The New Digital Age: The Future of Conflict
The New Digital Age: Conclusion

The New Digital Age: The Future of Reconstruction

They are most hopeful of the role that new digital technology will play in reconstructing a country after war or a natural disaster.  If the rest of the book depressed you, this chapter is encouraging.  

After a disaster, there will be a "mobile-first mentality."  Traditionally telecommunications came late in the process, now getting networks functioning will be primary, even before search and rescue, as the mobile technology will facilitate that task.  This new mentality has already been developing in places such as Haiti.

This chapter reads as a great analysis of what has worked and not worked in recent major disasters.

"Thanks to connectivity, exiles will be far less estranged from the population than their predecessors."  Exiles can develop support structures for their home country, maybe even governments-in-exile that can step in after a dictator is removed.  There could even be on-line elected parliaments.

Corruption after a disaster could be lessened as inventories and donations could be more easily tracked with mobile technology.  Even arms could have implanted tracking devices, so that weapons didn't get beyond the intended recipients.

In the reconstruction of Rwanda, it was learned that one of the best things to do when disarming combatants was to give them a mobile phone, which gave them connections, opportunities, and status.  It also meant they could be tracked and could have access to money and be paid, rather than being given one lump sum.

Capturing images of violence will lead to perpetrators being caught and convicted, but it could also mean that healing is more difficult.  They write that after any conflict, healing requires "a certain collective memory loss.  With much more evidence, there will be much more to forgive."


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