ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: Social Media vs. Ourselves

We’re continuing our Thinker Thoughts this week with an article in Vanity Fair (June 12, 2017) entitled: “Is Social Media on the Table in 2020?” by Nick Bolton.
While it’s an article that should be read in its entirety, we’ve highlighted some of the most noteworthy thoughts:

We now live in a system that is designed to reward atrocious behavior…[a]fter the Manchester bombing, while parents and families were trying to desperately find their missing children, some used Twitter to share random photos of people they pulled off the Internet, proclaiming they were ‘missing.’ These misleading images were retweeted tens of thousands of times. Why? Simply because the users wanted to increase their followings…[s]ocial media is fast becoming a giant talent show for hundreds of millions of people to see who can be a bigger asshole

Even some technology C.E.O.s are sounding the alarms…’Most of the time [technology] is a force for good,’ [Apple’s CEO Tim] Cook told the M.I.T. graduates. ‘And yet the potential adverse consequences are spreading faster and cutting deeper than ever before. Threats to our security. Threats to our privacy. Fake news, and social media that sometimes becomes anti-social.’ He noted that people are thinking and acting more like computers, without values, compassion or concern for others. ‘Sometimes,’ he continued, ‘the very technology that is meant to connect us, divides us.’

After the end of World War II, historians and politicians forcefully scrutinized the Nazi regime in the hopes of preventing a force like Hitler from ever emerging again. But they also focused on a deeper, underlying question: how did we let this happen in the first place?…[m]aybe it will be a decade from now, or maybe 50 years, but I’m almost certain that historians will one day posit the same question about the rise of the Internet and social media. And they may wonder why we didn’t collectively stop to wonder if this new invention, and the way we were using it, was going to advance the human race

The systems we have created, it seems, are moving too fast, and yet it seems like there are two solutions to fix this. The first is technological….[t]he second solution is that we, the people who use these platforms, should try ourselves to slow down and take a deep breath before we spread something online, asking ourselves if it’s real or fake. That we should wait before we reply to a divisive post on social media, and realize that it’s highly unlikely that our viewpoint is going to change anyone else’s if we don’t respond in a kind and compassionate way. And that, most of all, in the same way it’s not your cell phone’s fault when you send a typo in a text message too quickly before reading it, that we should slow down online. If we don’t, the ramifications could be disastrous.”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on:
likability vs. status
civil discourse
homo prospectus
names and identities
lifelong learners
star sanctuaries
artificial intelligence
the intellectual life
learning from early humans
and the importance of generosity of spirit
“Thinker Thoughts” is an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence. Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!

ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: Likability vs. Status

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
 This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from The New York Times op-ed (June 1, 2017), “Popular People Live Longer” by Mitch Prinstein:

…there is more than one type of popularity, and most of us may be investing in the wrong kind. Likability reflects kindness, benevolent leadership and selfless, prosocial behavior. Research suggests that this form of popularity offers lifelong advantages, and leads to relationships that confer the greatest health benefits.

Likability is markedly different from status — an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power and prestige. Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.

…Research suggests that despite the great temptations to gain status, those who achieve it ultimately experience greater unhappiness and dissatisfaction, while those who are likable have far greater satisfaction and success.”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on:
civil discourse
homo prospectus
names and identities in the internet age
lifelong learners
star sanctuaries
artificial intelligence
the intellectual life
learning from early humans
and the importance of generosity of spirit

ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: “Civil Discourse”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from the piece in the Wall Street Journal (May 30, 2017): “Civil Discourse in Decline: Where Does It End?” (available online with subscription only) by Gerald F. Seib:

Politeness, decorum, respect–all seem to be endangered ideas. Anybody who isn’t troubled isn’t really paying attention. The consequences of this trend are real, and visible everyday in Washington and in state capitals…

More than that, though, the trend has spread more widely in society. Athletes ostentatiously celebrate their achievements–even the most routine ones–by mocking their opponents. It used to be called bad sportsmanship. It’s now normal. One is left to wonder: What kind of behavior is society modeling for its youngest members?…

The bigger question may be: What can be done about it?…’The first thing is to recognize that it’s a problem,’ [says Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame]. ‘My worry is that conversation has deteriorated to a point where we’ve just become accustomed to it.'”

Keep thinking with our previous Thinker Thoughts on:
homo prospectus
names and identities in the internet age
lifelong learners
star sanctuaries
artificial intelligence
the intellectual life
learning from early humans
and the importance of generosity of spirit

“Freedom Is Not Free”: Memorable Words for Memorial Day

“Freedom Is Not Free”: Memorable Words for Memorial Day
“Freedom is not free, as the saying goes. Maintaining the republic has been the work of people shedding blood, sweat, and tears for 240 years. That herculean effort was not driven by politics alone; it rested on a culture that kept the citizenry active and engaged in the project of their own self-government at every level of community.”
–Daniel Krauthammer, “What Makes America Great?”, The Weekly Standard, May 8, 2017

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ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: “Homo Prospectus”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from a May 19, 2017 op-ed in The New York Times, “We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment“, written by Martin E.P. Seligman – professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania – and John Tierney, who writes the Findings science column for The New York Times:

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Thinker Thoughts: “Lifelong Learners”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from The New York Times op-ed, “Owning Your Own Future” (May 10, 2017), written by Thomas L. Friedman:

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Through the Realms: Tales from Cuba

Through the Realms: Tales from Cuba
“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.” –John Keats (English poet, 1795-1821)

Here at All Things Good, our love of traveling, exploring and embarking on adventures is grounded in our belief that a curious mind can not only stimulate the senses, but transform our sense of self in relation to the world at large. In fact, it was ultimately our love of seeking and exploring the world around us that led us to launch this blog.

Since then, we’ve had some fun adventures, including to the land of Hula Honeys, the birthplace of Harry Potter, the traditional music capital of Ireland, the oldest teashop in Europe, and a sailing adventure in the Florida Keys (to name just a few!).

We’d now like to turn to the adventures of others – you! – to hear your own stories as you travel “Through the Realms.” We love all the beautiful photos of exotic destinations and spirited excursions you can find on the social media landscape, but want to hear what you learned, who you met, and what you’ll remember about the realms you travel, too! Read more

ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: “Star Sanctuaries”

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from an article in the May 2017 issue of Discover Magazine, “Protecting America’s Last Dark Skies” (not available online), written by Eric Betz:

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ATG’s Thinker Thoughts: Man vs. Machine

Welcome to ATG’s “Thinker Thoughts”, an initiative intended to help us THINK more deeply and deliberately amid the hurried pace of life’s existence.
Every Friday, we’re posting our “Thinker Thoughts”, a short quote to reflect on from a recent commentary. Give it a think and let us know your thinker thoughts!
This week’s Thinker Thoughts comes from an article in the April 2017 issue of Vanity Fair entitled, “Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse“, written by Maureen Dowd.
While it’s an article that should be read in its entirety for a greater understanding of the opposing views on A.I., we’ve selected two quotes below to spur some thinking:

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