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Which clippings match 'Social Fragmentation' keyword pg.1 of 2
26 JANUARY 2016

Interview: Zygmunt Bauman: 'Social media are a trap'

"Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called 'armchair activism,' and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?

A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren't created, and you either have one or you don't. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it's so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn't about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don't teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap."

(Ricardo de Querol, El País, 19 January 2016)

TAGS

abandonment • armchair activism • being-in-the-worldclicktivismcomfort zonecommunityconnection made to measurecontroversydifferent perspectivesdigital lifedigital technology and human relationships • dumbing down • echo chamber • Eugenio Scalfari • feeling in control • identity performanceindividualisation • individualist age • insular communitiesliving in a shared worldloneliness • opium of the people • performativityPope Francis • real dialogue • sensible interaction • social fragmentationsocial interactionsocial mediasocial networks • social skills • sociologistspectatorship • trap • Zygmunt Bauman

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 SEPTEMBER 2013

Physical Space as Brand Innovation

"Prior to Starbucks, coffee shops in the U.S. were designed to be purely transactional. The most frequently analyzed metric was sales per square feet, and the concept of a store dedicating valuable space just for customers to hang out after they had bought something was unheard of. We all know how it panned out. Starbucks is globally known and a second home for many.

Barnes & Noble adopted the trend. They added lounge chairs and then Starbucks itself to their locations. The bookstore café became a place to visit consistently and to explore, hang out, and to be alone together.

Last week, I spent two hours online at a Peet's Coffee & Tea in Santa Clara, California. Something important has changed: People now work independently online. Before the days of free wifi, people used to mingle with friends over coffee. At Peet's, I spent most of my time in my "fourth places"––my online communities, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and OpenSky. Looking around, everyone was doing the same. We came for the wifi and bought the coffee."

(John Caplan, 16 September 2013, Inc.com)

Fig.1 Nick Kenrick [http://www.flickr.com/photos/zedzap/6820585431/]

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TAGS

alone togetherBarnes and Noble • bookstore cafe • brand innovation • cafe office • cafe society • coffee shops • effective brand spaceenvironment that adds value • fourth place • free wifi • hanging out • Inc.com • lounge chairs • mingleonline communities • OpenSky • Peets Coffee and Tea • physical consumer spacephysical environmentphysical retail spacephysical space • place to visit • retail space • sales per square feet • Santa Clara • shop conceptsshopping behavioursocial appssocial fragmentationspatial environmentsStarbuckstransactionWiFi • work independently online • working practices

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 JULY 2012

Learning Communities: new students sharing common experiences

"In their most basic form, learning communities employ a kind of co–registration or block scheduling that enables students to take courses together. The same students register for two or more courses, forming a sort of study team. In a few cases this may mean sharing the entire first–semester curriculum together so that all new students in that learning community are studying the same material. Sometimes it will link all freshmen by tying two courses together for all – most typically a course in writing with a course in selected literature, or biographies, or current social problems. In the larger universities such as the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, students in a learning community attend lectures with 200–300 other students but stay together for a smaller discussion section (Freshman Interest Group) led by a graduate student or upper division student. In a very different setting, Seattle Central Community College students in the Coordinated Studies Program take all their courses together in one block of time so that the community meets two or three times a week for four to six hours at a time."

(Vincent Tinto, 1997, p.2)

1). Vincent Tinto (1997). "Universities as Learning Organizations", About Campus 1(6) January/February 1997, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/abc.v1:6/issuetoc]

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TAGS

1997 • block of time • block scheduling • co-learner • co-registration • common experiencescommunitycourseempathy • first-semester curriculum • Freshman Interest Group • freshmen • graduate student • HEisolationlearners • learning communities • learning communitylearning journey • learning organisations • learning organizations • learning supportlinked • new students • pedagogypeer engagementpeer supportpersonal learning networksregistration • same material • Seattle Central Community College • shared experienceshared interestsshared understandingsharingsharing experiencessocial fragmentation • stay together • student cohort • students • study team • studyingsupport • taking courses together • timetable • timetabling • together • tying courses together • universitiesUniversity of Oregon • University of Washington • upper division student • Vincent Tinto

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 APRIL 2012

Sherry Turkle: Alone Together (I share therefore I am)

"Sherry Turkle is a professor, author, consultant, researcher, and licensed clinical psychologist who has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people's relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Her many books include a trilogy on digital technology and human relationships: 'The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit,' 'Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet,' and most recently, 'Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.' Her investigations show that technology doesn't just catalyze changes in what we do –– it affects how we think."

(Sherry Turkle, 2011)

Fig.1 "TEDxUIUC – Sherry Turkle – Alone Together", Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 25 Mar 2011.

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TAGS

2011addiction • Age of the Internet • alonealone together • catalyze change • clinical psychologist • communicationconnection made to measureconstant connectioncontroldigital culturedigital nativedigital technology and human relationships • does it serve our human purposes • empathy • how we think • human connectionhuman relationships • human spirit • I share therefore I am • I think therefore I am • identity performanceindividualisation • life on the screen • MITour relationship with technology • passive • performativitypersonal performancepsychology • reclaiming conversation • second self • Sherry Turklesociable robotsocial fragmentationsocial identitysocial interactionsocial networking • Social Studies of Science and Technology • TED Talkstextingtxtingtyped-text conversation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Eric Whitacre: virtual musical collaboration via YouTube

"Well a couple of years ago, a friend of mine emailed me a link, a YouTube link, and said, 'You have got to see this.' And it was this young woman who had posted a fan video to me, singing the soprano line to a piece of mine called 'Sleep.'

(Video) Britlin Losee: Hi Mr. Eric Whitacre. My name is Britlin Losee, and this is a video that I'd like to make for you. Here's me singing 'Sleep.' I'm a little nervous, just to let you know. ♫ If there are noises ♫ ♫ in the night ♫

Eric Whitacre: I was thunderstruck. Britlin was so innocent and so sweet, and her voice was so pure. And I even loved seeing behind her. I could see the little teddy bear sitting on the piano behind her in her room. Such an intimate video.

And I had this idea: if I could get 50 people to all do this same thing, sing their parts –– soprano, alto, tenor and bass –– wherever they were in the world, post their videos to YouTube, we could cut it all together and create a virtual choir. So I wrote on my blog, 'OMG OMG.' I actually wrote, 'OMG,' hopefully for the last time in public ever. (Laughter) And I sent out this call to singers. And I made free the download of the music to a piece that I had written in the year 2000 called 'Lux Aurumque', which means 'light and gold.' And low and behold, people started uploading their videos.

Now I should say, before that, what I did is I posted a conductor track of myself conducting. And it's in complete silence when I filmed it, because I was only hearing the music in my head, imagining the choir that would one day come to be. Afterwards, I played a piano track underneath so that the singers would have something to listen to. And then as the videos started to come in ...

(Singing) This is Cheryl Ang from Singapore.

(Singing) This is Evangelina Etienne

(Singing) from Massachusetts.

(Singing) Stephen Hanson from Sweden.

(Singing) This is Jamal Walker from Dallas, Texas.

(Singing)

There was even a little soprano solo in the piece, and so I had auditions. And a number of sopranos uploaded their parts. I was told later, and also by lots of singers who were involved in this, that they sometimes recorded 50 or 60 different takes until they got just the right take –– they uploaded it. Here's our winner of the soprano solo. This is Melody Myers from Tennessee. (Singing) I love the little smile she does right over the top of the note –– like, 'No problem, everything's fine.'

(Laughter)

And from the crowd, emerged this young man, Scott Haines. And he said, 'Listen, this is the project I've been looking for my whole life. I'd like to be the person to edit this all together.' I said, 'Thank you, Scott. I'm so glad that you found me.' And Scott aggregated all of the videos. He scrubbed the audio. He made sure everything lined up. And then we posted this video to YouTube about a year and a half ago. This is 'Lux Aurumque' sung by the Virtual Choir.

(Singing)

I'll stop it there in the interest of time. (Applause)

Thank you. Thank you.

(Applause)

Thank you. So there's more. There's more. Thank you so much.

And I had the same reaction you did. I actually was moved to tears when I first saw it. I just couldn't believe the poetry of all of it –– these souls all on their own desert island, sending electronic messages in bottles to each other. And the video went viral. We had a million hits in the first month and got a lot of attention for it. And because of that, then a lot of singers started saying, 'All right, what's Virtual Choir 2.0?' And so I decided for Virtual Choir 2.0 that I would choose the same piece that Britlin was singing, 'Sleep', which is another work that I wrote in the year 2000 –– poetry by my dear friend Charles Anthony Silvestri. And again, I posted a conductor video, and we started accepting submissions. This time we got some more mature members. (Singing) And some younger members.

(Video) Soprano: ♫ Upon my pillow ♫ ♫ Safe in bed ♫ EW: That's Georgie from England. She's only nine. Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen?

Someone did all eight videos –– a bass even singing the soprano parts. This is Beau Awtin. (Video) Beau Awtin: ♫ Safe in bed ♫

EW: And our goal –– it was sort of an arbitrary goal –– there was an MTV video where they all sang 'Lollipop' and they got people from all over the world to just sing that little melody. And there were 900 people involved in that. So I told the singers, 'That's our goal. That's the number for us to beat.' And we just closed submissions January 10th, and our final tally was 2,051 videos from 58 different countries. Thank you. (Applause) From Malta, Madagascar, Thailand, Vietnam, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, as far north as Alaska and as far south as New Zealand.

And we also put a page on Facebook for the singers to upload their testimonials, what it was like for them, their experience singing it. And I've just chosen a few of them here. 'My sister and I used to sing in choirs together constantly. Now she's an airman in the air force constantly traveling. It's so wonderful to sing together again!' I love the idea that she's singing with her sister. 'Aside from beautiful music, it's great just to know I'm part of a a worldwide community of people I never met before, but who are connected anyway.' And my personal favorite, 'When I told my husband that I was going to be a part of this, he told me that I did not have the voice for it.' Yeah, I'm sure a lot of you have heard that too. Me too. 'It hurt so much, and I shed some tears, but something inside of me wanted to do this despite his words. It is a dream come true to be part of this choir, as I've never been part of one. When I placed a marker on the Google Earth Map, I had to go with the nearest city, which is about 400 miles away from where I live. As I am in the Great Alaskan Bush, satellite is my connection to the world.'

So two things struck me deeply about this. The first is that human beings will go to any lengths necessary to find and connect with each other. It doesn't matter the technology. And the second is that people seem to be experiencing an actual connection. It wasn't a virtual choir. There are people now online that are friends; they've never met. But, I know myself too, I feel this virtual esprit de corps, if you will, with all of them. I feel a closeness to this choir –– almost like a family.

What I'd like to close with then today is the first look at 'Sleep' by Virtual Choir 2.0. This will be a premier today. We're not finished with the video yet. You can imagine, with 2,000 synchronized YouTube videos, the render time is just atrocious. But we do have the first three minutes. And it's a tremendous honor for me to be able to show it to you here first. You're the very first people to see this. This is 'Sleep,' the Virtual Choir. ...

Eric Whitacre: Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you."

(TED Talks, 2011)

Fig.1 'Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong', filmed March 2011, posted April 2011

Fig.2 'Lux Aurumque'

Fig.3 Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0, 'Sleep'

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TAGS

20102011AlaskaAotearoa New Zealandauthorship • Beau Awtin • Britlin Losee • Charles Anthony Silvestri • Cheryl Ang • choircollaborationdigital collaborationdigital narcissismdistributed interactionEgyptEric Whitacre • Evangelina Etienne • Georgie from England • globalisation • Google Earth Map • innovationinteractionintrospective technocultureIsrael • Jamal Walker • Jordan • Juilliard School • Lux Aurumque • MadagascarMalta • Melody Myers • musicnetwork societyorchestraparticipationremix culture • Scott Haines • social fragmentation • Stephen Hanson • technologically-rendered spaceTED TalksThailanduser-generated contentVietnamviralvirtual auditioningvirtual bandvirtual choir • Virtual Choir 2.0 • virtual collaborationvoicesworldwide communityYouTube

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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