New bridges in Hong Kong and Genoa

By the look it, it’s like that bridge that joins Scandinavia to Scandinavia, with big long viaducts, a tunnel, island where the viaducts turn into tunnels, a in among it all. a tiny – but actually very big – bridge, of the sort that does the entire job in a place like little old England. Only, this bridge connects Hong Kong to China. (Or, as I now like to think of it, West Taiwan.) So, it’s bigger. The biggest.

There have been the inevitable complaints that it cost too much, in lives as well as money. But this is not just a bridge for business. When transport infrastructure gets built on this scale, in a place like China now, there are militaristic as well as business reasons for it to get finished. Money, in other words, is not that much of an object. Nor is the odd life or twenty.

I prefer Renzo Piano’s new bridge in Genoa, built recently to replace the one that fell down:

I liked the design of this bridge when I first saw it, and I like it now.

Maybe I’m becoming too pessimistic about the state of the world just now, but will that Hong Kong bridge be the last of the big bridges for a while? And will most bridges from now on, and for a while, just be replacements for bridges that need replacing, like that one in Genoa?

Nathan Law versus the ChiComs

I remain totally pessimistic about Hong Kong winning in the short run, i.e. not being crushed by the ChiComs. If HongKongers want to get back at the ChiComs, then they must unite with all the other enemies of the ChiComs, and defeat ChiCom rule not just in Hong Kong, but in China as a whole. That’s the only way they’ll ever get their version of Hong Kong back.

What this man …:

… is doing tells me that this process is now getting cranked up. However, Newsweek’s piece has an error in its headline. They say he is opposing “China”. Wrong. He is opposing the ChiComs, on behalf of Hong Kong and on behalf of China.

Nathan Law now operates in London. Good for London.

I am now following Nathan Law on Twitter.

I have a Leader. Not necessarily The Leader, you understand. But A Leader. Someone to follow. Maybe I’ll find a better leader in the future, but meanwhile, he’ll do.

LATER: Also this guy.

SpaceX building fewer rockets

Most of the news today seems to be particular bad. But not this:

SpaceX has gotten good enough at reuse that it’s building fewer rockets.

Space travel is finally getting back to being as fun to follow as it was when they did moon landings. The big difference this time round is that then, money was no object. Now, money very much is an object. Huge improvement.

Face masks in London – but not because of Coronoavirus

Remember that Hong Kong demo I photoed in January and belatedly mentioned here at the end of last month? Well, to remind you about that, and about what a nasty government they were demonstrating against, here are some more photos I took of that demo:

In Hong Kong, there was widespread use of face masks long before the Wuhan Flu, to resist another sort of threat, namely government surveillance.

I am pessimistic about Hong Kong, in any run but the longest. But it is possible to hope that the huge burst of negative feeling about China’s government may draw more attention to all the other nasty things they are doing, in China and in Hong Kong, and that this may get in the way of them swallowing up Hong Kong. I hope so.

I have long been noticing face masks, on those rare occasions when I saw one in use in London. Assuming I manage to deploy my camera quickly enough, they allow me to photo people, and show the photos on the Internet in a way that keeps faces unrecognisable. This demo was a target rich environment for such photoing, my wishes concerning unrecognisability being in line with the wishes of those I was photoing.

Sadly, face recognition is starting to see past face masks.

Hong Kong Demo – London – January 19th 2020

The Chinese government has been taking advantage lately of the fact that there is now only one media story, and is now crunching down on Hong Kong. Because now, this isn’t much of a story, compared to the big story.

As soon as the current round of dramas in Hong Kong began, I was pessimistic about the outcome in the short run, and I am even more pessimistic now. The only hope for the HongKongers, I think, is to get back at their tormentors by turning China itself, in the fullness of time, into something far different and far better, which won’t be so CCP friendly. And in the meantime torment their tormentors by making them scared, and angry that they are liable not to be written up very kindly by History. In short, the HongKongers must now settle down to try to win in the long run, along with everyone else in the world who would like China to be less horribly governed and generally a better place and less of a plague, so to speak, on the world.

But, to do my little bit for keeping Hong Kong as a story now, here are some photos I took of a pro Hong Kong demo in London on January 19th of this year, but never got around to showing anywhere, until now. These next few photos concentrate on the messages the demo-ers were proclaiming:

One weird thing though, the demo seemed to be outside this place:

What have the HongKongers got against the Royal Institute of British Architects?

This slice of google mappery explains:

The RIBA is across the road from the Chinese Embassy, and the demonstrators were shoved across the road. I have various guesses as to who made this happen and why, but I basically do not know.

The Hong Kong news is good (for now)

Hong Kong just had two big reasons to celebrate. First, there was the result of their recent elections, which Hong Kong won and the Chinese Communists lost. And second, the USA just passed a law supporting the HongKongers, with wide support across the political spectrum. American politicians can agree about very little just now, but they do agree about what the Chinese Communists are doing to Hong Kong. They’re against it. Pretty much all of them.

Here’s the photo at the top of a piece about how Hong Kong is now celebrating this law:

And, since this is my blog, let me mention also that I too have today expressed my displeasure at the behaviour in Hong Kong of the Chinese Communist government of China, by posting a posting at Samizdata entitled How to defeat the Chinese Communists.

That’ll show them.

I have a meeting about Hong Kong at my home, tomorrow night. Judging by the RSVPs so far, the room will be comfortably full, and maybe even uncomfortably full.


Until recently, I had no idea what a gimbal is. But, recently, I attended an ASI event. Clearly, the important photos from that night were those I photoed of fearless Hong Konger Denise Ho. But I also took these photos, of the official Real Photographer for the event, in action, with a peculiar stick which I took to be something to do with stabilisation-while-videoing:

I asked him: What’s that? He said: It’s a gimbal. I said: Excuse me while I write that down. So, how do you spell gimbal? He said: g-i-m-b-a-l.

When I got home, I looked it up, because basically I didn’t believe this. I mean, really. Gimbal? But no, it’s true. Wikipedia establishes its reputation for truth telling, which it then applies to politics by telling lies, by telling the truth about things like the gimbal. So, I believe this account.

If you look at Photo 1, you see the word “Ronin”. So, is the gimbal in my photos, this gimbal? There appears to be just the one sort of Ronin gimbal, so: could well be.

Photos of Denise Ho at the ASI

Earlier this evening I attended an event at which Denise Ho answered questions put to her by an ASI guy, about the unfolding situation in Hong Kong. I photoed her:

Very impressive.

Short summary. The protests continue, and the way for her side to win is to universalise the struggle, turning it from a merely local battle, which China is bound to win, into a global argument, which China is a lot less likely to win. Hence her presence in London (and many other spots around the world) to tell people about what’s happening in Hong Kong.

I heard another talk about Hong Kong on Monday that covered a lot of the same ground. My question then (which I thought rather than actually asked) was: What can we do to help? Answer, from Denise Ho this evening: a lot. Because “we” means everyone else in the world who wants to help.

Here goes the tutorial for the latest protest hairstyle in Hong Kong


Like a commenter says: “It’s not a mask, it’s just a hair style!” Superb.

Attended talk about Hong Kong last night at Christian Michel’s. Also superb.

LATER: this at Samizdata.