Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Crowdsourcing Helps Form Iceland’s Consitution

Friday, August 19th, 2011

What do you get when you cross 25 regular Icelanders with hundreds of Internet users? Iceland’s new constitution!

After the island nation’s economic collapse in 2008, Iceland has seen a strong upsurge of social movements, many of which have called for a revamp of the aging constitution. But not just any rewrite will do – the process needs to be led by ordinary citizens – so that is exactly what they’ve been doing.

Iceland’s small population of 320,000 elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public in an unprecedented fashion.

It’s amazing to see such a completely transparent process. Online users can easily follow early revisions of the constitution and instantly offer their feedback. So far, more than 1,600 propositions and comments have been received, all of which are given due consideration by the 25 Constitution drafters.

Good on them! Iceland is showing the world the power we’ve been unleashing with our emergent technology. It is only a matter of time until transparency and democracy aren’t just niceties to be optional from governance – they will actually be expected and demanded from all the world’s leaders.

Plus now the Icelandic people have a legitimate excuse to Tweet and Facebook all day – because they are trying to be founding fathers!

Iran Imprisons Student for Using Facebook

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Sara Mahboubi, a 20 year old Iranian student, has been sentenced to ten months in prison for being using Facebook, which is deemed an “anti-revolutionary website” by Iranian leaders. She was arrested after the authorities searched her father’s house and confiscated her books, notes, CDs and computer.

Mahboubi was expelled from University earlier this year for her belief in the Baha’i faith, which strongly promotes unity and peace. Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has blocked the 300,000-member Baha’i community from higher education, refusing young Baha’is entry into universities and colleges.

They say Facebook is ‘anti’ revolutionary? Talk about double-speak. Yet another glaring example of why autocratic theocracies are bad for the general population.

You can follow Sara’s story on Storify.

Don’t wait for the revolution. Make it happen.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

balance of power

First Tunisia, then Egypt. Now Yemen and Algeria with others on the way. Political, social and economic reform is in the air!

The thousands of demonstrators who’ve been taking to the streets are expressing a sentiment shared by millions of their fellow citizens: they are fed up with being mistreated by authority. Via this forced regime change, the activists are collectively pushing the balance of power towards the favor of the people. Under new governance, the populations in these revolutionary countries could potentially enjoy a higher quality of life.

See, within any population, there exists a struggle between the will of the people and the system they depend upon to maintain order. The further a population strays from a functioning democracy, the less the voice of the people gets reflected by the system. It is within this silence where injustices go unanswered.

The energy emanating from the Arab world should add fuel to a similar movement that has been brewing everywhere on earth. For far too long, humankind has been oppressed by a broken system that benefits our corrupt leaders to the detriment of the majority of humans. Having grown tired of this injustice, and becoming aware of alternatives, we are rising up as a species. Working together, we’re shifting the balance of the world’s power back into our hands.

It’s a good thing we’ve already begun this movement, since now is the only time left for revolution. Within a few years from now, civil uprisings like we see today will become much easier for the system to squash.

Consider, for example, the advent of robotic soldiers, which will be entirely feasible within 10 to 20 years. Right now, human combatants still have some sense of morality, and occasionally disobey orders. But robots follow command without question and can slaughter unlimited numbers of humans without remorse. A dictator with a small army of mechanized drones could effectively subdue entire populations.

Robotic overlords is but one scenario where technology can be used to control large groups of people, of which there are many. The threat of totalitarianism is real and growing, which is why it is so imperative we ignite our revolutions now.

Fortunately, as much as technology can be used to enslave us, so too can it be used to liberate us. We’ve been gaining invaluable tools in our revolutionary arsenal. Transparency-promoting sites like Wikileaks help expose corruption and can hold leaders accountable to their populations. On top of this, as tested in Tunisia, Twitter and Facebook can effectively channel a population’s dissent into highly mobilized action.

Our new technology, combined with the indomitable human spirit, gives us some real reasons to expect great things in our future. Today, populations from the middle east are rising up as one to oust their corrupt rulers. Over the coming years, the world’s people will follow suit, uniting to fundamentally alter the global system and forever shift the balance of power to benefit all of humankind.

Power to the people!

World Peace is Coming – It’s Flash Mob Rule, Baby

Friday, March 12th, 2010

One of the key factors to making world peace a reality will be our newfound powers of communication and community building.  We are uniting like never before, and the implications will be profound.

For one, we are gaining new means of dialogue, and dialogue is an integral step in the peacebuilding process.  Just getting people to talk is often the first step in conflict resolution.

Dialogue can also rehumanize an enemy.  Often, warring parties will dehumanize their foes, painting them as evil, irrational death dealers, but dialogue can make these misconceptions evaporate, and it is that much harder to kill someone who we come to see as a fellow human being.

Our new communication tools are also letting us spread important information that our mainstream media rarely, if ever, discusses.  Issues like the Military Industrial Complex, the Distrubtion of Wealth, or how our world has been consistently improving for centuries are all empowering forms of knowledge.

And, thanks to our growing powers of community, we will become more and more able to do something about it.  Facebook has exploded in size in just a few years.  Fast forward a few more years, and we will have groups large enough to rival corporations and governments in terms of power and influence.

Combine the size and might of our ever expanding groups with the speed of Twitter and instant messaging, and boom… we have some truly revolutionary power in our hands.

Look at what today’s flash mobs can do for a glimpse into the power we are unleashing.  A few hundred people, united at the same time and place for the same reason can really shake things up.  Now imagine instead of just 100, we had 100,000 people acting in unison.

Global Flash Mobs… mobilizing to action, in real time, all with shared goals, could truly shift the power back into the hands of the people.  We will be able to harness this power to make our world everything we want it to be… egalitarian, progressive and peaceful.

Peace DOT u4Ya

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

A new subdomain has been setup – peace.u4ya.ca as part of Stanford’s Peace Initiative.

The Peace Initiative is designed to coordinate peace efforts by having companies and organizations add their contributions to the growing peace movement to a specific subdomain – peace DOT [company's URL].

This is a great initiative… coordinating individual peace efforts means we can be stronger, united.  Over the next two decades, we will undergo some remarkable changes to our world… humankind is coming together like never before, and soon we will be able to end institutionalized warfare and end extreme poverty forever.

Check out those who’ve already become involved in the Peace DOT Initiative by clicking here.  Facebook, SourceForge, and SafeWay are some of the big names who’ve signed on.