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.

I increasingly realize how much power these media companies have due to their control of dissemination of information. America obviously wants to bring the world into their media monoculture, with Google/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter and also English as the de facto international language. Their possession/control of all that user data as well as the media platform in itself gives them tremendous leverage. China has done remarkably well at resisting that, much better than Russia has.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Chinese being a very different language is quite an advantage for the Chinese. Makes the Chinese population much harder to culturally conquer, a perfect political shield. Unlike Russia which is kind of halfway between East and West culturally closer to West so it’s far less immune to the Western toxin. I find myself so much happier without Google without Facebook, within the Chinese internet bubble. Search including for technical I can get from Baidu and instant messaging I get from Weixin. Life is good interacting in person with only Chinese in Chinese and online with the occasional non-Chinese like you who I actually enjoy talking with. I don’t have to give a fuck about what an American or Indian or Jew thinks unlike in the US.

I’m encouraging people of the right background in the Anglo world dissatisfied with it to detach from it instead of arguing/fighting within an Anglo system controlled by the other people. That is the best way to show contempt and exert leverage. Those Russians could transfer the time and energy spent reading and commenting on Unz Review to doing things which directly support Russia (like, read and comment on RT instead, which is actually controlled by Russia). Arguing on somebody else’s media in their language on their turf against them is but a losing game.

你是中国人吧?怎么说呢,有大陆人也觉得中共利用了日本军队消耗国民党的力量,当然也有人觉得这被夸张了。其实,多争论这个没啥意义,若那么爱共产党,可以直接支持一下中国的企业,比如用一些中国的互联网和电子产品,能的话为中国公司工作,比用英文宣传共产党多厉害要强多了,我个人就将这个选择实现了,做了个小榜样。脱离而置之不理才是藐视他人最好的方式。
同时,可以找到与你道相同的或可能相同的人针对性的影响组织,少浪费时间与不认同你的人。Unz Review是逆于美国主流的地方,所以能找到一些支持中国的人不过它依然是个英文的美国媒体,真正的中国人也很少会在这上面评论。稍微看了你的评论历史,对你稍有好奇,欢迎发我邮件gmachine1729 at foxmail.com,然后可以加个微信多认识一下,把你介绍到更多与你道相同的人。
你藐视国民党是不是也藐视韩国啊,如孔庆东一样,他写的一首讽刺韩国的诗实在太妙了。
独立韩秋。汉江北去,孔子挠头。看红男绿女,招摇过市;肥猫瘦狗,潇洒同流。渴饮酱汤,饥餐泡菜,欲涮火锅不自由。勒裤带,问姜葱大蒜,谁主沉浮?
招来百侣同游,正说道苦行岁月愁。叹无业妇人,风华正茂;有闲老者,诟骂方遒。半壁河山,断碣文字,亦敢扬眉傲五洲。曾记否,在上甘岭下,万骨成丘!

A kudos to Weiyun (微云), Tencent’s awesome cloud storage

I learned of foxmail.com as an email service provider through correspondence with a guy (who was using it himself) who dropped out of Harvard’s PhD program in economics to do startup in China. He actually commented a few times on this very blog. (See this and this.)

I’ve already sent some emails with my foxmail.com email account now. What initially disappointed me was that it for some reason wouldn’t let me authentic using several email clients I tried, including the default Mail on Mac as well as Mozilla’s Thunderbird, not mention Tencent’s Foxmail client itself. I don’t like to use web client for email, mostly because Google, as great as its technology is, is so monopolistic and privacy invasive. Yes, I’m not going to let you log all my searches by my email account. But with the email clients not working, I was left with only the web client, which is not bad. I had tried Sina email before, and the whole user experience was pretty shitty, leaving me with a poor impression of Chinese tech companies.

Through Foxmail, I learned of Weiyun, Tencent’s cloud storage service. Before that, I tried Baidu Yun, and it was quite disappointing, with very low reliability, though now in hindsight I would expect the paid version to work at least reasonably well. File transfer to Weiyun was initially only about 100 KB / s. But its paid version, which comes with 3 TB storage plus 30 GB worth of fast file transfer per day, costs only 10 RMB / month (< $2). Seeing that, I promptly linked my credit card to WeChat Pay to subscribe to it. After that, its performance vastly exceeded my expectations.

The file transfer speed went up significantly, with what’s shown in the screenshot before an underestimate (it’s usually 500 KB/s)

FileUploadOnWeiyun

Moreover, they support notes in Markdown.

MarkdownOnWeiyun

Now, this would be the perfect place to store all my notes and lists.

I guess we wouldn’t be surprised that its stock has still gone up so rapidly the past few years, notwithstanding its size. I can’t believe its market cap is already 3.5 trillion. Even Google and Microsoft are not in the trillions. It was back in 2014 when I first heard of BAT (for Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent). Interestingly, the three are in different cities, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen respectively. Now, of the three, Baidu is by far the weakest, with less than 100 billion market cap. Even Alibaba, at around 500 billion, is nowhere close to Tencent.

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 6.33.30 PM

Back in 2014, these Chinese tech companies were basically completely off my radar. I barely used WeChat then. And Alibaba is e-commerce in China, so I have no reason to use it. Baidu’s search engine I had started using since probably around 2007, so that’s the one my personal experience has been closest to. I guess that might change now with Weiyun. I’m honestly pretty impressed with Tencent, though admittedly, its WeChat isn’t all that great. WeChat’s security has been questioned; it does not implement end-to-end encryption, which is when the server does not store the message in plaintext. For those of you who want end-to-end encryption, there’s WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook. Signal started off through a non-profit relying on donations and grants but that underlying organization was acquired by Twitter. Telegram was created by a Russian who earlier founded vKontakte, the Facebook of Russia, who later became somewhat of a Russian dissident, now in the UK.

Speaking of political dissidence, turns out so is one of the main creators of the celebrated Markdown, Aaron Swartz. Sadly, he committed suicide at age 26. Kind of like a Galois of programming.

As for his background, Jewish American. But looks like he was super against the system, I guess in the “libertarian” way? Seems like a real genius too smart and creative and anti-authoritarian for his own good, and he really suffered for it in the end. There are a lot of Jews like that (Ron Unz is rather close, and so is Bobby Fischer maybe), though of course, there is more of the money and power, Zionist, pro-American establishment type of Jew. In any case, Jews tend to be really politically outspoken and active. I guess they feel much more at home in Western society, unlike East Asians. There are plenty of politically ambitious and radical Chinese, contrary to the stereotype, but they tend to be in China. The whole Chinese revolutionary culture and tradition is quite another matter, and very foreign to the West. As for those liberal Chinese dissidents in the US, they are kind of a joke in terms of what they have actually achieved. In any case, I’ve noticed that in the US, it’s not really that socially acceptable for a Chinese-American to be too political and outspoken, the way Jews can do and get away with on a regular basis, for obvious reasons (the foreign culture combined with lack of media ownership and representation), unless one decides to become anti Chinese government, in which case support from various American political organizations and Congressmen won’t be all that hard to find. In any case, Chinese in America are but a passive minority. The Chinese with real leadership and political ambition should definitely stay in China.