Listen to Outside Voices

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Information Revolution
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We must be careful of allowing this growing self-confidence to suppress the real voices from outside.

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<p>I think that's only part of it. A lot of people are very optimistic, as long as the economy develops to a certain level, there will naturally be more access to information, an openness, because more and more people will place hope in the acquistion of information. But I think that this is not necessarily true. Last March, at the time of the Olympic torch relay and the Carrefour incident, I discovered that young people, who were born in the 1980s, actually willingly believe some things or willingly obtain certain information. Such as, in order to prove that CNN is an anti-Chinese media body, they can naturally find a lot of examples of CNN opposing China. Or, if they want to prove that the Dalai Lama is someone who is causing division, they won't be willing to listen to the opinions of other people. This is something which initially surprised me, like the incident a year ago with Wang Qianyuan, the female Duke University student. Everyone is the same age or of the same age-group, why did so many people treat her with such violence? Why was there no one willing to listen and understand why the girl was giving such an opinion? Even though I also felt that the girl's opinions implied her lack of full understanding of the situation, but at the very least, we need some tolerance in this society. I think that young people now, their data would be much more developed than in my time. In the 1980s, when I was in college, there was no internet. You could only go see some books, and these books were also limited, not like today where there are so many books in book stores. It was also very hard for us to leave the country, it was hard for us to get out of the country and personally experience what was happening outside of China. However, sometimes I think that in fact, the college students of the 1980s seem to be more broad-minded, with a more multi-faceted way thinking and more tolerant than today's students. In the end, I think that this is a question of the method of thought. After 1989, the whole of society became secularized. Everyone was seeking true benefits in life. And a lot of people gave up their independent mode of thinking. This wasn't encouraged by schools or society. Under these circumstances, a lot of young people now may be very smart, they can go to well-known universities all over the world. However, when you really converse with them, you will discover that they are not really willing to consider new voices or adopt a more dialectical method of analyzing problems. And I think that right now, in relation to Chinese society, this is a cause of much worry today. Why do I write blogs and write so many things? I really hope that when there is so much information, one shouldn't follow the majority, but one should firstly quiet down, think by yourself, consider opinions, then make a decision. Because today's society makes decisions too quickly. Once there is a bit of information, this is immediately followed by a judgment: the situation is like this, the person is like this, just like this. And, in reality, this is not true. Because, as more information comes, you find out that the situation is nothing like this. However, there are some people who don't care that this does not reflect the real situation, and they won't listen once they have decided that this is so. They will reject outside voices. So I think that instead, since the development of the economy has gotten underway, this may become an increasingly serious problem. Because, that year, a book titled &quot;Chinese People say No&quot; was published. It was during the U.S bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999. A book has come out these past few days by the same people, called &quot;The Chinese People are not Happy.&quot; I think that in &quot;Chinese People say No&quot;, it is about how China should position itself, how to develop relations with the rest of the world. &quot;The Chinese People Are Not Happy&quot;, what they say is&nbsp;how China should lead the world. Especially I think with regard to the financial crisis which made everyone think that China turned into the best place in the world, I actually meet a lot of people who think, yes, the world is now dependent upon us. And I think that a lot of the Western media intentionally say how good China is, making a lot of people think better of themselves. So sometimes I think that with regard to the voices of those outside who deliberately flatter China, including those within China who painstakingly flatter themselves, and with the impression of a flourishing economy, this causes a lot of Chinese people to be ignorant of what is really happening in China. Making them believe that China is really flourishing. So, I don't think that there is direct correlation between economic growth and the increased flow of information. Instead, I think that we must be careful of allowing this growing self-confidence to suppress the real voices from outside, especially voices of criticism or those they do not want to hear.</p>
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Rose Luqiu cautions that China's youth seems to be less open-minded and tolerant and more prone to jumping to conclusions than students of her generation. She says that this is a dangerous phenomenon and that Chinese should not allow their growing self-confidence to suppress the voices of criticism or dissent that need to be heard from abroad.