Friday, January 28, 2011

The Unstoppable Combination

CAIRO - The Egyptian capital descended into near anarchy Friday night, as the government sent riot police, and then the army, to quell protests by tens of thousands of demonstrators. The scale of Egypt's crackdown on the Internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts say.

We are all wondering whether the social media and the internet in general is making people stupid. Let's leave that question aside. The real question is whether the internet is making people more aware of the stupidity of their leaders. And the answer to that question is clearly Yes.

Politicians try to sell us on theories. To put theory into practice, it's necessary to identify conditions theory tells you will develop in certain ways under certain other conditions. And then you need to be consistent in application of those certain other conditions. Politicians almost never do either.

The internet brings this out into the open. First, while its social media disintegrate friendship into trivial updates and cautious politeness, the conditions politicians claim as fixed human nature are revealed to be nothing of the kind.

And second, the perfection of the internet technology ridicules by comparison the politician's haphazard and inconsistent execution of his uncertain theory.

The internet is an unstoppable combination. We don't belong to god and aren't made to make money. We belong to the internet if to anything and were made if made at all to make new friends: that is how it is going to look.

And that is good news. How things look is the arena of politics. We should be grateful that chance has delivered technology into politics beneficially this time.