Thursday, August 20, 2009

Numbered Lists

There seems to be a generic human thing about making numbered lists. There's the Dave Letterman Top 10 list (you can see Britney Spears deliver it in a bikini here), and a whole series of books on the theme of "1001 Things to (See/Do/Experience/etc) Before You Die." Bloggers inundate each other with memes asking for things like "13 True Things About You" or "10 Things I Like/Hate." And so on.

Nobody does numbered lists like the Chinese, though. There are so many numbered lists of Chinese government policies that Wikipedia even has an entry devoted to listing all of them. Perhaps Amanda can shed some light on why this is (and, by the way, her post for today contains this list: 13 Reasons Why I Don't Like Air Asia's Palembang-Kuala Lumpur Flights). Coincidence?

Here are a few examples of Chinese "numbered policy" lists, culled from the Wikipedia list:

The One-Child Policy: The official population control policy of the People's Republic of China.

The Two Whatevers: "We will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave."

The Three Noes: "No contact, no compromise, and no negotiation” (Former Taiwanese president President Chiang Ching-kuo's position on relations with the Chinese Communists).

The Four Old Things: "Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas." These were the four things the Cultural Revolution was supposed to eliminate.

The Five Black Categories: Things you didn't want to be during the Cultural Revolution: "Landlords, Rich Farmers, Anti-Revolutionists, Bad Influencers, and Right-Wingers."

The Six Assurances: Given to the PRC government as guidelines for relations between the US and the PRC:
  1. The United States would not set a date for ending arms sales to the Republic of China (ROC);
  2. The United States would not hold prior consultations with the People's Republic of China regarding arms sales to the ROC;
  3. The United States Would not play a mediation role between the PRC and the ROC;
  4. The United States would not revise the Taiwan Relations Act;
  5. The United States would not alter its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan (i.e. "The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position"); and,
  6. The United States would not exert pressure on the ROC to enter into negotiations with the PRC.
I could go on, but you get the idea.

Other people care a lot about numbers and numbered lists, too. Today, Mike held forth on the number 8, noting that it could be your lucky day if you were Chinese. It would be nice if it were my lucky day, too, as I'm heavily invested in PowerBall and MegaMillions lottery tickets and the jackpots are immense.

But though the jackpots are immense, the odds are long and the table begs for food to be placed upon it and the mortgage to be paid...thus, sadly, I must get ready to go to work and generate the numbers that will, hopefully, show up on my next paycheck.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Funny you should post this on a Thursday Thirteen Day

bandi said...

Did you and Mike plan to have posts concerning numbers?

There was a single winner of the Powerball today. I think in N. C.

bandit said...


Leave me alone Mike.

Mike said...

Thanks for the video of Britney today. It got my morning heart rate up from critical to just serious. Thanks!

And Bandi, you know I would never mention the secret medical proceedure you had done.

Twinkie said...

THREE is the number of furloughs my husband has been imposed by the State of California. >:(