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Revolution 2.0?

There are new dreams, crowding out old realities. There’s revolution, sweeping like a fresh new breeze.” (YouTube), Max Frost and the Troopers, “Shape of Things to Come” from the “Wild in the Streets” soundtrack (I saw the movie on a double date in 1968.)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss….” (YouTube), The Who, “Won’t get fooled again

So, which will it be?

The headline reads, “18 days of protest culminate in Mubarak’s ouster.” Hmmmm, it took much LONGER with Lyndon Johnson. Is it just the “Internet Effect?” (Or, as we used to say at Netscape, an example of “Internet Time…?”)

Revolution is a tricky thing. We all know that it is “… not a dinner party….” Mubarak ascended to the presidency of Egypt after the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat. Today, a one-minute announcement on state television by Vice President Omar Suleiman told of Mubarak‘s resignation and said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will “run the affairs of the country.”

But what really happened…?

If Twitter and Facebook were as central to the governmental change and the protests as some folks would have us believe, SOMEBODY out there knows EXACTLY what happened. After all, the analysis of social networks is not just a research exercise.

If “Revolution 2.0” had a “face,” that face is likely well known by the facial recognition software of Facebook, itself. Was the revolt truly “faceless?” Frankly, that is very hard to believe in such a strategic (pipelines and Suez Canal) part of the world.

An interesting op-ed piece on CNN has this to say:

“These elements — a rising level of connectivity combined with an exploding population of young people facing declining economic prospects since the global recession began a few years ago — are probably the most critical underlying factors explaining Egypt’s explosion.”


“Well, if you add a free and open internet to a society with a large number of young people, give a majority of them mobile phones, and fail to offer them any chance of economic and social advancement, you will have ripened the conditions for changing the world. But small groups of dedicated and organized people still have to make it happen.”

If you leave OUT the part about “a large number of young people,” the same conditions occur in the United States. Seniors are outnumbering teens in the workforce. Only 1% of the U.S. population (the WEALTHIEST 1%) has made any significant financial gain since 1980. Similar conditions probably exist in MANY parts of the world right now.

But don’t worry. People are hard at work on making the “free and open” Internet less open and less free. Even in the U.S.….

Will the Revolution 2.0 that MAY be occurring right now in Egypt end in a democratic state for its people, or just another military dictatorship? In a part of the world that is so critical to so many of the world’s major powers, only time will tell.

-Bill at

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