Revolution 2.0 > Mark Heley

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Revolution 2.0

> by Mark Heley >Art by Andrew Jones


Social media is often described as a 'revolution', but in Egypt, this appears to literally be coming true. Wael Ghonim, the Google executive credited for creating the Facebook page that first called for the protests on January 25th, has emerged as the first genuine 'face' of the movement he helped catalyse. After re-emerging from being held by the Egyptian authorities for ten days, most of the time blindfolded, he received a hero's welcome in Cairo's Tahrir Square. In his recent CNN interview, (whilst carefully making it clear that 'This is not about me', but rather the Egyptian people) it is clear that Ghonim's articulate -- and tech savvy -- passion is making him an icon of the revolution.

It is also extremely significant that Google, during the Egyptian government's take-down of the internet, moved to set up phone numbers by which Egyptians could send text messages to Twitter. Obviously, Google were motivated to support Ghonim, whose whereabouts at that time were unknown. Nevertheless, such an overtly political action on behalf of a multinational corporation of this scale is a stunning precedent. Suddenly, social media wasn't just a tool of political activism, but an active participant itself! Ghonim calls this 'Revolution 2.0'. This revolution will not be televised (except on Al-Jazeera where it plays 24/7), but it will be virally shared through endless social media sites.

Strikingly, Ghonim cited as his greatest heroes Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India's independence movement, and Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder of Facebook. An unlikely seeming alliance, but one that exactly captures the zeitgeist of this global moment. 

The speed at which the 'January 25th' movement has grown and organized is simply unique. It has left traditional political operators, like the veteran Egyptian opposition figurehead El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood, desperately clinging onto its coat tails, looking all but irrelevant in its wake. What we are witnessing here is not just a revolution, but also a fundamental tipping point. This is a moment that will define not just Egyptian, but world history. It is the moment when a critical mass of empowered citizens collectively discovered that they are more powerful than any police state.

A fundamental balance has shifted, with implications that go far beyond the Arab world. More than 50% of the world's population is under 30. Last year alone, facebook added more than 200 million users. The ubiquity of social networks and mobile phones means that we are connected to each other in a way that just hasn't happened before. The Egyptian government's internet and mobile shutdown was an epic fail. As studies on communities and resilience show, once the reciprocal bonds of networking are established, it takes more than a momentary disruption of the internet to shut them down. In fact, reciprocality is how resilience is built. Habits of exchange are the key. (Who knew that when we were playing Farmville on Facebook!)

The actual physical revolution has almost exactly mirrored in its wildfire dynamic the way that the social media revolution has spread. It is as though, through the virulent growth of social media, a peer-to-peer mycorhyzzial network has quietly grown around the roots of the creaky old information tree. Then, in one critical moment, it has felled the old hierarchy of top-down trickle-down news, rendering traditional media instantly irrelevant. In this seismic shift, newspaper publishers and television networks are just as likely to be swept away by Revolution 2.0 as oppressive governments and their secret police.

As traditional journalists go to their traditional government sources and 'usual suspect' experts, all they are able to do is to re-capitulate the out-of-date opinions of a geo-politics that is in freefall. The responses of governments like the US, have been particularly telling. Bound to dictators and despots in the realpolitick of maintaining the global status quo, they are unable to offer anything other than a superficial change of guard. Israel and the USA's favored plan B, swapping Mubarak for his intelligence chief and 'vice president', Omar Suleiman, has already hit a major snag when Suleiman went seriously off message by saying publicly that 'Egypt isn't ready for democracy'. That soundbite must have had the spin-doctors biting their knuckles! He obviously hasn't read the script.

This is to be expected, the contemporary institutions of national government, born out of the age of radio and television, are simply constitutionally incapable of processing what is happening. They are analogue institutions in a digital age. They are as defunct as tape recorders and VCRs. The Egyptian government is the MySpace of Revolution 2.0. The underlying dynamics of this situation are literally out of anyone's control. The mechanisms that have maintained the status quo for thirty years in Egypt, just suddenly no longer work. No matter how desperately the Egyptian government rearranges the deckchairs, it isn't stopping their Titanic from sinking. This is for the very simple reason that the people are no longer listening. They are speaking to each other. They are texting, phoning and tweeting each other. They are sharing on facebook and uploading video to YouTube. Then, most importantly, they are taking action.




Even recently, superficial concessions and re-branding might have worked in dispelling the momentum of a popular movement like this. Yet, in Egypt, the old strategy of containment and then waiting it out is failing. This is in marked contrast to the massive protests against the invasion of Iraq that happened in 2003. Then huge numbers of people took to the streets, but the US and UK governments simply waited for them to dispel and then went about their business as usual. What is the difference between then and now? In February 2004, an obscure website called thefacebook.com launched at Harvard University. By December 2004, they had one million users. Now, there are more than 500 million. In 2011, if facebook were a country, it would be the third biggest in the world.  It's not just facebook, of course, that's responsible for the Egyptian revolution. More specifically, it is a critical mass of networked humanity.

This is not to say that the Egyptian revolution is a fait accompli. It is far from certain how events will play themselves out over the coming days and weeks. The decisive element will be whether critical mass really has been achieved. It needs more moments like the one where the Egyptian army was forced to abandon its plan to check the identity cards of those entering Tahrir Square, by the sheer force of numbers. The key is that when the people stand up and take collective action that they do so in such a decisive way that they are irresistible. Even in the most repressive of regimes, the armed forces, police, and government agencies of any nation will always be a minority. When enough people stand up at once, these agencies are effectively powerless. This is the key realization that has rippled throughout the collective consciousness of the Egyptian people, that the people united are stronger than any force that opposes them. A key moment was the rout on Kasir Al Nile Bridge*, when police and protesters did a tug of war across the Nile in a scene reminiscent of the closing scenes of V for Vendetta. A film, incidentally which Ghonim cites in his recent CNN interview as being a major influence, though it wasn't the blowing up of parliament that inspired him, rather "a character who anonymously advocated for change." This is the myth of revolution meeting the reality of revolution in a prophetic mashup, live on Al-Jazeera and all over YouTube! 

Of course, lurking in the shadows, there is a still the risk of a Tiananmen Square type of situation happening in Egypt, a sobering example of what happens when a popular uprising is just below the threshold of critical mass. This is why all lovers of freedom and justice everywhere must vocally support the Egyptian people in their struggle. This is a world moment. If we do not stand up for the aspirations of the Egyptian people and make our voices heard with them, we will fall back into tyranny as normal.

The old political dialogue of left vs. right or conservative vs. liberal has nothing to say about this situation. This is nothing like any political movement we have ever seen before. There is no ideological handbook being waved in Tahrir Suare, just mobile phones and Egyptian flags. Revolution 2.0 is born of the will of the people to see justice and equality prevail in the face of corruption and grotesque hording and extravagance on behalf of the elite. The old inequities simply can't hide themselves any longer in the glare of ubiquitous communication. The game is up.

While peace purists and pacifists may point a wagging finger to the occasional skirmish in Tahrir Square, or stone throwing by protestors when under assault, this is a totally different animal from an armed struggle. And frankly, revolution only happens when people get out on the streets and make it happen. The massive majority of protestors in Egypt have been the very model of Gandhian non-violent direct action, forming human chains around the army lines and government buildings. This has been imaginative, brilliantly self-organizing, and inspiring considering the extreme duress and brutality the Egyptian people have been subjected to.

In keeping with the goals of Mahatma Gandhi, the Revolution 2.0 is not just a peaceful revolution, but also a revolution of peace. The structures under threat here are at the very heart of the military-industrial complex. It brings into question the very concept of a representative democracy. Who needs it when we can have a participatory democracy? Right here. Right now.

The implications of Revolution 2.0 are profound. The US state department just cautioned the Egyptian government that the "genie cannot be put back in the bottle." They are right, but that genie is not just a djinn from an exotic Arabian tale. This genie is going to go global. Yes, there will be set backs, and probably there will be some very ugly moments. Nonetheless (to paraphrase a social media buzz phrase) it's not a question of if we do Revolution 2.0, but how we do it. It's as inevitable as the social media revolution that catalyzed it.

(reprinted from Reality Sandwich)


Mark Heley is the author of The Everything Guide to 2012 and 101 Things you need to know about 2012 which was released this month in both paperback and kindle editons.


The illustration to this piece, Power to the Pyramid by Andrew Jones is available as a free hi-res download.


"The world is changing and History is happening as we live and breathe.

This image is dedicated to the courage and the strength of the Egyptian people vs. Mubarak and the powers that oppose their freedom.

Egypt needs your awareness and your support NOW.

This image is licensed under the creative commons act and exists as public domain, share it, send it, and print it.

Stay informed, educate yourself and take action." Andrew Jones








"Wael Ghonim talks about the roots of the Egyptian revolution, how the internet fueled it -- and the Muslim brotherhood. " http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/02/09/wael.ghonim.interv...

MORE THAN LUCK > Ideas Australia Needs Now

More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now is an anthology of ideas for citizens who want real change and a to-do list for politicians looking to base public policies on the kind of future Australia needs. Produced by The Centre for Policy Development this book shows the practical steps we can take to share this country’s good luck amongst all Australians – now and in the future.

It is available online and in PDF format here.


Edited by Mark Davis (author of Land of Plenty) and CPD Executive Director Miriam Lyons.


 The Centre for Policy Development is an independent progressive think tank, and More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now has contributions from CPD fellows and other writers and researchers, putting forward their ideas for the government that wins the next federal election.

2012: Time for Change documentary in Australia

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 Undergrowth is pleased to announce the next Australian public screenings of the documentary 2012: Time for Change in DARWIN and BRISBANE (see below).


In this time of rapid ecological, economic and consciousness change-before-our-eyes, it is more important than ever to have a positive vision of the future, a roadmap that shows us how things really are, and guides us towards where we want to be.

“2012: Time for Change” presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee Joao Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolutions, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 heralds the birth of a regenerative planetary culture where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.

Featuring: Daniel Pinchbeck, Sting, David Lynch, Ellen Page, Gilberto Gil, Paul Stamets, Shiva Rea, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ganga White, Terence and Dennis McKenna, Buckminster Fuller and many more!


The screenings will also feature the critically acclaimed animated short 'Coalition of the Willing', a collaborative animated film and web-based event about an online war against global warming in a 'post Copenhagen' world, directed and produced by Knife Party, written by Tim Rayner and crafted by a network of 24 artists from around the world using varied and eclectic film making techniques.

Each screening will be followed by a one-hour panel discussion with experts on fields ranging from ecological design, permaculture, consciousness, mayan studies and new paradigm solutions will share their knowledge at these exclusive Australian screenings, which are intended as community springboards to talk about the issues involved at this crucial juncture in history and forge new ideas and solutions.

All ages from 15+ are invited to attend and have their voice heard.

Tickets $20/ 18 concession which includes all booking fees.

Screening 1

Browns Mart Theatre
17 Harry Chan Avenue
Darwin NT 0800
(08) 8981 5522
7:30pm Friday 6th of May

Tickets only $18/ 15 concession buy exclusively here or on the door:



Screening 2

Tribal Theatre
346 George Street
City QLD 4000
(07) 3211 5880
7:30pm Wednesday the 18th of May.

Tickets $20/18 concession buy exclusively here:



For more information see:





JR exhibits his photographs in the biggest art gallery on the planet. His work is presented freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Action; it talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.

Lear more at www.tedprize.org


Post Prod Company: OTRA
Art director: Guillaume Cagniard
Editor: Hugo Caruana
Post producer: Cyril Bordesoulle
Music by Massive Attack
Sound mix by les Kouz



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About this talk

How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

About Michael Pawlyn

Michael Pawlyn takes cues from nature to make new, sustainable architectural environments. Full bio and more links

POSTMODERN TIMES > TOWARDS 2012 > with Daniel PInchbeck

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In Toward 2012, the first episode in a series of short animated films entitled "Postmodern Times," director Joao Amorim of Curious Pictures presents new ideas about global consciousness and techniques for social and ecological transformation. Toward 2012 is based on concepts from the best-selling book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin) and is narrated by author Daniel Pinchbeck.

Chenrezig Sand Mandala > video by Dropbear

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Chenrezig Sand Mandala from Dropbear on Vimeo.

This sand mandala was made in Melbourne, Australia in 2004. The mandala was produced over 10 days and condensed into 3 minutes in this timelapse. Two Tibetan monks, Ven. Kunchok Rinzin & Ven. Lobsang Tendhar were the creators of this amazing piece of art.

The mandala is a visualisation tool, a symbol of a perfect world in which we are all perfect beings practicing pure loving kindness and compassion. Visualising
ourselves in the centre of the mandala creates the conditions for us to behave towards
others with kindness and compassion, a powerful tool for growth and transformation.

Chenrezig means compassion, the Tibetan Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama is the human manifestation of Chenrezig. There is 108 forms of Chenrezig. The Dalai Lama as the human manifestation of Chenrezig represents the compassion of Buddha's past, present and future.

The Chenrezig mantra is OM MANI PEME HUNG
The monks also create the mandala and then deliberately destroy it. This is to help us understand that all things are impermanent and exist only in relation to and in
dependence on other things. Therefore feelings of pain, joy and happiness pass then return. Nothing is permanent in life there is constant change.

In A Perfect World 41: GALACTIVATION!

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Experiential journalist Rak Razam interviews Dan Schreiber, Australia's answer to Terence McKenna, a grand intellectual thinker and the founder of Starseed Gardens in the Byron Bay Shire. In this epic, far-reaching conversation Schreiber explores the heart-mind-pineal relationship of consciousness and shares his experiences learning from tribal peoples across the globe. What is the entheogenic connection between the Amazon and the Outback, ayahuasca cosmovision and the Dreamtime at the End of Time? Learn the secrets of the Australian cane toad–and its DMT/ bufotenine secretions–as Schreiber explains its role as an activator for the tryptamine-acacia fields across Australia. How does the devic world under the surface of nature itself fuel the current flowering of planetary consciousness? Schreiber describes the cascading role of entheogens shaping planetary culture to the tipping point we are now living through, and the whole-systems theory of Gaian "galactivation" as we remember our personal and collective awakening… This conversation is itself a catalyst and a turning point for moving forward: A highly recommended, lengthy dialogue that links up many existing theories into a collective whole to guide us deeper into the new paradigm…

To hear the podcast visit In A Perfect World

Crash JP Morgan Buy Silver - viral activism experiment

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This has got to be the biggest Memetic war act of our life time.  William Gibson will be smiling somewhere. Finally the Cyberpunk aspect has come into full effect.

How it works thanks to Max Keiser:

1 – JP Morgan has a huge short position in Silver – tied to a huge,
extremely precarious derivatives position some estimate to represent
approximately 1.5 trillion in risk to its balance sheet.

2 – Various exchanges around the world have been caught manipulating the
price of Silver using ‘naked’ short sales; i.e., counterfeiting.

3 – Of all the actively traded commodities traded around the world, Silver
is one of the least plentiful and its supply is shrinking.

4 – Hedge funds are taking physical delivery of Silver – adding substantial
demand as well as exposing these exchange’s naked short positions – who are
scrambling to deliver – jacking prices up to multi-decade highs – and
inspiring these predatory funds to buy more Silver.

5 – There are billions of people around the world who are aware that banks
have been committing fraud and embezzlement who are upset that their
politicians seem only interested in helping the banks commit more fraud –
who are looking for a cheap way to non-aggressively fight back and
decapitalize these banks.

6 – Many of these people have the access and wherewithal to purchase 1 or
more Silver coins – thus removing even more bullion from the market –
forcing additional scrambling by dealers to fill orders – inspiring the
funds to buy and take physical delivery of more Silver – creating a colossal
short squeeze – in which JP Morgan stands to be the biggest loser.

7 – Buying Silver is how the world is monetizing its anger at the banks who
stole their wealth.

8 – Crash JP Morgan Buy Silver

Or as the Sex Pistols may have put it:


And remember the point is to remove the amount of Physical Silver in the system so don’t sell your Silver no matter how high the price goes until JP Morgan is reduced to rubble. If you can’t buy physical silver you can still Google search a number of times a day the key phrase "Crash JP Morgan Buy Silver".  As the number of hits increases it should serve as a feedback loop to push the campaign further.  Why should you want to help bring JP Morgan down? Well aside from the massive Fraud of Fraudclosure Gate.  Or the usual highway robbery of price gouging that the Banksters have been up to of late recently the Global Banking Cartel all but admitted to being behind financing the Global Terror Networks:


So to wage a successful campaign against Terror CRASH JP MORGAN BUY SILVER!


To quote the Weathermen "We are bringing a pitiful helpless giant to its knees".

In A Perfect World 39: Spirit Messengers

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On the road in Peru with Mitch Schultz, who talks about the making of his documentary The Spirit Molecule, based on the Rick Strassman book of the same name, and why he was driven to make an independent documentary about DMT. In 2002 Schultz had his first experience with dimethyltryptamine and the entities therein: nothing would ever be the same. Schultz convinced Dr. Rick Strassman to lend his story and credibility as the narrative backbone of the documentary, studying DMT in controlled medical conditions with legal patients under the auspices of the US government from 1990-1995. Why has nature seeded DMT throughout most living things: as a strategic neurotransmitter, a language for nature to communicate within itself? What is the value of contact experiences with entities in innerspace? How can film communicate a glimpse of the DMT realm and how ready are mainstream audiences for it? Join experiential journalist Rak Razam and filmmaker Mitch Schultz in search of the answers...

 In Part II. with Susan Blumenthal (DMT test subject) In the early 1990s Susan Blumenthal was a participant in Dr. Rick Strassman's DMT tests in New Mexico, the first legal psychedelic experiments in a generation. Blumenthal was in a study group with Strassman looking at the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but was one of the least experienced psychonauts who went in. Terrified, disembodied, strewn across the universe, Blumenthal underwent an alien contact experience and enlightenment at the same time, finding the birthing place of souls and ultimately, God. Inside the DMT-realm she experienced entities testing her, just as she was being tested on the outside, hooked up to cardiac stabilisers and medical intervention gear. Her accounts of Strassman's DMT experiments vary from those recounted in the book, focusing less on the medical and more on the contact experience with insects, reptile and geometric entities of the invisible landscape. Here she shares intimate details of those now-famous tests with experiential journalist Rak Razam...

Listen to the podcast here:  In A Perfect World

The Spirit Molecule DVD is now on sale and the Australian Film Tour with Mitch Schultz will cover four Australian cities in December. Details and tickets on sale via: Undergrowth.org