I’ve been slow to post more of my Iridium sketches, but events unfolding in Tunisia and now Egypt have convinced me to get back on schedule. It is difficult to know what will come out of the uprisings. Tunisia looks like it might turn into a great Arab democracy — and remarkably it appears to be heading towards democracy because the army has taken control. Events inside Egypt, though, are far too complex and dynamic to follow closely from this distance. Frankly, I think it’s almost as difficult for Egyptians to work out what is going to come from the overthrow of Mubarak. I have no great predictive powers here, but I have one singular piece of advice for the West: whatever happens in Egypt, we must be supportive of democratic change even if it means the election of a government unfriendly to us.
Anyways, the reason these events have prompted me to post more of my iridium sketches is that real life is starting to overtake my ideas. My thoughts had been prompted by the 2009 Green Wave protests in Iran in which Twitter became an important tool for protesters. I thought it was very clever of the protesters to use Twitter, but I could not feel as optimistic as those technophiles who seemed to think that communications technology was going to bring down the Iranian theocracy then and there. Despite claims that the internet would make censorship impossible, we have already seen China succeed in creating a heavily censored enclave within the net itself. China achieved this by investing huge amounts of time, money, and human effort, but in the process it showed that the internet could be controlled by government willing to take the necessary steps. And now we see Egypt closing down the internet entirely.
More sketches after the fold…
The missiles go up: can you guess where the story is headed yet?