At ChinaFile, following the World Internet Conference, in Wuzhen, a fascinating discussion — by English-speaking foreigners — on what is arguably the crucial issue of the 21st century: How will China ‘manage’ its relationship with the Internet? It is hard to imagine a problem which throws economic and political agendas into more turbulent conflict with each other, or one that more clearly reveals the ultimate nonlinear dependencies between the two. The entire ideological history of the world seems to be lensed through it, just as the future of the world ‘will be’* decided by how it works out.
Some useful background, conveying the sheer scale and dynamism of the Chinese Internet, can be found here. As the ChinaFile commentators make clear, this is a topic howling with paradox-torsion — and thus one peculiarly liable to unleash creative surprises.
* Scare quotes included to fend off Templexity pedants (this blog’s cute alternative to grammar Nazis).