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Boxers, lawyers and fighters

Boxers, lawyers and fighters

Did anybody else think that that brawl between David Haye and Dereck Chisora looked like the physical equivalent of all those big companies currently in court over patent disputes? The two types of clashes have a lot in common – violence, virulence, petulance and with plenty of money at stake. Oh, and both with some bloodshed.

Mind you, much as I wouldn’t like to get caught between two well-paid lawyers, my enthusiasm for trying to break up two brawling heavyweight boxers is somewhat less than zero.

But I digrest. My main theme is Africa. Figures from Internet World Stats say 139 million Africans are now online. Clearly, much of this will be through wireless services as the infrastructure with wires just ain’t there in many places.

And while 139 million out of a continental population of just over 1 billion is not huge, the key thing is that it’s growing.

Why is this important? Well, for sure, the Net is going to help folks do new business as well as giving them the insights they need to do existing business more effectively. But, for me, that’s secondary. In my view, what’s paramount is the notion that can be summed up by arch phrase-maker Arthur C. Clarke when he said: “Every path to knowledge is a path to god.”

I think seeking and finding truth is what makes us human. Even though the Net is daubed with intellectual poo like some kind of virtual dirty protest and that Wikipedia is just the digital equivalent of: “A bloke in the pub reckons that…” there’s also gold to be had in onlineland, and the shiniest nugget is the free exchange of ideas.

Mindful that much of the growth in Net users in Africa is in Egypt and Tunisia, the folks there are now a lot better equipped to ensure their new governments are a lot healthier than the ones they got rid of.

Jeff Clark-Meads
PR guru and Author

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