人人网–everybody´s(?!) net

this weekend, a student asked me to join her renrenwang network. i have not been particularly proactive in joining online networks primarily because i spend too much time online as it is. point du jour is that while i was signing up, i discovered that the network included links to the major u.s. colleges and universities, as well as to universities throughout the world. stunning the extent and creativity of these networks. shocking as well the (comparative) extent to which u.s. online networks are not integrating global links.

i know, my reaction makes me sound like an ¨american peasant,¨ but for the past few years i have been increasingly aware how provincial my upbringing and education was. at the time (1983) studying chinese seemed so far outside the norm that my father asked me if studying mandarin would help me succeed negotiating the hong kong stock exchange! and yet somewhen along the line, not only did the world catch up to the internationalism of china, but also surpassed my preparation to live in that new world.

wow. 30 years of reform and opening and it is a whole new world. wow again.

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