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Google vs. China
February 25, 2010 6:19 PM   Subscribe

The charges and retaliations seem reminiscent of so much cold war bluster, and indeed this encounter could be the first great clash of the 21st century’s two emergent superpowers—Google and China.
posted by Joe Beese (30 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Guys, we need to start a Phyle.
posted by The Whelk at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


From each according to his data; to each according to his queries.
posted by DU at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


They forgot 4chan. China kinda got off easy from those shenanigans with Google. Now try pissing off 4chan.
posted by qvantamon at 6:28 PM on February 25, 2010


Google is a superpower? The company has just 15,000 employees. GE for example is a superpower, and with it's activities in everything from real estate to capital markets to nuclear power, should be considered way more of an influencer than Google is.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:28 PM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Google?!? How many divisions does it have?
posted by meehawl at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


4Chan needs to invade a small country and set up an Independent Republic Of Lulz. Just so we can contain and monitor them.
posted by The Whelk at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2010


GE for example is a superpower, and with it's activities in everything from real estate to capital markets to nuclear power

Not to mention military development and a propaganda arm.
posted by DU at 6:30 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


4chan is decentralized and based on ideology. They cannot be contained and monitored, just like Al Qaeda.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:44 PM on February 25, 2010


Fifty years from now 4chan will be a floating nation of roped together barges and boats. I thought this was a given.
posted by mannequito at 6:48 PM on February 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


A formation of boats shaped like a swastika, you mean.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:51 PM on February 25, 2010


The description of a corporation as a "superpower" is way, WAY too freakin' dystopian cyberpunk for me. That future was cool to imagine but I don't want to live in it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:58 PM on February 25, 2010


Unless I finally get my Ono-Sendai cyberdeck directly hooked up to my skull. That would be pretty sweet.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2010


Gawd, Google is the world crusader for truth, justice, and the American way now? I guess I must be a contrarian, because I think it was just last week I was trying to insist that people in one thread were being too skeptical of Google, and here now I feel like this is putting wayyy too much faith in them. I think it's a good company and I don't feel that it has grabbed too much power, as some people do, but it seems a little over-the-top to start expecting them to send in hackers to bust through the firewalls of repressive governments. Jebus.
posted by Xezlec at 7:01 PM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, Xezlec, you tread the path of the rational, well-considered opinion. No faves will come of it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:09 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fifty years from now 4chan will be a floating nation of roped together barges and boats. I thought this was a given.

Perhaps the trash pile at the Pacific gyre would be suitable?

(FF doesn't know the word gyre, huh.)
posted by Talanvor at 7:19 PM on February 25, 2010


If it's a war, it looks to me like Google is already losing the first few skirmishes. It hasn't stopped censoring results, instead they are back just "discussing" the issue of uncensored search results with China, saying that they want to find another way out. China denies having anything to do with any hacking, of course. Meanwhile, the Chinese have put in place a huge barrier to private internet development by requiring in-person registration, with an ID, to register a domain name.

China is being unusually assertive globally right now, on everything from arms sales to Taiwan to Obama meeting the Dalai Lama. They have started selling off U.S. bonds in what some interpret as a long-feared political move (although others are skeptical of the "China is our banker, don't upset them" idea in general). The Chinese just don't seem likely to choose to back down on the Google matter right now.

Until Google actually pulls out of China because the Chinese government won't allow uncensored results, I remain kind of skeptical.
posted by gemmy at 7:21 PM on February 25, 2010


The Ono-Sendai 7 state of the art cyberspace deck used 'trodes in a kind of tiara for communication. No direct links in the skull necessary to jack. Even hardcore cowboys didn't go gargoyle.
posted by Babblesort at 7:32 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


4Chan is intersting cause it's both straight out of a 80s cypberpunk novel and also far, far stranger than they could have expected. A group of social misfits using the internet as a tool for random pranks and political action and absurdist events just cause they can? No way that would get past an editor. Things in fiction have to make sense.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on February 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


which is to say, under the webs, the memes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


uhhh... google! I side with google, robot overlords! Hail, mighty google, may it crush all those who would stand against it. My gmail account has been faithfully tended. I await my reward!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:04 PM on February 25, 2010


The Whelk: Things in fiction have to make sense

Fiction has to be realistic. Reality suffers no such strictures.
posted by Kattullus at 9:43 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Calling Google a superpower is a little too close to Jennifer Government for me...
posted by CarlRossi at 11:02 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Chinese have put in place a huge barrier to private internet development by requiring in-person registration, with an ID, to register a domain name.
That's not going to stop anyone from registering non .cn domain names.
China is being unusually assertive globally right now, on everything from arms sales to Taiwan to Obama meeting the Dalai Lama. They have started selling off U.S. bonds in what some interpret as a long-feared political move
Oh Jesus Christ. People bitch about the Chinese "pegging" their currency on the one hand and complain about them buying a bunch of bonds on the other. It's schizophrenic. China's selling their bonds won't have much of an impact on our interest rates, and on top of that, the fact that they're hording dollars is propping up the dollar and causing deflation.

---

However, google looks completely ridiculous here. They stomped their feet and threw a tantrum, and they've completely failed to follow up with anything. They're still in china, still censoring results. And there's no real evidence that the government specifically ordered the hacking, although it's likely people involved with the government at some level were involved.
4Chan is intersting cause it's both straight out of a 80s cypberpunk novel and also far, far stranger than they could have expected. A group of social misfits using the internet as a tool for random pranks and political action and absurdist events just cause they can? No way that would get past an editor. Things in fiction have to make sense.
Uh, I know what you're trying to say, but obviously fiction writers can put whatever they want in their books, and editors just look for typos and grammatical errors in general. Also look at the beginning of neuromancer where the "Panther Moderns" gang create the illusion of an attack on Sense/Net.

I also don't think 4chan is really all that interesting.
posted by delmoi at 1:15 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fiction has to be realistic. Reality suffers no such strictures.

Reality is realistic by definition. The problem is that what editors consider to be realistic, isn't.

I also don't think 4chan is really all that interesting.

There are sections of 4chan that aren't insane. /b/ tends to get all the attention, but the /tg/ forum is rather nice I hear. (That stands for "Traditional Games." Not whatever else you might think it stands for.)
posted by JHarris at 3:10 AM on February 26, 2010


delmoi: editors just look for typos and grammatical errors in general

You're thinking copy-editors. For more, here's an old thread that derailed into a discussion about editors.
posted by Kattullus at 5:26 AM on February 26, 2010


They stomped their feet and threw a tantrum, and they've completely failed to follow up with anything.

I'm not sure the kerfuffle is over yet, so I wouldn't count on one particular outcome till all the facts are in.
posted by rosswald at 1:47 PM on February 26, 2010


Well, the point is that the "Editors would never let you put something like 4chan in a sci-fi book because it's too unrealistic" is, itself, unrealistic.
posted by delmoi at 7:13 PM on February 26, 2010


lol butts.
posted by The Whelk at 7:14 PM on February 26, 2010


A single corporation, even GE or Halliburton could be powerful. But my money for super power is on the old boys club who sits on multiple boards of various multi-nationals. These guys have influence in multiple governments and they can move assets in seemingly unconnected organizations in order to achieve whatever their goal is. Or they can go golfing with their buddy and ask him to help out.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:42 AM on February 27, 2010




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