One of the State Dept’s media digs recently announced that Alec Ross, the State Department’s Senior Advisor on Innovation has a presentation in Islamabad on “Developing a Culture of Innovation at Universities in Pakistan.”
Alec Ross and Pakistani innovators reportedly also got together for a “Twittersation” in Islamabad where the former answered questions about media freedom, innovation, entrepreneurship and other hot topics.
Wow, I’m almost speechless.
First there was Secretary Clinton’s “Townterview” in … gosh I forgot where now. And now we have a “Twittersation”?
For those not terribly active online reading this, that’s a conversation consisting entirely of 140 character-or-less “tweets”on Twitter
?. What a great way to converse, but dammit “Twittersation” is messing up with my auto-correct again.
Obviously, developing a culture of innovation is exactly what is needed in the aftermath of the widespread protests in Pakistan which includes angry mobs attempting to storm our diplomatic compounds in the country.
- USCG Karachi: Protesters Trying To Storm Compound … Remembering the 1979 Horror
- Pakistan’s “Love for the Prophet Day” Ends with 15 Dead, 200+ Wounded and Property Mess
And clearly, in a country where three-in-four Pakistanis (74%) consider the the United States an enemy, developing the country’s culture of innovation should be our priority item there.
Never mind the cultural misconnection in the world where we lived in; or explaining the idea of freedom of speech, even the freedom to insult religion, any religion as one of our fundamental rights (see Anti-Islam Protests: Monica Bauer explains the cultural misconnection in the world as it is). The last few weeks showed us that a large swath of the Muslim world lack a basic understanding on why we tolerate even our nutty expressions in speech, in art, in crappy videos/movies, etc. or why we protect even the ugliest speech. And here we are talking about innovation. Right.
Below are sample of comments generated via FB:
Amer Rai @Alec Ross……you talk of freedom of expression but USCG Lahore blocked my id without prior warning ,yes i did violation ,i talked some racist but that was not very serious
Shahbaz Haider Most of the participants playing with there cell fones, lolz
Nasim A Sehar wat is the result??will drawn attacks stop?or taliban will stop doing bomb blasts?this situation is very difficult for pakistan.
Abbas Khan not just tweeting … do some thing man.
Shazy Ahmed Khan i want to come america but i have ot much money so help me
Ali Raza we hate america.america is a big terirost of the world
Farook Janjua Help us in getting our public transport system organized.
Aftab Alam we need people to people friendships and equallity between pak and usa
There were several more comments over there. And because social media is about “engagement”, the US Embassy Pakistan’s FB moderator did just that … with one.
U.S. Embassy Pakistan Aftab Alam we agree
Go ahead and talk about innovation, nothing to do until the next mob attacks. You never know when you get to chat up on innovation again. Jeez! I’m getting a stomach-achy feeling that this 21st century statecraft/internet freedom is just full of yabadabadoooo!
No? Okay, well, then would you please whisper loudly to the somebodies upstairs to wake the foxtrot up because this looks utterly hyper-ridiculous? Thank you.