Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Flash mobs more recently have been characterized by large groups of online communities gathering together in a public environment to perform, often times, a zainy-off beat-performance that proves some point, [perhaps so, perhaps not], but overall reinforces the notion that there is power in numbers. Flash mobs are not new however, they've been around for a few decades, they used to go by the name of Star Trek conventions. A group of misfits, that were often times personified as nerdy-geeks. In this vein, I would like to take my point into a different direction. I primarily wanted to use the Star Trek groupies as an example of group of primitive flash mobbers to exentuate what the evolution of their actions has arisen to.

If we consider the power of organized communication, we must consider the internet. I don't know how the ancient Star Trek conventions were formulated but I imagine it was probably done through small networks, newsletters, small newspaper classified ads, and perhaps "snail mail." With the introduction of email, websites, and most recently blogs-the organization for fringe groups is monumental. This is demonstrated in the zainy actions of flash mobs for instance. I like the steps taken by the Durban Shack Dwellers. Mobilizing and sustaining such a movement of people, using internet technology is synonymous with our introductory talks at the beginning of class. If the marginalized realize the power before them, the implications for mobilization and realistically organized resistance, or revolution is insurmountable. More than likely the problem is that people don't realize freedom when they see it before them.

It will take little effort by ruling class to spin the power of internet towards their favor. Over the past few years we have heard about civil liberties being walked over in regards to wire taps and more recently we have seen that google, the hip cool search engine that is supposedly progressive and a fresh look at what is the future, has created programs for the Chinese government that tracks searches performed on the internet that oppose their rule. In this light can we trust the hand that feeds us this new found freedom? When is the time going to come when google bows down to our government and begins the same investigation into online dissidents? Is this already happening?


mhofsommer said...

The article on flash mobbing was a bit confusing to me. Although I was able to get the main idea of what Flash Mobbing was and was provide with some crazy examples, I seem to have lost the point or the argument that the author was attempting to make. Maybe it was just some underlying attitude that I had coming into the reading, but I felt that the author had some sort of angst towards the idea of flash mobbing but I just couldn't figure out what it was...any suggestions??

deb said...

I agree that flash mobs have been around for a while, but I think because of technology they have evolved into a more mainstream movement. Without technology flash mobbing may have remained with Star Trek conventions.