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Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy

Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy
Related:  21st century solitude

You Have 0 Friends (Season 14, Episode 4 - [singsong] I'VE GOTMORE FRIENDS THAN KYLE! - [sighs] [beep] [school bell rings] [playing Mexican Hat Dance] recording:WORD ON THE STREET! [electronic voice]MERGER! [knocking on door] - [sniffling] [sobbing] PLEASE! [electronic voice] [electric sizzle] [dice clattering] [sizzle]- PLAY, PROFILE! - [gasps] [coughs]THAT'S A DUDE JACKING OFF.

Social Media And The Loss Of Uncorrelated Wisdom It’s now a well-established fact that a group of people with diverse opinions can often make uncannily accurate decisions--smarter in many cases than any single individual could possibly manage. Open markets are the epitome of this, because they weigh individual opinions with real money, and as a result they sometimes produce decisions that seem truly prescient. Orange-crop futures markets, for instance, do a better job predicting Florida weather than meteorologists. The key to accurate group decisions in these situations is that individual group members’ opinions must be independent of each other. Which leads me to suspect that one problem arising from our ever more interactive society is that it is getting harder and harder to find truly independent, uncorrelated opinions. Consider the current financial malaise affecting the eurozone. A similar search for “uncorrelated wisdom” is likely to be one of the hallmarks of the future of social media. You want to avoid this fate?

The End of Solitude - The Chronicle Review What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge — broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider — the two cultures betray a common impulse. Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. So we live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude. I once asked my students about the place that solitude has in their lives. To that remarkable question, history offers a number of answers. Like other religious values, solitude was democratized by the Reformation and secularized by Romanticism. But it is with Romanticism that solitude achieved its greatest cultural salience, becoming both literal and literary. Modernism decoupled this dialectic. As a result, we are losing both sides of the Romantic dialectic.

Could You Be Addicted To The Internet? [POLL] Unlike drugs and alcohol, excess Internet usage could help your career, make you more informed and keep you up-to-date with the latest hilarious memes. But a recent (small) study by researchers in China showed that too much Internet usage — to the point that it's an addiction — can cause structural damage to your brain. The researchers studied 17 adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) and found structural and functional interference in the part of the brain that regulates organization, possibly causing cognitive impairment similar to that caused by gambling and alcoholism. Here's the science behind it: White matter is composed of nerve cells, while the gray matter that we hear so much about is made up of cell bodies. The researchers took MRI scans of the subjects and used a method called fractional anisotropy (FA), which measures organization in the brain by locating the presence of white matter. Are you addicted to the Internet?

Social Media-Connected Teens Seek Time Offline [STUDY] Today's American teenagers are digital natives — connected to the Internet since youth. About 75% of 13 to 17-year-olds have personal social networking accounts. Since 2008, there has been a huge spike in teenage connectivity; only 59% of teens were on social media four years ago. Despite seeing "racist, sexist and homophobic content" online, teenagers view social media networks positively. A national survey of 1,030 13-to-17-year-old individuals, conducted by Common Sense Media, reveals teenage perceptions of their digital lives. More than 90% of teenagers are connected to the Internet. SEE ALSO: What’s Your Teen Hiding Online? Teens are aware of the dangers of excessive usage and the online potential of cruelty. Surprisingly, a majority of survey participants say they prefer to chat face-to-face instead of text or tweet. Teens who feel the highest need to unplug are the ones aren't connected to social networks or have had bad experiences online.

A Network Head Reflects In 'Interview' hide captionDavid Westin was the president of ABC News from 1997 to 2010. Rene Macura/AP David Westin was the president of ABC News from 1997 to 2010. On Nov. 7, 2000, producers and editors at ABC News prepared to make a very public decision. It was election night, with George W. David Westin, then the president of ABC News, recalls the agony as his network's elaborate election unit was beaten on the call — they had held back. And then came more agony for Westin, after his network finally went along with everybody else, prematurely calling the election for Gore and then for Bush. Bush did win, after a Supreme Court ruling more than 30 days later, but the reality on that night was an election too close to call. "We had worked really hard at getting it right. In the age of Twitter and the 24-hour Internet, Westin adds, it may not be that important anymore to be first.

How Google Dominates Us by James Gleick In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy Simon and Schuster, 424 pp., $26.00 I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 416 pp., $27.00 The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan University of California Press, 265 pp., $26.95 Search & Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc. by Scott Cleland with Ira Brodsky Telescope, 329 pp., $28.95 Tweets Alain de Botton, philosopher, author, and now online aphorist: The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google. You can do this, of course. Google is where we go for answers. The business of finding facts has been an important gear in the workings of human knowledge, and the technology has just been upgraded from rubber band to nuclear reactor. Most of the time Google does not actually have the answers. “That’s true,” said Brin. Not anymore. 1. 2. 3. 4.

First Theater, Then Facebook In 2010, two Harvard psychologists, Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, performed a study that used an iPhone app to ask volunteers, at random moments, what they were doing and how happy they were. They discovered that we spend most of our lives not thinking about what we are doing at that moment, whether it’s shopping, eating or, in particular, working. No matter how enjoyable or unenjoyable the activity we’re engaged in is, this gift for distraction comes at a psychic cost: “a wandering mind,” they wrote in the journal Science, “is an unhappy mind.” No one seemed to remark on the incongruity of scientists’ using a technology that, in studying their subjects’ inability to focus, interrupted their focus. The paradox would not have been lost on Rousseau, who believed we were happy only in our original state of nature — before the advent of technology and society. And then the apps appeared — language and technology, dance and song.

I am Facebook friends with Ryan Lanza I woke up late Friday morning and posted my latest comic before realizing no one would be talking about it or any other issue that day except the latest massacre unfolding before our eyes – this time involving children. Not “this time.” I mean “again.” CNN named Ryan Lanza as the suspect before noon based on a police source. His wall was set to private so I was one of the only people seeing Ryan post “Fuck you CNN it wasn’t me” and “IT WASN’T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN’T ME.” The screen caps spread fast and I found myself inundated with messages, some from journalists seeking confirmation, many from people saying angry and bizarre things to me or about Ryan. I don’t know Ryan Lanza. There a lot of things we need to have a “national discussion” about in America — gun laws and access to mental health care being the two most important. We have a problem with rushing to judgment. “Social Media” didn’t get anything wrong or right. We’re not thinking straight.

Our Fear of Silence The cultivation of mindfulness requires periods of focused attention. Many proponents of mindfulness maintain that this is best developed through seated, silent meditation. So before considering how to focus attention, we must first consider our relationship with silence. Whether in the center of a city or deep in a forest, the cacophony of sounds around us makes it apparent that true silence is impossible. So what is silence? Silence is the absence of intentional sound. A study of 580 undergraduate students undertaken over six years, reported by Bruce Fell on The Conversation, shows that the constant accessibility and exposure to background media has created a mass of people who fear silence. This study, along with research by Drs. This cannot be blamed on the relatively recent rise of social media and 24-hour availability. Lest I try to pass myself off as a contemplative or a meditation master, I confess that I have my own difficulty with silence.

Solitude and Leadership Essays - Spring 2010 Print If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts By William Deresiewicz The lecture below was delivered to the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009. My title must seem like a contradiction. Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. We need to begin by talking about what leadership really means. So I began to wonder, as I taught at Yale, what leadership really consists of. See, things have changed since I went to college in the ’80s. So what I saw around me were great kids who had been trained to be world-class hoop jumpers. That is exactly what places like Yale mean when they talk about training leaders. But I think there’s something desperately wrong, and even dangerous, about that idea.

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