danah boyd:

“I want to live in a society that is willing to critically interrogate how power is operationalized and how institutions and the rule of law function as a check to power. To me, this is an essential aspect of democracy. Unchecked power is how dictatorships emerge.”

Whistleblowing Is the New Civil Disobedience

Gady Epstein, who is the China Correspondent for The Economist has put together a large 14-page special report on the Internet in China. I strongly recommend it.

Gady was also on this week’s Sinica Podcast talking about this special report, which I also strongly recommend: Gady Epstein on The Internet (in China)

Special report: China and the internet

China’s internet: A giant cage
The internet was expected to help democratise China. Instead, it has enabled the authoritarian state to get a firmer grip, says Gady Epstein. But for how long?

The machinery of control: Cat and mouse
How China makes sure its internet abides by the rules

Microblogs: Small beginnings
Microblogs are a potentially powerful force for change, but they have to tread carefully

The Great Firewall: The art of concealment
Chinese screening of online material from abroad is becoming ever more sophisticated

E-commerce: Ours, all ours
A wealth of internet businesses with Chinese characteristics

Cyber-hacking: Masters of the cyber-universe
China’s state-sponsored hackers are ubiquitous—and totally unabashed

Internet controls in other countries: To each their own
China’s model for controlling the internet is being adopted elsewhere

Assessing the effects: A curse disguised as a blessing?
The internet may be delaying the radical changes China needs

Shutting down the internet: Thou shalt not kill
Turning off the entire internet is a nuclear option best not exercised

I just heard the piece on the documentary, Seeking Asian Female, which was excerpted on This American Life as well as the Snap Judgement radio show (audio here).

Fascinating look at “yellow fever” by documentary film-maker, Debbie Lum, who is an Asian female herself (married to a non-Asian, she admits.) The part of me that is Japanese-American certainly has seen a lot of non-Asian Americans who are unusually fascinated with Asians of the opposite sex.

However, traveling a lot across Asia for many years, what I see is that people all over the world are fascinated by the ‘other’, by the ‘exotic’. This is not limited to West vs. East. It happens in Asia between Asians. And because almost everyone in Asia is Asian, the structures (Caucasian/Asian) set up by the documentary don’t fit in Asia.

I think it’s really valuable that this documentary was made (I haven’t even seen it yet!) because I think it will generate discussion about our fascination for the ‘other.’

Good interview with DHH at This Week in Startups.

After reading what changes will occur early next year with Instagram due to the new terms of service, What Instagram’s New Terms of Service Mean for You, I decided to delete my account. I was not a big Instagram user and frankly I can get the same functionality I want with Flickr, especially now that Flickr has new mobile apps.

Abuse my privacy and I’ll delete my account. Not only that, I will also promote leaving that service to everyone in my network and social circle. The fact that I’m promoting my deletion of my own Instagram account on Facebook itself is icing on the cake.

Treat your users as you would want to be treated.