I was WRONG about anonymity online

It seems self evident that people would be more civil online IF they couldn’t be anonymous.

But research shows that’s not the case.

Perhaps the world expert in governance of online speech, Kate Klonick, concluded that having both public and anonymous options is BEST for reducing hate and increasing the value of social media.

Many, many individuals are unable to speak honestly unless they can be anonymous.

Listen to her interviewed on Pivot.

Listen to Elon

I’m often critical of Elon Musk. Turned off by his egomania.

Disappointed in his juvenile comments from the bully pulpit of Twitter. One of the richest and most powerful men in the world attacking and mocking people who are unable to fight back.

I’m disappointed that a guy who claims he doesn’t care about money is so reluctant to pay more in taxes though his businesses have received billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

That said, I admire almost everything else. His work ethic. His companies, especially Boring and Starlink.

Elon Musk does much more good for the world than bad. He’s scientific and well aware of the risks of climate change. He calls for a carbon tax. Musk endorsed Andrew Yang and expressed support for his proposed universal basic income.

Though the headlines shout that Elon is a “free speech absolutist”, Musk himself says Twitter must abide by the laws of each nation. I doubt much will change in terms of Twitter policy in Canada or the USA.

In fact, I’m guessing Twitter will be better for me with Musk as owner.

Warren had me watch this recent interview. Elon defends his life and ethics quite well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

CANCEL me in 2022

If you are irked that I call Donald Trump the fat golfer, please stop following my posts.

After a lifetime study of comparative religion, Joseph Campbell concluded that the best course was to Follow your Bliss. Make a list of those things in your life that you most enjoy; those things that enervate you, compel you; interest you in a sustained way. Do them!

Make a second list of those things that vex your existence. How can you avoid or minimize those? CANCEL them.

When in office I mostly called Trump the toddler President — rash, undisciplined, selfish, spoiled. Out of office fat golfer better sums up my opinion of him in a short, colourful way. Trump is the master of name calling. Since he does it, I feel it’s ethical to reciprocate.

The Ugly American

I believe in freedom of speech. The fat golfer can say whatever he wants on his golf course. BUT not in my home. Not on my blogs. Nor my social media feeds.

I also believe in the freedom to NOT listen to speech.

Since Rush Limbaugh — the Big Fat Idiot — popularized the notion of cancelling people in the 1980s, the word cancelled has become increasingly loaded. And increasingly meaningless.

Though I’m left leaning, I haven’t yet cancelled JK Rowling, Woody Allen, Jordan Peterson and many more. You should if they irritate you enough.

I AM quick to unsubscribe to organizations and people I believe are distributing dangerous and/or unethical content online.

Certainly the American GOP / FOX money making machine picks a new Mr. Potato Head to cancel every day. Gots to keep their mostly old, white supporters angry. (That story was fake news, by the way.)

The best coverage of this issue I’ve heard is on my favourite podcast – Reputation.

Brooke and Brian Lehrer Interview Each Other On the Media

This week, we’re sharing a chat Brooke had with her longtime colleague Brian Lehrer for Interview Magazine. Brian hosts his inimitably thoughtful daily talk show for WNYC, where he rallies a community of callers and experts to talk about the issues they care about most. But you may not know that Brian was once the first ever host of this very show. In this conversation, Brooke and Brian discuss how they made their ways into public radio, parasocial relationships, and the difference between accuracy and objectivity. This conversation appears in full on Interview Magazine's website, with the headline "Brian Lehrer Points the Mic at Brooke Gladstone."
  1. Brooke and Brian Lehrer Interview Each Other
  2. The Divided Dial: Episode 3 – The Liberal Bias Boogeyman
  3. Bark and Bite
  4. 11/22/63
  5. The Divided Dial: Episode 2 – From Pulpit to Politics

Why we LOVE Stacey Abrams

If you’re celebrating seeing Donald Trump and the worst of his deplorable followers driven off social media, thank Stacey Abrams.

She devoted years to building the Democratic Party in Georgia. Wrote a book about voter suppression and co-produced an Amazon Prime documentary, “All In: the Fight for Democracy.”

People in the know credit Stacey Abrams for flipping the 2 Senate seats from Republican to Democrat.

NOW the Biden team has control of all 3 branches of government for 2 years.

NOW the Biden team can enthusiastically regulate BIG TECH.

NOW Twitter, Facebook and pretty much every other major platform is banning Trumpy hate speech.

Thanks Stacey.

We have to break-up BIG TECH

Professor Galloway recommends the American government mandates a break-up of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook shareholders would actually make MORE money after the split. And those companies would have a better chance to compete with one another.

Galloway recommends Amazon be split from Amazon Web Services (VIDEO).

He recommends YouTube be split from Google.

MORE COMPETITION is good for the consumer. Good for the economy.

MORE COMPETITION

Elizabeth Warren, for one, is keen to push that legislation. And I agree.

YES. I know governments will do a lousy job. Politicians don’t understand Tech.

But the alternative is even worse. Bezos and Amazon — at this rate — will have too much share of the world’s wealth.

Aggregation Theory postulates that it’s nearly impossible to compete with a company that is able to aggregate a majority of consumers.

How do you launch a company to compete against Amazon, for example.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Zucked by Roger McNamee (2019)

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee was early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. And an early investor.

A big Facebook promoter.

ZUCKED is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing.

I’ve not heard any other critic as astute, nor as fair, as to exactly why Facebook is harming and even killing some of their customers around the world.

As Facebook is unable to police itself, governments should step in.

Would you pay for ad-free Facebook?

I would.

In addition I’d want personal controls over my feed.

As Professor Galloway points out so clearly, it’s the algorithm driving monetization that causes MOST of the problems with Facebook.

Both right and left leaning Americans are convinced that Facebook currently is biased against their beliefs. Both GOP and DEMs want to change Facebook.

Facebook is a private company and can do anything it wants — unless laws are changed. And they will be.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ad-free-facebook.jpeg
Results of one online survey.

Facebook would continue their free service with advertising, of course.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

Censorship by flood of misinformation

Back in the 1990s I was completely convinced that Google and the internet would make the world a much better place.

If people had more information, they’d be able to make better decisions.

It turned out to be mixed. Smart people make better decisions.

But many are overwhelmed, disinterested and easily confused.