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Dancing with Handcuffs

This is a very interesting video:

On the one hand, the venue seems like a TED for global humanitarian hipsters, but there are worse things to be, and the bottom line is the guy who threw a shoe at the inventor of The Great Firewall of China isn't in jail....

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wanderindiana's picture
Submitted by wanderindiana on

There are some interesting assertions in this talk, about trust in social circles and trust in social networks and why the two are different. And assertions are interesting things, like premises, or theories, or even assumptions.

I watch and respond in the context of having participated in the social network that was liberal political blogs of the new millennium, of having stepped in to help run an outfit called ePluribus Media after a couple of the folks that were key bailed on it and went to work elsewhere, one eventually running for Congress and the other running Daily Kos. I learned plenty about circles and networks and trust in the first two years of that outfit's existence.

Really, I need to watch this again and take notes to cobble together a more coherent response, because it is heavy and heady stuff; however, I tend to disagree with the speaker's argument or explanation as to why the shoe-thrower was not punished with jail time or labor camp or disappearing.

The cynic in me also vehemently disagrees with the speaker's premise that it is not easy to track the depth of trust of connections via social networking. Maybe not yet, in China, MAYBE. But I rather think, and it is merely an opinion, that the reason the shoe-thrower lives to Tweet again is because he is an animal in a laboratory experiment of sorts, or a starting point for those with concern to backtrack or reverse engineer and then castrate or marginalize the network of dissent.

At this stage the dissent may still be organic, in the case of the great firewall and all that is Chinese. By organic, I mean disorganized, sincere, altruistic, and born of serendipity as much as frustration.

Opposing forces want to coopt such movements and make them inorganic while retaining the illusion of the organic.

Such is the case of liberal political blogging in the U.S. of A. Over the last decade.

So I would love to have a serious discussion with this woman, and in another lifetime hang with her and do the research. I think she is on to something, has the nut of a good idea, but is making some faulty assumptions in making her case.

What sayeth anyone else? The silence is deafening....

Submitted by lambert on

Seems to be a golden age for ethnography, with Graeber.

Sounds like you were at Ground Zero for ePluribus Media. We had a poster here, at one point (I think somebody younger, not your handle) but I can't remember the topic, except that it was investigatory.

What happened then? And what's the moral from a trust via online connection aspect?

(I don't think "weak ties" applies to people who do a lot of writing together, whether or not they use handles.)

wanderindiana's picture
Submitted by wanderindiana on

The speaker asserts that institutions trust other institutions.

I disagree. Interinstitutional interaction may look like trust on the surface but it is merely artifice and illusion reinforced by repetition and fear.