Friday, October 31, 2014

Response to: "Bridges Between Cultural and Digital Worlds in Revolutionary Egypt"

      In their essence, social media sites are set up to connect individuals and create a voice for the average user. That is, the conglomeration of all ideas and posts link together its users in an earlier, inconceivable way. In "Bridges Between Cultural and Digital Worlds in Revolutionary Egypt," author Ramesh Srinivasan attempts to question how technology and networks influence democratic movements (Srinivasan, 49). In turn, over time he echos the sentiments of blogger Hossam Hamlaway who promulgates, "that while social media may 'speed things up' they are neither necessary nor sufficient in the making of contemporary revolution"  (Srinivasa, 52).
     The basis of the article is centered upon Ramesh's journey to discover what effect technology and social media play on modern revolutions. He does so by traveling to Egypt in June of 2011 during the heat of a political revolution. Upon arrival he becomes connected with political activists and immerses himself in both the digital and physical revolution. His findings included that "fewer than 5 percent of Egyptians were users of Facebook, and 135,000 were registered Twitter users" (Srinivasa, 50). Alongside this he also took note of inaccuracy within live-tweeting and also the "telephone effect" that occurs when information is spread through word of mouth. Overall, his experience in Egypt during the revolution was that although technology helped coordinate enormous protests, there needs to be a physical aspect to create a true revolution (Srinivsa, 51). 
     Published in a scholarly journal titled "The Information Society," this article was geared towards academic minds, but also is quite easy to understand for the general public. Written in October of 2012, this article was published by American company Taylor & Francis Group (Srinivasan, 49). Though Ramesh goes to great lengths to travel to Egypt to further his studies, he is currently an associate professor at U.C.L.A. in information studies (Ramesh Srinivasan). He began with a degree in industrial engineering from Stanford, later graduating M.I.T. with an M.S. in media arts and sciences, and finally achieving his doctorate in design studies from Harvard University. He aims to "bridge cultural studies from anthropological and sociological perspectives...and computer sciences" (Ramesh Srinivasan). Equipped with a diverse palate of academic interests, his articles and works have focused on media's interaction with societies around the world.
     Overwhelmingly, Ramesh's article has proved to be a success. This work combined with others have led him to be featured on NPR, TEDx talks, and even led him to write published works in the Huffington Post (Ramesh Srinivasan). Alongside of this, google scholar search results reveal this article was specifically cited as a credible source in six other scholarly journals published recently. Among them was an article titled "Secular vs. Islamist polarization in Egypt on Twitter". The credibility of this article and the future success of Ramesh proves that this article was well accepted by both the general public and academic community. Although it is controversial in nature, it attempts to present an unbiased report of his interaction between Egyptian political activists. 
     Although this article just represents a splice of Ramesh's works, he is an important figure in understanding the information society. His works relating technology and regions around the world encompass the ideas of what an information society is. In this article, by emerging himself in a world of political revolution, he was able to see how technology and a digital revolution was not enough to change the government. Technology plays a role in modern democratic movements, but the digital movement alone cannot change the face of the region. 

Srinivasan, Ramesh. (October 2012). Bridges Between Cultural and Digital Worlds in Revolutionary Egypt. The Information Society, 29, 49-61.
Ramesh Srinivasan. Retrived from:

No comments:

Post a Comment