Sudan’s Revolution and the Digital Revolution (1)

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

Industrial revolutions are defined as new scientific and technological breakthroughs and innovative ways of seeing and dealing with the world around us, which lead to a profound change in the economic and social dimensions in favor of improving human life, in addition to developing philosophical concepts and generalizations.

It is well known that the scientific revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, through the discoveries in the natural sciences mainly laws related to the conservation and transformation of mass and energy, cellular structure theory, and Darwinian theory, in addition to other discoveries, washed out the simplistic static concepts towards the nature that was prevalent at that time. Those thunderbolt discoveries were among the necessary preludes and prerequisites for the emergence of the then new philosophical ideas, including the Marxist philosophy.

History records the occurrence of four industrial revolutions, and historians agreed that these revolutions have changed the course of people’s lives, and have contributed to the continuous ongoing process of changing the facts of human civilization. The details of these four industrial revolutions can be learned through surfing the related sites on the world wide web, or in any of the other sources that chronicle the development of human society, bearing in mind that the industrial revolutions are not just history, but present and future.

But what concerns us in this article is the digital revolution that erupted with the explosion of the third industrial revolution in the eighties of the last century. This digital revolution paved the way for the developments in the use of computers, the internet, and applications of information and communication technology, and then developed with the explosion of the fourth industrial revolution at the beginning of the new millennium, which gave birth to the integration of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological domains.

With the explosion of the digital revolution, the process of communication between the people, the transfer of knowledge, and the exchange of information witnessed a major leap through the circulation of information between large numbers of people connected to each other through Facebook, WhatsApp, or the other social media applications, and also acting as media platforms.

Accordingly, the concepts of communication between governments and peoples have changed, as the government institutions, including the security and intelligence agencies, are no longer the sole possessor of the information, and governments are no longer capable of controlling and dominating the ideas, the minds and the hearts of the population.

Also, the digital revolution reduced the regime’s ability to paralyze, through detentions and arrests, the protests movements, and at the same time it broke the elite mentality seeking to monopolize the political actions, and it created virtual arenas and organizations to expand the horizons of these political actions, which can be translated into a miraculous force on the ground to bring about the social change, remember December revolution!

However, the social media tools as off-springs of the communication and information revolution will remain mere deaf and blind machines if they are not managed and controlled by effective minds that improve reading reality and its transformations and translate the generated data into innovative initiatives in all political, economic, cultural and social fields.

On the other side of the issue, the digital revolution came with new concepts that include electronic espionage and network penetration between individuals and countries, in addition to the birth of many negative, and sometimes dangerous, phenomena at the individual level such as fraud, identity theft, privacy penetration and violation of public and private rights, crimes against the media users, cyberbullying, impersonation, forgery, and character assassination attempts. (To be continued).

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