Updated 12:10 a.m. Feb 7
Pittsburgh or Green Bay? Tharir Square Throngs or Conservative Thugs? Well it’s Super Bowl Sunday and you make…no, you click (or tap, or swipe) your choices. As my father said—and now I, having been online for 17 years of “new paradigms” and “rich content” am qualified to say, “Things aren’t the way they used to be.”
He was talking about glacial social evolution like our immigration to suburban California in the 1950s. From a rural village without running water or electricity to Disneyland, television–no, wait—COLOR television, massive tracts of homes popping up overnight and an open culture that saw his children mixing it in with transformational fads and lifestyles at the bleeding edge of Western consumer civilization.
I am talking about video phoning my wife, upstairs, where she is reading email from someone she knows in Egypt. I mean, I can listen to her (or read her email reply). I can click on a YouTube link or read my Twitter feed from @Jnoubiyeh where Ayman Mohyeldin, correspondent for upstart Al Jazeera News is reported “detained” by Egyptian military, like 58 minutes ago. Meanwhile I ask my wife what we are taking to the Super Bowl bash we’re headed to this afternoon. “Organic white wine,” she replies via FaceTime before going back to her realtime email conversation with friends in Cairo, Alexandria and London. And this is NOT EVEN to mention FaceBook. On this grand eve of sports broadcasts, wherefore the one-size-fits-all media dynasty of television? Let alone that social networking has rendered even 5 year-old web sites utterly obsolete. My prediction? Steelers by 3, Cairo Tweets 7, 116.
In the good old days of the world wide web, pages stayed put like colorful pamphlets. “This page last updated Monday, Oct 2, 1995” was as good as it got. Not anymore. Social networking broadcasts to the planet. Now. Instead of a stealthy phone call or coded letter to protesters in Cairo (read about in an AP item), this passed by me and millions of others in the last week…
if you know anyone in Egypt, please pass this on to them.
To bypass government blocking of websites, use numerical IP addresses:
A French ISP offers free dial up internet access ~ +33 1 72 89 01 50 Login password: toto.
And this. The meme of outsourcing U.S. Government policy rolls on as WikiLeaks bares dispatches (now THERE’S an out-of-fashion-teletype-era-word!) from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo requesting State Department intervention with Google/YouTube as adaptations abound…
December 2007, DRL and Embassy Cairo worked to convince Google to restore XXXXXXXXXXXXX’ YouTube access after a similar incident. We believe that a similar Department intervention with Google representatives could help in restoring XXXXXXXXXXXXX’ access again. XXXXXXXXXXXXis an influential blogger and human rights activist, and we want to do everything we can to assist him in exposing police abuse. XXXXXXXXXXXXX’ post of a video showing two policemen sodomizing a bus driver was used as the main evidence to convict the officers in November 2007 (ref C)
And along more traditional channels in conflict-of-interest and corruption comes news that “Frank Wisner, President Barack Obama’s envoy to Cairo who infuriated the White House this weekend by urging Hosni Mubarak to remain President of Egypt, works for a New York and Washington law firm which works for the dictator’s own Egyptian government.” Independent Feb 7
Nicholas Noe, an American political researcher now based in Beirut, has spent weeks investigating Mr Wisner’s links to Patton Boggs. “The key problem with Wisner being sent to Cairo at the behest of Hillary,” he says, “is the conflict-of-interest aspect… More than this, the idea that the US is now subcontracting (my emphasis) or ‘privatising’ crisis management is another problem. Do the US lack diplomats?
So. While millions gather for the media orgy of the Super Bowl and F-16s (in a parallel orgy of Patriotism) fly by spectators, the clicks go on worldwide. Policy happens and evolves hourly. Will there be one “killer ad” showing two Egyptian protesters using Verizon SMS to send cute comments about a dozing tank crew? What about that Volkswagen/Darth Vader ad? Will the Steelers pound the Packers? Will a camera pick up Dubya in the crowd? And “hey, try those taquitos yet?”
To help you get some traction making your clickcisions, here’s Thomas Power at TEDx with a 16 minute talk on social networking that makes sense as the day goes forward. 11 a.m. here in DC and it’s 6 p.m. in Cairo. Cosmic or not, that’s Super Bowl time here.
BTW wil b @ Newseum Weds 4 Atlantic’s Live Digi Town Hall Knight Broadcast Studio – Treasury Sec, Gov Virginia et al-kewl
Russell Imrie is a sometimes content producer, webmaster and a transborder American Indian self-styled social critic now living in the Washington DC area. 1. My earlier blog on evolving social networking and its political power 2. on theblogging phenomenon and classic [print] journalism.
Copyright © permanent by Russell Imrie