While researching Oscar screeners last month, I stumbled on a remarkable example of online collaboration in China that’s completely undiscovered here. In short, a group of dedicated fans of The Economist newsmagazine are translating each weekly issue cover-to-cover, splitting up the work among a team of volunteers, and redistributing the finished translations as complete PDFs for a Chinese audience.
It reminds me of the scanlation movement, in which groups of fans scan, translate, and redistribute manga into another language. But I’ve never seen it applied to a newspaper or magazine, especially one as high-minded as The Economist.
It’s an impressive example of online collaboration with simple tools, a completely non-commercial effort by volunteers interested in spreading knowledge while improving their English skills. In the process, they’re taking a political risk in translating controversial articles about their homeland behind the Great Firewall.
hodgman: Did I ever tell you people how much I hate the word “meh”? Nothing announces “I have missed the point” more than that word.
hodgman: It is the essence of blinkered Internet malcontentism. And a rejection of joy. Also: 12 hive mehs in the replies SO FAR
hodgman: By definition, it may mean disinterest (although simple silence would be a more damning and sincere response, in that case)
hodgman: But in use, it almost universally seems to signal: I am just interested enough to make one last joyless, nitpicky swipe and then disappear