Sunday, April 1, 2012

America in Decline

The article I have chosen, written by Stephanie Ho focuses primarily on the Political relationship between the US and China. Stephanie talks about how, although the relationship between the two countries at the moment is not great, it is to be tested further this year 'as both countries face leadership change, or potential leadership change.'

Stephanie Ho's focus throughout the whole article on how change is to come due to changes in power within both countries is emphasized by the possible election of Mitt Romney. 'Mitt Romney, the leading Republican presidential challenger targets China in his public comments and says he will take immediate action if elected.“On day one, I will file, or I will, through an executive order, label China as a currency manipulator allowing us to put tariffs on Chinese goods that are coming into our country and killing American jobs in an unfair way,” he said.'
It is obvious that Stephanie Ho is uncomfortable about this idea and how it will effect the countries relationship even more.

However it must be remembered when reading this article that is is written by someone who is from China and someone living in Beijing. I can't help but feel that the article if course going to be slightly bias, even if not intentional. Although i feel the article is bias, I do agree that US-China relations are only going to get worse, particularly with America wanting to be the most powerful country and thriving off conflict.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reality in U.S.- China Relations

The U.S. and China have always had a complicated relationship and it is only recently that they have recognised that they must cooperate in order to have a good understanding of how to communicate and work together without any conflicts. This web article expresses the point of how different secretaries such as Timothy Geithner has the view that "only when China makes progress on U.S. priorities-- such as the reduction of trade and investment barriers, protection of intellectual property rights, and currency revaluation-- will the United States make progress on Chinese priorities, such as the export of high-tech products and market economy status."
By having this view the United States and China are creating a wider distance in terms of creating a global peace and stability between the two and also the relationship the U.S. and China have can affect many other countries around the world because they are the two major powers that can make a big impact on something.
Many people are worried about what kind of power China will be because in 2010 it would appear that there were "a series of almost unimaginably poor decisions by Beijing" that raised many concerns. Furthermore, the year had also got "off to a bad start with the cyber-hacking and Google debacle in January." Therefore, all of these problems adding to the growing concerns many people have with the way China will run as a power. The problems China were having allowed the U.S. to maintain its power and leadership to which "President Barack Obama, Clinton, and Gates crisscrossed Asia ties with traditional allies, broaden relations with newer partners and offer reassurance of a deep abiding U.S. commitment to the region". This now means that the U.S. need to capitalize China so that they can at least come a little bit closer to creating a peace between the two nations and the U.S. must also do some things such as getting their economy back on track before anything can go further to pursue the relationship, however it also comes down to China as they have to try and work hard to create a good political relationship between the two. Therefore, the U.S. and China are always going to have problems but they both need to work together in order to cooperate as one power.

Center on US-China Relations is an educating organization which is 'deciated to promoting a mutual understanding' between China and the United States in a global context. It has spread however since to owning headquarters in many other cities including Mumbai, Seoul and Sydeny. It looks at Arts, Business, Culture, Education and policies, and 'provides insights [and] generates ideas... to address present challenges and create a shared future'.

They hold a centre in a few American and Chinese cities, yet post lots of interesting articales and encourage dicussions online too. Right now they are holding a project to promote a "Green China" and "Green United States", as the two are the top producers of greenhouse gases.

This site is very interesting, and I think much needed! It looks far beyond just business relations to promoting culutral relations too - show casing Asian artists and films, and equally Chinese opinions on American culture too. It's refreshing to see a project that unites the two in other ways than any economic rivalry (although these issues are touched upon too!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

US vs. China.

When typing on youtube US vs. China or their relationship the dominant and repetitive theme to continuously to come up what economic power. The US and China are both very powerful countries, dominating a lot of industrial organisations such as cars, oil and general productivity. This means there will be a constance rivalry between the two of who is the better country, as seen through out this course Americans like to believe they are the best in every aspects.

This video details how an Chinese - American economistics belives that America's age will run out in 5 years and China will take over.
This is supported with facts from the IMF (Internation Monetory Fund) who says 'just ten years the US economy was 3 times the size of China's, but new data realesed by the IMF shows the Chinese overtaking the US by 2016.'
The video also states that the Chinese can afficiatly construct building and railways, he doesnt say unlike the US but it is clear he is suggesting the the Chinese will over take the US due to passion on being the best whilst the US just sits back and hopes things to happen.

The IMF also show a graph depicting what will happen with the Chinese economy  growing by  7.8 trillion dollars over the next 5 years, where as the US economy will grow only 3.6 trillion dollars, this is one of the lowest economic outputs by the US in its history!!

This demonstartes the China may easily take over the US economically, but this could also impact socaially, instrial use and other aspects as well. This clearly shows the American dream may now be the Chinese dream instead.

cat fish

Cat fish was an American documentary that followed a photographer and his crew on a journey of finding 'love.'  He firsts meets a young girl named Abby who draws pictures of Nev's photos and he soon becomes in contact with the mum, dad and attractive older sister Megan via Facebook. He continually keeps talking to Megan through facebook and then text each other, they also do have a few sex talks on the phone. This shows that even though they have never met they have an extraordinary connection that happened on facebook.

As the story continues however it is clear that everything is not as it seems, little conversation and searching on the Internet for Megan proves difficult and it seems as if she is not actually real, so the team decide to go to the family home and meet them after 8 months of talking over facebook.

However when he gets to the house, the mum isn't a young attractive women, but rather fairly overweight and she has two disabled twin daughters!!

The mum confesses that she has in fact taken strangers identities and made up family and friends so that they can all contact each other like a real facebook page would do.

This story shows how American identity can be stolen from other, fabricated and hidden. The women pretended to be a completely different lady and have a whole different family, just from a network site. This can either show some Americans as completely odd and strange, or show how technology is so advance that you don't have to be yourself in any way anymore, and clearly others will believe you to be the person you imitate.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trolling for your soul

" TROLLS are hard to find in the real world, but all too common in the virtual one. “Trolling”—posting wilfully inflammatory, off-topic or simply stupid remarks—plagues blogs and other online forums"

"Trolling is a side-effect of online anonymity," the author of the article opens the second paragraph with, "The problem is that so many people behave like one". The author even quotes Judith Donath, an internet expert at Harvard University, on 'trolling'. She refers to it as a “game about identity deception”.

Yet what is the effects of a 'troll' on the future of American Society? Qhile most 'trolls' 'troll' for humour - whether it's making others laugh or just themselves - trolling can actually say a lot about society. "Naive questions from well-meaning newcomers attract irritable responses. Quiet and reasonable voices get drowned out," The author explains, furthering the point by even claiming, "Trolls may commit the virtual equivalent of a physical assault."

To show how serious Trolls can be, the author mentions a " particularly nasty case in 2006 online bullies e-mailed photographs of a teenager’s corpse, badly mutilated in a car accident, to the grieving family". And the problem with trolls is "Even if a troll is kicked off an online forum, he can often simply sign up again under a different name."

Facebook was praised in the article for being a great anti-troll site. While people can still troll - though they'd have to work hard to do so - People have to put all this information that rids of that online anonymity. People can directly address the troll. While trolling is world wide, what makes trolling so American (in most cases) is how they argue and flaunt about their freedom of speech and right to remain anonymous.

Other sites are now using Facebook as a way of logging in to comment or access things. By making their comments public, it reduces numbers of those who want to troll. "The move also raises fears. Facebook has already accumulated a remarkable amount of data—and not just about its users’ online, but their real-world activities: messages, pictures, calendars, likes and dislikes, even shopping."

While it isn't fair for everyone to lose their anonymity, it could help solve certain issues and cases. "If governments did that, the result would be outrage" however. People would lose their freedom of speech - or anonymous freedom of speech. And lots of people like that they can say things that they couldn't usually, yet we do discover trolls and people who have a very dark sense of humour (and even worse than that, some who aren't even trolling and generally believe what they say). It shows us American's "secret" identities in this way... the side that people don't always wish to be associated with.

Digital Identity in America

Digital Identities such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and Bebo have taken over America with a recent study showing that 79% of American Adults are online One of the most interesting things about social media is that these sites allow you to create your identity. For example with twitter you are allowed to write a few words about yourself for other people to see. However what you write is down to you and there is now way of finding out if someone is lying or not. The same goes with other social netoworking sites. With the site Tumblr you can post pictures or statements that mean something to you, however again it's hard to know whether people are really posting things that they are passionate about or if they are posting certain pictures to create a certain image or identity amongst the Tumblr community.
In a way the online social network allows some people to create a new identity if they are disliked or unkown. With sites such as Twitter you can easily use a fake picture and pretend its you. It is also very easy to become well known and loved on Twitter. If you were to join a band's following for example such as One Direction and you were to mention them somewhere in your description you could easily gain hundreds of followers, therefore your real identity is easily hidden in place for whoever or whatever you want to be.
I think people online either want to be loved or hated. Some people create twitter accounts just to write nasty comments and intrude on people's lives. However others, like I explained above will join a certain community to try and fit in and feel loved because it is very easy to do.

However, with sites such as Youtube, you are able to show a positive side of your identity with a certain talent you have that you may want to share. The most famous example being Justin Bieber who started by posting videos of him singing. Youtube allows people, no matter who they are, to represent themeselves for who they actually are and although many receive hate, I like the fact they are on video and therefore can't really hide their identity unlike the majority of other social sites.
People who 'put themselves out there' online are always going to have to be prepared for people giving their opinion about certain things they may say or do. People on these sites are in a sense very vulnerable as people have access to what they write or do and many people will receive unwanted comments or people 'trolling'.