The Daily Dish

With text messaging and phone service cut off by the government, Iranian citizens re-purposed a number of technologies, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to communicate with each other, and to report to the outside world.  (The green words above are translations of tweet’s posted on The Daily Dish.) On Charlie Rose’s June 17th program Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard described this incredible phenomenon as “an amazing amount of improvisation going on, on both sides…improvisation by the government as it figures out how to slow or cut the amount of  information, and an amazing amount of improvisation both inside and outside of Iran, re-purposing a number of technologies that may have been used for fairly innocent, fun, trival, even inane purposes, suddenly becoming crucial to a number of people…” (This portion starts at 5:25 minutes into the interview).

Perhaps the most moving example: without cell phones or internet, defiant Iranians standing on rooftops in the dead of night, holding candles, chanting “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”), back and forth.

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2 replies on ““an amazing amount of improvising going on in iran”

  1. “Allahu akbar” is especially poignant because it is the central cry of Islam, the “call to prayer.” It was the very same call that galvanized the Iranian revolution in 1979, an earlier “improvisation” with major consequences.

  2. That is really something: the call to prayer being the message that links and unites everybody…the real workings of Islam.

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