Wednesday, October 5, 2011

it's in the air

I told you about attending the mini conference sponsored by IBM corporation at which a analytic expert mentioned the use of social media, emails and texts by rioters in England during Britain's recent unrest. Rioters texted each other, not for social intercourse, but as to which locations should be targeted for criminal looting and burning. It's just something in the air, you say. The rioters have a new weapon, instant communication as to where to pillage, and where the police are.

Now, Republican presidential hopeful, Ron Paul, voiced his concern that the United States could see social unrest like that experienced in England. Conservative Representative Paul is hardly an alarmist. Must be something in the air, or could it be in the water?

Recently on the New York Times page one, "Protest Rise Around Globe as Faith in the Vote Wanes. Many are Driven by Contempt of Political Class." The reasons sending citizens around the world into the streets, in Spain, Greece, South Asia, Europe and even Wall Street range from corruption, lack of housing, and joblessness. In many places street protests are turning to violence. Tear gas is in the air.

Fr. Walter Ong, S. J., who once taught at Regis University, and author of many books on communication theory once reflected that all technology is for the good of humankind, as long as that technology is properly interiorized. Using electronically mediated communication to riot, pillage is not what Fr. Ong had in mind.

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