Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Need for Reason in Taiwan/ foriegn influence

just so you'll know, Ran is NOT a Taiwan hater. there's lots to love about this place, but lots that needs to change too.
a lot of things here are "just that way", never questioned, but it doesn't mean they can't be looked at another way.
For instance, the presence of foriegners in taiwan. do we take jobs from taiwanese? in the english teaching field, probably. taiwan bushibans use foriegners as their selling point, though there are many taiwanese teachers who may not speak perfect english, but speak it well enough, and have gone thru the probelms of learnign english so the know how to help natives learn.
also taiwanese teachers are routinely paid HALF of what foreign teachers get, which i think is a shame and a travesty. two people doing the same job should get the same pay. simple as that.
but are we taking jobs in other fields? not at 7-11. not at Carrefour. in fact, all of those are examples of FORIEGN INVESTMENT creating jobs for local taiwanese.
and also MOST foriengers here are brought here by FORIEGN COMPANIES. you never see them because they're AT WORK! taiwanese people only see english teachers on the street because they generally have TIME to be out and about. this needs to be known by locals, but the media is only interested in making them beleive that all foriegners are job stealing, pot smoking english teachers (and most english teachers don't even smok pot either).
let's look at taiwan under foriegn influence: the taiwanese young people growing up are the HEALTHIEST, and PRETTIEST of ANY GENERATION on taiwanese before them. why?
because they eat a more varied diet thanks to westernization. look at pictures of taiwanese people about 50 years ago, or better yet compare the height and appearance of someone 50 years old raised in the countryside to the young people today. shocking difference, thanks to a western diet.
how about equal pay/rights for women? some bunch of tai ke gangsters at the Ma dzu temple didn't think that up! it's a WESTERN idea, that taiwan accepted. same for anti sex harrassment laws, maturnity leave, etc. all WESTERN IDEAS.
how about electric power, hospitals, clothing manufacturing, food processing, refrigerators, and a host of other things that are 99% of the taiwan people's daily life? these things were invented in the WEST while the taiwanese were busy burning incense in temples and trying to figure out which day is a lucky one.
taiwan people need to own up to the contibutions of the West. without the west, they would be stuck in the ching dynasty.
foriegner go home? why not "taiwan friend, join us? throw off your chains of darkness and join us in the light of reason and truth." we welcome you.


  1. daoism and ma dzuism have done nothing but hold the taiwanese back. it's time we expose it for what it is: a backward, evil religion that is keeping the taiwanese mind and soul in chains.

  2. Another stereotype here is about how all of us foreign me here are womanizers. I am an atheist, I don't smoke pot, and I don't philander. I have one girlfriend. I am honest. Yes, there are a lot of dishonest people out there, but that is people, plural, meaning about the same amount of people everywhere. In fact, I constantly hear this type of stuff about Taiwanese men, and that being a reason for Taiwanese women wanting foreigner boyfriends/husbands. They want someone more stable and reliable. So the gossip about us is probably "revenge" from the creepy, assholish local men gossiping to newspapers like ERA News and Apple Daily.

  3. yes, i think there is a good deal of mis-info in the media about foriegner marriage (Tw ladies with foriegn males) because the fact is, in the case of guys from western countries, we offer a pretty good deal. no bunch of ritual worship, no bunch of rules regarding the mother in law, etc. a pretty free life.
    isnt it funny that most of the examples the media finds of bad foriegn husbands are guys from ISLAMIC countries? then they try to lump all of us together as one big country known as "WAI GOUH".
    big difference between an SA, aussie, or US male and these guys from Paki, Iran, etc.
    western males by and large offer these girls the BEST DAMN LIFE they could ever have. and TW knows that, with the occassional dweeb that oughta be kicked out of taiwan.

  4. (sorry, poor editing)
    so they keep finding all the bad examples they can so these girls will stay local. then 10 years down the road, these girls FUCK A FORIEGNER ANYWAY because they are unhappy with the way their TW husband treats them.
    i'd say 7 out of 10 are not in happy marriages.

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  8. @Randy I somehow stumbled onto your blog from the webbernets. I have a couple points to comment on.

    1. A reply to your first comment: I would say religion in general is holding people back. We as a society really need to earnestly teach people how to think critically.

    2. I think you should credit the healthiness and prosperity of the new generation of Taiwanese to Western hygiene, sanitation, and medicine rather than diet. Seriously, we bring them Micky Ds, KFC, and Dominos. I would say the Japanese are probably the only people who have a relatively healthy diet.

    3. About maternity leave, I don't think this was ever an issue in previous generations because women never worked. However, the concept of letting a woman rest for at least a month after child birth is a Taiwanese tradition.

    4. "taiwan people need to own up to the contibutions of the West." I don't agree with this statement at all. If we begin this cycle of "owning up," does this mean we have to "own up" to the Middle East and India for their advent of Arabic numerals and the number zero? Should we "own up" to the Chinese for their advent of "paper, the compass, and gunpowder?" Should we "own up" to the Babylonians for the first concept of civilization (arguable...basically I meant the various civilizations from Mesopotamia)? The contributions from all these civilizations are given to the common knowledge of humanity. Rather than "owning up," I think an appreciation of history would suffice. Hmmm, perhaps we are arguing the same thing here and it's just that we have a different definition of "owning up."

    5. A little bit about the business side, 7-11 and Carrefour (French?) invests their brand into Taiwan. The actual stores and local operations are owned by Uni-President. Doesn't change the fact that it's foreign investment to create job opportunities.

  9. thanks for stopping by.^^

    by owning up, i mean for TW to at least stop pretending like foriegners had zero contribution to taiwan. if "ma jieh" were to come back from the dead, i think he;d be shocked at how taiwan tries to pretend that they did it all without the west, as if some farmdaddy in tainan suddenly came up with the lightbulb, the phonograph, the telephone, etc.
    what i want to emphasize is the REASONS why the west created all these things. not that the west is superior or the caucasian race i superior. no way.
    but the IDEAS and VALUES they embraced WERE. ideas and values are UNIVERSAL. they belong to no race. any race or nationality that embraces universally superior ideas will prosper. those that imbrace inferior beliefs, values, and ideas will fall behind. simple as that.
    think for a moment about the vast amount of time and energy spent on daoism. the fear and superstition. the taiwanese mind is NOT free.

  10. sorry, continued^^

    look at the fruit of daosim: fear, superstition, a god for this and a god for that, mafia, lack of progress.
    then look at the west: because we are monotheistic, have few rituals, and few superstitions, we were free the THINK and CREATE. the whole idea that GOD is separate from his creation brought on the development of science. the universe became an object to be studied, not a thing to be worshipped or some mystical force. the idea that God loves us, rather than God demands this incense, this rule and that, freed the western mind to create the beautiful music and works of art we are known for.
    if the leaves are evil the tree is also. what good has daoism really done? why were the first hospitals in taiwan established by christians, not daoists? what does daoism care about, other than making sure their temples have more gold? and if daoism is so good, why do the mafia beleive it? that's proof enough that it's evil.

  11. While I agree that civilizations that embrace better ideals will persevere and increase their survivability compared to those who don’t, I have to disagree with your view that it's a monotheistic religion that lead the West to free thinking and a progressive society. Nor is it an idea that God loves us that frees our minds. What set the West apart was the introduction of mass education (via the Gutenberg press). Its unintended consequence was a skyrocketing in literacy rates, which gave the masses the tool to think for themselves. I don't think any other culture disseminated knowledge as freely at the time. It’s ironic that while Asian cultures seem to place a high emphasis on education, they do not necessarily embrace free thinking, the type of education I’m talking about. (As an aside, the problem with modern society now is too much information. We really need to teach people how to evaluate and differentiate between valuable information and misinformation. Sadly, propaganda is everywhere to take advantage of those who are unable to do so)

    Moreover, I simply don't see how Taoism impedes progress any more than a monotheistic religion would. All religions are mechanistically similar in that they utilize fear and superstition to control their followers. From Christianity, the concept of hell is used to invoke fear and the story of creation (literal view) is quite superstitious. In fact, progress is impeded by Christianity with the movement against the teaching of evolution and the protests against stem cell research, both of which are products of fundamentalist Christian thought in the United States. It’s quite sad that the U.S., the supposed leaders of technology, innovation, and science has the second lowest belief in evolution out of twenty western countries.

    This is not meant to bash Christianity though. It’s just to point out how our personal biases make us privy to the flaws of other religious beliefs, in this case Taoism, but not to the flaws of our own religion when in fact all religions suffer from the same basic faults. I want to point out though that I make no assumptions about your personal (religious) beliefs. Just that many of your brethren who share your religion (only in name) believe in a flawed ideology.

    This brings us to a point where I think both you and I can agree upon. The real impediment to progress is fundamentalism – the clinging of beliefs without critical evaluation of those beliefs. All your complaints about Taoism are from their backwards beliefs that impede progress. Christianity similarly has their fair share of backwards fundamentalist beliefs as well. However, not all Christians are fundamentalists and likewise, I would think that not all Taoists are fundamentalists either.

    I have just a few minor points in addition to that huge essay I made above. The development of science should never be mixed in with religious views. While many prominent scientists may have been Christians like Newton, just as many were not. It wasn't their religious belief that made them good scientists. What Western ideology did was to create a society that opened education up to the masses, leading to a statistically greater chance of producing people capable of such genius. In response to your claim about the first hospitals in Taiwan I would attribute it to the fact that the Christians at the time were from the West and had access to western medicine. Now days, Tzu Chi can do the same. Last but not least, in response to your claim that Taoism is evil because the mafia believes in it, many Italian Mafias believed in Christianity as well. Hitler was also Christian, but I would never say that because those people believe in Christianity that it makes Christianity evil.

  12. thanks for dropping by^^.
    good points. fundamentalism without RATIONALISM is always doomed to fail. i do however make a division between bibical christianity and catholic. it's the catholic paradigm that sustains the mafia, which is in my opinon, Rome's answer to masonry.i also agree with you about christian fundamentalists. they've lost the whole point, being either A or B. i personally beleive in evolution. i also beleive in genesis. how do i reconcile those two? i don't. they're two different things, and both true to me in their own way, without resorting to such absurdities as "Creationism science" etc, which is neither good christianity nor good science.
    what i would like to say about protestant christianity being a boost to the west is the LACK of ritual = more time to pursue science, engineering, arts, etc. the anglo-protestant work ethic, while twisted if we take work to be a sacrement od sorts, has produced the highest quality goods in the world for the most part, that is til the labor unions took over the auto industry and made US cars number 2 to japan. but that's another one there.^^
    perhaps i should say the combo of protestant christianty/anglo work ethic balanced by skeptical atheism/determinism was the winning combination in western progress.

  13. Hi, I was trying to gather some information on Taiwan for my college assignment and came across your blog.
    I read all your & I like it, You ARE talking about things other don't. But You're only writing about bad stuff, why not share some good things about Taiwan and Taiwanese? Will be huge favor to guys like me who are trying to find some useful info in English about Taiwan.
    And also one request, you said above that;
    "isnt it funny that most of the examples the media finds of bad foriegn husbands are guys from ISLAMIC countries?"
    Can you plz provide link to any resource with that kind of story/news/example etc?
    Now some questions for you,
    For how long you been there in Taiwan?
    After reading your blog it seems that Taiwanese don't really welcome they?
    How much would you recommend Taiwan as a place to spend the life there for a foreigner on a scale of 1 to 10?
    What could be the most serious circumstances for a foreigner in Taiwan (specially who don't know Mandarin)?
    That's all coming in mind right now, will let you know if something else came up.
    Thanks in advance for help :)

  14. thanks for coming by!
    by all means, come to taiwan! for the most part it's great. MOST people are friendly and helpful to foriegners. it's when you enter bottleneck industries like music that you'd find trouble.
    taiwan is chick heaven. lots of pretty, NICE girls here. no garbage mouth sex and the city types like in western countries.
    taiwan does have its problems, and some of those arebad enough to warrant a site (mine) devoted exclusively to them.
    all in all, the past 12 years here have been MOSTLY wonderful, intersped by utter hopelessness at the way taiwanese think on specific issues.
    but by all means come. great place!

  15. "the islamic countries" statement comes from years of reading/watching taiwan news. most of the messsed up foreign husband cases have been guys from Paki and the middle east. there however assholes of all nationalities in taiwan. most foriegners are ok. but there are some losers here who seem to make it with a level of girl that they'd NEVER get back home. then they abuse the shit out of her. sad.

  16. I think most if not all of the foreigner groups throughout Taiwan's history have made important contributions.

    1. Dutch Foreigners: They introduced the following agricultural items - breadfruit, jackfruit (波羅密), parsley, tomatoes, watermelon, mangoes, peppers, lemons, and custard apples (釋迦). They also brought the first ox (water buffalo) from India. And we shouldn't forget their ships carried many Chinese foreigners to Taiwan from Fuchien and Guangdong.

    2. Chinese Foreigners: They have contributed a lot just in terms of numbers. Most of Taiwan's population is descended from them. They also provided most of the labor to build Taiwan's infrastructure.

    3. Japanese Foreigners: From 1895 to 1945, they were instrumental in building Taiwan's modern infrastructure (railways, banks, bureaucracy). They also helped to stamp out tropical disease by stressing modern medicine.

    4. KMT Foreigners: They sucked some 44 billion US dollars out of the US in aid. It could be argued that this helped in Taiwan's economic progress of the last 40 years.

    To sum: "Foreigner good, xenophobia bad."

  17. well said. by the way....patrick cowsill..

    you wouldn't happen to be related tot he famous singing cowsill family, which was the inspiration for the partridge family Tv series?

  18. Well, in fact I am. Some of the cousins sing, others have concepts about Taiwan's history, and would even like to speak to some of the concepts / misconcepts flying about that make life uncomfortable for the 22,000,000 foreigners who happen to be on board. Cheers. BTW, I also love the flower girl, in addition to Taiwan.