Twitter unblocked, for now

Let’s see how long it lasts. I remember all the jubilation over the past five years whenever the government unblocked Blogspot and later youtube, and each time it turned out they were playing cat and mouse. I’m still not sure about Flickr; I can’t get on it right now but some friends say it’s loading, albeit very, very slowly. Blogspot still seems down as well. Just another nuisance designed to wear people down, something the party is good at.

Update: Wow, Bing.com is unblocked again, too. Somebody’s feeling mighty generous today.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 24 Comments

Ai Weiwei’s posted on Twitter again. I’m frustrated; I can read it but don’t know idioms or nuance well enough to really understand the meaning.

Help me out, Chinese speakers!

我这样的,也就四人。

June 8, 2009 @ 2:57 pm | Comment

I predict it will stay unblocked until…oh, the middle of September or so. Anyone want to give me odds on that?

June 8, 2009 @ 3:21 pm | Comment

我这样的,也就四人。
‘There’re four of them people like me.’

were you trying to understand this sentence, Otherlisa?

June 8, 2009 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

frost, yeah but what does he mean by that?

I asked a friend in China and she couldn’t figure it out without the context.

June 8, 2009 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

@ otherlisa

not sure about the context, but guess it should be important.

literally 我这样的,也就四人 means “there are only four (other) people like me”

this four people could include or exclude Ai himself.

So, who could these people be??

June 8, 2009 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

That’s the thing, that’s the entire Tweet! So I could understand it, literally, but wondered if there were some idiom I was missing.

Thanks all of you! It was really bugging me.

June 9, 2009 @ 2:37 am | Comment

Nu?

June 9, 2009 @ 7:12 am | Comment

Bing.com is still blocked in Shanghai. Twitter and Flickr are back for now.

June 9, 2009 @ 7:25 am | Comment

A Suggestion For the Chinese Gov’t To Make A Documentary Called “A History of Western Imperialist Invasions”

This post wants to suggest the Central Gov’t of China make a documentary called “A History of Imperialist Invasions”, in order to comprehensively introduce the history of invasion, genocide, pillaging of other nations by imperialist powers, especially against China. Currently, no such documentary exists in China. This I feel is not right. Mao Zedong once famously said “Let a thousand flowers bloom, let a thousand schools of thought contend.” He meant that a society should encourage a wide range of opinions and ideas, and not suppress any particular thought. In this spirit, I think such a documentary should be made.

This documentary should be made totally in a engineering mindset. That is, it should contain as little emotion as possible. The script for the narrator should not be emotional and dramatic when describing Imperialist invasions, should not be full of hatred for them and full of love for China. Instead, the script and tone of the narration should be very cold, very emotionless. When it’s describing a massacre, it should feel like it’s describing an experiment on a lab rat, very calm and cool.

The intended effect is that the audience, while watching this documentary, will start to hate the narrator for his carefree attitude, for his calm tone and words. And furthermore, experts should be invited to “defend” the invasions and pillagings, and those experts should act very eloquently in their defense, and talk in a seemingly convincing way. But subtly and subconsciously, those experts would be made to appear very despicable, and their defense very shameless and outrageous. And if the documentary can invite Western experts to do these defenses, it’ll be even better.

That is, the whole documentary is emotionless, cold, and even presents large amount of defenses from the opposite side. Yet the effect is that most Chinese will feel extremely at the imperialist powers after watching it.

Why should such a documentary be made?

Most young people in China today no longer devote enough time to study, and instead to playing. And those who do study hard do so for very trivial reasons, such as they want to get a good test and make their parents feel proud, or go to good college or get a good job. They do not have any worthwhile or ultimate goals in life.

This of course is partly the fault of society and media too. Today the social message is that if you study hard, you’ll get a good job and earn a lot of money, and buy a large house, cars, marry pretty woman. This kind of message is very unhealthy, and deceptive. It’s impossible that everyone in society will be successful and rich. A society needs rich people as well as poor people, it needs people at different roles, positions and levels. If it’s for the strength and development of your country, then anything you do can be worthwhile and meaningful. But if it’s only for getting rich and successful, then young people later will feel cheated by this social message after they studied so hard and realize that they, like most people, will not become rich and successful.

If students, after watching this documentary, are overwhelmed with emotion, go through an awakening and deep self-reflection, and are then realize the importance of studying for the growth and development for their country, instead of for their own personal gains. Then I think this is definitely worth it.

Of course, some intellectuals and rightists in will say that this kind of documentary will sow the seeds of hatred, will negatively impact the relationship between China and other nations, will create nationalism, will make it harder to be a dog of imperialist nations, etc. If those people today are in charge of China’s educational system, then I will feel very sad.

June 9, 2009 @ 7:50 am | Comment

According to a Chinese news source today, the Chinese govt requests that, from July 1, in all new personal computers sold in China, a filter software be installed to block websites related to Falungong, Tibetan independence, porn, etc.

They have got the firewall, web police and now the filter on every PC. They have everything ready to build a cyber prison in China.

June 9, 2009 @ 8:12 am | Comment

I used to complain about Math’s comments, but they are starting to become sort of cute…it’s like TPD has its own “pet” troll! (I still don’t read any of them beyond the titles, but it’s nice to know Math hasn’t given up creating nutty theses to share with us.)

June 9, 2009 @ 9:15 am | Comment

@Math #9,

I don’t think they need a documentary to do that, as studying Chinese History is enough. At least for those Westerners who didn’t watch this documentry get into debt, and have to borrow from those Chinese savers.

June 9, 2009 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Twitter etc. unblocked?? And now TPD is blocked. So much for the ‘genrosity’ – you spoke too soon!

June 9, 2009 @ 11:00 am | Comment

@El China AIP 10

I hope that China would provide free antivirus and malware protection so that they can provide a full internet security suite in the software that Microsoft left out.

June 9, 2009 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

The requirement of filtering software on computers may be a sign of that the GCF(tm) is being overloaded.

Or it may be also an indication that more and more people are tunneling through the GCF or that it is becoming easier.

Like DRM I think that CH hackers are smart enough to provide ways to circumvent it.

Only an implementation in hardware would be more difficult to circumvent, but that would produce a black market of smuggled boards and moded chips.

Even if they succeed in building the perfect cyber prison it would be in the long rule damaging for CH. The current technical revolution is about managing and distribution of information, if they restrict it they will find again behind in technological development.

Hhhhhmmm… but there were already another moments in history where CCP has put his permanence in power before the social/technical/civil development of the country.

We shall see.

June 9, 2009 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

This site (PekingDuck.org) seems to be blocked now. I am a Beijing Netcom customer and I am using a proxy to submit this comment.

June 9, 2009 @ 2:10 pm | Comment

Yep, it’s blocked from BJ alright. I’m using (slow) proxy.. Boo!!!

June 9, 2009 @ 2:58 pm | Comment

[...] prior to the block this site was running June 4 stories non-stop. As soon as I stopped and put up a non-TAM post the ax falls. Go [...]

June 9, 2009 @ 3:36 pm | Pingback

Andy, you have a point – what would this site be without Math?

Sorry to everybody about the blockage.

June 9, 2009 @ 5:49 pm | Comment

You’re blocked in GUANGDONG Province. Day two. Comment left via proxy.

June 10, 2009 @ 7:10 am | Comment

@Math. Great idea, displaying the truth of history is good for everbody. Perhaps while they’re at it they can produce an honest account of the depredations of the Chinese Communist Party (the idiotic as well as the malicious) or of the games an over-medicated Mao Zedong liked to play with young virgins… in a totally ‘engineered’ and unhistrionic manner, of course. What do you think?

June 10, 2009 @ 1:13 pm | Comment

Man it would suck to live in a country with a piece of crap government and a piece of crap internet. In some countries internet access is a human right. China is going backwards.

March 25, 2010 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

[...] [...]

August 11, 2010 @ 9:43 pm | Pingback

[...] "Twitter unblocked, for now". The Peking Duck. Retrieved on 2009-06-14. http://www.pekingduck.org/2009/06/twitter-unblocked-for-now/. Was blocked during days leading up to June 4, 2009 [17][12] [...]

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