“This is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media,” says Clay Shirky, professor at New York University and author of the book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. And whatâ€™s had the greatest impact? â€œItâ€™s Twitter,â€ says Shirky.
So starts my piece in Crikey yesterday, Weâ€™re all wearing green for Iran now, apparently.
The article covers two main points.
One, this isnâ€™t really the first time demonstrations have been organised or teargas reported via Twitter. Try Bangkok in October 2008. Try ChiÅŸinÄƒu in April 2009. And as Business Week pointed out, A Twitter revolution? Hardly.
Two, people are changing their avatars green to “support democracy in Iran” based on very little information. And as commenter Rena Zurawel claimed:
Whether it is a Rose Revolution in Georgia, or Orange Revolution in the Ukraine or a Green revolution in Iran — the source and inspiration is exactly the same: $70 million decided by the Congress to spend on so called “democratic changes in Iran”.
That last point intrigued me, so I poked around a bit.
I found this 2008 report from STRATFOR Global Intelligence: Geopolitical Diary: Iran, Psywar and the Hersh Article… which is reproduced in full over the jump.
Continue reading “Psywar in Iran”
Stilgherrian’s links for 04 November 2008 through 09 November 2008, gathered via Twitter and spat onto the page with love and some lemon juice and garlic:
- McDonald’s partners with earthwave to provide Australians with “Family Friendly” internet services | LinuxWorld: A company called earthwave has scored the deal to provide Australia’s McDonald’s stores with “clean” Internet links. That’s more than 720 locations.
- How to nap | Boston.com: A nice overview of how to take effective nap breaks. I’d have congratulated Boston.com on using a good wide-screen format too, but discovered they’ve done it with images rather than live text on the page. Still, it’s good material.
- What’s your profit : pain ratio? | Bad Language: Very apropos for me this week: an article pointing out that some clients simple aren’t worth the trouble.
- Best advice I’ve heard all week | Wired Blogs: A reminder that humans are really very bad at assessing risk.
- Tanner eyes web 2.0 tools | Australian IT: Australia’s federal government says it'll trial online public consultation through blogs and other social media tools. Good luck, guys, because the first thing you’ll have to learn is how to have an authentic conversation with people, rather than just parroting the party line.
- Bush: “Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over” | The Onion: Written when George W Bush was inaugurated in 2001, this is a scarily prescient piece of satire. Well worth a read today.
- Barack Obama’s acceptance: the transcript | Crikey: The full text of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. Very powerful writing.
- Not Quite Art | ABC TV: The official ABC website for Marcus Westbury’s series Not Quite Art including full downloadable files of all episodes of series 1 and 2 (provided you’re in Australia).
- The next President of the United States | The Big Picture: Boston.com provides yet another glorious photo essay: this time it’s images of the president-elect of the US, some bloke called Barry.
- Australian Internet Censorship | halans.com: Another powerful analogy to explain why centralised Internet censorship is wrong.
- 6 Nov 2008 – Liberation Day | Microsoft Australia: The Australian launch event for Microsoft’s Azure services platform. I blogged this live previously, and will soon write a more reflective post about it. This page now includes the video of Steve Ballmer’s speech.
- Blog censorship silences free speech around the world | Worldfocus: Thirteen/WNET, the respected PBS station in Boston, blogs about Internet censorship censorship and surveillance around the world, including a link to little old me.
- What Ray Ozzie didn’t tell you about Microsoft Azure | The Register: A nice discussion of the problems Microsoft will face selling its new platform Azure when compared with Amazon’s EC2 and Google’s App Engine.
- 750,000 lost jobs? The dodgy digits behind the war on piracy | ars technica: A nice discussion of where the numbers for “what piracy costs us” come from. This is American rather than Australian, but the points are still valid.
- DVD pirating costing industry $1.7b: Debus | ABC News: Australia’s Home Affairs minister Bob Debus parrots the DVD industry’s claim that illegal copying (which they call “piracy”) costs $1.7B. The bogeyman of “child pornography” is raised to make it sound even scarier.
- “Mankind Is No Island” | One Plus One Equals Three: The winning film in the Tropfest New York short film competition, shot using a mobile phone and found typography in Sydney and NY.
I noticed this blogging meme over at Quatrefoil’s place and thought I’d give it a try. The results are surprising.
- Grab the nearest book.
- Open it to page 161.
- Find the fifth sentence.
- Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
- Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Use what’s actually next to you.
And the sentence is:
“Sensitive site exploitation will continue.”
That sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense by itself, but the next one adds all the context you need:
So far there had been no WMD stockpiles found.
The book is State of Denial: Bush At War, Part III by investigative journalist Bob Woodward. It’s been months since I read it but for some reason it’s still on my desk.
This afternoon the BBC reports that unnamed “US officials” have evidence that North Korea was helping Syria build a nuclear reactor. Here we go again. I think I might listen to some classic Detroit techno instead.
Catching up on news from earlier this week, I’m astounded to read the real reason the US stock market rallied: “The US Taxpayers just lent the Biggest Banks and Hedge Funds in New York $400 Billion in exchange for ‘mark to market valued’ sub prime mortgage securities that are probably nearly worthless (being so far down on the claims chart in a bankruptcy). This is a ‘silent bailout’ of the Republicanâ€™s biggest contributors that is going to be much more expensive than the S&L Rescue package of the early 90s. At least Bush Sr proposed the S&L bailout in the sunlight. Bush Jr, Paulson and the Fed are doing the bailout without asking our permission. What does ‘pork barrel’ John McCain think of this corporate welfare?”
When your business’ reputation sucks, what do you do? Re-brand it!
Jon Taplin reckons American business is hoping to revive “Brand USA” by supporting Barack Obama as a presidential candidate. In Reviving Brand America, he says:
It is getting very hard to be an American company in much of the world (see photo). Whenever they are pissed off in Karachi, they burn down the KFC. George Bushâ€™s War has made competing against European and Chinese manufacturers like wrestling with one arm tied behind your back. So like any smart CEO, the elite has decided we need a re-branding of America with a charismatic man of colour at the front.
Exhibit A is the New York Postâ€™s endorsement of Obama this morning. I would take it as a given, that Rupert Murdoch saw this editorial before it was published. Exhibit B is MSNBC. I promise you, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would not be given the free rein to criticize both Hillary and Republican hypocrisy, unless Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE had not given the OK. I obviously think this is a rational move on the part of American business — and I know its not like they all met at some private club to decide this. I just think this is the consensus vision, well outlined by Andrew Sullivan a couple of months ago.
But is American business that concerned with their nation’s international image? Or is Taplin spot on?
Indeed, was the success of Kevin Rudd in Australia’s 2007 election partially the result of our stagnant image overseas?