A New Network In Egypt?
It’s a gorgeous January Friday afternoon here in Austin, and as CNN plays in the background and as my Twitterstream for the hashtags #egypt and #cairo screams by faster than any stream I’ve seen to date on TweetDeck, I marvel at the creativity and inventiveness of people in and out of the region to keep the social mediated conversation moving along despite Internet crackdowns by the Egyptian authorities.
It takes me back to other times in the past when the revolution was televised — Tienanmen Square in 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of the same year, the Green revolution in Iran, and most recently, the more social mediated movements in Tunisia, Yemen, and, now, Egypt.
Putting all political proclivities aside, the ability for vast numbers of people to organize — in this case, like some dynamic, headless snake with no organizing head or political party at the helm — seems akin to watching a new inflection point in history.
It appears nobody has to be in charge, because nobody can be.
The network is the people, the people are the network, and though some individuals may be taken out of the network through violence, attrition, or other means, like some great and dynamic labyrinth of humanity, the packets continue to somehow stream through and reach their desired recipients around the globe.
Is a new network being created in Egypt as the rest of the world stands by to watch?
And what might be the message being sent?
That the hierarchical command-and-control structure of the nation-state, no matter its political orientation (dictatorship, democracy, meritocracy, or what have you), is being called to question, and what could or will replace it continues to be a great unknown?
Will a new government in Egypt emerge, one crowdsourced by the participation of the “crowd”?
Perhaps, perhaps not.
But whatever it does become, the journey will have been as important as the destination, and the reverberations of the lessons learned will likely be felt in government, business, and other human endeavors around the globe and for years to come.
I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be a witness the to the time and tidings, and am entirely hopeful the situation will come to some peaceful denouement soon.