Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ryan Pyle Blog: A Marked Man?


Well, two blogs about Tibet in a week and now my internet problems have worsened severely. I am not getting emails people are sending me and I sent two emails yesterday that were never received.

My gmail has almost stopped working all together and my website access has reached entirely new levels of slow-ness. Could I have gone to bed in Shanghai and woken up in remote Africa? No, I don't think so. I am still in Shanghai in my western style apartment complex watching my pictures upload at 4 kb/s.

I read an article in the Economist a few weeks ago were some people believe that pollution costs about 4-8% GDP in China per year. Meaning that China's pollution and their complete lack to do anything about it costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year, or whatever 4-8% of total country GDP happens to equal.

I would love to see a statistic about how much percentage of GDP it costs to keep the internet running at a snails pace. I know it would be much less than the environment, and I don't for a minute feel that slow internet access is more important than China's growing environmental problems. But wouldn't it be great if someone could quantify China's strangle hold on the internet?

While it's true that the government un-blocked the BBC last week, and it's been very exciting to catch up on my football scores as the Champion's league heads in to its Semi-Finals, but there is so much more blocked and in fact the access seems to be generally slower than it was a year ago.

A friend of mine and I were discussing last night, there is no country in the world more paranoid of free thought than China. The government blocks websites to protect its people from dangerous internet content, and that may have flown 5 or 10 years ago when China was in it's infancy stage of internet communications, but these days are different. China is in fact leading the world in broadband subscriptions and internet users, don't you think these 300 or 400 million people can decide what is good and bad for themselves?

How many jobs are created by trying to police the internet? A New York Times article from 2006 indicated that there are over 100,000 people with government jobs in various ministries controlling and watching the internet. That sounds like an absurd amount of people who are essentially wasting everyone's time.

I was in the Hong Kong airport last week, returning from the Philippines for work, and I had a two hour wait for my next flight back to Shanghai. So I bought a coffee, popped open my laptop and uploaded more pictures in 90 minutes than I can upload in 2 days at home - and this is while sitting in the airport between flights in Hong Kong using their FREE broadband connection. It's good to know some countries can get things right.

If someone wanted to ask me how much of my personal income potential is sacrificed each year because of slow uploading time or having me have to sit in front of my computer and watch each FTP so that it doesn't click off; I wouldn't hesitate. I would easily say 7-10%. Meaning that slow internet access in China effects my personal business, and at least 7-10% of my working hours or efficiently is disrupted by 3rd world internet dial up speeds in what is supposed to be the Paris of the East, the new Tokyo, the next Hong Kong................or as I like to say, my slow slow Shanghai.


Ryan Pyle

No comments:

Post a Comment


This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle