不單止俄烏戰爭看不到盡頭, 以色列和哈馬斯你死我亡的攻擊不單摧毀了這些年來表面維持著的中東和平, 也令全球國家陷入分歧, 澳洲多元文化社會的凝聚力也受到挑戰。中國一方面要與西方重建關係, 卻仍在各處與不同國家發生各種衝突。
去年底人工智能的發展令人驚訝, 但不少有識之士卻擔心人類是否會被人工智能取代, 科技急速的發展對人類社會有怎樣的衝擊, 仍是不可知。到底人類社會會變得更好, 還是走進災難的開始,今年底連人工智能的創作及發展者, 都好像沒有答案。
中國的房地產、制造業都陷入困難, 經濟下滑的走勢已很明顯, 再加上美國仍堅持對中國實施科技制裁, 而中國又決心要走自己的路, 這是否能成功, 現時仍未有答案。不過, 這影響著澳洲經濟復甦, 卻是肯定的事。也因此,不少澳洲人已感到極大經濟壓力, 短時間內也看不到出路。
誰人能說「明年會更好」呢? 我見不到有誰會在這時期, 會作出這樣的預言。每一個人多在想, 只盼自己生活還可以, 沒有變得更壞, 就值得感恩吧。不過, 剛發表的2023年度史坎倫凝聚力報告書給我們一點鼓勵。報告書作者James Donnell表示, 澳洲人對鄰居及參與社區的積極態度、對民主制度的認同及對多元文化社會的肯定和支持, 成為了澳洲社會的發展動力, 給予了澳洲人面對挑戰的信心。
是的, 澳洲本來就是一片荒蕪之地, 由從英國來的流放者開懇, 土地讓流放者可以耕種畜牧維持生活, 其後各處發現黃金, 招攬了更多要在這片土地找到自己將來的冒險開發者。今天,來到澳洲定居, 來自全球四方八面的移民, 帶著經驗、才能、金錢來到這國家, 創建了今天的澳洲的繁榮。我相信這些優勢, 都能讓澳洲這一國家, 在今天面對各種挑戰時, 有能力及信心走出困局。
還有的是, 我相信世界有一位創造的主, 祂在人困難時, 總會給人出路。
這一期是我們今年出版的最後一期, 我們盼望在明年, 能有更多經濟支持, 讓我們能與眾讀者, 走在更豐富及無畏懼的路上。祝大家聖誕及新年快樂!
休息一個多月後, 明年1月19 日, 我們會與各讀者再會。
Next Year Will Be Better
As 2023 comes to an end, “The Fellow Traveler” has traversed this discouraging year amidst global upheavals.
Not only does the conflict between Russia and Ukraine show no signs of resolution, but the relentless attacks between Israel and Hamas, destroying the semblance of Middle East peace maintained over the years, have also plunged nations worldwide into discord. The cohesion of Australia’s multicultural society is being challenged. China, on one hand, seeks to rebuild relations with the West while engaging in conflicts with various countries around the world.
The surprising development of artificial intelligence at the end of last year left many astounded. However, concerns persist among the discerning few about whether humans will be replaced by artificial intelligence. The societal impact of rapid technological advancement remains unknown. Whether human society will become better or enter the beginning of a disaster is still uncertain, even for the creators and developers of artificial intelligence, who seem to lack answers as of the end of this year.
China’s real estate and manufacturing industries are facing difficulties, with a clear trend of economic decline. Coupled with the United States persisting in imposing technological sanctions on China, and China’s determination to pursue its own path, the success of this endeavor remains unanswered. However, the impact on Australia’s economic recovery is undeniable and has caused considerable economic pressure on many Australians with no apparent solution in the short term.
Who can say, “Next year will be better”? I cannot identify anyone making such a prediction at this time. Many people are simply hoping that their lives will remain stable, without worsening, for which they are grateful. However, the just-released 2023 Scanlon Cohesion Report offers some encouragement. James Donnell, the author of the report, states that Australians’ positive attitudes towards neighbors, community participation, identification with the democratic system, and affirmation and support for multicultural society have become driving forces for Australia’s social development, instilling confidence in Australians to face challenges.
Indeed, Australia was originally a barren land, settled by exiles from England, who cultivated the land for sustenance. Subsequently, gold discoveries in various places attracted more adventurous developers to this land. Today, settling in Australia, immigrants from all corners of the globe bring experiences, talents, and resources, contributing to the prosperity of modern Australia. I believe that these advantages will enable Australia to have the capability and confidence to overcome challenges in today’s world.
Furthermore, I believe in a Creator, a higher power who, in times of human difficulty, always provides a way out.
This issue is our last publication for this year. We hope for more economic support next year, enabling us to walk a richer and fearless path with our readers. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
After a rest of over a month, we will meet with all readers again on January 19 next year.
Mr. Raymond Chow, Publisher