Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How do we communicate if the Internet goes down?

This question was actually asked at and I had answered it as I will here with a simple counter question:

How have human beings been able to communicate for thousands of years before the internet was born?

I'm sure we all remember how we used to call our friends on a land-line (yes, a term that is slowly being forgotten) and told each other when and where to meet for a specific event. If there was a large number of people attending, we would make sure we kept our paper-based address book close at hand in case there was a phone booth (a what?) near the rendezvous point. All it did was force us to be a little more co-ordinated with our meeting arrangements. If someone was late, they were left behind, it was as simple as that.

Regarding the convenience of such a technology as the internet, the only difference is that it has made us more flexible in cancelling, postponing or setting a new meeting point... conveniences I'm sure we could live without if we absolutely had to.

Looking back at the Egyptian protests (which is a perfect example of the new age being forced to live two decades behind its time), the worst mistake that the Mubarak regime did was take that modern form of communication away from the people.
The only effect that had was to force the people out onto the streets to vent their anger and frustration towards the government directly rather than behind a computer screen.

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