Luxury Watches: Local or Cosmopolitan?

It is as if contemporary Swiss watchmakers retreat from the fancy industry conclaves in Geneva and New York and Hong Kong and Dubai and Shanghai, to life as medieval shepherds, lonely but subtly and painstakingly reaping value from the earth improbable acre of isolated alpine meadow--suffering for their art--in arcadian isolation.

The industry mythologizes the local. 

Swiss watch companies bridge local and local all the time, diligently manufacturing locally in Switzerland (with some "limited" exceptions) and marrying it with the delicate and relentless campaign of marketing Switzerland itself, and everything associated with that particular local.

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The House Negroes of Western Imperialism in Asia

So I received this tweet from @Rashnu_TheOther

Thank you for the reply. But may I ask: to mistreat whom?

It is important to point out that if you are Asian and White, and somehow find echoes of your heritage in a colonial past, you will not emerge from any introspection without realizing you were both colonized and colonizer.

I don't want to be anything other than be sincere. And this is the truth. Historical Eurasians, those in Malaya and the Indian Subcontinent and Borneo and Hong Kong etc., were a mezzanine class, under Europeans, above the masses with "darker skin and flatter noses" to borrow a phrase from Conrad.

It is an unsettling thought. But it is true. No amount of spotlighting an external imposition makes up for the fact that historical Eurasians "played ball." They did the deal. The were the "house negroes" of Western Imperialism in Asia. See Malcolm X here to refresh on what I'm talking about.

This history amounts to a stain on mixed Asian and White people, one that remains today. The intellectual battlelines are drawn though. Most mixed people will go directly to blaming this stain on someone else. They will say they were powerless. They will use fancy words to rhetorically absolve themselves every chance possible, as the power/circumstance/fate was external, it was some institution, some structure, some formidable cabal dripping with bloodlust.

I wrote my book to say that the internal matters. In my opinion the moral gravity of the stain I mentioned above is made worse by the obfuscation of that stain. The get out clause is that many people obfuscate that stain and claim they were victims almost as a reflex. Sure. That deserves cutting you a little slack. But it is time to call it like it is.

I'm sorry, right this moment, now, it is time to be sincere.

Most people will fall into one of three categories

  1.  apathy 
  2. victim
  3. something else

#1 and #2 are not sincere. They may be other things. But they are not sincere. And simply put, the goal of my advocacy is for category #3, something else... Which I believe can and will be sincere.

To be continued




Why I Wrote My Book

It is not in my nature to want to try and wield a megaphone. I am shy. I am introverted. But it is time to call it like it is. Half-Asians do not lack for choice. It is the opposite. I'm here to tell you that despite the reality that there are obstacles some of which could be construed as "racist" glass ceilings and "racial" rudeness and stereotyping and the presence of many douchebags, half-Asians face the problem of too much choice. Today the question is not who can tear down walls, but rather who can build bridges. And to build bridges I invite you to say "no" to those who lure you to "who wronged us." 

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Carreyrou and Investigative Journalism

Check out the Vanity Fair piece on Theranos

It has just been a wild, wild ride for Ms. Holmes. She achieved so much just to take her company to its soaring private valuation; nonetheless, I can't help but think of the tens, or hundreds, or maybe even thousands of people who may have received false positives or false negatives on the back of Theranos tests that were at best "not ready for primetime," at worst fradulent.

Either way, this (below) has to be the crowning achievement for any investigative journalist. This is winning the superbowl. This is the Bocuse d'Or. 

Chanting "fuck you..." WITH the name... Good lord, it doesn't get better than that

Chanting "fuck you..." WITH the name... Good lord, it doesn't get better than that

Carreyrou just crushed this. And there ain't any better "proof of the pudding." Investigative journalists don't live for the fleeting accolades of the general public, they live to be hated--with passion--because they are right. It's one thing for a grumpy CEO to curse you, but to have your own eponymous cum titular chant is simply legendary.

"Kudos. Carreyrou!"


Silence is Consent?

In Western business culture is “silence is consent?”

I think it is. For example, if you don’t tell the VP of Marketing that his campaign is deeply problematic in the meeting, well, aren't you then automatically a supporter of his campaign? Defaults matter in more rules-based Western business manners. No protest at that particular time, no hands raised within that window means you are going with whatever is being proposed and you have little to no rights to conduct a future review.

In Chinese business culture, I don't think silence is consent. I think silence is a degree of acquiescence, but definitely not consent. A lot happens in side meetings and in pre-meetings, so much so that this particular meeting may just be a formality. Silence in that meeting, or any meeting never has the finality that it does in a Western context. It is not as rules-based. Therefore, with future ebbs and flows in the balance of power amongst all stakeholders, the likelihood of a review or a reopening and reconsideration of the past circumstances of the "silence" persists and can't really be eliminated.

Jean Ping

Could be Gabon's next president, and China had no bone to pick. 

Turns out Mr. Ping's father is from Wenzhou. 


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