Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chinese Take-Out

You know, sometimes it's so easy for me to forget that just because our planet has reached a nice level of maturity, it doesn't necessarily mean the inhabitants have. And no, I'm not going to go into that whole 'killing in the name of our god' thing because we all know how much any self-respecting god really gets off on having fragile humans do something that the god himself/herself could do on a whim. What I'm thinking of is the 'we make your life better for you' and 'we're really protecting you' type stuff. I saw this article and was amazed that anyone would still use certain types of phrasing. Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has vowed to "purify the Internet environment" and this article states that he wants to "guide opinions" on the net. Hu is this guy? He wants to 'take out' what isn't deemed suitable. The scary part is that he'll succeed because he and his flunkies are able to keep a certain level of fear prevalent in the society. They start out with the fear and then begin trying to direct opinions with light censorship and, eventually, they're reading every body's mail, proceeding with electronic eavesdropping, and throwing people into prisons, that don't exist, without trials. And that's just here in America; think how bad it could get in China! Scary!

On a potentially more positive China note, there was this article about their Internet use. Basically, it says that within two years China will have more people online (despite censorship) than any other county on the planet. The amount of people online in China grew by 23.4% in 2006 and statistics show that more than a 10th of the country's 1.3 billion people are online. What's cool is, at that rate, in 7 or 8 years almost everyone will be online. Now, factor in all of their surfing, blogging, World of Warcraft and watching old cartoons and you're talking about a majority of the country hanging out online. Maybe then, when every one's busy, we can sneak back some of our manufacturing jobs!

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