The Daily We

People seem to want everything split right down the middle, black/white, democrat/republican, with us/against us. This mindset of having everything so arbitrarily divided has created a phenomenon called The Daily We. In short, this phenomenon is when people are only exposed to the same thoughts or ideas as their own and results in people becoming extremists of their own opinions, unwilling to consider a different position. The same goes for groups as well. “Group polarization” is simply the occurrence of a group of of like-minded individuals surrounding themselves with one sided ideas which then become extremist. Obviously, staying unexposed to other people’s thoughts and ideas is just asking for trouble, and luckily for us we have the internet as our portal to knowledge all around the world. But is the internet promoting diversity or defying it? I’ve discovered that the internet is a place filled with absolutely everything, good and bad. However, how I use the internet is up to me. I could choose to only expose myself to like minded ideas and stay closed off from the rest of the world just as easily as I could embrace the diversity found all over the web. I believe that the internet is an amazing tool in which one could use for better or for worse, how ever one chooses to utilize the great potential behind the internet is completely up to them.

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3 Necessary Conditions For Human Cooperation

In, The Evolution Of Cooperation, written in 1984. Robert Axelrod suggested there are three necessary conditions for people to cooperate with each other.

1) A likelihood of meeting in the future.

2) An ability to identify each other.

3) A record of past behavior.

For all I can say, Mr. Axelrod was as spot in 1984 as he would have been today. Even though Axelrod’s view on cooperation was written many year ago, the rules very much so still carry merit. People are friendly and “cooperative” amongst strangers simply because (most of the time) Axelrod’s rules are met. For example, everyone’s nice to the cashier at the grocery store because 1) Odds are that I’m going to see that cashier again. 2) I can identify that person as a cashier and therefore have an idea of what to expect from that person. 3) I can make the safe assumption that because that person was hired from said grocer, he/she can’t be all that bad of a person nor have all that terrible of past behavior. Pretty cool!

“We All Hit Play”

Legendary electronic dance music (EDM) producer, Deadmau5 (dead mouse), posted a rather controversial article on his blog about what it is EDM artists do on stage.

“It’s no secret. When it comes to “live” performance of EDM – It’s not about performance art, it’s not about talent either (really its not). I think given about 1 hour of instruction, anyone with minimal knowledge of Ableton and music tech in general could do what im doing at a Deadmau5 concert.” – Deadmau5

In the article, Deadmau5 admits to “twiddlin a knob or somethin” while on stage. I don’t necessarily find anything wrong with the way he goes about his live “performances,” however, I feel it was wrong of him to make general statements that all artists in the genre perform in the same way. I’ve been a DJ and music producer for over 10 years. I’ve performed in front of thousands of people alongside artists such as Tech Ni9e, Macklemore, Milkman, 3’OH’3, and many more. With my experience alone I can confidently say that not all EDM artists simply “hit a spacebar” when on stage.

If you’ve never seen a Deadmau5 concert before then now is your chance. However, my question to you is whether or not you would still go to his concert knowing he’s not really doing anything under that mouse head? I would probably still enjoy going to one of his shows, but knowing he’s not really doing anything is like hearing Aretha Franklin lip-syncing to your favorite songs.

Deadmau5 Concert:

Other EDM Videos (from artist that actually perform live):

Social Origins Of Good Ideas

“Shock comes when different things meet.” Le Vide is the emptiness that people encounter when they’re unsure of something. Living in the world that we do today it’s hard to say that Le Vide still exists. Limitless knowledge is now accessible from our fingertips. With the power of Google the most ordinary person has almost god like abilities to discover and learn everything about anything. But does this limitless access to answered questions truly inspire original ideas? I don’t think so. I believe that google is only as good as we make it. It’s a collection of the worlds knowledge that floods the internet, and most of it is garbage in my opinion. However, for an idea to truly be original one must discover it on their own. A daunting task for sure, but I feel that with google it’s easy to simply be exposed to only the “most popular” answers and not necessarily the best ones. I think that for one to truly step away from Le Vide they must dig deeper to discover a truly original and good idea.

Beyond Bowling Together: Socio-Technical Capital

Times, they are a-changin’.  People are no longer joining bowling leagues. Church attendance has hit an all time low. Families no longer sit down for dinner together. What on Earth has happened? Paul Resnick can tell you. The cause of all these horrible tragedies is without a doubt the direct result of the internet.

Listen, ages ago when there was no internet people actually did things other than stare at a screen. They actually physically moved themselves from their homes and participated in clubs, organizations, sports, charities, churches, whatever seemed most interesting. In today’s world that all has changed hasn’t it? We no longer need to move to do anything. Nowadays, anything we desire can be administered from the palms of our hands. Food, social interaction, clubs, family ties, religion, everything can now be delivered via. the internet.

So what happened? Paul Resnick believes that the reason behind all this is due to a shift in “social capital.” People got out of their homes before the internet simply because there was social capital in the activities they were doing. Basically, those activities held “social relations that produced benefits.” Going out meant meeting people, being a part of something, learning something new, making a discovery. With the rise of the internet however all these benefits could be met with your phone, computer, gaming system, you name it. People aren’t joining bowling leagues anymore simply because nowadays we can fulfill our social bowling needs online, with the entire world!

Who Owns The Wisdom Of The Crowd?

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, LastFM, iTunes, CraigsList, Wikipedia, Skype, these highly successful companies all share one thing in common; they all rely on the contributions of their users in order to be successful. In the article, Who Owns the Wisdom of the Crowd? Jeff Jarvis discusses some important points regarding the value of such internet based companies, and how such companies hold on to their power within the internet realm.

Take MySpace for example, what is it about this social network that made it so successful and what caused it to fail just as quickly as it began? MySpace started out so strongly because (and Jarvis would agree) it gave users the freedom and control to do what they wanted. Users were able to customize their pages, post status’ as they pleased, connect with friends, share photo’s and videos, etc.. As more people contributed to the site the value of MySpace increased while their social network grew larger.

Jarvis brings up an important point however, “the crowd” will continue to use a site as long as a few rules are met:

1. We all want to control our contributions.

2. We all want the community to benefit if we in turn benefit.

3. We expect mutual trust in the forms of transparency and honesty.

4. And we all — individual, collective, enabler — find uncivil behavior (spam, fraud, hate) unacceptable.

In my opinion, rule number four is precisely where MySpace went wrong. Once the site became as popular as it did the value of it went through the roof. Consequently, as spam, fraudulent pages, and cyber bullying began to rise, the value of the site plummeted just as quickly as it started. Simply because “the crowd” no longer wanted to contribute to a site in which Jarvis’ rules were no longer being met.

Friends, Friendsters, And Top 8

What are friends in the virtual world? I have considerably more friends on Facebook than I actually keep in contact with on a personal level. But are my Facebook friends not my friends? I think they are, at least I would hope! When I add someone on Facebook it’s usually because I just recently met them and would like to keep in touch. So, to be completely honest most of my friends on Facebook are probably people that have come in and out of my life. However, that does not mean that I don’t value the idea of being friends with them on Facebook. It’s nice to be able to reconnect with someone from my past or look forward to seeing someone in my future. You never know when a “weak-tie” will turn into a strong one; so even though Facebook may really just be an organized way for me to hoard my “friends”, I guess it’s nice knowing i’m connected to them in some kind of way.