The Chinese Capricorn One.
I find China very interesting - for it never ceases to surprise by its actions. That is not to say that I find it admirable, however. I am interested in the fact that they think they can continue to ignore global behavioural norms, while seeking to be part of the global economy. They don't seem to understand that they have to change, to truly become a part of it.
Now, you might be puzzling over the title of my post. Capricorn One was a 1978 film about a Mars mission that was faked: no mission took place, though TV footage was created to make it look as if it had. This week, the Chinese seemed to have taken a lesson from this fictional story and staged their own Capricorn One - at least, momentarily.
China's state news agency, Xinhua, posted a dispatch reportedly from the country's three latest astronauts describing their first night in space. The dispatch was filled with details, such as describing the Shenzhou VII orbiting the Earth and even carried the outline of a conversation which had supposedly happened between the astronauts, while in space. There is nothing wrong with that, you might think - only there was. You see the mission hadn't taken off, yet.
Think about that. China had scripted an event which had not yet happened - and would, in fact, never happen in the way described - for the astronauts could not have had a conversation in an orbit they had not yet visited. Nor would they have such a conversation once in space - unless they truly have to follow a script and act out one like a play. Thus, the whole story was fiction. It has the same status as Capricorn One - an official description of something which hadn't happened.
There is one difference, of course: this mission is meant to happen. However, that is beside the point, for what this event tells us is that the astronauts on board Chinese space missions are not truly free to describe what they see. Their "descriptions" and "eye-witness statements" are scripted by others and fed to the state media. It is just like Capricorn One - a fiction for the public. They don't even get to speak their minds and be on record for having uttered them. No: words are put in their mouths for public and permanent record - words they never said and may never read.
I find it unnerving that the story even recorded the reactions of people to a successful mission: "Ten minutes later, the ship disappears below the horizon. Warm clapping and excited cheering breaks the night sky, echoing across the silent Pacific Ocean." Beautiful stuff - only it hadn't happened.
The world is learning, this year, much about China. The greatest lesson perhaps is that everything that comes out of China is fake - the food is fake, the news is fake, the gymnasts are fake (underage)...I am even left to wonder: is China fake? Does China exist? I wouldn't be surprised to learn that that is fake, too.
I don't think that the Great Faker, actually has as bright a future as people generally believe. Once the world realizes that nothing is as it seems, much of the world won't want to deal with them. Without people to buy their goods (fake goods), China won't have such a great economy after all. It is only a matter of time. Already it is beginning to happen. In Singapore, sales of Chinese goods are off at least 50 % according to reports in the Straits Times and Today newspapers. I think that is just the beginning. When the source can't be trusted, no-one will buy from it. Sometimes cheap is not cheap enough - or perhaps too cheap. There are other considerations...like is it real?
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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