Bio not provided
A great read. Thanks, Francisco. Formal organization and leadership are critical if you want to build real people power. I'm going to leave a comment here and disappear into the digital ether, but I'll take your thesis with me.
1 month ago on The case for organized power
@innovati Pariser's filter bubble presentation is one of the first things I thought about while reading this great essay. Tauriq's phrase "silos of dogma" is spot on. Internet-scale social networking can certainly reinforce existing prejudices, ideologies, etc.
Tauriq's point about anonymity is also very insightful.
"But there’s a problem: When we make monsters out of others, it is not only our target that loses her humanity, but ourselves as individuals, too. In order to morph someone into a caricature, into a non-person, into nothing but a Bull’s-eye for the arrows we launch from the moral high-ground, we need to ourselves erode what makes us normal, often pleasant, often good people."
For further reading on the destructive power of anonymity, I highly recommend Douglas Rushkoff's "Program or be Programmed" and Jaron Lanier's "You Are Not a Gadget." The latter makes a very compelling case that anonymity has been a foundation of Internet culture because of its underlying technical architecture, which was coded at a time when both the American political Left and Right were extremely distrustful of government. He takes the reader inside the mindset of the programmers who created the Internet, and shows how their (understandable) bias toward anonymity has led to a dangerously pervasive embrace of anonymity across the Internet today. Rushkoff, for his part, makes "comment online under your own name" one of his Ten Commandments for the digital age. While he recognizes the importance of anonymity for whistle blowers and dissidents, he too argues that anonymity makes healthy social interaction almost impossible.
This is a problem offline, too. Last year, when I went downtown to speak to people at Occupy Vancouver, I met a lot of interesting folks from a variety of backgrounds. We shared opinions, disagreed on some issues, found common ground on many others. But some people felt it was better to show up at Occupy with masks on, or bandannas over their faces. Why would I want to have anything to do with them? Why would I want to associate myself with people who will not even show me their face? And how could they possibly hope to change the world for the better if they prevent potential allies from even seeing their faces, making it impossible to build relationships and gain trust? The "black bloc" kids are a joke, and have no idea what they're doing. Like online trolls, they DEHUMANIZE themselves by putting their masks on.
8 months ago on Making Monsters – By Tauriq Moosa