China: Foolishly Earnest About Its Media Control

Nobody likes a showoff, China, and now that you’re rising like the sea level during a tsunami, the world’s nations are trying to put you down. Will the world ever understand you?

Take, for example, the recent release of a secret recording made during the final hours of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference where you stonewalled Western nations who were bargaining for COemissions reductions, or your recent plans to curtail online anonymity or your new law meant to force telecommunications companies and media outlets to protect “state secrets”.


You’re reckless, the people say. You let poison slip onto the production line of toothpastes and children’s toys. No legal system, they say. No government accountability or recourse for victims of injustice. Then you try to please them by making a law: telecommunications and media companies must help you protect state secrets. And no sooner have you made a law than the Committee to Protect Journalists cries afoul.

And no doubt the New York Times will get you on this one for your exceptional ability to quiet dissent in what would otherwise be a lovely democratic country. You know, a lovely democratic country like the U.S. of A. You see, China, your mistake has been your earnestness in an increasingly ironic world. You’re falling behind the Zeitgeist. For every law that restricts the freedom of the Chinese people, you should be making an announcement about how committed you are to unrestricting freedom. Take a lesson from us: President Obama might as well be glass sculpture of himself, a naked glass sculpture—that is how transparent his government is. Unless, of course, something is deemed…wait for it…a state secret!

You’ll never get the respect you deserve from the International Community, China, until you start lying to everyone about your intentions and creating a consumer culture too immature and preoccupied to take what you do seriously. The development of an independent press is a good and necessary first step. It is the first step to feeding the press state-biased information and eventually new media will stretch responsible reporting so thin that news producers take your word as gospel, or red booklet as the case may be.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Life is hard: Jordan Peterson and the nature of suffering

The Canadian professor's old-school message is why many started listening to him.

Jordan Peterson addresses students at The Cambridge Union on November 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • The simplicity of Peterson's message on suffering echoes Buddha and Rabbi Hillel.
  • By bearing your suffering, you learn how to become a better person.
  • Our suffering is often the result of our own actions, so learn to pinpoint the reasons behind it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less