Organizing the revolution

My alarm clock wakes me with the voices of the BBC World Service every weekday morning. These past few days, the news has been full of the tumult in Egypt, Tunis, and elsewhere in their region.

This morning I heard that the Egyptian government had shut down the phone and internet networks; a reporter or interviewee said that the protest could no longer be organized, without twitter, facebook, and texting. I understand that the movement started on the internet, but the statement made me laugh a little. Are pen and paper, or word of mouth, so useless now that we have mobile phones? How many rebellions, revolutions, marches and movements were organized before the telephone, much less the internet? It is amazing how much we have come to rely on something we didn’t even have 5 years ago.

A little secret

I twittered this earlier and a number of people have picked it up, so I figured I’d repost it here, for posterity (even if the Library of Congress has archived it somewhere):

“The secret of many historians is that we’re gossips who are too polite to talk about the living”