One aspect of the web that I have pretty consistently ignored here is some inquiry into what I guess you’d call its ‘global dimensions’. For example, I imagine that if you were to somehow map both global flows of online information and global flows of capital, you’d find some interesting things: places where they overlap in ways you expect, and others where the opposite is true.
Given that for some time, ‘postcolonial studies’ was my field, this oversight is rather strange. So, in my most recent column for This Magazine, it felt sorta’ good to take on some of the online ‘inter-cultural issues’ that aren’t discussed as much I wish they were. This particular one is about Google, China, and the wave of strangely strident blog posts that accompanied the Mountain View company’s withdrawal. Yes, it’s significantly later than the actual event, but “print time” etc.
Also, in a weird and strange twist for me, I was almost, kinda’, sorta’ happy with this one. Not that it’s particularly brilliant, mind you – just that I think I’ve said what I set out to, and that re-reading doesn’t entirely make me cringe. Which, you know, feels nice.