What 'The Rise of Nations' forgot

Technology and greatness
The cover story of last week's San Lian Life Week looks at CCTV's recent seriesthe Rise of Nations.

The Rise of Nations is a 12-part documentary series describing the reasons that nine nations, France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, the Netherlands, U.S.A., Germany, Japan and Russia became great powers. The series was broadcast by CCTV 2 from November 13-24, 2006. It caused a great deal of discussion on and offline.

The San Lian article says that the series did not properly account for the influence of new technologies, such as the steam engine, breech-loading guns and banking system.

Another interesting feature in this issue is about the way Chinese audiences are watching the latest episodes of popular TV shows at nearly the same time as U.S. TV viewers, thanks to the internet and P2P software.

The article mentions Prison Break, Desperate Houswives, Lost and West Wing. Many different formats, from RMVB to HDTV, are available for free download. They are usually available with complete Chinese subtitles less 12 hours after the show is originally broadcast.

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