Tweets from Tahrir , a small paperback containing -- mostly -- English-language tweets sent by people on the ground in Cairo during this winter's Egyptian uprising is unexpectedly poignant and moving, and even exciting and suspenseful in places.
Obviously only a small minority of those in Tahrir Square were tweeting in English (and a larger minority were tweeting at all), but through this book, a picture of Twitter as a means of quickly bridging together different constituencies emerges -- not everyone was tweeting, but everyone knew people who were tweeting, whether they were in the Square, discovering what was going on elsewhere among the hundreds of thousands of people; or elsewhere in Cairo and wondering if they should take to the streets; or watching from around the world. Twitter, text messages, Facebook and phone calls became a way of shaping the narrative, rebutting the official state media, arguing about the purpose and character of the uprising, and deciding when to hold fast and when to retreat. You get a real sense of Twitter as a thin, somewhat unreliable nervous system that nevertheless turns a crowd into a group capable of explicitly negotiating its actions rather than simply surging to and fro.
Threaded through the tweets are commentary and introductions for context. Through these we learn that the activists who found utility in Twitter really, really got into it (one tweeter published 60,000 words in 140-character bursts during the uprising). We also see the way that Twitter starts off as an "alternative press" but quickly expands its role, and how the global reach of Twitter allows activists on the ground to communicate directly with foreign sympathizers (including other revolutionaries in the Middle East), the foreign press, and Egyptian expatriates around the world.
We also follow the arc of an Internet blackout, as the Mubarak regime shuts down the Internet, a desperate bid to shut down the revolution at any cost, even the millions of dollars that Egypt's economy lost every day that nation was offline. The blackout's effect is visceral, the few tweets squeezed out through dialups and other workarounds, followed by a dam-bursting when the network comes back up.
Tweets from Tahrir is an extraordinary record of an extraordinary moment in history, a collection of first-person observations and reflections that took place in realtime that constitute a new kind of record of social upheaval.
Tweets from Tahrir
Books one and two of Lumberjanes introduced us to the characters and setting of the awesome, women-run, girl-positive comics: the girls of Roanoke cabin at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types are Lumberjanes, being trained in the badass arts. Book three — collecting comics from a kind of victory lap of the title after its amazing success — turned the series’ reins over to some of the best writers and illustrators in comics-dom for a series of vignettes. Now, with Out of Time, the fourth book, the original creative team are back at the helm, telling a long-form story that illuminates the Lumberjane backstory and introduces one of the best, scariest monsters of cryptozoologica.
The first two volumes of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals were a dirty romp: a pair of lovers who discover that they can stop time at the moment of orgasm start robbing banks to save a local library from demolition, and run into a posse of other time-stopping fuckers who are set against them. But in volume three, Three the Hard Way, the story transcends the sex and the jokes to take a hard, wet look at what humans do when we do sex.
I lost about 40 pounds on a keto diet, that being the near-total abnegation of carbs. It worked, for me, but the strict mandate means my foodlife is mostly salads, nuts and meat. Tough going! The popularity of the diet, and others similar to it (paleo, Atkins, etc), has created a market for carbless snacks […]
Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]