All posts tagged myanmar

6 Posts

New tactics in Authoritarianism

Dictators are often ruthless, charismatic and extremely intelligent. They also have the resources to be extremely sophisticated. If not showy.

In modern times, it’s hard for dictators to operate in the ways that they used to. Their citizens having mobile phone cameras and an audience of the world, its just not as easy to have an undocumented massacre as it was 10 years ago.

Marginalized by Unicode

Communities that are most marginalized continue to be so online. People who do not have access often speak languages that are not in Unicode and live in places that have never before been mapped, often not even photographed.

Presenting at ITP Social Activism using Mobile Technology class

Back in May I had the pleasure of exploring The Future, also known as NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring Show 2009. Last night I had the pleasure of actually molding it by guest lecturing Nathan Freitas’ Social Activism using Mobile Technology class at ITP with my colleague Emily Jacobi.

"On Sept. 26, the protests were still going strong. It was 11 am, and Aung Aung Ye was juggling two computers and a mobile phone from his office in Thailand. That morning he was on his mobile talking with contacts in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon. At 1:34 am EST, he told me that more than 10,000 people had gathered near Traders Hotel in downtown Rangoon. By 1:40, the mood, still palpable electronically, changed. He had received frantic calls – the military had begun using tear gas and bullets against the peaceful demonstrators. His status message read, "Now, shooting in North/Oakalapa." Two minutes later, it changed again – “Don't brake my heart into a million pieces.”"

Year of the Rats – Nuvo

Giant rats appeared to be on the loose in Mizoram state, and Emily was growing worried about heading to the obscure province in northeast India.

Mark wasn’t so sure. “Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.”

Emily pointed to the headline.

“Look at this: ‘Gigantic Rats attack paddy farms and stock.’ They’ve sighted some rats as big as 15 kg [30 pounds]. What are we getting ourselves into?”

The Weathermen in Burma

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,” Bob Dylan famously sang about the tumultuous times that were America’s 1960s. This quote comes to mind now as I look to the current tragedy happening in Burma after Cyclone Nargis’s devastation. In a country whose state-controlled media provides a rosy contrast to the external reports of an exponentially rising death toll, the sky may indeed prove to be the most sincere information source.