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"Censorship by Chinese Blog-hosting Companies", by Rebecca Mackinnon

Finally, Rebecca released her research works on self-censorship severities of those blog service providers in China. She was ever afraid when is right time to share the research to public. But Sharism works eventually when a best meme appeared, ha.

Not surprisingly, there’s already a Chinese edition of Rebecca’s blog post in two days from community. The censorship system is really complicated in China, however, the social media mouse is gaining lead in the race.

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The Video Documentary from Hujia and Jinyan

Some friends has posted the video document "Prisoners in Freedom City", cameraed by Hujia and produced by his wife Jinyan, on Youtube.  Although the story is well known on blogosphere even traditional media(not including Chinese ones).  I have to say that it's very movable after watching over all seven episodes(they were seperated due to the limitation of Youtube, obviously). Many Chinese people are freer than before, however, when is the tipping point to a substantial change in this country. Olympic 2008? Seem impossible just from Hujia's case.

Bloggers are now talking how to send milk powder to Jinyan to save their one-month old daughter QianCi because all the food channels has been blocked by security police after Hujia's arrest.  It is not a game, it's about life.

updates: Where the family located(on Google Map and Google Earth) and BBC4's interview after Hujia's arrest

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Great Wall, unchanged

Just finished a fabulous "Museum" day in London. We started at morning to meet the speakers of the evening debated with a rough topic on "The New China: What does the First Emperor's legacy mean in a globalised world?". We met some really interesting guys to exchange some interesting ideas(including a recent eco-protestor who put mask on a warrior's face, which could be seen as an emergency if it's in China), actually I just feel the debate would be more like a panel discussion without flame wars.

The Terracotta Warrior exhibition in The British Museum

We were taken by Jane Portal, curator of this over-half-year-long exhibition of "The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army", to make a short touring. I was exited that it's the first time I see clearly real Terracotta Warrior. Its simply amazing not only because of the whole exhibition format navigated in a creative logic, but also the works themselves. Actually, its very hard to imagine how people keep the craft skills in such a media-less age and mass produce so many warriors like modern factory. As a trained engineer, I was too much impressed by the process of engineering. Unfortunately, those techniques wasn't respected and reserved to keep China a innovative country in the later centuries.

Our debate, as one of the parallel program with the exhibition, attracted about 300 people. My blogger friend Cathy Ma was lucky to get a seat because of my speaker advantage. It's very hard talk for the speakers including Me. Jon Snow from BBC Channel 4 moderated the panel after Neil MacGregor (Director of the British Museum) gave a warm-up speech. Then four speakers including Jonathan Fenby (auhtor a the book Jiang Kai-shi) , Sun Shuyun (documentary producer ), Steve Tsang, and me started our talks over "legacy" based on the understanding from different background. I mentioned the "Great Firewall" behind China Internet users is just the legacy mindset of "control" by communist rulers. And the most wise choice for the ruling party is to remove it to prove their over-propagandaed harmonious society and peaceful rising. The collective intelligence from counting Internet users won't just wait for the non-progressive democratic regime if they don't like to change their mindset. Unfortunately, we didn't see such change even after the passing 17th Party Congress.

China Ambassador, Ms. Fu Ying, also joined tonight's event. She commented that the best way to understand legacy is to forget it. It's somewhat a quite safe comment for her role. I was told she is very nice and smart lady though Steve remind me to be
cautious after I return China. I noted but somewhat feel easy with that. It's not the first time I speak publicly about Great Firewall in China. It's truth that everyone should knows and change it together. I'm happy to see there are more and more Chinese Internet users(especially those millions of bloggers) started to talk about it explicitly and try to find constructive solutions to persuade government to rethink about this stupid mindset. In a modern globalized China, we don't need such legacy, instead, we need inherit the blood of creativity in Terracotta Warriors.

I enjoyed the talks from other speakers too. They are all China experts rather
insightful than me about the history of China. I didn't see the flame wars in the debate though. Some friends told me after the debate that I'm somewhat too optimistic to the future of China. I think I should be because the paradigm of the whole world is changing from 1.0(top-down) to 2.0(bottom-up) even the Great Wall mindset unchanged today in China.

The Guardian, cooperator of the debate, will have podcasts published online soon to get the full script and audio of the debate. Stay tuned. (update: The guardian podcasting has been published here and Jonathan's long review of the debate, "Continuity and change")

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Digital Nomads Plan just released a new project called "Digital Nomads",a non-profit service supporting Chinese people(but not limited) to set up their independent blogs. The project, also supported by Social Brain Foundation, is especially designed for people's free speech and will serve those grassroots journalists as the topmost mission. "Digital Nomads" the name came from my speech in Accton Taiwan by the invitation of one of my best friends Joy Tang.

The service is actually inherited from early ideas of "Adopt a Chinese Blog" program by cnblog. As more and more blog hosting services in China started to cooperate with government censorship, many independant voices were actually blocked and slowed. Though there are some brave people started to fight with those "self-censorship"(from businesses) in relative weak legal context, seems the most direct way is to support bloggers to become real independant from those censorships in technical ways. So there comes the project idea and right volunteers teaming up.

As it's a project supported by SBF, Digital Nomads project won't be a for-profit one. Instead, it only requires the supportees to pay their doman name and basic hosting fees to cover the cost. The service will be more than that with the voluteers efforts to promote the blogs and incorporate advanced technologies to help bloggers empowered(like OpenID, Microformat, etc.). Also the team will help bloggers to well use media creation tools to make their blogs richer in content. We would like to see how the project develops itself to demonstrate how important free speech is and how powerful the distributed grassroots voice sphere would be.

If you would like to help promote the project in other areas(not limited to Chinese speaker people), I'd like to transfer the message to the team and try any possibilities to support too.

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A wonderful view from my Kanas Lake memory

Inspired by Jianshuo, I spent this year's "thinking week" early July in Kanas Lake, the top-left corner of China landscape. However, I really hesitated to take camera with me in annual "thinking week" because its reserved more for my inner meditation. Anyway, I took a camera with me this time because I was routed from Beijing to Kanas Lake after a business trip for my portfolio So there's a chance that I took several pictures though reluctantly. The pictures are not the classical scene of Kanas Lake like those on Jianshuo's blog, but a very special collection when I climbed up to Guanyu Pavilion.

Firstly, I found a rainbow in south-eastern sky(Mongolian border). The rainbow is changing with it's size dynamically. So I turn my sight to the opposite direction to find the source of the rainbow.

Yes, I found another group of clouds in northern sky(Russian border). They are showering to the lake! I can even hear the sound of rain when they hit the surface of lake. I can't help taking pictures of the amazing view. However, it seemed its too grand picture to fit into one picture. The great things can only be memorized. The feeling was not just enjoying, but a kind of bliss.

Kanas was not just simply magic of raining and rainbow though I never seen in urban life. When I happened to turn back to another side of the rainbow(south-western, the Kazakhstan border), I found the clouds painting on the grassland fastly. They ran very fast leaving different shapes of shadow on the ground. Interestingly, the speed of painting changed time by time that triggered your imagination there were someones manipulating the "pens" behind.

I don't know how long I stood there to turn 3 different directions. But I'm sure I was breathless for right a while. I'm not sure if there are anyones else ever seen such fabulous view before. Could be different but same feeling and reverence to the nature?

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