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02/26/2006

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jim

I'm bored with all of this talk about things like "Falum Gong" and "democracy."

Here's why:

Democracy = American Idol!

Capitalism = Mtv!

Young people do not care about "freedom." Puh-lease! Young People want their MTV!

Compare google.com with google.cn on a search term like "American Idol" and you will realize that the game is already over.

The West is like toothpaste: Once it starts leaking you can't put it back in the tube.

yunglin

I hate to say this but I still have to say it. The best way to understand one country is to learn their language and visit there often. Talk to local people insteady of opinion leaders on TV/Academic area.

Business people is put too much emphasis on data. They try to analyze the data in every detail. They make their assumption and decision base on data. This way works pretty well in western world but not Asia.

CAUSE ALL THE DATA YOU CAN GET IS FAKE !!!

I'm a taiwanese, grew up in taiwan until I'm 24. I visit china once a year since I was 12. I've visited several provinces and place has no pavement. I hope china will become democracy country one day. But I am pretty pessimistic these three years.

I could tell you the Chinese government has stronger and stronger control over information.

In 1998, the the Changjiang(Yangtze) river flooded. According to 1998 official data, more than 120 MILLION became refugees at that time.

Last year, when I try to seach the old news about this tragedy, and found the real tragedy is I can't find ANY chinese page(in .cn) talking about this. It's just like this event is totally swept out off internet(and 120 million brains).

I talk to some chinese students here, none of them know this, they believe it ever happened.

yunglin

When you try to discuss chinese people, you have to seperate them into two different groups - one is those grew up in big cities and the other group grew in small towns.

Kids in the first group get the best education, the best education resource, they can read English and write a little sentence in English, they have the best access of knowledge, and they DO NOT CARE WHAT THE F**K democracy is. All they want is to keep being privilege class in china.

Kids in the second group, they get poor education( if they can attend to school), can hardly read/write chinese, know nothing about english, have no access to western world( or even big cities in china). They are those in the need of democracy system. Unfortunately, they don't know what democracy is.

Social revolution is always able the fight between privilege class and the poor people.

If you told the the well educated privilege class will give up their right(?) and set up a democracy system, I would say we shall go las vegas this weekend.

It's ture, Gandhi is existed. But it only happend once in the history.

The revolution has to from bottom-up. Unfortunately, even though the economics grows, the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger in China. I can't see there is a chance the poor will have the knowledge to fight with the privilege class in the near future.

yunglin

Go back to the main topic. Google just make things worse.

And I will say, if there are more chinese pages existed in the internet, the lower motivation chinese people will read english pages.

Even though I've been using English day-to-day for almost three years, I still can't read in english as fast as I could in chinese. I could read five times faster in chinese then I could do in english.

The major reason I read news in English is because they are more reliable news resource then those in chinese.

Even though taiwan has already became democracy country for ten years. The media are still in the control of old/rotten Kuomintang party( the former ruling party for the past 50 years).

If search engine like google can provide better search results in chinese content, it only help chinese government to do censorship. And the more chinese data search engine can found, it just re-enforce the lie.

If you tell a lie once, it is a lie. If a million people are telling a lie, other people would believe that lie is real. And search engine is helping this collective behavior.

Anonymous

Although I do believe it is reprehensible for Google to help Chinese government censor the search results, I strongly agree with Prof Becker that it may be the best choice for Google to made the compromise with Chinese government, even in the Chinese people's position.


Fisrt, without the compromise, Chinese people have to suffer an even worse search service provided by other companies.

second, presumably the only reason for the US congress to denounce the Internet companies like Google is for US national interest.

Things will change someday in the future. As a Chinese, I just hope it will come soon, but I cannot predict it.

Anonymous

Although I do believe it is reprehensible for Google to help Chinese government censor the search results, I strongly agree with Prof Becker that it may be the best choice for Google to make the compromise with Chinese government, even in the Chinese people's position.


Fisrt, without the compromise, Chinese people have to suffer an even worse search service provided by other companies.

second, presumably the only reason for the US congress to denounce the Internet companies like Google is for US national interest.

Things will change someday in the future. As a Chinese, I just hope it will come soon, but I cannot predict it.

echo

As an native chinese who now study in France, I have to say something from my point of view.
First of all, the young chineses DO care about the whole democracy thing. But, to be realistic, how many among you will really think and belive that China should be democratic? My answer is no,not yet, especially not in 20 years. China is too big and has too many people. Amang whom, they don't have an idea about what democracy is.Plus, could anyone imagin how long it will take to vote? The last but not the least is the democracy is simply not our culture. I just can't imagin if today, China changed into a democratic society, what would happen. All the "bombs" will explode.
Secondly, you guys should look at the bright side. We are way better than before. There are so many critics about the central gouvernment everyday on so many site. Rome is not built in one day. Give those poor guys sometime.
Thirdly, even in america, it is not true that you can have as much and whatever information as you want. There's no absolute democracy.
Well, I said all of these not because I am a super patriot or a communist. On the contrary, I am well conscious about the problemes. But, China is now in a quite dangerous situation. There are "bombs" everywhere. If we push it too hard, it will be a disater that all of us will get hurt.
As for Google, I don't see why he shouldn't make the compromise. After all, he is a company, right?

Zach

I agree with echo. Democracy is not a good in and of itself. Tyranny of the masses is a concern for any democratic society, but particularly so when it is thrust upon a society in which it is a foreign concept. Freedom and democracy in Western societies are concepts that are deeply tied in with other values that Westerners tend to take for granted (tolerance, freedom of expression, political stability, etc.).

One must separate these notions and consider the reality that democracy means nothing more than majority rule. If we are to assume that greater political freedom in China would be good for the world as a whole, we must take into consideration the fact that changing Chinese society into one that is prepared for a stable democracy will be a long process. I, therefore, agree that Google's presence will aid this process (as will the Chinese government's desire to continue its economic growth). Short of assistance in direclty misleading to the population or turning in citizens, Google's presence will help China to prepare for democracy in the Western model. It is not a corporation's responsibility to drive change in foreign societies, but Google will do this (intentionally or unintentionally) so long as it is used by Chinese people. As was the case in port cities in recent centuries, the ideas expressed when people have access to ideas from different people and different places will lead to progress. The road to democracy is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping Western companies and ideas in the race is the best course.

Zach

I agree with echo. Democracy is not a good in and of itself. Tyranny of the masses is a concern for any democratic society, but particularly so when it is thrust upon a society in which it is a foreign concept. Freedom and democracy in Western societies are concepts that are deeply tied in with other values that Westerners tend to take for granted (tolerance, freedom of expression, political stability, etc.).

One must separate these notions and consider the reality that democracy means nothing more than majority rule. If we are to assume that greater political freedom in China would be good for the world as a whole, we must take into consideration the fact that changing Chinese society into one that is prepared for a stable democracy will be a long process. I, therefore, agree that Google's presence will aid this process (as will the Chinese government's desire to continue its economic growth). Short of assistance in direclty misleading the population or turning in citizens, Google's presence will help China to prepare for democracy in the Western model. It is not a corporation's responsibility to drive change in foreign societies, but Google will do this (intentionally or unintentionally) so long as it is used by Chinese people. As was the case in port cities in recent centuries, the ideas expressed when people have access to ideas from different people and different places will lead to progress. The road to democracy is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping Western companies and ideas in the race is the best way to maintain stability while pushing for change.

Jeremy

And, let's face it, what Google did is a far cry from helping the Chinese government prosecute its dissidents. That is truly reprehensible.

chy

oh i think it is very good

yiezia

echoGDP1000-2000

I agree with echo's opinions. China is too complex, so it's essential to develop in its own way. It is said that the period between 1000-2000 in GDP is the most turbulent time in a country's development. If there is no control of bad news, no control of mass violence, the country will get chaos, and there will be no room for develepment.

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