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Egypt And The World's Infrastructure
Egypt And The World's Infrastructure | Egypt, infrastructure, Twitter, Facebook, emergent, emergence, revolution, interconnected, internet, January 25,

Posted on Twitter by Olly Wainwright.

Egypt illustrates the world’s new infrastructure in a striking way.

-          Social media and the “cloud” can organize frustration into an emergent movement. It just demonstrated its effectiveness  in a country where the economy is under control of the state. You see the evolution of the flash mob from its 2003 origin as a prank where a group of often unrelated people organize on the intenet  to quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse.  Now, it's not a prank.  And the people are not dispersing. 

 -          The interconnected nature of the global economy is more entwined. Trouble in Egypt, oil prices bump up and your overhead goes up. Interrupted production, and risk to oil transport through the Suez canal is a major concern.  Companies such as Houston-based Apache reportedly receives at least a third of its revenue from Egypt business. 

  -          How widespread the interconnection is.  Roots and tendrils go everywhere.  The Egyptian government attempts to shut down the internet and cell phone network.  Twitters, emails, phone video come through by the thousands by individuals who wire around the system.  Remember that Twitter is not five years old.  Facebook is less than seven years old.  How rapidly we accept and adopt change.  A person by the name of Olly Wainwright, who posted the bridge photo from his friend in Egypt on January 28, found that he had more than 200,000 hits by January 29. 

_       The Chinese government is trying to block searches for the word "Egypt" as a sign that its trying to put a lid on public knowledge of the Middle East unrest.  Ironic, since Chinese cellphones are a valuable black market item in North Korea because of that government's grip on its technology.

  -          For several days now, major corporations as well as governments have contemplated what a post-Mubarak Egypt will mean.   Egypt is a major economic power on the African continent, and its location is strategic in trade.  

One last thought.  Economics can measure just about anything.  Even democracy.  The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries.  Look it up.  Norway ranks 1st.  The United States ranks 17th.  At present, Egypt ranks 138th.  Events over the next few weeks will determine whether that rank changes, and moves up or down.