Monday, November 14, 2016

Hey World - You Haven't Lost Us Yet, Love America




Yes, "we" elected Donald Trump as our next President. Now the good news,  half the voters 60,981,000 (roughly the population of England) supported someone else. 

Governments can do a lot of damage. They can compromise international relationships. They can impede economic growth and make unimaginable numbers of people feel threatened.


Most governments are temporary.  Trump will be temporary. Regardless what barriers or divisions may be fostered,  we don't need to worry, we can render them moot. 
We have the internet. 

No borders or walls or fences can truly stop us from connecting with people in any country. 

I will not abandon my friends and colleagues, no matter where they live, their color or religion.

If our international relations need to be extra-governmental, so be it. 

So says me and 60,981,000 or so friends.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cyber Savannah - South Africa's Great Opportunity


South Africa stands on the verge of something amazing, again. A mere 20 years after one of the great bloodless social revolutions in history, Africa's new economy and society are on the brink of a unique digital age.

Much of South Africa, and Africa in general, has no infrastructure for advance data access  for the public.  Broadband wireless is about to change that. In the very near future, the most remote or under served communities will have the same access to the internet and other digital vistas as anyone else.

Code knows no color, age or status. It speaks all languages and does not care where it is written or used - Soweto, Miami or Tokyo

Yes, there will be economic barriers, but they will be low compared to the burden of wiring and maintaining lines over endless miles of veldt. Mobile devices also have the advantage of offeting a much lower cost entry point .

But just as South Africa has a chance to launch a new chapter in its economy, it is also vulnerable to tech predators and social divisionists. Cyber safety is an area that requires special attention in Africa. Not only is there a vast spectrum groups and issues, but the threshold to violence runs shallow in many places,  making incitement an important issue.

Challenges have always accompanied opportunity. In developing markets and emerging societies the stakes are even higher.  It is incumbent on the internet industry, government stake holders and civil society to foster growth guard against abuse in this special place, at this interesting time.