Fascinated by the parallels between these observations by Michael Wesch from last March and the turmoil in Egypt, the razor’s edge of the communication changes and their potential impacts. I love the story that at some point during the internet shutdown, people in Tahrir Square strung dozens and dozens of extension cords to enable someone’s pirated dialup connection to broadcast Al Jazeera to the crowds. People’s resourcefulness and resilience are astounding, and yet the fragility of free and open communication is constantly worrying.
Here’s the quote from his lecture which grabbed me:
We’re right now on a razor’s edge between these hopeful possibilities and more ominous futures, you might say. So on the one hand there’s hope for openness and freedom, and on the other side of that razor’s edge is more possibilities for surveillance and control. There is more hope for transparency, and also new opportunities for deception. There’s new hope for mass participation, and yet we all see the possibilities for mass distraction as well. So what we need is, we need people, we need our students, we need everybody, to be more open, daring, caring, creative, collaborative, self-motivated, and voracious as learners. And yet this
is where we are training them.
His final slide: