In the next week, please use Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com — for ONE hour at least, searching for terms in your domain. Insert useful results into Zotero & post the results (a list of citations and quotations) on the blog.
The results provided there are pre-filtered: they represent research style writing. For university purposes, inclusion of results from these network searches can increase the credibility of your writing. Studying the style of results that exist in your subject area can also be useful as models for how-to write or structure and organize an essay.
Example paragraph from a scientific article. Note how it contains support for every statement.
While the categorization, interpretation and identification of faces from conspecifics is likely a consequence of the social life, which may have resulted in neural specialization for faces , it is a further challenge to achieve at least some of these abilities with faces of heterospecifics. The configuration of the face, the underlying facial muscles and the resulting expressions are more or less different from the own, depending on how taxonomically distant the other species is [12,13]. Nevertheless, a variety of animals have been shown to be able to identify and categorize faces and also emotions of heterospecifics (e.g. macaques , sheep , horses ). Several investigations on con- and heterospecific face processing suggest learned aspects in the information transfer and speed (c.f. face expertise, [17–22]). Hereby individuals are able to recognize and discriminate best between faces similar to those that are most often seen in the environment. For instance, the influence of individual experience with the other species was shown for urban living birds like magpies  and pigeons . Especially early exposure to faces facilitates the ability of face discrimination [25,26]. Although some individuals are able to learn about heterospecific faces also later in life (e.g. chimpanzees , rhesus macaques ), they will not reach the same high level of competence [12,21]. It remains an open question, however, whether the improved abilities to read faces due to early life exposure are caused solely by an acquired early sensitivity for faces (innate mechanisms) or simply by the larger amount of experience (learned responses).
Or note how in the prologue from
]]>You are alone in the room, except for two computer terminals flickering in the dim light. You use the terminals to communicate with two entities in another room, whom you cannot see. Relying solely on their responses to your questions, you must decide which is the man, which the woman. Or, in another version of the famous “imitation game” proposed by Alan Turing in his classic 1950 paper “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” you use the responses to decide which is the human, which the machine.1 One of the entities wants to help you guess correctly. His/her/its best strategy, Turing suggested, may be to answer your questions truthfully. The other entity wants to mislead you. He/she/it will try to reproduce through the words that appear on your terminal the characteristics of the other entity. Your job is to pose questions that can distinguish verbal performance from embodied reality. If you cannot tell the intelligent machine from the intelligent human, your failure proves, Turing argued, that machines can think.
I experienced the unlucky event of my cat Paññā passing away the week before so I contacted this company called Goodbye Dear who takes care of everything after a pet dies. Last Monday afternoon I went to witness the cremation of Paññā at the company’s HQ and it was an absolute eye-opener. Below I’m going to share some photos from the place. It says so much more then the mere death of an animal – but ultimately about how their owners project their own thoughts of mortality.
You can choose to make a necklace with your pets’ hair&bones.
Different types of ash urns.
IMG_4315 IMG_4319 IMG_4321]]>
Culture & Media in Post-Socialist China
Information Fantasies: Culture and Media in the Post-Mao “New Era,” by Xiao Liu
“Chapter 4 turns to the discussion of system theory and cybernetics within 1980s Chinese intelligentsia. Both system theory and cybernetics are represented by the scientific notion of the “ultra-stable system” raised in Jin Guantao [金观涛] and Liu Qingfen [刘青峰]’s Prosperity and Crisis: on the Ultra-stable Structure of Feudal Society in China (1983), as well as in the new aesthetics experimented by Fifth Generation filmmakers such as Chen Kaigai in his much acclaimed film Yellow Earth. Liu aims to show how the perennial concern with the stagnancy of Chinese culture since the turn of the twentieth century was represented in new forms of art and aesthetic features. Liu examines the “deep cultural structure of this ancient land” (p. 87) in relation to the new cinematic language such as long shots of immobile images and the slow rhythm in Yellow Earth. In her following discussion of Huang Jianxin’s film Black Cannon Incident, Liu adopts Douglas R. Hofstadter’s aesthetics of “strange loop” — the symbols of the cause-and-effect circularity — to characterize the relationship between a human agent and his environment, between observer and system, and between the intellectuals and the culture around them. This new aesthetic form worked as a political critique of the anxiety toward an impeded modernization.”
The movies and book the dissertation mentioned are:
Jin Guantao [金观涛] and Liu Qingfen [刘青峰]’s Prosperity and Crisis: on the Ultra-stable Structure of Feudal Society in China (1983)
Chen Kaigai Yellow Earth 陈凯歌 《黄土地》
Huang Jianxin’s film Black Cannon Incident 黄建新 《黑炮事件》
Also, there is another complementary introduction for the scholar JIN Guantao and the way he deals with the system theory….
P.S. I will still stick to the topic of tattoo and ….]]>
It is easy to recognize that people can better accept those mythology which comes from Europe and America, such as Vampires, werewolf, merman, etc. However, for Chinese mythology, it seems that fewer people know about them and also it is hard to understand. But it would be a pity that those beautiful love stories and those special characters to be hidden because of cultural reasons. Therefore, this paper aims to translate those mythology stories to people who come from different countries and feel difficult to understand Chinese mythology. The paper mainly talks about one of the most important animal image in Chinese mythology, fox with nine tails. The paper would introduce this mythology image from different dynasties in Chinese history and would also contains their change process from one dynasty to another dynasty.
The fox mythology in China has a long history. The first fox image is originated from the book Shanghai Jing, which Shanghai Jing is the first book in Chinese history which records ghosts and goddesses. Shan in Chinese word characters is means mountain, and Hai means ocean. Therefore, it is not difficult to infer from the name of this book, that Shanghai Jing tells something related to geographic knowledge in the ancient time. Shanghai Jing has extraordinary value in many fields, not only for it tells lots of remarkable mythological stories that even has a profound influence in the modern society, but also for it contains lots of historical, cultural, geographic, medical, ethnological contents for scholars to do researches. The book records, “In the north of Sunrise Valley, there is a nation called Qingqiu. And there is a kind of beasts that lives in this country. It looks like fox but has nine tails and its sound like a baby. Whoever eats this beast would never be poisoned.” Although this animal image was a very small portion in Shanghai Jing, however, it gradually becomes one of the most important Chinese mythical creature image over history.
The first fox story happened in Xia Dynasty. This Dynasty existed from B.C.2029 to B.C. 1559, which is the first Chinese empire. The first fox story is related to the King of this Dynasty , Yu (禹)，who built Chinese imperial system. The story tells, the king Yu was devoted himself into water conservancy project in order to bring benefit to his citizens and gain respect. One day he arrived at Tushan and he met a nine-tailed fox. Suddenly the fox became into a beautiful girl and said her name is Jiao, the daughter of Tushan. Yu fell in love with this girl and they married. But Yu spent most of his time to the water conservancy project and did not have much time accompany with his wife. Because Jiao was so miss his husband, so that she stand on the top of mountain everyday. But days went by but his husband would never come back. However, once Jiao went to see Yu, she saw Yu became a black bear. And she was so scared and turn to a stone. Yu said to that rock, “give my son back.” And the rock was separated, then Yu brought his son back.
In fact, Jiao is the daughter of one of most powerful local tribes which respect fox as totem. The reason why ancient people respect the fox with nine-tails is that in Chinese conception, tail means child. Child is very important in a Chinese family because it needs someone to inherit the family business. And nine is a a lucky number in Chinese conception. Therefore, a fox has nine-tails symbolize that a family would have lots of sons. There are also another similar stories in Chinese mythology that dragon has nine sons. Therefore, as we can see in this story, the image of fox is totally different from what people think of fox today. Actually in the ancient time, people though the fox with nine tails as the messenger of God, its social status is as same as Hermes in Greek mythology. But with the time goes by, the women’s social position and human’s respect to nature were decreasing gradually. The image of fox also experienced substantial changes.
When time came to Ming Dynasty, there is a famous literature masterpiece that even has profound effect today, which is called The Legend and The Hero. The book tells an epic story about Shang Dynasty. There was a very very beautiful woman called Daji in the Shang Dynasty and no man can deny her charm. And she used her beautiful performance captivated the King and became the Queen of the nation. This would be a wonderful love story if the story ends here. However, Daji is a nine-tailed fox and she raise a tyranny in the political filed. She led the King to kill his senators who are really loyal to him and squeeze the citizens and rob their money. These kinds of action caused revolution and finally lead the dynasty to the end. Because the book is so famous in China and also because the women’s rights in Ming Dynasty have been cruelly exploited. Hence, fox gradually become an image that always used to describe bad women. From here, we can see that
Another important change happened in Qing Dynasty. A man called Songling Pu wrote a book named Ghosts and Foxes. The book is consisted of four hundreds and ninety-one short stories and contains eighty-nine stories about fox. During thousands of years, Chinese people were talking about fox stories. Traditional fox characters are always bold into debauched women who steal men’s life, or a charter that has special power and after thousands of year, it would turn into God. However, in Songling’s book, he gave fox human’s character and made these foxes into a lovely, intelligent and beautiful women characters. They act or try to act as a human being. And once they fall in love with a man, they dare to revolt tradition rules for guarding their love.
Actually, Songling aimed to use these characters to anti-tradition. The thought in Qing dynasty became pedantic, and the rules restrict people to reflect and judge. Women lived under suppression and their social status were decrease to the lowest situation. In such situation, Songling wanted to use these characters to satire the feudal society and revoke people to rebel with the imperial system.
Look over the whole history about the fox, it can be also concluded some other reasons except literary reasons. Firstly, there is an old saying in China, that destruction pursues the great. It means if a person stand in a higher place would be easily to be attacked because of others’ jealousy. Foxes always have beautiful performance, and it can be easily speculated in
a feudal society, the conservative would defame the fox image in order to constraint people from thinking. In the past, people always used fox to describe beautiful women. Therefore, the transformation of fox image also reflect the decline of women’s social status in the other way. Another reason is that compare with other mythical creatures such as dragon, phoenix, fox is a more common animal. Things are valued in proportion to its rarity. The image of fox have experienced defamation through the history and finally because a word of curse.]]>