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Thoughts on social change, social capital, social enterprise, social marketing, social impact assessment, social software and other related topics.

Updated: 2018-03-06T13:10:07.105-08:00


Losing Information Wars


Listening to some repeat the idea the hate predominates the left because of Antifa isn't new, but it sure is tiresome. People taking anecdotal evidence from videos that lack context and putting them up as "evidence" is only part of it. Every time I hear this, my response is that real hate isn't 200+ people marching with tiki torches because they think jews will replace them, but rather the

Stay Sober While Reading Russia


So, just some place holders here on stuff that matters to me. Did a US candidate for President collude with Russia in exchange for well-timed leaks of hacked information that would damage the opposition candidate? If you watch Rachel Maddow, you might be easily convinced. Don't be. Read Matt Taibbi and proceed with caution, realising that making outlandish accusations prior to having evidence

Xenophobia Is Xenophobia


This new travel ban does nothing to make me safer. Zero. It's just as xenophobic as the last one, but carefully re-written to acknowledge and avoid all the valid legal arguments that got it shot down on the first attempt. But even with the re-writing, the new effort is still based on several absurd assumptions. First, and like the previous order, that there is no vetting, which is silly. Go

Nothing Is True Everything Is Possible


Well, first, everything would be a bit more true if Trump would release his tax returns, but that's not the main point of this post. "Nothing is true and everything is possible" seems to be the tweeter-in-chief's ruling strategy, fuelled by Mark Levin and cheered on by everyone's favourite Fox News cheerleader for Trump. (It's also the title of a book by Peter Pomerantsev, whose written some

"Enemy Of The People"


Terri Gross asked the most important question on Wednesday in her interview with Mark Mazzetti, the Washington investigations editor for The New York Times. The full interview is great, but it's the last question that really touched a nerve for me. TG: ...My impression is because things have gotten so charged between President Trump and the press, because the president has made so many

Sweden, Rape And Fear Mongering


The issue of the "Sweden attack" should be taken seriously, as this article in The Guardian one year ago tries to do, with a warning about how mis-steps and cover ups will be used. What should not be taken seriously is a leader who is looking for any example he can find to justify his xenophobia. Read this analysis on Slate, watch the film (on the previous link) and the Fox hyperbole, which is

Will The Real Shepard Smith Please Stand Up!


So, I get this video from a friend on Trump's press conference. I listen... I am surprised! I wonder if this is really on Yeah, it is, with a very different headline: "Trump slams press reports of 'chaos' in the White House". Same talking heads, different message. We call it good editing.

Crushing Empathy


On the basis of totally distorted information from the newly elected leader and his administration, we are crushing the very concept of empathy. On the basis of no proof that the US will be safer, we are -- it feels to me -- driving a knife through the heart of tolerance for people who have waited years, followed rules, in some cases risked their lives, and who are guilty of no other crime other

Biased, Incorrect, Fake and Hate News


In my opinion, nothing matters more right now than getting rationale adults to speak with more discipline about these critical concepts. Failing to make a distinction is extremely dangerous, as I tried to explain before. But this problem seems to be getting worse. Biased news: The New York Times has a bias. The Wall Street Journal has a bias. Examples are not needed as you can clearly see their

All That We Share


Are We More Racist?


Meaningful discussion is hard to come by these days. We are invalidated before we open our mouths. In a quest for more thoughtful tools, I've thought back to the Revisionist History podcast called The Lady Vanishes, which was broadcast long before the election. This is more about the concept of moral licensing in the context of women artists and leaders, but it is more relevant to me in

Transparency Matters!


No, no, no! Absolutely no way in hell can she say the Trump campaign "litigated this all through the election, people didn't care". I want to see Trump's taxes! Words matter and conflicts of interest matter and if this becomes a partisan issue, we are absolutely a entering a world of no accountability. Transparency is needed to demonstrate that there are no serious conflicts of interest. What

What A Day!!!


Working With Trump?


The New Yorker Politics and More Podcast continues to have great discussion. This is a great exchange, particularly the discussion on whether to resist Trump in The Power of "No" (@08:24). Jelani Cobb: One of the things that has been notable to me is that when Chuck Schumer talked about the areas that Democrats could work with Trump... Dorothy Wickenden: And Sanders too, has indicated this to

Fox And Fake News


I just had a lengthy social media exchange that brought up a grievance of conservatives. Trying to represent one person's view as best I can, he said that I fail to understand that many conservatives have been so frustrated with "liberal bias of the mainstream media" that they now feel it is gratifying to see us "complain about fake news" -- finally feeling their pain, so to speak. But my

No To Rex Tillerson, CEO ExxonMobil


Let's use this topic as a lesson of the media talking past each other. That's a nice way of me saying a lesson in conservative media (WSJ) talk past very legitimate concerns of the liberal media (NYT). No, Suzanne Maloney, writing-in-the-WSJ, this isn't about the "chattering classes" being aghast at a just any old CEO being nominated for Secretary of State. The NYT made this point fairly

"Make America Safe Again", says President-elect Troll


"I almost unleashed my beautiful Twitter account against you, and I still may", said Donald Trump, according to Megan Kelly, when threatening her after she aired a story with Daily Beast reporter who defended articled about Trump's divorce, in which his first wife accuses Trump of rape in sworn testimony, later disavowed. Kelly also makes this clear. I want to focus on the alleged threat by

You Say Post-truth, I Say Truthiness


The year of post-truth, but I have to say that I agree with Stephen Colbert when he says he's says "'Post-Truth' Is Just A Rip-Off Of 'Truthiness'". Almost everything that we encounter online is being presented to us by for-profit algorithms, and by us, post by post, tweet by tweet. Ugh. I was just beginning to like twitter...

Glenn Beck?


I mean, what the hell is going on in this world? He is "sorry about all that". What? I guess I want to trust that this is a person who has done serious damage to civil discourse is now actually recognising his mistake. But then this interview last week with Scott Simon -- and the whole emphasis on Benghazi being a "game-changing moment" for people on the right -- seems silly. He suggests this

Equal Opportunity Versus Equal Outcome?


We really need to get more disciplined with name-calling. @09:56 in this thoughtful podcast -- What Kind of Conservative is Trump? -- there is a discussion about whether Republicans care about inequality, linked to David Remnick's essential reading from his interview with Obama in the New Yorker. The response by Matt Lewis paints a common and incorrect version two concepts. In the "menu of

Learning About Steve Bannon


I am not going to comment, but I encourage everyone to learn about Steve Bannon. Don't just read an article and don't just pick up the sound bites. Listen to and read longer pieces. Here is the profile of Bannon from Bloomberg Politics in October. Here is an interview with that author on Fresh Air. For some post-election consideration, listen to the NPR weekly political podcast. Commentary

From Russia, With Love And Conspiracy


Masha Gessen is reminding me why I was so interested in the Cold War in the first place. Two worlds believing different realities. Much to explore in her writings. For the moment, I want to capture a comment she made in this piece on The New Politics of Conspiracy. Perhaps more than any previous election in history, this year’s contest has been dominated by charges of lying and mistruths on

Resuscitating My Values


I think Tuesday was one of the worst days of my adult life. I assume many consider that a silly exaggeration. All I can say is that the negative wave of emotion overwhelmed me in a way that I never expected. Justified or not, it was anxiety about the future and the world that my children will inhabit. I've been thinking a lot about how much the world would have been different had it never come

Gwen Ifill


The passing of Gwen Ifill is blow and unexpected at a time when I think journalism is under attack. Her words on journalism in this 2014 commencement speech are worthy of reflection amid the current chaos. "A flat spot on her head from trying to break down walls... " She will be a very missed voice of calm in my life. Here is a beautiful tribute from her colleagues at PBS. I hope we can use

Thneedville Lives!


Look! Shell remade Thneedville from The Lorax. They call it Best Day of My Life.