Here's an interesting story coming out of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. As Hong Kongers continue to hit the streets en masse, the local authorities, with the support of the Chinese government, have been increasing their aggression against protesters with physical violence, Dystopian dye-marking, and throttling access to the Internet as to stifle communication and organization. While there isn't much that Hong Kongers can do to combat the former two aggressions from the State, other than reciprocating with violence, the latter aggression (which is executed in the digital world) seems to be something that the protesters are successfully routing around.
As Hong Kong officials resort to denying citizens access to the Internet and cell service, protesters are rendering those moves obsolete by using Bluetooth-enabled mesh networks to communicate. Specifically, the messaging app Bridgefy, which has been downloaded tens of thousands of times over the last week, with most downloads coming from Hong Kong according to the company's CEO. A beautiful example of "if you build it, they will come because they will have no other option".
When the boot is finally pressed firmly against one's neck, he or she is forced to fight back or submit. The protesters in Hong Kong have been valiantly holding steadfast in their efforts to be heard and, more importantly, listened to. However, it seems that the patience of Carrie Lam and her administration is wearing thin. Resulting in a brutal crackdown that includes marking protesters with dye so they can all be corralled and arrested after leaving the protests. There is not much one can do to combat this form of physical attack other than running around in a hazmat suit.
As State actors in Hong Kong continue to get more physical, it is imperative that protesters are able to organize digitally. After all, we live in the Information Age and information is now more powerful than ever due to the digital roads that have been built to facilitate its near-instantaneous transmission to the world. Enabling a spread of ideas and enthusiasm for the meritocratic process the likes of which this species has never experienced (unless Atlantis was real). Uncle Marty likes to believe that, while things are extremely tumultuous at the moment as our monkey brains attempt to adapt to a new paradigm which has been thrust upon us by the creation of the Internet, the free spread of information will inevitably liberate humanity from the tyranny of gatekeepers and State actors alike.
Seeing Hong Kongers turn to mesh networks (alternative roads in a digital world dominated by superhighways erected by Internet Service Providers) is extremely promising as it highlights the growing robustness of the digital world and its ability to resist the State. Acting as a sanctuary against censorship in a world filled with would-be censors. Thank Satoshi there are endeavoring entrepreneurs like the team who are building Bridgefy who notice the importance of alternative data relay networks in a world dominated by ISPs and Telecoms. Building products that enable the spread of information when the State or corporations attempt to censor, or when a disaster like Dorian takes out those heavily used data highways.
These systems will also be essential to Bitcoin as the State begins to see it as more of a threat. Support your local mesh network!
Ready for the Fall.