Monthly Archives: December 2011

China’s New Awareness Of Rights, Corruption

The Chinese government is apparently taking a bit different stance these days on some of the issues facing China — and also sluffing their responsibility off onto the local governments:

(Reuters) – The senior Chinese official who helped defuse a standoff with protesting villagers has told officials to get used to citizens who are increasingly assertive about their rights and likened erring local governments to red apples with rotten cores.

Zhu Mingguo, a deputy Communist Party secretary of southern Guangdong province, last week helped broker a compromise between the government and residents of Wukan village. Ten days of protests over confiscated farmland and the death of a protest organizer drew widespread attention as a rebuff to the stability-before-all government.

Speaking to officials about Wukan and other protests, Zhu said these were not isolated flare-ups, the Guangzhou Daily, the official paper of the provincial capital, reported on Tuesday.

“In terms of society, the public’s awareness of democracy, equality and rights is constantly strengthening, and their corresponding demands are growing,” Zhu told a meeting on Monday about preserving social stability, the paper said.

“Public consciousness of rights defense is growing, and the means used to defend rights are increasingly intense,” said Zhu. “Their channels for voicing grievances are diverse, and there is a tendency for conflicts to become more intense.”

Reuters

It is interesting to certainly hear them recognizing the idea that democracy and the demands for it have increased. Standards go up — naturally, as the people become more used to a certain idea of how they would like to be treated and how they would like to live.

Perhaps this also goes up with the prominence of the internet — the idea of democracy takes root more, when the average person has access to more information and the notion of people in other parts of the nation or abroad having certain guaranteed things.

Regardless… It seems as if they are recognizing that they cannot go back to something else;  yet at the same time this is only one man within the government speaking, and who knows how possibly sincere it could be? If there actually will be some sort of progress.

But hearing a Chinese official speak in this manner is exciting.

China & Electric Cars

I am impressed with the path that it appears the Chinese will take — it is becoming more obvious that at some point we will have to at least consider a transition to the electric car (or some other alternatively powered form of transportation). I merely hope that the electric car will come at a time when we have not totally wasted a lot of resources or massacred the landscape.

Some intriguing facts came up to be highlighted:

But it would be shortsighted to count out China’s electric car efforts just yet. Only a few months ago Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called for Beijing to create a new “road map” for energy-saving vehicles.

Unlike in other nations, where automakers are leading the push for electric vehicles, in China the effort is being led largely by one of the country’s most powerful industries — the state-run electric companies that operate the national power grid. With China expected to surpass the United States in the number of all vehicles on the road by as early as 2020, the government-run utilities see it as their job to provide an alternative to imported oil as a way to power several hundred million cars, trucks and buses.

This month in this sprawling southern industrial city, for example, the giant China Southern Power Grid company opened a sales and service center for electric cars.

The new three-story building, resembling a giant lizard egg of lime-green glass, is a showcase for technology supplied by Better Place, a start-up based in Palo Alto, Calif. Under the Better Place business model, customers do not recharge their electric cars but instead periodically stop at an electric filling station to swap their nearly depleted batteries for freshly charged ones.

And just because there are no customers kicking the tires now doesn’t mean China Southern Grid, as it is commonly known, isn’t in the electric-vehicle game for the long haul. The power company and Better Place are in talks to sell electric cars to the Guangzhou municipal government and to taxi fleets, according to Shai Agassi, Better Place’s founder and chief executive.

New York Times

It is good that they are looking towards taxi companies and public transportation as these vehicles are the ones driven most into the ground and furthermore represent people perceiving them as viable;  if they get a smooth ride in a taxi powered by electricity it will help take away what lingering skepticism may exist that these are not great vehicles for them to ride.

PC Brigade Debating Humanitarian Law & Online Games

On the eve of a fun, Battlefield Online party, I woke up and saw the most ridiculous thing I possibly could imagine. Apparently, the PC Brigade no longer desires to distinguish between ‘game’ and ‘real life,’ between ‘fiction’ and ‘reality.’ Everyone loves pointing fingers at the moral conservatives as being overbearing in some way, but talk about killing fun? Conservatives just don’t want schools to give your kids condoms and don’t want to legally sanction gay marriage…

These guys want to ban violent video games and investigate it as a violation of international humanitarian law. LOL?

Earlier this year, game maker Activision counted up that 62 billion people had been ‘killed’ virtually in online games of Call of Duty: Black Ops – including 242 million stabbed to death at close range.

That’s just one title among hundreds of modern war games – most of which lack any kind of ‘surrender’ button bar switching the machine off.

Now, a committee of the Red Cross is debating if gamers might be violating the International Humanitarian Law as they slaughter each other online.

Daily Mail  — thanks Zagadka on PoliticsForum.org for introducing me to this article.

I would like to get these guys on a map on Battlefield Online and shoot them with my digital gun 100 times, and they can watch their digital character die over and over again… And realize… It’s quite boring if you suck and have no chance, and isn’t any outrage.