Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Oh Dear, who cares?

1. I don't hate nations. I dislike governments, and disdain policies by certain specific countries. I do make an exception, however, for ISIL. Since they do not represent a country in the same way as, say, the government of the United Kingdom, and every single activity in which they engage seems to be driven by hatred, I'm comfortable stating that ISIL represent the worst extremes of political identity. 

It's a bit like if Combat 18 were running whatever bits of the UK they could hold through continued violence.

2. For better or worse, social media has become the primary way that I experience the news. On my Facebook feed, I have friends who share socialist bile, links to foreign news and loads of click bait articles. Despite my own political position being on the left (for the most part), I find the postings of my fellow leftists to be increasingly frustrating.

Perhaps my eclectic mixture of Christianity, Japanese Buddhism, Marxist dialectics, Platonism, anarchism and queer positive influences has encouraged an attitude of love, not hate. I'm not keen on the Conservative Party in the UK, but even Boris deserves to be heard, and freedom of speech is only freedom if extended to those with whom I disagree.

3. Social media allows every individual to curate their own experience of the world, and the news agencies. The idea that 'we are all the media' now is misleading - we have the capacity to both express our opinions and disseminate information, but this may simply be an enlargement of our ability to hold conversations rather than a paradigm shift in the way we communicate.

Nevertheless, social media has changed the way that I experience media. For example, I did not read a single racist post on my feed after the Paris Attacks. Yet I did read that racism was on the increase. 

4. Social media acts as a form of confirmation bias. 

5. Social media encourages short form responses.

6. To counter both problems, I advocate the teaching of the mechanism of confirmation bias, and how to counter it, to all young people.

7. I also like to watch long films about sociology.

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