An apology to all readers: a couple of weeks ago, in a public-spirited sort of way, I offered advice as to how to go about getting stabbed. Although I hope you will accept that I was well intentioned, the article was clearly deficient and even offensive in two important respects. First, I neglected to explain how one might go about getting stabbed twice — and, since I wrote, the window for that particular opportunity seems to have been closed.
Mark Leonard, Britain’s pre-eminent analyst of modern China, says the Olympic genie is out of the bottle. The prospect of global scrutiny has actually increased repression as the authorities try to stamp out dissent. But digital technology is impossible to police‘For years we couldn’t wait for the Olympics to start. Now we can’t wait for them to be over.’ That is how a Chinese friend described the horrible limbo in Beijing as a control-freak state tries to anticipate and eliminate any possible challenges to its glorious coming-out party on the 8th of the 8th, 2008.
Lloyd Evans joins the dissident movement in a ritual exercise near the Chinese Embassy. He is unsettled to find himself understanding why China’s rulers get so paranoid about themBong. Up go our hands. Bong. Down come our hands. Bong. We bend our knees. Bong. We crouch down slowly. Bong. We sweep our hands around our feet. Bong. We pass our hands behind our shoulder blades. Bong. We straighten up.
The economist Richard Thaler — a favourite of the Cameron and Obama camps — talks to James Forsyth about the power of ‘nudging’: small transformative acts of persuasionNo one likes to be pushed, prodded or shoved. But no one objects to a nudge in the right direction. The idea that people can be nudged into making better choices is the brainchild of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, two whip-smart University of Chicago academics.
David Tang reflects on his visits to Beijing in the run-up to the Games, where Western expertise has been harnessed to the ruthless efficiency of China’s government machineAlbert Speer was commissioned by the Chinese government to lay out a masterplan for the access to the Olympic Green in Beijing. His design consisted of one impressive avenue connecting the Forbidden City and the National Stadium in which the opening ceremony will take place.