Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rapid Roundup: The revolution will not be "tuiteada," Cuban masculinities, Correa under attack, and official ICT #s for Cuba

Lots going on around the web and around the world today:

Even though I get the New Yorker magazine delivered directly to my apartment here in New York, as usual Penultimos Dias scooped us all on this very timely article, "Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted," by perhaps the leading essayist writing today in the English language, yes - I mean Malcolm Gladwell.  Ernesto Hernandez Busto has the article up on his blog already translated into Spanish  (Traducción: Juan Carlos Castillón).  He also has a link to a critique of Gladwell's article already up at the Economist.  And go here for the transcript of a Q&A with Gladwell about the article that took place - how else - via the Internet.

The last time I was in Cuba I gave Yoani a Spanish language copy of Gladwell's The Tipping Point (El punto clave) - because I thought (or perhaps hoped) that blogging was "tipping" there.  Gladwell's new article is a sharp and sobering reminder that social networks and social media do not (alone) social change make.

There's a new blog on the block (or at least on my block).  A few years ago my good friend in Havana, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Pages, helped to found the Red iberoamericana de masculinidades (Ibero-American Masculinities Network).

The network is doing some really cutting edge stuff with gender roles, machismo, feminism, etc. in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America.  Here are their two blogs (Cuba and Latin America) for you to take a look.  Julio has written a number of books including, "Por andar vestida de hombre," a history of the life of Enriqueta Favez, the first Cuban woman to practice medicine back in the 19th century.  However, she had to cross-dress as a man most of her life in order to do it!  (Cuban journalist Dalia Acosta has a review/interview with Julio at Havana Times in English here). 

As if that kind of historical sociology weren't enough, Julio is also a true organic intellectual who teaches courses against gender violence to men in Cuban prisons.

Breaking news: Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, has been cornered in a hospital and attacked violently by a group of renegade police after attempting to push through a set of economic reforms.  The government seems to have even issued a call to the population to descend upon the hospital en masse to free the president.  See the coverage at CNN and the NYT.

Finally, yesterday Cuba released a detailed report on citizen use of and access to the Internet.  You can also go here to view a previous report from this summer.  Marc Frank's story on the report is here at Reuters and Will Weissert's story is here.  (H/T: Penultimos Dias for the Reuter's story.) 

Ernesto indicates that the report reveals that just 2.9% of the Cuban population connected to the Internet over the past 12 months and that only 5.8% of Cuba's 11 millon inhabitants used e-mail during 2009.  He also says that the government's own survey inadvertantly reveals the funny math behind connectivity stats usually reported for Cuba.  In 2009, for example, 1.6 millon Cubans are reported to have had access to the Internet - that is 14.2% of the population.  However, this statistic combines Internet users (www) together with national Intranet users (.cu), as if they were one and the same.

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