Is Michael Turton worth following? [Blog ENDED - September 2018]

Have been reading Michael Turton’s blog on and off but always stop because there seems to be an exaggerated focus on old students he meets, food he eats, etc. Is he worth a sustained effort?

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: I really enjoy reading his blog even though he’s an obvious DPP apologist.

What I am wondering though is why he always takes a break from blogging after an election?

Does it take 3 weeks to wipe away tears? :roflmao: :roflmao: :laughing: Or did Chen Chu offer him a gig? :smiley:

Any good unbiased alternatives out there for Taiwan politics (apart from Forumosa, of course)?

Not really. They’re all either pan-blue or pan-green. Turton’s blog is pretty tame compared with really partisan blogs such as “Taiwan Matters”.

For non politics, I do enjoy reading New Hampshire Bushman in Taiwan’s blog. Good food and travel pics.

I enjoy reading your posts too, even though you are an obvious right wing blow hard. :smiley: :laughing: :sunglasses: :slight_smile:

It’s worth it because he links to a lot of other stuff that you may not have seen or heard of. Turton’s a Malthusian and he’s old. He knows what he knows and no damn facts are going to change the matter. :grandpa:

I see what you’ve done there… :bravo:

I agree that Turton is biased but he is quite intelligent. He argues the green point of view fairly well, so for me he is a channel into that mindset. He also has good links to other blogs and news stories. :2cents:

Yes. The bias is irrelevant, as anyone wanting to form an opinion of their own uses many sources, its the quality of the content that counts.

You can’t be intelligent and argue something that is patently wrong by ignoring the facts. I noticed the bias years ago and discounted his blog with it. I see enough bias in the media already.
I worked in private companies in Taiwan during 2000-2008 period and saw very clearly the economy was in trouble, you wouldn’t know that from his blog though. Could clearly see the crap job Chen was doing along with his extremely unstable government. Handy working in a university and being insulated from these problems though isn’t it?

Bias is very important or more important the AMOUNT of bias. Because bias results in selective use of the facts and if you have too much bias you end up with more fiction than fact.

Interesting, but are you really sure about that? Politicians do it all the time, whats up with that?

Yes but at least they are obvious in their role.
I was probably a bit strong in my statement, he has some good articles on Taiwan, this one for instance- … andal.html

well, it is not bias. it is propaganda. EVERYTHING is spun. i no longer pay much attention to anything he says about politics - i like the articles on cycling and some of the random things that happen on his little journeys! so i’m contra the OP here. :bow:

I have read his blog on and off and basically he finds ways to politicize things as being the KMT is bad, etc. While he discusses a wide range of topics, I can assure you that he doesn’t does not know the DPP party from an insider’s point of view which was critical to judging the situation during the CSB days. He seems to have a purely theoretical academic point of view of the DPP party which does not have much to do with the reality of the situation.

For example, green academics can simplify the 319 incident to being 100% real because no one would dare risk their life over a real shooting incident. This was a twist in logic from day 1 because no one suggested in the first place that Chen and Lu had a real shooter pop them in a moving jeep. But yet, you’ll see this line of logic from DPP academics like him. Also, no election fraud is possible in Taiwan because both sides have monitors at all voting stations and most election staff are traditionally pro-KMT teachers. These kinds of generalizations have been said about Taiwan for a long time, but there is no research on the actual situation. Just people typing away at their keyboard over what they think is happening instead of going out into the field to find out for themselves.

You can argue all you want about what the law states, but if the actual situation is not following the law, then the law is essentially irrelevant and the person arguing the law is in their own world.

Yeah, I get that impression as well and agree with your post. Having worked for various governments, it is amazing how little ideology or party affiliation comes into play (Deuce Dropper’s joking aside). You might in real life be very left wing or very right wing on a personal level or somewhere in between, but professional pragmatism always trumps ideology. You may hate the political masters you interact with of the same ideology you believe in and get along very well (and are thus promoted) on a personal/professional level with your political masters of a different ideology when the government changes. Ambition/real life situations will always trump ideology.

The byzantine structure of many governments or corporate structures, and the infighting, balances of powers etc. that accompany such organizations are rarely structured predominantly along ideological lines. It is for precisely this reason I think less government or streamlined corporate structures are better. It’s not because liberals or conservatives around the world don’t share many of the same wishes for society. They often do. They just disagree with how to get there. Given the imperfections/competing interests/inefficiencies/huge personality differences inherent within any government in any system in any country in the world, I’m often amused when recent college graduates or lifelong academics believe in statist solutions with naive optimism or that one party will change things drastically.

Turton’s blog is too black and white on Taiwan issues and that comes from academic detachment to real power structures IMHO. If he had spent large chunks of his life in such structures instead of the classroom, I think he’d realize that 95 per cent of things remain the same regardless of who is in power, and that real life political/government interactions are often determined more on personalities than ideology.

I’m consistently liberal on social issues, fiscally conservative/free trade on economic issues, and for big government on defense issues! I wouldn’t say that’s being a right wing blowhard! In fact, I’d say my positions are a lot more mainstream than lots of the educational-sector viewpoints we read on this board.

I appreciate his political posts, but tend to skip past his photo-essays about bicycling, or close-ups of insects.

I like his commentary on Mark. Incidentally, Turton follows Earl Doherty in concluding that the Jesus never existed, i.e. is an entirely mythical character. I like Doherty too, but he seems not to address the criterion of embarrassment (which suggests that the J-man probably did exist, since if they had just made him up, they would have left off all the embarrassing stuff).

One of my relatives found his site on Taiwan teaching, and wanted to know what I thought of it. I recall one particular line about how male university instructors have have to fight off the advances of their lonely female colleagues. (Nice work if you can get it!)

Mike has some nice pictures on his site occasionally.

He bought me a good steak dinner once.
(I still owe him a good dinner)

He presents his point of view.

How can you notice the exaggerated focus on old students he meets and the food he eats and not the bike and political stuff? Anyway, I think it’s worth it. The man obviously cares about and enjoys life in Taiwan. His old site used to have some good information for newbies, especially English teachers.

Obviously, his political leanings are totally green - that’s his blog and his choice. It’s not like he’s the only one in this province who supports the green party politically. Other foreigners here have created blue political blogs but they petered out. Michael sticks with it. Basically, he does more to bring Taiwan to the world than all of the grumpy bastards posting on here combined and should be commended for that. If you use his blog as an exclusive source for political information that’s your own fault. There’s plenty of other non-political stuff there - a lot of informative links and great photos.