Posted On: Monday - April 3rd 2023 10:42AM MST
In Topics:   Internets  Websites  China
Peak Stupidity has strayed from our mission lately, wading through the weeds of geekland. This has involved the recent posts about the growth of various websites and the internet itself (at least the www portion), as per Graphical history of the most visited web sites and It's all page views nowaday. I wrote those 2 to expand on some thoughts in the curmudgeonry post Peak Search Results. No, the internet is not stupid. Is it making people stupid? Yes. So, we're not totally off mission here, and getting back to it.
In the comment thread under the post linked-to above, Mr. Hail brought up a few questions about the access to American (foreign, in general, I guess) websites in China. I can vouch only from 2017 and back a decade, but I will start with a quick discussion of the situation from '07-'09.
It was 3 in the morning in Manchuria, meaning I was wide awake. China is about half a day off from America, time-wise, depending on your time zone and daylight/standard time. The young lady was slumped over the counter asleep. I had to nudge her to get service. Doubting correctly that a White guy would know any Mandarin, the girl held up 2 figures, and we both understood for an hour. Whoa, whoa, wait, it's not THAT kind of story and Peak Stupidity is not THAT kind of site! This was an internet cafe, and she meant 2 元 - equivalent to 30¢*, for an hour on-line.
I could get to any site I wanted to, such as my yahoo mail accounts and my favorite political blogs at the time - The American Spectator, VDare, Gun Owners of America, etc.
This was anonymous too. I'd just handed the girl coins or bills for the 2 . Flash forward only 2 years, and these same places wanted to see an ID, which they took and made a copy of. That means for me, a driver's license that nobody in '09 would know what to to with. For Chinese people, that meant one's National ID Card - motto: Don't leave home without it.
I realized that I've already discussed this to a lesser extent in Dashed high-hopes for China - Part 2. (See also Part 1.) Let me get to Mr. Hail's comment.
The year 2017 was the last time I was in China. The connection on this regular old desktop computer was not great, but I spent time going to my decade-later normal websites. yahoo.com (for email): No problem. gunowners.org: No problem. vdare.com: No problem. unz.com: No problem. google.com to search for peakstupidity.com (but of course!) and write posts (didn't have the commenters then): No problem. youtube.com: Bzzzzzt!! That means embedded videos and all else too. One cannot view youtube videos in China.** This was either before bitchute and rumble or at least before this blogger had heard of them. I would guess they are blocked too.
Actually, I don't remember if any message came to the browser, but the browser window or frame was blank. This was a shame too, as I wanted to share some favorite music of mine with a guy there, while in the country and from back at home. Also, as I noted, he could have read Peak Stupidity, but without the videos, you can't get the point of 1/3 the posts.
Here's my take on the whole deal there. The CCP can control Chinese content from China. It can probably control Chinese content from the rest of the world pretty well. These people, though, even with some real English ploficiency, are not going to understand the snarky humor, and subtle and even overt points that Steve Sailer makes. It's beyond them. Why not block Gun Owners due to "the People don't have the guns.", then? Maybe they figure that most Chinese people can't read English, so it's not worth the trouble to go through all these sites.
Ironically, I've been on occasional hotel lobby computers that had certain pages of Steve Sailer's and other Unz Review writers blocked. It was weird, as one blog post of Sailer's, for example, would be OK, but another not, and I didn't see the point. Someone "called" them in? Yet in China, I could go all over the site. Now, had I posted not so nice remarks about Winnie the Pooh-for-life or the CCP FROM China, who knows?
* It still is, approximately, as the government pegs the Yuan to the Dollar.
** That is, unless it's changed since '17. Maybe the CCP has new censorship software that can handle youtube now..