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The NBA is learning what the automakers already knew

Are you down with OCP? That’s a reference to an old rap song, but I’m also referring to the “Outside Context Problem,” a phrase rather delightfully invented by the late sci-fi writer Iain Banks. The Outside Context Problem occurs when you meet an enemy, or a challenge, whose powers or abilities are simply outside the context of your experience. It’s spending your whole life becoming a better warrior with a bow and arrow, only to have someone land on your shores with a Gatling gun and a 10-pound cannon. Alternately, imagine being a high-jumper at the 1968 Olympics and watching Dick Fosbury use a completely unknown technique to win the Games and set an Olympic record.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/10/17/nba-learning-what-automakers-already-knew

Great article that hit home in multiple ways. First the fun, then the wake up.

Yes! Silky smooth straight sixes, my wife daily drives and absolutely adores her slightly modified 2000 year BMW 325i 5sp “Touring” wagon. Everyone’s familiar with the E46 M3 because it gets all the headlines, but there’s an even tighter, more niche community of E46 touring aficionados that are scouring North America and buying up every last manual transmission RWD 325i/328i’s they can get a hold of. (don’t bother with the autos and Xi all wheel drives, they merely keep the price depressed for i’s)

And Jack, you sly dog, posting pictures of my favorite Holden WM platform, the manufactured in Australia (but assembled in communist China) Buick Park Avenue. Guys, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Holden (Chevy’s, now defunct, red headed step child) in typical General fashion got slaughtered the moment they made something perfect. My personal favorite is the Redline SS-V Sportwagon, but the closest I could get is a Caprice PPV. A few alterations, and I’m very, very happy. Also, mine (pictured) is a 6.0 whereas China only got the 3.6L V6 variant.

So now the dire information that needs to be discussed. China has been in economic war with the US for nearly 40 years. You’ve no doubt felt it, but nobody sent the alarm. And, they’ve nearly won because we chose to buy slave wage crap while undercutting our neighbors in a race towards materialism. It didn’t help that we were sold out by multinationals and our own politicians. Nixon thought we’d sell billions of toothbrushes while exporting democracy. The opposite has happened. But what could we expect from a regime that massacred 6 million of its own people in the 1950’s and bulldozed 10,000 students in 1989?

I’ve worked in high tech industries for 30 years. China steals between 250-500 Billion dollars in Intellectual Property every year. 1 out 5 business have been hit. Nearly all Chinese national students (college) are mandated to report all new technology back to China. All multinational corporations that manufacture in China are owned by China AND their entire product design file is held by China.

Jack may not know yet, but China secretly ordered the NBA Commissioner to fire rockets’ GM over his Hong Kong tweet. He was not fired, which is good. But, the NBA is bending over backwards to kiss China’s rear in an attempt to re-enter its broadcast market. If you dig deeper you’ll find that China controls much of Hollywood and re-writes scripts to fit the regime’s narrative.

If it weren’t for video livestreaming out of Hong Kong, the Chinese would have already “Tiananmen Square’d” the protesters. We aren’t allowed to tweet support for Hong Kong because that’s too democratic. If China can crush the NBA, they can easily crush you.

We can not continue to compete economically against a regime that kills its own citizens en masse, steals our IP, and destroys the environment unless drastic measures are taken to even the playing field. We either sacrafice short term through protectionist economic policy or continue to accelerate off the cliff. If you have children or grand children the choice is obvious.

Thanks Jack. This is why I have been reading all your stuff since you explained street racing on TTAC.
Sometimes we see things differently but I always learn something and am pushed to think a bit. And I appreciate your wit and humor as well.
In this case, I wholeheartedly agree!

Win P.

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What we tolerate (i.e., in politics, in business, etc.) is really interesting… but maybe not given that much day to day thought by people?

What we have here is no different from what we had with Japan 30 years ago, except for a few details. The net effect was that the Japanese drove up real estate prices, then experienced a slowdown, which caused them to sell said real estate at pennies on the dollar. China is slowing down and is cancelling projects in Downtown LA. It’s like reverse foreign aid.

Then there was the Caddy STS, where the PRC version (renamed SLS) was not only fancier, but even had a longer wheelbase. I know of people spending crazy money to get PRC STS bolt-ons like interior bling and tail lights.

This is an interesting article, considering a recent locked thread one because readers were getting too political :crazy_face:

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I usually come here to get away from politics to read about my passion for cars but Jack and moreover SSpeedracer are as we say in the Navy; On Speed - On Target! Never has the United States been in a more challenging time in the last 50 years. The Chinese have secretly been at “war” with us since Nixon opened up relations in the early 70’s. But instead of a Cold War based on the deference of potential armed conflict, the Chinese have been using something they’ve always used; economics. Their history is replete with vassal state dominance based upon a Tribute State Model where they don’t have to control a nation by physical force, instead they control their economies by financial force. Think where America would be if the Chinese had complete economic dominance over us? The GM of the Rockets would have been fired and free speech eliminated.

Here in Norway the Norwegians learned this tough lesson when they decided to award a Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (look him up to see the extent to which the Chinese will go to eliminate free speech) the Nobel Peace Prize…the Chinese shut down their trading relationship with Norway for nearly 8 years until just recently. It’s not about branding or how others perceive China, it’s about subverting free speech and exerting complete government will upon all.

China is on a course to be the dominant nation in the world by 2049 one they pledged themselves to in 1949 when the PRC (People’s Republic of China) was created. If we don’t stand up to them now they will stifle free speech, they will eliminate our ability to congregate to demonstrate and all our other freedoms will be at risk. All that all our forefathers did to secure our freedoms in battle will be lost…because we allowed it so that we could have access to their markets…to make our quarterly objectives to sell more cars and buy more crap that the Chinese produce. Sadly if our freedoms aren’t worth it we will just remain on this course destined to be controlled by Beijing and Our America, the one we grew up in will be lost to Our children and Our Children’s Children. How sad.

As Our Founding Fathers we’re asked when they walked from Independence Hall after writing Our Constitution, What type of government do we have…their answer was telling: “A Democracy if we can keep it!”
Rear Admiral Kenneth J Braithwaite, USN(ret)
U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway

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It’s amazing how much can change in one generation
When I was a kid in the late 70s the US didn’t even recognize China as a country
Now we kiss their ass every chance we get
We embargo Cuba for 50 years because they are communists .
But we kiss China’s ass , because they are communists ?

I don’t understand why American companies Give China everything .
And why the US govt lets the Chinese steal all the intellectual property and does nothing about it

The Chinese influencing car designs won’t affect me at all
I have never and will never buy a new car
My daily drivers are a 80 K10 and a 65 Falcon station wagon and a 74 bronco .
2 of the 3 have five speed overdrive manuals and fuel injection and AC

Thought provoking article. However, I don’t understand the statement about us someday electing someone willing to seriously address the trade imbalance with China. Made me smile as I can’t think of another administration in the last 30 years more willing to take on the Chinese in this area than the current one. No one. I guess that ol’ political bias gets to the best of us.

Predictions are interesting in how they work out. Kruschev pronounced that America would never be taken by force from outside parties, but that we would be conquered from within. Enter the parties like wally world that promised to buy American, and then gradually changed to primarily chinese goods. Our people buying because they’re cheap, and making wally world a dominant world business. American business greed demanding bailouts while granting bonuses to executives, and building plants in china with the buyout money. Meanwhile our American brothers and sisters are oblivious to the realities of what’s happening around them, and since they are pretty well off, continue to support the status quo that is fabricated to affect them negatively. Our people are not using their God given brains to see the warning signs that have been all around us for years, and instead choose the blinders that keep them thinking happy thoughts with no concern for our, or our offsprings’ future. Just a general compilation of what I’ve noticed over the years, with no specific leaning toward any particular business.

lapsrus The China situation is different than what happened with Japan. The Japanese bought a license to build a product, they didn’t get the technology as to why the product was built that way. Granted, the Japanese eventually figured out why the product was built a certain way but in most cases by the time they did figured it out the technology had advanced and changed enough to make it a moot point. One other difference is the Japanese are capitalists. It seems to me that what the Chinese are doing with their central control of their economy and technology transfer is creating a monopoly. The communist government tells all the companies in China that if they are to do business with a foreign company it must include technology transfer. That way all the Chinese companies are negotiating with a foreign company from the same position and the only way the foreign company is to do business in China is by including technology transfer. Someone stated earlier it is about time that we finally have a politician in office that is willing to stand up to the Chinese. I don’t necessarily agree with his methods but I do agree with the goal.

I had some faith in China until they started shipping cat and dog food here fortified with melamine. That was a bridge too far for me.

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“How do you feel about exchanging the aggressive, inertia-free, and wicked-sounding J35 V-6 in your 2016 Accord for the turbo four in your new one?” This is exactly why I bought a 2016 V6 6M Accord over a 2018. Whole different engine experience. So much better.

China - Working at an OEM for 30 years now. NO RESPECT for intellectual property. The “joint ventures” are nothing more than a scam to access, then steal others tech and processes. Frankly, I find this disgusting.

I live in the real world of keeping vehicles for a long time. The GM 2.0L Turbo is the best 4 cyl they ever made. Have three of them in the family, all run great. The 3.6 V6 is smooth but a QRD disaster. So for those with excess free cash and trade off every 60,000 miles good for you. I wouldn’t buy a used 3.6 in anything. I skipped all the GM V6’s since the 3800. 2.0L turbo or LS/LT1. Honda does great V6’s but never built a V8, and they can’t meet emisisons and FE unless they go L4. Our CRV has the 1.5L Turbo and a CVT and is outstanding. The E46 M3 is the way to go. Buy a Tiptronic and convert it to manual! As for the Chinese made vehicle, agree with James.repp they are open thieves, will take a pass there too.

I believe that was Ben Franklin who replied, to a woman who had been waiting outside, “A republic, if you can keep it” .

In China that same source of melamine allegedly found its way into baby formula, thankfully not exported to our part of the world. I’ve looked on Chinese products with an enhanced scepticism ever since.

For whatever it’s worth, I do seem to recall that the Chinese government executed a likely scapegoat when the facts around that bit of entrepreneurship could no longer be denied.