game
photo
retro
rant
Not logged in. · Lost password · Register

All content © NFGworld, unless otherwise noted, except for stuff we stole. Contact the editor-in-chief : baldbutsuave@thissitesdomain, especially if you are an attractive young female willing to do nude photography modelling. All rights reversed. 602

Forum: Our World The World RSS
(Now the Official China thread)
submit to reddit
Author name (Administrator) #16
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
In reply to post ID 2039
I was hoping you'd have something to say.  Your posts are always interesting.

I was talking to a girl I know a couple of years ago.  She's half Chinese, and we had a very interesting chat about the Chinese.  I'll post a bit of a summary:

Zoe: well, you know alot of chinese left china before mao.  like, -lots- they think if you added up all the chinese in the world there'd be an extra 450 million of them.  The ones that moved before kind of kept the old chinese attitude, and the ones that stayed became the great unknown.  i swear, they're like robots.

NFG: How much of that is deeply held core belief, and how much is 'show a front for the police in case they're watching RIGHT NOW zOMFG!'?  I can't help but believe that people are smarter, you know?  that they see beyond the propaganda (though history proves time and again that I'm to be disappointed...)

Zoe: Yeah.  i absolutely know what you mean.  you spend your first three months in china beating your head against the  these people cant possibly be this empty in the head! wall and then the next three you go for the these cant possibly be people!! wall.

The conversation was very free-ranging and I won't post it all here now.  I don't remember why I thought the above was relevent, but there you go anyway.  =)
BLEARGH
Author name #17
Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
Group memberships: Citizens, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
The conversation you had is relevant because of parallels in revolutionary consequences. I say up front, by way of disclaimer, that I'm about to make some generalizations that I'm aware aren't completely correct when held up to scrutiny. This is for purposes of conversation, and for the moment I don't want to get into pedantic specifics.

When we think of revolutions, the really violent ones like in Haiti and Peru come to mind. Lots of people being shot, lots of empty promises that are broken later on, and the people who take over end up not being too different from the people they kicked out. There are other revolutions like what happened in China, India, and Iran, where it's less violent (not really that much) but also there's a legitimacy to the conflict because it's over really substantive issues. What these revolutions have in common is that the losing side isn't necessarily wrong or less legitimate, and they end up somewhere in exile. China's Kuomintang, the ejected Pakistani Muslims, and Iran's royalists all spent time sitting around waiting to see if they could get back in.

In China's case, when the Communist party won the argument they also became very fearful of intellectuals. They recognized that their own system had flaws that wouldn't stand up to any serious rhetorical challenge, and so they harassed, imprisoned, and shot anybody who carried a pre-revolutinoary textbook. Hell, they did those things to anybody who thought wearing glasses to read better was a good idea. Not coincidentally, the remaining academics didn't have a lot of support domestically because a lot of their intellectual peers were the Kuomintang who escaped across the strait to form the Republic of China as a (somewhat futile) government in exile on Taiwan. There has been a regular exodus of smart and talented people from China about every ten years since, most recently when the UK's lease on the Hong Kong colony ended and they ceded control back to the People's Republic. Lots of talented and frightened entrepreneurs left Hong Kong and never came back, and so the people who were left were incompetent middle managers that couldn't keep the British-style courts and markets running properly.

What does this mean for China? Those who remain have had seven decades to observe that civil disobedience is not rewarded and has no positive outcome. There is no tradition of subversive behavior, and even among the Internet-using dissidents the methods of rebellion are ham-handed and easy to counter. They have no example to follow and no spirit with which to drive it, and all the smart people who could stand up for themselves are in Canada, America, Australia, and South Africa. Everyone is isn't empty in the head, as your friend says, but they're not creative enough or alive enough to take an individual risk.

Iran's story is startlingly similar, although their revolution only happened in 1979 and they haven't lost as big a proportion of their best and brightest. I note without irony that the United States has had a collective cultural prejudice against intellectualism since about 1988, as its people are unable to come to any consensus on complex ideas that take more than ten words to say.
Author name (Administrator) #18
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
An interesting contrast to South Korea where dissent and demonstrations and general rage against the world is practically a national pastime.  I am always torn between having an opinion on these sorts of things and wondering if maybe I'm the one who doesn't get it.

To that end I firmly believe only one thing: free, uncontrolled access to information is the only way I can make up my mind about the facts.  I cannot accept any regime's attempts to control the information available to me, and that's my determining line for bad.

Even then I'm upset by the inability of the common man to rationally evaluate the facts and reach their own conclusion when given the chance.  It's this sad fact that allows me to accept the actions of ChinGov as potentially necessary.  You can't change attitudes and ingrained behaviour in a decade, and throwing freedom on immature minds is a recipe for disaster.
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #19
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Found a gem of a summary over on Silicon Hutong, which puts paid the idea that China will be a civil, functioning society if it can just hammer out a functioning, balanced legal framework.

Twice in the last hundred years, China has had its Law of Rules stripped away. The first was what might best be called Confucianism, an imperfect but longstanding code of behavior rooted in a system of rigid interpersonal obligations. Ripped away in the aftermath of the 1911 overthrow of the Manchus, it died a slow death, and was eventually replaced by Maoism.

Maoism was battered by almost continuous challenge and upheaval, until finally its precepts of egalitarianism, service, self-sacrifice, and patriotism were abandoned in the 1990s. What replaced them were two simple maxims: "To Get Rich is Glorious," and "It doesn't matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice."

Now, we are told, all that we need to lay upon this highly practical foundation is a legal system backed with apolitical courts, and everything will be fine. Not bloody likely. If the fear of prison and death are not enough to keep the chief executive of a dairy from making decisions that will kill babies, no rule of law can hope to end such behavior.

There is no silver bullet solution to this problem for China, no simple path to change, because the change that must take place is not in institutions but in individuals. This is not one battle, but 1.3 billion battles. And for that reason, it is the greatest single challenge facing China today.

It's absolutely true, and as the Silicon Hutong post shows, it's not just a problem for China.  Indeed, it's a problem for America, as well as the Christians.  Just having rules doesn't mean anything if the people living by them are hell-bent on fucking each other over.  Rules won't stop that.  Attitudes are hard to change.
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #20
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
My fascination with China has me reading many sites, blogs and magazines regularly.  One writer I follow and am inclined to trust is James Fallows.  He recently posted a letter sent to him by an American in China which seems to indicate a rather startling change in the way Americans are perceived following Obama's visit.

I was literally stopped in the streets of Yinchuan, due to my being easily spotted as an American, by people of all walks of life who spoke and gestured enthusiastically about the impact that this American president was having and would have on their very lives.  It was exhilarating for me, having all too often suffered through explanations about why American leadership doesn't "get it" where Asia is concerned.

The American press, short-sighted as they are, slammed Obama's visit as uniformly unproductive.  A week later, when China's magically announcing things that are in line with American goals, it seems clear that they got it wrong.

Now that the world is recognizing there are intelligent Americans left (it's hard, it's so hard) let's hope the US press and populace don't fuck that up.

Source: James Fallows
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #21
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Subject: Geez, China.
These allegations, if true, are a little ....  well, I'm at a loss, actually.  Disappointing?  Surprising?  Disturbing?  Perhaps the last is most accurate.

Regarding the recent hacks of Google and other companies, as well as previous attacks on US companies:

Quote by The Article:
Citing sources in the defense contracting and intelligence consulting community, the iDefense report unambiguously declares that the Chinese government was, in fact, behind the effort.  [...]

"The source IPs and drop server of the attack correspond to a single foreign entity consisting either of agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof," the report says.

It's perhaps not surprising that China's government is engaging in this sort of sneaky behavior, when you consider they're pretty full of themselves these days.  From The China Law Blog:

Quote by China Law Blog:
With China being hailed as the world economy's savior, its government has concludedthis is its century. The West is irrelevant and China will lead a vanguard of new players -- and the game will be played by Beijing’s rules.

[...]

...Officials openly state they are no longer interested in encouraging foreign investment.

[...]

The idea is that Chinese business should no longer be required to pay for access to foreign technology.

[...]

Though an old civilization, China is actually a very recent entrant into the world system and it tends to view the legal and trade rules governing this system with extreme suspicion. As a result, many Chinese officials believe China should disregard these constraints and simply take what it wants.
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #22
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Subject: More on the Google/China thing...
I believe Google's involvement with China has always been a good thing: more choice and better search for Chinese users is a good thing, even if Google had to play by ChinGov's rules. 

This is undoubtedly true:

"it's worth remembering that this is a lose-lose-lose scenario. The most likely outcome is that Google loses access to an important market, Chinese customers lose access to its services, and the government loses face."
The next step is to find some way to reduce the number of losses -- including, yes, for the Chinese government, since (believe me) absolutely no good will come to anyone anywhere from the government's feeling shamed, humiliated, or newly insecure. It is emotionally satisfying to see the Chinese government thrown off balance after its recent repressive moves. That won't make things better for most people in China.

Source: James Fallows.  Emphasis mine. 

This is what's so amazing about Google's actions.  Google has to know something we don't, 'cause their actions are so startlingly feel-good but seemingly short-sighted, and that's not realy their normal MO.  What's really going on?  What discussions are behind held behind closed doors at GoogleHQ and ChinGov? 

Something interesting's going on and I wish I knew what it was.
BLEARGH
Author name #23
Member since Nov 2007 · 121 posts
Group memberships: Citizens, Denizens, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Quote by NFG:
Though an old civilization, China is actually a very recent entrant into the world system and it tends to view the legal and trade rules governing this system with extreme suspicion. As a result, many Chinese officials believe China should disregard these constraints and simply take what it wants.
I wonder if the delicious irony of the whole situation could turn out that a country seen as so police-state and overbearing as China will have the clout to force the electronic and software economy into something of a free and open market.
"...either stop and think or fuck right off" (TheOutrider)
Author name (Administrator) #24
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Nope, if history's any guide then China will only advance the idea of free IP (ie: taking what they want) as long as they have nothing to lose.  Once they get their shit together and advance to the next stage, they'll start getting all protectionist as the next guy starts taking THEIR shit.

'tis the cycle.
BLEARGH
Author name #25
Member since Nov 2007 · 121 posts
Group memberships: Citizens, Denizens, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
I suppose so, only this time the extradition policy will probably be more brutal and the trials even more unfair than they are in the West.
"...either stop and think or fuck right off" (TheOutrider)
Author name (Administrator) #26
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Somewhat related: one of my servers is being DOS'd by China.  The response from my guy when I asked about the slowdown:

Hi, this is due to a dos attack from china - some ips from the range 118.116.*

Hey China!  Leave my server alone!  =(
BLEARGH
Author name #27
Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
Group memberships: Citizens, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
I run an SSH server at home, and about twice a week a scripted attack comes in from a Chinese IP. It's pretty unsophisticated, where they run through all the default logons for every possible Internet appliance device (linksys, mysql, admin, root, any typical account name and password combination.) I'm too lazy to do the full certificate generation, mostly because I like the flexibility of keyboard authentication from any SSH terminal in the world and not just the ones I carry with me.

I was reading your earlier post with interest, the one where you state that China thinks they can take what they want from an intellectual property statement. Were you aware that it's legal inside Chinese borders to make toy knockoffs? The reasoning is that the people who make toys can't really copyright a hinge or an axle, so it's perfectly acceptable for someone to make a mold (or worse, a laser scan) of your hit toy and for any Chinese company to make copies that they can sell on Chinese shelves. Obviously, a lot of these toys make it to other countries through all the usual distribution channels. This was the sort of thing that prompted many toy companies to add electronics or special decals to distinguish the genuine article from the cheap Chinese imitations. It usually works, because the best original work protects itself and isn't easily copied.

Anyway, it's this (questionably) industrious mindset that leads China to believe that they can take any technology they want and duplicate for their own. Where they're not quite so caught up is in the innovation department, where westerners are able to anticipate or even create demand for a new or unusual item. Zhu Zhu Pets? Actually an American invention. China probably needs decades before they can be that clever.
Author name (Administrator) #28
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Subject: China, flush with success, bites the hand...
When I was a teenager I noticed something about myself: When I had money, I didn't have friends.  I'd get some cash and be self-sufficient, I'd go places and buy things and generally enjoy myself.  When the money ran out I couldn't keep myself entertained, so I'd find myself spending more time with friends.  It was an uncomfortable realization, and I think it kind of caused some alignment changes.  I was a better person after realizing what was going on and changing my behaviour accordingly.

China could learn from me.  Some cherry-picked quotes from Time Magazine:

It is about the perception that antiforeign attitudes and policies in China have been growing

[...]

...banquet-table chatter is now dominated by swapping tales of arrogant and insolent Chinese bureaucrats and business partners.

[...]

...purposefully inconsistent and nontransparent enforcement of regulations, rampant intellectual-property theft, state penetration of multinationals through union and Communist Party organizations, blatant market impediments through rigged product standards and testing, politicized courts and agencies that almost always favor local companies, creative and selective enforcement of WTO requirements ... The list goes on.

[...]

...many are looking ahead and losing sleep over expectations that their onetime partners are morphing into predators...

So China, now that it has what it needs, is steering itself away from the world, perhaps believing it has reached its own critical mass (note: Paul Midler predicted this two years ago).  Maybe it has, but geez, no need to be pricks about it, eh?  I consider it a foregone conclusion that China will be a superpower, though on occasion I do think it might not actually become one...  But the idea of a huge, Chinese monster leading the world in the same way the Americans did kind of left me feeling uneasy. 

For a long time I wondered why, and I think I've more or less put my finger on it: the Chinese are, collectively and generally speaking...  Well, they're a bit of an unknown entity for me.  I was tempted to say they're a bunch of mean fuckers, but that's pretty rude, a disservice to the many nice Chinese people, and really not quite what I meant.  But these recent events are kind of vindicating my internal thoughts on the matter: the very instant they're ready to stand on their own, they do so, and rather abruptly and impolitely shut down the foreigners who helped them up.

...It's frustrating.  I want them to be gracious winners.  My own lack of ambition and firm belief that the West has had its day kind of depends on the new masters, whoever they are, being nice to me.  If the new powers are assholes...  Well, I kinda feel I'm gonna be completely fucked. 

The Chinese people are generally pretty happy, but the Party leadership is terrified of their outsized expectations. People under age 40, the progeny of the one-child policy, didn't live through Maoist poverty and upheaval. They are pampered, impatient and demanding. They consider exponential growth as a basic benchmark of life, and access to information to be a civil right. China's rich are powerful opponents of further reform and opening. They made money the local way and are determined to block foreign competition so this can continue.

I have always said the Chinese leadership has a tough job to do.  The intense and accelerating rise from mud huts to glass towers is a mind-bogglingly difficult thing to manage.  They might not make it, they might implode and slam the brakes on their own rise, and I think there really is a chance this will happen.

But if they fail, I'll be gracious about it.  If they succeed, I want them to be gracious about it too.  We're in this together and, win or lose, I don't want them to be pricks.
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #29
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Subject: China Is Dodgy
One of the things that really annoys me about Official China is their exceptional dislike of responding to criticism.  The huge majority of official statements seems to involve little more than evasive finger pointing, as if they believe that their actions are beyond reproach as long as someone, anyone, does something similar or worse.

China rarely, basically never,  responds to accusations with any kind of admission that it even happened, never mind taking the blame or explaining why they did it or even denying it.  Instead, every response is a squirrely, slippery "yeah, well, what about that thing over there?"

Consider their recent response to US SecState Clinton re: cyber attacks.  Basically, they accused the US of doing the same thing.

Quote by Wired:
An editorial in the People’s Daily — the primary mouthpiece for China’s Communist Party — accused the United States of doublespeak and of using “online warfare” to instigate violent unrest in Iran with Twitter and YouTube following that country’s national elections in June.

OK, say what?  The US is to blame for fomenting unrest in Iran because Iranians used Twitter and YouTube to spread the word and coordinate resistance?  What's next, America's to blame 'cause an American invented the telephone?  I do like the idea that China thinks the US gov't has its hands in tiny businesses like Twitter, or a controlling hand in YouTube.  This well-timed post from Silk Road says:

Quote by Silk Road:
China thinks that the rest of the world acts just like they do [...]  China assumes that Govt communication issues/companies in the US are tied to and part of the US national interests and that the corporations actions are directed by the govt—just like they are in China.

That's an interesting point, and doubtless true.  We all tend to believe everyone else thinks like we do - that's why we're so stunned and pissed off when they do something we don't expect.

Quote by Silk Road:
...just because China is honestly acting in their own best interest does not mean that they are not, at the same time and by those very same actions, threatening others.  Just because you're not an overt threat does not mean that you are not threatening.

For precisely this reason, China is not a global partner or good neighbor.  Could they be?  Yes.  Will they?  I doubt it; only because they’ve determined that it’s not in their best interests to do so.

The crux of the Silk Road article comes early, but I think it explains a lot about China:

Quote by Silk Road:
But even in the midst of this Google mess, I don’t think that China is an inherent threat.   I do believe that China, for purely short-term domestic political goals thinks that the rest of the world is a threat to China (or at least wants the Chinese populace to think that the rest of the world see China as a threat).  Because the Chinese Government is scared (of the rest of the world or of losing domestic power) it then acts like a threat—a threat because it’s actions are based on an aggressive fearful position that it’s being attacked.

If you think you're under assault, everything looks like a threat.  Makes sense, right?  Probably moreso when, if my fevered and uneducated understanding of the power structure in China is anything to go by, every politician lives in fear of being called to account for his actions in a society randomly and capriciously ruled by an ever-changing sea of laws.  If all my underlings were trying to screw me and all my bosses were prone to random acts of fucking me over, I'd probably exist in a permanently paranoid state too.


This Financial Times article (if that link asks you to register, try this instead) suggests that Americans allowed and encouraged China to become the powerhouse it is 'cause they believed advanced business and technology would lead to a downfall of the authoritarian regime.  No doubt they thought it would lead to the installation of many American businesses too...

And that's something that everyone should fully understand: the Americans helped build this monster, and when have they ever tried to build a country and not fucked it up?
BLEARGH
Author name (Administrator) #30
Avatar
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
Show profile · Link to this post
Subject: Great Wall Motors
China's been seeking ways to make their domestic brands more well known outside of China, and it looks like they just hit hard, on my local TV.

Where the hell did Great Wall Motors come from?

I really didn't expect cars to be their first push. 

Name's a bit silly, but I'm still kind of in shock.  Great Wall Motors.

On my TV.

Wow.
BLEARGH
Close Smaller – Larger + Reply to this post:
Smileys: :-) ;-) :-D :-p :blush: :cool: :rolleyes: :huh: :-/ <_< :-( :'( :#: :scared: 8-( :nuts: :-O
Special characters:
Page:  previous  1  2  3  4 ... 7  8  9  next 
We love UNB by Yves Goergen!