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Jim Gilliam’s Vision Of The Internet Grows

October 31, 2011

Internet wiz Jim Gilliam who co-founded Robber Greenwald’s Brave new Films spoke about the power of the internet in his video The Internet is My Religion. His personal experience with the internet’s ability to bring people together to solve problems – in his case, pressuring a doctor to perform a risky surgery to save his life – is a moving testimony to the internet’s usefulness.

Today, the power of the internet has never been stronger. Recently the Occupy Wall Street movement has found success in creating cell phone application that make communication between occupiers easier, according to a Huffington Post article. The Shouty App. is a smartphone application that streams the conversations held at the general assembly meetings. The app works by broadcasting the assembly over a wireless intranet network – a scaled-down version of the internet – so that more people can hear the topics discussed.

Additionally the “I’m Getting Arrested” app alerts family members and lawyers if the app owner is apprehended by police. Occupy movements across the country have organized “Hackathons” where programmers work on applications that could help organize the protests better.

A slightly questionable, but still a use of the togetherness function of the internet or “crowdsourcing,” is iRadar, which allows drivers to report traffic police on highways in order to alert other drivers so they can slow down when nearing them. The app is made by Cobra, a company that makes radar detectors, for the iPhone so users can receive alerts in their cars.

All these innovations go back to Gilliam’s proclamation that the internet is his religion, as people begin to use the internet for organizing OWS or the Arab Spring uprisings more and more. The movement toward using the internet to organize is growing fast and one can only imagine what the future holds.

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