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arhyalon

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08:47 am: Alternate Worlds

This is the third time I've written this...keep losing it somehow:

Still reading Red China Blues.

Very few people left the West to go China in the first few decades of Communism there. Very few. At one point, there were maybe two dozen Westerners in China (or at least in the Beijing area.)  Among those two dozen was one of the USA's top nuclear physicists from Los Alamo. She had held the bomb that blew up Hiroshima in her hands.

The Red Chinese put her to work at a dairy farm.

A dairy farm.

Not building the bomb for others, not working in a lab. A dairy farm.
 

For which I thank God!

A bit different from the way the US handled Einstein and the other scientists who fled Germany.

Apparently, the young woman thought that the scientists would have some control over how the technology they were building was used (like in a science fiction story where it's the scientist who has the superweapons, I guess.) When the thing she helped create killed so many people, she freaked.

I'm very glad I don't live in the alternate world where they made a different choice.


The author was also in the Beijing Hotel, overlooking Tiananmen Square (The Square of Heavenly Peace) the day the soldiers finally cracked down on the students. I had had no idea how universal the support of the people of China was for the protesting students. In the two months leading up to the final showdown, Grannies had lay down in front of tanks. People had filled the streets blocking the way for soldiers. Amazing things.

Considering that 1989 was the same year that the Berlin Wall came down, it is interesting to think about what might have happened if the officials in charge had responded to the requests for more democracy.

Had they, Communism in China and the Soviet Union would have come apart at basically the same time.

Kind of would have liked to live in that world.




Comments

[User Picture]
From:jongibbs
Date:January 21st, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
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Re: 'This is the third time I've written this...keep losing it somehow'

I type my entries in Word then cut & paste them when needed. It does cause problems with the html, but on the plus side, you won't have to re-type entire posts.

Hope that helps :)
[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:January 21st, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
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It's happened to me so often, I do something similar, but I use notepad--no extra code.
[User Picture]
From:jongibbs
Date:January 21st, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Lately, I've found LJ's Word-text-to-html translator a little shaky - especially when I try to link to an LJ-user's blog within a post.

Either that or I'm just not that smart, which, to be fair, is an equally plausible explanation :)
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 21st, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
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I do things slightly more complicatedly: I write them in Word, paste them in an outgoing email message, change the Formatting setting to Plain Text and then paste it into LJ.

Using Notepad, would, of course, be simpler.
[User Picture]
From:mount_oregano
Date:January 21st, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
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MS Word *always* has problems when it's cut and pasted into other programs. The problem is Word, not LiveJournal.

And that's why I hate hate hate MS Word. Will not use it. Ever. It's a bad, badly written program.

Typical of MicroSoft, though.

P.S. I use WordPerfect. It is great, and has no problems when you paste directly into LiveJournal.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 21st, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
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I do that for important things, like writing posts. But off the cuff comment posts, I often do right online...which turned out to be a mistake in this case.
[User Picture]
From:jongibbs
Date:January 21st, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
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Stupid computers :(
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:January 21st, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
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I'm looking forward to the Internet to tear down many of the walls in China. It may be a slow process, but knowledge--even when strictly monitored and meted out piecemeal by the Great Firewall of China--will have its way.
[User Picture]
From:princejvstin
Date:January 21st, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
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I would have liked to live in that world too.

As those events were unfolding, my older brother told me "China is going to become a democracy."

I, being less optimistic, and having read a little bit of Chinese history, told him he was wrong.

Unfortunately, I was right. What we have is an economically liberal "Mao Dynasty".
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