Commentator Zhang Tiankan explores the themes of the movie Oppenheimer, and examines how nuclear weapons may not destroy the earth, but definitely might wipe out humanity and all life.
I recently watched Oppenheimer and it reminded me of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “The state was made for man, not man for the state.” This was possibly the difference between Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. The meaning of “state” is abstract, fluid and changing, and the idea that “I will always love my country” has long been shaken. Just as Einstein must have loved Germany but had to leave, there was a lot of helplessness and conflict — between people and government, politics and science, domination and egalitarianism. While the scientific spirit of “facts over authorities and books; always exchanging, comparing and reassessing opinions” is somewhat idealistic, like the law, it is worth holding on to. If academics do not stand with the people, who then will fight “evil”? Between scholars and the wise ones, there is just a little more justice, conscience and sense of humanity. — Bai Yi
Art historian Chiang Hsun recalls a time of basking in the glow of natural light that can be hardly seen or felt today. Modern artificial lights have driven out the darkness, but along with it life itself.
Discovering that horoscopes could be a discipline in itself, Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun takes back his earlier dismissal of them as a cheap thrill. Studying the stars and how they gather and scatter with the life choices one makes is a teaching in itself.
While it is easy for public commentators to lash out at perpetrators and victims alike in #MeToo cases, the psychological factors behind each case are complex. Would angry bashing tamp down our empathy for the afflicted in rooting out the underlaying issues behind sexual assault?
Musing at the way modern hands are preoccupied with the mindless scrolling of mobile phones, art historian Chiang Hsun remembers his mother who knew the weight of things with one touch of her hands. Those same hands made countless beautiful sweaters and embroidery for her family — it was her labour of love.
While advanced AI tools like ChatGPT are viewed as a potential threat to jobs, all is not lost as workers can adapt by learning to work with such technology to achieve better outcomes.