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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Chinese Are the Victorians

Posted by on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Impossible to miss the melancholy (we Brits used to be great) in this Al Jazeera report about the London Underground, a Victorian achievement...

Where the Victorians now?

It used to take the best part of 24 hours to travel by train from Beijing to the southern boomtown of Guangzhou. But as of Wednesday, when the world's longest high-speed rail line opened for business, the 1,428-mile journey has been cut to a mere eight hours.

The trains travel at an average speed of 186mph, passing through five provinces as they tear through the countryside.

China's high-speed rail network is one of the country's most expensive infrastructure projects and a symbol of its long-term ambitions.


Comments (13) RSS

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originalcinner 1
I don't know what is up with Charles' video embeds, but they never work on my computer (I think Firefox adblocks them; they work with IE, I just never use IE). Everyone else's videos work perfectly for me.
Posted by originalcinner on January 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this

What amazed me is that it's only 4 hours from Seattle to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Alaskan Air (737). The flight is a lot more East-West than I had expected, crossing 2 time'll see on a globe that the west coast of Mexico slides under the central US.

Puerto Vallartans are ecologically minded, and 70% of them ride public transit. They like change, but they also like things the way they are. Maybe Puerto Vallarta is the Seattle of Mexico.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 4
It's truly amazing what you can achieve if you have no regard for the impacts to the natural environment or to communities that happen to be in the way of progress.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on January 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
Well, a society becomes protective when all their future is rolled up into one child, not many.

That said, we need more high speed trains - and to stop subsidizing air travel to the vast unpopulated areas of our country.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
dirac 6
Meanwhile, Tibetans are burning themselves--just for kicks I am sure since the story we hear from the Chinese regime is that they're just helping out a backward culture. Yeah, in a Final Solution sort of way.

Sounds familiar. But victory! Yay!
Posted by dirac on January 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
biffp 7
Hilarious Daily Show bit last night on the First Fox News Boner Alert Of 2013 - Al Jazeera England buying Current TV.…
Posted by biffp on January 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
@6 Tibetans were burning themselves when their warrior culture expanded into India and China, before the revolts.

Just saying.

Many of the peaceful religions were not so, when they started. They became so in response to their warlike nature, and the rebellion of the warrior classes used for expansion.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
@7 yeah, that was cool.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
rob! 10

(Refresh once if it times out due to the link-shortener.)
Posted by rob! on January 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
dirac 11
@8 Um reference on the self-immolation bit? Yes, they were a warrior culture but you're conflating several disparate caricatures of the past where the present indicates the current regime of genocide. The same can be said about First Peoples who are painted with ine gloss of "warrior culture" which helps us feel good about our past success in genocide
Posted by dirac on January 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
@11 multiple references, some on PBS, some on CBC, some in textbooks. India and the Tibetan culture and China and the Tibetan culture have had periodic wars. The Mongol invasions mostly stopped those. Some think that one reason why the Han chinese are so willing (current China is mostly a Han invention) to occupy Tibet is they were not continually at war with them, as most other areas in China have been. Chinese history goes back many thousands of years.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
(oh, and many many movies from India, China, and nearby countries - fascinating cultures, overall)
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
-B- 14
Unsure what point you are trying to make here. Making the underground in London seem ancient, therefore the Brits are done and comparing it to a fast train in China to make the Chinese seem progressive is weird. Britain has a fast train from London to Paris and have had it for awhile. Are they progressive now that we mention that? And is China now backward since it took so long to get there fast train? Must make the US completely prehistoric since it has no fast train infrastructure.
They are just trains and the technology is old and well established everywhere. Nothing to see here move on!
Posted by -B- on January 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this

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