Monday, June 22, 2009

Communications - Take II

In an older post, I discussed how different new communication means affect our relationships. This week's events got me think about how they affect our lives.

First, we had to change our Internet infrastructure provider from ADSL-based to cable-based. Why? He (it) who has the money (my husband's employer) has the say.

Cable technician Dima came early Friday morning and announced me that if he can't pull in the cable, we might need to change our TV provider from sattelite to cable. Then he managed to trench the cable. He just asked me to call my ISP and notify them about the infrastructure change, so they can set their systems accordingly. 3784 calls later I realized that the ISP I called was no longer my ISP for 2 years and managed to find the number of my current ISP and the access data. Another 62 calls later between Dima, his back office and the ISP tech support, and after he replaced the modem and cable (twice), bingo! The Internet connection was back. What a relief, I couldn't bare the thought of not being connected for the weekend. Since when did it become so essential? Since it is commoditized and I can't even remember who provides what service and how do I connect to it (it's automatic!). I just expect it to work transparently.

The riots in Iran prove that even despotic regimes understand the importance of Internet or phone communications . That's why they cut them off. Protesters can better organize themselves and share news with the world using modern communication means. Of course, they can succeed also without (after all French revolutionaries didn't have Twitter or cell phones), but presumably at a higher price.

The ability to communicate [enhanced by modern means] should be considered a basic human freedom. Any readers from the UN?

1 comment:

Jasmine Liu said...

Absolutely Erika!
In China, we have Great Wall, which was used to block the invasion of other states in the ancient times. Now we have an Internet Great Wall, blocking Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

I totally understand why a non-democratic government would behave like this, as in the case of Iran and China. If they don't, I would be surprised. The thing is once the public decides to pursue their rights, no government can really block anything. I know many of my friends can bypass the Internet Great Wall using their own means, but it's just inconvenient.

Of course, China is changing, so does Iran. I just wish the progress can speed up and normal people can enjoy the convenience of communication as we are doing here.

Thanks for a great post!