||[Jun. 1st, 2006|04:04 pm]
I have recently been making (admittedly meager) efforts to learn to speak Mandarin, in the course of which I realized I could name only three Chinese cities. To put that in perspective, China has a fifth of the world's population, so that's like being able to name only 15 cities in the whole world. Looking at it another way, I was able to name 9 cities in the Australian continent, which has a population of around 25 million, so I can name 157 times more cities per capita in Australia than in China. Population is not a perfect metric, of course, but I think it is shameful no matter how you look at it.
Learning more about China has therefore jumped to the top of my to-do list, which unfortunately doesn't mean squat because I rarely get around to doing the things on my to-do list.
Coincidentally, yesterday I was trying to explain to someone why I thought Shanghai was a great location for Asiacrypt. I would like to scratch out my previous reasons and replace them with:
I mean, how can you argue with that?