Diversity 'Brings True Harmony'

Isaac Mao, who wrote China's first blog a decade ago, speaks about the social philosophy that underpins his work.
By Isaac Mao
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Isaac Mao talking to RFA in Washington, July 27, 2012.
Isaac Mao talking to RFA in Washington, July 27, 2012.

Technology, art, and media studies until this point have taken their own separate paths up the mountain, minding their own business. But as we get higher up the mountain, we realize that the paths are getting closer and closer together, and are beginning to merge.

All sorts of new creativity can emerge from that merging process. So I don't want to split society up into a series of domains in which each person or field just does one set of things.

We can also turn that around and use it to talk about politics. I think we reduce a lot of problems to questions of politics and miss their interconnectedness with a lot of other fields.

Chinese people today need to open up their way of doing things, meaning that people from different disciplines should go and find out what people in other disciplines are doing.

In the end we will realize, according to my experience, that everyone is thinking about the same thing: how to take our society to the next level of modernization; how to bring its thinking, its creativity, and its degree of openness in line with global trends. This is an observation of mine, but you could also say it is a wish.

Human beings are very rich containers of experience. Not only can we speak and think, we also have all kinds of personal interests and practices.

I might talk to you about a common interest in food, and to some other person about scientific research. I can have contacts from different areas of specialism and join them all together, like tentacles, bringing together a large number of people from different walks of life.

Society shouldn't be a one-way street. Nor should it consist of a just a small number of people directing traffic, telling other people what to do. A lot of people should be involved in making things happen.

It should be a process of constant permutation, with an abundance of interconnections between people. Only then will you have a true diversity, helping the evolution of humanity ... Social diversity brings us great creativity which can bring true harmony and stability to a society. That's very different from a society that only sings a single note.

Mao spoke to RFA Mandarin service reporter Zhang Min. Translation by Luisetta Mudie.

Isaac Mao is a venture capitalist, software architect, and social media researcher. Sometimes referred to symbolically as "China's first blogger," Mao is known for co-founding the Chinese blogger conference, doing research in social learning, and developing the philosophy of Sharism. He is currently a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.





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