The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Media” Category

Is It This or That?

Posted on November 6, 2018

The American midterms today will be just another reminder of democracy’s strong tendency to be overly concerned over what people believe instead of what is true, to be lulled into being persuaded by perception rather than reality. Millennia ago, even Plato warned against the propensity to permit persuasion to overshadow the problem of knowledge. The distinction between blind belief and knowledge has only become more blurred  in the social media era. Take a citizenry, especially of the mass-consumer and tech savvy variety, and the potential is huge for fabrication, half-truths, misnomers, outright lies, and innuendo. While such things remain a temptation in fields like advertising, it is now a reality that politics excels at it. Why? Because such perpetrators know we are vulnerable to…

High Speed Hate

Posted on November 1, 2018

It’s no accident that the New York Timespublished a piece by Frank Bruni this week titled, “The Internet Will Be the Death of Us” directly following the murders of the 11 Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue. In its concluding paragraph, the column noted: “I don’t know exactly how we square free speech and free expression with a better policing of the Internet, but I’m certain that we need to approach that challenge with more urgency than we have mustered so far. Democracy is at stake.  So are lives.” We can no longer ignore the direct line that runs from Internet hatred to the loss of life.  But neither can we claim ignorance anymore that the haters, trolls and agitators with mendacity on their minds and…

We Won’t Get to the Future if We Can’t Survive the Present

Posted on October 18, 2018

Since the beginning of time people have worried about their future, especially in days of war, transition and rapid change.  But nothing has matched the revolution that technology has introduced and the speed of change is now a light speed.  So, yes, people have a right to be worried. But before we descend too deeply into that madness, perhaps we should be worried about just getting through the present.  We’re not doing well at it.  What’s the source of that information?  Think IKEA. That’s right, a world leading furniture company that annually publishes research reports on how people live in relation to their homes.  If that doesn’t very revolutionary, think again. The most publicized finding of their most recent report involving 22,000 people in 22…

Elections: Social Media Gets It Right When We Use It Right

Posted on October 16, 2018

Technology and elections have gone hand in hand for a long time and it hasn’t always been a comfortable fit.  When radio and television came along, so did the opportunity to put image in front of substance.  Voting machines, while quicker, became known for glitches, recounts, and recounts and hanging chads. But nothing – nothing – has confounded politics and elections the way that social media has in the last decade.  Rather than putting more meaning and information into the process, platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter have front-end loaded misinformation, hackers, trolls, “fake news” and even the commercialization of privacy. Perhaps the worst of it all is that none of us feel we can do anything about it.  Facebook and Twitter especially…

Voices But No Voice

Posted on October 7, 2018

It wasn’t all that long ago when people believed the world was coming together, forming one community premised on human rights, equality, self-determination and the right of every voice to be heard. Helping all that along were technological advancements – economical transportation, the internet, cellphones and social media. But something happened along the way, to the point where it seems most now believe the world is coming apart and the tech tools have just as much alienated us from one another as they have helped us understand one another better. We no longer know what to make of our world. With more money than ever in its history, more exposure to other cultures and ideas, and global communications now possible in a millisecond, we…

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