Junior high students “visit” their enemy’s home

Taiwan news channels are all talking about this video, while I really think it is nothing serious. When we were young, we all did something stupid.

Well, I am going to present Global Voices and myself tomorrow in TEDxTaipei’s mini-ted talks. This is really an honor to me to be able to share what I do, but making the slides troubles me a lot.

I only got 18 minutes and since I have talked about GV in so many different events and conferences and workshops….I am actually a little bit bored. I can of course talk more, but I want to add some differences to my presentation. And that, worries me.

Maybe no one really expect my presentation at all. But it would be so bad if I screw it up.

Who should I thank to?My parents? My pets? Or my 3-year-old laptop?

Just kidding. But I really make myself on the frontpage of Global Voices! This is no kidding.

Read it and give me feedbacks if you have any.

This is surely the best New Year gift I have ever got.

Newsweek got an article on China’s young Internet gurus. The article suggests that China young Internet users are a different base compared with U.S.

I won’t say this article is bad or what,but I don’t see reliable data and persuasive reason in it. It is just not a proper article that should appear on a magazine like Newsweek.

As for the article, I think the key point is the ratio between mobile phone users and PC users and the order of introduction. Similar situation happens in Philippine, where people learn to use mobile phone and log onto internet before accessing to desktop PC. Mobile phones are cheaper, more private, more personal, and multiple usages of mobile phone have been developed to fulfill users’ needs even with low connection speed.

Another simple reason that Chinese users use more IM than social networks like facebook is merely because of the order of introduction. The article does not point out that IM has cultivated for a much longer time than new social network sites. So simple comparison between China and US is just not get the point.

Here is a blog post written in Chinese by a friend of mine focus on micro-blogging. no English version yet.
Here is another post by a new media researcher and blogger on twitter. still no English version.

Here is an interesting article on Gurdian which you might have read. This article is translated into Chinese and many readers seems to feel the same.

Image:童玩節.png

12 years, since 1996, Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival(zh) has successfully played the role of train to pull the touring industry of Yilan county, integrated local community, and hence become the model of all the other burgeoning and upcoming cultural festivals held at every city, every county and every town. However, you, no matter you are a Taiwanese or a foreigner, an adult or a child, will not be able to attend next years’ folklore and folkgame festival at Yilan any longer because this year’s festival is going to be the last.

The well-known folklore and folkgame festival witnesses a different path of development took by Yilan citizens from the other areas in Taiwan through several different leadership of different political parties, many Yilan citizens were also proud of having the festival doing so well. But why such a once brilliant model of local activity must end this year? The head commissioner of Yilan County Lu Guo Hwa who announce this message “in a sudden” blamed the fatality of the festival to “the change of time and space contexts and the flux of price index which affect people’s visiting willingness, and has seriously damaged the financial base of holding another folklore and folkgame festival”(zh;report from UDN). And, without receiving any financial support(zh; report from UDN) from central government, the head commissioner is forced to make this decision with great sorrow. While he also said with full confidence that a new summer project for Yilan will be planned as a replacement of folklore and folkgame festival before the end of September, and he also promised the scale of it will be as great as any festivals in last 12 years–it does not sound like a very serious promise though.

Volare, who has been a working crew of the festival, tells us the hidden agenda and contradiction behind the curtain:

自從去年12月選舉換大大老闆,今年2月換大老闆以來,整個工作團隊就一直處在double低氣壓狀態;老闆們想新人新氣象,利 用2006 ICFFF替自己增添功績,可是又沒有提出啥麼具體的方案,而我們這些第一線的工作人員所做的分析,卻也不入他們的眼;他們一個指示下來就是要辦雙園區 51天,也不管籌畫時間夠不夠,是否有足夠資金這樣辦理,我們就是得硬幹。再加上大大老闆一心認為ICFFF是前人功績,他的累贅,根本無心打理這一活 動…

After last December’s election, we have a new big big boss, then this February we have a new big boss, and the whole crew members are under double depression since then; bosses like to use new faces and want to create good records for themselves with the 2006 ICFFF while delivering no concrete plan. The analysis made by us, who stand on the frontline, can never get their attention. They simply ordered a 51 days, 2 playgrounds of festival without caring about the lack of time to prepare, the lack of money to manage–we just had to do it! Furthermore, our big big boss always thinks of the ICFFF a record made by former head commissioners and a dragging dead weight on his shoulder, so actually he paid no enthusiasm on this activity…

Lack of Budget is the one and maybe the most important factor that stifles the festival, but the meaning of festival cannot be tagged by a single price, especially to most Yilan citizens and thousands and thousands of tourists who once enjoyed in the festival. In fact, the host has been using the most economic and efficient way running the festival. Lee Jin Huei, the former chief executive of the festival, explained the tight squeeze of holding the festival last year

其他縣市經常羨慕宜蘭可以用這麼優惠的條件邀請到這麼多優秀的表演團隊,可是一聽到要自己連繫這麼多國際事務、又不能委託經紀公司代辦就紛紛打退堂鼓。

Many other cities and counties envied that Yilan could successfully invite so many awesome groups of performers with such inexpensive offerings, but when they heard that we had to deal with such huge amount of international affairs without having an outside agency to take charge on behalf of us, they just retreated.

She attributed the success of ICFFF to the perfect timing, great place, and well-working crew and performers; however, what followed the success are poor imitation and the penny pincher attitude of the local government which implanted its fatality. 

Since Commissioner Lu announced the end of this 12-year-old model activity before entering any discussion with any local tourism business runners, the opposite political figures show their disapproving against his hurried and brash decision and their sorrow right away. Just as expected, the topic of an once brilliant activity grew by DPP local head commissioners killed by new KMT head commissioner is a even more brilliant excuse for a coming political fight, which could merely blurred the focus of issues and the untimely future of ICFFF. Many Yilan citizen bloggers soon speak out their mind, and some of them are ready to go further–starting cosign for the continuity of ICFFF and the recall of the head commissioner!

The Short-hair Girl in the Ivory Tower(zh)heard the news and just felt pleased and sorrow at the same time. She thinks that the ICFFF has lost Yilan’s smell, and it’s time to end. She hopes that in the future the tourists to Yilan would cherish her hometown much more instead of being visitors for only a couple of days. Little Rain Frog does not agree with the Officials that

官方竟然將「特色被模仿」當作人潮流失的理由,可見他們根本不瞭解,特色需要不斷的創新,環境需要不斷的維護,稍微鬆懈,「品質」就沒了。

It’s unbelievable that the officials uses 「specialty been imitated」as a reason people don’t visit anymore. From the stupid reason we can see that they don’t understand the specialty needs to be recreated and the environment needs constant maintain. A bit of loose will cost all the quality.

On the Official blog of ICFFF(zh), kkman just started the 「I JUST WANT ICFFF」cosign(zh). And Mark, a geek with political sensitive even began the online campaign to recall Commissioner Lu(zh). 

當早上聽到宜蘭縣長呂國華宣佈停辦『宜蘭國際童玩節』,我只有一個單純的想法,這是宜蘭人自己造的孽,必須宜蘭人自己來解決…辦的不好,可以改進。但是停辦,就再也沒有機會。

When I woke up with the news that the Commissioner Lu had announce that this year’s ICFFF to be the last ICFFF, I had only one simple thought: it’s our own failure and we shall figure it out on our own…unsatisfying activity can be approved, but once you end it, there is no more chance.

Mark’s idea is soon followed by many. Jas as an Yilan citizen, a designer who cares about public affairs and well-known blogger thinks that the commissioner was just covering his lack of ability by ending the ICFFF:

我們甚至看不到絲毫企圖解決問題的積極方案,這連帶也讓人懷疑縣府對問題評估的正確性…缺乏正向挑戰問題勇氣與作為的人,我們確實應該質疑他們察覺問題、解決問題的能力

We can’t even see any positive plans coming out to solve the problems, which make me curious about how correct it is when the gov. measured the obstacles…A man without the gut to challenge the problems in the face and do something to them, well, we should be suspicious on their ability to find out what is wrong and what should be done.

Jas made two beautiful stickers for bloggers within his short lunch break time.

Image:Recall lu.png Image:Save icfff.png

在許多的網路活動中扮演重要中樞角色的HEMiDEMi共享書籤網站上,網友也熱鬧地討論起Mark這次發起的網路串連罷免,同時將Mark的部落格文章推上了首頁排名第一的位置。brahman提出一個可能的解決辦法

不知道國際童玩節有沒有商標專利? 如果宜蘭基於財政考量,不想續辦,那麼看看其他縣市有沒有興趣要接手的,用一筆象徵性的價格把整套商標及活動流程買過來,也許這是個三贏的辦法?

Rainlan says in HEMiDEMi’s discussion(zh):

回憶、檢視一下呂國華競選縣長時的承諾吧 「…闢建亞洲最大的台灣風味小吃城,發展集觀光、美食、特產行銷及精緻工藝品販售的台灣風味美食廣場,以及推動海洋之星計畫,如籌建海岸、海面及海底 的奇景觀光遊樂區、海洋文化館、藍色走廊、賞鯨之旅…等具體競選牛肉」 哪一項已經做到或規劃了?!小吃城、美食廣場在哪裡?上個月,縣府規劃的購物網站也面臨關站的命運,哪來推廣「特產行銷與精緻工藝品販售」啊!

Let’s review his election campaign. Here are his promises: “To build the largest Taiwanese local cuisine market in Asia. To promote tourism, delicious foods and handicrafts to the world. To contruct the ‘Ocean Star” project, including recreational area at coastal region, oceanic culture museum, whale-watching tour, etcs.” Where are those projects now? Has he done anything? The cuisine-shopping website designed by local government was closed last month. Where are those promotion and marketing now?

munch shares his criticism(zh):

同質性高,不是各地縣市節慶、私人樂園的能力大增,而是童玩節本身降格以求,放棄冬山河、乃至蘭陽平原的文化厚度,吸引迷戀後山 的朝聖客,反而淪落到拿著冬山河水清涼一夏的肉博戰,進入同質性高的商業戰場。 如果,只是多一個戲水場所,那麼童玩節再見吧!

The reason for the “similarity” is not because the other local festivals and private wonderlands are getting much excel in their business, but because the ICFFF degraded itself and turned its back on the cultural thickness grown by Dong Shan River and the LanYan Plan, and the pilgrims who are enchanted by 後山. Instead it fell low to become a flesh battle titled with Cool Summer using the water of Don Shan River, therefore into the business battlefield with no difference between each competitor. If ICFFF represents nothing but one more place for dabblers, then let’s just say goodbye to it!

Now we’ll just wait and see whether these online campaigns are going to bring a second life to ICFFF or just become what ICFFF has became: a dying activity. However, we hope that democracy runs on the rail, and we also hope that Internet can be a powerful tool to push democracy forward and let politicians hear citizen’s voice. Just as Jas say(zh):

我們是鄉民,鄉民只知道貼貼紙話嘴炮,鄉民只知道童玩節給我們帶來的樂趣,鄉民只知道你不會做事就下台換人吧。

We are mobs, we mobs can only put on stickers and shout out lod online, we mobs only know the happiness ICFFF once brought to us, we mobs only know that if you are incapable then you shall be replaced.

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Where is Armenia?

It’s a very typical and even traditional theme in journalism: someone, usually a renounced professor or a scholar, claiming that our college students are getting worse in their attitude and narrower in their world vision. And then, a reporter catches a few sentences and emphasize on certain keywords in them to show the finger-pointing poses against ignorant new era young people. Finally, young people read this report, and flame on.

This time, another professor plays this role as the bomb-igniter by saying that “even the best and smartest college students don’t understand the world outside Taiwan”, “They don’t even know where Armenia is.”

Armenia! Wow! In fact I am quite sure that not just this far central Asia country is an unknown object to most Taiwanese college students, but also most scholars and politicians and journalists in Taiwan.

I am not saying that because most people don’t know about Armenia so that Armenia is a country of no relevance or it is O.K. to have no knowledge of the rest of the world (besides Hollywood…).

But there are always new ways and different angles to taste the world.  World vision is nothing concrete or stubborn, but fluid and often changing, so is Armenia.

Armenia is not a historical or geographical term; it is a land inhabited by interesting people, a home to many, a member of the global village.

So please take a look of this page of Armenia on Global Voices. You will see the live Armenia.

Extended reading in Chinese Lingua
Global Voices 全球之聲 » 亞美尼亞

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CIMG5053

Oh my god! I was tagged by Max! Which means I am going to tell you another three things you don’t know about me.

What? Another 3? Well, yes, the original meme asks a blogger to tell their readers 8 facts they don’t know about the blogger, however, I had been tagged and enjoyed this meme (or a very similar one) 2 years ago, and had honestly told my readers 5 facts or 5 weird habbits that I bear! Read this post on my main Chinese blog.

SO, I am going to translate 5 plus 3 new things you don’t know about me this time! Watch!(am I being to enjoying? ha~)

1. I make turns, a lot of turns, when riding on my motorbike, without concern and without noticing the fact that I am a complete road idiot. I always feel confident that I am riding on the correct way and the correct direction while most of the time I fail.

2. If not with special conditions, I wear slippers everywhere outside the house.(and even with special conditions, I still do.)

3. I use to speak in English….to non-human beings…such like my dogs, my cats, my turtles….

4. I can’t sit down carefreely and have a cup of tea. As long as I am holding a cup of anything, I will drink it over right away.

5. Besides exercising, going to school, having date with my girlfriend, I don’t really go out, and I don’t ask my firends to go out either.

Above are the 5 facts that I had told my Chinese reader 2 years ago. What follow are 3 other new facts of me you are about to realize.

6. I can operate a bulldozer.

7. I won a fon router last year, but I never open the case.

8. I don’t watch sports games on TV, because each time I watch, the team or the athlete that I support will lose, really!

Alright, I finished my job and it’s my turn to tag! Come on, answer me…in English! (I know you all have English blogs)

1. Leonard

2. abstract (Tina)

3. How

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ps. Wow! I haven’t update this blog for almost 6 months!

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Below is the edited version published on Global Voices, you can also read this unedited wiki beta version here
————————————————————

The two terms “Taiwan” and “Republic of China” ( R.O.C.) has been intertwined together for the last decades. However, after several elections, with the switch in ruling parties from the pro- Chinese- unification party KMT to the pro- Taiwan- independence party DPP, these two terms are now at the focus of political controversy.

With its pro-Taiwan-independence tendency, the ruling party DPP has been promoting the “Taiwan identity”. For example, the authority has taken actions in modifying the high school history texbooks, in particular sections related Taiwan’s relationship to China and Japan. Another action is the removal of bronze statues of Chiang Kai-Shek, Taiwanese ex-president from 1950 to 1975 who viewed by many Taiwanese as a dictator. Name-rectification is a recent project. The so-called “name-rectification” means governmental organizations and institutions officially change their names from Chung-Kuo (China, 中國) or Chung-Hwa (the Chinese nation, 中華) to Taiwan (台灣). For instance, ChungHwa Post Co., the nation’s postal service, has just switched its name to Taiwan Post Co., and Chinese Petroleum Corp., the largest oil refinery, has its new name as CPC Crop., Taiwan.

There are varied opinions among Taiwanese bloggers: timing and the motive of the authority to promote the name-rectification project is in question and has attracted heavy criticism. Although some support the name-rectification, the legitimacy of the means to approve the name-rectification is still under debate.

Supporters claim that the name-rectification contributes to commercial benefits. Mark says:

請注意,重點是:然而帶有「中華」、「中國」商標的台灣申請人,迄今未曾有核准案例,即使該商標已長久使用而具有顯著性者仍無法獲得註冊。 所以,該不該正名,從商業利益角度,當然應該正名。

The point is that no trademark registration with Chung-Hwa or Chung-Kao applied by Taiwanese applicants has been approved so far, albeit the trademark has been used for a long time. Therefore, for business consideration, of course, the name-change is a right thing should have been done.

However, others point out that name-rectification of state-run firms might cause inconvenience and unnecessary costs. John writes:

我真的很不想讓媒體牽著鼻子走,身為一個小老百姓,比較關心的才不是那些抗爭事件吧!而是想知道這些改名的預算,究竟是從 那裡跑出來的?如果去年就已經編列,那表示這件事早就規劃好了,為什麼大家現在才在抗爭?如果沒有編列,是不是又偷挪用老百姓繳的錢來做這些沒有意義的事 了?除此之外,我也很關心,究竟這些國營事業改名之後,我們也必需跟著做那些更動?例如,郵局的金融卡要怎麼重發?還是可以繼續沿用?和中油有關的信用卡 還可以繼續使用嗎?

Media always tell audiences what to think about an issue! I, one of the masses, do not really care about protests against name-rectification. I do rather doubt that where comes budget for name changes. If these state-run firms have already budgeted for name changes, it implies that the action has been well-planned, then how come these demonstrations appear so late? If they did not budget for name changes, does it mean that they secretly misappropriate taxes we citizens paid to do unmeaningful things? Besides, I am wondering whether we have to extra work to follow through the name switching. For instance, If I have a bank card issue by ChungHwa Post Co, will I have a replacement after the name change to Taiwan Post Co.? Or Will I just keep using the old one? How about credit cards in association with Chinese Petroleum Corp.?

Animation Notebook said,

民進黨認為只要把跟中國、中華有關的名字改成台灣就是『對』,但這基本上就很有問題,首先,把中國換成台灣沒有任何民意基 礎,請問民進黨有徵詢過所有中華民國人民的意見嗎?這包含屬於中華民國的澎湖、金門、馬祖地區,所以為何要用台灣這個名字?...並非所有人都跟民進黨一 樣認同台灣獨立,尤其是在這個國內國家意識非常分歧的時期,許多人不見得認同民進黨認為中華民國並非獨立國家的論述...使用中華民國這個名字不見得跟以 台灣為中心的思考衝突,反而是基於認同中華文化背景,以台灣為主體,融合中國及其他地區的綜合個體...第三,使用台灣這個名稱在國際上有地區化自己國家 的疑慮…就像許多國際場合香港仍舊使用香港這個名稱一樣...

DPP thought it is right to do so, but did they ask the opinion of people in ROC? ROC includes not only Taiwan but also many islands, so why do we use “Taiwan”?…Not all of us look forward for the independence of the Republic of Taiwan, and not all of us agree with the claim that ROC is not an independent country…With the name, “Chung-Kao” or “Chung-Hwa”, we relate ourselves to Chinese culture. The recognition of Chinese culture does not conflict with nativism, because we can have Chinese culture as the background, Taiwan as the base for our subjectivity, and integrate with other cultures…Using the name, “Taiwan” might also mislead other people to think we are part of PRC like Hong-Kong…

Anthropologist sitting in social field also said,

當一個韓國大學生能夠清楚表述台灣是個主權獨立國家之時,能夠用歷史來論述東亞政治關係之時,我們的政府以『歷史』之名告 訴我們,清朝時期,我們的郵政的標記就是『台灣』。清朝?!...雲南的郵票,也是打著雲南的名號啊!...不思透過各種實質的方式,藉著國際交流討論, 和鄰近國家的交合,來浮現台灣作為一個主權國家的主體性,而是以歷史之名自清。

When a Korean undergraduate can clearly describe that Taiwan is an independent country, back up by the Asian diplomatic relationship history, our government tells us that in Qing Dynasty, the name of our post office is “Taiwan”. Isn’t the post office in Yunnan with the name of Yunnan in Qing Dynasty as well?!…Our government tries to appropriate history to show that we are an independent country instead of international discussion and building relationship with our neighbor countries.

However, many people point out that the name-change issue represents the wrestling of the politicians from the two parties. Yuan Xu Wu Wu (言之無物) points out (zh) if name-change is a consistent policy of DPP, then “Yu (Dean of Executive Yuan) should check the name and avoid ‘Chung-Hwa’ when the post office changed the name last time.” 914 quotes from Southern News and points out that Ma Ying-Jeou had also promoted name-rectification when he was Mayor of Taipei. Ma stated that

『北市為了與國際接軌,仍將採用漢語拼音,而且重要路面的路標將於十一月底更改完成』。所以,十一月底,我們會看到馬英九花費2500萬元,讓台北大街小巷都可以看到他所創造的世界級笑話。

…”[T]o become an integrate part of the global community, Taipei city will adopt Hanyu Pinyin rather than Tongyong Pinyin”. As a consequence, we will see Ma spends 2.5 million NTD in making a world joke everywhere in Taipei city.

Xiao Mao Luan Pao Hong Pei Che (小貓亂跑烘焙車) mentions that

我一直在納悶,如果我支持台獨,那麼,我看到正名運動不是應該感到高興嗎?但我只感到羞恥,正名不是風光快樂的,而是因為執政太失敗, 搞些別的名目來掩人耳目罷了嘛.證明了什麼?

I am always wondering that if I have been supporting Taiwan Independence all the time, I should feel happy when the authority conducts name-rectification. On the contrary, I feel shameful. It is only a way to divert people’s attention from fails in ruling. The name-rectification does not mean anything.

Ubi Amor Ibi Fides says with frustration,

台灣已經被綠營綁架到跟中華民國也沒兩樣的狀況了...強迫人『愛國』『忠誠』,只要不符合他的標準的,都是『背叛』...可悲的是,綠營的操作方式居然也跟國民黨一樣。

now DPP kidnaps Taiwanese as what KMT did before…They evaluate patriotism and loyalty based on our obedience with their rules; if we don’t, we are regarded as traitors…it is so sad that the action DPP takes is similar with KMT.

也許某些機構商標的正名有其正當性有其必要性,然而,不分青紅皂白的正名已經讓台灣人感到厭煩感到憤怒。民進黨和國民黨的領導者真應該靜下心來想想怎麼讓這個國家以最少的錢達到最大的效益,而不是藉由鼓動中國意識與本土意識的對立來達到他們的政治利益。

Maybe the name-change action is based on some good reasons, however, the actions DPP recently took makes Taiwanese feel irritated and angry. The leaders of both parties should sit down and seriously make a good plan for the country: how maximize people’s interest. They should not try to make political gain from fueling the conflict between people who favor pro- Chinese- unification and people who favor pro- Taiwan- independence.

mountaineer have done a great roundup piece on this topic, please check it out.

After Ma Yin-Jou, the chair of opposition party KMT got sued for corruption, prominent Taiwanese blogger, munch, immediately expressed his thoughts in a blog post titled “Ma gets sued! The Justice won again!“(zh) In the post he mentions that right now the Justice in Taiwan has finally proved its gut against the upper class and bigwigs after suing the President’s wife, his son in law, and the popular Presidential candidate Ma Yin-Jou.

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