My name is Ale Fernandez. I live in Barcelona, Spain and I'm Chilean and Italian.
I am a web developer, artist and technical researcher.
I've lived in Scotland, Italy, Spain and England and career-wise I am interested in distributed systems and their applications to improvised performance and ecology.

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1/27/2006

Freedom and Responsibility - a song for google.cn

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/26/1829240
http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/24/okay_do_be_evil_goog.html

A lot of talk around the internet about the censorship problem. A few thoughts: It just occurred to me that from a buddhist point of view, no-one can rightly say "We are not evil" - like a lot of these new copyleftish companies are doing. No one is intrinsically good and unable to do something bad. We all have all those things. But saying "do no evil" is a bit of a christian or at least western block in morality - as if evil was something you were always conscious of. We are living under a lot of different prejudices at any one time: a colleague of mine who grew up under apartheid in south africa never knew that it was wrong until she visited the UK and found people mixing between races.

Our weapon against this is taking responsibility and confronting these prejudices when they become apparent, but crucially making sure they can be apparent. Also, value systems in buddhism are dictated from above, and no-one but yourself can say if you are evil or not. So I'd like to see Google blog about it's feelings - I mean the employees, the people who took this decision, who agree, who don't. Let's see some of their humanity emerge. And I'd like to see Chinese people deal with their society in their own ways. It could be that they find completely different things wrong with their country - who are we to say...

1 in every 4 people though are Chinese, and I'm a living example of that - my grandfather was supposedly a castaway chinese orphan. My dad visited Beijing once and loved it. I've adopted a religion which would never be what it is if it hadn't passed through and gained the Chinese wisdom of Tien-Tai Buddhism and their view of the sutras.

So here's a song, based on the idea that the Tienanmen protest students apparently sang this in the last days in the square. Which is something that's not reported by western media - now who's censoring! It's a bit illegal as it's done from samples of L'Internazionale which I found on a quick search. Please if you link to it, use the words freedom, mandarin, responsibility, students, anything that won't be censored by google.cn. I also want to make a T-Shirt with the tank man on it, with simple words in Chinese that can't be avoided... Let's make it impossible for google to censor everything, impossible for China not to confront it's past as Chile has had to do with the evident international understanding that Pinochet is a criminal and what happened during his rule is something that can't be pushed under the carpet. But I hope they will confront it their own way, and grow into an internationally respected yet unique country.

Google Karma

2 comments:

Green Chameleon said...

A great post, it has touched me very much. I have also posted anout the Google censor affair on my blog http://greenchameleon.blogspot.com/

Green Chameleon said...

P.s. Thank you for commenting on my blog. I really liked your post and I even have put a link to it in comment to another blog. Keep blogging! I think it's matter of our civil cence to show to the Western people what totalitarianism is!

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