Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

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!

After the Riots: The Real Power of Social Media

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Some of the delinquents responsible for looting and torching parts of London have relied on social media to mobilize their misdeeds. Others are just using instant messages to brag about injuring police officers.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has been used for crime. Kids in Philadelphia have been the popular texting tool to coordinate violent mobs that attack random people.

But social media can be used for construction just as easily as for destruction.

British citizens, outraged by the looting and ashamed of the chaos, organized a clean-up session using Facebook and Twitter. The streets were filled with peaceful protesters, demonstrating against the rioters.

The clean-up initiative follows on the heels of another populist movement being coordinated online – Operation Cup of Tea. The idea is to take a stand against the riots by quietly enjoying a spot of Tea. Over 200,000 people got involved.

So here we see the real power of social media. Twitter, Facebook, and the like – they are all bringing us together and helping us to see how much in common we all have. Perhaps more importantly, the Internet shows us just how many people feel the same way we do.

Now imagine what will be possible when, instead of only hundreds of thousands of united people, there’s hundreds of millions, all acting simultaneously to effect positive change on the world.

With that kind of power, incredible things will be entirely possible! Even building a lasting peace on earth.

Pentagon’s $42,000,000 Twitter Tracker

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

At a time when the US is supposed to be trimming the budget, the Pentagon has initiated a $42 Million study to monitor intel across social media. Tracking intelligence? More like… finding ways to keep the Arab Spring from happening in the USA.

But still, forty-two mil… utterly outrageous! It still amazes me to see just how much defense industry bullshit the American people are willing to tolerate.

Come on, guys. What’s more important: feeding low income children in school, or trying to stay apprised of the latest advice animal meme?


Voices Out of Egypt

Monday, January 31st, 2011

“I just wanted to let the world know we’ve been disconnected from… the Internet… The last time I was… so scared they were going to shoot us all and no one would know about it. This time, I’m not scared at all. I want to tell them ‘Bring it on!’ Mubarak is going out. Be with us.”

These words came from a woman in Cairo, preparing to take part in the today’s planned demonstrations, which may surpass a million protesters.

This message was recorded from a phone message and published online automatically by  Google’s brilliant contribution to Egypt’s struggle: Speak2Tweet. Now anyone with a phone line has one more way to circumvent the blackout to reach the rest of the Internet community.

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!

Update on Egypt

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The revolution is building in Egypt.

The Egyptian regime has outlawed any anti-government demonstrations and are trying to block internet access to social sites, like Facebook and Twitter.

Protesters and police have both been killed.

Hundreds have been arrested. One journalist had a dictaphone to record his being confined and corralled away along with dozens of other activists.

Regular civilians have been opening their Wifi access to the public, lending their support to the cause.

Even Egyptian police captains want regime change.

Here’s hoping the Egyptian establishment’s hired goons will not successfully silence this uprising.

Protest Like an Egyptian

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

(Al J’s coverage of the Cairo protests)

(Just like Tienanmen’s Tank-Man, one guy stands alone against a water cannon)

Last week the Tunisian people finalized a months long civil uprising that has successfully begun the process of regime change. Inspired by these events, Egypt is now rife with revolutionary tidings as protesters have been taking to the streets by the thousands.

Since they live under a highly authoritarian government, this type of civil uprising is rare in Egypt. But within the past few years a vital ingredient for change has been developing: Egyptians are migrating online. More than 1 in 5 Egyptians have Internet access today. This puts most of the planet just one uploaded cellphone video or a single tweet away from instantly knowing what is going on within Egypt’s borders.

Egyptian leaders now have to make decisions knowing the entire world is watching, and the inherent violence of an unjust system is getting harder to conceal from the global eye. Why go down in history as a mass murderer when you can just skip town and live off the fortunes you’ve got stashed offshore.

Just as it did in Tunisia, Egyptians will be emboldened as they hear the collective voice of their fellow citizens saying “No!” to the injustice. As well, Egyptian angst can be effectively channeled into a well-coordinated movement, letting the will of the people really be felt.

With technology getting so cheap so fast, pretty soon Internet access will reach the entire world’s population. This will enable a revolution paralleling those of Tunisia and Egypt to happen on a global scale. The collective voice of the world’s people will be felt, and it will embolden our species to really let our will be felt.

Humankind is rising up together to remove corruption from the system and usher in a more just civilization.

12 Tweets for World Peace

Monday, May 17th, 2010
  • World Peace is Coming! It will be here within 20 years.
  • World peace is more than just a dream… it is firmly rooted in reality.
  • Technology is advancing exponentially, bringing us cheaper, better tools sooner and sooner.
  • 3-D printers will fabricate any tool – computers, machines, even more 3-D printers – from nothing but blueprints, energy, earth and air.
  • Renewable energy, harnessed from the earth, wind and sun, will soon provide almost limitless power, for less $ than fossil fuels
  • New technologies will help eliminate the harshest forms of poverty. Finding peace will be much easier when everyone’s basic needs are met.
  • The Internet is a huge force for peace, bringing us together like never before.
  • No longer will we fear other humans as enemies. We will embrace our common humanity, seeing ourselves as One People sharing One Planet
  • The wealth of information the Internet provides can empower the mind of every single one of us.
  • The Net is unleashing the power of global community, and peace will be amongst the improvements we make to our world.
  • It is time to overcome the fear and the doubt. It is time to defeat the pessimism. Don’t fall for the doom and gloom anymore.
  • We have rational reasons to have hope and believe in world peace.
    Great things await us… be part of the revolution of optimism.

Follow World Peace is Coming on twitter @worldpeace2030

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.