Morality in the Twitter era. Plus: China’s language revolution

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This weekend, we think about morality in the age of social media. According to writer Dan Brooks, we’re great at pointing out where good is missing, but we’ve forgotten how to be good people. Then, Yale professor Jing Tsu tells us the story of how China standardised its complex language of 80,000 characters into something that could fit on a keyboard. It wasn’t easy, but it helped make the country the global digital superpower that it is today.


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Links and mentions from the episode: 

– Dan Brooks’ FT Magazine piece, ‘What we need now that social media has fully weaponized morality’: https://on.ft.com/3LyIE9c 

–The dreaded tweet that inspired Dan’s piece: https://twitter.com/mimismartypants/status/1498332885362823170 

–Jing’s book is called Kingdom of Characters. The FT’s review is here: https://on.ft.com/3nJqzey 

–Jing’s 2020 piece for the FT, ‘Why sci-fi could be the secret weapon in China’s soft-power arsenal’: https://on.ft.com/3y2WbBF 

–Dan Brooks is on Twitter @dangerbrooks, and Jing Tsu is at @tsu_jing

–Tech Tonic Season 3, about the US/China tech race, is available now. Listen wherever you get your podcasts, or at https://www.ft.com/tech-tonic 

–Select coverage of the war in Ukraine is free to read at https://www.ft.com/freetoread

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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Tommy Bazarian. 


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