North Korea is doing everything is can to crack down on cell phones, TVs, and anything else that can bring “subversion” into the country.
It’s a Stalinist campaign reminiscent for the old Cold War, as Kim Jong Un has recently ranted: “We must extend the fight against the enemy’s ideological and cultural infiltration.”
As Worlding.org reported last week, campaigns to indoctrinate North Korean children are nothing short of remarkable. Salon.com writes that the new emphasis on media is just as extreme: “Kim, who became North Korea’s supreme leader after the death of his father a year ago, called upon his vast security network to ‘ruthlessly crush those hostile elements.’
“Over the past year, Kim has intensified a border crackdown that has attempted to seal the once-porous 1,420-kilometer (880-mile) frontier with China, smugglers and analysts say, trying to hold back the onslaught. Continue reading “Kim Jong Un vs “cultural infiltration””
You may not know this, but programs exist in 36 states, which provide free mobile phone service to the poor.
For the homeless and indigent, cell phones can make the difference in getting help, work, housing, or access to other needed services. According to income statistics, as many of 28-million Americans qualify for the program, which experts say could enable recipients to earn as much as $3.7-billion in new income for the poor and near-poor.
That’s right, $3.7-billion in money not-paid by government assistance programs. The cell phone Continue reading “Homeless to get free cell phones”
The recent closings of hundreds of ancient brothels in India, while something of an economic victory for prostitutes, may one day cost them, and many others, their lives. The decentralization of prostitution has done little to curb demands for such services, which now is met on an ad hoc basis by individual prostitutes using cell phones to connect with clients. As reported in the New York Times:
“Millions once bought sex in the narrow alleys of Kamathipura, a vast red-light district here. But prostitutes with inexpensive mobile phones are luring customers elsewhere, and that is endangering the astonishing progress India has made against AIDS.
Continue reading “Cell phones raising HIV risks in India”
Let’s not forget that the recent election was largely won on the strength of one cell phone and an obscure media outlet. While this hasn’t gotten much retrospective attention, the now-famous “47-percent” video probably would not have been made or widely circulated even a few years ago.
The recent ubiquity of camera-equipped mobile phones is changing political communication through a new popular documentary practice, primarily among young users. For some time it has been known that cell phones have enabled uprisings, flash mobs, and other forms of social activism, just as phones have also helped disaster communication and the containment of disease epidemics around the world.
And let’s not forget Mother Jones, a name unknown to most Americans till this year, which took the 47-percent video to the net and made it go viral. While hardly a tiny magazine, Mother Jones was reaching less than 100,000 readers in the 1990s until it launched an online format. Continue reading “Small is powerful”