As recently as 2013, Tim Berners-Lee, often credited as the inventor of the World Wide Web, declared that “piece by piece, website by website, China’s ‘great firewall’ would meet the same fate as the Berlin Wall.” Yet these predictions have been proved wrong. In We Have Been Harmonized, award-winning journalist, Kai Strittmatter, reveals how the internet and high tech have transformed the power of Chinese authoritarians, allowing them to create the most horrifying surveillance state in history.
As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the Four Monkey Killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.
An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution.
Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and goes about her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the chain will be broken and the boy will die.
Peter Crane is summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to help diagnose a bizarre medical condition spreading through the rig. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies far below — on “Deep Storm,” a science research facility built two miles beneath the surface. The top-secret structure has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a recently discovered undersea site that may hold the answers to a mystery steeped in centuries of myth and speculation.
Jack Ryan is dealing with an aggressive challenge from the Chinese government. Pawns are being moved around a global chessboard: an attack on an oil platform in Africa, a terrorist strike on an American destroyer, and a storm-tossed American spy ship that may fall into Chinese hands. It seems that President Zhao is determined to limit Ryan's choices in the upcoming G20 negotiations. But there are hints that there's even more going on behind the scene.
Design journalist, Kassia St. Clair, tells a story of human ingenuity with a motley cast of characters, including Xiling, the ancient Chinese empress credited with inventing silk, to Richard the Lionhearted and Bing Crosby. Offering insights into the economic and social dimensions of clothmaking — and countering the enduring, often demeaning, association of textiles as “merely women’s work” — The Golden Thread offers an alternative guide to our past, present, and future.
As entertaining as it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous journey through the history of human desire for what is rare, and therefore precious. What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel priceless? And why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.
Together for the first time, in ebook form, the stunning, cutting-edge thrillers with a chilling supernatural twist from the Japanese master of suspense. THE RING is the famous novel that spawned the big-budget blockbuster US horror movie of the same name.
The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning.
Ideas + Concepts
#1. The Purpose of Propaganda
"The common understanding of propaganda is that it is intended to brainwash the masses. Supposedly, people get exposed to the same message repeatedly and over time come to believe in whatever nonsense authoritarians want them to believe. And yet, authoritarians often broadcast silly, unpersuasive propaganda. Political scientist, Haifeng Huang, writes that the purpose of propaganda is not to brainwash people, but to instill fear in them."
Read the whole Twitter thread here (highly recommended).
#2. The Power of Public Commitment
After the Korean War, Chinese interrogators got American prisoners of war to cooperate using this tactic.
First, they asked them to make very small concessions such as writing and signing innocuous statements like “America is not perfect.”
But then, when these statements were read publicly across the prison camp, the prisoner was often labeled a “collaborator” by his compatriots. Astonishingly, the prisoner then started to see himself as a collaborator as well, consequently becoming more helpful to the Chinese interrogators. He effectively adjusted his self-image to be consistent with what he had written down before. And having the “commitment” in writing was also an important element in this process; there is something inescapably powerful about written words signed by oneself.
Based on Władysław Szpilman's 1946 autobiographical book, The Pianist is a Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer.
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