"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
1 In 1984 I had my first direct contact with China3 In 1984 I had my first direct contact with ChinaIn 1984 I had my first direct contact with ChinaChapter 6: The Big Cycle of China and Its Currency2020-10-09Journal
China was very poor and backward then. However it was immediately clear to me that its people were smart and civilized. In this regard it wasn’t like most other undeveloped countries I was used to because the Chinese backwardness was due to the people simply not knowing about or having access to what was available in the outside world and because they were operating in a demotivating system. For example, I gave $10 calculators as gifts to people, including the highest-ranking people, which they thought were miraculous devices. At the time people couldn’t choose their careers or their jobs, they received no financial incentives for working well, all businesses (including small restaurants) were government-owned and bureaucratically run, there was no ownership of property such as one’s home, and there was no contact with what the world had to offer in terms of best practices and products.