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Some thoughts at 100k

No. of visitors as of July 13, 2011

We are about to pass the 100k ‘visitors’ (metric is not exact science, and I actually suspect it should be ‘visits’) mark soon, though the map doesn’t count our RSS readers traffic.

(We are also moving onto a bigger server, so please bear with the recent sluggishness for just a little while longer. There are 950+ articles and 36k+ comments on the blog.)

Allen and I started Hidden Harmonies back in February 2010, and in a way, out of wanting to continue a legacy started by Buxi. Our About page has more details. With this occasion, I would like to repeat what Buxi said in this May 2008 self introduction (yes, Hidden Harmonies has most of the posts all the way back):

We’ve been silent, we’ve been passive for years. But we’re now in a new era, where our unity, our values, our convictions should be on display for the whole world to see. Now is not the time for the Chinese people to cower in shame before Western criticism. It’s time to stand up and explain our values and perspectives. Mutual respect can only come after mutual understanding, and there’s far too little of the latter right now.

As Chinese Americans, we feel this mutual understanding is critical too. For the same reasons China and the U.S. (and other countries) have something like the Strategic & Economic Dialog at the government level, people to people level must have an understanding of each other too.  Some argue the latter is even more important.

And, where-ever you are, we are in a connected world now with the Internet. Join us in pushing for understanding, for mutual respect.

And indeed you are from all over the planet! Despite this blog being primarily in English, China is still our second largest source of readers.

Top 5 Places where readers come from

I shall leave these words with you:

Keep in mind, though, that China has a long history of overseas Chinese (even Sun Zhongshan held US citizenship) playing a key role in giving back, in working to build and strengthen the country of their ancestry. Although China and the Chinese people have come a long way over the past century, we still have far to go. Your well-intentioned support and love can have a dramatic impact on our nation and people. – Buxi

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  1. zack
    July 14th, 2011 at 18:50 | #1

    congratulations, on passing the 100k mark;
    this is a great and informative blog on issues pertaining to China and its foreign relations and perceptions, media or otherwise.
    keep up the great work:)

  2. July 15th, 2011 at 19:48 | #2

    Congrats on 100k. One thing to consider in re to the origin of your visitors – I suspect that a significant percentage of your readers in China are landing on the site via VPNs based in the USA, and thus are recorded as USA-based. This is a fairly common phenomenon with English-language China blogs (I notice it with my own). Most of the VPN users are going to be non-Chinese, but I don’t think they can all be claimed as Americans.

  3. July 16th, 2011 at 09:47 | #3

    @Adam
    Thanks. You raised an interesting point. Those in China using VPN to access this site already have their stats counted in the U.S. numbers (assuming majority of the VPN servers reside in the U.S.).

    The reverse might be more true, since Hidden Harmonies is not blocked in China as far as we know. This then means Americans in China accessing this blog are counted in the China stats.

  4. Charles Liu
    July 16th, 2011 at 14:07 | #4

    I was able to see HH within China from plain hotel lobby wifi:

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2010/02/open-forum/#comment-42040

  5. July 16th, 2011 at 17:48 | #5

    I also saw HH from within the GFW, I also saw JR’s blog. Only a matter of time, though, unless you have received some communications about who is getting blocked and why they’re are getting blocked.

  6. July 16th, 2011 at 20:04 | #6
  7. silentvoice
    July 17th, 2011 at 07:00 | #7

    Congratulations!! :)

  8. kchew
    July 17th, 2011 at 16:51 | #8

    There are very few English language forums that offer the Chinese perspective. HH is the best, thanks to the efforst of Allen, yinyang and other contributors. HH wan sui, wan sui!

  9. July 18th, 2011 at 02:07 | #9

    yinyang :
    @Adam
    Thanks. You raised an interesting point. Those in China using VPN to access this site already have their stats counted in the U.S. numbers (assuming majority of the VPN servers reside in the U.S.).
    The reverse might be more true, since Hidden Harmonies is not blocked in China as far as we know. This then means Americans in China accessing this blog are counted in the China stats.

    Only if they have their VPNs off. Very, very few do. I, for example, would show up in your stats as being in Houston, Texas.

    When we got blocked (the second time) I expected our traffic numbers to drop significantly, because I knew we had a lot of expat readers. In actuality, though, they didn’t drop at all. The crippling of Gmail in China — it “works” but only sometimes, and often too slow to handle — has meant that basically every expat in China has a VPN, and most i know keep them on even when visiting unblocked sites (it’s just easier than switching on and off). Most of the English-speaking Chinese people I know also have VPNs too…anyone who works in anything international basically has to have one these days.

    Anyway, that’s all a long way of saying that you probably shouldn’t trust your location stats to tell you anything. I could just as easily be reported as an incoming hit from the UK, Japan, India, or wherever else I wanted and there was a server open….

  10. Pete North
    July 18th, 2011 at 20:34 | #10

    “There are very few English language forums that offer the Chinese perspective. HH is the best, thanks to the efforst of Allen, yinyang and other contributors. HH wan sui, wan sui!”

    But arn’t most of these “Chinese perspectives” from American passport holders???

    I guess that makes my opinion an “Chinese” one

  11. July 18th, 2011 at 23:50 | #11

    @Pete North
    At the end, it doesn’t really matter what labels we put on ourselves. The important thing is whether the Chinese understand the American perspective and vise versa. I hope you would agree the mutual understanding is critical. Without understanding, then it is impossible for mutual respect.

    We are not trying to pretend to be people we are not. So don’t worry about that. Focus on mutual understanding and mutual respect.

  12. Pete North
    July 19th, 2011 at 01:36 | #12

    Right, mutual respect etc. Sure, it doesn’t matter what labels we put on ourselves, unless our intent is to deceive others into believing we are something we aren’t, right?

    No one likes phonies.

  13. Pete North
    July 19th, 2011 at 01:59 | #13

    Talking of phonyisms, as has been raised before, when will you change the “Top 5 places where readers come from”, which is obviously incorrect, to “Top 5 places ip addresses of readers are reported as being in”?
    It’s been pointed out that the first assertion is wrong, and why, so why has it still not been corrected?

  14. kchew
    July 19th, 2011 at 04:48 | #14

    @Pete North
    You think others are phonies and only you know the truth?

    The is what Singaporean thinker and diplomat, Kishore Mahbubani has to say on this matter:

    “Well I think, the one of the paradox is about the times we live in by the way is that the best educated societies and the best informed societies in terms of the flows of information are the West, but the West lives in a cocoon. There is an incestuous dialogue that takes place among Western intellectuals. They talk to each other, reinforce each other’s notions and they think that their view of the world is real view of the world, but it represents the perception of 12% of the world’s population. The 88% who live outside the West have a much better understanding of the realities of the world than the West does, and this is one of the great paradoxes of our time. The people outside the West understand clearly what the strengths and weaknesses of Western societies are. The good that Western societies are doing and the harm that Western societies are doing: all that is also very well known in the rest of the world. So, I think this is the paradox that we face, that the West which is suppose to be representing the most open society, is the most open civilization, is progressively becoming closed-minded and its approach to rest of the world”.

  15. Pete North
    July 19th, 2011 at 05:14 | #15

    Thanks for the quote but I’m not from “The West”, nor am I particularly smart. I also never claimed to be the only one to know” the truth”
    BTW that quote appears to have some grammatical errors, which strikes me as quite odd.
    Possibly it’s just me, but if we have to use the vague expression “Chinese opinion” Im not sure I’d include those who chose to leave China and get a foreign passport. It’s also interesting that the most rabid CCP supporters I know count from among this group.

    My English is poor, but I’m sure there must be a word to describe this.

  16. July 19th, 2011 at 06:23 | #16

    @Pete North

    I think you are going off tangent by your irrelevant personal speculations on the members of this forum.

    There is a word to describe this, IT’s called “SPAM”!

  17. Pete North
    July 19th, 2011 at 22:36 | #17

    Individuals can decide whether it’s relevant or not I agree. Seems a bit odd though, you know, to hear someone endlessly going on about how wonderful a particular government is when it is the one government in the world they have chosen to actually distance themselves from. Even odder that the country they rail so passionately against is the same country they chose to emigrate to.

    Kind of affects their credibility somewhat, no?

  18. July 20th, 2011 at 00:18 | #18

    @Pete North
    You are getting ahead of yourself. We have an about page too in case you want to check it out.

    You said:

    endlessly going on about how wonderful a particular government is when it is the one government in the world they have chosen to actually distance themselves from

    You’ve gotten it all backwards. The distortions come out of the Western media first, and we believe it is not healthy for the West to have such a myopic view. America could in fact better lead if she understand the world better. The last time Timothy Geithner was on Charlie Rose with Dai Binguo, he made that exact comment.

    It might be difficult for you to understand why some people would want peaceful relations between two countries. But, whatever.

  19. wwww1234
    July 20th, 2011 at 00:18 | #19

    @Pete North
    By your “logic”, you have the best parents, siblings, and friends or otherwise you would have disowned them: the best house, wife, kids or otherwise you would have switched them. How would you label this “thinking”? give me a better word other than PATHETIC DELUSION.

  20. Pete North
    July 20th, 2011 at 00:40 | #20

    The parents analogy is stretching it a bit, but since we are on it….If I were Machiavellian, and my morality questionable I’d consider changing my parents, friends, whatever if I thought I could get more advantage in some way over the old ones. At the same time I’d expect others to question my motives, and possibly consider me insincere or hypocritical if after having done this I constantly went on about how great my old parents are, and how my new ones suck!

  21. Pete North
    July 20th, 2011 at 00:48 | #21

    “It might be difficult for you to understand why some people would want peaceful relations between two countries. But, whatever.”

    And it might be difficult for you to understand that if you think a blog like this goes any way to increasing understanding between Chinas 1.4 Billion people, and Americas 300 odd million, then you are pissing into the wind.
    But, whatever.

  22. July 20th, 2011 at 05:27 | #22

    “Seems a bit odd though, you know, to hear someone endlessly going on about how wonderful a particular government is when it is the one government in the world they have chosen to actually distance themselves from.”

    I don’t know who you are talking about. Who’s saying a particular government is “wonderful”?

    We are all here to mudsling. :)

  23. Pete North
    July 20th, 2011 at 05:51 | #23

    Well I’ll pull up a chair then Raven. Maybe the site needs a new perspective too- that of someone living in China rather than someone who doesn’t, or has chosen to leave.

    Will give the site a bit of cred.

  24. July 20th, 2011 at 07:49 | #24

    “Well I’ll pull up a chair then Raven. Maybe the site needs a new perspective too- that of someone living in China rather than someone who doesn’t, or has chosen to leave.

    Will give the site a bit of cred.”

    What does “chosen to leave” have to do with the issues? What does “cred” have to do with the issues?

    Again, who’s saying a particular government is “wonderful”?

    Maybe, we are hearing too much of someone endlessly going on about how wonderful “democracy” is, when they don’t even understand the word, and they have chosen to support violence and force to enforce orthodoxy of political doctrine.

    You want to see “cred”? What’s your “cred”? Just because you were born in some self-described “democracy”? OH please!!

  25. Pete North
    July 20th, 2011 at 19:02 | #25

    “Maybe, we are hearing too much of someone endlessly going on about how wonderful “democracy” is”

    Hey, maybe come back here to China then. No one’s got a gun to your head, right? Surely if it’s so hard to take, then there is a simple solution right? Actually i could think of a couple. One of them wouldn’t be “leave China and get an American passport”, but then I don’t have a masochistic streak.

    ” Just because you were born in some self-described “democracy”? OH please!!”
    Actually I was born under a military dictatorship, but thanks for asking.

  26. raventhorn2000
    July 20th, 2011 at 19:21 | #26

    “Hey, maybe come back here to China then. No one’s got a gun to your head, right? Surely if it’s so hard to take, then there is a simple solution right? Actually i could think of a couple. One of them wouldn’t be “leave China and get an American passport”, but then I don’t have a masochistic streak.”

    You do have the “Do as I say” Western streak. I can take your whining, Why can’t you stand this forum?

    “” Just because you were born in some self-described “democracy”? OH please!!”
    Actually I was born under a military dictatorship, but thanks for asking.”

    That explains everything about you.

  27. raventhorn2000
    July 20th, 2011 at 19:24 | #27

    “Surely if it’s so hard to take, then there is a simple solution right?”

    Surely if it’s so hard for you to take this forum, take your own suggestions, No one’s got a gun to your head, while you are reading this forum!!

  28. raventhorn2000
    July 20th, 2011 at 19:25 | #28

    “And it might be difficult for you to understand that if you think a blog like this goes any way to increasing understanding between Chinas 1.4 Billion people, and Americas 300 odd million, then you are pissing into the wind.”

    Just like you whining about this forum. Keep Pissing into the wind.

  29. Pete North
    July 20th, 2011 at 19:57 | #29

    Don’t worry Raven, this site is merely a distraction over my morning coffee. True enough America is a “self- described” democracy. You guys are true democracy in action- voted with your feet when you chose to immigrate to America.

    Keep up the good work, the burden of the true Chinese patriot can’t be a light one eh!

  30. July 21st, 2011 at 05:16 | #30

    Who said I’m worried?

    “You guys are true democracy in action- voted with your feet when you chose to immigrate to America.”

    No, it’s just a pissing contest, as you say, and I prefer to piss in someone else’s backyard.

  31. Pete North
    July 21st, 2011 at 05:52 | #31

    Excellent. Actually i think the only hope for humanity and the planet is some kind of internecine conflict between China and America. Seriously. I can’t see how any technological achievements can mitigate excess population, resource consumption, and lack of fresh water.

    War may be our only hope for a future peace.

    As an aside I’m actually back In Xinjiang at the moment. Given what has just happened in the south of the province, I’ll be interested to see how things can be spun to look like being someone else’s fault. I must admit my Uyghur language skills have slipped, but boy are there some angry people here. Even in Urumqi most of my old Uyghur friends have moved to enclaves in the south of the city, and the Han to other “safe” areas. Really doesn’t augur well for the future, though my house price has kept going up, and after all that is probably all that matters.

    Hosh!

  32. July 21st, 2011 at 07:49 | #32

    “War may be our only hope for a future peace.”

    That may be your outlook in view of the Democracy/”pissing contest”.

    Just hope that the pissing contest is not happening right by your house. Good luck with the clean up after the “future”.

  33. July 21st, 2011 at 09:00 | #33

    The recent attack in Xinjiang happened in a Muslim majority area against other Muslims. Here are some pics and name of victims.

    http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2011/07/this-is-where-attack-took-place.html

  34. July 21st, 2011 at 09:04 | #34

    Pete North :Don’t worry Raven, this site is merely a distraction over my morning coffee. True enough America is a “self- described” democracy. You guys are true democracy in action- voted with your feet when you chose to immigrate to America.
    Keep up the good work, the burden of the true Chinese patriot can’t be a light one eh!

    I totally support more Chinese immigration to the rest of the world. You must have know that the Chinese were unfairly restricted by the Chinese exclusion act or head tax etc in N.America. Let’s face it, you don’t own America and Chinese didn’t commit genocide like the European did.

  35. July 21st, 2011 at 10:44 | #35

    China hinted Pakistan as the source of terrorist support for the incident in Hotan.

    India gets all gleeful at the prospect that China might stop aid to Pakistan.

    US QUIETLY stops about $300 million in military aid to Pakistan, (and Orwellianly calls it “normal” and expected and “planned”, and Pakistan publicly also goes along with the pretense).

    Apparently both US and Pakistan want to keep up this ridiculous facade of “cooperation”, when EVERYONE knows US is cutting aids to Pakistan as diplomatic retaliation for “insufficient cooperation” in the past.

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