about

Why firegazing?

My aim in putting this blog together is to provide an outlet to consider topics related to business, economics, and politics in Asia. I am particularly interested in Chinese economies, but given the interconnected nature of the world and my base in the United States, what gets posted here is likely to range more widely than just Asia.

There is a Chinese phrase, 隔岸觀火 , which roughly translates into “watching the fire from a separate shore”. Clearly, this is a kind of fire gazing, and given my location and nature, the phrase resonates.

If nothing else, I certainly recognize and sympathize with the stillness embedded in the perspective and have even been known to utter the words: “Don’t just do something! Stand there!” In my defense, all I can really say is 無為而無不為 (do nothing and there’s nothing that can’t be done).

Pyromancy (fire divination) is, of course, another form of fire gazing. Whether it be oracle bones or the Greek temple of Athena, such fire gazing has a long and distinguished history, and given my penchant for thinking and speculating about the future, a tip of the cap to those earlier efforts seems warranted.

In addition, given the current state of the world, the notion of fire gazing as an active looking out for fires also seems to make sense.

Finally, I must admit I have a fond childhood memory of being outdoors and gazing at the embers of a camp fire on a summer evening.

For all these reasons, firegazing seems like the right name for the site.