The Information Empire Strikes Back

The next phase in social networking and politics has arrived: states are fighting back

As was noted in our previous blog post –‘Egypt, the internet and the washing machine’, which put the use of social media in the Middle East revolutions in an historical context by reminding us of the use of the washing machine in women’s liberation – the topic of social networking and its effects often provokes fierce debate, with sides regularly and mutually castigating one another. However, some less-publicised developments around the world hint at a second round of hauling over the coals.

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Don’t believe the hype…

It’s hard not to like Jocelyn Bell Burnell. In fact, it’s hard not to love her. A devout Quaker devoted to social and spiritual issues as well as being bone fide genius, Bell Burnell missed out on winning a physics Nobel Prize for her discovery of pulsars (the Prize instead going to her supervisor), to which her response was: “I am not myself upset about it — after all, I am in good company, am I not!”

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Animating the revolution…

Following on from our very lively discussion on social media in the middle east unrest, some news ha come to light regarding the use of blogs in Iran.

For some years, blogging in Iran has been an intriguing phenomenon that sees an ever-increasing amount of bloggers despite the poor bandwidth and some high-profile prosecutions. Blogs were something of a precursor to the social media of today that were used to so extensively during the current spate of protests.

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In our courage to speak, we must also have the courage to listen

Hundreds of protesters  gathered in Times Square yesterday to protest against an upcoming hearing by New York’s Republican congressman Peter King on “the extent of radicalisation within the American Muslim community”. The protestors believe that the hearing will unfairly single out Muslims in general rather than focusing on extremists who constitute a small minority.

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The Green Future – Sims style

Thinking about solutions to global warming can be stressful and depressing but this new simulation is uplifting and informative. Pic courtesy of InfoGraphicsShowcase

Nuclear power? Hmmm…high effort but decent output. Any accidents would be tragic. Verdict: Build 13 more power stations, and hope the number doesn’t jinx anything.

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The fear of failure

Animals never cease to amaze us, not only do we keep finding more and more similarities between them and us – elephants mourn their dead, for example, and can also be very good artists as the video below shows – we also keep finding more and more ways to help each other.

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