My Photo
Follow UselessTree on Twitter

Zhongwen

Nedstat



  • eXTReMe Tracker
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 07/2005

« Chen Guangcheng: It ain't over 'til it's over | Main | Reply to Eric X. Li: Cultures are not Incommensurable and the CCP is not Confucuian »

May 15, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If you had specified from the outset that your reference to "Chinese" was in the nationality/citizenship sense, rather than the ethnic/cultural sense, you could've saved both of us a lot of time. I think many people from HK and elsewhere would be surprised to find that they aren't "actual Chinese people"...either that, or they may simply choose to give your "opinion" short shrift, as I have done.

That you seem satisfied with your limited anecdotal evidence is your prerogative, and I'm happy for you.

On a minimally related note, here is some more limited anecdotal evidence of how some Chinese people might speak to and interact differently with fellow Chinese people as opposed to foreigners (and to boot, in your parlance, I think these are "actual Chinese people"):
http://tealeafnation.com/2012/06/netizens-ask-why-do-we-fawn-on-foreigners-and-spurn-ourselves/

If you had paid attention to the context of the original post and my response, you'd have noticed that it's not about "ethnic Chinese" wherever they may be but about culturally Chinese people. In fact, you yourself said that

"On the other hand, it is entirely consistent with western culture to speak up and make unsolicited suggestions, as with the relationship with china; meanwhile, it is contrary to Chinese culture to offer unsolicited opinions"

So my experience is appropriate and it has the evidential weight and you have still yet to provide any evidence for your ridiculous orientalist claims. That's all that has been demonstrated.

"Please refrain here from making assertions about "real" or "actual" Chinese people. I find such categorizations problematic, exclusionary, and politically biased."

The point is that skc made some cultural claims about "the Chinese" which he has not supported other than with innuendo and anecdote. The point is that I disagreed and supplied my own anecdotes which i argued are more relevant. The point is not about which is "ultimately" or "real" or "actual" Chinese whatever that even means.

If it's about "culturally Chinese people", then Chinese people in "the west", and better yet Chinese people in HK, can't be discounted out of hand, simply based on their location. You're the one who made that distinction, not me. One wonders why.

If the point "is not about which is "ultimately" or "real" or "actual" Chinese", then again why wonders why you had to bring it up.

I have never suggested that your experience is in any way inappropriate. Your anecdotes have the "evidential weight" befitting of...well...anecdotes. Your anecdotes may well be more relevant to you. To me, not so much.

It's not about "discounting people out of hand". Since you haven't any proof, it's about preponderance of evidence. Limited HK Chinese are not the same as experience with Chinese Chinese.

What you have said simply isn't convincing at all, probably based more on preconceptions rather than reality. That's why I pointed it out for criticism.

"Limited HK Chinese are not the same as experience with Chinese Chinese. "
---I'm not sure what "limited HK Chinese" means, so I'll give you a chance to clarify. That notwithstanding, it seems you are still making distinctions about the "Chinese-ness" of a Chinese person based on their location, despite your protestations to the contrary. "The point is not about which is "ultimately" or "real" or "actual" Chinese", but you seem to repeatedly try to make it one.

My "preconceptions" are based on my anecdotal experience, as I've acknowledged. And yours are based on yours. The only difference seems to be that you seem much more keen on laying claim to "reality", without the benefit of requisite and commensurate evidence.

I meant "limited experience with".

Of course I am making distinctions. not all ethnic Chinese people in the world are the same, culturally, linguistically and as a matter of values. that should be obvious. What's more relevant is not what ethnic Chinese people on some small set of islands think and do but what the majority of Chinese people inside China proper think and do because that is far more relevant.

Which is more relevant, what HK people think or what people inside China proper think with regard to the broad and unsubstantiated claims you made of Chinese culture?

Now why would you assume that my experience with HK Chinese is "limited"?

No, not all "ethnic Chinese" the world over are the same. Presumably, a third generation ethnic Chinese person born in the US, or South Africa, or Australia, who doesn't even speak Chinese, would be quite culturally different than other Chinese people. An HK Chinese might even have been substantially different than a mainland Chinese in 1980. But how fundamentally culturally different is a native mainland Chinese vis-a-vis a native HK Chinese in 2012? Linguistics/dialect are fairly irrelevant to this discussion, but how different would a HKer be compared with someone from Guangdong province? I at least presume that a person who speaks Cantonese is no less Chinese than a Mandarin speaker...but with you I'm beginning to wonder.

As I said earlier, if you are making distinctions, then I wonder why you bothered with protestations to the contrary when Sam called you on it on June 1.

Ironically, the onus now is on you to prove that mainland Chinese are culturally fundamentally different than HK Chinese. That is a prerequisite if you hope to suggest that the cultural mores of HK Chinese are irrelevant and non-generalizable to the broader "Chinese culture".

Even extensive experience with HK Chinese is not proof. The point which you keep avoiding is that it is a fallacy to ask for proof when you are the one that made the unsupported statement in the first place only to be countered with more relevant experience. That is a burden of proof fallacy. Also, just because someone is ethnically Chinese does not mean that they will behave in culturally Chinese ways.

I really don;t think you understand the mistakes you are making because the rest of what you have said is simply irrelevant.

Wrong, the onus is still on you (simply because you have never discharged that onus) in proving that Chinese are not opinionated as westerners.

Remember this was started when you made that unsubstantiated claim. I claim that my experience (which is more relevant than yours because it deals with people inside China and not some ex British colony) suggest otherwise. You then asked for proof thus violatin the burden of proof fallacy.

You continue to make that fallacy as you still have not provided anything even close to proof. The onus is not on me. I only have to match or surpass your claims, which I've already done, to put your silly claim into doubt.

That much is obvious to anyone who has seen this discussion evolve so far...

It's time for you to fess up and simply say that you have no more grounds to base your assertion than mere personal experiences with HK Chinese. I will accept that qualification and simply say that from my experience with Chinese Chinese, that's not true and moreover, I believe your claim to be based more on orientalist stereotypes than actual reality.

"The point which you keep avoiding is that it is a fallacy to ask for proof when you are the one that made the unsupported statement in the first place only to be countered with more relevant experience"
---I already acknowledged that I don't have proof, as early as May 31 0738PM("Just as I haven't met the burden of proof for what I said, it seems neither have you"). So I have no idea what you're talking about. If you had simply said that you disagree with my opinion because there is no proof of its veracity, I would've left it at that. But you've also made several unsubstantiated counter-claims ("the Chinese are the most opinionated people on earth"; "What's more relevant is not what ethnic Chinese people on some small set of islands think and do but what the majority of Chinese people inside China proper think and do because that is far more relevant" --- the latter point assuming that mainland Chinese are fundamentally different culturally from HK Chinese simply by virtue of location, in 2012). And you seem to have difficulty acknowledging that you have no proof for those either.

"just because someone is ethnically Chinese does not mean that they will behave in culturally Chinese ways."
---true. But you also can't assume that they WON'T behave in culturally CHinese ways either. This is the part where you lack proof for your claim.

"which is more relevant than yours because it deals with people inside China and not some ex British colony"
---and what is the basis for suggesting that yours is more relevant. You are again assuming that HK CHinese are fundamentally culturally different from mainland CHinese, which you haven't proven.

"I only have to match or surpass your claims, which I've already done, to put your silly claim into doubt."
---and by making your own claims, you've just invited the burden of proof upon yourself. Which you haven't met...and which you've clearly failed to realize.

"It's time for you to fess up and simply say that you have no more grounds to base your assertion than mere personal experiences with HK Chinese."
---see May 31. If you've actually been paying attention, you'll realize you're about 5 days behind the times.

But hey, good manners goes both ways. So I'll repeat that my opinion is based on my experience with HK CHinese, for which I have no scientific proof. Now it's time for you to acknowledge that your opinion is based on your experience with mainland Chinese, for which you have no scientific proof either, and I will gladly accept that qualification. And I'm not sure where you get "orientalist stereotypes" from experience with HK CHinese, but I'm beginning to think you don't really know from where you get a lot of your stuff.

Exactly, you don't have proof yet you demand proof from others as early as May 31 when you aid

"It is a pointless, unsubstantiated, and in fact unprovable superlative."

You seem wholly oblivious that what you claimed is even more "unsubstantiated" than what I have counter claimed in response to you.

So again, it is YOU that have committed the burden of proof fallacy. You criticize other for lack of proof when all they have done is supply evidence (in this case even more relevant evidence) to counter what you have claimed which you also have not supplied proof but mere anecdote. That is by definition, a textbook case of a burden of proof fallacy.

"And you seem to have difficulty acknowledging that you have no proof for those either."

Wrong. On several occasions I mentioned that my experiences do not constitute proof per se. rather it is simply more relevant evidence (than the evidence you supplied).

Hong Kong has been a British colony for 100+ years. It needs no proof (it's common sense) that it is less representative of Chinese cultural influence than the Chinese mainland.

It's a matter of degree. But that degree does not fall into your favor.

Again, burden of proof fallacy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

"When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a positive claim."

Since you have assertive the positive claim i.e., that the Chinese as a group or Chinese culture does not value expressing criticisms or opinions, it is you that need to prove it. I have offered the criticisms in response to your claim (a "negative" claim) and am thus not burdened with proof. But in fact, I have provided the more relevant evidence so I have in fact gone more than minimum required to put into doubt your silly assertion.

"you don't have proof yet you demand proof from others"
---and when you pointed it out, I acknowledged that I don't have proof. That in no way precludes me from asking for proof when you say something unsubstantiated. You seem to be operating under the notion that, because I couldn't prove my claims, you then get to make any number of freebie claims that you want. The further irony is that, while you keep harping on burden of proof for me, you fail to apply the same burden onto yourself.

"what you claimed is even more "unsubstantiated" "
---how is it "more" unsubstantiated? Mine was unsubstantiated, and yours was unsubstantiated.

"(in this case even more relevant evidence"
---your "evidence" is just as anecdotal as mine. You should also note that I have not made any more "claims" since my initial one, and it is you who has piled claims one on top of the other, all of which have been equally unsubstantiated and supported only by anecdote. You have also been asked, and failed to prove, how your anecdotal evidence is "more relevant".

"a textbook case of a burden of proof fallacy."
---I've acknowledged mine. High time for you to come to your senses and acknowledge yours. You seem a bit reticent in copping to your own limitations here.

"On several occasions I mentioned that my experiences do not constitute proof per se."
---if you replaced "per se" with "at all" in that statement, you'd be close to getting it right.

"Hong Kong has been a British colony for 100+ years."
---and it hasn't been for nearly 15. Common sense, it seems, is in the eyes of the beholder, especially in your hands. Especially when those 15 years represent the time during which modern technology (electronic and physical ie travel) allows co-mingling of HK and mainland Chinese more than at any time before it. Your POV would've stood the test of "common sense" more robustly in 1980 when HKers indeed harboured many stereotypes of mainland Chinese as a result of years of mutual isolation. Today, not so much.

"I have offered the criticisms in response to your claim (a "negative" claim) and am thus not burdened with proof."
---are you kidding? A "negative" claim would be if you simply disagreed with me. And btw, this was my claim ("it is contrary to Chinese culture to offer unsolicited opinions"); I said nothing about Chinese culture not valuing expressing criticisms or opinions...I simply said they don't, with no value judgment whatsoever. A "negative" claim would be if you said it is consistent with/NOT contrary to Chinese culture to offer opinions....which of course is not what you said. Instead, you said "the Chinese are the most opinionated people on earth.". In no realm of reality is that merely the negative of my claim. You are certainly "not burdened with proof", but that is not the same as being able to abscond from said burden.

There was grounds for doubt of my assertion simply because I lack proof of same (which has nothing to do with you own silly and unsubstantiated assertions). Of course, the same can be said of yours, but there seems to be something about you that inherently prevents you from owning that fact.

" You seem to be operating under the notion that, because I couldn't prove my claims, you then get to make any number of freebie claims that you want. "

Wrong. I "operated" under no such assumption.

Again, you are the one that first brought up the criticism of lack of "proof" despite the fact that I have already supplied evidence more relevant than what you have brought to the table.

You seem to operate under very dichotomous thinking. Either something is "substantiated" or it is "unsubstantiated'. That is not how life works. That's not how science works. Evidence lies on a spectrum from certainty (or near certainty) to very weak. Since my personal experience seems far more relevant under the circumstances than the ones you have brought to the table, my negative claim had the purpose of bringing doubt to yours was more than sufficient. My experience is more relevant because HK has been under major colonial British influence culturally politically, demographically, even linguistically for over 100 years (and yes, that continues today) while China proper has mainly been uninfluenced until maybe the last 20 years and under far less drastic circumstances (not colonialism). Both are weak evidence but since the burden was on you, it only takes weak evidence to substantially unravel, put under serious epistemic doubt, your claims.

It's really sad to see you go this far in fallacious gymnastics to avoid the obviousness of what has transpired.

"I have already supplied evidence more relevant than what you have brought to the table."
---umm, nope. All we both have is anecdotal evidence. You have merely assumed yours to be "more relevant". That is hardly established...mostly because you've done nothing to establish it beyond merely offering yet more of your opinions.

Again, doubt in my claim exists because I don't have proof for it. Your claim (which wasn't even a "negative claim" as I've already explained several times) added no probative value. And the fact that your claims are in and of themselves open to doubt remains.

Yes, of course HK was politically different, and thankfully she still is. But that is also irrelevant to the discussion. The crux of debate here is whether ""it is contrary to Chinese culture to offer unsolicited opinions" or not. So what does British colonization have to do with that? In fact, what you're arguing is that British influence artificially lowered the innate Chinese cultural impetus to offer unsolicited opinions among HK Chinese, such that my experience with HK Chinese in this regard underestimates said impetus in "real" Chinese who were free of British influence. Do you have any basis for such a position? Or are we merely talking more of your unsubstantiated opinion?

You are correct. There are grades of evidence. The part that continues to amuse me is that you find your anecdotal evidence to be "better" than my anecdotal evidence, without...um...any evidence for saying so. But as I always say, you do what you gotta do...and I'll keep pointing it out to you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Aidan's Way

  • :


    Understanding disability from a Taoist point of view

Globalpost