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Which clippings match 'The Daily Me' keyword pg.1 of 1
22 MAY 2011

Individual output would be no more than that-an individual output

"The social demassification of newspapers–targeting an audience of one–is made possible by physical demassification, and it is no less problematic. The immutability and mobility of print on paper across a society (ensuring that the 'same' news is available to everyone at roughly the same time) turns items into 'social facts'–common to a broad readership, not merely selected by individuals. If news items were gathered individually out of a vast data base, even if the resulting copy looked like a conventional newspaper, imitating its fold and front page headlines, it would lack the social significance that arises from editorial juxtaposition. A senator is disturbed to find his or her scandalous behavior splashed across the front page not because the story is news to him or her, but because it has become front–page news to 100,000 other people. The newspaper is essentially, as Anderson (1991) described it, a 'one–day best seller' (p. 35)–and, as with a best seller, the point is that 'everyone' is reading it. The personally tailored, genuinely unique 'newspaper' selected privately from a data base–the ultimate outcome of the social and physical demassification of the newspaper as we now know it–offers neither physical, nor social continuity. Each individual output would be no more than that–an individual output. The juxtaposition of the senator and the pork bellies would then be not a composite, if oblique, social fact, but merely a result of personal serendipity."

(John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid, p.24–25)

1). 'Lionel Luthor Reading Newspaper'

2). Brown, J. S. and P. Duguid (1994). "Borderline Issues: Social and Material Aspects of Design." Human–Computer Interaction 9: pp. 3–36.

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TAGS

Anderson • audience of one • borderlinedemassificationdistribution • editorial juxtaposition • expression • genuinely unique • headlines • individual experienceindividualisationJohn Seely Brownmass societymassificationmedia spacenewsnewspapersPaul Duguid • personally tailored • physical demassification • printreadershipshared discourseshared understanding • social continuity • social factssocial fragmentationsocial glue • social significance • the Daily Me

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2010

Republic.com: individual experience causing social fragmentation?

"MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte prophecies the emergence of 'the Daily Me'––a communications package that is personally designed, with each component fully chosen in advance [4]. Many of us are applauding these developments, which obviously increase individual convenience and entertainment. But in the midst of the applause, we should insist on asking some questions. How will the increasing power of private control affect democracy? How will the Internet, the new forms of television, and the explosion of communications options alter the capacity of citizens to govern themselves? What are the social preconditions for a well–functioning system of democratic deliberation, or for individual freedom itself? ...

A large part of my aim is to explore what makes for a well–functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a diverse society, such a system requires far more than restraints on government censorship and respect for individual choices. For the last decades, this has been the preoccupation of American law and politics, and indeed the law and politics of many other nations as well, including, for example, Germany, France, England, and Israel. Censorship is indeed a threat to democracy and freedom. But an exclusive focus on government censorship produces serious blind spots. In particular, a well–functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.

First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like–minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.

Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation.

As preconditions for a well–functioning democracy, these requirements hold in any large nation. They are especially important in a heterogeneous nation, one that faces an occasional risk of fragmentation. They have all the more importance as each nation becomes increasingly global and each citizen becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, a 'citizen of the world."

(Cass Sunstein, 2002)

Sunstein, C. (2002). "The Daily Me". Republic.com, Princeton University Press.

Fig.1 San Liu (2004) 'Narcissism' webshots.com.

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TAGS

1995 • being digital • Cass Sunsteincensorship • citizen of the world • citizenshipcommon experiences • communications technologies • consumer choiceconveniencecultural signalsdemocracy • democratic deliberation • democratic participation • democratic society • digital culturediversityemerging technologiesempathyextremismfilter • Fishwrap • fragmentationfree expressionfreedomfreedom of speechglobalisation • government censorship • heterogeneity • heterogeneous society • individual choiceindividual experienceindividual freedomindividualisminformation in context • international relations • Internetisolationmedia consumptionMITnarcissismnew forms of televisionNicholas Negroponteparticipationpersonalisation • political philosophy • power • Princeton University Press • private control • Republic.com • shared experiencesocial changesocial constructionismsocial fragmentationsocial gluesocial interactionthe Daily Me

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 JULY 2009

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

"Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied."

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TAGS

2005 • Barry Schwartz • challenging conventional thinkingchoiceconsumer choiceconsumer culture • cost of a choice • cost-benefit analysis • customer satisfactiondecision makingdissatisfaction • economic efficiency • expectationfreedom of choicehappinessindividual choiceindividual freedomindividualisminformation anxiety • microeconomic theory • opportunity costoverloadparadox • paralysis • Pareto efficiency • Pareto optimality • performativitypsychology • real cost • resource allocation • salad dressing • satisfaction • scarce resources • skip culture • TED Talksthe Daily Me • Vilfredo Pareto • Western societies • what I reckon

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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