Author: Paul Lau

Paul Lau is a student from Hong Kong with interests in current affairs, debating, sports and blogs at PaulLau.com (https://paullau.wordpress.com)

WSDC 2018 – Motions

Note: Wording is second-hand and may be erroneous. Apologies in advance if that is the case.

R1P: This House would require professional sports teams to be owned by their local communities instead of individuals or corporations.
R2P: This House opposes the development of lethal autonomous weapons. (infoslide: Lethal autonomous weapons are a type of autonomous military robot designed to select and attack military targets (people or installations) without intervention by a human operator)
R3I: This House regrets the widespread belief that motherhood is a rewarding experience
R4I: This House believes that states should allow all non-citizen migrant workers to vote in local and national elections
R5P: This House supports a school voucher system.
R6I: This House would not allow sellers and service providers to advertise their products beyond showing information and images that reveal technical product details.
R7P: This House regrets the Belt and Road Initiative.
R8I: This House regrets the rise of call-out culture.

PDOFI: This House believes that democratic states should not own or run media organisations
OFI: This House prefers a world with no belief in the afterlife
QFI: This House believes that foreigners should not be allowed to own land in developing countries
SFI: THBT rehabilitation should be the only consideration in criminal sentencing
GFP: This House believes that the West should end all arms sales and military cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Linkin Sleep

I was greeted this morning as I woke up by the fabulous click-bait from LinkedIn ‘How to fix your sleep cycle’…
Now how did LinkedIn figure that out?!

Baited I was, and apparently a ‘sleep expert’ Michael Breus wrote a book about four chronotypes (or sleep patterns) people fall under: lions, which you may better know as early birds; wolves, aka night owls; bears, who are in the happy middle and about half the population; and dolphins, who are the troubled sleepers.

I know this probably means we should figure out which of these we are, and then try to adjust our lives to the appropriate cycle, but to be honest my first thought is along the lines of this meme. Another instance of real life catching up with the desirable approach.

The Long Way

Since starting work, being a consummate consumer of news has been increasingly difficult. At the same time as my interests (or perceived supposed interests) expanded to include things I ought to know for work, the amount of time I have to read and consume news has shrunk as work has taken up the time or at least the mental space. I have learned to be more selective in what I read and choose, fewer spontaneous pieces, more focus on things I feel are most important. My sources have become shorter and shorter, being easier to finish in the sport bursts of time that I feel I have.

But more often than not, I am simply succumbing to the pithy, bite-sized, sound-bite based culture that our news and media has increasingly been reduced to. So it was fantastically refreshing (in this holiday of the last few days) to be able to engage in some serious long-form journalism – Hiking around the hills of Hong Kong listening to an almost 3-hour long podcast about the Oprah Winfrey show (Making Oprah by WBEZ); watching a 2-hour long film about spending a year in space (A Year in Space by TIME); a ton of long-form articles that I wouldn’t have had time to read in my normal routine.

So despite my succumbing to the ever-shortening attention span that we grant to the news, I guess this is a timely and helpful reminder that we should always find the time for some proper long-form news.

IMAGE: Taken from Mount Butler as I was reminded of a friend who said that their favorite thing about Hong Kong was how close nature was to the city and vice-versa. Fact proven when it is possible to do a 3-hour casual hike from door-to-door on the fly.

Too Privileged

This post number two following the earlier one titled ‘Privilege‘, hence the pun in the title, on something that has been bothering me for a long while. This isn’t aimed at anyone or any group, mostly just a personal reflection/struggle.

Still struggle to put this all into words, but thankfully The Broad Experience has nicely encapsulated it in this podcast.

The Broad Experience – Episode 94: https://www.acast.com/thebroadexperience/episode94-classandcareer.

A not 100% accurate transcript: www.thebroadexperience.com/transcripts/2016/10/27/episode-94-class-and-career, though I think the differences sometimes add an element to the message.
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Privilege

CONTEXT: From 9-13 August, I went on a Project Mingde Voluntary Teaching Summer Camp in Dabao Village, Guangxi, China. The following was the reflections I wrote for the trip specifically, but also happened to be something I had thought about more generally in the last few months, so I felt it had heightened meaning, even if it doesn’t necessarily capture the breadth of my thoughts on this.

Hiding safely in our air-conditioned multi-storied concrete edifices, it is easy not to realise how truly privileged we are to live and grow-up in Hong Kong. It certainly was not at the forefront of our minds as the 20 of us made the trip to Dabao Village some 600 km away.

Gathering at the border crossing at a mean 8am, we made our day-long journey to Danzhou Ancient Town. The quaint and beautiful old island surrounded by a yellow silt-filled river began as a bit of a shock – what with the unfamiliar food, unstable internet connection, and undesired company of various small critters. But it soon came to represent a comforting respite from the even more foreign environment a half-days travel away. Along the way into Dabao our bus (perhaps inevitably) broke down, live animals and vegetables were sold in street stalls literally within reach from the car’s windows, and our walk into the village was pre-emptively cooled by heavy rainfall as the bus climbed upwards (though the sky had thankfully dried up by the time our walk started).
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Loving Print

I have cycled through many stages of news reading. It started off being the daily pleasures of the 6.30 news on TVB. As I grew older, that was too regular a schedule to keep, and I was a thankful subscriber of the SCMP at school, religiously picking up my copy daily and reading it on the bus. Once I got my own laptop, I was all over the podcasts I could find on iTunes, downloading enough to fill bus-rides and more. That was also of course when I started reading more news online. This last year, HKU thankfully had a steady stream of free newspapers (WSJ, SCMP, FT) which led me to my current obsession with the print edition.

I do of course get much of my news through the TV and online, but despite many strange looks, I still have a great affinity for the print edition where it’s possible. And Jack Shafer’s writing perfectly captures much of why I feel this way. The irony that he is writing online, and that I found the article through online mediums is not lost, but the point remains well made.

From http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/newspapers-print-news-online-journalism-214238

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WSDC 2016 – VIDEOS

Most likely not a comprehensive collection of videos made of WSDC 2016 debates, but these are the one’s I’ve found. I’m vaguely aware that more were taken, but until they surface here you go. Full credits to the respective uploaders, particularly Argentina Debate, Christian Yeo, George Clay and Indian Students Debates for their larger collections. These are sorted alphabetically by prop (there’s no bias in the listing here, sorry).

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