Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


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Open Source in America vs Closed Source in China

After watching Michael Anti's Tedtalk, I didn't feel he talked about both sides of the story.

I'm going to leave this topic very broad, so maybe Tedsters could begin to make more sense than Anti did for me.

  • Dec 12 2012: Well, I'm a westerner living in China. I've been here for a year and a half now, which isn't very long, but long enough to agree with what he said in the talk.

    China does have copies of all of those other blocked websites, and it even has its own Google. It doesn't make much sense to block social networking like Facebook and Twitter while then allowing a Chinese version to exist, except for two reasons. One, as he stated, it keeps the public complacent while allowing the CCP to monitor and censor anything they don't like.

    I also think that having their own version gives more jobs to Chinese people, to be honest. Spain, for example, has its own version of Facebook, called Tuenti. However, especially when compared to Facebook, almost no one uses it. Most people, if they have Tuenti, also have Facebook. I know people who dropped Tuenti for Facebook. This more or less destroyed Tuenti. However, in China, there is no Facebook. There is Weibo. Because there is no competition (Facebook), Weibo is really pretty big, although only in China. So in that way, I do think that China was somewhat smart. They were giving their own people a chance to start their own companies without fear of competition from established giants like Facebook.

    On the flipside, studying English in China is a very big deal. However, contact with foreigners, especially outside of Beijing and Shanghai, is fairly limited. As a result, most Chinese people don't speak very good English. Censorship really hurts them here, because most students can't afford to study abroad, and then they are not allowed to use the networks that the rest of the world is using. This isolates Chinese citizens, and really damages their ability to connect with the rest of the world. It's kind of a shame.
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      Dec 12 2012: So your trying to say that, economically, the Chinese and censorship is good, but socially it is hindering the Chinese from expanding their horizons?

      Expanding horizons as in Open Sourcing information.
  • Dec 9 2012: What did you feel was missing?
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      Dec 11 2012: The western perspective from westerners and other eastern perspectives would also be helpful to try to understand both sides of the story.