Encryption is not enough. You need to disguise your VPN traffic to make it look like standard HTTPS sessions (since they don't block HTTPS). For example in a traditional HTTPS session, if the client browser downloads, say, a 500kB image over HTTPS, it will send periodical empty TCP ACK packets as it receives the data. But when using a VPN that encrypts data at the IP layer, these empty ACK packets will be encrypted, so The Great Firewall will see the client sending small ~80-120 bytes encrypted packets, and will count this as one more sign that this might be a VPN.
That's why people in China have to use VPN tools that most westerners have never heard of: obfsproxy, ShadowVPN, SoftEther, gohop, etc. All these tools try to obfuscate and hide VPNs. I have a lot of respect for all these Chinese hackers like clowwindy who try to escape censorship, as it takes more technical prowess than you think to design a VPN that works in China.
I have noticed they have multiple situation, for example when everything's quiet internet is not so bad (despite the fact bandwidth is extremely low for huge amount of people), but when some news came out about government corruption, guess what ? some vpn does not work . In 2009 green movement they closed every https connection.(maybe that was red alert situation)
p.s : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_packet_inspection
p.s. : I use vps from netherlands for bypassing firewall. but It takes huge amount of time and a little money.but the point is 99.999% people don't have this option (I use shadowsocks, sometimes another tunnels) so they use internet the way is or some software like freegate and other but with extremely low speed unbearable lag.
p.s. : pptp, l2ps and others are closed right now. even president rohani couldn't manage the situation . I have heard he did want to do something but supreme leader and his people stopped him.
It turned out that RDP actually worked pretty well. I did hesitate to post this in case it's seen by the wrong people(!), though given it's a while since it was necessary to use, it may be blocked by now anyway.
I wonder if it was available because it was relatively little known and, if so, what other little known protocols might be available.
As a Chinese netizen I don't know if I should be proud that we have world-class advanced technology or be ashamed. Possibly ashamed.
Oh I just gave away so much secret. I'm so doomed. Everything above are just made up stories. Don't believe me. Don't track me down. Please.
These are our colleagues designing and implementing these tools of oppression. We should ask them why they exercise their talents in this way.
Chief among these was the Three Kingdoms War when up to 40 million are reckoned to have perished in military operations and from the destructive consequences of warfare. This is an enormous number, considering that the global population at that time is unlikely to have exceeded 400 million. More recently, the Taiping Rebellion claimed more than 20 million lives while the civil war that brought the Communist Party to power resulted in 7.5 million deaths, over and above the 20 million estimated to have been killed in the roughly contemporary Japanese invasion.
This is not the history we were taught at school but Chinese leaders are well aware of these facts.
When disorder breaks out in China, things turn very nasty indeed.
It is best, therefore, to avoid disorder at almost any cost."
That is why.
Or would you prefer to have China descend into the chaos of Rwanda or Sudan ?
Also, when quoting large blocks of text it is usually helpful to source that quote.
If they are using oppression to avoid disorder, they better have long term plan. Otherwise they are digging their own grave.
Not many people fear of chaos in the USA and not because they have the best firewall.
Incidentally, in most of those Chinese conflicts (4 out of 5 I believe), they were right. Many other wars were similar : starts with "immigration", numbers increasing, conflict, open conflict (and mass death), repression (of the losing side). Extermination is often tried but rarely succeeds. Well it succeeds in causing mass death, but it doesn't succeed in the sense that extermination is the result.
There are not millions of doomsday preppers in the US. And their obsession is not representative of public will or sentiment.
The comment you're replying to said:
>Not many people fear of chaos in the USA and not because they have the best firewall
So you seem to be saying that if the US had a Great Firewall the nutjobs who spend half their salary on underground bunkers and armament wouldn't. That's a pretty silly argument.
and i wonder if filling the apple form helped them finding him or it was just bad timing
Pretty much all the ISPs sell "international lines" as well. But only as part of their business packages. Usually it will run for about US$1k/mo - US$3k/mo with minimum 1-2 year contract for their "starter" package. Most tech companies in my area have them; they work very well. Essentially they are a hardline to Hong Kong and they ration out to subscribers.
They key thing to understand about the GFW is that it's not about general censorship of the population. Frankly the government doesn't care if someone who is middle class, i.e., invested in the status quo, gets around the GFW. They are more concerned about conservatives in lower classes trying to organize to stop the move towards capitalism. And it's mostly about protecting the market now so local companies can get access to these lower classes as their position improves and they join the middle class.
It's not just international companies. Chinese companies are all about going overseas now. China is now a next exporter of investment. Plus it seems every company with an app that has a moderate amount of success wants to reach Chinese outside of the China -- they have more money -- and so need to integrate with blocked services like FB. And exporting Chinese online games to other developing nations is really taking off.
"Reason for Recommending: Reliable connection, fast speed. Fast customer support."
What do you mean by 'reliable'? What do you mean by 'fast'? Are you talking about latency or throughput?
"Reason for not recommending: sometimes hard to connect"
How many times out of ten? Using which VPN protocol(s)? Was this using PPTP, or OpenVPN over stunnel?
I run my own VPN servers (for myself and friends) but of course there is some ongoing maintenance effort to add new servers to replace those for which latency and/or throughput have declined. If there were a site with specific data about different companies' performance (over time), that would help me to decide whether it's still worth the effort.
Now, on previous trips I experienced what you mentioned. It seemed really like there was some machine learning going on, and after using a VPN for a while the connection would get bad. But I guess it might not be machine learning, there might just be a huge number of humans watching your traffic - which would explain why it is so inconsistent.
The thing that worked best for me is just using ssh -D (on most days). Our workplace uses ssh a lot for secure communication with outside china, so that couldn't possibly be blocked without hindering our work (and I believe 'they' have no interest in that). So whenever I had to access something for work that was sillily blocked (argh gmail), I just used the ssh connection that was open anyway.
And what most ppl do when facing this? They choose a local service instead of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google. See, censorship is only a part (though a vital part) of the grand scheme.
It's a pretty sophisticated arms race that's lead to some cool stuff, notably pluggable transports (like the obfsproxy you mentioned): https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html.en
Unfortunately the companies that enable this deep packet inspection are often American companies working overseas. My friend who used to work at Cisco said they had internal slide decks about the improvements they could make to the Chinese firewall. Then there's Bluecoat in Sunnyvale (https://www.bluecoat.com/) building the censorship systems for the middle east.
Why do American companies sell this kind of stuff to China and non-democracies in the middle east? They must rationalize it in someway, but I think it's wrong.
Pursuit of the almighty Free Market without regard for scruples or morality. Basically, public corporations base success only on money. If you as an executive refuse to bow down before Mammon[1,2] then you are replaced by someone who will. Seealso Charles Stross' excellent Invaders From Mars. The Chinese government and other regimes pay big money for these tools.
I thought it was just a consequence of being on spotty < 5mbps(ADSL?) connections. The internet situation was barely tolerable for a few weeks stay; I can't imagine what living in these conditions 24/7/365 is like.
"24/7" means 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"24/365" means 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
"24/7/365" means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 weeks a year?
I know, I know, it's become an idiom, and it's like "I could care less", and you can't try to understand it except as an atom that caries a meaning, but it just looks wrong to me.
Sorry - I'll now return you to your regular programming.
If the sole holiday were a single Golden Week sometime in the year, the idiom may indeed have been "24/7/52", but holidays are simply scattershot like that.
It's not that the individual segments relate to each other. Rather they answer three sets of questions:
What are your daily hours? All of them. 24 hours / day.
What weekdays are you open? Again, all of them. 7 days/week.
What holidays do you observe per year? None, we're open 365 days/year.
Since there's rarely a monthly cycle to business closings and there aren't a standard number of days per month, that's elided.
It also helps to realize that human timekeeping is really based on three independent phenomena which are utterly unrelated. There are day-based units: seconds, minutes, and hours are all subdivisions of the period of rotation of Earth about its axis.
The month is based on the Moons orbit about Earth. That it is roughly 30 days is a notional convenience, similarly its rough divisibility by 4 into 7 day periods. The week is entirely synthetic (though profoundly persistent).
And the year on Earth's orbit about the Sun. Again, relationship to days and months are entirely arbitrary.
That's why it often seems time units are arbitrary. They are.
There's a brief book which Kay's this ought and traces the calendar through time, The Seven Day Cycle.
7 *days* per *week*
24 *hours* per *day*
365 *days* per... *year*
Just trying to help. ;-)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Of course, this is a losing battle. People just don't care if what they say makes sense, they just say stuff and assume that people will understand. This is one of the things that makes language bizarre, miraculous, infuriating, and impossible to analyse. I note examples like this because they are caltrops on the road for NLP.
> They are all relative timeframes by which
> a store my be closed; certain hours during
> the day, certain days during the week, and
> certain days during the year.
> Your inability to make sense of it doesn't
> affect the rest of us.
> ... it is the result of a willful ignorance
> that you are bragging about.
> It doesn't make for very interesting trolling.
I would argue that no single statement can make sense. Sense is made when multiple statements are combined.
It's really all just about appropriate cognitive load. Every statement must be processed and it's great to be as accurate as possible and as accurate as the consensus agrees to.
Anything higher quality than that falls under the category of "great writing," which only a handful of people cherish.
And I'll add that "I could care less" derives from the earlier "I couldn't care less", which makes a lot more sense. See http://blog.dictionary.com/could-care-less/
24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year.
Whoever doesn't stay home during the Christmas period in the US gets accolades from management, so there's incentive to work if you're career-focused.
In my experience splitting my time between North America and China, the difference is not terribly noticeable once you invest in a solid VPN -- which everyone does.
The network speeds here are generally far better than NA -- in tier 1 and tier 2 cities at least. If you're accessing site in China, i.e., not going through the GFW, the average is far better than you'd find in the US. However the GFW slows everything down. However, there are a handful of VPN providers that specialize in getting through the GFW: notably Astrill and ExpressVPN. This those on my phone, tablet, and laptop it's easy, you'd never know you were in China -- expect the odd day when you have to hunt for a different server. Most experienced developers here subscribe to one of them.
Also, a lot of tech companies subscribe to "international lines". Pretty much all the ISPs offer them to business customers. They are expensive but they work very well. Usually about US$1k/mo to US$3k/mo on contract. The international lines are just hard lines to Hong Kong.
I assume 9 years later (don't know what the modern tech for web stuff is these day, but I assume encryption plays a key part) they're doing just as intrusive inspection and filtering of data.
In other words, steganography.
Also, international performance in general can be quite bad at peak times (i.e 30% packet loss), I suspect due to Comcast-style management of international transit. But if you buy a transit circuit from Unicom, no problem!
Edit: to add to the grand parent, I've actually found ssh -D/-w0 (for a TUN device) quite reliable from China. What I really want to do is run multiple connections from different end points with a routing protocol to do fast-failover.
Don't suppose you could explain to us network plebs how that would bypass the Great Firewall?
It also doesn't solve the problem of mobile access to Google Apps for Chinese workers (Google Play Store & apps are not bundled by many (any?) Chinese OEM handset makers or carriers. You can root & sideload, or you can purchase phones outside the country and ship them to your employees, but even if you do this, there is still no guarantee they'll be able to access Google's apps while on cellular networks.
Google Apps will also drain your battery if you are in a region where Google has no network-location data yet, because then Google will turn on your GPS, and send to their servers the pair of GPS-coords and strength of networks.
If you live in a suburb in Germany where almost no networks are known to Google, this means if you enable location services your GPS will try to get a fix 24/7, eating your battery in about 2 hours.
This is probably going to be an issue in China, too, considering that Google doesn’t have location data there.
But if you turn on WiFi and Location at the same time (which is not uncommon), then it will suck your battery dry in seconds. Turn any of those two off, and it works.
- High accuracy (GPS, wi-fi, mobile)
- Battery saving (Wi-fi, mobile)
- Device only (GPS)
From what you say, it sounds like 'Device only' would save more battery than 'Battery saving'?
Source: worked there for a while
I believe this is the reason why they use Atlassian products, where rest of us would use trello, e.t.c.
 company that created jira
OpenVPN is like a prime suspect of a police procedural novel, it gets hunt down no matter what.
Personally experience: I did work for Microsoft Shanghai and VPN works just fine. You need to have the right set of tools, and better, have a good channel of negotiation with the government.
Traditional VPNs such as PPTP/IPsec as well as various forms of obfuscated proxies are generally not interfered with unless something major happens. A lot of the alleged "censorship" are actually symptoms of high latency and packet loss on home connections.
So... could you avoid detection by passing an SSH tunnel through a PPTP VPN? Add enough layers, and the censors might not bother to unwrap all of them.
Note that Chinese government does not have backdoor access to those US websites, nor do they control a significant fraction of Internet infrastructure.
It's based on SoftEther VPN, which happens to be open-source and cross platform.
I'm using it for most of my VPN setups and I've generally found it to be superior to OpenVPN in every aspect (performance, usability, protocol support, obfuscation, etc).
For ssh it sometimes work for a few days then the whole IP/host is blocked.
I did not have to time try obfsproxy, shadowsock or whatever, but it really really sucked, to make things worse, my Nexus phone could not get any updates etc either, as Google is also _fully_ blocked, I felt I was back to Stone age there.
I recall the same thing occurring in Shanghai with many of the popular webmail services, they'd work briefly, usually just long enough to log in and get a glimpse at an inbox, then it would time out endlessly and that'd be it.
I use an unencrypted PPTP VPN and the connection is really fast and stable here (Shenzhen, China Telecom). I have tried OpenVPN and ssh but both were much slower. FWIW, I don't believe using a VPN is illegal in China (though operating a VPN service without a license most likely is) and pretty much every single foreigner I know uses one.
Internal policy dictates this, all over the world.
Email is usually on self-hosted Exchange.
Corporate firewall blocks stuff like Youtube and Facebook - also the same over the world, but some users with the business need can access whatever the business need dictates.
Some large companies just bypass the national firewall for speed reasons - this is negotiated with the government on an individual basis - pragmatically this makes sense, as the traffic is 100% encrypted back between fixed sources and destinations, and inspecting it just wastes resources for all parties. Some corporations may also have their websites for the public access bypass any filtering, also for speed reasons (for example, internet banking).
A: "No, 1.2kpbs is not enough, thanks but I prefer censorship."
Is that what you're saying?
Most of the detection is focused on blocking vpns and they are very good and disrupting vpn traffic
But if they can't shut it down via technology, they'll most likely shift to individual enforcement and harassment. In that case they have to chase people one at a time, so to get widespread effectiveness they have to make sure that each individual case frightens as many people as possible. That means that the individuals targeted will be punished more severely.
1. if you need custom vpn, why even have apple devices?!
2. why focus on vpn over their network instead of mesh?
"Removed according to regulations."
Let me just find the nearest cliff to jump off.
People have built successful VPN services using Shadowsocks, and they are available on many platforms, like routers and embedded systems.
And the iOS version is more or less the author's recent efforts to build a VPN client that can run on non-jailbroken iPhone, much like Cisco AnyConnect.
I think shadowsocks' popularity as a whole concerns the chinese government, so they do their usual rooting out the leader thing: now that shadowsocks org is headless in the literal sense (no owner, no main repo), they hope its development will die out.
There are plenty of people on HN who are i) wealthy ii) interested in beating censorship.
It'd be nice to see some effort going into creating software to beat censorship; having excellent translations of the documentation into a variety of languages; etc.
(Not the best code, a couple of race conditions in there)
Yes, setting up a VPS provider would be the most common way. There are Shadowsocks implementations that supports multiple users so that more than one person can use it simultaneously. There are also commercial solutions for Shadowsocks that you can just purchase an account instead of setting up your own server.
freegate is a traditional http proxy or socks proxy built by Falun Gong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_Gong). They built lots of software with the same technology: freegate gpass freeu dynapass... People share this kind of banned software sending to each others just like teenagers share adult videos. After update of GFW, it become un-available and un-usable.
openvpn turns break GFW as a business, people sells openvpn account at $1.66 a month regularly. They sell this kind of services package including pptp l2tp ssh openvpn to those who need a free network.
goagent is a free software written by Phus Lu. It use Google's application engine as server so you can use it without paying money.So it replaced openvpn since it cost $0. After China banned Google, this way become more and more hard.
shadowsock is a protocol designed by clowwindy. It become a environment. People use python, C, nodejs, golang, rust, obj-c, java to write their own client and server. Some organization share their server for free, some people sell account and provide high speed. shadowvpn works as a VPN while shadowsocks works as a socks5 proxy, but share the same technology.
This is the end of shadowsocks. I means recently more and more evidence shows that GFW has finally find a way to recognize shadowsocks's packets. Then they stopped the development of shadowsocks.
That's all. The winter of China's network comes.
Is there technical reason to believe that shadowsocks or similar technology is the last stand against automated censorship?
I would just say this is just yet another stage in the censorship/anti-censorship cycle.
There's no guarantee that "the censorship arms race" will continue, even in your specific nation-state.
For example, I bet there's not much anti-censorship software being developed in North-Korea, because people don't want themselves and their entire families tortured to death.
The real problem here is not that we might be lagging behind governments with our anti-censorship tools. The real problem is the existence of governments to begin with, because as long as they do, they will want to control their subjects as closely as possible.
Policitians and the real rulers behind the scenes are all psychopaths.
They see us as human livestock, and any one of them would be perfectly happy with a global North-Korea, as long as they personally would be in the tiny ruling elite, with all the riches and power a psycho could ever dream of.
Hmm... okay, so they defeat shadowsocks by recognizing the packets.
> Then they stopped the development of shadowsocks.
But if they already had shadowsocks beat, why do they make a public show of shutting it down?
Sounds more like they recognize that they don't have the GFW technology to defeat shadowsocks on-going development over time. Which suggests all you need is a new developer.
For example, if their capabilities to identify shadowsocks traffic is not particularly specific, filtering would result in undesirable impact on other traffic. They can also have other out-of-band estimates for the extent of shadowsocks use (presence of the software on seized or searched equiment, observed chatter, informants, etc).
a: build a method of detection and prevention and
b: find and coerce developer to stop improving software,
#b is required assuming the developer(s) is considered to be an above average adversary. When there is no silver bullet solution a cat+mouse game is inevitable. That further increases the value of this action.
#a being done at same time as #b has an effect on the collective behavior of the adversary. I'm sure various members for the RIAA and MPAA are wondering how they could have dealt with "filesharing" in a similar manner during the Napster days. But in the end it only buys you time in a cat+mouse games. meh, im sure there is some sun tzu art of war blah blah somewhere saying the same. more poetically of course.
Even if it does get completely removed, a duplicate exists on GitLab: https://gitlab.com/mba811/shadowsocks-iOS (No guarantee that it has all the commits prior to deletion, or that it hasn't been modified from the original in some way.)
I can only hope the police in clowwindy's country don't know how to switch GitHub branches.
Because it's the same SHA, and because of the way git works, we know that all the history before it is exactly the same on GitHub and GitLab.
I'm saying that the result is not going to be so different, as in people will still use shadowsocks to circumvent the firewall and won't get "disappeared" or whatsoever.
Someone in this subthread mentioned something about a commit hash. This is important.
Even with root account, you are not in full control of your Mac - you are sandboxed by Apple.
It's a big step in the wrong direction [opinion], especially because it does nothing to verify "integrity". It prevents changes to the System directory by conventional means (and injection into system processes).
If malware were to figure out a way to disable SIP from userland, it could install itself in such a way that nothing short of disabling SIP could uninstall it.
But lets say you don't find a vulnerability in SIP userland detection, and instead find a kernel exploit to get around the protection:
If malware were to figure a way around it, then even antivirus software can't uninstall it. Only Apple can. It's not FUD.
SIP holes will be found, and Apple will patch them just like other security flaws.
With the condition that you have to upgrade to the very latest system :)
However, this argument falls down a little if malware doesn't actually need to modify system files, which it doesn't for most typical evil stuff I can think of.
Since all System locations will now be signed (as part of the move to SIP), it means that the basic Apple recovery partition will be able to purge any such malware by a simple signature verification.
(I have limited experience with OS X - only briefly played around with driver development and bootloaders in the 10.4 era with osx86 - and I did have to boot from the DVD a few times when I made the system unbootable.)
This raises the question, what good is root if it's not really root anymore?
The idea is that a combination of a SecureBoot-style trusted boot sequence and technologies like Intel's SGX instructions to create an area that is protected from everything else, root included.
Ever since (heavily controlled) iOS was accepted by the tech crowd as a replacement for a proper General Purpose Computer, we've been slowly loosing more and more control. At least there seems to be workarounds for this particular OSX "feature". It is incredibly important to stop this trend now; it will be a lot harder to work around these restrictions when it gets hardware support.
It's easier than that. It's just a kernel argument to disable it. Simply add "rootless=0" to your boot-args and you have control of your machine back.
I'm running the 10.11 beta and I've already had to disable rootless because I like to have /usr/local as a symlink to somewhere else and by default the rootless configuration prevents writes to /usr. :-/
They know that rootless will break some applications/drivers, plus some types of development may need it disabled.
At the very least, the OS needs to be reinstalled from an off-disk source, and that's assuming you haven't been hit by something sophisticated enough to put itself in firmware. We're fast approaching an era where you need to trash the hardware. You should never trust an OS install that was ever compromised, and making it more difficult to do so is a good thing in my book.
"all dtrace probes that target a system restricted process will not be matched" (i.e. will fail unless SIP is disabled).
I'd read a book written by LinYutang, called My Country and My People. All my understandings of my country after reading this book are not same as nowaday China.
What's wrong? I don't know. I just wanna have freedom for Googleing. I just wanna the people in this country be happy not only because they get enough to eat.
The right to be forgotten impedes on total information awareness and the desire to make the perfect rational decision with your money.
This is a good thing. Total information is not perfect information because of bias and context. Someone seeking such information will process it through a biased lens and never attain perfection. In that case, the individual under the lens will lose out.
I hope one day I'll live in a country where I have freedom to write any code I like without fearing.
I believe you guys will make great stuff with Network Extensions.
There are relatively few countries in which the government both could and would interfere with someone's publication of code, and I think only in China is there both widespread computer use and internet access, on the one hand, and state security actors (the civil police, actually) who have the sophistication and funding to intervene with specific projects such as this one.
Did you mean to ask what country he was in?
> Since World War II, many governments, including the U.S. and its NATO allies, have regulated the export of cryptography for national security considerations, and, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment. ...
> As of 2009, non-military cryptography exports from the U.S. are controlled by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security. Some restrictions still exist, even for mass market products, particularly with regard to export to "rogue states" and terrorist organizations. Militarized encryption equipment, TEMPEST-approved electronics, custom cryptographic software, and even cryptographic consulting services still require an export license
> ... Other countries, notably those participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement, have similar restrictions.
It's probably even more insidious, because simply confirming the existence of an NSL can be a crime punishable by significant custodial sentences. In the USA, posting "The police asked me to delete this code" could land in you federal pound you in the ass prison for 10+ years.
It's not about interfering with someone's publication of code. It's about neutralizing threats to rulers' rule.
China's rulers shut this guy down because his tool might enable too much free speech among the masses, which, in turn, would pose a threat to the government's rule.
As for the idea that "it couldn't happen here!", see how the US government "interfered" with someone's publication of articles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUYMPZ4nEOY
See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ebudnWlh4
Both those conferences occur in a single country, one which was not even able, under its own laws, to effectively suppress the distribution of cryptographic code when it was legally considered to be militarizable as a weapon.
And the point isn't that they weren't able to suppress crypto code; it's that they tried.
Back to your question, the answer is YES, use a proxy, which is less expensive, or buy a dedicated private virtual line from a Chinese ISP, which is more stable.
You can setup a fast proxy by carefully selecting the routing path. Nowadays, the CN2 cable (http://www.ctamericas.com/content.asp?pl=627&sl=637&contenti...) is a good choice.
"Or rsync your data to Japanese Servers (Linode, GMO, etc) and ask your customers to download through http or https."
We've used Amazon CDN before even for Chinese customers and they have closest node in Hong Kong - they still(Chinese) have difficulties to download our packages. I doubt using Japanese server would solve our problem. Thanks anyway.
Now imagine, one manager coming to you with an idea:
"Hey, here is a great way to make big money: we fire all our expensive US workers and move the whole production chain to China, people are much cheaper there and governement will keep it that way!"
Would you adore such a greedy $$$hole and make him manager of the century?
Just another crazy idea: Imagine we would produce all our hardware for all our communication devices in a country with such an authoritarian neandertal-government! Oh, wait...
The original repositories have been/are being reset. (Some branches were not removed.)
Non-obvious ways to search for forks as the network graph is unavailable for larger projects.
And you can paginate like this:
Were the repos mirrored anywhere, or would that present a risk to the original author?
What is described was a visit from the police in which they asked him to take down his own Github distribution. He clearly hasn't been arrested, and although he may be being fined, he doesn't mention it. You will notice that his message encourages others to continue work and is generally unhappy and defiant.
If this was a matter of any seriousness with regards to state security, it seems more likely to me that the repositories would be simply shut down without explanation.
My expectation based on my own few encounters with the regular civil police is that those who specialize in computer matters are unlikely to be idiots; I assume they will know how version control systems work. It would probably be overly cheeky of him to actually contribute to someone's fork, or work on similar software, but there shouldn't be any negative consequences based on what we've heard.
My experience in China is limited, and someone else might offer contradictory insights, but that's what my expectation would be based on that experience so far.
 an edit to clarify: "In China."
> GitHub will not automatically disable forks when disabling a parent repository. This is because forks belong to different users, may have been altered in significant ways, and may be licensed or used in a different way that is protected by the fair-use doctrine. GitHub does not conduct any independent investigation into forks. We expect copyright owners to conduct that investigation and, if they believe that the forks are also infringing, expressly include forks in their takedown notice.
I appreciate the efforts of clowwindy and it's talented developers and hope the development keep going.
That might be nice if some independent organization take ownership of the project so other individuals feel safer contributing to it.
This is a scary wake up.
PS: nice to see you here. :)
Governments, by definition, are meant to "Govern". Most see that the the rules of governance that they, as experts, have defined, should be "The Only Rules". They have a vested (if only intellectual, but rarely is this the case) interest in seeing people follow these rules. Any discussion, or debate, regarding alternative rules, is obviously being pushed by people who don't know what they're talking about.
It's oppression based on consensus and bureaucracy. Sometimes it's nefariously directed, but often it's just pigheadedness and arrogance that lead to decisions like this being made.
Although, sometimes it's just downright manipulative pricks holding the reigns. Hopefully this is less frequent than it actually appears to be. I'm giving these governments the benefit of the doubt, though they haven't done much in recent years to deserve it.
You can tell when a country is either totalitarian or when it's heading that way when they begin seeking increased control over the media, when your communications are subject to routine governmental monitoring, when you can become criminally suspect for having cash, when they're afraid of you being able to encrypt anything because it might be Terror/ChildPorn (read as "forming plots against them"), etc.
Most of all, they don't want to end up dead like Saddam and Qaddafi.
They have valid fears of that becoming reality. Just like other politicians....
The only hope is for oil to just run out.
Did he ask a lawyer? Because it looks to me there are two possibilities. One, he was not doing anything illegal in which case the police had no authority to stop his activities. Two, he was indeed doing something illegal in which case he can be glad he got out of it with what appears to be only a warning.
- Hey guys, we are on front page of HN again!
- Yaay, lets upvote!!!
> The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.
Further, please consider that you don't have to kill a thing to control it. Even when something is technically possible, and arguably inevitable, it can still be neutered and effectively subdued. It's all fine and well to say things that suggest the human spirit will always triumph - that's optimism - but the human body can still be held in chains. A technical solution that is only accessible to a tiny set of people, under the right theoretical conditions, does not make freedom a solved problem.
His contact information doesn't look readily available online.
Did Chinese authorities contact Github, which readily complied with information that led to him being located?
Cops can do a lot of things, but they don't pull information from thin air. Github would be one source of information.
It's odd that this entire, and very popular, discussion on HN doesn't delve into how this individual was found.
It's also interesting that your reply is from a new account with only this comment.
Again, how the Github user was actually located by Chinese police was not disclosed or even discussed here. It's interesting that mentioning this has resulted in two comments by new accounts, solely to blame Chinese authorities as discovering the user on their own, with no evidence for it.
It would make more sense to just send a DMCA takedown for that plus all forks to ensure that the streisand effect doesn't come into play. Because now I gotta grab a fork and squirrel it away - even though I'm in the US I feel like this is important stuff to keep.
I find it interesting that the Chinese police have told him to shut it down, but have not put any restrictions on telling people he's been told to shut it down.
Who has the greater freedom in this respect?
See my reply here .
> I find it interesting that the Chinese police have told him to shut it down, but have not put any restrictions on telling people he's been told to shut it down.
Don't you think that signals there is more to the story? I doubt some friendly people knocked on his door and asked him nicely to remove the code. Then after he did it - they told him to have a nice day and left him with some tea and biscuits.
My gut feeling is there is more to the story than what is in the one line comment in the issue tracker.
I'm not saying it's right. I think there needs to be a stipulation in the DMCA to allow service providers to actually be able to research and think about the take down request. As it stands right now - you can send a DMCA takedown for any github repo and github MUST ASAP disable that repo - no questions asked. Of course - asking to take down a repo filled with material that isn't copyright to you could get you into legal trouble. However, I doubt people in China care about US laws - especially if they are the government themselves. Would you sue the Chinese government for wrongful DMCA takedown of your github repo?
I hope one day I'll live in a country where I have freedom to write any code I like without fearing."
I claim that the west is hardly better: Just say "copyright law".
People who do not yield to the GFW already made backups of all the repos under github.com/shadowsocks. And new tools to bypass the GFW is under development.
however,browse github has been harder in 2015.
I love my motherland but i really hate what the government has done.
sorry for my poor english
Shadowsocks is a cross-platform tunnel proxy which can help you get through firewalls.
This iOS version is for non-jailbroken devices. It has two features.
A web browser with all the traffic going through a Shadowsocks proxy
A background global proxy, with some restrictions
Available on the App Store
Please visit the App Store.
As a web browser
Shadowsocks works as a multi-tab web browser. It's really easy to use.
Tap the + button to open menu.
Tap Settings to configure Shadowsocks proxy settings.
Tap New Tab to open a new Tab. Tap URL field on the top to input URL.
Swipe a tab to scroll the tabs. Hold and press a tab to swap tabs.
If you've changed Proxy Mode, a restart is needed to take effect. (Kill the app, then open the app again).
As a global proxy
Shadowsocks works as a background global PAC proxy, with some restrictions.
Only works with Wi-Fi network. But we are working on the cellular network.
Only works for a few minutes. Due to iOS restrictions, Shadowsocks can't keep running in the background. It's killed after you leave it for a while. To keep it running for an extended period of time, you have to come back to the Shadowsocks app every few minutes.
So it's a little tricky to use global proxy.
Set up proxy settings in shadowsocks.
Copy this link http://127.0.0.1:8090/proxy.pac
Open iOS Settings -> Wi-Fi -> i icon on the right of your connected Wi-Fi -> HTTP Proxy. Choose Auto, paste the link in the URL field. Tap back.
Other apps now go through the proxy. If they don't, kill and restart them.
Come back every few minutes to keep Shadowsocks running in the background.
Can the author reach the US by whatever mean and apply for political asylum? That 'fear that they will suffer persecution due to: ... Political opinion' seems legit.
Frankly I don't know if we are that country. :(
US citizens can use any encryption they wish.
It happened elsewhere in this thread as well: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10103364. The end state of that one was Hitler, the end state of this one was jingoism. There aren't many end states.
This subthread turned so pathetic that I wonder if we should create overflow pages for these. The bottom of a regular thread seems too good for them.
If everyone in China left China, and assuming the rest of the world is living as a family of four (play along), then every home in the world outside of China would have to take in one Chinese refugee.
"Leave" is not a viable strategy at scale.
In the USA, there is the fundamental notion of "consent of the governed" - if enough people won't submit, the government cannot function.
Also, Chinese are not prevented from leaving the country, que the opposite. Enormous efforts have been spent in sending a lot of student abroad and bringing foreign teachers in (I have been one of them). The thing is for most people here not being able to Facebook is of minor importance compared to access to cheap and good food, secure cities and an environment where they don't feel people look down on them. So, many Chinese students come back to China after abroad studies, despite all the problems in China, and amongst them GFW is the last important.
All countries have oppressive regimes. Some are just moreso than others, and some target different people than others.
This is utterly destructive thinking, anyway. If the only hope, the only spark for change, flees, then there can never be improvement.
you'll have to to be wealthy enough to afford finding a way out.
you'll have to be willing to leave your family/friends.
you'll have to be willing to leave the place you might be very attached to.
you'll have to be willing to put up with all the bullshit and xenophobia you'll be faced with, once you arrive in your "safe" destination.
It's not just about being attached to your friends or to a place. A lot of people would love to leave their country, but aren't allowed to.
I used to use commercial openvpn provider , and after a while I config my own openvpn server in my own vps . they both lose connection after 2 3 min. right now I am using shadowsocks and I have other options in case of something goes wrong.
Well, yes. A noose, for example. I completly sympathise with those the flee - but change in any country csn really only come from within. Often with help from outside - but without a force of change within - a real force - there will be no real change.
See, I am not necessarily talking about the USA as I am from Europe. But I value the universal right of the western world for free expression very much. There is no such thing as the perfect country, but I firmly believe that you should have the right to freely discuss shortcomings and solution. This is given in the USA as well as in Europe. You will not have that possibility in Iran or China. And you will have many other things denied, too. So good luck there!
"We should gas all the Jews, rise up with me" isn't just free expression. It is also an act with predictable consequences.
The most likely consequence would be the antagonist getting shouted down and shunned.
If you have to worry about a pogrom breaking out as a result of inflammatory speech then you likely have deeper issues to worry about.
this is the way I am looking to problem.
guess what ? If in iran I talk against supreme leader , the chance are they will kill me with false accusation , okay ?
I bet you haven't read much about the treatment prisoners receive in the US...
> guess what ? If in iran I talk against supreme leader , the chance are they will kill me with false accusation , okay ?
The US has destroyed many lives and killed quite a lot of people for offending capitalism. True, many of those weren't/aren't US citizens. But yeah, they don't have one particular supreme leader... not as a person anyway, but in the form of ideas: greed and money.
in china, the politicians control the rich people, so they become rich instead - i don't think this is much better.
2. where there are frequent shootings and you are never safe due to some idiotic Constitutional amendment.
shootings are lower, but violence and crime are still a pretty big problem.
3. where regularly unarmed minorities are shot dead by the police and the majority jury allow them to go unpunished.
the chinese government's treatment of 'xiaosu mingzu' (officially recognized minorities) is absolutely reprehensible as well. perhaps not to the level of the american indians, and perhaps with military rather than police forces, but i don't see the big difference.
4. where there is no mandate to give workers paid leave include those with a newborn.
i googled "chinese newborn leave" and ... yeah
5. where lobbies can force the government into war and destroy lives around the world.
i guess within a socialist state lobbies are just different wings of the government. but i think you're misusing the precise term 'proxy war,' which is best applied to this point. here, china is beginning to exert its capital and buy influence among poorer countries esp. in africa. having these sorts of allies (read: puppets) sets china up well for the eventual proxy battles over africa's national resources.
6. where there is a high rate of incarceration, primarily due to the motivation of a proxy war against a certain group of people.
yes, USA is between 5-7x higher than china in terms of incarceration. but china is significantly more ... liberal with its use of the death penalty.
7. where the child abuse death rate is one of the highest in the world.
i direct you to point 4 above.
8. where life is just a gamble where you have "opportunity" to become super rich at the expense of everyone else?
welcome to late capitalism (and very few people even get that opportunity)
Sure, then what's stopping you?
You're entitled and you don't know the privileges that you have.
1. There is gun control
2. Universal Health Care
3. They don't start wars
Nevermind that studies show a weak or non-existent link between banning guns and homicide reduction. But even if they didn't, the right to bear arms is more important than letting politicians decide who has the right to self-defense.
1) A leader in freedom of speech, press freedom, property rights protections, general freedom of movement, and is low on the corruption index. One of the few countries with extraordinarily well protected freedom of speech rights enshrined at the core of the nation.
2) Has a rapidly adaptive culture, able to implement changes at a fast pace despite its immense scale. That includes things like legalizing and decriminalizing drugs, which is now underway across numerous states, and marriage equality.
3) Has one of the highest median household incomes on earth, and one of the highest disposable incomes. Both of which just got a 20% booster shot against the rest of the world courtesy of the dollar.
4) Has one of the highest standards of living on earth, for both the poor and the rich. See: OECD better life index.
5) Has some of the most generous welfare state policies of any nation. The US has free healthcare, and very large food and housing programs for the poor. Which is why America's poor are better off than all but half a dozen nation's poor.
6) Actually has stable economic growth and vast opportunity. Neither Europe nor the EU have grown in eight years. China is imploding rapidly with non-stop chaos socially and economically, Japan hasn't grown in 25 years.
7) Has a relatively low unemployment rate, and a vast supply of available jobs (presently at ~15 year highs, at nearly six million openings). This is counter to most of the world, with emerging markets in desperate shape, and the rest of the developed world rolling from recession to stagnation to recession again.
8) Is a leader in science, innovation, invention, general technology, aerospace, pharma/biotech, farming, manufacturing, software, Internet, space tech, gaming, and pretty much every other category.
9) Has 45 of the top 50 universities, and the best university system across the board of any nation. With a median student loan debt of $13,000 - which is half the price of a car these days.
10) Where the median household net wealth is higher than Germany, Italy, or Sweden. And where household debt to income ratios are lower than nearly all of developed Europe.
11) Where the murder rate for 99% of the population in cities is closer to 2/100k (and half that in rural areas), on par nicer urban parts of Europe. The US has a hundred nice cities with very low murder rates, pick where you want to live.
12) Where unarmed minorities are not regularly shot dead by the police.
13) Where minorities have a greater opportunity for success than in nearly any other nation. See: the vast wealth and prosperity of Asians in America, they're the best off of any race of people here. In fact, American Asians are among the best off of any people anywhere on this planet.
14) Where you have more opportunities than in any other nation, to make any kind of life for yourself that you want. Fortunately life in America is the exact opposite of a gamble, given the vast success of America's middle 50%. Few nations can claim the kind of success that America's middle class has managed, despite how large it is.
I'd contradict you by saying that the poor have it much better in Germany than in the USA (same great health insurance as everyone else, no masses of homeless people like in US cities) and I'd also say the educational system here is better for the average person (free universities with high standards - not in the Top50 of the world maybe, but still great). But in general I think you have many valid points on your list.
There are exceptionally few large nations in which the poor are well off however. Nobody would want to discuss the poverty in Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Iran etc. In the top 20 large nations, there are only four countries that aren't mired in extreme levels of poverty: France, US, Germany, Japan. When I say extreme, I mean levels so horrible, that if you attempt to compare the standards to the US, people stop wanting to talk about it and consider the comparison to be inherently unfair.
The parent comment for example was being almost comical in their standard, given China has half a billion people living on $3 / day (people with few rights, that by law can't even own the farming land under their feet). Those half a billion people have seen very little improvement in 50 years if you inflation adjust that $3 backwards, and they've seen very little improvement in rights.
Germany is an exceptional nation, without a doubt. Just to be in the same neighborhood as Germany, while having 330 million people and to be as diverse as the US is, is a compliment.
Germany however is also in trouble, with poverty becoming a serious problem. Their lack of economic growth since 2007 is probably playing a big factor.
"Poverty in Germany 'at Record High'"
"Poverty in Germany at its highest since reunification"
The US is able to implement seemingly big changes quickly, but they're not necessarily as big as you think them to be. "Marriage equality" (a name many disagree with, by the way) is not a massive change, for example. It's a tiny change that, while providing some benefit to some gay people, does not fundamentally change power structures. In fact, it strengthens an existing one: the cultural institution of marriage.
> 11) Where the murder rate for 99% of the population in cities is closer to 2/100k (and half that in rural areas), on par nicer urban parts of Europe.
If you exclude the places where murder happens most, of course you appear to have a low murder rate.
> 12) Where unarmed minorities are not regularly shot dead by the police.
Perhaps you have not paid attention to the news. Quite literally hundreds of black people have been shot by US police this year so far. People who, if their skin was a different colour, would not have been shot.
> 13) Where minorities have a greater opportunity for success than in nearly any other nation.
This statement would be amusing were it not so terrifying. Minorities in the US, once in the poverty trap, have virtually no chance of getting out of it. Even those outside it face significant obstacles in getting anywhere.
> See: the vast wealth and prosperity of Asians in America, they're the best off of any race of people here. In fact, American Asians are among the best off of any people anywhere on this planet.
Asians in America are a relatively privileged minority. Now look at how other ethnic groups fare. Not so rosy.
> 14) Where you have more opportunities than in any other nation, to make any kind of life for yourself that you want.
If you're rich.
There is no "of course" about it. If the murder rate were uniform throughout the US then excluding any handful of locations would have minimal effect, but excluding those locations causes it to drop precipitously.
That isn't to say it isn't a problem, but it's a localized problem. So if you're moving here and are worried about being murdered, all you have to do is live in New York and not Baltimore.
In fact marriage equality, and the increasingly broad acceptance of homosexuality in America, is an extraordinary accomplishment. And it's only going to keep getting better. That contrasts sharply with the majority of the world, that is the exact opposite and opposed to marriage equality.
> If you exclude the places where murder happens most, of course you appear to have a low murder rate.
Not excluding at all. The whole of the US has a murder rate 1/3 that of Russia, and on par with Amsterdam. Few Americans as a percentage live in very high murder rate neighborhoods or areas. Those areas have extremely high murder rates, the other 99%+ of America where most people live does not. That's an exceptionally critical distinction. The worst areas of eg Chicago do not threaten most of the people that live in Chicago, most of those citizens are under very little risk of being murdered or harmed by that crime. It's context dropping to pretend otherwise. To pretend that all of Chicago suffers from an equally high murder rate is absurd.
> Perhaps you have not paid attention to the news. Quite literally hundreds of black people have been shot by US police this year so far.
> Asians in America are a relatively privileged minority. Now look at how other ethnic groups fare. Not so rosy.
I find it fascinating how you excuse the success of Asian Americans by slandering them as privileged. Fact: Asians in America are among the richest Asians on earth; Blacks in America are the richest blacks on earth; Latinos in America are the richest Latinos on earth.
> If you're rich.
Nope, America has the world's largest middle class, and has good upward mobility:
"A surprising and increasing number of middle-skill workers are moving up rather than down the economic ladder."
The fact that the US has one of the highest standards of living, median incomes, and median disposable incomes, proves the point easily. You very clearly don't have to be rich at all to do well in America. The US also has one of the highest rates of college degree acquisition in the world.
Amsterdam, a dangerous city, has a murder rate of about 4.4 murders per 100,000 population.
The entire US, including the empty rural bits, has a murder rate of 4.7 per 100,00.
But if we include all of Holland we see a rate of less than 1 per 100,000 population.
Your comparison of a single dangerous city with the entire US is dishonest.
Let's look at a single US city: Detroit. Detroit has a murder rate of 44 per 100,000 population.
Amsterdam, one of the most dangerous cities in Western Europe has a murder rate of 4.4 per 100,000 population.
One of the streets where an assassination happened and where I'd cycle daily was this one: http://www.studiokoning.nl/Foto_Amsterdam_2/Apollolaan_14042...
Again this is a street where virtually everyone living is a millionaire, and the primary school she's 1 minute away from is one of the best in the country.
Nobody I knew ever witnessed anything, you'd just read it in the newspapers. The people who got assassinated were high level drug bosses who'd been in organised crime for decades. We're not talking about civilians here.
Beyond that, these are eurostat numbers and they're a bit shitty. The murder rates include drumroll abortion, dangerous driving and euthanasia. In short, it has nothing to do with crime or safety. So even the homicide rate of the Netherlands (a mere < 1 per 100k) is overstated. (as it probably is for American cities which have high abortion rates due to socioeconomic issues and poor sex ed)
Amsterdam is a super safe city I've lived all my life. (and I've traveled and lived in 4 continents so I can compare.) In terms of safety, sadly no developed country compares to the US, it's that bad.
I'll tell you the actual murder rates for Amsterdam and the Netherlands for 2014. Amsterdam 20, the Netherlands 137.
Per 100k that's about 1.5 for Amsterdam (for comparison, 1.3 in 2010, 1.5 in 2011), the most dangerous city in the Netherlands, and 0.8 for the Netherlands.
If we get that 4.x rate down to a high 2.x rate in the next 20 years, would that not be a solid accomplishment given the guns in America? At the rate violent crime has been dropping over time, that's likely to be the outcome.
And as I've noted previously, America in fact has a lot of cities with extremely low murder rates. If you want to live in a very safe city, there are plenty of options.
Let's look at San Diego versus Amsterdam: nearly twice the population and nearly half the murder rate.
2) Even if the comparison was reasonable, you completely fail to understand the cause of the numbers and what they say. And they say nothing about safety for ordinary people living in Amsterdam, I can tell you that right away.
Here's some more info on nr (2) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10102529
2) Nothing you've said refutes or alters Amsterdam's murder rate. Nor is what you said very effective, watch: your statement says nothing about the average safety of someone living in New York City. You completely fail to understand the murder rate in New York City and how it impacts the quality of life of the typical citizen there.
Oh my god, it's the LOWEST. Yes, the lowest of big cities. San diego has a population of a little over a million, quite comparable to Amsterdam (which has a smaller population, but roughly a million).
And what's the murder rate in 2014? 32. Amsterdam's murder rate in 2014? 20.
Alright so, the safest big city in the US, has a murder rate comparable with the most dangerous city in the Netherlands, or as you call it the murder capital of Europe.
(2) Yes I did refute your claims. Are you not listening?
1) Again, the 4.4 number includes abortions, dangerous driving and euthanasia. You can make a claim for dangerous driving (although it's mostly self-murder, so doesn't impact my safety), but euthanasia and abortion doesn't affect my safety AT ALL or anyone else's. Virtually every year the actual murder rate in Amsterdam is below 2, again comparable to the SAFEST city in the US, and this is supposedly the most dangerous city. So someone aborts a baby, or a 95 year old with a great life who went blind, bed ridden and in constant pain from a chronic disease wants to die and is requests euthanasia, makes my life less safe? It's a joke.
2) And those are murder rates of who? Organised crime. 90% of the murders in Amsterdam are assassinations of organised criminals, people who generated +$100m in drug money and get assassinated by a competitor. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with my safety. It doesn't affect me at all. Drug crime isn't like it is in the US, every month or so one or two people get assassinated in a targeted attack. I've never witnessed this or heard the gunshots or seen the blood or the bodies, despite living my entire childhood in neighborhoods in Amsterdam where this happened. (the richest neighbourhood by the way because these drug lords are all multi millionaires who live in expensive villas. The fact someone goes to their home and kills them and spikes the murder rate affects ordinary people in no way whatsoever. As opposed to gang violence in the US which takes the lives of many innocent people, and takes the lives of young small time petty criminals who have few opportunities, as opposed to 50 year old millionaires who've been in crime for decades). It's like saying if a police officer kills a dangerous criminal and the murder rate goes up by 1, that this makes your life less safe, it's a joke.
3) Actual crime (whether it's assault, rape, theft) is all much lower because Amsterdam is extremely safe and the murder rate is only high because virtually all victims are high level criminals. If you actually look at safety (whether it's from murder or any other crime) for ordinary civilians, it's nowhere near the safest US city. The comparison is a total joke.
It is an accomplishment, for sure! The Western world (not just America) has become much more tolerant of gay people.
And yet, while the US has had white people getting more tolerant or even accepting of white gay people, white people have not been getting more tolerant of black people.
In fact, the US has recently stepped backwards in some places, such as the end of the Voting Rights Act.
By all means, celebrate the progress that some people have made in the US. But bear in mind others have made none.
> The US is almost so diverse at this point, that it will soon have no majority.
Majorities and minorities matter less than who holds power. In Apartheid South Africa, black people were the majority.
Only a few of which are unjustified? Really? In most civilised nations, police shoot orders of magnitude less people.
Also, the idea that it only matters if unarmed minorities are shot in the US is abhorrent. In the US, you may legally carry arms.
> Nearly half of those deaths are white people, not minorities.
The fact poor white people are also shot is itself alarming.
> To put these numbers in context, China executes 2,500+ people per year,
China isn't a rich, Western nation. It's not a fair point of comparison.
> I find it fascinating how you excuse the success of Asian Americans by slandering them as privileged.
It's not slander, and I don't mean to say they face no discrimination, but they do face a much easier time than, say, black people in the United States.
> Fact: Asians in America are among the richest Asians on earth; Blacks in America are the richest blacks on earth; Latinos in America are the richest Latinos on earth.
Yes, but absolute (if you can even call it that: exchange rates vary) wealth doesn't matter. US Black and hispanic people are living in poverty by US standards.
> Nope, America has the world's largest middle class, and has good upward mobility:
It also has a massive number of people in poverty who cannot move up the latter.
> You very clearly don't have to be rich at all to do well in America.
The whole "upward mobility" concept relies on you eventually being rich. If the metaphorical ladder never reaches you (and for millions of people, it never does), no, you don't do well.
And by "rich" I do not mean upper class. Middle class people are, relatively speaking, rich.
The problem is that when you take away the racial angle, you might discover that America's pretty violent, and that fact might have an impact on how many police shootings there are.
Not to start an argument. I'm hoping you know something I don't and that will be a huge help.
I keep hearing about this free healthcare, yet I have friends and family members who can't afford the medication that keeps (kept) them alive. There was no other option even after chasing programs offered by the drug companies for "free medication" and applying to state programs. Do you mean they can go to an emergency room? That's not free either, you end up getting calls from collection agencies for the rest of your life, just like any other debt. And the emergency rooms are never a good idea unless you're actually bleeding out. My former father-in-law sat in the waiting room with a ruptured appendix for 12 hours because he was obviously poor and had no insurance. The nurse explained, if you have insurance, you have a Primary Care Physician to get you admitted, you can get right in. He didn't, so they told him to go home and take some ibuprofen. When he didn't (he couldn't physically get up) they got to him when they could.
For myself, health insurance is the single highest cost item in my budget. It costs more than my car payment or rent. I'm on the least expensive Affordable Care Act insurance in Texas. There is no subsidy unless you make 400% of the poverty level. As a business owner with a new business, I have zero revenue or income. I would be fine with that cost as a tax on income, it could grow with me. But as a flat rate, I will only be able to afford this a few more months unless our business becomes profitable, then I'm in the same boat as all the other poor, unless I go running back to some established employer. My wife has Type II diabetes. So I'm going to do whatever I have to. Her prescribed medication costs ~$400 per month, but after much searching we found a different combination that was $40/mo. Hopefully it works as well, we'll have to see.
I'm not complaining. I've had high paid jobs and and made alot of money over my life. We have it easier than most of the people we know. We are both young(ish) and healthy enough to still work. We have some savings, but I've spent most of it pitching in on healthcare for the family members I mentioned including my daughter. One of the reasons we started a business is we want to have something that will support us when we aren't able to do it ourselves, because we don't have anyone to do for us what we did for them. We don't have other options that I know of.
Tell me you do. I want to live in the America you do.
(edited to fix typos)
(4) is total bs though. If you look into the better life index, it's a total joke. Here's one quick tidbit, it rates the bottom 10% in Poland as having a better standard of living than the bottom 10% of France or Japan.
You think that's a joke? It gets better! It rates the TOP 10% of Poland as better than the top 10% of France or Japan, too!
If you know anything about these countries you'd laugh (with all due respect to Poland, great country for the resources they're working with right now and the history they've endured).
(5) is partially false. You can find an equivalent population in Western Europe (e.g. UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia) the size of the US population, whose welfare state policies make the US look poor. Of course on a world scale it's great, when you figure there's more than a billion in all of Africa, China and Asia, where the story is quite different. But compared to the best in the world, the US doesn't rank at the top, and we don't have to look at countries of 5 million to make that comparison.
(6-7) Least important. Long-term, yes, but you're mostly referencing a snapshot in time that's not very meaningful without context. After all, if you see your economy drop by 50%, high growth rates after aren't anything special, you're simply returning to where you were years ago. And if you come from a low position like China, getting growth rates that outpace e.g. the US by gigantic amounts isn't very special either, as you're merely catching up slowly to where others have been for decades. The growth number in and of itself is a small indicator without context. Don't forget, Greece and Spain and Ireland's 2015 and 2016 growth forecasts are double that of Germany (guess where you want to live. Germany). And China's is more than 2x that of the US (guess where I'd want to live, the US). Besides the claim that Europe hasn't grown in 8 years is false. Look at Real GDP per Capita, that removes inflation and population changes. You'll find Europe grew a tiny bit. The US isn't really any different, barely any higher than in 2007 .
(9) Partially true, partially not true. So for one, rankings wildly differ. The QS rankings have 18 out of top 50 universities in the US. Just 2 in the top 5, compared to the UK (a country with a population 5x smaller) which has 3 in the top 5. Other rankings are more favorable to the US, it depends. But what I think is important is that a lot of these rankings have little to do with education, and a lot to do with your point (8), which is research by 1% of the student base. Almost all of these rankings put a gigantic weight on peer review and citations. So if Chomsky is at MIT, well that boosts up the rate by a gazillion because he's one of the most cited people in the world. Even if he doesn't teach, or even if he teaches in a field that only 10 students in that university actually study.
You'd be surprised that quality of education isn't at all really measured, only by crappy proxies. So for example for QS (it's a horrible ranking, but very popular), 40% is peer review (i.e. almost completely irrelevant to the majority of bachelor/master students), 20% is citations, 10% is faculty/student ratio (have a lot of non-teaching research staff? Well you get peer review, citations and a high faculty/student ratio, without any of that directly translating to students getting taught. Have a popular professor who teaches a wonderful class to 200 students instead of 100? Your rating on this variable just got halved.) And another 10% is international students/staff, which I think is super important in some ways (internationalisation of education is a big deal!) but can also be completely meaningless. i.e. a university which has amazing education and happens to be in a low-immigration country, isn't any less amazing.
In short, rankings differ wildly, rankings are crap, and rankings often don't say much about the quality of education. I can say this because I studied at a top 50 university, top 20 actually, as well as 3 other ones not ranked even in the top 100, and the top 20's quality of education wasn't remarkable (actually had the best grades with the least effort there, too). The difference? The top 50 uni had a load of money, reputation and had brilliant PhDs doing amazing research and got cited a lot, which did 0 for my education but everything for its reputation, the other ones simply had great education without deep and well funded PhD programs.
So what must you do? Look at educational outcomes. More importantly, not look at the top universities, either. Does it matter for a typical student to study in the US if Harvard is in the US when it only takes in 2.000 students per year? The answer is mostly no. 99% of the population goes to different schools, so let's look at them.
You'll find the US does quite poorly compared to the aforementioned European region of equivalent size. And you'll find that whereas in most of Europe education is free or de facto free. (e.g. in Germany, free, in France a few hundred bucks per year, in the Netherlands $2k but you get $2k from the government as a loan, which turns into a gift if you graduate, i.e. free etc) And average student debt is $35k for 2015 in the US.
Having universities like MIT or Harvard is important for point (8), being a leader in science, innovation etc etc. But it's not for point (9), quality of education for a normal person, at a particular cost. You can get better quality cheaper in Europe. My education in the Netherlands compared great with having studied in America, for example.
(10) It's really hard to compare nations, income is a particularly tricky one to rely on. My healthcare is free, my education is free, sports and arts are heavily subsidised, cities are built so I don't need a car etc etc. In short, you can get a much better standard of living with less money. Would you like if your income was $1m per year if your health insurance was $250k, your education was $250k etc? It's an exaggerated example but you get my point. I find if you talk to people who've lived in Western Europe and the US (like I did), that standards of living aren't better in the US.
Household debt to income is rarely used, it's household debt to disposable income. And that's my point, if my healthcare is paid for me for example, does it matter disposable income is a little less? It wildly varies, too. Countries that are usually wonderful to live in have high ratios (Denmark the highest, then the Netherlands, Switzerland of all places comes in fourth. Who comes in last? Slovenia, Poland, Slovak Republic. Not places you want to live. It also masks the fact that Net Household Wealth to Income in the Netherlands (remember, the 2nd worst country on your debt to disposable income rating) is much better than that in the US.) You also have to understand where it comes from and what it entails. Two thirds of household debt reduction in the US was because of defaults. So the number is low because the US had an epic fail, defaulted on the majority of debt reductions and lost people a lot of money. That's not a great situation is it? Beyond that it's important to look at the type of debt. In the US household debt consists of a lot of credit card debt (i.e. empty debt at ridiculous 20% interest rates per year.) In Europe it's a lot more because of recent housing price crashes (i.e. people owing the bank on much lower interest rates on long-term, asset-backed loans, whose value is forecasted to bounce back in the coming years as the housing market picks up as it did this year already). It's important to look into the statistics, I can name a million and one empty statistics that make the US look poor. For example the US owes a ridiculous shit ton of money, $18 trillion, people always like to say. But nobody mentions that the rest of the world owes the US about the same amount.
(11) I think everyone knows that crime rates in a typical American city aren't as good as those in a typical European city. Hell the notion that there are deep issues with even feeling safe around police in the US for substantial portions of the population is insane. I agree fully with you that if you want, you can find very safe cities to live in in the US. But that's cherry picking cities, and if I did that for any of the other points you mentioned it'd be easy peasy, that's why we're having a discussion about countries no?
(12) I just don't see how the US compares to Western Europe in this regard. I mean it's on a completely different scale. I'll cherry pick one number real quick if you allow... it's that the US shot and killed 59 people in the first 24 days of 2015. In the last 24 years, the England & Wales shot and killed fewer, 55. Just think about that. Police shot and killed more people in 0.33% of the time, despite the population being barely 6 times bigger. Or Iceland, a population that is bigger than that of Stockton, California. They had 1 fatal police shooting in 71 years. Stockton? 3 in the first 5 months of this year alone. In I mean I'm cherry picking here obviously but I really think you should scrap this point from your list, cause I can go on and on here and it gets worse.
(13) Absolutely ridiculous. I'm a minority in Europe, my girlfriend is a sociologist. From my experience and the academic perspective, social mobility in the US is not the best in the world, not even close.
(14) More of the same.
If we're going to compare the top 25% of Europe versus the US, then let's use the top 25% of the US for the comparison, and use the bottom 25% of Europe to compare against the bottom 25% of the US. Given the population numbers are a lot closer for that comparison, it makes drastically more sense than trying to compare Finland to the US. It also makes far more sense on a diversity basis, given across all of Europe you get a lot of diversity, and the same is true for the US (with ~140 million minorities, and a vast number of national and cultural backgrounds).
It's absurd to compare solo countries like Norway to the US. There's no scenario under which that can ever make sense.
How does Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, etc compare to the bottom 25% in America?
How does all of Sweden compare to even the top 50% in the US? (that's 165 million people, so I feel like I'm giving you an extraordinary benefit there, comparing against tiny countries)
It's blatantly obvious what happens when you use a full European comparison, instead of just picking the top European nations. I've been accused a lot in this thread of cherry picking data, well only picking the top European nations is extreme cherry picking.
When comparing the US vs European nations, there are certain requirements to get a positive outcome for Europe. You have to drop most of the medium countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Turkey from the comparison - to say nothing of Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia, Belarus, Russia, Albania, Moldova.
The focus has to be on: France, Germany, UK, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium.
If you deviate from that exact list, Europe's ratings on everything implode rapidly.
It points to the persistent intellectual fraud in most comparisons to the US that you see with regards to Europe. People always want to stick to talking about just a few nations. They never want to do even a EU vs US comparison (eg twice the unemployment rate of the US, with next to zero GDP growth for eight years and with only ~60% the GDP per capita). US life expectancy is also as high as the EU, despite our supposedly inferior healthcare system. Median incomes are quite higher in the US than the EU, and median household wealth is also higher. The US also produces greater total output in terms of science, innovation and nobel prizes than the EU does.
Now it depends on what comparison you want to make. I'm telling you you can find a portion of Europe that's all next to eachother and is the developed part of Europe, that has a population that is comparable to the US, and is an interesting basis for a discussion.
If you want to include previous Soviet Union countries, or countries that have been independent states for since 2008 like Kosovo which you mentioned, go for it.
I'm not interested in that discussion, nobody is, nobody is talking about how we should all move to Kosovo or how the US can learn from Kosovo, it's a joke of a discussion and one I'll easily concede the US comes out ahead (surprise surprise! Hell I've literally lived in countries in Africa that do much better than Kosovo, which isn't even recognised by half the world population's governments, let alone part of the EU).
May I ask a question by the way, have you ever lived in the EU?
I ask because of your extreme bias. Because I've shown you countless examples of you citing things without understanding them, or citing them wrongfully, all to make a point regardless of whether the information supports it.
Like say the US producing nobel prizes more than the EU. Guess how many the US produced? 350. The EU? 462. I mean it's a joke. You keep spitting out random blobs of information, many of them flat out false or simply missing the point entirely. (like your info on homicide rates in Amsterdam being a total joke). You switch to national numbers when it suits you, then per capita numbers when it suits you, then shift to individual cities to cherry pick particular variables, and switch between comparisons between the US and individual countries, or the EU or Europe as a whole (yeah let's put Germany and Kosovo in the same basket and compare it to the US, and let's compare a group of countries like Germany and Russia to the US, even though Germany and Russia are like the US and Iran to eachother right now, fighting each other with sanctions and economic warfare, because hey Germany and Russia are both in Europe right? They must be politically united like say the individual states of the US, fair comparison to compare outcomes! /s).
And you make the same mistakes you're attacking others for, calling it 'persistent intellectual fraud' to make faulty comparisons. So let's look at one you brought up: life expectancy The EU life expectancy at birth is slightly better than the US, but as you say, it's comparable. So fair enough, right? But you fail to mention the European Union has more than 500 million people, about the same as the population of all 23 countries in North America, fair comparison? Not so much.
Mexico for example has a horrible life expectancy, even less than the West Bank for crying out loud.  Guess who is below Mexico even? Romania. Guess who invited Romania to join their union the past few years? The European Union. Now let's see what happens if the US builds a union in North America with countries like Mexico or say, Haiti, to get to the same 500 million people as the US, and watch what happens to your 'fair comparison'. You'd see variables drop extremely hard across the board. Again you're being a total hypocrite. Just because the EU happened to expand beyond western europe into a group of countries (not a country, but a group of independent states) way bigger than the US, allowing way poorer countries than Mexico for example to join, doesn't mean you can compare the EU to the US and then call 'intellectual fraud' when someone instead makes a more sensible comparison to western europe, or the original EU members. And don't get me started on the comparison to Europe, it's ONLY 750 million people, including hundreds of millions who are politically diametrically opposed and waging economic warfare and even a proxy war in the Ukraine right now. Makes total sense to compare their 'union' to the combination of the united states. And mentioning Kosovo, man I'm still laughing about that one, you're right though the US is totally better than Kosovo, I'm glad we put that controversy to rest.
> In October 1950, the People's Liberation Army entered the Tibetan area of Chamdo, defeating sporadic resistance from the Tibetan army.
I believe there is a much greater discrepancy than 2x, between the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and ongoing drone strikes inflicting civilian casualties, and Chinese incursions into Tibet.
That's not to say I support China in their incursions into Tibet. I am very sympathetic to those who have had atrocities committed towards them.
I do think however that the scale of a crime is important, and can be compared.
With the numbers you can make meaningful comparisons. This person committed two murders, this person committed one. To suggest all atrocities are equal is weak.
I think given any number of examples you would gladly compare crimes and atrocities and quite easily state which you think is worse.
Society does this also, you can usually find it expressed in the sentencing for crimes.
So because I don't tier atrocities into more or less horrifying based on numbers and treat them all as a negative means I have "sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies"? Doesn't take much to understand you don't know what those words mean, including moralist and psychologist.
Society seems to be able to distinguish between different crimes and atrocities, yet you seem unwilling in this case.
Suggesting that those who can make such comparisons are morally bankrupt is quite a stretch, don't you think?
If you look at history, China looks way more pacifist than the US. In fact, one has to wonder why the US govt. and media keep spreading fear about China... Perhaps the US govt./media are scared of some country doing to them the exact same things they do and have done to other countries.
I guess if you are from the country, it's less likely that you would outraged by your own military's actions.
Thanks for the information regarding China's belligerence, but Chinese citizens might be more sympathetic to that. Much like any nationalists being sympathetic to their own nation's causes.
Once you suggest a place as an alternative place to live, it's worth thinking about what a person who moves there would be supporting financially with their taxes.
A lot of these guys ended up in ISIS, it would be foolish to assume otherwise. If you view America's foreign policy aim as maintaining an unstable middle east, then it's not a slippery slope argument.
All of these statements are easily checked out by googling. Listing sources is a pointless formality.
(not stating that I think they're all accurate, but I do agree with the overall point, and I am very equipped to investigate and adjust the details.)
"A leader in freedom of speech, press freedom [...]"
"Where you have more opportunities than in any other nation"
Are these your idea of a self-evident statement?
Like EU GDP not growing for 8 years, wrong.
Median household wealth being better in the US than Italy, Sweden or Germany, wrong
The US producing more nobel prize winners than the EU, wrong
Statements about the danger of living in Amsterdam, wrong
Canadian gun ownership being comparable to the US, wrong
The murder rate for 99% of US citizens in cities being < 2 per 100k, wrong
Then there's a lot of statements he makes which are so vague, they're likely his opinion rather than substantiated facts, but I can't disregard them altogether as he didn't qualify them. For example the US having more opportunity than any other nation is hard to qualify so one can't even begin to dispute it. But if define what that means by say 'social mobility', which can be qualified to a large extent, and look at social mobility for example, the US is nowhere near the leading country.
And then finally there's a ton of facts which are correct, and they're completely disingenuous. For example he references median student debt at $13k. He doesn't mention that this is the median student debt for all people. i.e. if you graduated in 1970 and still owe $3k in student debt after having paid off tens of thousands already, then you're part of that equation and it hugely understates the debt burden for students. When what you THINK he's talking about is what is the average debt that a student graduates with. And that number is $36k for 2015, much more than his truthful statistic.
The only reference he made is to the OECD better life index, and I'm glad he did because I'm familiar with that index. If he hadn't referenced it I might've taken for granted that he must know what he's talking about. But as I mentioned in another post, here's a little joke: the OECD better life index ranked the bottom 10% of Poland to have a better standard of living than the bottom 10% of Japan and France. And here's the kicker, same with the top 10%. Yes, Poland's bottom and top 10% respectively have better lives than the bottom and top 10% in France. It's a total joke. Of course you could say it's a (giant) anomaly but I've lived in many of the countries in the index in 4 different continents and there's a lot of misguided information there. Like gender equality in the Netherlands being one of the poorest of all studied countries, environment being one of the worst of all countries studied, being one of the least safe countries in the study (even worse than the US), or health being better in Greece than Germany, oh and if you want a good education you better move to Slovenia from the US because the OECD says it's better! I think you get the point, it's a total joke once you look at the individual parameters and the scoring on them.
So yeah some references would've been nice here and there. Not asking for links or anything, but just some reference to a source, like 'OECD better life index' which he referenced and turned out to be nonsense.
Well, that's nonsense.
The word of emphasis is regularly.
A rough average of 500 police caused deaths per year across 20 years. It spikes and drops by significant amounts by year, but that's a reasonable ballpark average and is near The Guardian's number.
Now break out how many were unjustified uses of force.
Now break out how many were not white (nearly half the people killed by cops are white).
You're talking about maybe 40 or 50 unarmed minorities shot dead by police each year, out of around 140 million total minorities (40% minority base, plus 12 million minorities that aren't citizens). And this is in a country with police that are clearly too violent.
Your odds of being murdered by police, as an unarmed minority, is about one in 2.5 to 3 million. To pretend unarmed minorities are being regularly shot dead by police is beyond ridiculous.
Grow up. No one is impressed by this post.
There can be a lot inherently wrong with technology, and there quite often is.
There are definitely some arguments that we could have used conventional explosives for those purposes, but my point is that a nuke is just a tool, its the people who decide to use it admirably or despicably.
Imagine this device: It only has button, pressing it will torture every human beeing in earth for 100 years and then wipe out what's left. Trying to disassemble or analyze it will do the same.
Would this still classify as "just a tool"? (peaceful uses: explaining the importance of restraint etc.)
This is not supposed to be an analogy, but a serious question, because I don't believe that guns dont't kill people. And if we disagree on such a fundamental question, I don't think an internet debate could have a sensible outcome .
For instance, yes, a gun is a tool designed to kill a thing. Some guns are specifically designed to kill people.
But the technology of gunpowder propelled projectiles has peaceful applications. For instance, one of the early uses was to propel a rope to distressed boats and ships so that passengers could be rescued.
Likewise with the hypothetical device you have described. Sure, sounds terrible. But what are the underlying technologies it is built upon? Unless you've tapped into some sort of fundamental evil force of the universe, there are probably some pretty awesome technologies involved, that would have peaceful, useful applications in another device that wasn't so awful.
I don't deny that nuclear technology has contributed to some of the worst calamities to befall humanity, I simply disagree that they have ONLY done negative things.
Indeed -- it's Godwin's Law!
Sure, Hitler was "good" in the long run. You should be ashamed of yourself. The ends don't justify the means. Perhaps when the next madman starts up extermination camps, your family ought to be first on the list. Perhaps that would be fitting since, after all, it would be good for Western Civilization.
I've asked you before not to bombard HN with political rhetoric. From an HN point of view, it's tedious, off-topic, and leads straight to incivility, which as you know is the thing that's most against the rules here.
Please really stop.
Just a caveman assessment of "atom bomb bad, flower good" is intellectually weak. The atomic bomb created a balance of power, the destruction of which would have resulted in countless wars and deaths.
A wannabe cold warrior fantasy of "without the nuke, the godless Commies would have put the boot to the civilized world" is just as intellectually weak. I thought this furious jerking off over Regan-era revisionist talking points was passé in the current century.
We've noticed over and over how generic tangents are the gateway to flamewars. Tangents about something specific ("off-topic, but I once worked with that group...") are often interesting, but generic tangents dilute discussion and not infrequently eventuate in Hitler.
It's arrogant for us to believe that we are on the 'free' side of the firewall.
I don't see how one side is more free than the other - Both sides are subjected to constant brainwashing by various media - Be it at the hands of a suppressive government or those of greedy corporations.
One thing that really surprised me about Russian and Chinese people though is how well they take care of their friends and family (for example, they are often very willing to share their money to help each other) and how genuine they are compared to westerners. I know it's a big generalization but it's something I noticed.
With that said, I'm of the radical belief that no internet communication should be blocked, inspected, or analyzed etc... but thanks for such a piquant response.