A picture named dd10.jpg

"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Friday, October 21, 2005

Peter send this out - this follows the IIPM vs bloggers issue.

The "Right to Blog for Awareness" petition is up.

Please go read, and if you agree, sign at

There's a lot at stake here, especially for bloggers in India.

Is an interesting juxtaposition having just listened to Rebecca talk about Chinese censorship at Pop!Tech.

10:10:10 PM    comment []  trackback []

Rebecca MacKinnon who runs Global Voices Online is on, talking about "China and the Internet - The change goes both ways ...". She tells a story about a village of about 150 peasants has a website - http://www.pusalu.com/ - started small as an alerts sort of site (UFO sightings for eg) and has now evolved to a community portal which actually has changed the world for the community there with vocational guidance and involvement from the community. This is one example that reflects how important the internet is to the Chinese Government, in bringing about change in rural areas.

Lots of examples of Chinese folk moving to the internet - Muzimei's blog where she discusses her sex life, Super Girl Li Yichun - selected by fans to win a contest, Yang Chengang who stuck his first song on the internet - "I love you just like Mice Love Rice" - and has become a heartthrob, with no official 'gatekeepers' interfering.

Result - more empowerment in China as a result. The world's second largest Internet user base. 10% global PC demand, 15% global handset demand are in China. More than 5 mn blogs, over a fifth Chinese internet users use internet bulletin boards, over 200 billion SMS's sent in 2005.

Proliferation of Chinese content on the internet is driving growth throughout the world, despite a crackdown by the govt, where bloggers are supposed to register with the government. It's a contradiction of sorts - it's to do with understanding the censorship culture in China. They don't clamp down on sex bloggers and mp3 stars, but on political commentary and emergent leadership. Keywords are blocked - Tiananmen Massacre for instance is blocked on Google. Blog service providers have to provide censorship for bloggers. Soft censorship.

The Chinese internet community isn't just keeping up with what's happening in the USA. It is innovating. And leading changes. egs. Mobile Blogs, Podcasting etc. These companies are able to be agile and innovate because they are building censorship into their platforms.

Concluding thoughts and questions :

  • "Code is Law" - Larry Lessig.
  • As software codes are being written in China - what implications on Western business models, what implications on freedom of speech in other countries.?
  • Can we prevent censorship from being baked into the model and code?
A really thought-provoking presentation from Rebecca.

10:04:29 PM    comment []  trackback []

Suketu Mehta is talking about my city. Bombay. He is reading portions from his book Maximum City. I wish he had images of the city to enrich and bring alive his words.

I have read half the book on my flight in - and I was struck by how true and real many of his experiences and observations are. These are some facets he has written about - I feel conflicted - the question I find I am asking myself is, which part of Bombay do I live in. What is my space there? And we might find more facets emerging.

Update : In the Q&A - Suketu tells us that he flies out tomorrow to India, to file a Public Interest Litigation against the Government on how little they are doing for beggar children. 

7:40:36 PM    comment []  trackback []

Mark Lynas - High Tide talks of rapid geological changes, and how rapidly they are happening. He makes predictions on what impact global warming will have, in a new book he is writing called Six Degrees.

Predictions based on degrees of global warming -

  • One degree - Code Blue -- temperature rise, coral reefs gone. Nothing can be done to prevent it.
  • Two degrees - Code Green - we can prevent it. Will lose the Sunderbans.
  • Three degrees - Code Yellow - by 2050 a third of all species extinct. The ice sheet in Greenland will melt and disappear altogether. The beginnings of runaway global warming. To avoid it, need to make great changes
  • Four degrees - Code Orange - decline of Sea Ice, all of marine ecosystems at the poles gone
  • Five degress - Code ? - the Hindukush, source of the Indus river will be dry. Rainforests may turn into deserts. Countries like Pakistan threatened. Ice shelf collapse in the Antartica.
Good photographs from High Tide. And more on global warming, a link someone shared in the chat.. Mark's message to us ... take this seriously, make it political, if we have to survive not just as a species but also as a planet.

7:24:27 PM    comment []  trackback []

Ze Frank who was here last year too, is smokin'...  thousands of miles above us, with his Inflight Safety Page.

1:02:57 AM    comment []  trackback []