Tag Archives: enders-game

The Link Between #BabaWhileYouWereAway and #SabaSabaDay

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 10JUN2009 -Raila Amolo...
CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 10JUN2009 -Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, Kenya Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger – World Economic Forum on Africa 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa, June 10, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not everything you see on the internet is real.

If you have read Enders Game (The movie does not have this bit), Two children, a brother and sister,Peter and Valentine,living in one house, shaped global ideologies on politics and policy, by writing blogs with pseudonyms, often writing against each other on opposing ideologies apparently from different corners on the continent as Locke and Desmosthenes.

You might be aware of the unveiling of supposedly catfish accounts on Twitter. If you do not know what I am talking about, a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Twitter, Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue or push deceptive online causes.

Now read this blog on Exposed Parodies. In a nutshell, a number of prominent “twitter bigwigs” run multiple parody accounts to support their causes and to bait people.

The trap of following and conversing with parody accounts is easily to fall for. They are already being followed by thousands of other people, so this somehow implies they are an authority on whatever subject they speak about. You find them driving social conversations and ideologies, all by someone who doesn’t exist. A good number of Twitter accounts are not real, nor the thought leaders and ideologists speaking behind them are not real. There are teams of people tweeting and directing ideologies this way and that.

Obviously,there is a danger here,that of Social Control Through Social Media and it binds two elements:

1. Kenyan Hyperactivity on Twitter

2.Social control for mass causes or ideologies

The Feb 28th movement was a test run of social control in Kenya through social media. It occurred two years back,on Feb 28th 2012, where, all people on twitter were supposed to come out at 1.00 pm wherever they were, and sing the national anthem. I experienced it from an office in upper hill, on the 7th floor, and I could hear people in other offices and in the streets singing the Kenya National Anthem. This was indeed proof that social media can be a tool to rally and control mass action.

Kenyans have grown online since then. Over the years as well, Kenyans have been prolific on Twitter, pushing a number of global Twitter trends, just by the sheer volume of tweets, not by the numbers of people on Twitter. Kenyans have attacked South Africans, Nigerians and fought and won Twitter wars. Seemingly, Kenya is the most switched on nation on Twitter in Africa.

Today, whatever trends on Twitter is sure to be on the evening news. On the most part though, Kenyan Twitter trendsetters are for entertainment value; media personalities and representatives of branding and ad companies. Which means their endorsements are rarely for causes and mostly for parties and products. There is the growing thought leader on policy,politics and business, these however are tied down by family and corporate image and branding to risk their neck for a Kenya that is seemingly not worth fighting for. Even the firebrand and hitherto vocal @BonifaceMwangi Quit Activism.

Come #babawhileyouwereaway, a Twitter trend on a politician making his return back home after a three month visit in the USA. After he came back, he calls for national dialogue by the 7/7/2014. The historic Saba Saba day, a day of note in Kenya’s history in terms of policy changing political rallies.

This is my prediction. Whatever exists of CORDs social media team will try to create a trend on or around the SabaSaba day in line with all the complaints on #BabaWhileWereAway, an attempt to veer the mind of the middle class into action.

Sadly, and fortunately for Kenya, the Kenyan on Twitter still utilizes the tool as a means of entertainment. Social media tools, in the form that politician are attempting to use them, to drive ideals and ideas,  are the preserve of the educated and urbane.Most of the action on Twitter remains online. The Kenyan middle class tweets and shouts silently  from the comfort of his suburban home. On the most part, it is a means of news, misinformation,gossip,trending wordplay and jokes.

It will take about 5 more years, whence smartphones will be ubiquitous and pervasive, for the average Kenyan to be rallied by calls to action on a mobile phone trend.



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The Kids.

They were evil, evil
And they refused to do
As they were told.


It was the kids.

Its easy to say it was the years of terrible TV and multimedia and hearing and watching adults do terrible things to each other that caused it.
Or that the cocktail of melodrama and terror of every erroneous era mixed with consistently curiously freer children, children who are year by year older than they ever were before in time, because as the years drew on and as education got wierder, and technology replaced face time and distorted time,they were left to terrible whims, with no pavlovian directors to beat out the bad seed of terrible habits that were to become behaviour,personality and the unprojected oblivion.
Not even in this current time of big data analytics were all these insane factors being put together, because if they were, then someone could have had an inkling of the future to come.
I like the word inkling, its like a mesh word contrived by putting together thinking, ink and offspring…the offspring part obviously conjured like “a duckling”.
As it were, were there any inkling, then the analysts would have had a young thought and put it to ink,  and at least tried to warn the world what his study and research meant to humanity.
No that last paragraph was not some twisted double entendre, no. Now, in my time it is far too late. I wish I had had the inkling, and bore it to full birth, and given my life savings to the emanation of that one message,akin to a global alert of a terrible computer virus;
Its interesting how quickly the world and the technological systems respond to global alerts of computer viruses. It takes minutes for different teams working for their own profit to coalesce beyond their selfish boundaries and share information necessary to vanquish the discovered threat, usually with instantaneous successful results.
  Mostly the entity that figured out the loophole has a few short moments of glory by having discovered the error, but in minutes this  fix is normally replicated across all security protocol.
It is as though the greater good supercedes all selfish interest, and in that one moment money, power, fame and profit do not matter, all that matters is the need to stop the threat.
Why this had not happened in the pockets off humanity that first experienced the bad code no one knows.
The excuses were literally limitless… Isolated incidents. poor parenting, pointing fingers at specific “bad parents” or alternately bad kids. Child soldiers.Terrorism and al quaeda. Neo fascism. Violent videogames. Black Panthers. Gangsta rap. wannabe ninjas.  young Yakuza. the underworld. the italian mob.
And in as much as the data was being mapped, the human research  scientists would never dare to extrapolate it into its murky dark fate.
Columbine, the massacre in finland, the masacre in france. kids in kenya burnng down their schools. the soweto uprising for freedom. tianimin square. The arab spring. the killing of quaddafi( however you spell it, its the same guy).
The kids had been left to their own devices for far too long. They had their own language now, with each successive era of teenagers letting go of the concept but leaving something to those beneath them to work from,code deeper.With younger and younger kids becoming smarter and smarter, more aware and accustomed to things previous eras only experienced in their mid twenties.
The children were now so much more separate from the adults that it was implausible that what they were, could turn into the adults they were to become, pupae to butterfly. More like pupae to ghastly vampire moths.
I woke up running.
I held the hands of four or five of the kids I cant remember their names or faces, just that they seemed confused and not in sync with their colleagues.
They were crying and visibly bleeding from deep jagged emotional wounds. They would never heal.
It was as though they knew where every adult was, where everyone was. Like they had discovered a human homing system that one did not have to implant or activate. I didnt have any electronic devices. But I sensed their approach and knew we had to run.
The school principal was long dead, his strangely deformed and mutilated body at the parade grounds, the school assembly point. Yet strangely, there was a quiet, like that in an insane asylum; only the scarred ones screamed in their own lost mania, the administrations of their medics performed in quietude and silence.
My fellow teachers ran amok, screaming weeping confused, lost,bleeding.
The death of hope.
The abjection of despair.
The clenched grip of regret.
The woeful wail of immeasurable loss.
The annihilation of joy.
Annihilation, by the way, came from Nihilism, that school of thought that was executed in another erroneous era.
Nihil, which means nothing.
Annihilation did not fit this scenarion. Time to invent a new word.
The kids  were doing terrible things to all the adults in the school.
Horrors that made Auschwitz seem forgivable.
I refuse to describe them, what I saw. I refuse to name the children.
They didn’t have a leader.  No central command. yet it was as though the specific will of all the kids was so unified that it synchronized in time and space.
And so we ran.
I guided the crying kids towards the gate, and started running.
The dirt road was hard  yet scraggly. I knew we were being chased, didnt understand how they knew how we went.
The worst thing about this situation was that I could not, though every instinct in me told me to, take off at top speed. I had to run at the children’s pace, which for me was far to slow, and I felt their presence slowly creep upon us.
I kept pace with the kids,and little Timmy was still weeping.
I stopped to help him blow his nose, as we came to a clearing.
If we went straight across, we would come to the  fence of our competitor school, Junior Academy.
At least there we could call the authorities and report on the day Testament School went crazy, a day that would forever be marked in history as another freak event like columbine.
We clawed under the barbed wire fence, with me having more trouble than the rest.
I looked back across the clearing and watched them come.
We ran again.
This time towards Junior Academy’s administration block,where I would find Steve Maina,my old college buddy.We had drawn apart, strange how people with similar careers and interests could still be drawn apart over time in such close proximity.
Find him I did. Can i say disembodied? His head at the top of the flagpole,the bloodstained banner flapping wildly in protest to its desecration,calling out to the forefathers.
The death of hope.