Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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The Moral Compass

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, May 16, 2011

The Moral Compass

I have this device called a Moral Compass. You probably do, too. Most of us have them, in fact. And they’re really useful things to have around – they sort of let us know what the right thing to do is, which is very handy in this crazy, mixed-up world.

But the problem is, Moral Compasses don’t always point due north, as it were. Or, rather, one person’s due north is another person’s sou’sou’east. Whatever, the point is they don’t all point the same way. For instance, there are people out there who are quite prepared to strap a bomb to their chest and detonate it in a cafe. Now, I totally get the reason why, I really do. I can even empathise with these people. But it isn’t the way my Moral Compass points and I would be hard-pressed to find a situation where I’d approve of that. If you are one these people, rest assured that I find it equally repulsive when other people bomb your village from thirty thousand feet and then refer to what’s left of everyone you knew as “collateral damage” or “insurgents”. My Moral Compass doesn’t point that way at all, for which I am eternally grateful.

The Moral Compass is a very tricky device, and sometimes it leads us astray, but though it may be a flawed tool, it’s the best that many of us have. But because it is so tricky, I generally refer to it in only two situation: when I am not remotely sure of what I should do; and when I am absolutely sure of what I should do. Those are the times when the Moral Compass is most useful.

But it is flawed, nevertheless, and has a tendency to drift over time. And so, therefore, sometimes it needs calibration from an external reference point. My reference point is a chap by the name of John Chinaman.

You may have met John Chinaman – he does get around, certainly. I keep bumping into him wherever I travel. And the nice thing about John Chinaman, is that his Moral Compass always points 180 degress the opposite of what I want mine to point to. I just compare my Moral Compass to his, and if they are not 180 degrees in opposition, then I know it’s mine that needs adjusting, because John Chinaman’s Moral Compass hasn’t shown any change since the dawn of time.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are lost as to the correct course of action, or alternatively are so very certain of yourself that you cannot be persuaded of another’s viewpoint, then take a look at John Chinaman’s Moral Compass and adjust your course accordingly.

There’s something in that for all of us.

33 Responses to “The Moral Compass”

  1. Nips Are Great said

    So we’re good for bashing commiejohnnychinky.

    What a relief.

  2. Long long time been here said

    So North is towards Japan then?

  3. Nips Are Great said

    Don’t doubt this sends shivers down the spines of the CCP leaders.


    They’ll probably have an inner-Party circular on it warning provincial and city level leaders and security bureaus to not let the Chinese rabble get out of hand.

    “The crimes listed by the prosecutor included “intentional murder, attempted killing of some demonstrators … misuse of influence and deliberately wasting public funds and unlawfully making private financial gains and profits”.”

  4. long long time been here said

    What’s the boss’s take on this Yahoo and Alibaba situation? Seems to me another dodgy business tactic with the support of the CCP, correct me if I’m wrong. Holiday in Inner Mongolia anybody, there are many beautiful sights to see there, grassy plains, many ancient and traditional cultural relics, rioting, some pancaked herders with truck tread on their faces, seems to be a habit of the Han wherever they go to run people over in trucks.

    • Chinese Netizen said

      Alibaba is and always will be a dodgy “business model”. Look at the site…a vast majority of the users there engage very openly in counterfeiting and aiding of smuggling. Alibaba enables criminal activity, quite frankly.

      Plus that Jack Ma just looks creepy. Sort of like a malnourished ET…

    • Nips Are Great said

      So I have a question.

      And that happens now and then. I’ll be happy to listen/read an answer from the fine host of the site, Mr. Laowai, or anybody who thinks they have something worthwhile saying on the topic.

      While at university I studied Chinese. And my Chinese teachers were all from Peking (so they said). And I distinctly remember my two second year Chinese teachers (they were older ladies – one had a great set of ta-tas) telling the whole class that the word ‘han’ is a Chinese word for ‘Chinese’.

      And this is apparent when it’s joined with other words.

      ‘hanzi’ means ‘Chinese language/script’. It doesn’t mean ‘script of China’s dominant ethnic han people’ because ‘han people’ are ‘Chinese people’ and the Chinese language is ‘han zi’ and ‘han yu’.

      A traitor in Chinese is a ‘han jian’ = a traitor to the ‘Chinese nation’.

      So I’m certain you folks know where I’m going with this.

      ‘Han’ means Chinese language and people. It doesn’t mean the dominant ethnic group in Hanland with their happily oppressed little brother minorities.

      I’ve been told that old English/Chinese Chinese/English dictionaries still define ‘han’ just as I’ve done, just as I was taught by Chinese teachers from Beijing.

      But now the way folks use the term ‘han’ Chinese… Well as far as I’m concerned this isn’t quite right and helps justify the occupation of countries and oppression of people who aren’t Chinese at all.

      And let’s face it. The Han/Chinese sense of cultural superiority excludes the ones they oppress in the South, in the West, and in southern Mongolia. And I know many Chinese nationalists that hate the Manchus and don’t regard them as ‘Chinese’ because of the history of the Qing Dynasty – a foreign dynasty.

      Koreans are Koreans, not an ethnic minority in the N.E.

      But using the language and terms that currently pass means that if the Han successfully invaded Japan the Japanese would become an ethnic minority of China.



      • 0112337 said

        And what is your point?

        The majority of Inner Mongolia is populated by the Han Chinese. According to your logic that region is part of China.

        On the other hand, It is interesting to remark that Europeans and North Americans are really one nation during times of crisis. Poor Libya, it is being raped by the combined forces of North America AND Europe. How could it ever stand a chance?

        Tell me, if NATO “liberates” Libya from Qaddafi’s “dictatorship”, isn’t it effectively conquered by the collective “West” ? And its inhabitants forced to be “Western” ? And you are saying that it is wrong for Chinese culture to be propagated in the same way?

        Why? I fail to see the purity, sincerity, and innocence that may perhaps justify your statements.

      • long long time been here said

        No point, just a statement, you think too much

      • 0112337 said

        LLTBH, I think a lot of people here don’t think enough, that’s why they come and rant all the time.

        Nothing is impossible to accomplish, there is always a solution to every problem. The only difference is, can that person find the BEST solution.

        Consider this, if the first Chinese business people of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s adopted your method of endless complaints, could they have forged such great economic empires, such as we see today?

      • MyLaowai said

        Wait a minute… Are you referring to the ‘clever Chinese businessman’?

        I thought that myth had been properly busted a long time ago already.

      • 0112337 said

        Well Laowai, the moral argument aside, I personally think if they followed conventional wisdom, they would have never made it.

        Let me clarify. Are you familiar with the economic concept of Game Theory? Well, in this idea, scholars focus on what happens when two or more “players” compete in a competition.

        There are a few outcomes, some of them being the best choice for each player given the choice of the other player, these are called the “Nash Equilibria”.

        So, if Player A plays fair, and player B plays fair, they both get average payoffs. But if A undercuts B, but not vice versa, then Player A gets a bigger reward. It also works in reverse. This is somewhat like what has happened in international trade in the 70s, 80s, 90s apparently. Chinese businessmen, through their cunning, undercut their foreign competitors, and in the end gained greater rewards.

        But here is the catch, according to this theory, one of the “Nash Equilibria”, or predicted final outcomes, where each player picks her best strategy given the strategy of the other, is that both will undercut each other, resulting in the worst possible outcome, far worse than if they did not cheat one another.

        This could be the evolution of business if there are no laws or that a culture of honesty and trust aren’t in place. So, theoretically, in order to have sustainable economic activity in the future, China will definitely revise its legal system and establish a culture built on trust rather than short term cunning. It’s inevitable, according to this theory. You watch, that will be the trend.

        You guys are simply lucky in that you got in early and established yourselves. When I get to be your age, I don’t think I will have as much opportunity any more. Things are moving fast over there, in 20 years, the Chinese market may be pretty much established.

      • 0112337 said

        The problem with the Chinese people is that they are too rational. They behave almost like perfect “homines economici”, which means that many of them, without the constraints of law, would undercut one another and ultimately ruin everything.

        Economists stress the need for government intervention such as law, to prevent economic agents from destroying one another in such competitions. However, I believe, another possible solution is religion.

        Religion makes people less rational. In the context of this theory, religion simply convinces both players that if they don’t cheat/undercut, they get a higher utility payoff AFTER the game. When they die. This causes the fundamentally dishonest but rational economic players to rationally stay away from cheating.

      • long long time been here said

        You analyze too much, just let it be.

      • Rappy Pun Zelly said

        People from poor countries always cheat each other. There’s nothing special about China in this respect.

  5. Hans Dampf said

    Absolutely off topic but need to rant…. and where else if not here :)

    I am trying to get a Visa FOR India FROM China. This is like the ultimate mindfuck. One completely lazy, retarded and incompetent nation dealing with another completely lazy, retarded and incompetent nation. Red tape here we go! I feel like in batman, ‘an unstoppable force hits an immovable object’ , the two masters of idiocy have met…
    My only hope is that within the mix of utterly stupidity and slow bureaucracy i have my chance to bribe the right person at the right time to actually get what i want..

    Fuck em both!

    …well at least Indians got balls.

  6. Xiang Ning said

    you are so funny foreigners .we chinese are very different from you . we special in all world .we do our own way the way of culture and world civilised people , not so low and stupid like you . chinese are higher in everything . so we leader now. haha! you loosing foreigner ! , not like you. first you speak the english very bad many if the you . see , we speak english better now more than you. but we no need english is only for use to control the foreigner . chinese is best advancing high 5000 old year languagee . second , is no use you talk so bad of chinese peoples . you envy us very much you want be like us but cannot. because you not chinese and you are foregner., our high culture and power now , and all our invented things for world (such as gun, civilisation, morale, culture , food cooking, car, radio ,army tactis, fire , poems, art and many much more!) and .you are so patetical and dream and not see truth now. you no longer have the big mouth. now chinese master of you and you are down soon and speak chinese in your country and have chinese culture .! in fact ,your country will belong to China one day, and then world is chinese! our PLA\, is best modern army in all world!! is stronger and stronger !

  7. jenny xia said

    China has the aircraft carrier,stealth fighting plane and shoot satelllite of the american! Soon go to moon and the mars foreign land ! proud to be chinese!China spreaded the culture in the universal as being most advance ancient civilization for 9000 years!. so strong! 中国!jealous foreigners!

  8. Zhangzhongnan said

    Jenny you are very wrong. according to new studies by government in china and very good china education ministry, chinese culture is 12.000 years old. this is clearly true, because our government approved CHINA is FIRST culture in all world and oldest ancient high culture! Also in the globaltimes text (it a world famous CHINESE newspaper read all in the world!) i read Chinese indeed invent food and cooking while foreigners have no idea and copy from us how to eat in civilized manners.

    We are really best and most advanced and superiors country in the world. is good too, and i agree with fellow xiang, we are best and can produce all with our chinese people with invention and smartnesses. foreigners cannot, because they contirbute very nothing to development of world! because they are foreigners, and foreigners are very stupid and not handsome like the CHINESE. no culture. we believe in Party for more glorious times and one day world belong to China.

  9. Long Long Time Been Here said

    Isn’t it funny, does anybody get the feeling that Xiang Ning, jenny xia and Zhangzhongnan are the same person trying pathetically to wind people up? Haha nice try!

  10. Zhangzhongnan said

    Long Long Time Been Here, hanse dampf,nips great are same foreigners to wind people up and lie to make China bad. nice try!

  11. Long Long Time Been Here said

    @Zhangzhongnan: Foreigners don’t need to lie to make China look bad, you’re doing a good job of that yourself, maybe you need to get laid, that’s the problem with most young Chinese these days, they don’t get laid enough. You need a good long hard……..

  12. Zhangzhongnan said

    I look you! now fuck you foreigner and stop hurt chinese people feelings. get civilization and study to speak with people!. fuck you! stupid foreigner! learn how speak with people with culture first you low stupid foreigner and get education how to speak with CHINESE!

    • MyLaowai said

      how to speak with CHINESE

      I use English, and, when that doesn’t work, a large stick.

      Sometimes both.

      • Zhangzhongnan said

        and we use our power to buy you and dominate you now.china is world greatest power in all history of world now with highest civilisation.you are small foreigner.first we buy all your country,then you serve us and civilise you.next we get your women for our peoples to use.you already do what we say.it will be much better in future.the chinese race is stronger and then you will get the stick by your masters,the CHINESE. you stupid jealous white monkey slave trash

      • MyLaowai said

        Um… Ok, I guess.

        Thanks for stopping by. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, though.

  13. Zhangzhongnan said

    you think you are king??hurting our feelings all time and you want last word?you use stupid words and talk like monkey.CHINA is this the door hit you in ass now!are you stupid?ook in world now,China leader in all things in the world and you arrogant because jealous and insult China!you learn respect soon from biggest power and you shut up and do what we say.or all you foreigners get beat very very hard! you respect the high culture in world is CHINA! China hate you foreigners you are low and stupid and ugly race and weak and make show and do nothing for world only take and use..wait China is bigger and bigger in future!!!!!i give you job /no payment/ to clean my toilet foreigner in near future.

  14. Zhangzhongnan said

    also you not respect other country and culture.because you arrogant.learn from China.we have many etnics and see all is living harmony and work together.you arrogant stupid laowai.racist and hate China because jealous to us!!!!

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