Logo

Category Archives: Clay Shirky

Free drink for a Trump supporter

I know this election has shaken up a lot of people on both sides of the debate. One thing I see happening more than anything else is an inability for people to communicate and have empathy towards those with different views. It is sad, though luckily for us in Vermont it isn’t nearly as bad as some other places in this country.

I have set a goal for myself to sit down with someone with a differing perspective than my own, share a drink (whatever it may be) and to just listen a bit. I am not out to make a debate. Nor to talk at someone else. But I do want to know about what a Trump supporter sees as the biggest issues in their world, what about Trump inspires them, and what about him may be concerning. I also want that same person to hear someone who is different than them actually giving a shit about their opinion, in an effort to bridge the divide that the media says we all have.

This is an act of reconciliation and hope. I want to see us rise above our political differences. We are all in this together.

Thanks.

• Jake, Morrisville Front Porch Forum




Click local! When will “local first” arrive on digital shores?

I couldn’t agree more with former Vermonter, Dan Gillmor’s recent piece…

Journalists: Stop complaining about Facebook, and do something about it

Dan focuses on Facebook’s growing dominance as a news distributor…

How should we respond? From my perspective, two primary schools of thought have emerged. One is to embrace that dominance, albeit with some unease, and fully participate in Facebook’s ecosystem. Another is to persuade Facebook to take seriously its growing responsibility to help get quality journalism in front of as many people as possible.

Both of those approaches assume that Facebook is too big, too powerful to resist—that we have no alternative but to capitulate to its dominance. But if that is true, the consequences will be disastrous. We will be living in the ecosystem of a company that has repeatedly demonstrated its untrustworthiness, an enterprise that would become the primary newsstand for journalism and would be free to pick the winners via special deals with media people and tweaks of its opaque algorithms. If this is the future, we are truly screwed.

I say: no. Let’s not give up so easily. Instead, let’s resist—and find a way out of this trap… (click to read the full article)

And… to add to Dan’s call… let’s go beyond journalism.  Let’s click local for retail, for discussion, for classifieds, for reviews, for sports, for entertainment, for networking and more.  Many communities have local efforts underway, and they struggle to capture people’s attention as so many of us habitually scroll through our Facebook feeds, go to Amazon, Yelp, etc.  Why not try local efforts?  While the internet and mobile devices still hold the promise of decentralization of power, we now know that the digital juggernaut is also acting as a giant concentrator of wealth into a small number of pockets.  Thousands of local taxi companies replaced by Uber and Lyft.  Thousands of local bookstores replaced by Amazon.

To quote Dan one more time…

I say: no. Let’s not give up so easily. Instead, let’s resist—and find a way out of this trap.