Category Archives: influence

The unsettling “simplifications” of Kony 2012

The popularity of digital platforms, particularly social media, has swept away in a whirl the traditional gate-keepers of information – journalists, scholars, politicians.  By now this is an old story, often told.  Information, once scarce, has become overabundant, and those … Continue reading

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Homo informaticus: a theory of political influence

The next stage in human evolution is already among us.  This organism will never leave behind fossils or petrified footprints, because it dwells entirely in the digital universe.  Despite the lack of powers vested in me, I have taken the … Continue reading

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Qaddafi’s hat: the lesson of Libya

On Monday, anti-regime forces stormed into Tripoli, abruptly ending Muammar Qaddafi’s 42 years of one-man rule.  The fortified compound where he had lived and staged his ceremonial occasions was overrun the next day.  His prized possessions were looted.  While the … Continue reading

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The death of Bin Laden as information and influence

On Sunday, May 1, an elite and secretive team of US operatives killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  Many Americans, myself included, applauded the demise of the infamous promoter of global terrorism and mastermind of the … Continue reading

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The public and the crowd

Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have been widely hailed as the triumph of the public over authoritarian regimes.  Someone with a literal cast of mind, however, might arrive at a different interpretation.  Such a person would note that it was … Continue reading

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A brief history of information

Information expands in sudden bursts or waves which sweep over human communities and wreak havoc with existing relationships.  If we discount the birth of culture 40,000 years ago, there have been five such waves, all in historic times. The first … Continue reading

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