Notes from a Conference
Feel like a traitor to my tribe.
Standing ovation for Laura Bush (very pretty)... can I do it?... gotta do it ... not for GWB, though. Just can't.
They met with cyberdissidents this morning.
The thrill of celebrity--have I succumbed? Laura talks about "freedom fighters"...echoes of Ronald Reagan. "Women's rights are human rights." The Amnesty slogan from a few years back.
George Bush comes to podium. He sounds so much like...George Bush! Couldn't not stand up. It was manners, not admiration. One guy didn't stand up. Is this the place to protest past policies? Accepting invitation = observing rules of etiquette.
After opening remarks, George leaves, Laura stays. Is he incurious, like they used to say?
Conference is about internet freedom. Presenters from "Freedom House." What's Freedom House? Lots of brochures and handouts. Keep wondering--what's the connection to burnishing GWB's image? Is there one?
Ethan Zuckerman is a good speaker, but I'm not sure what he said. Twitter is bad, he seems to say. On the other hand, Twitter is good. "Digital space as the new public sphere."
Secret service people follow Laura Bush even to the bathroom.
The most secure network for dissidents is the cellphone network. Governments aren't going to shut it down.
Proxies not the answer to gov'ts messing with ISPs.
Panel of cyberdissidents...they have various professions, but most are here because they're bloggers. Blogging as radical act...
Two are ashed-in in Europe, but on screen via skype.
Some of the dissidents are "live twittering" the event while onstage.
Tons of cameras, lovely auditorium. Too bad I must reenter real world to teach and miss fancy lunch.
Instinct to reciprocate is powerful. Appreciated invitation, enjoyed event. How could I blog about it? Seems so ungrateful. Must limit snark.
Blogging as act of freedom. Must do it, despite questionable etiquette. I'm a cyberdissident!
Not really. It was fun. Came out valuing internet and cellphones more. Now if my students would just top using them in class to go on facebook.
[No, I didn't live blog this. It just looks that way.]