In unabashed appreciation of Chris Blattman’s practice:
- Senator Al Franken Talks Net Neutrality with Tech Crunch at SXSW. The interview format makes it clear that he has long worked with prepared speeches and manuscripts (“mumble mumble, what is my website?”, plus the closing gem), but his position is strong and it is important that the issue has this kind of popular political advocate. I also like that he is speaking at SXSW, I like that he bringing back the trope of internet pipes, and I really like how much he sounds like Tom Waits.
- Egyptian copts have formed a secular party headed by a Muslim. This strikes me as a smart move in response to long-term discrimination and increasing sectarian violence that has recently included Church burning and Army attacks agains individuals and buildings. It is also the latest in the continually novel string of social structures that manifest to solve problems in Egypt, one which I almost want to call post-secularist(?).
- At least one Mexican airport has apparently put travelers in control of randomized security checks, by asking them to push a big red button. As the Monkey Cage points out, this has important consequences for how travelers experience security, but could also have profound consequences for institutionalizing anti-corruption at borders (something of a problem spot).
- Online Africa has updated its overview of African Leaders on Facebook, with some moderately interesting statistics. More interesting is Ethan Zuckerman’s observation about the “odd correlation between leaders who’ve been forced out and Facebook popularity”
- Certified SS snipers, bomb experts, and anti-civil society officers looking for jobs–more laugh or cry from the Egyptian security playbook.
- Cameroon blocks Twitter-text messaging (which nobody uses), apparently out of protest anxiety. This is the latest in a run of disturbing and hugely undereported ripples the Arab Protest Wave has sent across Africa, and which will merit a closer look shortly.
- Browser extension to block #SXSW tweets