Consummate dilettantism!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beijing Subway

Spent some time studying the subway today. Two observations:


*The conductor does nothing but push a lever to make the train go forward. He also gets out of the train at every stop to make sure no one is crushed in the doors. Everything else is done automatically.

*The doors open for exactly 20 seconds at every stop, an amount of time longer than it feels.


The Beijing Subway is more technologically advanced and much cleaner than the New York City Subway, but it lacks its character. In particular, no one plays music, sings, or performs, with the exception of some singing beggars you’ll come across every so often. (They’re not very good, though.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Languages By GDP

Came across a very interesting chart over here:



“This short article provides one picture of the economic significance of different languages, with a breakdown of the percentages of world GDP by language. Not only does it show the current breakdown, but it also provides data for the years 1975 to 2002 to show modern trends. The most notable feature is the steady rise of Chinese and slow relative decline of Japanese and most European languages. Korean and Indic languages also show growth over that period, though slower than Chinese.”


Now here’s the same chart over the period 2003-2010 (projected from 2003):



More current data can be found here:


Total GDP per language area in 2008 in billion US dollars at market exchange rates (as a % of world GDP in parenthesis) >> population in 2008 (UN figures for the countries and territories making up each language area, not the actual number of speakers) :


1- English: 19,837+ (32.6%+) >> 481.7 million+

2- Chinese: 5,210 (8.6%) >> 1,358.1 million

3- Japanese: 4,924 (8.1%) >> 127.2 million

4- German: 4,504 (7.4%) >> 96.4 million

5- Spanish: 4,364 (7.2%) >> 416.8 million

6- French: 4,097 (6.7%) >> 426.7 million

7- Italian: 2,332 (3.8%) >> 60.3 million

8- Russian: 1,959 (3.2%) >> 189.0 million

9- Arabic: 1,914 (3.1%) >> 342.1 million

10- Portuguese: 1,913 (3.1%) >> 249.2 million

11- Dutch: 1,267 (2.1%) >> 24.6 million

12- Korean: 973 (1.6%) >> 72.2 million

13- Malay-Indonesian: 931 (1.5%) >> 263.7 million

14- Turkish: 729 (1.2%) >> 71.5 million

15- Hindi-Urdu: 570 (0.9%) >> 720.8 million


And perhaps the most interesting of all, GDP by number of speakers:


GDP per capita per language area (at market exchange rates):

Dutch: 51,466 US dollars

German: 46,703

Japanese: 38,722

Italian: 38,699

Korean: 13,472

Spanish: 10,471

Russian: 10,365

Turkish: 10,200

French: 9,602

Portuguese: 7,676

Arabic: 5,596

Chinese: 3,836

Malay-Indonesian: 3,530

Hindi-Urdu: 791


I’ve been saying all along that the Netherlands was awesome. Sort of surprised to see Italian so high up, though.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

China's First Internet Gaming Law / 中国第一部网游专项法规实施

中国第一部网游专项法 规实施 各方详解四大看点

Saw this on CCTV this morning, the caption, of course, being "
保护未成年人是核心" (protecting the children is the core [of the law]). What will the law do? A lot of good stuff:

1. People are going to be required to provide their real names (backed up by ID) when gaming.
2. Forced player killing is now banned, due to fears that killing other players in video games will lead to killing other people in real life. (:blink:)
3. New restrictions on online markets.
4. You have to have at least 10,000,000 yuan in registered capital to be a gaming company. The point here is to reduce the number of online games. If there are only big companies, the games are easier to control.

Whether this law can be enforced effectively/will have an effect is questionable, but it reveals the government's increasing eagerness to control the internet. "Protecting the children" my ass.