq and Afghanistan. There were insurgents and the pro-USA government in the south was far from stable. When the USA pulled out, the South government fell. Same will probably happen in Iraq and Afghanistan. America needs to realise that democracy means most countries will choose governments that are different from what the USA would like. You can't impose a government on a country and claim to be creating democracy.
Mar
16
comment Since the inception of the United States, has the term “America” ever referred to something more than simply “the United States”?
@Robusto When demonstrators yell "Death to America", they are usually not shouting in English so the confusion over the name doesn't apply.
Mar
16
comment Since the inception of the United States, has the term “America” ever referred to something more than simply “the United States”?
@Jay South Americans are not Americans. South America, and Carabean are part of the Americas (drop the 'n').
Jan
31
comment Who was responsible for the partition of India?
@mgb Sure, minorities in Greater India were oppressed but it was no genocide. It is important to remember that the Muslims were both minority in some areas and majority in others. You seem to favour the Muslims in Hindu India while ignoring the Hindus in Muslim Pakistan. The partition triggered a massive genocide of minorities on both sides of the borders. There were other options and the negligence and over-hast of the partition is a tragedy that was foreseen and could have been prevented.
Jan
8
comment Who was responsible for the partition of India?
India had lived with a mix of Hindu and Muslims side by side for hundreds of years. There is no reason that this peaceful coexistence could not have continued for long after but for a few high profile politicians (some of whom counted Gandhi as a friend) who sought partition and stirred trouble.
Nov
30
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
Isn't the internet worderful: mongabay.com/images/commodities/charts/beef.html the price of beef in Kenya in 1986 was almost the same as in 2005.
Nov
30
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
@DVK - Cause I can do basic maths: 4 is less than 15.
Nov
10
comment Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
I think that, although the Russian advance into Manchuria did not in itself cause the end of the war, if given a little more time, it would have. Had Japan lost it's hold on the north east of China and Korea, it would have significantly have constrained their ability to fight in the long term. One can only speculate about the costs in life of the various options and hindsight is 20/20.
Nov
2
comment What is the most widely accepted theory on the ancient “Sea Peoples”?
I think it's a valid question. Though Wikipedia lists allot of information, its Non-POV position means that it weights all possible theories evenly, even though some are less well supported than others. It's quite right to ask if any of the six theories is more likely than the others.
Oct
31
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
@Anschel Schaffer-Cohen. I don't think Scotland can be compared to the Warsaw Pact countries during the cold war. During WWII Eastern Europe was conquered first by the Germans then conquered/liberated by the Russians. Soldiers marched through the streets. Scotland's position was quite different. Scotland could better be likened to Virginia and other Southern States in being voluntarily joined in a union that later became unwelcome but unable to secede.
Oct
30
comment Are there confirmed cases where a country changed its language without being conquered?
@Martin Sojka, If you have references, add that as your own answer below. Personally, that's outside my area of expertise.