But what is your phone doing now? As it’s the beginning of January, mine has just chirped to remind me to make another alfalfa and wheatgrass juice, though fortunately it has a mute button. The last alert I had was to let me know a very disappointing football result, thereby proving that being kept in the loop is not always all it’s cracked up to be. But like most people, apart from a dwindling band of smartphone refuseniks, I would find plenty more cheery diversion if I were to linger among the apps for a while – music, podcasts, social media, photographs, games. I might do a spot of work on a train, reorganise my diary, blitz my emails, tidy up my fiscal loose ends. It would only be when my train arrived that I would realise I hadn’t opened my book or gazed out of the window.
Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $ million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).