January 29, 2010

Civil Society 2.0

This short documentary talks about how the big public protest marches and the so called Strike for Education came about. It was the new media combined with spontaneous crowds with a common interest à la flashmob. Being one of many and still having a say is a powerful experience and genuinely democratic, unlike the kind of representative democracy we are finding ourselves governed by in Germany. It has made me think about whether this kind of international protest could have happened in pre-internet times. Is it a question of scale or is there a whole different sort of interaction at work?


If you stumble around the internet these days, you come across many stories that fall in the categories "reflection on technological advancement" or "analysis of the impact of social media". And being part of this whole new sphere of human existence has inspired me to research it for my thesis by which I hope to earn my degree as a sociologist.

It's so interesting to me how many people still mostly ignore (as do most conservative politicians) the force that is the interconnectedness and evergrowing communication between individuals. In 10 or 20 years time I expect for the digital divide to close significantly. If we succeed in defending net neutrality against some corporate interests, we will soon feel the power of the opinions of millions of Africans, Asians and South Americans that so far have a lot less voice in the global discussion (much like at the WTO).

So expect to hear more about this part of my life in 2010 :)

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