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Tag: Darin

BattlePanda just hit me with blogging’s equivalent of a chain-letter. I hate this kind of thing, but it would seem rude not to accept, so I’ll do the sensible thing… go along with it and grumble. I’m not really much of a movie guy, though, and I don’t go on many vacations either. Grumble, grumble, whine, whine, grumble.

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Fast Food Slave Team Member
2. Home Painting Franchise Manager
3. Bartender
4. Programmer

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. Dead Poet’s Society
2. The Matrix
3. The Princess Bride
4. Any Zhou Qinshi Movie

Four Places I’ve lived
1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Austin, Texas
3. Xela, Guatemala
4. Jiayi, Taiwan

Four TV shows I love:
1. DS9
2: Babylon 5
3. Highlander
4. Friends

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven’t seen (much of):
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. That one with the writer of Seinfeld
3. That other new show everyone’s talking about
4. The other one… you know?

Four places I’ve vacationed:
1. Chicago, Il., sort of
2. Vancouver, BC
3. Hualian, Taiwan
4. Home (to see my family and friends)

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Combo #5 (at any Mexican restaurant)
2. Pad Thai Phet
3. 宮寶雞丁
4. Pizza (Jalepeno and Black Olive)

Four sites I visit daily:

Four places I’d rather be right now:
1. Beijing, China
2. Harbin, China
3. Chengdu, China
4. My grandma’s house in Colorado

Four new bloggers I’m tagging:
1. Matt’s Wiki (that’ll kill this thing for sure)
2. Frequent Sinosplice commenter, Carl
3. Warren
4. Darin

I’ve decided to re-organize the links on my blog a bit. I’ve moved Michael Turton’s site into a new category for political blogs. He’s an American who has lived in Taiwan for a long time and has very strong opinions about the political scene here. He’s staunchly anti-KMT. He also does great round-ups of all happenings in Taiwan blogs each week. Joining him in the political blog category is his counter-point, Battlepanda. She’s a Taiwanese woman who lived in America for a long time and has strong opinions about the political scene there. She’s staunchly anti-Republican. Rounding out the political blog category is Darin, who blogs mostly about Japanese politics.

I’ve moved Daniel’s Suitcasing to the general links section, and added The Register, which is one of my favourite news sources. Finally, I’ve added video editing whiz and satirist extraordinaire, Tian.

I’ve been actively participating in some discussions about the Japanese whaling issue over on Darin’s blog. I don’t want to discuss the ethics of hunting endangered species, nor do I want to get into the complex legal background of the issue. What I’m more interested in is this question: Do right and wrong depend upon culture?

In other words, could hunting endangered species be “wrong” in western countries, but “right” in Japan? Could inflicting pain on dogs to cause them to release chemicals that make them taste better be “right” in Korea, but “wrong” in Australia? Could creating absurd quantities of greenhouse gasses be “wrong” in Europe, but “right” in America? My feeling is that if something is “wrong”, it’s wrong regardless of culture. Maybe the things I listed above are all “wrong”, but only a little bit so.

Think about slavery. Would anybody actually defend slavery as just part of the “culture” in the southern states of the US 150 years ago? Could anybody defend the concentration camps and gas chambers in Nazi Germany, or the chemical and biological toxins experiments the Japanese performed on the Chinese during World War II as “culture”? Obviously, some things that large numbers of people think are ok, or at one point thought were ok, are still wrong. It’s my contention that relative ethics are no ethics at all. Still, boundary cases, such as cases in which one thing is good for an individual’s rights and another is good for society in general, require that conflicting values are weighed against each other. Obviously not all people and cultures will put the same weight on the same values. What are your views? Should you ignore what happens outside of your own culture and let other cultures decide what is right for themselves, or should you stand up for what you think is right?