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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Controlling Communications

There is a reason revolutionaries or despots try to gain control of communications systems. We can see it currently in Nepal.
KATMANDU, Nepal - Cell phones aren't ringing these days in this Himalayan nation: Small businessmen can't take orders, children can't phone their parents and political activists can't call around to organize a decent-sized protest.

For the past month, since King Gyanendra seized power and ordered communications links switched off, Nepalese have been learning to live without their cell phones.

Link courtesy of The Emirates Economist, who adds,

But many movie goers are happy....

But, seriously, this story does point up the revolutionary effect technological change in communications has had on recent, uh, revolutionary movements. Contagion and coordination are essential to an effective mass movement. Witness the Orange Revolution and the Lebanese protest, to name a few.

The effect of mobile phones on the supply of revolutions makes for a nice example of an increase in supply.

At least the professors and teachers in Nepal don't have to deal with cell phones ringing in class!
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