This Week on MangoBot: I Predict China’s Future

BirdsnestdystopiaOn my io9 column, I talked to a couple of experts about the social, political, and economic future of China.

I’m a total sports nut. Olympic season makes my bones shiver with excitement. But this year, I took my mind off record-breaking swim relays and super-twisty gymnastics routines for a minute to consider the host country’s techno-socio-political future. The opening ceremony confirmed my theory that China is breeding robots. (We already know that the cute girl who performed the patriotic song was lip-syncing and that the fireworks shown on TV were fake. I’m pretty sure that the 2008 drummers who kicked off the five-hour technological spectacularity were androids, too.) But what else is up in the giant nation that many believe will be the next world superpower? I called some experts and came away with a list of five predictions for China’s next half-century.

Keep reading "Coming Soon from China: Dystopic Futures, the Next Steve Jobs, and a World Full of Drumming Androids"

5 thoughts on “This Week on MangoBot: I Predict China’s Future

  1. So it’s ok for Britney Spears to lip-sync through every single concert she’s ever put on, but as soon as a little girl in China does it, it’s some authoritarian government conspiracy?
    I really don’t get the outrage at some of these things at the Olympics. If anything, I feel bad for those little girls that they’re now at the center of this controversy. But who’s responsible for the controversy, the Chinese or the western media (and those who consume it)?
    And 55 seconds worth of fireworks were recreated for a particular angle on TV. They weren’t “fake”, and anyway, it’s 55 seconds out of 4 hours and 30 minutes.
    China’s here, they’re not going away, everybody’d better get used to it. And I don’t see that they’ve done anything different at these Olympics than we would have in this day and age. From the lip-syncing to the fireworks to the stifled protests – yep, sounds a lot like the United States in 2008 to me. Only difference is we’d never manage to get 15,000 people to work together and put on such an impressive opening ceremony.

  2. Thanks Jeff, you are not alone in your observation.
    What many people also don’t realize is that businesses from other countries are assisting China…Here’s one, a Japanese fireworks company assisted with the opening ceremony and will take on an even bigger role with the fireworks during the closing ceremony.
    It’s tough keeping a country together that’s trying to pull itself apart. You know…like the Civil War in the U.S. and the former USSR, or the immediate issue in Georgia.
    I give knee jerk reactions myself sometimes, but realizing that I am afflicted with that environmentally conditioned flaw, I try to gather more information from sources, other than talking heads on TV reading from a teleprompter like a robot…wait what?

  3. Uh . . . people, Britney Spears lip syncs using her own voice and music. She does not use someone else’s voice under the pretense that it was her voice. If people did that in the US, they would have a problem since it is clearly fraudulent.
    Doing such because some high up government wonk feels a little girl does not look perfect enough, though she can sing well, is a lousy thing to do to a kid.

  4. I visit the People’s Daily, English-language edition, every day, and today I noticed a new phenomenon: they’ve enrolled in Google AdSense! Furthermore, the ad is for a Chinese dating site ( where all the women have names like “P202610”, which sounds rather robot-like.