It’s a Big World, After All.
The Web has sprung the lid on a Pandora’s Box of new human connections - mirroring and magnifying the best, the worst, and the ugliest aspects of our nature.
This idea was suggested by Big Think Delphi Fellow Danah Boyd
Kranzberg's First Law of Technology:
Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
What's the Big Idea?
Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, thinks we can do better. “We look at the internet. We think we’re getting this wide view of the globe. And we forget that most of the time we’re checking Boston Red Sox scores.” In a world facing global problems that need global solutions, Zuckerman calls our “imaginary cosmopolitanism” a problem we have to solve.
Getting people to cross those bridges is another matter. Zuckerman argues that we need to rewire ourselves, too, by promoting xenophilia as a cultural value. He cites the example of NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, whose Travel Channel show Dhani Tackles the Globe takes his fans deep into the heart of cultures far from the NFL.
This is bottom-up rewiring. It's slow and incremental. And success is hard to define or guarantee. But unlike top-down governmental regulation, it creates structures that reflect the collective thought and will of entire communities. As a tool, the internet is uniquely suited to building these kinds of movements, but they rely on leaders who can articulate a vision that excites people to action. Should such leaders arise in sufficient numbers, with powerful enough ideas, We the People might haul a smarter internet out of its primordial ooze.
Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education. Enter the competition here!
Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?
- Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
- The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
- As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Sometimes the basics really matter.
- Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
- The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
- In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.
- "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
- "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
- "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
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