The year 2020 is upon us. It seems incredible that it’s 20 years since the turn of the millennium – a socially-defined key date in western society where the predominant beliefs were always millenarian, although we have to accept that a ‘millennium’ was sometimes figured to be other than a thousand years, hence the social … More Is 2020 the future of the future?
As the twenty-first century approaches its third decade I am deeply worried about the nature of how social media is served to us. It didn’t really exist twenty years ago when everybody was worried about the ‘millennium bug’ destroying everything. Today it’s engaged by a really significant chunk of every human alive on the planet, … More If it's free, you're the product – again
These days, it seems, some people only read headlines before reacting. I suppose it always happened, but social media means the response is right there for everybody to see. Sometimes they get entirely the wrong end of the stick. A while back I published a piece on the early 1950s sex scandal at the Elbe … More It’s annoying when people comment without reading the substance
A few weeks ago there was a rather nasty and violent incident in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s main tourist traps, involving two groups of passers-by on the street. Something happened, a brawl broke out, and at least two people were stabbed. Apparently it came out of absolutely nowhere. And this sort of thing seems … More Why do people fight each other over nothing?
Something I’ve noticed lately on social media has slightly puzzled me. It happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to others. I always post links to my blog on Facebook – it’s one of the tools available in WordPress, and why not? The link consists of the first words of the post along with … More Why do people react to headlines alone?
I’ve been getting the disturbing impression of late that the default human position isn’t generosity and kindness; it’s selfish malice. I’ve blogged about this before, but it won’t go away. Life, it seems, is a zero-sum game in which all that counts is self, and the way to get ahead is to break somebody else. … More What ever happened to all the good in the world?
One of my pet peeves is the way logic is misused in some social media. It happens a lot, as far as I can tell on the subjective evidence of my Facebook feed. The way it works is like this. Somebody comes up with a postulate about something specific, which they then use to ‘disprove’ … More How social media deceives you with fake logic