Posts tagged friction
James Fallows, covering Jeremy Lin’s reception in China, quotes a tweet:
On Feb. 12, Mao Maozi, a cameraman with the state-run Shanghai Education Television network, tweeted an answer to that question on Sina Weibo: “If Jeremy Lin lived on the mainland, he would either be a semi-literate CBA [Chinese Basketball Association, China’s state-run professional league] player or an ordinary undergraduate who likes basketball in his spare time. We admire him not because he is an ethnic Chinese, but because he has proved for a fact that the main reason that Chinese don’t play basketball well is because of the system, and not their physique!”
And, Yes, for the record, that’s all one tweet! The writing system of the Chinese language has its drawbacks, but one of the pluses is that with 140 characters you can say a whole lot more in Chinese.
I’m really enjoying the linguistic quirks and negotiations as exported technology encounters methods of communication which their interfaces never thought to consider. China is nearly always a participant, as it’s scale cannot be ignored. As more and more locally designed tech is exported and more and more Chinese citizens explore the bounds of the web, the friction and workarounds will be fascinating to watch. The Economist notes:
More than 300m Chinese internet users have at least one microblog account, and some use virtual private networks (VPNs) to get around the infamous “great firewall” of China. The Chinese government is being dragged, click by click, out of its cone of silence.
(Fallows via Matt Yglesias)