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Posted by: thepinetree on 06/11/2020 12:21 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/11/2020 01:22 PM
Expires: 01/01/2025 12:00 AM
:

Could Social Media Destroy the World? ~ John Hamilton

Arnold, CA...I have had a gnawing fear the last year that social media with all its benefits of instant gratification and at least the appearance of connectedness has a potentially catastrophic flaw. It has the ability to inspire mob like behavior almost instantly. Everything looks simple in a gif or a meme. Snippets of entire speeches or events can be made to confirm bias left or right. In our algorithm driven world each of our biases are fed with an ever increasing stream of bias confirming content. This works fine for shopping for a new TV. It is fatal for societies.





Confirmation Bias is not fact or good policy. It doesn't matter if you feel Trump is saving society and a MAGA hat is a permanent part of your wardrobe or if you think Hitler had more redeeming qualities than the Orange one. Confirmation bias distorts all of our views! Yours and unfortunately even mine.

This social media bias makes it almost impossible to believe what we know scientifically to be true. According to Pareto's Law it is almost a certainty that a full 80% of us agree on 80% of the issues 80% of the time.

The only way Democracies stay Democracies is not winner take all! It is where minority, unpopular and possibly incorrect opinions have as much right to be heard as the majority's. Let the French Revolution serve as a warning from history.

In France the mob or the majority beheaded more people with the guillotine than died in the entire American Revolutionary war. At the end of the American Revolution we had a representative republic. At the end of the French Revolution in essence they traded King Louis for Napoleon and had less freedoms than before.

The only safety is free speech, principled disagreements and where agreements aren't possible to agree to disagree on a topic and try to agree on the next one. Social Media has left us in a state now where agreeing to disagree becomes almost impossible because we may offend our "friends" and "followers".

Whole news organizations left and right are now held captive ideologically in fear of straying from social media positioned orthodoxy. They are only free to publish or report in a manner that confirms the bias left or right. If they stray they risk a loss of both revenue and viewers.

Recent horrific events that offended everyone have shown where events can erupt into flames that at times seem to burn uncontrollably. Could this be a warning shot that we are only one horrific event from a spark that actually destroys our country?

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand directly led to the First World War that solved absolutely nothing and even with the bloodshed and loss of 20 million souls the world was arguably less stable afterwards. Are we really immune from a wave of violence engulfing the world again? Could social media be the match that sets it ablaze?

Decisions made by leaders in the past for good or evil were made in the historical context of the era in which they lived. That is the only fair and accurate way to look at them. Were our founding fathers flawed? Of course they were. Then again so are you and I.

Slavery was ubiquitous and pervasive throughout the world at that time. Not only was there slavery in its traditional form there were various forms of indentured servitude where some form of slavery that seems almost incomprehensible looking back was for those living in that era normal.

The amazing thing to me has always been that our founding fathers were able to create the founding documents of our nation in that environment at all. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness were noble goals then and even if they need to be refreshed and updated in the context of today they are still noble goals today.

Pareto's Law leaves us with the almost certainty that the majority of us agree on the majority of issues the majority of the time. This only helps if our confirmation biased brains will allow us to believe it.



Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
No Subject
Posted on: 2020-06-11 12:26:09   By: Anonymous
 
Thank You

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-06-11 12:34:00   By: Anonymous
     
    John, very well done! All of us needed that. Good job.

    [Reply ]

      Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that...
      Posted on: 2020-06-11 12:36:20   By: Anonymous
       
      Ditto! Yep!

      [Reply ]

        Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that.../\/\ Ditto! Yep!...
        Posted on: 2020-06-11 13:00:39   By: Anonymous
         
        Do you know what really gets to me? All these different sources telling us all these different statistics about this COVID! Now there's supposed to be some 2 mill+ deaths? Sometimes I think these are all scare tactics developed by this thing called "yellow journalism" (I think that's the term). So who is to really know the real truth? Is it getting worse? Or are things getting better? It seems like it's all a big political ploy and from what I understand that stuff like this (now I'm beginning to think BS) happens every 4 years-election times. Now, this deal really "takes the cake" and has our whole country going through this big upheaval!

        [Reply ]

          Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that.../\/\ Ditto! Yep!...
          Posted on: 2020-06-11 13:50:50   By: Anonymous
           
          If you feel you cannot trust the media, ask your doctor or a medical professional whose opinion you value. Covid will be with us for some time yet and your well-being and those of others depends on your taking continue precautions. The president has a political agenda in claiming the virus is “in ashes.”

          [Reply ]

          Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that.../\/\ Ditto! Yep!...
          Posted on: 2020-06-11 14:03:41   By: Anonymous
           
          More testing will and is resulting in more cases identified. But more testing can not account for the recent increase in Covid hospitalizations and deaths. It very much appears we have begun a second wave of infections and the stock market responded accordingly. No surprise a week plus after Memorial Day and what we saw in photos happening across the country.

          [Reply ]

          Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that.../\/\ Ditto! Yep!...
          Posted on: 2020-06-11 21:48:41   By: Anonymous
           
          I am so sorry that you didn't learn enough in school to realize that the stats on this thing are bad.
          If you have to scratch your head to understand science or don't know how to discern peer-reviewed research from faux / corporate sponsored research, you need to ask Alexa or an internet psychic, maybe they can help you:)


          [Reply ]

        Re: /\/\ we needed to hear that...
        Posted on: 2020-06-11 13:57:32   By: Anonymous
         
        very well written article and nice to see some real comments on here

        [Reply ]

RIGHT ON!
Posted on: 2020-06-11 13:44:04   By: Anonymous
 
Correct John - sometimes people are better off NOT left to their own devices. We have an occupant of the white house who THRIVE on dividing the country, causing mayhem and hate and discontent. ALL horrible traits - destroying our very fiber. And undoubtedly not finished with us yet. We'll all be taken to the woodshed if he gets reelected (by his devious means, of course).

[Reply ]

    Re: RIGHT ON!
    Posted on: 2020-06-11 14:18:50   By: Anonymous
     
    Very interesting stuff for sure. If, we need media to direct our lives, something is wrong! If one doesn’t know “right from wrong,” go to church. Better yet get a phychiatrist and perhaps a medication. Most have a good and healthy growing up state of stability. Stick with it, got us to where we are and, it works. All this crap will subside and hopefully we’ll all be our happy self. Put a smile on your face, humor is the best medicine. This is gonna take time and strength for all of us!!

    [Reply ]

    Re: RIGHT ON!/\/\ we will all be taken to the woodshed...
    Posted on: 2020-06-11 14:41:51   By: Anonymous
     
    And I'll take you to the woodshed Tronald! Are you a loyalist (being loyal to our highest power of the country) or are you an anarchist? It seems like you're the latter-such a shame! You need to think about the welfare and the future of our family. It's probably too late to "unbrainwash" you but not too late for your kids! I just hope when they are old enough they'll make the right decisions in life and see the real light and the real TRUTH!

    [Reply ]

    Re: RIGHT ON!
    Posted on: 2020-06-11 16:28:24   By: Anonymous
     
    "We have an occupant of the white house who THRIVE[S] on dividing the country..."

    I'm sure Speaker Pelosi's charming display of civility tearing up her copy of the SOTU speech after engineering a shampeachment did wonders to unify the country, right chump?

    [Reply ]

      Re: RIGHT ON!
      Posted on: 2020-06-11 21:38:37   By: Anonymous
       
      The trash needed to be taken out.

      Too bad the radical left pushed her to initiate the impeachment, as she was against it for strategic reasons.

      No president will ever again unite this country, what a pipe dream. We can only hope that each one is impartial and out for the good of the nation, not their party.

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2020-06-11 14:15:35   By: Anonymous
 
Does anyone actually feel better after using Facebook?


[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-06-11 17:31:43   By: Anonymous
     
    Hell yes, Facebook is better than “As the world turns.” More fictitious than “Days of our life.” General hospital would be more accepted today! Anyone out there??? Lol

    [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-06-12 06:02:52   By: Anonymous
     
    Facebook = Narcissism

    [Reply ]

Scary
Posted on: 2020-06-11 14:17:05   By: Anonymous
 
It must be scary that other people can instigate racist rants on a platform other than yours John.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2020-06-11 15:52:32   By: Anonymous
 
A lot of things could destroy the world. Social media is no exception.

[Reply ]

Come November
Posted on: 2020-06-12 05:56:44   By: Anonymous
 
To quote Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Trump is still the best bet for November

The outcome of the 2016 has had both positives and negatives. Establishment politics took a beating in 2016, and to me that was a good thing. Who were these establishment politicians looking out for? Well, not most Americans. They were mainly looking out for themselves. The bad news is that those same politicians have still not learned their lesson. An enormous propaganda campaign in the media does not substitute for real change.

[Reply ]

    Re: Come November
    Posted on: 2020-06-12 09:43:07   By: Anonymous
     
    If you think Trump is the best choice, you are not paying attention. He is not a leader. He is not honest. He is hateful. If you think he cares about YOU, wake up. Change the channel. Listen to "the other side" for a week. Learn some facts.
    That is, of course, unless you have the same underlying racist and non-inclusive leanings as he does. Then there's probably no hope for you. Or US.


    [Reply ]

    Re: Come November
    Posted on: 2020-06-12 09:45:03   By: Anonymous
     
    Trump is the critic in that quote, who laughs while others stumble.

    [Reply ]

Thank you, John
Posted on: 2020-06-12 10:25:27   By: Anonymous
 
Social media can feel so very much like a drug: we can’t stay away from the handy little devil computers that we have strapped to our hands and faces from dawn til midnight and beyond. They enable us to gossip, rage, and buy sh*t we didn’t know we needed.

Advertising essentially keeps us all glued to our phones. If we’re getting our own point of view consistently backed up by our preferred sources of news and gossip, we’re then very likely to, at some point, buy something advertised on that site.

We are targeted by advertisers who know our point of view, cater to it, and then sell us stuff.

It’s that simple.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2020-06-12 19:12:58   By: Anonymous
 
The media and social internet are ,ess tne
Robles than trump himself. He started appealing to the racist element with his constant lies and promotion of the Obama birther lies, then moved on to alleging undefined crimes against Hillary Clinton, after accused his opponents in the primaries of other made up lies (Ted Cruz’s father), then upon election as president he turned his libelous lies and innuendo to our national security experts and the FBI investigation. There is so much more, but bottom line if their is an increase in division and revolt in this nation it is directly the product of trump’s needs to satisfy his satisfy his lust for power, greed, and adulation. And , as far as knowing the facts, for sure one fact we can count on is trump lies, you can’t believe a thing he says.

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2020-06-12 19:12:58   By: Anonymous
 
The media and social internet are ,ess tne
Robles than trump himself. He started appealing to the racist element with his constant lies and promotion of the Obama birther lies, then moved on to alleging undefined crimes against Hillary Clinton, after accused his opponents in the primaries of other made up lies (Ted Cruz’s father), then upon election as president he turned his libelous lies and innuendo to our national security experts and the FBI investigation. There is so much more, but bottom line if their is an increase in division and revolt in this nation it is directly the product of trump’s needs to satisfy his satisfy his lust for power, greed, and adulation. And , as far as knowing the facts, for sure one fact we can count on is trump lies, you can’t believe a thing he says.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-06-12 19:50:06   By: Anonymous
     
    Sorry for the typos......small keyboard , big thumbs..

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2020-06-14 08:33:27   By: Anonymous
       
      John, not sure what "Pareto's Law" you are trying to push:

      The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a theory maintaining that 80 percent of the output from a given situation or system is determined by 20 percent of the input.

      The principle doesn’t stipulate that all situations will demonstrate that precise ratio – it refers to a typical distribution. More generally, the principle can be interpreted to say that a minority of inputs results in the majority of outputs.

      Here are a few examples of the Pareto principle in action:

      20 percent of employees produce 80 percent of a company’s results.
      20 percent of a given employee’s time yields 80 percent of their output.
      20 percent of software bugs cause 80 percent of the software’s failures.
      20 percent of a company’s investments produce 80 percent of its investment profits.
      The principle is named for Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. In 1906, Pareto noted that 20 percent of the population in Italy owned 80 percent of the property. He proposed that this ratio could be found many places in the physical world and theory.


      [Reply ]


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