It is rather narrow to attribute China's scientific success merely to political elements, while ignoring the others. The widely used mobile payment service and bicycle sharing, for example, have been initiated by Chinese companies instead of the government. Driven by enormous market demands, a number of technology companies with top scientists and engineers have continuously sprung up. It is the private sector that leads the live-streaming educational platforms, online food delivery services, and many other innovations to change people's lives. This is how China works to develop science.
In turn, in a world that adopts a different approach, very few countries have the ability to become great scientific powers.
Another speculation says that China uses science to suppress its people. No doubt it is ridiculous. Artificial intelligence technology like facial recognition has been used by China to bring down crime rate. Here is a fun fact about Chinese facial recognition. Since April last year, the police have arrested about 60 suspects and fugitives at the concert tour of a renowned Chinese singer, Jacky Cheung, with the help of facial recognition. And plenty of tricks of light play across its face as it joins the sun and Earth in their dance across the cosmos. Because it is at a far point in its orbit, the process will last some 6 hours and 14 minutes.
This well-established clockwork of phases, colors and alignments still evoke a strong sense of mystery. All are time-honored responses to the moon. Whether you see beauty in an eclipse or impending doom will be based on your cultural and social background. Throughout history, though, those who have experienced either event have often felt it was all about them. It was a rare but personal sign from the gods. Therefore, it had to be observed, interpreted, tracked — and predicted.
The ancient Babylonian civilization was fascinated with the heavens.
Capital Letters with North, South, East, and West (Points of the Compass)
It soon developed a complex school of astrology. This is distinct from astronomy as it was all about interpreting the will of the gods — not understanding the clockwork of the universe. Babylonian mathematicians were able to calculate that, over a period of months, there were 38 possible eclipses.
While not exact, their understanding of this cycle enabled them to predict the date and nature of upcoming eclipses. And in ancient Babylon — which thrived almost 4, years ago — that meant the difference between life and death.
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Each eclipse was judged according to the position of other stars and planets particularly Jupiter , and how much of the moon was darkened. If the expected omens were bad, the Babylonian king would ritually step down from office — and anoint a substitute king and queen.
Two Easts and two Wests
I wrote down whatever signs there were, be they celestial, terrestrial, or of malformed births, and had them recited in front of Samas, one after the other. They the substitute king and queen were treated with wine, washed with water and anointed with oil; I had those birds cooked and made them eat them. The substitute king of the land of Akkad took the sins on himself.
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In other words, a temporary royal family was appointed to take the fall for the real king. They were killed. To the Egyptians, the life-giving sun was the god Amun-Ra.
To the Greeks, it was Helios. To the Japanese, Amaterasu. Its warm presence meant fertile crops and health. But now I'll give you some good advice how to see him. I'll give you a candle stub, which you can carry home in your bosom; just light it while he is asleep, but be careful not to drop any tallow on him. Yes, she took the candle, and hid it in her bosom, and that evening the white bear came and took her away. So when she reached home, and had gone to bed, it was the same as before.
A man came and lay down beside her; but in the middle of the night, when she heard that he was fast asleep, she got up and lit the candle. She let the light shine on him, and saw that he was the most handsome prince one ever set eyes on.
Chapter 12: The Worship of the Sun Among the Aryan Peoples of Antiquity
She fell so deeply in love with him, that she thought she couldn't live if she didn't give him a kiss at once. And so she did, but as she kissed him she let three drops of hot tallow drip onto his shirt, and he woke up. I have a stepmother who has bewitched me, so that I am a white bear by day, and a man by night.
But now all ties are broken between us. Now I must leave you for her. She lives in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon, and there, too, is a princess, one with a nose three yards long, and now I will have to marry her. Yes, she could do that, but there was no way leading to the place.
It lay east of the sun and west of the moon, and she'd never find her way there.
The next morning, when she woke up, both the prince and the castle were gone, and she was lying on a little green patch, in the midst of the thick, dark forest, and by her side lay the same bundle of rags she had brought with her from her old home. When she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and cried until she was tired, she set out on her way, and walked many, many days, until she came to a high cliff. An old woman sat under it, and played with a golden apple which she tossed about.
The girl asked her if she knew the way to the prince, who lived with his stepmother in the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, and who was to marry the princess with a nose three yards long. Maybe she'll be able to tell you; and when you get there just give the horse a switch under the left ear, and beg him to be off home. And you can take this golden apple along with you. So she got on the horse, and rode a long, long time, until she came to another cliff, under which sat another old woman, with a golden carding comb. The girl asked her if she knew the way to the castle that lay east of the sun and west of the moon, and she answered, like the first old woman, that she knew nothing about it, except that it was east of the sun and west of the moon.
This old woman gave her the golden carding comb; she might find some use for it, she said. So the girl got up on the horse, and again rode a long, long way. At last she came to another great cliff, under which sat another old woman, spinning with a golden spinning wheel. She asked her, as well, if she knew the way to the prince, and where the castle was that lay east of the sun and west of the moon. But it was the same thing over again. But she didn't know the way any better than the other two. She knew it was east of the sun and west of the moon, but that was all.
When you get to him, just give the horse a switch under the left ear, and he'll trot home by himself. She too gave her her golden spinning wheel.
Flying Carpets and Finesse
She rode many weary days, before she got to the east wind's house, but at last she did reach it, and she asked the east wind if he could tell her the way to the prince who lived east of the sun and west of the moon. Yes, the east wind had often heard tell of it, the prince and the castle, but he didn't know the way there, for he had never blown so far.
Maybe he knows, for he's much stronger. If you will just get on my back I'll carry you there. When they arrived at the west wind's house, the east wind said the girl he had brought was the one who was supposed to have had the prince who lived in the castle east of the sun and west of the moon.
She had set out to find him, and he had brought her here, and would be glad to know if the west wind knew how to get to the castle. Maybe he'll tell you. Get on my back, and I'll carry you to him. Yes, she got on his back, and so they traveled to the south wind, and I think it didn't take long at all. When they got there, the west wind asked him if he could tell her the way to the castle that lay east of the sun and west of the moon, for she was the one who was supposed to have had the prince who lived there.
Well, I have visited a lot of places in my time, but I have not yet blown there. If you want, I'll take you to my brother the north wind; he is the oldest and strongest of us all, and if he doesn't know where it is, you'll never find anyone in the world to tell you. Get on my back, and I'll carry you there. Yes, she got on his back, and away he left his house at a good clip.
They were not long underway. When they reached the north wind's house he was so wild and cross, that he blew cold gusts at them from a long way off. But if you really wish to go there, and aren't afraid to come along with me, I'll take you on my back and see if I can blow you there.