An email I wrote to a Russian in Russia on my thoughts on media/information sovereignty

I feel some of its content is worth sharing more widely. So I’m copy pasting it here with some modifications.

I’m kind of disappointed that Ron Unz blocked my comment in Chinese on his article http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/. I made a few more today, suggesting someone on there to email me and others to join a potential WeChat group (but there’s a chance they’ll get blocked too). I’ve attached screenshots.

I also don’t like this clause

Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter

There are some particular people on the site I’d like to talk more in private, like AnonFromTN and Vidi. I’ve exchanged a fair bit with the former already on that site publicly, who is a Russian immigrant biologist. Do you have his contact information?

There is also that Unz Review is really high latency (aka very slow). It was in the US too. After all, images plus hundreds of comments have to be loaded all at once. I actually prefer not to turn on my VPN while in China. Chinese sites hosted in China load slower if I use that (even when I use its Hong Kong configuration) and turning on/off is an annoyance. Sadly, if I want to listen to some Soviet songs, I basically have to go on YouTube. Even Yandex video results are almost all YouTube. Now that is something that Russia didn’t do right, not making their own large video site (tell me if there is one).

In that Chinese comment of mine, in reply to a guy almost certainly Chinese who is very pro Chinese communist according to his comments (text below along with screenshot in case you want to copy paste to an online translator), I wrote that even though Unz Review is contrarian towards American mainstream, it’s still an American media, in English, and that if he likes the Chinese communists so much, he would do much better to support some Chinese companies, maybe work for one, than comment in English on a fringe media site political viewpoints few English readers really want to hear. Continue reading “An email I wrote to a Russian in Russia on my thoughts on media/information sovereignty”

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On the political English language

I recall how like four or five years ago, somebody told me that the Ministry of Education of China made English optional on the gaokao. I wonder what exactly was the rationale behind it. That was saying how English will not end up all that useful for most Chinese high school students (remember that those who immigrate to the US are a very small percentage, and that reading technical literature in English isn’t all that hard for smart people in STEM), and that time would be better spent learning more physics and chemistry as well as other non-language skills as far as economic productivity goes. This explanation certainly makes sense. China functions just fine doing everything in its own language, one notoriously difficult and complex in the eyes of outsiders. There is also that too much English might lead to more connection to America than is beneficial. On this note, I can think of how India’s English may have actually hurt it; because of it, the economy there naturally ended up depending too much on English services as opposed to actual industrial production, from which real economic power derives. Moreover, India’s English has greatly hindered her from developing a domestic internet industry, in contrast to China.

Continue reading “On the political English language”