Posts tagged with 'empathy'

“The avant-garde doesn’t need drugs anymore” — my appearance in DIE ZEIT

The Valise Society salon that my friend Tobias hosted for me in Berlin was covered by one of Germany’s largest weekly publications, DIE ZEIT, in their print publication. (I also spoke at their new online newsroom and had a Google hangout with them while I was in Berlin.) English translation follows.

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On Forbes.com: Can’t We All Just Get Along? Polarization of Politics, the Internet and You

There’s a lot of talk about the extreme polarization of public, and specifically, political discourse as we ramp up into the final, could-not-be-over-soon-enough months of the US presidential race. I’m always skeptical when there are claims that we are more polarized than ever, but I have certainly noticed a ramp-up in ideological spewing on social networks that has even lifelong-activist me wondering, “Can’t we all just get along?”

[Read the rest on Forbes.]

On Forbes.com: Can Anything Save Us From Flaming And Trolling On The Internet?

A psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin told Scientific American that “these days, online comments are ‘extraordinarily aggressive, without resolving anything.’” And a study of forcing users to employ their real names doesn’t decrease the amount of bad behavior they perform that much, either. Is there no hope for the end of Internet trolling and flaming?

[Read the rest on Forbes.]

Social media reactions to bin Laden’s death

I’ve got a full work plate this morning, and my own set of feelings to process about the news of Osama bin Laden’s death (more on that will likely appear on my Tumblr later tonight), but wanted to get down a couple noteworthy bullets. If I have time, I’ll return and flesh these out into a coherent piece.

  • We all know that social media get the word out at lightning speed–but what struck me most about this news was not the speed of information, but the immediacy of community development. People are using Twitter and Facebook to work out what are, for many, complicated emotions. Relief, joy, anger, sadness are all appearing at once. This is in stark contrast to what we often see in traditional media soundbites (particularly video media), where broad strokes are painted when it comes to emotional content–i.e., those people are cheering, those people over there are not. Social media is creating a space where it’s acceptable, and useful, to express multiple feelings. This is also very different than, for example, the days following 9/11–when the war on Afghanistan was announced, it was largely extremely taboo in American public squares (online or off) to express concern, or disagreement. Part of that was the political climate, but part of that was that there weren’t necessary effective public spaces for people to be nuanced human beings.
  • I’m also struck by the speed with humor was employed as a tactic to process the news. Again, in contrast to 9/11, when we waited two weeks for the new issue of The Onion to come out–no one made any jokes before then. Not only was it taboo, but there just wasn’t a way to deal. (By the way, that issue of The Onion might be the best one ever–headlines like, “God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule, “Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves in Hell,” and many more gems.) Last night, some of the immediate jokes, some in good taste, some not, clearly paved a way for people to express all kinds of reactions to this global news phenomenon. My personal favorites were @marcfaletti‘s “It was that f***ing iPad location history, wasn’t it?” and the newly created @OsamaInHell account tweeting, “Wait, what?”

More as time allows today…

VIDEO: PdF 2010: Can the Internet Fix Politics? Sharing Is Daring

Read the text and see the slides at the full presentation page.

Talk: How Sharing and Storytelling Will Change the World

On Saturday, I gave a the closing keynote talk at Organizing 2.0 here in NYC, a one-day conference designed to bring together labor folks, community organizers and netroots people to work on strategies for integrating online and offline organizing. A fun time was had by all! Here’s the video (thank you, Sum of Change!), and below are my notes from the talk.

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