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Magnus Eriksson

Internet and beyond. Pre-modern, post-human, para-academic.

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The Personal Computer, this machine that we access on an individual basis, connected to static power sockets and broadband connection inside our home, has made us determine the impact of communication technologies after how many have access to them. So we think that internet can not have an impact in a country where only a few percent has access to it. But this argument misses the vast deployment of InternetZero - that protocol which offline communications use to reach a network connection. This documentary about The Last Voice of Kuwait is a prime example.

Only one person in Kuwait had access to hamradio and there were only a few receivers in the west relaying the messages. But this person was enough to get a lot of information out because internetZero was used to get information to him that he could pass on. Within a large crowd, for example in Tahrir square in Cairo it is enough for one person so be connected to someone in Alexandria or Suez to be able to relay that information to everyone else. So when we try to determine the impact of a communications medium, we should not look at how many people have individual access to it, but how accessible those access points are, how information gets to them and how information that arrives there spreads further.