Category Archives: In the News

NPR Story about Shanghai Subway Passenger

This story about a foreigner passing out on the subway in Shanghai caught my attention; and I thought it might interest some of our readers as well. It turns out that after fainting and falling to the floor, not a single person tried to help the foreigner. The explanations in the article seem a bit dubious; and there’s no fat villan to throw in front of the subway car, which would make for a more interesting discussion; but I’m guessing a few of you might have some thoughts on the piece nonetheless.

Malik’s Piece on Buddhism and Bigotry in the NYT

I thought this was interesting, though Malik clearly undermines his own implied connection between Buddhism and the bigotry late in the article. Worth a quick read perhaps? Here’s a little bit to get you started:

There is perhaps no religion that Western liberals find more appealing than Buddhism. Politicians fawn over the Dalai Lama, celebrities seek out Buddhist meditation, and scientists and philosophers insist that Buddhism has much to teach us about human nature and psychology.

Even some of the so-called New Atheists have fallen for Buddhism’s allure. For most of its Western sympathizers, Buddhism is a deeply humanist outlook, less a religion than a philosophy, a way of life to create peace and harmony.

The Rohingya people of Myanmar take a very different view of Buddhism. The Rohingya are Muslims who live mostly in Rakhine, in western Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh. Early Muslim settlements there date from the seventh century. Today, in a nation that is 90 percent Buddhist, there are some eight million Muslims, of whom about one in six is Rohingya.

For the Myanmar government, however, the Rohingya simply do not exist…

Bell Op-ed on Harmony Index

Today’s Financial Times has an op-ed by Daniel Bell on the Harmony Index (an index that ranks countries according to level of social harmony that he developed with Yingchuan Mo at Tsinghua’s Center for International and Comparative Political Theory):