By the time I finished writing TCGC, at the beginning of this year, I had only three examples to offer of what I believed to be the game-changing power of modern communication technology: the use of mobile phones to foment and organize unrest in Iran (population 75 million) and Moldova (population 4 million), and the use of the Internet to elect Barack Obama to the most powerful political office on the planet. Since then the Internet and mobile telephones have played a crucial role in effecting political change in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, while keeping the pot boiling in Syria, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen. Meanwhile, out of nowhere has come a cry of pain and rage that began with a handful of demonstrators in New York near the temples of financial power and has quickly spread around the world. All in a period of 10 months!
It was the anticipation of accelerating change that led me to predict in TCGC that the Coalescence “will take place within the lifetime of the majority of people living today.” But this is moving much faster than I had expected. It is impossible to say how all this will turn out. After political changes as a result of the Arab Spring, capitalism will continue to provide the dominant social framework. However the latest Occupy Wall Street movement (and all its variations) develops, the important lesson is the existence of the communication system itself, the medium rather than the message. there will be other messages. There will be other movements, other tactics. They will grow in size, in speed, and in spontaneity. Until finally . . . the Coalescence.
Here is Matisyahu’s version of One Day, which is now being widely played in Israel.