#jan25

The world may have changed by the time you read this.

As I write, it’s 8:03PM central time. It’s approximately 3:00AM in Cairo, Egypt, where reformers will take to the streets after morning prayers (approximately 3:00AM central time) to protest what they insist is a corrupt, despotic government.

Just another day, right?

Except the world’s online … well, most of it – with the ironic exception of Cairo, Egypt, where the government appears to have shut down the Internet.

Yes, that’s right.

According to multiple sources, peaceful student protests turned violent after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime banned any anti-government rallies on January 25.

Now, after two days that have seen young Egyptians take to the Internet to tweet and facebook and put videos of police shooting protestors on YouTube, the government shut ‘er down.

Except, they didn’t exactly. Hackers across the world are banding together to help do, I don’t know, hacker stuff to help keep lines of communication open.

If you go to twitter and search for what’s called a hashtag – a system of taxonomy on twitter that helps you find people commenting on the same subject - search for #jan25, and keep refreshing your computer.

You won’t be able to turn away.

I know, because I’ve been doing that for the past two hours.

And I don’t know what to do.

And I don’t know how to feel.

And I was confused here in the Middle West as I held my children and helped put them to bed – all safely and soundly.

I’m confused because today my government told me all was well in Egypt.

I’m confused because even following twitter you don’t know how to parse the information from the misinformation.

I’m confused because after putting the kids to bed, I turned on CNN to watch an update, but CNN had Piers Morgan interviewing Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

This week, Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei wrote a manifesto for change in Egypt. On Thursday the 27th, he flew from reasonable safe harbor out of country back home to the stirring cauldron of Cairo.

Maybe #jan25 will be remembered as an historic day because it marked the beginning of a non-violent, democratic reformation.

Maybe #jan25 will be remembered as an historic day because of genocidal tragedy that will take millennia to heal.

Maybe, by the time you read this, the coin will have hit the ground. Maybe it’s still flipping. Go check out twitter and see for yourself.

One thing is certain. While the people may not yet have the power, they have a voice that grows louder and reaches farther by the second.

The world may have changed by the time you read this.

And I’m frightened by those who don’t see it.

Gotta run – Kardashians are coming back on CNN.

Sorry, Elmo. The revolution will apparently not be televised.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.
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