No Present or Future but only the Past!

There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again now”.

If this quotation from Eugene O’Neil, a Nobel Prize writer, is true, it means we (netizens) are in the advantage. We know the past, so the choices belong to us on how we would like it to be.

Even though the Global village may have been created for hunting new business avenues, we are definitely not its submissive victims. We may have over spent on the “Free Lunch” (see 1st post) but we are still their customers, and guess what, “The Customer is King”.

Rachel Bostman, the founder of The Collaborative Lab. Her choice of the past for her present is Swap-trading or Bartering. Yes the oldest exchange system for goods or services, without using money, now has been reinvented in our Global Village. She swaps her unwanted DVD copy of ‘24’ for a wanted DVD copy of ‘Sex and the City’ by using swap services websites.

Rachel is also fascinated with how internet technology can generate trust between strangers around the world. She believes this kind of activity, in her words “Collaborative Consumption”, will free us from hyper-consumption.

Zhang Lei, with his two friends, formed an online translation community, called “Yeeyan”. They are collaborating with the Guardian, to translate interesting English articles into Chinese and vice-versa. Currently, they have 150,000 volunteers in China.

Zhang Lei, was motivated by the bias of American media on Tibet and Chinese nationalism during the Lhasa riots. He said “I can’t solve these problems, but I can translate.”

Next in line is “Editor in Chief” of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, a formal ethical computer hacker. He is “one of the world’s most visible human-rights activists”. His core value is “Well, Capable, Generous men do not create victims; they nurture victims.”

Julian stands firmly on his belief in nurturing us with the truth. His Wikileaks is a very active journalist organisation. It has released more classified documents around the world than traditional media could in the past few years.

Rashid Saini comments “…WiKileaks is the exposure of truths. No other media can give such immediacy and ability for a full throttle exposure.” (see his full comment on 2nd Post: National Security…)

Yes we (netizens) are hungry for truth, freedom and knowledge

Look at Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia, currently offering their service in 285 languages. Here, we are forming our Global village’s culture. It is in a very vulnerable state and getting a bit messy now.

Undeniable, there is a need for rules and regulations to prevent cybercrime, terrorism and secure national security. But there is still a question to answer: how to control it without killing our Freedom of expression. Controlling and monitoring are obviously not absolute answers as they generate fear and paranoia. The cyberspace is the only place that we can hear the voice of individuals and minorities. They are very soft but subtle.

Personally, I see cybercrime as the cries for help from criminals and victims; we can’t eliminate the problems by slammed them down. Immediately they bounce back and hit us in the face. They are testers of our compassion.

The situation of our Global village is a tug of war between the supply and demand of the business world. There are no ultimate authorities or superiors, but there are influencers and dominators of economic forces. The difference between democracy and propaganda is that the choices belong to us, the netizens. They can manipulate, while we can observe and scrutinize.

Remember the “Customer is King”. We can drive the direction as long as we don’t surrender and be corrupted by convenience. It took me sometime to install a new search engine like duckduckgo to my three browsers: Safari, Chrome and Firefox. But I can get wider search results, and I can escape from the Google tracking system (at least for a while, I guess).

As this is my last post of this series, I have two video clips from Ted.com to share with you: coRachel Bostman: The case of Collaborative Consumption and  Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

May I ask you to share your favourite websites, blogs, etc. and tell us how cool they are?

You all should know by now that my favourite website is TED.com and its slogan: “Ideas worth spreading”.

Appreciate your support!

 

Related Links

 

http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2009/05/27/circ09-mapping-circumventing-translating-sharing/

http://www.danwei.org/internet/doing_our_best_to_choose_artic.php

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2008-04/02/content_6584392.htm

http://www.ted.com/speakers/rachel_botsman.html

http://www.ted.com/speakers/julian_assange.html

http://www.yeeyan.org/

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