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This blog wishes it be known that the opinions presented herein are the sole responsibility of the author, and do not represent the feelings, opinions, ideas, or conclusions of any affiliated organization or group. Additionally, the author has chosen to keep the blog confidential during the Olympic Games 2008, as the reaction of the PRC towards foreign opinion remains ungauged. Thanks for reading.
Beijingfuturesdreams, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

August -- The Futures Present Opinion: Blink China, "No Way."

Blink/China : “No Way.”

A popular read for many futures oriented individual was Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, wherein he examines the phenomena of systems on the brink of change. Recently, Gladwell published another book called Blink- and examination of “intuition” and split second decision and judgment making. While generally I espouse a more thorough examination before settling on a decision or judgment, I think it important to now state the most telling statement my brain spoke upon being in China for less than two days: “No Way.”

Honestly, I was not even in Beijing when this thought first crossed my mind, but rather in one of China’s older capitals, Xi’an, located west of Beijing in Shaanxi province. After a day of recovery from massive linguistic, currency, and altitude changes, I had this quiet thought staring down from a window onto Xi’an’s main street. At dawn the traffic begins to whir around the main turnabout at the city’s cultural epicenter, the Bell Tower, and for the next 18 hours the stream of traffic is heavy and continuous.

I thought perhaps that such a high concentration of automobiles was due only to the centrality of the locale, but as I looked back on the size of the roads and traffic even at midnight I knew this reaction was true.

I had no real deeply seeded preconceptions of what China was to look like, or be composed of. I had the vaguest idea that it was home to the world’s largest population, and was in the midst of an economic boom. However, these ideas had no placement in terms of real-world manifestations in people’s daily lives. No concept for how many cars were on the road, what urban infrastructures were in place, and what activities were involved. I knew that China was hungry, and growing fast, but what that looked like I had only blurry imaginations.

Staring down on the street that morning, and hearing “No Way” echo through my mind, was not the culmination of watching Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure too many times, or living in Hawaii for too long. Rather, it was an encompassing statement that echoed my opinion of the PRC’s development goals in relation to such issues as oil production and consumption, water availability, and the use of other natural resources. Yes, that is what I think about during my travels, because in my opinion the experience is had in order to be useful, and I intend to make use of my time in helping to plan for better systems of urban growth and resource management, for developing future worlds that we ALL prefer.

While I continue to research the various trends, numbers, and opinions concerning these issues, I reserve this blog entry for my “snap-judgment.” Having finally rested my body and mind to the point that “snapping” was in fact possible, the judgment came down from my cerebral cortex as the elegantly spoken : “No Way.”

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