Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Power of the Internet; Power to the People!

I am following the situation going on in Iran following their election and am very impressed with the peacefulness, but more by the power of the Internet in spite of the government's attempt to squelch it the the people's voice. I don't think they can shut down the net, we have tried here. It was designed for nuclear war, so shutting it down is probably impossible. Proxies are being set up. Just as our scholars find proxies to sidestep the NYCDOE filters, I don't think Iran or anyone else can stop the news flow. As I have heard it, when you have 1 in 100 Iranians who is a hacker, that one person is doing the work to let others communicate. Also I heard that those outside Iran have been changing their Facebook and Twitter location to Iran. Jared Cohen asked Twitter to minimize the down time of Twitter. I don't think a Tienanmen Square massacre will happen because of size of the protesters and the world watching, but one never knows. Listening to those voices getting out is very refreshing. Talk about power to the people. I am not happy about hearing how colleges dormitories are being attacked by the military. I am reminded of my connection with a school in Karachi, Pakistan immediately after 911, and the frightening project we did then. Much of my information comes from NPR and BBC, not US news agencies. In fact, I have stopped watching the news agencies in the US, as I find them badly wanting. I read the NYTimes with a grain of salt and watch nothing on TV anymore. Access to Internet news sources is far superior, to my way of thinking. US media is more about the economic bottom line than truth at this point.

I think it is time for the world to get involved before it goes too far.

On another note, I opened an email from a former student this morning.
Hello Mr. Nellen,

I am (name withheld) from Murry Bergtraum Class 1987. I am glad to see you enjoying yourself on the internet. Even back in the 1980's you were encouraging the use of technology (word processors) to write papers.

I remember you encouraged me to become an electrical engineer so I could become an astronaut. Well I did become an electrical engineer but instead of piloting the Space Shuttle, I am piloting the electric power grid.

As for my family, I am married for nearly fifteen years with two boys (soon to be 14 and 10) and two dogs.

Be well and take care.
(name withheld)
MBHS 1987
We all love getting these notes from former students. It made me smile. Just as I was encouraging my scholars about the power of the technology then using current technologies, I am still doing that with further encouragement in the alternative energies with assignments like this from the past fall,

As we hear about how the Internet has changed the business aspects of the print media, we are seeing how it has become a powerful political tool. Don't forget Jesse Ventura and how he used it to become a governor and of course how Barack Obama used it so well. Change is here, it ain't just a coming, so let's sit back and enjoy the ride.

Power to the People.

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