Re: All About Al Jazeera (Robert Wright & Adel Iskandar)
This was an excellent discussion. The role of traditional, but expanded media like Al Jazeera, together with new means of communication seem to have instrumental to the recent and ongoing risings in the Arab world.
As many will know, authoritarian / totalitarian regimes limit access to information and limit communication. These are fundamental strategies to control people and keep them misinformed and powerless. The new media provide means to counteract these measures.
I still remember the times when under military dictatorship, it was forbidden to be in groups larger than three or four chatting. As a HS student, we had to be careful because the security guards (ex policemen and military) who monitored the school, would approach the students to break up larger groups, would ask what we were talking about or would stand nearby to listen to the conversations. Interesting, right?
It would have been so much more civilized to have cameras and microphones and other more modern monitoring devices. Cheaper, less intrusive and creating the illusion of privacy! Good modern times.
So yes, technology can be liberating or enslaving. It depends on how it's used.