Should I be Worried about the Chinese Government

The Eye in the Logo Means they are Watching You!

It looks like I better be careful. They might be getting ready to shut me down.  It is happening all over China.  Rules took effect recently that create a censorship point system in order to curtail any offensive content on social media sites in China.  Now, we are not talking about Facebook and Twitter.  Both are banned in China.  In addition, the government has and utilizes the power to shut down internet access, cell phone access and satellite TV access anytime it sees fit.  For example, the government decided that the anniversary of the terrible earthquake that happened a few year ago, but be honored by not allowing English channels to broadcast for several days.

China provides it’s citizens their own social media networks.  One of the most popular mini blog sites, which is similar to Twitter is Sina Weibo.   And over 300 million users post and comment on Weibo every day.

Each Weibo user receives a user contract with a starting score of 80 points.  For every bit of content posted your score can go up or down depending on the nature of your content.  Over 100 points, you are golden.  Drop below 60, you are in trouble.  Loose all your points, no more access for you.

Who decideds who stays and goes?  It has everything to do with the content.

Censorship Central

I image a room like this with a 1,00o computer terminals and shifts working all day and night to rid the internet of objectionable content.  It probably feels like a sales call center.  These men and women probably have quotas and get bonuses for banning people from Weibo.  Ban a user, ring a bell and you get a little extra in your check that week.

This article got me thinking.  If I was a Weibo user, how would my current blog content fair.  According to the article, my post must avoid the following:

Offensive Content:  Serving McDonald Big Macs at a Appreciation Party.  That offended me.

Content that spread rumors: Is it a rumor, if it is true? I am sorry, but Crazy stuff happens in China.

Content that called for a protest:  I thought is was my duty to protest against people taking off their clothes at a public resort pool.   Especially if that person is my employee.  There were children present.

Content that promotes cults or supersitions:  Chinaism, is not a cult, it is a way of life.

And finally, content that impunges the Chinese honor:  Well hell, that is my whole blog.

I have written a lot of post on China.   And as you can see, I have violated a few of these rules myself. But, since I have an app that makes my computer looks like it is in California and I don’t believe those crime shows that show the cops can pinpoint a persons location from their IP address, I think I am safe for now.

My questions to you is, do you stand behind your blog content?  What if you were threaten to either remove objectionable content or be shut down completely? Would you risk death to defend your blog material? (I know, a bit extreme.  The worst I might fair is deportation or a Chinese prison)

Btw, I have had the most technical difficulties in writing this post then any other.  They might be on to me already.

Source:  NY Times Article – China Cracks Down on it’s Cagey Web Critics

Let Me Tell You Why I’m Exhausted

Top 5 Reasons why after the week I had, I am Exhausted:  

  1. I am exhausted because for the first time in my life I wrote over 20,000 words of pure unadulterated creative fiction from my mind in 7 days.
  2. I am exhausted because instead of going to sleep at a decent hour, every night this week, I stayed up late to write.
  3. I am exhausted because in order to keep up with my peeps and tweeps, I have to communicate on “social media” at some ungodly hours.
  4. I am exhausted because my mind is constantly racing about what I am going to write about for the next 20,000 words of pure unadulterated creative fiction in the next 7 days.
  5. But, really, I am exhausted because one of my collegues took me to a jazz club last night And even though I was exhausted, I stayed for all 4 sets.  Whitney Houston, Anita Baker and Babyface songs with a jazz twist, I had no choice.  I had to stay.
CJW – Cigar, Jazz & Wine

And, to be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about this week. If being exhausted is the price I pay for doing what I love, then YAWN and bring it on.    

Quick Shout out to my new followers from a week ago:

1 EarthUnited
EM Castellan
Empty Coffee Cups
Anabel Mikolay
Sisi’s Blog
Hanna Pot
Elisabeth Crisp
Champagne Whisky Cigar
Life Coach Marie
Wonderful Cinema
Fu Only Knew

I will gladly continue to be exhausted for your reading pleasure.

FYI, by the time you read this, I will be asleep.  Talk to you tomorrow. I really am exhausted.

P – Population

I am always curious about the population of cities I visit.  Mainly because when I moved to China, I was fascinated and shocked about the fact that within a 150 mile radius of where I live is the entire population of the United States. Let me spell that out for you.  Within a 150 mile radius there are more than 300 million people.

That is just amazing to me.

There are 10 million people in the city of Shenzhen, where I live; 25 million in Shanghai, my favorite city in China, 19 million in Beijing and 8 million in Dongguan where I work.  In all there is a total of 1.3 billion people in China.  That is a hell of a lot of people.

So, when I heard about the population in Australia, this time I was shocked and fascinated.

There are only 22 million people in all of Australia; 22 million.  In a place that has a land mass bigger then the United States there are only 22 million people.

300 million in the US and 22 million in Australia.

The US doesn’t feel overcrowded.  At least not where I am from.  I figured that Australia would be even more spares.  Although 85% of the population live within 50 km of the coast line.  In a way it just doesn’t feel like there is a lot of people in this city.  We went to play golf today at The Australian yesterday.  A private club that was established over 130 years ago.  Even though it was raining, we were the only people at the course that day. Even in the rain, you would never find an empty golf course in China or the US for that matter.

Having dinner at any major restaurant in any major city in the world and you would need to make reservations at least a day in advance.  For some restaurants you need to make reservations weeks in advance.  We had dinner at one of the best seafood restaurants in Sydney.  It is called Manta.  There was no one at the restaurant.  We got right in.

In general, it feels like fewer people are in this city and that is a strange felling for me after living in congested Southern China.

But, there is one other population fact the I believe Australia has every other nation beat.  There are more sheep in China then people.  I am talking 4x more sheep in Australia then there are people.  If the sheep every got together and wanted to take over, they would have no problem.

Moral to this story, keep the sheep happy.

I – Itinerary

I have a pretty intense itinerary for my trip.  I always create an itinerary in order to make sure that I do everything I need to do.  I am a list maker at heart.  My day isn’t finished until I have marked everything off of my list.

Here is my itinerary:
  • Arrive and check into hotel
  • Ferry ride to Watson’s bay – Lunch fish and chips
  • Dinner – Lord Dudley’s Pub
  • Breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks (This place looks so good.)
  • Lunch and Golf at The Australian
  • Dinner w/Friends
  • Harbor Bridge Climb
  • Dinner at Rock Poll Bar & Grill
  • Breakfast and Golf At St. Michaels
  • Golf At Camden Lakes
  • Dinner at Sydney Cafe
  • All day tour of Hunter Valley Vineyards
  • Shopping & Spa
  • Leave for home

See, not to packed, right? All reservation have been made and all tickets have been purchased.

But, what if I just threw the itinerary out the window? What would happen if I went with no plan and no arrangements made?   Well, I have an idea what would happen.

Last October, with my family in town, we went to Beijing for a couple of days and once there, everyone suggested that we have to go to Xian to see the Terra Cotta soldiers.  So, I am thinking, great, absolutely.  Just catch the train and spend the day in Xian and come right back to Beijing that night.  Right?  Wrong.

It was a holiday in China that weekend and if I wanted to purchase a train ticket, I would have had to purchase it about 2 months prior.  Or, wait in this line for 4 days.  So, instead of spending the day in Xian, we spend the day in a our hotel in Beijing.  That is what happens when you fail to plan.

Creating an itinerary and following it makes for a exciting, laid back, and relaxing vacation to me.

What about you?  Do you plan your vacations or just go and see what happens?