Stories from the New China (and beyond)

Archive for the ‘Global’ Category

Into Thin Airwaves

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“All movements—even pocket-protector ones—have their legends and their origin myths, often set in an older, simpler place and time, as is this one. But although he never won a Nobel Prize, the man who died was real. And in 2002, when China experts in the West universally judged that his cause was a failure, he commanded the most successful Falun Gong action ever undertaken on Chinese soil—the hijacking of a massive city’s television signals for nearly an hour. Pulled off by a small gang with minimal experience or resources, the operation was strikingly uncharacteristic of Falun Gong at the time, but from it would grow far more sophisticated challenges to Chinese Communist party control over information in the years to come. Television hubs would become Internet routers, guerrillas would be replaced by geeks, infocops and robbers would go virtual, and the brawl would spill out from China into Atlanta, Tehran, and the State Department. But it all started in the city of Changchun with a man named Liang Zhenxing.”

Read it here. Over 5000 words, so get comfy.

BIG UPDATE: “Into Thin Airwaves” is being transformed into a graphic novel by one of the most talented artists ever to come out of China: Daxiong!  Raised in Changchun, Daxiong actually logged some hours in the same prison cells as Liang and his gang.

Go here for the occasional update on Daxiong’s progress.

Sneak preview:

Cover 2


Written by eastofethan

December 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

The few, the proud, the hacked…

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Yahoo’s lawyers informed me that there was a security breach in my account just over a month ago. I’m flattered.

Written by eastofethan

April 2, 2010 at 8:47 am

Google: The larger context

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The Weekly Standard, February 1st, 2010:

Google vs. Beijing


OK, it should have happened a decade ago and it’s awfully late in the day. But by openly anchoring their opposition to censorship to PROFIT, not just human rights, Google is not only rebuking the Cisco-Yahoo-Nortel paradigm of seeking revenues from the Chinese government’s demand for censorship and surveillance technologies–they have turned it on its head.

Full-throated, no kidding, loud and clear now: All hail Google!!! Put my book on the web, sell my surfing scores to advertisers, whatever…I won’t forget this moment.

Written by eastofethan

March 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Ten signs that believers in man-made global warming don’t actually believe

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Anyone reading through this blog will know that I’m not a scientist. OK, I am literate and not an easy pushover for rigid ideological frameworks, but what could I possibly add to a scientific debate? Yet my little layman observations have been gnawing at me for some time now. And while I have been a genuine agnostic about the man-made global warming theory, I find myself becoming increasingly skeptical and dismissive. Two reasons. First, because global temperatures haven’t really risen for a decade (although I readily admit that could just be a blip in the long-term data). Secondly, because the credibility of so many advocates of the theory feels well, shaky. And that’s what this nobody-asked-me-but post is all about.

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Written by eastofethan

November 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Low road to China…

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Beijing press conference

“In a sign of discomfort with the White House stance, Fox’s television news competitors refused to go along with a Treasury Department effort on Tuesday to exclude Fox from a round of interviews with the executive-pay czar Kenneth R. Feinberg that was to be conducted with a “pool” camera crew shared by all the networks. (New York Times, October 22, 2009: full article here).

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Written by eastofethan

October 24, 2009 at 10:39 am

Or will it explode?

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A dream deferred: The state of the Chinese Internet, June 4, 2009.

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Written by eastofethan

June 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Web warriors

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The NYT rule: The New York Times seems like an intelligent paper, good writing, comprehensive foreign coverage…unless…unless you actually know something about the topic at hand. Then it’s usually, horribly, insultingly wrong.

I’m about to turn to my chapter about Falun Gong’s amazing penetration of the Chinese firewall, so this article from the New York Times, is a wonderful, brilliant exception to the NYT rule. Frankly, it makes me want to shout from the rooftops.

Written by eastofethan

May 1, 2009 at 11:50 am