I pick these posts from each particular unit because they serve as the the best representation of the unit and my opinion toward it. One thing that they share in common is that most of them are about paradigms, like different concepts and different opinions.
Unit 1 Assignment 2 by Simon Cheng
Morrison, Moral Inhabitants
If education is about anything other than being able to earn more money (and it may not be about any other thing), that other thing is intelligent problem-solving and humans relating to one another in mutually constructive ways. But educational institutions and some of our most distinguished scholars have considered the cooperation among human beings and mutually constructive goals to be fourth and fifth rate concerns where they were concerns at all. The history of the country is all the proof one needs that it is so. (paragraph 6)
When I first read this passage, I could only understand that this is about racism. I partially get the point that this is against it, but the passage itself does not express this idea directly, which may be the main reason that I do not understand it. But after reading it over for another time and looking up some words, I can gradually understand that Morrison is referring us as some “moral inhabitants” that could not discriminate human beings from objects—even the Bureau of Census and the Historical Statistics of the United States recorded them as pure numbers. One other factor that hinders my understanding is the history part, some of the names mentioned in the passage seemed strange to me but may be common sense for native readers.
I choose this particular passage is because this is the first one I read and also the topic that I am interested the most. Such conflict between different races does not exist back in my home country. However, that does not mean there is no conflict at all—in fact, discriminations even happened within races, which actually draws attention to the concept of identity. People discriminate from each other by identity, but they unite with each other by the same concept. From this point it is easy to see the two sides of both identity and humanity. One cannot put it as simple as good or bad, but the individual must view it in a complex yet comprehensive way.
For the particular paragraph I excerpt, I think Morrison criticize the education system in order to indicate how serious the problem between race is. Human should help each other, but this is never the case. The whole passage is actually implying the theme that the majority of the United States should do the right thing which they are not doing it at all, even “the most distinguished scholar” put this problem as a minor one.
Unit 2 Assignment 2 by Simon Cheng
Option 2: In a few sentences, comment on / raise a question about Thursday’s translation panel. This can be based on your !/? posts, or it can be something new. And it could be useful—though not required—to connect the translation panel to Plato or Borges (note for starters that both of these readings are translations).
Being a multilingual student, I am very interested in the topic of translation. I have noticed that the different languages and their relationships discussed on the lecture are somehow more closely related to English than my first language do, like sharing a similar alphabet and a closer origin. So what about languages all around the world, do they all share the similar characteristics? Different languages, even different dialects, can actually reveal unique local culture in different places, and some of them operate totally different from others because of various reasons. Take Cantonese and Hunanese (I don’t think that there is an official name for it, or maybe just call it Hunan Dialect) as an example, the habit of speaking and the pronounciation are very different. But here is another interesting point: a southerner (people from the south part of China) are better in understanding Cantonese than northerner (people from the north part of China). This is only personal opinions, but I think discussions on translation should be more inclusive.
Option 3: Go rogue. Post on anything at all related to translation, Tuesday’s readings, connections between Units 1 and 2, or something else entirely, so long as it leads to good discussion on Tuesday. Take risks; be creative.
More about translation: professor Jankovic said that there are no wrong translations in her part, philosophically this question may be right, but practically this question may be wrong. Or in other words, there indeed exist good and bad translations. In Chinese translation, Yan Fu raised the general requirements of Xin, Da, and Ya (which are faithfulness, understandability, and elegance in order), and this serves as goals in almost all Chinese translations. Although it could be very general, but there is a requirement or rule for translation.
Unit 3 Assignment 1 by Simon Cheng
“Banality of Evil”
Created by Hannah Arendt in 1963 in the report on the trial of Adolf Eichmann—one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.
“Banality of Evil” does not mean that it is normal and common of being evil, but the crime of evilness is committed in a banal way—the criminal does not even realize that he or she is committing a crime.
Being banal means being unable to think, which is the ultimate crime in Eichmann’s case. Because Eichmann’s thoughts were totally under Nazi’s control, he had been “brainwashed” in a certain sense that made him plan the Holocaust: he was just following the order of the government.
But in my opinion, although it is hard to solve “the dilemma between the unspeakable horror of the deeds and the undeniable ludicrousness of the man who perpetrated them.” Human beings could still escape from the “Banality of Evil.” Mentally healthy people have the ability to determine right from wrong. And extreme problems like totalitarianism could be answered by extreme solutions, like fleeing away or committing suicide, anyway to not follow the order.
Well, maybe it is unmoral and impossible in a certain sense to treat banality of evil in this case. But the concept itself is worth pondering.
“The Origins of Totalitarianism”
The book was about totalitarianism, a form of dictatorship with examples of Stalinism in Soviet Union and Hitlerism in Nazi Germany, and it was first published in 1951.
“Nazi regime and Stalin’s regime were essentially the same form of government.”
It is also this form of dictatorship that generates the “Banality of Evil”
A German-Austrian who was one of the main organizers of the Holocaust.
Eichmann joined the Nazi Party in April 1932 in Linz and rose through the party hierarchy
Eichmann was captured in 1960 in Israel and was hanged in 1962.
Eichmann portrayed himself as an obedient bureaucrat who merely carried out his assigned duties. He said that he was simply following the orders in a totalitarian Führerprinzip system of executing the Holocaust
Unit 4 Assignment 1 by Simon Cheng
Mary Church Terrell
- One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree (Oberlin college)
- Taught modern languages at Wilberforce University, which is founded collaboratively by the Methodist Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Ohio
- If we link this with Terrell’s family background, we could infer her religious affiliation is Methodist
- The first president of National Association of Colored Women (NACW)
- Social activist, focusing especially on the empowerment of black women
Ida B. Wells
- One of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- Her works like Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases and The Red Record serve as the representations of the anti-lynching campaign
- The gender ideology and religious parables provide the foundation for most of her arguments
After reading through my finding of these ladies, the first question in my mind is: do they really describe violence? Connecting this with the March II, about the Freedom Riders’ nonviolent action, is this the inevitable evolutionary phase of any protest, from violent to non-violent? Or every rebellion can be expressed in either or both ways.
It is easier to see Well’s anti-lynching as a description of violence.
Terrell’s description of violence is women’s suffrage, while that is also in Well’s description, the main element of Well’s is anti-lynching. All different expressions of violence will come to the same end—discrimination against minority. In this case is the colored race, especially black women. This female aspect becomes the special part of their argument for both Terrell and Wells because they are black women, which is the minority of the minority. Their most responses are not boycotts or marches, but the fact that both NACW and NAACP still exist and play a very important role in modern society, and people now still remember Terrell and Wells and others contribution to the civil rights movement and women’s suffrage.
kosmo_assman. “Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells: Where They Gentile Militants? Or Plain Radicals of the Late 19th Century? – WriteWork.” Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.writework.com:80/essay/mary-church-terrell-and-ida-b-wells-they-gentile-militants.
Hendricks, Wanda A. “Review of Patricia A. Schechter, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform 1880-1930 and Schechter, Patricia A., Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1930.” H-SHGAPE, H-Review, March 2002. https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6022.