Thursday, January 21, 2010

From Natural Disaster to Digital Divide (Part 2)

See link to first part of this post.

The impact of Haiti's 1.12 earthquake is devastated and compounded by the country's poverty. It just doesn't have the resource to withstand disaster of such magnitude. More problem follows, with the lack of systematic infrastructure to deliver foreign aid to those who desperately needs help.

Out of all the bad news, a survivor is able to hold-on long enough, with the help of his own gadget belonging (link). His story highlights a few interesting points, one being technology (credit to survivor as well) does indeed empowering the chance of survival. Given that poor country's inability to adopt technology for safty and disaster-relieve from top-down, perhaps this will show them some light.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Social Media up against Mass Media

The proposed Express Railway Link project is supposed to benefit most Hongkong people and our children. The Legco's Finance Committee meeting draws thousand of protesters, mostly the pro-80s who, already knowing they're in for a losing battle, have voiced out their displeased.

There is no David vs Goliath ending. Government simply could not lose. They control the disclosure of sensitive information. They have the number in voting. They have the majority backing from consensus. They even dominates air-time of mass media and publicity in high-density area. The G's pushing for a convincing victory.

Government did win, but hearts are on the other side.

The other side is mostly defending their home-turf or seeking fair-play. They don't have financial or political interest. But the strong support they receive from many NGOs cannot be denied (even students show-up in school uniform). Their demonstration is well planned. They have projectors setup in the open and provide simultaneous critic during the lengthy Q&A session. I didn't get a copy of their distribution, but I hear it contains quality counter-argument and very nice printing.

We witness the counter-force of Internet and social media pulling passionate activists together, up against the tactics of mass media publicity.