The lessons of technology for Kyrgyzstan’s self-reinforcing destruction

Can the peaks and pitfalls of the consumer economics of information technology teach us something about Kyrgyzstan’s recent past, its present, and its likely future? neweurasia’s Nils thinks so. Applying “hype cycle theory”, he compares the interim government to a new electronic consumer product and the Kyrgyz public to the network of users with some enlightening results.

Central Asian views on WikiLeaks: trust, truth, and tech

WikiLeaks may end up becoming Central Asia’s best hope for bringing to light their leaders’ many dark secrets, say neweurasia’s bloggers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Yet, there are many problems, not least of which is trust, all of which WikiLeaks or other whistle-blower websites will have to overcome, writes neweurasia’s Schwartz.

Cyber-Sunset in Bishkek

Since the uprising last month, I’ve made it a daily habit to check out the live feed of a webcam that overlooks Ala-Too Square in Bishkek.  I’ve been sick the last few days, with a bad headache and supreme grogginess that not even the blackest coffee can cure, but in pursuit of my editorial duties I’ve nevertheless stepped up my strange little ritual now that potential trouble is rumbling in Bishkek and the South. However, I’m guilty that it’s not entirely for professional reasons that I’m also scoping out this webcam.  The truth is I also think it’s really cool…

A digital bloom five years later

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. neweurasia’s Schwartz, who was an editor of at the time, reflects upon what the revolution meant not only for the country, but for himself as a journalist. “Conceptually-speaking, clearly something more complicated, interesting, and powerful was going on than just ‘mere’ journalism,” he writes. “Thus was my first encounter with citizen-based new media, face-to-electronic-face, spontaneous, and history-making.”

OtherTube, PseudoBook, and the fate of the world in Turkmenistan

Is Turkmenistan becoming a battleground between two enormous visions? neweurasia’s Annasoltan believes it is. For too long her country has been written off as an absurdity when it’s really a microcosm of a greater human struggle. “We are tiring of the slow dial-up death of tyranny,” she writes, “we want to be jacked in, hyperlinked, downloaded, and shared!”

We c u: cyberparenting in Kyrgyzstan

neweurasia’s Nuraika reports on an interesting new use of mobile phone technology in Kyrgyzstan: daily academic SMSing. But does is this healthy oversight or surveillance (not to mention cost effective)? Diesel Forum users, many of whom are parents themselves, respond.

The stars our destination: cyberdissent and the future of Turkmenistan

For the last two months neweurasia’s Annasoltan has been tracking the development of the “Turkmenet”, the small but growing online community in the Turkmen language. Mystery surrounds the motivations of Turkmenistan’s government: why are the authorities so aggressively intent on expanding the internet yet also so untypically relaxed about digital dissent?

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