Monday, January 31, 2011
Other Notes on The Egypt Thing
I'm watching the Al Jazeera coverage at 5:30AM PST. Several of their personnel have been arrested and their operations in Egypt have been shut down. Well, sort of. Al Jazeera English has never stopped broadcasting from the scene, and they have been running feature stories without let up. As for their Arabic service, it seems to be available intermittently to Egyptians through satellite services.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Egyptians are gathering in Tahrir Square in Cairo, with continuous calls for the end of the Mubarak regime and now calls for a general strike and "million man march" as soon as tomorrow.
The Egyptians are accomplishing their uprising without access to the internet, without reliable cell-phone and text messaging service, apparently without banking services (supposedly all Egyptian banks are closed), and under the watchful eye of the military.
How can they possibly organize anything without the internet? Without their cell phones and text messaging? Without their social networking? How are they communicating without the electronic and technical props the whole world relies on?
Clearly, there can be no uprising without Twitter, without WikiLeaks, without endless blogging and opining. So... what we're seeing in Cairo isn't really happening.
Seems to me that the absence of the internet and all the other electronic/technical props the rest of us rely on for social networking is actually a blessing to the Egyptians. And they're accomplishing their uprising in the face of relentless propaganda from the captive media. How can they do it?