Why manufacturing consent “is much easier now”

Chomsky calls himself a “libertarian socialist,” which he defines as a belief that “enterprises ought to be owned and managed in a democratic fashion by the people who participate in them.” His New York Review Of Books article from 1967, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” was called “the single most important piece of anti-war literature” from the Vietnam period. That helped launch him …

Depolarizing American voters: Democrats and Republicans are equally susceptible to false attitude feedback

Thomas Strandberg, Jay A. Olson, Lars Hall, Andy Woods, Petter Johansson Published: February 5, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226799 American politics is becoming increasingly polarized, which biases decision-making and reduces open-minded debate. In two experiments, we demonstrate that despite this polarization, a simple manipulation can make people express and endorse less polarized views about competing political candidates. In Study 1, we approached 136 …

Getting past our own and others biases, to effect real change

Center for Action and Contemplation, 3/3/2021 Learning how to see our biases is a psychological exercise, but one with immediate theological and social implications. It demands self-knowledge and the crucial need to recognize (1) when we are in denial about our own shadow and capacity for illusion; (2) our capacity to project our own fears and shadows onto other people …

Anger emerges from a provocation, the person’s interpretation of the provocation, and their mood at the time. Interpret and decide what it means to you first.

Anger emerges from three interacting factors: a provocation, the person’s interpretation of the provocation, and their mood at the time. Before you actually get angry, you interpret that provocation. You decide what it means to you, and whether or not you can cope with it. These thoughts we have when provoked matter a great deal. When you catastrophise (ie, blow things out of proportion), …

54% of Westerners see climate change as a “very serious” problem

The consensus to invest more in conservation is up to 92% of voters now, from 84% in 2011, and is nearly equal across the Western states. Those feelings also cross the partisan spectrum, Metz said, with 98% of Democrats wanting more protection and 87% of Republicans, according to new results from a long-term, eight-state poll run by Colorado College.  Neighborhoods with …

Real, greatly improved citizen engagement

Jan 2021 Michael Baskin, Chief Innovation Officer for Montgomery County, MD and Govlaunch co-founder, Lindsay Pica-Alfano collaborate to share insights to help guide efforts for more meaningful and effective engagement. See: https://www.boston.gov/departments/youth-engagement-and-employment/mayors-youth-council https://cities-today.com/industry/4-guiding-principles-citizen-engagement/ What is real citizen engagement? Most think of citizen engagement as a good turnout and vibrant Q&A to close a meeting. But citizen engagement can be so much …

Why and how conspiracy theories work

Voltaire once said: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities” — and he was right. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/opinion/qanon-conspiracy-theories.html – Believers in conspiracies will often automatically dismiss factual claims disputing their beliefs. Jovan Byford, a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University in England, makes the case that Conspiracy theories seduce not so much through the power of argument, but …

Resources for decentralized organizing, Bill Moyer’s MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements, Facilitating online meetings and more

Bill Moyer’s book, Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements. Also on the Commons: The Four Roles of Social Activism and Surviving the Ups and Downs of Social Movements (MAP Stage 6). Transformational Change Leadership: Stories of Building a Just Future 1. Online Meeting Guides to Get Through COVID-19 Getting Started with Online Training and Facilitation – Jeanne Rewa Facilitating online meetings – Daniel …

Facebook as a regulated utility?

Excerpt from Steven Hill, Should President Biden Revoke Section 230? https://www.laprogressive.com/revoke-section-230/ Jan 2021 Facebook is no longer simply a “social networking” website – it is the largest media giant in the history of the world, a combination publisher and broadcaster with approximately 2.6 billion regular users, plus billions more on the Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram. A mere 100 pieces of COVID-19 …

Why It’s Time to Fight the “Data-Industrial Complex

Tim Cook on Why It’s Time to Fight the “Data-Industrial Complex” “They’re manipulating people’s behavior,” the Apple CEO tells GQ in a frank conversation about his hope that Apple’s new privacy initiatives will help solve some of the internet’s scariest problems. By ZACH BARON, January 28, 2021, in GQ It has become relatively common for tech observers and even regular everyday citizens to …