From The Economist, 26 Jan 2009
From Youtube and the China Digital Times:
2009, GO CHINA!
Lead: Snowstorm, freely falling down to earth, like western values
Lead: Despair fills the sky, ice covers the earth
Lead: Did China retreat?
All: No. The Olympics were a success! We are victorious!
Lead: Hot blood and iron will of Chinese people, lighten up the dark world like burning the holy flame
All: The rivers and mountains, ever more colorful and beautiful
Lead: Earthquakes, shifting back and forth like the positions of Sarkozy, with his dirty tricks, trying to shake the great China
Lead: Did China retreat?
All: No. The Shenzhou-7 launched. We are victorious!
Lead: Pathetic Europe will never stop the insurmountable force of the Celestial Empire
All: Just the aftershocks from the earthquake would destroy France!
Lead: The happy flowers flourish in the oil fields on Tarim Basin
Lead: The suona [musical instrument] sings aloud in the Tawang district of the Himalayas
Lead: Historically accumulated resentment fill the Ryukyu Trench
All: Smiles in Sun Moon Lake became a miraculous flower in the Pacific Ocean**
Lead: “Do not sway, Do not slacken off and Do not flip flop”***
Lead: “Do not change the flag, Do not change the label, Do not turn back”****
All: Step ruthlessly over all anti-China forces
Lead: The giant ship full of patches, raise up the brand new sail
All: Spirits are high, crash through the waves, the wind is at our back
All: Go China
All: China the Greatest
(transcription and translation from China Digital Times – read the original post, with more background information)
OK, one of the loves of teaching is hearing something different from students in class – but as a 40 something year old who has a facebook account (but never checks it), I was surprised to hear how many people in class today did not know about what I thought was a fad for the younger generation. So here are some things from various news media on twittering:
First, the NYT’s David Pogue explaining twitter: “In the end, my impression of Twitter was right and wrong. Twitter IS a massive time drain. It IS yet another way to procrastinate, to make the hours fly by without getting work done, to battle for online status and massage your own ego.
But it’s also a brilliant channel for breaking news, asking questions, and attaining one step of separation from public figures you admire. No other communications channel can match its capacity for real-time, person-to-person broadcasting.”
An example of a political usage of twitter – the Israeli government’s recent use of new internet media to makes it case for its bombardment of Hamas in Gaza(3 January NYT article): “Israel has enlisted an arsenal of Internet tools to take its message directly to a global audience — including ‘the first governmental press conference ever held on Twitter.'”
A report by CNN on Twitter’s (and other social networking tools) impact on breaking news: “More people are turning to social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr when news breaks to share stories and pictures.
In an era when even the president of the United States has a Facebook page and spectators texted and tweeted about Inauguration Day, the power of online and digital social networking is clear.”
John C. Dvorak, a columnist for PC Magazine, recently wrote an article exhorting academics to study such vibrant, popular social phenomenon like MySpace.com. Here’s the link to his article on PCMag.com; you should read it first. He starts off the article with the following blast:
Universities have got to focus their attention on computers and the Internet. There are far too many understudied phenomena bubbling on the Net, and it’s time for academia to wake up. Valuable time is being wasted.
Analysis of the social impact of computer technology has a particular edge due to the impact of hegemony-reinforcing political discourses on China. Despite the monumental works of China scholars like Needham, the absence of science, like the absence of capitalism, has justified Orientalist actions and attitudes towards China. Both internal (as seen in Maoist rhetoric) and external analysts have argued that Chinese culture itself is inimical to the development of science. For example, Richard Baum writes: “the institutionalization of the ethos of modern scientific rationalism in China is significantly impeded by the contemporary persistence of a number of atavistic cultural traits that have survived the passing of China’s traditional Confucian order” (1982: 1167). Science and technology studies (STS), a discipline that critically examines the social and cultural aspects of science and technology, is uniquely positioned to evaluate such issues in an emerging, postsocialist Chinese modernity.
In the case of China, science and technology, in particular, have been dominant parts of political thought in the history of twentieth century China. As Western imperialists further challenged Chinese sovereignty on the littoral (the areas most affected by contact with foreign people, ideas, and technology), “Mr. Science and Mr. Democracy” became a rallying symbol for reformers and revolutionaries of the early 20th century. The development of Western scientific institutions reflected wider shifts in Chinese society towards a new regime that was ultimately characterized by “scientific socialism.” Science and technology, as a discursive system, is of course a “cultural invention, in the sense that it brings forth a world; it emerges out of particular cultural conditions and in turn helps to create new ones” (Escobar 1994: 211). It is, however, a particularly powerful cultural invention because science and technology naturalizes its epistemological origins. The laboratory (or by extension the factory, the market, and other territorial spaces where scientific and technological knowledge is produced) is portrayed as an “objective space.” These spaces artificially reconfigure natural objects by transforming or making partial versions (reducing), taking it out of context, and controlling the timing of particular occurrences. Knowledge thus produced through the social institutions of science and technology asserts a universalistic applicability that masks the particular cultural conditions of scientists and technologists. People involved with computers and other information technologies can draw upon a universalizing authority seemingly empty of social and cultural particularities. The social and cultural outcomes of the localization of computer technology – such as the increasing stratification of economic and educational opportunities – are then justified as a necessary aspect of modernity.
As a result, I have conducted fieldwork research on technology and popular culture. To study technology, I examined a Hakka cyberspace community, the Hakka Global Network (a listserv), and other Hakka Internet resources illustrated how Hakka all over the world use the internet to shape ideas of what it means to be Hakka in the 1990s. I have continued this line of research through an examination of the computer industry (The Legend Group, aka Lenovo) and “Chinese cyberspace” in Shanghai.