02.06.11

If only we could all be great on Twitter & Facebook

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, Stumble and Fail at 9:38 am by George Smith

DD, through wearing of the senior fellow hat at GlobalSecurity, received a query from a reporter at the biggest newspaper last week. Could I talk about Egypt and the Internet?

No, not really. I indicated I didn’t have interest in the story that Facebook and Twitter had been significant to the Egyptian uprising.

I did see that US-made M1 tanks were laying smoke screens and refraining from shelling and machine-gunning crowds.

Which doesn’t jive with the regular make-stuff-up things passed off by US media.

Mark Zuckerberg, bringing freedom and democracy to the downtrodden everywhere through a click. When-oh-when will he be awarded a Nobel prize?

Naturally, since it’s always about how fantastical/egotistical we can be re social media coupled with how much fun it is to point out all the rest of the lumpy useless sitting-around unskilled people who aren’t, we have Tom Friedman rubbing it in, as usual:

When China can make Egyptian Ramadan toys more cheaply and appealingly than low-wage Egyptians, you know there is problem of competitiveness.

Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia today are overflowing with the most frustrated cohort in the world — “the educated unemployables.” They have college degrees on paper but really don’t have the skills to make them globally competitive. I was just in Singapore. Its government is obsessed with things as small as how to better teach fractions to third graders.

Being good with fractions has nothing to do with making crap toys cheaper in China where the government subsidizes its businesses, manipulates its currency and manufacturing is built on labor costs that are a fraction of ours.

And Singapore is a small island. Think of it as a wart on Malaya, always held up as an annoying beacon of progress. With little to support any such claims other than it’s a place, much smaller than soCal, where the kids do far better on tests and the beggars are a bit less obvious or something. Where all that good science comes from.

“What science?” I hear you ask. My point exactly.

I was asked to give a bioterrorism lecture — for free — at a Singapore university called Nanyang a couple years ago. Passed. I’m wise to the link between competitiveness and the keeping costs down through knuckle-whitening parsimony thing.

In the same section as Tom Friedman’s regular riff on how we are useless unless we start inventing our own little private TwitterFacebooks, was Frank Rich, being the naysayer:

Three days after riot police first used tear gas and water hoses to chase away crowds in Tahrir Square, CNN’s new prime-time headliner, Piers Morgan, declared that “the use of social media” was “the most fascinating aspect of this whole revolution.” On MSNBC that same night, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed a teacher who had spent a year at the American school in Cairo. “They are all on Facebook,” she said of her former fifth-grade students. The fact that a sampling of fifth graders in the American school might be unrepresentative of, and wholly irrelevant to, the events unfolding in the streets of Cairo never entered the equation.

The social networking hype eventually had to subside for a simple reason: The Egyptian government pulled the plug on its four main Internet providers and yet the revolution only got stronger. “Let’s get a reality check here,” said Jim Clancy, a CNN International anchor, who broke through the bloviation on Jan. 29 by noting that the biggest demonstrations to date occurred on a day when the Internet was down. “There wasn’t any Twitter. There wasn’t any Facebook,” he said. No less exasperated was another knowledgeable on-the-scene journalist, Richard Engel, who set the record straight on MSNBC in a satellite hook-up with Rachel Maddow. “This didn’t have anything to do with Twitter and Facebook,” he said. “This had to do with people’s dignity, people’s pride. People are not able to feed their families.”

Re Maddow and MSNBC: There was still plenty of Twitter and Facebook blow-jobbing.

1 Comment

  1. Dick Destiny » Singapore, the famous wart on Malaya said,

    February 17, 2011 at 9:12 am

    […] However, Tom Friedman is always wrong. […]