China’s CENSORnet

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Browsing the web in China, like many other things here, is like pissing against the wind. The reason is, of course, that this country is run by a bunch of incompetent, talentless, unintelligent, uneducated, selfish, mutually-ass-kissing, baijiu stinking, phlegm spitting motherfuckers. This people only stay in power because the majority of Chinese people don’t even know that they are being fucked around. And those who do are promptly told to keep their thoughts to themselves.

Going back to the censorship problem, the Chinese government has this big ass filter in place that checks everything you do or view on the Internet. Every time I look up something in Google, if one of the search results contains a forbidden term, then I get an error that the page cannot be accessed or the page does not exist. This way, when searching for legitimate material, possibly to do your job or coursework, you cannot access the information you require. This way China will never prosper, for millions of people’s life hours are being wasted.

China spends a huge amount of money on military. I believe they don’t seek to defend themselves from other countries, but mainly to keep it’s own sheep orderly. Any sheep that wanders off the herd is quickly dealt with.

Same thing with news reporting. On TV all bad news are always from abroad. All domestic news are good news, and if they are bad they are compensated with new about how well police handled the situation. There was a demonstration some time ago here in Wuxi, which was of course quickly dissolved. Not a word about it in the news, not even in local TV or press. I only know because someone told me about it.

Personally, I would like to shove a Tier-1 server up some people’s asses here, just for fun, to get it out of my system, for wasting my time.

I despise the Chinese government’s decision to fuck us around like this. China’s worst enemy surely is its own government, and one day people are going to turn around and say hey fuck you.

But for now we’ll continue to be treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed bullshit.


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Tengo un colega de Madrid, Gustavo, que está en India haciendo un trabajo de investigación cerca de un poblacho por ahí perdido en el mapa. Debe ser una experiencia muy interesante estar en zonas rurales de un país así. Yo, hasta ahora sólo me he movido por ciudades, aunque prefiero el campo a la metrópolis, pues la gente de campo suele ser más amable y acogedora. Lo prefiero incluso a sabiendas de que lo de campo suele ser un poco más cutre, incómodo y guarrindongo, aunque, todo hay que decirlo, en China incluso en ciudades tan importantes como Beijing, que supuestamente son súper modernas y avanzadas, todo está muy cerdo. Todo excepto las zonas turísticas que han sido exclusivamente acondicionadas para la ocasión, con la esperanza de que la mayoría de los turistas no se aventure a explorar las zonas no preparadas y los suburbios. Y es que una ciudad tan grande es muy difícil de arreglar a corto plazo, pues como dicen en inglés, “no se puede sacar brillo a un zurullo”. Hay un aseo (qué ironía) publico (eso sí) en una calle cercana que me pilla de camino al trabajo, donde van a cenar, escupir y mear todos los taxistas de la zona, y huele tan mal que el otro día me entraron arcadas cuando pasaba por ahí de camino al curro. Además hay unos contenedores de basura al lado del susodicho aseo (que apenas se ven porque los tapa la basura) que yo creo que se vacían por sí  solos mediante un proceso de descomposición y huelen tan mal que no hay ser humano que pueda acercarse. Incluso las moscas hacen cola para huir. Desde entonces siempre me cruzo a la acera de en frente, donde suele haber taxistas meando entre los arbustos para evitar una visita al cagalet de la otra acera. En la misma calle hay una tasca cuyo nombre desconozco porque no sé leer los dos primeros caracteres del cartel que hay sobre la puerta, así que la llamo la llamo Chernobyl porque tiene una habitación dentro con tanta mierda que en vez de limpiarla han preferido sellar el umbral con ladrillos para no volver a ver la roña, y así ya no toca limpiar. Ni Manolo y Benito hubieran superado esta ñapa, y es que en China se prefiere demoler o tapar a limpiar, por eso yo siempre digo que el eslogan de la olimpiada debería haber sido “China está en obras” en vez de “One world, one dream”, ya que todas las mañanas, esté donde esté, en vez del canto del gorrión me despierta el canto del taladro neumático.

In Beijing

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Well I am still in Beijing at the moment, posting from the hotel. Extremely busy with work and studying too. I am not sure the university are even aware that I am not around. Teachers who know me probably thought I have gone back to Spain.

The work is going really well and I am enjoying it a lot. I am learning a lot of useful skills and experiencing the Chinese workplace. Even if it were unpaid work, I would have learnt so many things that it wouldn’t matter at all. So that’s good!

I have lived in Beijing for nearly one month, and still have between one and two weeks left of work to do. After Beijing I will go to Shenyang where there’ll be even more work. I plan to stay a week or two if possible in Wuxi so that I can go to class and give the school some signs of life. To be honest, I am learning far more Chinese in Beijing without classes than I would in the classroom, surrounded by foreign students. The people who I work with speak extremely little English, so the most effective way to communicate is to use Chinese.

The depot manager stutters when he pronounces certain consonants which I find particularly difficult to articulate. He gets stuck on his sh-zh-ch’s which is brilliant for me as I can hear the sonic detail very clearly.

Seemingly in Beijing people pronounce better (that is, more close to what you hear on TV) than in the south where I normaly reside. I have noticed a significant improvement in pronouncing Chinese. In Wuxi most people speak like they’ve got a tennis ball in their mouth. I don’t enjoy a strong Beijing accent, but I do like it when people speak like TV news readers. On average I have less trouble understanding what’s being said here in Beijing than in Wuxi, and it’s very gratifying.

A lot of things have happened while I was in Beijing, but I don’t have time to post now. I am going to have dinner in a minute. Today I am not working because I am very tired. Most days I am doing a late-night shift because the high-speed trains only stop at night and only then can I service the on-board computer, and staying up till 6:00 A.M. regularly can wear me out pretty fast.

Met up with some my old friend Ramón from Madrid who is working in Beijing for one year. Great to catch up! He is doing rather well in his job and I might apply for a similar post next year, as the money is really good. I am not guaranteed to get the job, but it’s certainly worth the try.

Learning to write Chinese: A waste of time.

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Today I figured that being able to write (vs read) Chinese characters will not fulfil any of the following points:

  • Enable me to make either my own or other people’s lives easier or better
  • Make me or other people any money
  • Improve my ability to communicate in Chinese
  • Save me time in the future

However, it will waste me thousands of study hours which could have been used to learn a truly useful skill. Since learning this tedious an clumsy writing system is for people who have too much time in their hands, I will therefore not learn to write Chinese at all ever. At least not actively. After all, computers and mobile phones can do a much better job than I ever will. Basically, as long as you can read, you are OK in China.

I seriously hope that the Chinese do themselves and the world a favour and replace their writing system with a more sane phonetic writing system.

Criticism welcome.


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Right now we are in the middle of the most impressive thunderstorm I’ve ever witnessed. There’s a bolt of lightning literally every second, and countless cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. Wherever I look I can see a flash.

The building I live in happens to be the second tallest building on our campus, so I went up to the top floor, the 12th floor, to see if I could take some photos of lightning. Luckily my amateurish camera is equipped with a ‘burst mode’ which allowed me to shoot continuously. I shot away for about 20 minutes and got a few nice pictures.

Anechoic room simulator!!

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I have been exploring ways to add stereo width to my music. It’s not easy and so I was looking for some software to do it for me, so I don’t need to do wacky routing in my mixer. So I googled for a “room emulator” and stumbled upon Bran’s Anechoic Room Simulator v1.3. I installed it and tried it, and it made no difference to the sound. I was like: WTF?  Suddenly something clicked in my mind and I started to laugh: It’s an anechoic room simulator, in other words, it’s a piece of software designed to do absolutely bugger all. This has got to be the funniest geek joke of the year RMFAO!

Diego comes to Suzhou

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Yesterday I went to Suzhou to meet Diego and his two mates from Spain, and Yiyi who showed us around. They are taking a one-month holiday in China. They can take nice long breaks like this because they are public school teachers.

It was very funny when they watched me speak Mandarin. To them it seemed I could spoke very fluently, becasue they only know nihao and xiexie. I speak relatively well compared with a year ago when I first arrived. Looking back I have made huge progress, particularly in the pronunciation department, which I am very proud of. I am not so proud of my lingo and being practically illiterate (still circa 300 characters).

Mosquito net

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I had a very bad headache in the evening. A combination of paracetamol and sleep sorted that out. Once my headache was gone, it occurred to me that it was time to assemble the mosquito net Drew gave me before he left, because I’ve recently been bitten by spiders, mosquitoes and today I have seen quite a few ants scurrying around. I thought the assembly process would be relatively simple, as I am usually good at putting things together even without RTFM (reading the manual). In any case, there was no manual. I thought: ‘It’s only two sticks and a piece of fabric, who needs a manual?’

Unfortunately, it has been extremely difficult to put this fecker together. It has taken me 4 hours of work and brain-racking. It has been both physically and mentally challenging.

Physical challenges:

My bed is bunk bed. Building this f**king mosquito net makes extreme ironing look like child play.  Up there on the bunk bed there’s only about 3 square metres to play with. At times I was literally hanging off the side of the bed.

The supporting frame, consisting of two long fibreglass rods made up of 8 segments each and an elastic string running through their hollow cores to keep the segments together, were too long. The net was too tight and felt as if it were going to be torn. In addition the rods hit the ceiling as it’s a bunk bed and they didn’t fit properly. In the process of attempting to assemble the frame (while the fecking net was all over me) I left marks all over the plaster ceiling which I later wiped off with a damp cloth.

Removed the rods again, very hard to do. Gotta be careful not to hit things e.g. computer screen or expensive studio monitors. Nothing got hit, good. I removed one segment from each rod to make them shorter, which involved cutting the elastic string and patiently pushing it through the remaining segments again. This time instead of two long rods I decided to have 4 shorter  rods, which would be more manageable. Best idea of today.

Then the rods kept falling off the sides of the mattress. I tried about 10 possible solutions to hold the rods in place and finally came up with this (see pic below). Notice how the clip lever goes through the eyelet in the plastic rod end.

I know it sounds like a very easy thing to do but it has been such a living nightmare. Anyway, here is the final result.

Musical memory

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I have a very strong and deep connection with dance music since the age of 10 when I heard Snap – Rhythm Is A Dancer on Onda Cero. For some bizarre reason, my mother wouldn’t let me listen to dance music on the grounds that “it was bad for me”. I never fully understood my mum: there were too many things I was not allowed to do, even though to me they seemed perfectly reasonable. My interest in dance music started to grow when I discovered dance music radio show It’s your time on Onda Cero, lead by one of Spain’s most iconic DJs at the time: Toni Peret. I used to hide in my wardrobe every night from 23:00 till 1:00 to listen to the whole show, which is why I was always knackered in school.

I used to keep a tape ready in the radio-cassette recorder to record stuff I liked from the radio because some tracks would only be played once or twice and that was it, the track would never be heard again. Some time in 1994 Tony played a very nice track and I taped it.  At that time I was 13 and couldn’t speak any English, so I couldn’t understand the song’s lyrics, and I never knew the title or what the lyrics meant.

Today, 16 years later, something triggered my memory and I started to hear that same tune in my head. Suddenly I realized that my brain had recorded the tune with so much detail that I could make out parts of the lyrics! I typed “right from the sky” “crazy” into Google and, bingo!, first match, I found the track: The Free – Born Crazy. Nice! This is really quite phenomenal!

Why I am always very busy

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A lot of people ask me what I am busy with when I say I am very busy.

I am busy because I am 29 and I still have not achieved any significant success in life. Being in a 9-5 job, buying a house, getting married, owning an expensive car and loads of crap, and doing what “normal people” is not what I want. A lot of people will say I am weird, but life is too short and I don’t have time to listen to charlatans and time wasters, so I am working very hard to get to where I want to get.

At present I am self-employed, and the work I do is unpaid work. So I am busy with work, work and more work. I do a bit of paid work every now and then, but my full-time job is unpaid and I am my own boss. That’s all I need to say. Just because there is no money involved does not mean it’s a waste of time.

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