[OT] Torn about Tor

Steve smorrey at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 00:47:23 MDT 2005

Michael Torrie wrote:

>On Tue, 2005-09-13 at 19:07 -0700, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
>>Your ignorance of how things work in a totalitarian state is disturbing.
>>Please start with "The Aquariums of Pyongyang."
>I work frequently with students from the PRC.  They are, of course, the
>cream of the crop, but generally speaking the Chinese have *very*
>impressive knowledge and capabilities.  Whether they are inventing
>something themselves or merely cloning western technology (for example
>their space rockets which are russian design), they do a good job at it.
>They are great imitators.  They take what we do and do it just as well
>or better, and have 10 people for every one person here with those
>skills.  My impression is that their government is *far* more
>technologically savvy than we think.  The chinese are very shrewd
>people.  Sometimes we get the impression that they are slow or less
>intelligent somehow, and they are shrewd enough to not try to alter this
>perception as it keeps them off the proverbial radar screen.  I know
>some PRC students that know just enough english to suit their purpose on
>a given day.  So anyway there is tremendous talent and it is being
>channeled for good and bad by the forces of the free market, but also
>the totalitarian regime.  
>For a truly worrisome story, google for "Titan Rain."  
>>PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
>>Unsubscribe: http://plug.org/mailman/options/plug
>>Don't fear the penguin.
I completely understand where you are going with this, however one thing 
that people seem to forget is that government only exists by consent of 
those being governed.  Therefore I am merely postulating that due to the 
fact that the general human condition is to rebel against repressive 
regimes, given time and motivation, no measure, regardless of severity 
can stop a dedicated person or persons from gaining access to 
information that they desire.  Especially if that information is freely 
available once one gets around government restrictions.

I realize that the chinese are incredibly talented and bright people, I 
also realize that a large majority of their culture supports their 
government because of whatever propaganda they are fed as children, and 
because of a culture built around the concept of parental respect.  The 
view that the chinese are slow, and only good at copying other cultures 
is inherently false, they had gunpowder, when most of the "civilized" 
world was still fighting with swords and arrows.  However I also know 
that the current regime is an effect of an uprising that they had 
against a monarchy of some sort, although I don't pretend to know the 
particulars of what caused it, or how one repressive regime could be 
replaced by another even more repressive regime.

It is my belief that someday, possibly in the not too distant future 
there will be another breaking point triggering another coup, and the 
people will come to realize the rights of the governed supercede the 
authority of any government, that the people will come to understand 
that no government has any power that it is not given by the people whom 
it governs.  On that day I intend to fight beside them, until then I 
will do whatever I can to enable them to get past that firewall, an 
underground railroad if you will for information.

There is of course also the assertion that change will not come by force 
but by fiat.  If there is not a revolution in **Tiananmen square, there 
may very well be an evolution in the culture, where as greater knowledge 
is gained by the people of thier condition, they begin to demand more 
and more freedoms and rights from thier government.
This too appears to be happening in slow gradual baby steps.
Anyways it's all food for thought.

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