Wednesday, April 25, 2012

People Power 2.0

Pollack, John. "People Power 2.0." Technology Review, May/June, 2012.

From the article: "The war against Qaddafi was fought with global brains, NATO brawn, and Libyan blood. But it took brains and blood to get the brawn. On February 18, three days into the protests that would swell into the successful revolt against the regime, Libya went offline. Internet and cell-phone access was cut or unreliable for the duration, and people used whatever limited connections they could….The world's nodes and networks are multiplying and growing denser: a third of the world's population is online, and 45 percent of those people are under 25. Cell-phone penetration in the developing world reached 79 percent in 2011. Cisco estimates that by 2015, more people in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East will have mobile Internet access than have electricity at home. Across much of the world, this new information power sits uncomfortably upon archaic layers of corrupt or inefficient governance. 

In today's world, as the U.S. Army Field Manual for Operations notes, "information has become as important as lethal action in determining the outcome of operations." Read more