google isn't going to filter searches in china anymore, seen as retaliation for an attempted hack on gmail that people suspect was by the chinese govt. forecast is china won't permit unfiltered search and google will have to pull out of china. much kudos for google's balls going around on blogs and twitter.
one cynical read was that google wasn't doing well in china anyway, so it was a gesture, sacrifice the chinese market to impress the rest of the world. signalling.
but is there a difference? outcome's the same, starting points are the same, only distinction's the nuances of the process. even a coldblooded calculated gesture means recognizing the value of "don't be evil." and come on, it is valuable, in a practical as well as a PR standpoint. the cynical read seems like the kind of fallacious thinking that says moral actions are inherently illogical.
catholic church disses avatar as simplistic nature worship. i have to agree, but it's kind of a cheap shot, avatar was about pushing the envelope in cg visuals, and its a movie. the church might as well call star wars a mashup of pop mysticism and joseph campbell. it's true, but mean-spirited and misses the point.
and avatar's a movie! movies are great and all, but books are still where the big ideas are. i wonder if the church is still putting out an index expurgatorius. quick wiki, no, that's gone. so lesson learned, i hope. discussion good, censorship bad.