History in Progress, Death for Texting

You may remember the scene in the film Monty Python & the Holy Grail where the characters find the writings of Joseph of Arimathea. They come to the end of the writing to read, “… the Castle of uuggggggh,” and someone actually speculates that “He must have died while carving it.”

Funny? Now imagine if that were true. Now stop imagining.

Following the elections in Iran, the so-called “Twittersphere” is alight with micro-bloggers trying to get the word out regarding protests, government crackdowns, and worse following accusations of a fixed election. Supporting techies are orchestrating denial-of-service attacks against official Iranian government websites while providing secure IPs to allow Iranian bloggers the chance to be heard and cover the chaos. Even the Iranian Supreme Leader (neither of the guys in the election, in case you didn’t know) has called for an investigation, and that’s really something considering that his word is law.

This isn’t standing in front of a tank in Tienanmen Square and having your picture taken before dying. Thanks to global, real-time communication, people in different countries with different freedoms are talking to one another, some very real danger of dying for an opinion. They’re in the street with a cell phone texting messages, taking photos, and shooting footage while trying to stay alive.

Doesn’t the world feels a little smaller again all of the sudden?