Friday, September 26, 2008

Sometimes China gets it. And sometimes they don't.

Stupid obvious statement: There are lots of very smart people in the Chinese government.
Not so stupid question: Why do all those smart people not realize that people prefer genuine over fake?

The 2008 Olympic opening ceremony was unfortunate. Somewhat understandable - because they didn't want something to go horribly wrong and not have anything at all - but unfortunate in that they seem to miss the fact that people would rather have something real rather than perfect (as if they can be completely perfect). The world would have understood if a huge rain storm (or smog) had prevented any view at all of the footsteps to the birdsnest. But as I said, it is somewhat understandable because it is, most of all, a work of entertainment.

Last summer there was melamine contamination in pet food. The Chinese government appears to have denied it before they even investigated the claim. First of all, why does the Chinese government need to deny anything? The pet food is made by a company, not the government. Or at least, that is what we are led to believe.

Unbelievable that they would even consider doing though, was a press release of how a Chinese space mission was going - before it even launched! On 26 Sept 2008, the story hit the wires:

The article described the Shenzhou VII space craft orbiting the Earth and outlined a conversation between the astronauts.


The article later described the reaction to a successful outcome of the mission. "Ten minutes later, the ship disappears below the horizon. Warm clapping and excited cheering breaks the night sky, echoing across the silent Pacific Ocean."

It is as if the government is afraid that if everything isn't picture perfect, the world will fall apart. The crazy part is that every knows that it isn't perfect, so the only ones that the government is fooling is themselves.

It would be worth it for them to adopt a picture of the truth, rather than a picture of perfection.

A /. article on the Chinese firewall has some interesting observations related to this. Perhaps the government's desire to portray perfection is based on its desire to paint an image of China as being the best nation in the world, for whatever definition of "best" you want to use. You'd think that a civilization as ancient as that which China hosts would have learned a long time ago that perfection is never achievable (and any person that actually thinks for themselves will immediately identify "perfection" as simply an illusion).

And at what point do you stop the lieing? Do you take it as far as Microsoft does, and their apparent self-image of perfection that is so obviously flawed (to everyone except Microsoft) that it is a joke?

Updated years later: The Chinese govt is still at it. Of course, they aren't the only ones... no other than the DOJ of the USA got caught.


At Mon Apr 06, 08:34:00 AM 2009, Anonymous coldtobi said...

It wasn't pet food.
As long you are not qualify babies as pets.

Actually there were also (chinese) food at least the European market...

However, they still denied it, and they imprision the parents of the affected childs who dares to ask for compensation or even help from the government.


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