Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Even In A Digital World It Takes Real Heart To Make Change

This post links and quotes from two stories that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The rationale behind combining these two stories into one post is to express the view again that despite all of the interconnection made available by the web 2.0 technological revolution it still takes the dedication of individuals to make a difference.

The ability to inspire is a far greater power than the ability to merely communicate data. There have been a number of posts on Myanmar or Burma to use the original prior to the renaming by the military dictatorship. Those previous posts convey both wavering optimism and skeptical concern regarding the impact of the Internet on global issues of this type. These days, in regards to the power of the Internet, I am leaning more to the optimistic but without moral leadership such as that of Nyanissara those hopes could be hollow.

A digitally enhanced Myanmar opposition - Los Angeles Times

  • There seemed little chance of getting organized until more than 2,000 protesters, arrested and jammed into crowded jail cells, met one another and overcame their distrust. Now, most of them are on the streets again, carefully building a network for what they call a new revolution.

    Their digital tools are e-mail and text messages, which are more powerful than a megaphone, and cellphone cameras that are so common that thousands of people are potential journalists.

    Monk's words stir the spirit of Myanmar's resistance - Los Angeles Times

    * The stern-faced Nyanissara, a 70-year-old monk in owlish glasses and a maroon robe, is able to stare down generals with chests full of medals by stepping carefully through the minefield that makes free speech lethal here.

    Shielding himself with allegory, he crisscrosses the country giving lectures that draw on history and legend to remind people that rotten regimes have fallen before. As the generals try to crush the last remnants of resistance, he is cautiously keeping the fire alive.

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