Sunday, February 6, 2011

Um…Mr. Friedman…

In today’s New York Times, Tom Friedman discusses the unrest afflicting the Middle East.  In it we find this paragraph:

The Arab world has 100 million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you have a very powerful change engine.

Much has been made of the part played in the uprisings by Twitter and Facebook.  A question arises, though:  If there are no jobs and rising food prices, who’s able to pay for access to Twitter and Facebook?

We see pictures of stones.  We do not see pictures of people tweeting; nor do we see pictures of people taking pictures—as we did in the Iranian uprising in 2009.

Clarification, Mr. Friedman?

Trust, but verify.

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