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Facebook, Wikileaks, Only in the 21st Century…

To so bravely fight cancer, as epitomized by the unveiling of iPad2 by ailing Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs is living in the 21st century. Two years into a liver transplant and months away from his death his presence at the unveiling not only served as a rub meant to spice Apple’s claim of the iPad as revolutionary technology, but also indicative of the scale of will needed to stand up to the challenge of the times. From Wikileaks to Arab Springs and the unknown phenomenon that was a rapidly growing Facebook. Only in the 21st century …

Tsunami of The 21st Century painting by Katsushika Hokusai via flickr

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he fact that Steve Jobs broke his medical leave, gathered his strengths to undertake a ritual that he has performed  with the predecessors to the new design, faster, camera enabled iPad2  is testament to the strides that science has made in the recent past.

Moreover, as inspiring as Steve Job’s battle with pancreatic cancer was, with the rolling out of another tool that could just as be important to the times as stone was to the Paleo-Meso-Neolithic man; the ivy league college dropout re-inked his name among the most influential people of this 21st century.

Tablets are all about the convenience of the internet admixed with the benefits of portability enabled by the endless possibilities of the microchip. To some, Tablets mark the death of the personal computer while to others, Tablets represent the Homo habilis stage of the mobile gadget evolution.

Moreover, this latest Apple gadget, alongside with its cousins such as the Samsung Galaxy tab and their descendants yet to come – all which are premised on availing the internet ‘on the go’ – could transform the world just as the 1450 Johannes Gutenberg invention.

More so, if recent events are anything to go by, there is no telling life this 21st Century. Sample this:

Wikileaks

The drive to keep Jullian Assange – the face of what has been termed as an all new form of media – behind bars never runs out of stem. The fact that the voluminous nature of  the Wikileaks classified cables has failed to water down its importance — as dictated by the natural laws of scarcity — serves to illuminate an assault on free speech by the so-called leaders of the free world. So say the defenders of Wikileaks and its founder.

Not only is the product (read: website) so authoritative, as evidenced by  the liberal quoting of the Wikileaks website as The Source of news by all and sundry in the news business; the contents of the leaks also happen to ruffle the feathers of all the big men. Right from the leaders of superpowers to strongman lording over smaller chieftains.

Toxic leaks seeping into the self-styled systems that prop up these strongman, confirming truths that had been swept under the carpet,disguised as conspiracy theories and spoken only in hushed tones. Wikileaks has declassified information that has caused upsets in the delicate homeostasis of ill-balanced societies.

Information Wars: Only in the 21st century

Either someone was unbelievably careless or it was blackmail gone bad that has got us to the spill of gossip of the political class to the masses. The aftermath of such high level error of omission and/or commission, is a full-scale world war. The battle ground is what military war strategists call the fourth medium – control of Information.

Lets make a bold claim here, the wars of the 21st century will be wars of information. The military-industrial complex that thrived on air, land and sea as it was the case in WW1 and WW2 will only lead to triumph if the information wars are won.

Websites perceived to be anti- Wikileaks are being hacked and jammed. The victims of these delinquency label such acts as grand schemes of cyber crime. The faceless accused see themselves as revolutionaries rather than rebels. This, only in the 21st Century!

The Arab Springs

For so long, the Arab world had been perceived to be ground infertile for the seeds of human rights and personal freedoms to blossom. To blame for this blanket condemnation – which by its own accord lays the ground for further discrimination and persecution of a people- is not Islam rather but rather Islamophobia.

The un-filial rulers of the Arab world, blind and deaf to the cries of their people , enjoyed the graces of their harshest critics and presumed perpetrators of this irrational fear of Islam. Sample this, not so long ago, public enemy No 1 Col Muammah Gaddafi was being praised for turning over a new leaf. The last standing Pharaoh- Hosni Mubarak played host to Pres. Obama; and so forth.

With the Shepard keen to wine and dine with the fox, the sheep had nowhere to turn to. No where to run to.

Blood spilled by those meant to protect the citizens – in direct perversion of the primary role of any state – soaked the earth. The unlucky were soon popping lilies up. The lucky saw their family lines broken by blows to the nether areas in dark torture caves. All this while, out of holes drilled into the ground, black gold flowed.

From the Desert, An Oasis of Human Struggle to Define Self

Then comes the year of the rabbit , 2011, and unlike the mild nature of the animal, robust revolts spring one after the other in the Arab world. I dare claim that never before. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 aside, there has not been agitation for human rights at this scale. Indeed, the civil rights movement, Africa’s fight for land rights in the 60’s and South Africa’s war against apartheid are peers. It’s been said that the facilitator in many of the uprisings rocking the Arab world has been social media namely: Facebook, Twitter, You tube.

Thanks to internet and mobile gadgets, the desert  is nee to oasis of human rights. It is yet to be seen whether these springs of life are mere seasonal downpours. However, there is no denying the precedent set. Especially as this hope emanates from the most unlikely of regions of the world on matters of this regard. This, only in the 21st Century…

Chile Mine Rescue

Sixty eight days in the belly of the earth. A host of engineering firsts. Thirty three miners, twenty-one hours and fourty four minutes. August of 2010, a modern-day miracle started. On these accounts, the Chile mine rescue operation of October 2010 opened new doors for humanity. Every minute of the happenings at San Jose was telecast live on major news stations to millions of witnesses. Only in the 21st century

More importantly, in spreading the joy and sharing the  relief of those whose loved ones had been swallowed by the earth, the Chile mine rescue is The Event of The Internet. That 21st October, the multitude of humanity keen to be part of this great human story spiked internet traffic volumes. Hitting the highest ever numbers in recent times.

If this story was one of courage in the face of adversity, human will where there is no way, the important things in life notably the warmth of the embrace of family, an indication of the frontiers that humanity can reach if only all pulled together, through live streaming on websites such as ustream great lessons and  inspiration was served to mankind on the go and simultaneously so to all corners of the globe. This, only in the 21st century.

Facebook

A movie that bagged several Oscars, the most visited website globally save for the google homepage. 500 million users, 2010 Time Person Of the Year award and by some estimates, $65 billion worth for its founder. All in under a decade. There are mega corporations. And there are mega corporations. Enough said. This, only in the 21st century

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