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In ASIAN NIETZSCHE: A BOOK FOR ALL CIVILIZATIONS, BOOK 1, I have attempted to re-create the “philosophical conversation” and - partly by means of humor and surprising references to popular culture, sex, and lingerie - make accessible to contemporary audiences discussions the comparative study of ideas, religions, nations, and civilizations. This includes an inquiry into the origins of fundamental or revolutionary creativity as compared to the far more common phenomenon across societies and world history, namely, relative cultural stasis or a lack of fundamental creativity and innovation.
It is conventional wisdom today that “China” and “Asia” are ascendant. But why? And are they? Is it simply due to economic growth and appropriate economic policies cultivating economic growth? From the standpoint of Japan – and especially Japanese right – it is “about time” that China, India, and the Asian tigers are catching up with the economy, technology, and society of Japan (and also Western civilization). However, this is only economic progress. I thus raise the question: Can traditional and culturally conservative Asian, “Confucian,” “Hindu,” and “Islamic” societies ever actually compete with Western societies and Japan culturally and technologically – especially in terms of innovation, creativity, and originality at its highest levels?
Contents include: 1: STEVE JOBS & INNOVATION,
(OR, WHY DOES COUNTRY AFTER COUNTRY BELIEVE THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PRODUCE A “STEVE JOBS”)
2: EINSTEIN’S FAVORITE SOCIAL SCIENTIST
3: DO ASIANS LACK A CAPACITY FOR HIGH-LEVEL INNOVATION & CREATIVITY “by force of circumstances beyond their control”?
4: “Conversations don’t have to be so linear and phallologocentric!”: ON THE SURPRISING ORIGINS OF MODERN PORNOGRAPHY IN THE DAYS OF THE SAMURAI
5: DID HEINRICH HEINE ORDER CHINESE?
6: WHO IS SHINTARO ISHIHARA?
7: WHY DID THE SHOGUN’S “SHUNGA” DEPICT WOMEN AS ENJOYING SEX AS MUCH AS MEN?
8: “Do you really take all of this cultural stuff seriously? Isn’t it the age of genes, bio-engineering, and the double-helix?!”
9: EINSTEIN’S FAVORITE “REBELLIOUS JEW”, OR WHY WAS THE FIRST EUROPEAN “REBEL JEW” – A METAPHYSICAN, THEOLOGIAN & PHILOSOPHER – EXCOMMUNICATED AS AN ATHEIST?
10: ASPECTS & ORIGINS OF A “SKEPTICAL ANIMUS”
11: WHY WEREN’T JEWS A TRIBE OF LITERATE, “UNCREATIVE ANTS” LIKE THE JAPANESE?
12: A TRIBE OF PRODUCTIVE ANTS OR NOT?
13: ON THE SOURCES OF CREATIVITY: CULTURAL DIFFUSION, GLOBALIZATION, & ORIENTALISM
14: NO MONETS IN MONET’S HOUSE!
15: “JAZZ IN THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD” & JAZZ IN THE AGE OF THE “GREAT GATSBY”
16: WHY IS JELLY ROLL MORTON’S RED HOT PEPPERS MORE CULTURALLY WESTERN AND EUROPEAN THAN ANY ALBUM OF THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – OR ROCK, COUNTRY, OR BLUE-GRASS?
17: A KIND OF YIN & YANG
18: WHO ARE THE ROMAN-HA?
19: A WO-MA-N WITH NO NAME, AND A WO-MA-N WITH NO NAME
20: WHEN JAPAN ALMOST BECAME CHRISTIAN, OR, WHY THE MADONNA & LADY GAGA OF THE 1600s WORE CHRISTIAN CROSSES
21: WANG YANG MING & THE UNITY OF THOUGHT AND ACTION