I feel like this weeks blog should take a different direction than those of my previous ones. While I sat for a moment trying to determine what to write about this week I had decided to look to this weeks Shirky readings for an answer. Reading chapter 7 Faster and Faster out of Shirkys’s book Here Come’s Everybody, it hit me. Looking over the chapter and reading into the discussions about non-violent flash mobs and how they were being detained in Belarus because their government being afraid of masses, I stumbled up a thought about the United States.
Each and every one of us has the capability to communicate through different forms of technology making life easier. We can come together in group chats for projects that are due, we have groups on Facebook of people that share similar interests, and we have many other means of coming together through texting, social media outlets and whatever gives us the power to communicate to each other so that others can see. What Shirky would call “everybody knows, everybody knows that everybody knows, and everybody knows that everybody knows that everybody knows.” Now according to the examples given in this chapter, Belarus took an example of how the masses protested in Leipzig, Germany and how they developed their masses to take down a corrupt government. Belarus had no means of knowing when or where people would even show up for a flash mob. They used their military power to manage to hear through the grapevine about the potential of flash mobs to go and detain members of those groups. They had believed that the power they attained was being threatened. That what military republic had the potential to be overthrown by these flash mob groups. The problem they had ran into was that the flash mob groups were non-violent. The most they could do was arrest them to get them apart from each other. They could not risk a backlash from people who have the capability to photograph events that occur and share them with the rest of the world.
This is where I bring the United States back into this. We have an organization in the US called the NSA. And recently they have been in the spotlight for some risque business regarding spying on United States citizens trying to get an idea of potential terrorist attacks against the US. At least that is what they claim they are doing. I almost feel that the US after attacks on 911 and the events of ISIS and other militant groups, feel the US government is afraid of members of it’s country organizing against it in some fashion. The civil discourse that occurs across our country that is onset by events set forth by our government is giving them reason to fear the masses. People are upset and outraged at what the government does to our people and environment and I feel that the US government fears organized protests. Just look at some of our policies on protesters. Some government officials are trying to get your rights to protest, even in non-violent situations, taken away. A prime example of this would be the events that occurred in Baltimore a few months ago. I urge you to think about this. To think about how we use our technology to communicate our messages to one another. None of this I can really back up with sufficient evidence. But, from simple observation and scare tactics used in the media, this is the way things are starting to look to me from an objective standpoint. I question everything I see, but do you feel that our grouping should be something that is stigmatized as “tyrannical?” Our joining together to support a cause can produce great results. In fact when one person does something on their own their power is substantially much weaker than of those who are in mass.