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22 March, 2008

Cambyses Returns

In about 525 BC, a Persian named Cambyses took the notion that he would conquer Egypt. This campaign led to a possibly-urban-historical-legend about his strategy: knowing how much the Egyptians honored cats, he gathered animals in among his front ranks so the archers would not shoot for fear of hitting them, held cats to their shields, or even simply had the image of the cat painted upon his army's shields, discouraging the superstitious (who generally believed in the near equivalence of image and reality) from striking them. In any case, this bit of psychological warfare is credited with Cambyses's conquest of Pelusium.

Now, The Cute Cat Theory Of Internet Activism. The critical points:

Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers.

Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.


Sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract porn and activists.

If there's no porn, the tool doesn't work.

If there are no activists, it doesn't work well.

And so long as activism is conducted on media that are being used to share cat pictures, it is much harder to censor, without the sort of deliberate backend that is set up in China (discussed in the link). Because if someone blocks all of YouTube, say, someone's gonna bitch about not being able to see turtles chasing cats.

(Hattip to Darker for the initial article, plus some really amusing expressions when I tried to explain Cambyses.)


Daisy Deadhead said...

"One cat just leads to another."--Ernest Hemingway

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Which, as one cat link leads to another, leads to the Infinite Cat Project, of course.