We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Ethic and moral codes should be duly honored: visitors are expected not to urinate or shit.


I will confess I disappointed by the complete ban on feudalistic activities in the park. Having my serfs around makes it so much easier for me to tease shrimp.

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28 comments to Ethic and moral codes should be duly honored: visitors are expected not to urinate or shit.

  • Verity

    They need that sign up in every public place in Britain. Not that it wouldn’t be spraypainted over within 30 minutes. Or there may be some rogue playing of mah-jong …

  • What an impressive list. I wonder how members of the public feel about the restrictions they have supposedly imposed upon themselves.

  • Verity

    Chinese have had obedience to authority bred into their bones for 5,000 years. They won’t think anything about it is my guess.

  • billq

    In the old days it was just no dogs or Chinese.

    Whoops …….

  • Nick M

    But why is it in English? Do many people fly from the UK, US etc in order to scare crickets in Shanghai?

    Tom Lehrer would be dissapointed about the lack of a clause about poisoning pigeons.

  • Jacob

    What about: “exposing one’s top” ?

    Micheal, tell us the truth, did you expose your top ?

  • J.Cassian

    They forgot to put “No Warlordism”. Now we’ll know who to blame when the next civil war breaks out.

  • Paul Marks

    As I suspect you know the “feudalistic practices” means that religion the government people enjoy persecuting.

    On Verity’s point:

    There have been antistatist thinkers in China, indeed there have even been times when government was fairly limited in parts of the area we call China.

    However, (most of the time and for most people) you are right.

    China goes from chaos and war, then to order, then to overgovernment, then to breakdown, then to chaos and war, then to………

    Most of the great dynasties (although not all) started off with limited government (the start of the Han meant a great roll back of regulations, and the Tang were limted government people for a good long while).

    But all the dynasties go rotten sooner or later.

    Of the periods when China was divided into many different countries we know little.

    The Chinese like to pretent that they were always basically united (there were just there periods of disunity – some of which lasted for centuries). And they certainly do not like anyone saying that most of modern “China” was made up of countries that did not have “Chinese” culture at all.

    As for antistatist writers – well we still have the Taoists.

    But I suspect that there were other writers. The book burners of the man who built the wall would have concentrated there attention on writers who opposed the idea against all power to the Emperor.

    It is worse in the Classical World.

    “No one in the classical world said X” – how do we know? After all vastly more that 90% of classical writings have been lost.

    For example, all we know of the antistatist writer Lycrophon (the man Aristotle attacks in “The Politics”, not the other Lycrophons) is what Aristotle says about him.

    In fact we do not even have most of Aristotle’s work.

    Think of the most popular works on politics and economics in our world – the ones that are in every University library and bookshop (the ones, perhaps, most likely to survive a breakdown).

    What do they have in common?

    They are all shit.

    So future historiains (basing their judgements on what had survived) would say.

    “Those 20th and early 21 century people, they were all statists”.

  • Their translator is obviously a bit of a free-thinking, laid-back guy by Chinese standards if he thought the most polite, official term to use was “shit”.

  • Bombadil

    not allowed

    Perhaps someone had ready access to a thesaurus?

  • David

    Bombadils post sounds like a ZaNulabour manifesto.

  • veryretired

    Well, I guess I’ll cancel my plans for spring break in Shanghai. If a guy can’t take a dump and harass some crustaceans, why bother?

  • Nick M

    If you took a dump in the right end of the lake, you might simultaneously hassle the crustacea. And if you claimed to the park-warden it was your feudal right, nay duty to relieve yourself in such a manner you’d hit the hat-trick.

    Maybe it’s a poor translation and is actually suppossed to prevent illegal cockling.

  • permanent expat

    Great! Reminds me of the old Hongkong tailor joke in which Ladies are “given fits upstairs.”

  • veryretired

    Since when is cockling illegal? For cryin’ out loud, take a couple of naps and next thing you know, a guy can’t even cockle anymore.

    That’s it. I’m going to Amsterdam instead. Where do I go to watch the dirty movie so I can get my visa?

  • Midwesterner

    Well “comping is binned”. Where’s the fun in that? Might as well leave the tant at home.

    Or maybe this is their way of saying ‘there’s no free lunch’.

  • Perhaps they ought make a list of what one can do…

    They wouldn’t need such a large sign.

  • Verity

    Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh” – oh, wait a minute.

    Actually, cockling refers to the horrible, horrible deaths of illegal Chinese cocklers in Morcambe, which has notoriously treachorous tides. One minute you’re walking across sand, and the next minute you’re up to the neck. I think 35 or so of them died a horrific death.

    I was walking across those sands years ago, as a child, with my mother and everything was normal, and suddenly, the sea swooshed in at such a rate that all sand banks and landmarks disappeared in a single swoosh and I, as a little girl, was up to my waist in sea. I remember my mother holding my hand and keeping her voice calm – but she had no way of judging how we could get back to shore. It was just a sudden mass of grey, swirling, depthless sea.

    A man who was obviously a native and knew the shore caught sight of us shouted out. He guided my mother by shouting out something like “three steps straight ahead and then wait a minute” – and when we did those steps, he judged where we were, and the sea was roaring around us and getting deeper, fast, and he said something like, “Now ahead for another 10 paces. Now directly to your left for twenty paces.” That’s how precise those sudden canyons are.

    It was quite frightening, because the grey sea was surging around, suddenly and silently, and there was no way of judging how deep the undertow was.

    Anyway, he got us onto dry land. My mother stayed calm and didn’t let me know we were in an emergency, but how terrified she must have been with a young child. If I remember rightly, when he’d shouted us back onto the beach, the man just waved his hand and walked away, not waiting for thanks.

    When I read of those poor cocklers dying that awful death, my mind went back to that incident. I still remember the violence of that sudden tide and the eerieness of the entire landscape changing in seconds.

  • j.pickens

    What’s up with the Majong ban?

  • Verity

    Mah-jong is very noisy. It’s not like, say, a ban on playing bridge.

  • Verity is quite right. My sleep is often disturbed by the rampant Mah-jongging going on next door.

  • Tom

    I thought this sign was hilarious…. I couldn’t stop laughing when I first read it.

    Actually I’m little surprised at the postings… I mean not everything has to imply a conspiracy or a hidden agenda. May be the sign was written by some city officials who just wanted to show how “good” their English was (I think most Chinese wouldn’t understand the sign anyway).

    English words in advertising, product packaging, or signs in some Asian countries can be used to imply that something is better quality, is more progressive, more modern, or just “cool”–even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense or sounds very humourous.

    Has anyone seen some of the English words used on Japanese chocolate bars … some are pretty funny… and all in “Engrish”… http://www.engrish.com/category_index.php?category=Chocolate

    Hmmm… does any one have a tatoo with Chinese or Japanese characters on it? Now, when you got it, does it really say what you were told it says?

    Something to think about…

  • Robert

    This needs to go to Engrish.com


    One more time in caps.


  • “Comping is binned”? Peter Sellars is permitted then…

  • D Anghelone

    Creeping capitalism – “Visitors are not supposed to tease, scare, or capture bird, cricket, fish and shrimp, or cicada (except those for commercial purposes)…

    Harvest those cicadas.

  • Verity

    Scott Wickstein is not being ironic. Being next door to a bunch of mah-jong players is hell. Lee Kwan Yew tried to discourage the playing of mah-jong, but he gave up.

  • I thought the line forbidding firearms and ammunition was interesting. I was under the impression that people weren’t allowed to own guns in China…

  • kcb

    I didn’t see any bans on bringing your American court jester along. At least that’s something.