[iwar] Self-centeredness, Extreme Nationalism and Kiddie Hacker Wars

From: David Cowhig (dcowhig@public3.bta.net.cn)
Date: 2001-05-02 05:22:20

Return-Path: <sentto-279987-1183-988806075-fc=all.net@returns.onelist.com>
Delivered-To: fc@all.net
Received: from by localhost with POP3 (fetchmail-5.1.0) for fc@localhost (single-drop); Wed, 02 May 2001 08:44:07 -0700 (PDT)
Received: (qmail 10332 invoked by uid 510); 2 May 2001 14:44:57 -0000
Received: from hn.egroups.com ( by with SMTP; 2 May 2001 14:44:57 -0000
X-eGroups-Return: sentto-279987-1183-988806075-fc=all.net@returns.onelist.com
Received: from [] by hn.egroups.com with NNFMP; 02 May 2001 12:21:15 -0000
X-Sender: dcowhig@public3.bta.net.cn
X-Apparently-To: iwar@yahoogroups.com
Received: (EGP: mail-7_1_2); 2 May 2001 12:21:13 -0000
Received: (qmail 29889 invoked from network); 2 May 2001 12:20:33 -0000
Received: from unknown ( by l9.egroups.com with QMQP; 2 May 2001 12:20:33 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO public3.bta.net.cn) ( by mta2 with SMTP; 2 May 2001 12:20:32 -0000
Received: from public3.bta.net.cn([]) by public3.bta.net.cn(JetMail with SMTP id jm1a3af01e1c; Wed,  2 May 2001 12:20:21 -0000
Message-ID: <3AEFFBFC.FB09FBDB@public3.bta.net.cn>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.7 [en]C-NSCPCD  (Win98; U)
X-Accept-Language: en,zh-CN,fr
To: iwar@yahoogroups.com
From: David Cowhig <dcowhig@public3.bta.net.cn>
Mailing-List: list iwar@yahoogroups.com; contact iwar-owner@yahoogroups.com
Delivered-To: mailing list iwar@yahoogroups.com
Precedence: bulk
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:iwar-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 20:22:20 +0800
Reply-To: iwar@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [iwar] Self-centeredness, Extreme Nationalism and Kiddie Hacker Wars
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

The April 27 issue of the chinese language overseas email magazine
Huaxia Wenzhai (available at http://www.cnd.org) has an aticle
"Opinions: Dirty Words & Extreme Nationalism on the Net  by. MU Fan (an
academic at a U.S. university) about the temper of the people who have
been participating in BBS discussions following the recent mid-air
collision.   Mu's article focuses on the relationship between
self-centeredness of some young students and their extreme nationalist

Bearing directly on the nature of the current hacker war among hacker
hotheads in the U.S. and China is one paragraph in that article. The
scene is Chinese police interrogating some high school students about
their attack on Japanese web sites.  The Chinese students think that we
are patriotic, we didn't do anything wrong.

The current hacker war is likely largely a contest between U.S. and
Chinese high school students plus a few people a year or two out of high
school. They must enjoy all the media attention they are getting.

The China.com military affairs bbs forum has some information about the
state of the hacker wars. The URL is

Here is a URL to a Chiinese press report on the hacker wars:


This news report from Netease quotes a Guangdong Province security
engineer as saying that these days there are 40 - 50 attacks daily on
websites in the USA and China where as before there only two or three
per day.  Acccording to "sources" security experts tracked a U.S. hacker

aged about 20 years of age who successfully  attacked 30 Chinese
websites.  The U.S. hacker used unsophisticated, widely available
methods on websites that did not have any special security protection.

According to the report, most of the attacks by U.S. hackers are on
edu.cn or ac.cn

Some Chinese hackers were outraged by this and discussed on the web how
to respond to the malicious attacks from the United States.


Strange Contrasts: Chinese Psychology Reflected in Online Forum



By Wolf Man  (
April 18, 2001  04:16 PM

I have been reading this forum for a month.  Having read many postings,
I can see that this discussion is not representative of  popular
opinion.  I expect that this is because so many of the participants are
young people with advanced degrees.   Nonetheless, the forum does give
us an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the mass psychology
of Chinese people.

(Note: Chinese people here means Chinese people in general and relative
to the characteristics of the people of other countries.  I am not
referring to particular individuals so I hope this will not draw
unreasoning attacks on me.)

1. Chinese people are subject to bouts of unreasoning fury (kuangre) :
The reaction everybody has to certain events goes far beyond what I
might have expected and quickly develops to the point of unreasoning
fury.   Suddenly the Americans have become the rat that must be beaten
to death as it scampers across the street.  The passionate feelings
wrapped up in all this are astonishing.   The words used seem to
furiously boil out of people.

2. Chinese people are irrational:  When strong passions take hold,
Chinese people become irrational and start to make extreme judgments as
they see things as all white or all black.  If something (such as the
United States)  is seen as black, if someone says that there is some
white within it,  then nobody will believe you or nobody will be willing
to believe you.  You will be excluded from the group.  Conversely, if
something (such as Mao Zedong or Lei Feng) is seen in the light of
furious passions to be all white, then even if you believe that there is
some black in it, then you,  nobody will dare to say so.

3. There is little diversity in the opinions of Chinese people.   Once I
was discussing the differences between Chinese and Americans with an
American.  One of his ideas gave me a lot to think about.  He said,
Chinese people are all of the same opinion but Americans each have their
own opinion.   Chinese people also have differing opinions but it is
usually nine people holding one opinion versus one holding another
opinion whereas among Americans the ratio is more like 4.5 : 5.5  or

4. Chinese people can hold views, especially very passionate, emotional
views that are very different from their actual actions or even totally
opposite to their actions.  On the web I have seen many people who sneer
at America  but among them are many people who tell me that I should
emigrate to the United States.  (My English is adequate and I have a
technical background). They say that conditions in America are
difficult, but in the end it is better to go to America.  Nobody ever
told me that America is a land full of devils and it would be best to
drop some atomic bombs on it.  Their actions are very practical, but
they will find for themselves a high,  impassioned reason for what they
do.  They are like Wang Jingwei  (during the War of Anti-Japanese
Resistance) --- he wrote in his diary that he had founded his puppet
government for the good of the Chinese people.  Today Chinese who go to
the United States say the same thing. “I want to come back to repay my
motherland” all the while nervously hoping that the U.S. consular
officer will be foolish enough to believe them.

The same thing applies on the corruption issue.  Everybody with
righteous words harshly criticize corruption but when they themselves
have an opportunity to bribe their superiors, to go in through the back
door, or to be corrupt themselves, they will do it themselves without
any hesitation. They may even be even more ravenously corrupt than the
people they criticize.

From the discussion in the net forum we can understand who it is that
China had a Cultural Revolution – that episode of mass insanity.   That
event was inextricably tied to the mass psychology of the Chinese
people.  It also explains why their could have been such a big traitor
army (Wang Jingwei has six million troops) although everyone had learned
from childhood that it is bad to be a traitor.  This also sheds light on
the difficulty of building democracy in China.  If China irrationally
divides into two crazed groups, as in the Cultural Revolution, China is
certainly finished.  This also shows us why it is so difficult to
control corruption in China.  The Chinese way of stressing the practical
and making such a great separation between reality and one’s ideals will
have to make it much more difficult in other countries to inspire people
through calls to morality to suppress corruption.

Response from Zhou Shao  April 19 at 8:59 AM:

-- I strongly agree.  Only a national of individuals can be creative.
The old imperial system lives on it the blind passions of the Chinese
people.  That is the sorrow of  China today.



[Translator’s note:  The Chinese sociologist Cao Jinqing in the
September 2000 book “China Along the Yellow River” (p. 535) compared the
Chinese people to the Yellow River ---  usually calm and gentle but
extraordinarly passionate and violent as it reaches flood stage.  While
discussions of Chinese society from the aspect of national characters
might not be entirely persuasive,  putting these points in these
observations about psychology into their social, political and media
context --- and the policy environment that these psychological, social,
political and media environments create for Chinese leaders makes them
more powerful.  For example, the frequent exhortations for people to be
in line with the “third generation of  China’s leadership with Jiang
Zemin at its core”,  the uniformity of opinions presented in the Chinese
media on the most sensitive issues, and selective reporting of news to
create the desired overall impression would all tend to reinforce
pressures towards homogeneity in public opinion.   See for example the
article by Qinghua University sociologist Li Qiang in the March 2001
issue of the Chinese journal “Sociological Research” summarized at
and an examination of the political dimension and the role of the
“people’s democratic dictatorship” theory in maintaining uniformity  in
“The Four Cardinal Principles Reconsidered” at
http://www.usembassy-china.org.cn/english/sandt/fourprinciples.html  End
note. ]


Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ 

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : 2001-06-30 21:44:10 PDT