What You Read is an Ethical Choice
When you click on an article you are voting. You’re telling an editor to produce more content like that at the expense of the stuff that you didn’t click on.
Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet, is best known as the co-founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama’s online campaign for the presidency in 2008. After leaving Blue State, Johnson was the director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation, where he built an army of 2000 developers and designers to build open source tools to give people greater access to government data. He was awarded the Google/O’Reilly Open Source Organizer of the year in 2009, was one of Federal Computing Week’s Fed 100 in 2010, and won the CampaignTech Innovator award in 2011.
Johnson’s combination of experience as a developer, working in politics, entrepreneurism, and non-profit work gives him a unique perspective on media and culture. His life is dedicated to giving people greater access to the truth about what’s going on in their communities, their cities and their governments. He still claims that he learned all he needs to know from a two year tour as the late-shift waiter at Waffle House in Atlanta, GA.
Your information diet is an ethical choice of yours, so when you’re on the Huffington Post looking at say the Kardashians and you click on the Kardashians, understand that you are not only reading that article, but you’re also voting for that article.
You’re telling an editor to produce more content like that at the expense of the stuff that you didn’t click on. So we have this sort of rapidization of the tyranny of the majority, if you will, because we are constantly being given what it is that we want, not necessarily what it is that we need. I think i’s vital to understand that there is a difference between those two things.
In the world of food if we were only given what we want what would we look like? About 35% of Americans are obese and I think that same thing is going on with information. If we’re only given what it is that we want then we’re going to have a polarized nation.
If you find yourself nodding your head too much maybe it’s time to change the channel. Maybe it’s time to look at something else and maybe it’s time to go a little bit more local. What I'm not suggesting to you is that if you’re a conservative that you watch a little MSNBC instead of a little bit of Fox. What I'm suggesting to you is neither Fox News nor MSNBC matter much in your life and maybe it’s time for you to focus a little bit more on your local community.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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