Friday, January 28, 2011

Ode to American Inventiveness

Ode to American Inventiveness

American inventiveness is fueling revolutions in the Middle East. One can only marvel at how Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have been instrumental in enabling fledgling democracy movements to fan their flames and come to life.

Right now, today, Friday January 28, the Egyptians have shut down the Internet, an American invention originating in Arpanet, a network for engineers and scientists working for the government that was established in the late 60s. Arpanet spawned the birth of the commercial Internet that exploded in the 90s. We all know how the Internet has totally transformed our lives, our work and our culture.

Other American inventions such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have enabled the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East to communicate with each other and the world. I remember how striking it was when the American government asked Twitter not to take down its network for maintenance during the uprising in Iran as Twitter was a major tool for communications during this event.

These tools have largely surpassed and supplanted traditional media outlets and will be, in fact, transforming them.

So during this time of economic uncertainty with many people still mired in unemployment, I urge my fellow Americans to keep dreaming, hoping and inventing to keep American inventiveness as a force for major change.

I welcome your reactions to this post. How lucky we are that we can blog so freely!

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