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  #26  
Old 2010-01-15, 04:05
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And buoys around Japan that would send signals to scare whales and dolphin's away...
Oh, snap! We need a Sea Shepherd thread.
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  #27  
Old 2010-01-15, 04:09
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I loved the southpark episode about that btw. It made me get my faith in the series back.

Oh and ontopic, today, there was an increase in these little buggers:
baiduspider-123-125-66-18.crawl.baidu.com

on the mbn that is.
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  #28  
Old 2010-01-15, 05:59
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We could talk about the failure of the Earthrace.
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  #29  
Old 2010-01-15, 14:36
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On what sense does it exert less control? Please explain.
Well, I will stick to my observations of the French policemen and soldiers compared to the Chinese policemen and soldier's behavior. In France: they generally act like they are all-powerful, they are everywhere and always telling you “you can't do this, you can't do that”, even if there is nothing you're doing wrong they'll be suspicious, because they feel they are “above” mere citizens. You can't spend a day in Paris without witnessing a convoy of police cars speeding like madmen and ringing their sirens. Same for the army, when I see all those soldiers in the train stations with their rigid faces and suspicious looks, I wish they could look as friendly as Funfrock's soldiers. Chinese soldiers and policemen on the other hand do look friendly. All the policemen I saw (and that is, much less than in France) were calm, they looked like they wanted to help you find your way rather than let you feel they are superior to you. Well, that is one thing, but you get a load of details like that. There is much less bureaucracy than here also, that's definitely a fact. The French severe bureaucracy, the policemen everywhere all the time, systematically reprobating something, the soldiers reminding me of SS, definitely are more characteristic of an actual dictatorship, than the peaceful harmony that seem to reign in China.

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By the way, nobody is saying that China is evil and Google is sacred. China is a dictatorial country, Google is a big corporation. They can't, by definition, be good or evil. I'm not particularly fond of Google, and I'm definitely not fond of Western society right now, but I despise dictatorships and it saddens me that Western companies are greedy enough to pretend the Chinese one does not exist.
I know nobody said that (although politics in the US don't hesitate to use such vocabulary), and I was just suggesting it's an easy shortcut to take, and it wouldn't be the first time someone think that way...
To be more precise, I believe most people assume that the Western society is morally superior to the Chinese society.

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Originally Posted by Medur View Post
Having representation in China is, in a way, endorsing the Chinese system of government. Leaving China is the right thing to do.
If companies like Google really had such a moral cause, they would have to leave the US too then, and settle on the moon, maybe. That'd be the right thing to do.

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Originally Posted by Medur View Post
You seem to forget that although our society is deeply rotten, it's still fixable, and precisely because we have political freedom. And although the majority of the Chinese population might not care about politics, or even value the right to political expression, there's clearly a minority that does, and that minority is getting crushed. Do you truely not care at all about those people?
I quite agree with that, I wouldn't say society is “fixable” though, that'd be kinda utopian. But we could certainly improve it, and then why not improving our own society first, before helping a society we don't understand? Who said I don't care about those people? I just have different priorities.

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Originally Posted by Jasiek View Post
Link, I'm not sure then if you remember the massacre at Tien An Men? What did those people die for if it's all peachy in China? What did the Tibetans die for?
Once again, I'm not praising the Chinese government, I'm just saying, we are nobody to judge. When I was there I spent a lot of time trying to inform my Chinese girlfriend and her friends about those events and what terrible things their government is capable of doing. I have nothing to say about Tian An Men, it is indeed a really terrible thing the Chinese government did there. The French government has made some terrible things during the Algerian war which still have deep consequences today, and I think our colonial past (and present) is so ugly, we (as a country, but it's also true for a big company) don't have the moral qualification to judge the Chinese government on these matters. I'm talking about the French government because I'm French, but you could have a similar approach with the US government.

Besides, as citizens, we have too little information, or, more precisely, the information is so distorted by both the Chinese and Western governments, that it is practically impossible for us to avoid making mistakes in our judgment. I've been discussing the subject with many people from around the world, for a long time, always keeping some sort of scientific doubt, not assuming any truth from anybody (both with European an Chinese interlocutors). Even if the Chinese government definitely did some ugly things there, I'm sure it's not as dirty as OUR governments would like us to think. And we might have a part of responsibility in those events.
If it's not clear enough: I don't support the Chinese government's actions. I'm just doubtful about the truth of our informations on those matters, they are obviously distorted by our own governments for obvious political and strategical reasons.

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Originally Posted by Jasiek View Post
i think what you said was in the style of "captain obvious", of course that if you don't stand out the regime will leave you alone! That's what they count on in the first place! To subdue you so that you won't think of voicing opinions! Would you then also tell me that the people who died in the Warsaw uprising died pointlessly? Because all they needed to do to live was to comply? There's more to life then just staying alive! What you wrote is absolutely abhorrent!
Oh, yes, there is more to life than just staying alive, but this “more” is not necessarily political, as in our western democratic conception of politics. What's the use of voicing an opinion if nobody's listening? It sounds masochistic. The Chinese people will voice its opinion as one if it thinks the government has gone too far. It always did in the past. It's called the Mendate of Heaven (this is not to be taken religiously, but rather like a philosophical concept), when the government loses its Mendate of Heaven, the people starts a revolution and a new government eventually replaces it. That explains the succession of dynasties. And the Communist Party is nothing else than the incarnation of the current dynasty.
The concept of Democracy, is just the western answer to give some power to the people (in theory), the Chinese answer to that is the Mendate of Heaven.
All this to say, we are so arrogant in thinking we have the monopoly of the truth, in our dear western society, that we don't even bother to understand China before casting our judgment. I can assure you that from an eastern point of view, many things look quite ugly in the western society.
On topic: the Google news is an obvious sign of misunderstanding, misunderstanding of the Chinese market first, as Google failed to reach a public there, although Google.cn's frontpage somehow mimics Baidu's, I guess it's not enough to win a market... Now they are turning this misunderstanding to their advantage by pretending being concerned about human rights. And that's what I just can't bear. It's so hypocritical, as Axx said.
Google doesn't want to be evil (that's what they say), they want to be good? Well, why don't they start by being a little more transparent about what they do with all the information they gather?

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I'm not sure if you've seen people sent to Europe to work illegaly, they'll have their passport taken away, and they'll sell clothes and other cheap gadgetry on various "bazars" etc. and will have to pay money to someone sent by the regime to collect it. Trying to escape will mean a death sentence to their family. That's what North Korea does, and that's what Chine does. Yeah, sure, there might not be lots of them in France - but it's a real problem here.
Wait, wait, can you be a little clearer, who sends them? Who takes their passport? And why would the regime send people to collect money from them? Why would they need this kind of money?
I'm a little confused about this...
There are a lot of Chinese people (and people from many other countries) living in terrible conditions here, but that's all imputable to the French government and companies.
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  #30  
Old 2010-01-15, 14:57
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It's the same thing the communists done in here in the early days after the war. You could go to work abroad, but would be closely watched by people from your embassy, and once in that country you would have your passport (and getting that was also a huge hassle) taken away. Trying to ask for asylum or running away from them would mean trouble for your family back home. Both the Chinese and North Korean regimes do that. The Chinese will also send work crews like that, to work on engineering projects, they'll be kept in bad conditions and payed very little. It's very hard to control all that.

On a side note, I never saw any soldiers in Poland, not once, and I do travel by trains a lot lately. The Police and "city guard" are always quite friendly and you can talk with them for directions or ask them questions and they're helpful. You don't need to travel to a communist regime to have that. Only "ugly" things we did, like invading the Czech, where done under communist rule. So again, Axx talked about th UK like it's the whole EU, and you're talking about France like it's the whole EU...

You where an outsider btw, how can you be sure how they react to the locals on a daily basis like they did to you? You do know btw that when going to the Forbidden City you get an "escort" that "discreetly" follows you wherever you go? When communism was still at the height of it's power in here, people visiting from the outside would never be shown the whole reality, just pieces of it that pointed that "it's not as bad as they say it is".
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  #31  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:26
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You seem to forget that although our society is deeply rotten, it's still fixable, and precisely because we have political freedom. And although the majority of the Chinese population might not care about politics, or even value the right to political expression, there's clearly a minority that does, and that minority is getting crushed. Do you truely not care at all about those people?
By removing Google from china....and thus a system that at least informs them of when they are being censored....are you not reducing the chances of that minority getting bigger?

Withdrawing from china seems just like an easy move to make on philosophical grounds, but I'm not sure it actually helps anyone unless those withdrawling had decent influence there to start with.
Its simple to whip your hands of things you dont like, or not get involved. But I'm not sure its definitively better.

Of course this is an age-old question. Do you influence change from the inside or out?
Not so clear-cut either way if you ask me.

Quote:
To be more precise, I believe most people assume that the Western society is morally superior to the Chinese society.
I think most people believe western governments are, on average, at least slightly better then the chinese government.

I dont think most people assume the people/culture itself is morally inferior, which is a rather sickening/raciest idea.
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  #32  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:31
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Won't Chinese people still be able to go to Google.com? Who cares if they have offices in China. It's the Internet.

Is capitalism "morally superior" to communism? No, communism is much more moral. Too bad it doesn't work.

Last edited by ChaosFish; 2010-01-15 at 15:32. Reason: typo
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  #33  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:31
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I think many people have a lot of respect for the Chinese culture and history, and because of that don't like the communist government which is flooding entire historic valleys for their profit while damaging the environment heavily with that too, tearing down the Peking city wall for a highway, oppressing Tibetians, and overall not really following many Chinese words of wisdom. The fact that they had a massacre of the "plaza of heavenly peace" is a pretty drastic sign of that.

Sure, the USA would also flood stuff and exploit the environment. But do the US government or the European Union bureaucracy have a high acceptance in Europe? I don't think so.
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  #34  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:41
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Won't Chinese people still be able to go to Google.com? Who cares if they have offices in China. It's the Internet.
.
They got a massive firewall system. Google.com's down at least 50% of the time over there. Its rather random apparently.

Quote:
Besides, as citizens, we have too little information, or, more precisely, the information is so distorted by both the Chinese and Western governments, that it is practically impossible for us to avoid making mistakes in our judgment.
Slight error there.
Its being distorted by the Chinese government and the Western media.

For all the faults of the European government, we dont get much government censorship.
In the US they dont either, for that mater, but with Fox news doing all the distortion work for them it hardly makes much difference.

That said we are always going to be victims of our limited information sources.
Thats why we should always do what we can to discourage censorship, and try to take in as many difference sources as possible. (preferably ones with 1st hand evidence/knowledge).
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  #35  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:44
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BBC News isn't that reliable either. I could tell you stories...
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  #36  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:47
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Compared to Fox news its the word of God :P
But, yeah, multi-source every time.
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oh, and;

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What a load of hypocritical bullshit.
Axx, seeing as I have never once tried hacking email accounts looking at peoples emails or seeking out human-rights campaigners, there is nothing even remotely hypocritical about this thread.
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  #37  
Old 2010-01-15, 15:49
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Compared to Fox news its the word of God :P
We'll agree to disagree on that
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  #38  
Old 2010-01-15, 16:15
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I dont agree to that :P

Of course though, my view will be biased seeing as most of the time's I'm watching Fox news its because I'm watching The Daily Show and they are highlighting something mind-blowingly stupid being said.
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  #39  
Old 2010-01-15, 18:32
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Few more details on the attack itself;
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358121,00.asp

Seems to have been exploiting a new found flaw in Internet Explorer(6/7/8)
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  #40  
Old 2010-01-15, 23:29
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Originally Posted by Link View Post
If companies like Google really had such a moral cause, they would have to leave the US too then, and settle on the moon, maybe. That'd be the right thing to do.
I say going to the moon is always a good idea. However, that's not quite my point. Yes, on abstract grounds it'd be best if everybody left every corrupt system of government, but that obviously can't be done; so we settle for the best possible solution. Can Google leave the US? Obviously not. Can Google leave China? Yes, that is feasible. Should Google not leave China because they will not leave the US? No, that's absurd. You see, a lesser evil is preferable to a slightly bigger evil. Observe I'm not saying things from Google's perspective; I'm saying things from my perspective - your comment about Google's morality does not apply. If I wasn't clear enough: I couldn't care less about Google.

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I quite agree with that, I wouldn't say society is “fixable” though, that'd be kinda utopian. But we could certainly improve it, and then why not improving our own society first, before helping a society we don't understand? Who said I don't care about those people? I just have different priorities.
Well, the damage is already done. The West is already quite present on China. We have to face the decision of "helping" them or not.

Quote:
By removing Google from china....and thus a system that at least informs them of when they are being censored....are you not reducing the chances of that minority getting bigger?

Withdrawing from china seems just like an easy move to make on philosophical grounds, but I'm not sure it actually helps anyone unless those withdrawling had decent influence there to start with.
Its simple to whip your hands of things you dont like, or not get involved. But I'm not sure its definitively better.

Of course this is an age-old question. Do you influence change from the inside or out?
Not so clear-cut either way if you ask me.
Yeah, it's a complicated matter. Personally I think it's best to to show disaproval by simply not being there. I do not like the idea of directly influencing other societies.
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  #41  
Old 2010-01-16, 00:44
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hmm.
Not sure. Certainly the idea of one society forcing its values on another is repellent.
But when its a company making its products/services available elsewhere, it at least leaves it upto the citizens to reject it or embrace it.
And when values are exchanged though cultures merging voluntarily, I'm not sure its such a bad thing. It seems a more natural cultural osmosis.
Of course, I know that's easy to say when its something like freedom-of-speech, as that's something normally universally seen as good. Other soceity influences can be quite negative.
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Update; Microsoft says it isnt pulling out of china for bing;
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/if-...les-2010-01-15
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  #42  
Old 2010-01-16, 00:57
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We had that discussion on this class I had the other day. Someone came to a conclusion that I liked (the rest of the 90 minute ordeal was total rubbish though!); all people share exactly the same core moral values, however their execution is in many ways a lot different (for instance, in once culture respect for the elderly is to keep them close by, take care of them and use their wisdom, and in the other is to let them leave the group, so that they may be free from it's restraining social bonds - same value, executed in drastically different ways).

I have no illusions though, "forcing" a value like free speech on an "unwilling" country is not really a humanitarian effort, it's more likely self-preservation. We know that if we don't do it now, it might come back again to bite us in the ass, when that country's worldview gathers support. And strangely I'm quite fine with that, as long as the "meddling" is executed wisely, and in positive ways (not "bombing the bejeesus out of them").
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  #43  
Old 2010-01-16, 12:57
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Jasiek makes a fair point. It's not just the West that has its way with China; China became a worldwide player aswell. Chinese companies are gaining strenght outside China (think, for example, of Lenovo acquiring IBM's PC division), and we should expect them to support Chinese morality just as our companies support the Western. In the long term, this could be damaging to our society.

Now, supposedly China is trying to protect Chinese society by censoring its citizens against terrible Western ideas such as democracy and freedom of speech. Should we censor the Chinese out aswell?
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  #44  
Old 2010-01-16, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Jasiek View Post
The fact we all have some issues at home, does not mean we shouldn't care about other places. This thread was started about that particular case, not about freedom of speech violations worldwide. I'm sure if we ever do start a thread about it, there'll be plenty of opinions on freedom being trampled in Europe or the US.
By all means, do care, don't preach. But the point was everyone responded with a gasp, when asthough china commited crime of the century by hacking into human rights activists email when the US & Her allies have committed war crimes for which no one is holding them accountable.

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Now about the Afghans, how can you be certain, that the info in that docu isn't doctored too? It's so easy to manipulate information these days to support any idea.
Imho the biggest fuckup ever done there, was when the Russians invaded, and the US help only lasted as long as it served their goal to thwart the USSR, once the war stopped, the aid stopped flowing, and that aid was needed more then the weapons and munitions. In the present day? I never had any delusions about it being a mission of spreading democracy and human rights, more of a stick in an ant-hill type manoeuvre. Although I do think it was thought that once you remove the people in charge from their "thrones" the regular people will rush to create a modern government, and that was very naive. If it did any good amongst all the bad, is that it stirred things up, after all there where elections, there is some kind of a government. I think those people will need AT LEAST 20 years to form some sort of a free society. Look at Poland, we had 60 years of a regime that was probably A LOT less severe then what those people had, and it's still strongly rooted in the mentality of a lot of people. It will only go away, when the last people who remember it will die. If the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Saddam in Iran where still in power, the younger generations wouldn't have a chance to start thinking about having something else.
I'd expect you, the historically aware Jasiek to know better than to spout the same official bullshit lines America uses.

For one, im fortunate in having come from a community where exposure to Afganis is common. I'd say my overall exposure to Afghans within the Muslim communities has helped shape my baseline opinion of the transition. Rethink Afghanistan is for me a more reliable source simply for the fact that when it speaks of woman's rights, it quotes Afghan female human rights workers, who's agenda and intention is perhaps inline with the interests of Afghan woman, and therefore unlikely to be distorted as information from Westminster/pentagon etc...

Furthermore, information of both mainstream, and independant alternate media confirm that the Karazai government is made up of thugs, drug barons, and fundamentalists who simply rose to the top because of their tribal roots and position, or because of their alliance to the international coalition. It's also worth noting that the afgan government has little say in the operation of allied forces, and frequently clashes (publicity stunt) with the coalition regarding civilian deaths. Tell me, if this is indeed a independant government, surely the US plays by its rules, not the other way round? Furthermore, the number of ballots counted in the last election were around 4 million (in a country of 28 million) and that figure includes all the fraudulent ballots (which reports suggest make up the majority), and the fact that a large number of the stations had no oversight whatsoever!

Finally, afghanistan is one complex country. It is made up of various ethnicities, with moral and social codes you couldn't even begin to understand, all at odds with each other, and none truely holding any national allegiance (its all tribal and ethnic). 20 years is an understatement, it will take that amount of time to simply rid themselves of the coalition forces, no democracy or human rights will come out of this. Afghanistan is home to bagram airbase, one of the most notorious torture prisons in the world today with the blessing, financial and arms support of the US and her allies, the afghanis can see this, we cannot, so how they deal with the situation will always come as a surprise to us. The US/EU is simply interested in the gas piplines it can get its hand on which make it independant of the need for Russian Gas. the "Project for the new american century" is a document written in part by top brass in Bush's government (Libby, Donald R, Dick C etc..) that highlights all their goals in greater detail.


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Originally Posted by Jasiek View Post
Of course I'm not saying whatever has been done in there is 100% acceptable. Only thing I'm saying that if any effects will emerge from the whole ordeal, will come in many years, and only then we'll be able to fully assess if the actions taken where right or not (apart from all the fucking soldiers and hired guns shooting civilians... who should be trialled as fast as possible of course, shame it won't bring the dead back...).
You do know there's more hired guns in Afghanistan than there are soldiers right

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Originally Posted by Medur
Axx, what the fuck does most of your post have to do with Google?
What did most of the posts before it have to do with google? As i recall, and i trust you can scroll up, you were all bashing it for its censorship and violation. As I recall i pointed out it happens here at home, so why not start bashing those closer to you and more likely to hurt you If you couldn't piece that together by now, you should stop reading

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Axx, seeing as I have never once tried hacking email accounts looking at peoples emails or seeking out human-rights campaigners, there is nothing even remotely hypocritical about this thread.
That wasn't directed at you personally mate.
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  #45  
Old 2010-01-16, 13:14
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By the way, the idea that the Chinese population truely supports their government is puzzling to me. This implies that they know the alternative and believe their regime isn't bad; otherwise, they couldn't truely support it, but only settle for what they already have and convince themselves it's good enough.

However, the Chinese government actively preserves its people against outside influence. If the government is successful, how can the Chinese possibly understand Western democracy and compare it to the Mandate of Heaven or whatever they have going? Whatever opinion they have on their government seems to me to be illusionary.
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  #46  
Old 2010-01-16, 13:18
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Originally Posted by Axx View Post
What did most of the posts before it have to do with google? As i recall, and i trust you can scroll up, you were all bashing it for its censorship and violation. As I recall i pointed out it happens here at home, so why not start bashing those closer to you and more likely to hurt you If you couldn't piece that together by now, you should stop reading
I meant "the Google situation in China". I suspect a lot of the posts in this thread had to do with it. Yours barely did. And the idea that just because we have questionable stuff going on in our society we shouldn't say anything about this event is, to be honest, quite nonsensical.
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  #47  
Old 2010-01-16, 15:01
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BBC News isn't that reliable either. I could tell you stories...
What you mean is their unflinching bias towards Israel in their reporting

Would that be them giving time to Israeli War Criminals? Or would it be that they refused to broadcast images of the death and destruction in Gaza? Or maybe the fact they refused to air an appeal for aid to the besieged civilian population of gaza? Maybe its because they didn't highlight the fact that the vivapalestina convoy was attacked and hampered by the Egyptians under orders from Israelis?

* Axx waits for Chaos to come back with an insult or unintelligible response.

Everyone should tune into the fair and balanced reports from Jerusalem Post or Fox News to find out what's really happening in Gaza!


Medur-> A lot of the posts were about giving china a piece of their mind for hacking accounts, and in turn boycotting them to teach them a lesson, a lesson that wasn't learnt at home, and therefore a matter of hypocrisy. The posts were politically driven by either an ignorance of the abuses at home, or the desire to criticize the other. As such I felt it wasn't fair, and thought I'd lend a hand to make them realize that such a criticism is hypocritical in the absence of a similar criticism of governments at home, or in fact Google. Instead Google is being made out to be a hero despite the numerous reports of its privacy violations, or its ruthless stamping out of any smaller competition. I'm sure theirs more to incriminate it.

In short, I was perfectly on topic. (Maybe I went slightly off topic with chaos, but his sly comment was begging me to respond)
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  #48  
Old 2010-01-16, 16:23
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* Axx waits for Chaos to come back with an insult or unintelligible response.
Fuck you.
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  #49  
Old 2010-01-16, 21:11
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..anyway...seems Google leaving might have a little more impact then I thought;

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/wo...a/17china.html

I didn't realize they had 80 million user's. I knew they were a distance 2nd, but didn't think they had that many.

Quote:
As such I felt it wasn't fair, and thought I'd lend a hand to make them realize that such a criticism is hypocritical in the absence of a similar criticism of governments at home,
Its the difference between a self-inflicted wound and GBH.
You dont want either, and to inflict injory to yourself is stupid.

And yet, its still a different issue altogether for someone else to punch you in your face.

Quote:
. Instead Google is being made out to be a hero despite the numerous reports of its privacy violations, or its ruthless stamping out of any smaller competition. I'm sure theirs more to incriminate it.
No one has made Google out to be a hero. In fact, everyone seemed pretty darn fast to turn this story into a big Google-issue and raising the normal objections to that company.

Really the attacks have little to do with Google specifically, they are just the first email owners to make their knowledge of the attacks public.

But that's said whats wrong with stommping out the competition? They do it by making a better product. They hardly ever advertise themselves, and they don't lock customers into their product. They are one of the few examples I can think of (these days) of a company succeeding by what they sale, not how they sale it.
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  #50  
Old 2010-01-16, 23:40
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So basically when it comes down to it, 80,000,000 people will not be able to access Google for about 50% of their time.

Is it really such a big deal? Sure, it must be really annoying for them, but is it actually going to have any real implications?
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