Posts Categorized: Democracy

people, not algorithms

Can an algorithm defeat an algorithm? One group of European researchers think it can be done. I have my doubts “The approach involves assigning numerical values to both social media content and users. The values represent a position on an ideological spectrum, for example far left or far right. These numbers are used to calculate… Read more »

human engagement counters misinformation

A recent study conducted by Facebook suggests that when it comes to vaccine doubts and misinformation, “a small group appears to play a big role in pushing the skepticism”. Some of the early findings are notable: Just 10 out of the 638 population segments contained 50 percent of all vaccine hesitancy content on the platform…. Read more »

platforms and the precariat

Is it possible to be a musician today and earn a middle class income? The music industry is fundamentally broken up into three separate arms: recorded music, music licensing and live music. Where recorded music — physical album sales — was once the bread-and-butter for musicians, first the advent of piracy platforms like Napster, and… Read more »

connect, challenge, create

Education won’t counter populism — changing education might Slovakia’s president, Zuzana Caputova, was elected in March 2019, and surprisingly showed a way out of the populist quagmire that many countries find themselves in. The tribal affiliations retrieved by the previous corrupt government, particularly via social media, were what Caputova had to counter in order to… Read more »

let’s stop the war of words

A November 2019 article in the British Medical Journal showed how difficult it is to change peoples’ minds, especially with regards to vaccinations. Facts don’t change peoples’ minds. Lesson 2: don’t bring a fact to a narrative fight Experts and health professionals can arm themselves with white papers, peer reviewed studies, and symposia; but if… Read more »

a global clown show

In 2007 I was concerned that Facebook was selling personal data. That same year I asked if there could be a public alternative to Facebook. By 2010 I had left the platform. This year, after our local newspaper closed, I commented that we are now dependent on this global corporation — that uses our data… Read more »

debunking handbook 2020

The Debunking Handbook 2020 has just been published and is an excellent free guide to address the mass amounts of misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda that flow through our digital communications everyday and then influence real life behaviours. I have discussed some of these phenomena previously, in confronting the post-truth machines and pre-bunking the conspiracy theorists…. Read more »

non-violence + 3.5%

How many people does it take to change an organization or a society? Minority groups need 25% to influence the majority in a society. But it only takes 10% if the group is committed with unshakeable belief. Inside an organization, the right mix of people requires only 3% to influence 85% of their colleagues. There… Read more »

smarter networks through better narratives

Leadership in a networked world is making our networks and communities smarter so they are able to make better-informed decisions. In early 2020 New Brunswick’s Education Minister, Dominic Cardy, worked very hard to make his network smarter. “When Canada’s chief public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, was talking about there being no need to “panic,”… Read more »

a global human sensemaking platform

The thinking that got us into this mess will not get us out of it. If we are to create a new economic order it has to move beyond civil society, governments, and markets. A quid pro quo between private firms and public authorities will only reinforce the status quo. “A new economic order requires… Read more »