Weather predictive analytics merged with GPS monitoring of police and Twitter monitoring of mob. Blog post.
“4: Fuck Off Google
1. There are no “Facebook revolutions”, but there is a new science of government, cybernetics
The genealogy is not well known, and it deserves to be. Twitter descends from a program named TXTMob, invented by American activists as a way to coordinate via cellphones during protests against the Republican National Convention in 2004. The application was used by some 5000 people to share real-time information about the different actions and movements of the police. Twitter, launched two years later, was used for similar purposes, in Moldova for example, and the Iranian demonstrations of 2009 popularized the idea that it was the tool for coordinating insurgents, particularly against the dictatorships. In 2011, when rioting reached an England thought to be definitively impassive, some journalists were sure that tweeting had helped spread the disturbances from their epicenter, Tottenham. Logical, but it turned out that for their communication needs the rioters had gone with BlackBerry, whose secure telephones had been designed for the upper management of banks and multinationals, and the British secret service didn’t even have the decryption keys for them. Moreover, a group of hackers hacked into BlackBerry’s site to dissuade the company from cooperating with the police in the aftermath. If Twitter enabled a self-organization on this occasion it was more that of the citizen sweepers who volunteered to sweep up and repair the damage caused by the confrontations and looting. That effort was relayed and coordinated by Cri- sisCommons, a “global network of volunteers working together to build and use tecnology tools to help respond to disasters and improve resiliency and response before a crisis.” At the time, a French left-wing rag compared this undertaking to the organization of the Puerta del Sol during the Indignants Movement, as it’s called. The comparison between an initiative aimed at a quick return to order and the fact of several thousand people organizing to live on an occupied plaza, in the face of repeated assaults by the police, may look absurd. Unless we see in them just two spontaneous, connectedcivic gestures. From 15-M on, the Spanish “indignados,” a good number of them at least, called attention to their faith in a citizens’ utopia. For them the digital social networks had not only accelerated the spread of the 2011 movement, but also and more importantly had set the terms of a new type of political organization, for the struggle and for society: a connected, participatory, transparent democracy. It’s bound to be upsetting for “revolutionaries” to share such an idea with Jared Cohen, the American government’s anti-terrorism adviser who contacted Twitter during the “Iranian revolution” of 2009 and urged them to maintain it’s functioning despite censorship. Jared Cohen has recently cowritten with Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, a creepy political book, The New Digital Age. On its first page one reads this misleading sentence: “The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history.””
To Our Friends, The Invisible Committee
My new app can now be built fairly easily with IBM Bluemix. I blogged it out here.
Arabic and English:
Crunching of data: