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Curated by Matt Mallinson
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How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan

How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The European country where Skype was born made a conscious decision to embrace the web after shaking off Soviet shackles Eesti keel | Estonian language version...

 

Can you imagine walking over 100 miles without losing your internet connection?  Estonia has done it by making internet access a public service along the lines of water and electricity.  The impacts and effects or profound considering that 9 in 10 Estonians have a computerized ID card that they can use to vote, transfer money and access all the information the state has on them.  Although this may sound very dystopian and authoritarian to many, Estonians argue that it actually empowers citizens to keep the state in check.      


Via Seth Dixon
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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:03 PM

I actually like the idea of the computerized ID card.  Yes, undoubtedly from the outside looking in this does appear to have some big brother qualities but I think it's brilliant.  The card allows people to transfer money and vote.  It's also nice to see a country that doesn't just treat their internet use like a toy.  They use it to benefit their society, making it accessible to everyone in the country and not just those who can afford it. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 13, 2013 10:43 AM

Just an amazing fact to see a county that was once under the controll of the USSR for so long as come so far.  Now a part of NATO and the EU Estonia has stepped out of the control of Russia to become a virbrant place to live.  Once independant and then under the contol of the USSR at the start of WW II it has once again become a nation itself.  Also notice a very different view in the article, the people there feel this electronic system lets them keep and eye on the government and not a big brother view many people in the US have over electronic ID systems.  Is it because they have always been use to being looked at by the government, ie the USSR over the last 50 years and because we are so use to freedoms that we have had for hundreds of years?

Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:04 AM

I actually had no idea that Estonia birthed Skype. It was an amazing foresight that Estonia immediately jumped into the computer and internet age, and even more surprising that you can get Wi-fi across most of the country, no matter how remote. That's something that hasn't been accomplished in even the US. They had Internet in most schools by 1997 and can even vote online!

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Taming the City of God

Taming the City of God | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Years of hatred and mistrust are thawing in some of Rio's most violent slums.

 

This compelling video depicts some of the challenges that the police in Rio de Janeiro face in trying to bring more effective goverance into some of the more poverty-striken, drug-riddled neighborhoods in the city.  This slums, known as favelas, are receiving increased attention as Rio is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Oyllympic Games. 


Via Seth Dixon
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James Hobson's curator insight, September 30, 2014 9:08 AM

(South America topic 7)

The details pertaining to how Rio's police force has been regaining control in favelas surprised me, but in a positive way. For example, having officers work and volunteer with children is a great idea to stop the generation chain of fearing the police as the enemy. I believe the message that this communicates is that the police are human too, sharing many of the same aspirations as those who they serve. It's unfortunate that this ramping-up in force comes mainly because of the approaching Olympics, but at least it is still a step in the right direction.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 12:42 PM

This video shows the tense relationship between the favales and the government of Brazil. I can't help but notice how people in the favales are being treated as lesser citizens that are not part of the collective identity of Brazil. As these big sporting events draw near, the government is more concerned with hiding or eliminating the systemic inequalities that are occurring in the favales. If I lived in these areas I would find it hard not to see the government as an enemy.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:10 PM
I think that it is very good that tensions between the police and the citizens of the city are cooling down. Yes, there were many problems in the past, but that is the past, now there is just the present and future. With police being more active in the community responding to calls more frequently, or attending schools to show that not all of them are bad people. It is also good to know that an officer holds a martial arts program for the kids, something like that really gets people, especially the young to feel safe around them. Also, with schooling and environmental projects becoming much better, it seems as if the City of God is going in the correct path that it should.