On the eve of this September 11th, I can’t help but pause and reflect on the day that changed the course of American history (therein changing world history). I remember many of the details, most with strong emotion attached to them – calling my husband to make sure he was all right, waking my brother to watch the news with me, gathering with my friends and colleagues to continue to collect any and all information we could. There was a near-palpable collective confusion, fear, anger and sadness that pervaded my personal environment, as well as throughout the nation. There are some memories from that day that are crystalline in their clarity. This memory acuity is known as a flashbulb memory – a memory created from intense emotional arousal at the moment of a significant and, often times, traumatic event. Do you have a flashbulb memory of that day? If so, you’re not alone. Continue reading
Recently I was introduced to the first season of the A&E television show, Longmire, which is currently streaming on Netflix. I have only had the privilege of watching several episodes (I’m afraid my schedule just doesn’t allow for regular television viewing) and what I’ve seen so far is quite compelling. Alas- although the show is excellent, I’m not writing today to provide a program review but rather to revisit a segment I wrote and presented at the Western States Humanities Conference last year.
One of the more notable elements of the show is the immersive depiction of modern American Indians (the show is specific to the Cheyenne). This leads me to consider media’s influence portraying marginalized, indigenous communities. Interestingly, Marshall McLuhan, the visionary educator of communications, media, technology and humanity provided a powerful framework in which to analyze media. He wrote on media’s influence in constructing a “global village” and of the powerful process of “retribalization.” This post briefly defines McLuhan’s retribalization, while posing additional questions of the concept’s application. Continue reading
Guest post by Liza Persson.
Recently Facebook conducted an experimental study exploring online “emotional contagion”; the emotional bias or “tone” (negative or positive) of the content of what people see online and whether it affects the emotional “tone” of content they create online afterwards. Emotional bias or tone of content was inferred using an algorithm developed for this purpose, which in itself is a good tool for analyzing content (Kramer, Guillory, & Hancock, 2014).
What Facebook was doing was not psychology or science in any other area though. Facebook violated procedures and principles in regard to conducting research scientifically. It didn’t live up to the ethical safeguards of protecting those participating in the study, although it did get consent via its terms and services policy which is probably sufficient enough to protect itself in the case of lawsuits (American Psychological Association, 2010). The goal of raising ad revenue is not the rationale for scientific research; serving the good of humanity is (Riley, 2014; Nisen, 2014).
Recapping the previous four posts on this topic, Mark Zuckerberg’s new non-profit consortium of information and communication technology (ICT) corporations would like to connect the remaining 5 billion inhabitants of the planet to the Internet who are not now connected (Internet.org, 2013). This post examines the implications of what the studies conducted on a reduced scale involving the distribution of laptops in Ethiopia found.
What has been established is that when Western ICT is available on a daily, long term basis to an individual who lives in a third-world, collectivistic environment, the ICT does cause change in individual self-construal, fosters the growth of individualistic, modern and agentic values, and increases levels of abstract reasoning among children. Although, these changes are individually significant, it does not immediately alter the individual’s culture and they are, from what appears to date, subsumed into the culture’s uniqueness (Hansen & Postmes, 2013; Hansen & Postmes, 2013; Hansen, Postmes, van der Vinne, & van Thiel, 2012; Kocsev, Hansen, Hollow, & Pischetola, 2009).
Recapping the previous post on this topic, Mark Zuckerberg’s new non-profit consortium of information and communication technology (ICT) corporations would like to connect the remaining 5 billion inhabitants of the planet to the Internet who are not now connected (Internet.org, 2013). Many of the five billion people in question will most likely come from collectivistic non-western cultures. From here we’ll look at the following questions:
- What types of individual psychological effects can be expected from the insertion of Western ICT in a collective environment devoid of such equipment?
- Will there be changes in culture, and if so how might they manifest themselves and how long might it take?
- What may religious beliefs have to do with the impact of ICT?
There’s been a drive in the first part of this century to bring information communications technology (ICT) to parts of the world that have not previously enjoyed it. In 2007, and in the years since, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), funded at various times by companies such as AMD, Google, Intel, and News Corporation, has provided computers for children in various countries to enhance their educational experience (One Laptop per Child, n.d.; Martins, 2007).
In June, Google announced it would bring wireless connectivity to Africa by blimp. This left some Africans criticizing the move as addressing the wrong problem—it’s the cost of equipment that prevents access, not the ability to connect (Stibbe, 2013; Talbot, 2013).
In August, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook, published a white paper entitled Is Connectivity a Human Right and shortly afterwards established a nonprofit organization called Interent.org. This consortium is made up of major corporations that include Nokia, Samsung, and Ericsson (handset makers), Opera (a browser manufacturer), and both Qualcomm and MediaTek which are both infrastructure manufacturers (Levy, 2013; Zuckerberg, 2013). Continue reading
WHY was Obama’s campaign SO effective? I recently ran across two quotes that answer that question and have much broader implications for the future of digital media. The first was from Pamela Rutledge, in her article ‘How Obama Won the Social Media Battle in the 2012 Presidential campaign’. She summed it up this way, “An effective social media campaign is based on the psychology of social behaviors NOT the current technology” (Rutledge, p. 2013). Mybo.com was able to take advantage of new technologies surrounding online social networks in order to enable Obama supporters to connect and build social relationships. The second quote was from the Handbook of mobile communication studies, chapter 17 by Howard Rheingold. He eloquently puts it this way:
Communication technologies and literacies possess a power that has, on many occasions, proven mightier than physical weaponry — the potential to amplify, leverage, transform, and shift political power by enabling people to persuade and inform the thoughts and beliefs of others.
Obama recruited a variety of tools that allowed his supporters to easily find and inform undecided voters. Continue reading