The light of hope under the yellow umbrella:
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The fight to achieve democracy won’t be in vain, but it will take time
Stephen Vines notes the remarkable results so far of the umbrella protests
Seven remarkable results from the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong:
#1 A new generation has shown its ability to take on the work of a previous generation who campaigned for democracy; crucially, they have done so by affirming their pride as Hongkongers.
#2 Despite provocation, which included the mobilisation of criminal gangs, the demonstrations have achieved world-beating levels of civility and non-violence. Where else in the world would a person who had driven a car straight at demonstrators emerge from the vehicle without being attacked?
#3 Concerning Hong Kong’s reputation. Contrary to official protestations, the demonstrations have earned global respect for the people of Hong Kong. You need only see the international coverage given to these events to appreciate how Hong Kong is being portrayed as a place where the spirit of democracy is unbowed and the determination to achieve it has been pursued peacefully and imaginatively.
#4 While the anti-democrats peddle wild stories of foreign powers manipulating and organising these protests, the reality has been a remarkable display of genuine grass-roots power. The result is that although no one is really “in charge”, at the street level there has been a remarkable level of organisation, with systems established to supply food, medical care and all manner of other services that emerged because citizens took matters into their own hands and acted without anyone telling them what to do.
#5 It has been reassuring to see the determination of the judiciary to uphold the rule of law and ensure that the rights of citizens are preserved.
#6 Another positive conclusion can be drawn about the durability of Hong Kong’s institutions because the local media has done a great job covering these events. Although much of the media is hostile to the protests, the open nature of Hong Kong ensures that both sides of the argument are aired and this has been combined with solid news coverage. Adding to this has been the vitality of social media.
#7 There has been a considerable upsurge in political debate throughout Hong Kong, not least over constitutional reform. This places the pathetic official consultation exercises firmly in the shadows.
Originally posted on Fortune:
In the fall of 2003, Elizabeth Holmes, a 19-year-old sophomore at Stanford, plopped herself down in the office of her chemical engineering professor, Channing Robertson, and said, “Let’s start a company.”
Robertson, who had seen thousands of undergraduates over his 33-year teaching career, had known Holmes just more than a year. “I knew she was different,” Robertson told me in an interview. “The novelty of how she would view a complex technical problem–it was unique in my experience.”
Holmes had then just spent the summer working in a lab at the Genome Institute in Singapore, a post she had been able to fill thanks to having learned Mandarin in her spare hours as a Houston teenager. Upon returning to Palo Alto, she showed Robertson a patent application she had just written. As a freshman, Holmes had taken Robertson’s seminar on advanced drug-delivery devices–things like patches, pills, and even a contact-lens-like…
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