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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:10 AM   #6581
bluemeansgo
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It's sad that the media is overly negative, however two points:
  • Journalists are still human, and therefore influenced by the religion of nationalism
  • It goes both ways... but fewer westerners can read Chinese news than vice-versa

Negativity from China about Western issues is likely just as biased, or perhaps more so... given that western media has more "corporate control" and less "government corporate controlled" and many US based multi-national corporations have a vested interest in China.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:19 AM   #6582
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You can't be too angry at the journalists. They want to get paid, and thus they tow the line. You'd rather be a disingenuous journalist than a waiter with good language skills.

There's no shortage of idiot nationalism in China. But the social flaws in China are a lot more overt, thus the propaganda isn't nearly as effective. No "sane" person sees the US Social Security System as a boondoggle, and emblematic of a foreign cultural flaw.

There's also plenty of domestic anti-HSR, anti-subway, anti-infrastructure articles in the Chinese media. Caixin.com is bankrolled by real estate and airline barons, and surprise surprise, it's published plenty of austerity arguments.

Regarding multinational companies (everywhere, not just in the US or China)--they just want to make the biggest ROI. If that doesn't occur through producing better products and services, they'll just resort to tax loopholes, further exploiting their workers, diverting gov't funds to themselves--basically keeping their profits and externalizing their expenses.

You just want the readers to see things with skepticism, and not just line up via their tribal allegiances.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:24 AM   #6583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
What a wonderfully skewed world view, where the (Western) media are evil, spiteful monsters out to get the poor, poor Chinese.
What? Where did I ever say that?
I merely stated a fact.

Quote:
There were plenty of journalists writing negative things about Chinese HSR, because

2. Negative news sells. Yes, no matter how horrible this is, 'journalists' publish negative news, often without much knowledge about the subject matter, because they want to make money.
True.


Quote:
China doesn't need to be treated with silk gloves, and journalists SHOULD be critical. If you gather proper information yourself, you can easily weed out the bullshit sensationalist articles by journalists trying to sell product, and perhaps you can steer away from this weird thinking that everybody is conspiring against China.
Journalists should provide us with information which is as close to reality as possible. Publishing information which is distorted on purpose is not called journalism. It's called sham journalism. And no I didn't gather my information from SSC. In fact I read pretty much every single article in English on Chinese HSR that was posted between 2009 and now and make my conclusions based on that, not what has been posted on SSC.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:30 AM   #6584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez View Post
It's easy to say a proposal won't work. It's difficult to cite a functioning, efficient, and productive investment and twist it into a negative.
Precisely! And that is what I wrote myself too. The peak of the criticisms in the Western media was during the time when first major trunk lines were constructed. Even before most of them opened it was already 'clear' that it was all going to end badly... most probably. By now once a good chunk of the system is actually up and running there is simply no way to draw doomsday scenarios because all available empirical evidence suggests the contrary i.e. that system is, in fact, working like a charm and already benefiting the people.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 01:30 AM   #6585
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What is confirmation bias: The Thread.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 02:22 AM   #6586
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
YOU mentioned the Maglev.
No, I haven't. It wasn't my post Silly
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Old October 1st, 2013, 02:25 AM   #6587
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
I think they actually include those newly constructed 200km/h lines, because the vast majority of them are designed as 250km/h lines and only artificially limited to 200km/h. So by definition they are proper HSRs.
Yes, they are, you are right. I understood the question more on a pure speed based way. There are upgraded lines that let 200km/h speed which, I believe, cannot be included in this because it was over 6000km even in year 2007.

Last edited by foxmulder; October 1st, 2013 at 02:33 AM.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 04:49 AM   #6588
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
What is confirmation bias: The Thread.
Ironic, coming from you.

You've long cited crappy articles to justify your biases. 'Cept your editorials don't stand up to scrutiny.

The negative tone of WSJ, NYTimes, and your editorials could have been directed against the previous infrastructure projects of numerous other places. Inveighing against the wasteful, unaffordable London Tube (as opposed to XXX project in XXX foreign locale) makes just as much sense. But it's always easier to scapegoat some foreign entity and overlook similar occurrences at home.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 09:41 AM   #6589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Precisely! And that is what I wrote myself too. The peak of the criticisms in the Western media was during the time when first major trunk lines were constructed.
I live in China and one of the trillion adjustments those in the rest of the world need to make is this:

The Chinese refer to 'The West'. However, what they mean is essential the rest of the planet, except for the other two Confucian NE Asian nations and Russia. Maybe.

When you write 'The West' you mean the EU, England, Anglo Oceania, North America and possibly South America.

The Chinese use it to refer to the set of all non-Chinese excluding SOME Asian nations and MAYBE Russia.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:41 AM   #6590
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Can we please keep this thread:

a) To topic

b) Less hostile and confrontational.

Next person who levies a personal insult gets infracted. If it continues you get brigged/banned.

Criticism and asking questions of projects and hearing responses from locals on the ground is what we are here for, but when we allow too many "feelings" about things into the mix it becomes unproductive. If one feels that sources are biased, then have some facts/figures to balance the claims so that we can all learn rather than simply being demeaning and disparaging with responses - that goes for all sides of this ongoing debate regarding China and development in China.

We can use these forums to learn, or we can use them to argue unproductively. I prefer the former condition. I thank all of the meaningful contributors as I (on a personal note) really enjoy seeing the developments in the system.

Carry on.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:50 AM   #6591
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Back to topic then:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearb View Post
Test trains will be sent to Shenzhen North Station on 30th of September during night time. Xiamen-Shenzhen Line will start the 'trains on track test' from 1st of October.
It is 1st.
How is the progress of tests?
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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:16 PM   #6592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez View Post
Ironic, coming from you.

You've long cited crappy articles to justify your biases. 'Cept your editorials don't stand up to scrutiny.

The negative tone of WSJ, NYTimes, and your editorials could have been directed against the previous infrastructure projects of numerous other places. Inveighing against the wasteful, unaffordable London Tube (as opposed to XXX project in XXX foreign locale) makes just as much sense. But it's always easier to scapegoat some foreign entity and overlook similar occurrences at home.
You're confusing supporting your point for confirmation bias.

I am aware of the multitude of positive articles avaiable out there.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 01:26 PM   #6593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez View Post
You can't be too angry at the journalists. They want to get paid, and thus they tow the line. You'd rather be a disingenuous journalist than a waiter with good language skills.

There's no shortage of idiot nationalism in China. But the social flaws in China are a lot more overt, thus the propaganda isn't nearly as effective. No "sane" person sees the US Social Security System as a boondoggle, and emblematic of a foreign cultural flaw.

There's also plenty of domestic anti-HSR, anti-subway, anti-infrastructure articles in the Chinese media. Caixin.com is bankrolled by real estate and airline barons, and surprise surprise, it's published plenty of austerity arguments.

Regarding multinational companies (everywhere, not just in the US or China)--they just want to make the biggest ROI. If that doesn't occur through producing better products and services, they'll just resort to tax loopholes, further exploiting their workers, diverting gov't funds to themselves--basically keeping their profits and externalizing their expenses.

You just want the readers to see things with skepticism, and not just line up via their tribal allegiances.
I'd actually say that the average British/US journalist just doesn't understand what is happening in China and why. So that ignorance just leads to confirmation bias of their personal stereotypes and prejudices.

It also doesn't help that they lack the knowledge about economic development paths that various countries have taken.

The same applies vice-versa, with Chinese journalists writing about the UK/US.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:43 PM   #6594
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless View Post
It also doesn't help that they lack the knowledge about economic development paths that various countries have taken.
One reason The Chinese Model may work, in China and not elsewhere, is that Chinese people often prefer and defer to being told what to do.

Other cultures people aren't going to just jump because the .Gov says so, in China I hear so often a variation upon:

"We have to follow the rules and do what X says.".

I also am asked constantly about various personal behaviours:

"Well what does the .Gov think?"

Then I inform them that what people do is not the .Gov's concern and everyone expresses disapproval.

So what may be happening is that in other nations where economic incentives would have people expressing disapproval by moving or not participating, in China the people may simply do what they are told.

That's what I have heard from many people here in the last 5 years, and it's why their top-down, Dirigiste model may work for them.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:40 PM   #6595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
One reason The Chinese Model may work, in China and not elsewhere, is that Chinese people often prefer and defer to being told what to do.

Other cultures people aren't going to just jump because the .Gov says so, in China I hear so often a variation upon:

"We have to follow the rules and do what X says.".

I also am asked constantly about various personal behaviours:

"Well what does the .Gov think?"

Then I inform them that what people do is not the .Gov's concern and everyone expresses disapproval.

So what may be happening is that in other nations where economic incentives would have people expressing disapproval by moving or not participating, in China the people may simply do what they are told.

That's what I have heard from many people here in the last 5 years, and it's why their top-down, Dirigiste model may work for them.
What you've said is true.

But in the context of high speed rail, I'm referring to how US journalists don't have any experience with HSR, because the USA doesn't have HSR lines nor of passenger railway lines for that matter.

And they're also ignorant that with China's population density, the situation is more like a London-Manchester route which needs the following:

2x slow-speed tracks
2x upgraded 200km/h tracks
2x dedicated 300km/h HSR tracks (still to be built even though the current lines are overloaded)

This is basic development economics that applies when you have:
1. a given population
2. a given density
3. a certain route corridor of certain length
4. a mid-upper wealth levels
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:52 PM   #6596
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HSR is just a technological development. HSR delivers similar productivity gains as the previous build out of conventional rail and the interstate network.

It's very difficult to argue against the efficacy and the productivity gains of these previous infrastructure investments. Yet a lot of ire is still directed towards future infrastructure. Last week I paid $400 for a 1-hour flight between two hub airports. Safe to say, the airlines have been lobbying hard against any rail link.

Thus when myriad stories about "wasteful" Chinese HSR planning came out in the domestic US media, I was annoyed. Half a decade later, we've moved on from China, yet we still see skeptical stories about the futility of rail investment in the US.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:54 PM   #6597
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless View Post
I'd actually say that the average British/US journalist just doesn't understand what is happening in China and why. So that ignorance just leads to confirmation bias of their personal stereotypes and prejudices.

It also doesn't help that they lack the knowledge about economic development paths that various countries have taken.

The same applies vice-versa, with Chinese journalists writing about the UK/US.
Planning theory and economic history can be learned. With the exception of available technology, China's present build out of its road and rail networks (in both the built aspect and financing) is very similar to what occurred in the US between the 1870s and the New Deal. Journalists covering the subject SHOULD know this. Being ignorant of some foreign place is already pretty bad. Being ignorant of your own history is even worse.

But instead we saw plenty of doom 'n gloom articles, interviews with investment bankers who said it was a simple waste of money. Why would a rational journalist with half a brain want a finance industry's perspective on infrastructure? If there were high interest loans and carrying charges involved, would the bankers be happier?

There's NO shortage of very competent, principled journalists. But the big media outlets themselves have been consolidated and reflect a very narrow range of viewpoints. Unfortunately the WSJ and NYTimes are quoted. They argued for war, they argued for bank bailouts, and they think government spending on plebeians is a waste of money, so they're "critical" of public infrastructure.

No one is quoting dimwit, xenophobe Chinese journalists about _____ foreign place. Because of its authoritarian nature, people are cognizant of the biases in Chinese journalism itself. Yet the media in the US is theoretically free, and people expect objectivity. They often get something else, but don't question it (i.e. a banker's negative stance on gov't funded infrastructure). So in a roundabout way, it's more insidious and more effective.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 08:20 PM   #6598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez View Post
HSR is just a technological development. HSR delivers similar productivity gains as the previous build out of conventional rail and the interstate network.

It's very difficult to argue against the efficacy and the productivity gains of these previous infrastructure investments. Yet a lot of ire is still directed towards future infrastructure. Last week I paid $400 for a 1-hour flight between two hub airports. Safe to say, the airlines have been lobbying hard against any rail link.

Thus when myriad stories about "wasteful" Chinese HSR planning came out in the domestic US media, I was annoyed. Half a decade later, we've moved on from China, yet we still see skeptical stories about the futility of rail investment in the US.
Well, most of the USA just doesn't have the population density and population clusters for HSR to make sense.

I think there are some corridors that do, but there's still that huge bias that anything done by the government is automatically a bad thing.
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Last edited by Restless; October 1st, 2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 08:29 PM   #6599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlez View Post
Planning theory and economic history can be learned. With the exception of available technology, China's present build out of its road and rail networks (in both the built aspect and financing) is very similar to what occurred in the US between the 1870s and the New Deal. Journalists covering the subject SHOULD know this. Being ignorant of some foreign place is already pretty bad. Being ignorant of your own history is even worse.

But instead we saw plenty of doom 'n gloom articles, interviews with investment bankers who said it was a simple waste of money. Why would a rational journalist with half a brain want a finance industry's perspective on infrastructure? If there were high interest loans and carrying charges involved, would the bankers be happier?

There's NO shortage of very competent, principled journalists. But the big media outlets themselves have been consolidated and reflect a very narrow range of viewpoints. Unfortunately the WSJ and NYTimes are quoted. They argued for war, they argued for bank bailouts, and they think government spending on plebeians is a waste of money, so they're "critical" of public infrastructure.

No one is quoting dimwit, xenophobe Chinese journalists about _____ foreign place. Because of its authoritarian nature, people are cognizant of the biases in Chinese journalism itself. Yet the media in the US is theoretically free, and people expect objectivity. They often get something else, but don't question it (i.e. a banker's negative stance on gov't funded infrastructure). So in a roundabout way, it's more insidious and more effective.
Remember that the key thing is the overall cost-benefit ratio of a project, and benefits are more than just whether it is profitable.

After all, it is the government funding the project, and the government that is accruing all the benefits.

It be would be nice if it could be done with private money, but the purely financial benefits over the 30year lifecycle aren't enough to justify the hude financial risk as it would sink any private investor.

Yeah, the thing is that many journalists just don't even realise the biases that they have. I actually worked at BBC for a while lol
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Old October 1st, 2013, 08:31 PM   #6600
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Quote:
I'm referring to how US journalists don't have any experience with HSR, because the USA doesn't have HSR lines nor of passenger railway lines for that matter.
Are there any forummers able to summarise French, German or Japanese commentary on the subject then?
The latter would be likely to have nationalistic bias, but I'm sure French and German commentators who are used to dealing with arguments over their own nations' HSR systems would have more insight than most commentators from the US.
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