AuthorTopic: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview  (Read 1137 times)

Offline RE

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Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« on: April 29, 2015, 02:16:06 AM »


Off the microphones of Gail Tverberg, RE & Monsta



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Aired on the Doomstead Diner  & Our Finite World on April 29, 2015



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Discuss this Interview at the Podcast Table inside the Diner






As regular readers of the Doomstead Diner and Our Finite World know, Gail recently took a month long trip to China, where she was invited by Professor Feng to give a compact University course to Graduate and Undergraduate students at the China University of Petroleum in Beijing.




China University of Petroleum – Beijing (CUPB) is a national key university in China, located in the world famous scenic Changping District, the area close to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs. It is one of the 100 institutions implementing the national "211 Project".



The university is equipped with the first-class facilities, including a library with a collection of 300,000 books, modernized classrooms, new computer facilities and a comprehensive sports center.



Above all, CUPB has an excellent academic staff body of 545, including 121 full professors and 128 associate professors.




Unfortunately, internet access from China is limited for a couple of reasons.  First off, any number of websites (like Google for example) get the Thumbs Down from the Chinese Goobermint.  WordPress is another site not well liked by the Chinese Central Committee.  While you can access some WordPress sites from China, actually getting onto your Admin board to do publication work is close to impossible.  Besides that, access is spotty in terms of bandwidth and speed, so even if a site is theoretically accessible, the infrastructure won't allow you to access it in any usable form in many locations.  So Gail was a bit concerned before leaving that she wouldn't be able to fill in the OFW readers on her trip while she was over there.



http://www.footballoutsiders.com/images/Minicamps/PD5-1.jpgI personally am notorious for finding end-around means of getting things up on the net that are otherwise difficult to do (you have to be creative when you get booted off as many websites as I have been. :D ), so when Gail mentioned this problem on OFW, I emailed her and suggested she send me her Updates from China * in email, which I would then publish for her on OFW under my byline.  While website work is pretty tough from China, you can pretty much get your emails out.  How well this plan would actually work was a question mark since neither of us had tried such a thing before, but it turned out to work marvelously well.



Upon her return here to the FSoA, basically RIGHT OFF THE PLANE, I snagged Gail for an Interview while her recollections of the China Trip were still fresh in her mind, despite the Jet Lag of course. ;)  We cover numerous topics in this discussion, including Chinese economic issues, Water & Air Pollution issues, Demographic issues and venture off as well into discussion of the various monetary issues we see ongoing in Europe as well.



As these things go, this one is one of the best we have ever done, right up there with my personal favorite with David Korowicz, the Irishman with the Gift of the Blarney Stone who wrote Financial System Cross-Contagion: A Study in Global Systemic Collapse and a few other well documented and researched papers.  Also right up there with the most popular discussion generally speaking with Nicole Foss (aka Stoneleigh) of The Automatic Earth blog.



Hope you enjoy the discussion.  While you listen, here below are a few more pics from Gail from the China Trip.  You can find more of them in the China Trip articles in the archives on OFW.



In Taich Electric Board Room



Inside the Taichi Electric boardroom where we met with officials. The people shown came with our group, however. Lots of smoking; windows were open and no heat despite  temperature in the low 50s. No elevators in buildings we visited.



Inside graduate student officeInside the graduate students’ office where I spent my time in Beijing when not teaching. Note blue jacket, backpack, and purse. 



Where we met at third factoryWhere we met at the 3rd factory we visited in the electrical industry in Wenzhou. The individual shown is a retired professor who accompanied us on the trip.



Popular cheap noodle dishPopular cheap Chinese noodle dish in the school cafeteria. It consisted of tomato sauce with vegetables, noodles and a fried egg on top. It came with unlimited refills on the noodles and sauce, for the equivalent of $1.30.



Some sea food at restaurantPart of seafood selection at a Chinese restaurant. Most fish was cooked and served whole. Eating it with chop sticks was challenging.



Equivalent of UPS delivery for studentsThe equivalent of UPS delivery for students at the university. If a student knows the date a package is expected to come, the student can go and check the sidewalk for it. I didn’t find out what happens when it rains or snows.



Shrine at third factoryMapShrine at the 3rd factory in Wenzhou. Religious expression seems to be permitted in some areas outside of Beijing.



 



*Gail's China Trip Travelogue Posts



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Offline Eddie

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Re: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 06:34:32 AM »
So...I guess my big question (which i hope you asked Gail) is...how many, if any Chinese are aware that the world is teetering on the brink of collapse?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline MattS

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Re: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 07:12:24 AM »
So...I guess my big question (which i hope you asked Gail) is...how many, if any Chinese are aware that the world is teetering on the brink of collapse?

Out of the billions in China, how many would Gail have the opportunity to talk to? 100? And concentrated among the younger, "gee can I get my grad degree so I can buy a car" set.

Gail ran into internet censorship in China, I wonder how little the Chinese know about the world at large because of such a restriction on what an American would consider basic freedoms?

Offline Eddie

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Re: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2015, 08:11:06 AM »
The Chinese professor, Feng, sounds like someone who might have some awareness, although he might be extremely circumspect about discussing it. I'd guess you have the grad students pegged about right.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 10:35:01 AM »
So...I guess my big question (which i hope you asked Gail) is...how many, if any Chinese are aware that the world is teetering on the brink of collapse?

Yes, I asked that question.   :icon_sunny:

Gail also dropped a question on her Final Exam to the students for them to give their opinion of where the world would be in 30 years.

RE
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Gail Tverberg in China: Diner Exclusive Interview
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 05:32:13 PM »
I believe in china people are very optimistic about the future for them, when I went there last year I talked to a few shop owners and business people in starbucks or foreigner bars trying to get an idea of things like what its like living in communism. They all think like pepe escobar, its their time to shine, they want to be recognised as number one in the world and the futures so bright they gotta wear shades. Its easy to get sucked into believing when you look around at all the new buildings and building going on, see some chinese kid having a ferrari for a first car and his dad probably has a rolls royce.

what does not inspire you with confidence is exactly that question gail spoke of using an iphone app to solve, the question of WTF is that I should put in my mouth. The number of mouths to feed and the supply of food, so much must be shipped there from elsewhere and that can be blockaded pretty easy by the biggest navy in the world if they wanted to, and they do want to stop china becoming the reserve or being too big to bully. Maybe thats what all the silk roads are also about, securing food supplies over more secure land routes.
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

 

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