Tag: education

Chinese Housing Market: Trying to Figure it Out

Housing in China is a really hot market. Prices are skyrocketing. Yet there are some very curious trends. More farmland is being converted to tall apartment buildings, but when finished are hardly occupied. In fact at night there are few lights on, and few people live there. What is the point of all these empty apartment buildings? Meanwhile housing prices continue to rise, becoming more out of reach to the average Chinese family. Speculation abounds.

China’s Tactics of Influence in Foreign Countries

China is a sovereign country, the same as any other independent and the world must respect this. What is unique about China is their willingness to use any means to exert their influence far beyond Chinese jurisdiction. I see that here in Canada, but there are reports of the same tactics being used in Australia and New Zealand.

Tactics include:
Funding education programs that have a pro-Chinese viewpoint
There is great concern here in Canada about their funding tactics. While it is great to encourage the study of Mandarin language, China is using this platform to teach a pro-Chinese viewpoint to very young kids. More than worrisome, this is meddling in the internal affairs of Canada. The Toronto District School Board had signed an agreement with this group, but the decision was reversed.

Conformity vs Chaos in Daily Life

You need to fit in, somewhat, to live in harmony with society. This is true. Even those that are anti-social will form groups, of which there will be rules that govern who is part of the group and what constitutes acceptable bahaviour. I believe all societal systems run this way. It is part of who we are.

This is not to say that conformity is a bad thing. Without conformity there would be no way to drive down the street and not get hit by a car. Drivers, pedestrians and other users of the road need to conform to the road usage system, namely the Highway Traffic Act. We have laws that govern these things. Those that scofflaw the rules can hurt other people and get punished for their behaviour. In the name of safety this is good.

Pitting Generation Against Generation in Canada

Xavier Ovando of Montreal uses a two-plunger ear protection to protect his hearing during a Montreal protest march. Maybe more Canadians should join him.

Xavier Ovando of Montreal uses a two-plunger ear protection to protect his hearing during a Montreal protest march. Maybe more Canadians should join him.

We in Canada are not prone to protest. On the contrary we Canadians are more pacifists, and some say worse, that we have no backbone. Maybe the current economic recession will help change our attitudes. Our young people are getting slaughtered when they leave school, and what should they do? Be passive and simply accept it? No, this cannot do. It was interesting to me when average Canadians started taking up the cause of Quebec students, who are protesting tuition fee increases. Do they belie a more significant rot in our society? Should we average Canadians in the rest of Canada join?

Observations from an IT Recruiter

New am I as an IT recruiter. Sure, I have interviewed and hired for my own development team, but this new job has me reading hundreds of resumes a week. Here are some observations about reading resumes and talking to job candidates: 1. Canadians do not have as much education as candidates from the USSR and China, 2. I have no idea of the authenticity of many Indian post secondary schools, 3. There is more to life than money, 4. Why post your resume up to a job board when I cannot even contact you?

Converting China to a Nation of Spenders

Chinese consumer will not easily become a nation of spenders

Chinese consumer will not easily become a nation of spenders

Please bear with me for just a moment. So the sub-prime mortgage scandal in the US has precipitated a global credit crisis, where banks cease or curtail new lending and call in outstanding commercial and personal loans. Overdrawn Americans lose their houses to the banks and reduce spending. Companies cannot expand without loans, reduce their business, and lay off employees. US unemployment rates skyrocket and consumers put the brakes on spending. This effect goes around the world, precipitating reduced global spending. China and other predominantly export oriented countries get hit hard. Their factories lay off workers and close. It seems all is not economically well in the world.

China’s Hukou System Supresses Farmers

Chinese farmer with a traditional hoe. Notice he is not fat.

Chinese farmer with a traditional hoe. Notice he is not fat.


There are some government social systems that affect society so profoundly that without it we would be much worse off. In Canada, I would recommend our universal healthcare system. China’s hukou system is the mirror opposite, a tool to suppress and control the movements of China’s rural population.

Learn until you’re Dead

?????? Huo dao lao, xue dao lao.


I continue to learn everyday. The internet makes this continual search for knowledge convenient. All from the comfort of my kitchen. It’s a far cry from just a few years ago. While I’m a strong supporter of the internet, note that there are dangers that lurk, and there’s a great portion of life outside of the internet and computers. Are we destined to be stuck indoors in front of our collective computer monitors? I say not. Use the internet for research, but live life outside.