The internet culture that is Cuba

by on December 2, 2016 at 9:57 am in Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink

El Paquete is the underground Cuban Internet; a 1tb hard disk filled with US music, films, TV shows, magazines and smartphone apps, passed around by street dealers. You can copy what you like for $8 a week. “My friends assure me, El Paquete and chill is definitely a thing” [Wil Fulton]

That is from a longer Tom Whitwell post about 26 things learned in 2016, interesting throughout.

1 Joao Eira December 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

There was a VICE documentary recently on this if you are interested. When I was there 5-6 years ago it was definitely a thing, even in the rural, out of town parts. Also pretty interesting how people leave out the ginourmous amount of porn that is shared through El Paquete.

2 Highgamma December 2, 2016 at 10:12 am


3 Eric December 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

Excellent link

47: A town in New York State plans to spend $167,000 a year hiring Ubers for commuters, to avoid spending $15m building them a new car park at the station. [Leslie Hook]

4 Sanjay December 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

I don’t get it — did Professor Cowen feel like 26 of the things weren’t really things?

5 Tom Whitwell December 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

I was wondering the same

6 JWatts December 2, 2016 at 10:26 am

Hey Tyler, when are you going to post a link to the NPR interview?

“Cowen: Trump and Bernie Sanders, for all of their populist talk, their actual recipes in both case lead to crony capitalism … a system where businesses who are in bed with the government and who give the president positive press releases are rewarded and where companies who oppose or speak out against the president are in some way punished.”

It’s odd to make the claim that President Trump is punishing companies that speak out against him. Don’t you need evidence for that kind of assertion?

7 derek December 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

I love how the media is looking critically at the decisions of government all of a sudden.

8 The Original Other Jim December 2, 2016 at 10:55 am

No kidding. For the first time in 8 years, the Boston Globe has mentioned that the just-released falling unemployment rate is due to “people giving up looking for work.” In the sub-headline, no less!!

9 Dave Barnes December 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

T for tera
and not t
B for byte as b is for bit
so, TB

10 Tom Whitwell December 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

Sorry, corrected now.

11 Bill December 2, 2016 at 11:47 am

Some folks I talked to who went to Cuba said that there are informal clubs of people who exchange flash drives with movies and music; you get the drive for a week and exchange yours for a friends across a social network; a digital library.

12 byomtov December 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Not sure I believe the $8/week business.

That’s close to being your entire income. Maybe eight Cuban pesos

13 Lazlo Hollyfeld December 2, 2016 at 6:16 pm

No. 11 is flat-out incorrect. There is an OFAC license that allows you to export pretty much all personal electronic devices (smartphones, laptops, scanners, etc.) to Iran.

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