A lengthy article in The Atlantic explains just why China’s “Great Firewall” is so effective. As Boing Boing summarises, “The kicker is the social and political impact… simply by making it inconvenient to read certain sites, the Chinese government can keep politically charged issues from surfacing in the national discourse.”
Just heard on CNN, a Beijing woman brandishing a lettuce and complaining that “the government has lost control of prices”. Yes, dear, that’s called a “free market economy”. Get used to it.
China now has 137 million Internet users. With this level of growth, in the next few years there’ll be more Chinese on the Internet than Americans. How will that change things, eh?
China blipped up twice in a week. I stumbled upon Steward Brand’s summary of a speech by long-time China watcher Orville Schell, China: Giant Contradictions.
These days you cannot think usefully about China and its potential futures without holding in your mind two utterly contradictory views of what is happening there. On the one hand, a robust and awesomely growing China; on the other hand a brittle China, parts of it truly hellish.
And I received a poignant email which illustrates the personal impact of change in China.