Sunday, June 5, 2016
A century is an invented unit, as manmade as a mobile phone, as artificial as a Big Mac, and yet it's a useful marker for all that. We don't know if our great-grandchildren will regard this one as the Asian Century, but it will be far more Asian than the twentieth century was, when poverty and isolation kept Asian countries and especially China largely sidelined from global influence. That period is ending, and you can see its end in China's struggle to balance opening and closing down, as its most successful new firms turn global. We don't know what the result of all this new connectivity will be, for China or for the world, but we can at least say, "We don't know when the old model ended, but we can now see that it's gone."
-Clay Shirky, Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and The Chinese Dream