Is connectivity making Egyptian mobbers smarter?
February 1st, 2011

cairoandtehran

Could it be that their widespread connectivity through the internet has made the Egyptian mob very different from the demonstrators who overthrew the Shah of Iran thirty-two years ago?

In 1979 the people in the streets of Tehran did not have mobile communication, yet the military and police did. A Wall Street Journal article last week describes connectivity that now thrives in Egypt, including this:

[There is] the vibrancy of the Internet culture within the country, and Egypt’s growing role as a regional hub for global connectivity. The country of 80.5 million people had about 65.5 million cellphone subscribers in October, according to a government report. It has among the highest rates of Internet penetration among consumers in Africa, with 21%, according to internetworldstats.com.

Much of the connectivity has now been shut down in Egypt, but the momentum generated earlier on Facebook, Twitter, and the internet in general seems to be gathering momentum that will be very difficult to stop.

I, for one, think the connectivity in Egypt will prove an insurmountable obstacle to future tyranny. The individual citizen connectivity makes it possible for bottom up power. What is a tyrant to do when a smart mob is able to focus its energy on creating democracy?


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