While 2011 is almost over, the year has only really just begun in terms of determining its historical significance. 2011 wasn’t, of course, just another year. Like 1989, 1968, 1917 and 1848, 2011 was a revolutionary year, one that – from Cairo to Athens to Tunis to Wall Street to Moscow – may have changed the world forever. And to mark the historic nature of 2011, Time magazine just made The Protestor its person of the year.
According to Kurt Andersen, who wrote Time‘s cover story for its Protestor edition, rebellion was the “defining political trope of 2011” – thereby making it a “great year in world history”. And, as Andersen told me over Skype, this “contagion” wouldn’t have happened without social networks like Facebook and Twitter which, he insists, were “key” to the 2011 revolutions. The Internet, Andersen thus explained, has emerged as the alternative to the free press in countries like Egypt, Russia and Tunisia; without it, he insists, there would have been no revolutions anywhere in 2011.
This is the second of a two part interview with Andersen. Yesterday, he told me why nothing (outside technology) has changed much in the last twenty years.
Editor’s note: Earlier, this post tested a new experience with the Streamliner player, that lets viewers jump around a video based on notes. That test has concluded but you can check it out on the Streamliner website at this link.