Bottom Line: Young people continue not to care about privacy out the gate. More and more older people view the loss of privacy in a cost-benefit framework and support increased transparency. And “identity synthesis” will drive internet users to require fewer formal online profiles and broader general consistency in how they are portraying themselves on the web.
The map alone is worth the visit. I wonder what the Philippines would look like if analyzed the same way?
How to split up the US
As I’ve been digging deeper into the data I’ve gathered on 210 million public Facebook profiles, I’ve been fascinated by some of the patterns that have emerged. My latest visualization shows the information by location, with connections drawn between places that share friends. For example, a lot of people in LA have friends in San Francisco, so there’s a line between them.
Looking at the network of US cities, it’s been remarkable to see how groups of them form clusters, with strong connections locally but few contacts outside the cluster. For example Columbus, OH and Charleston WV are nearby as the crow flies, but share few connections, with Columbus clearly part of the North, and Charleston tied to the South:
Written for USA but still a nice read. My sanrky side wants to say that: We already have a citizen funded election in the Philippines, politicians use citizen’s fund in the form of taxes. hehehehe
What would the reform the Congress needs be? At its core, a change that restores institutional integrity. A change that rekindles a reason for America to believe in the central institution of its democracy by removing the dependency that now defines the Fundraising Congress. Two changes would make that removal complete. Achieving just one would have made Obama the most important president in a hundred years.
That one–and first–would be to enact an idea proposed by a Republican (Teddy Roosevelt) a century ago: citizen-funded elections. America won't believe in Congress, and Congress won't deliver on reform, whether from the right or the left, until Congress is no longer dependent upon conservative-with-a-small-c interests–meaning those in the hire of the status quo, keen to protect the status quo against change. So long as the norms support a system in which members sell out for the purpose of raising funds to get re-elected, citizens will continue to believe that money buys results in Congress. So long as citizens believe that, it will.
Citizen-funded elections could come in a number of forms. The most likely is the current bill sponsored in the House by Democrat John Larson and Republican Walter Jones, in the Senate by Democrats Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter. That bill is a hybrid between traditional public funding and small-dollar donations. Under this Fair Elections Now Act (which, by the way, is just about the dumbest moniker for the statute possible, at least if the sponsors hope to avoid Supreme Court invalidation), candidates could opt in to a system that would give them, after clearing certain hurdles, substantial resources to run a campaign. Candidates would also be free to raise as much money as they want in contributions maxed at $100 per citizen.
In both country and network, the surest route to raising one’s own prosperity is raising the system’s prosperity. The one clear effect of the industrial age is that the prosperity individuals achieve is more closely related to their nation’s prosperity than to their own efforts. Lester Thurow, an MIT economist, has pointed out that enabling the lowest paid to earn more is the best way to raise wages for the highest paid–the theory being that a rising tide lifts all boats. The network economy will only amplify this.
To raise your product, lift the networks it ties into. To raise your company, lift the standards it supports. To raise your country, increase the connections (in quality and quantity) that allow others to prosper.
No sooner have I ignored the Orwell awards than I am invited to nominate myself for a Wincott award. Which invokes the same response – I’m not interested.
For one thing, the criteria for both awards is absurd. The Orwell asks for a sample of 10 pieces, the Wincott for five. For any active blogger, this is just 2-4% of one year’s content. Handing out awards on the basis of such a tiny sample would be like basing Oscars on one scene per movie, or Grammys on a single bar of music.
Which brings me to my bigger gripe. Why should I give a damn about the opinion of people who are prepared to make such absurd judgments? One of the main reasons I blog is precisely as a reaction against the empty suits who think their opinion matters. Anyone who’s read this blog for any time will have gotten bored of me pointing out that the “judgment” of people in authority – or who aspire to authority – is flawed. So why should I want an award from such folk?
Like any good techie I’m holding out for the technological solution. I’m bettingan auto speech to text/ or translation tool is release and language is would no longer be an issue.
Rather than bumbling along, government and corporate leaders should advance coherent policies for bilingualism. Europe began this process about four centuries ago. Washington moves quickly when military interests dominate. My Arabic-speaking son, Dylan, was offered $20,000 up front to staff intelligence outposts in the Middle East. But Mandarin? What’s the rush? The count of American high school students enrolled in Chinese classes is less than those studying German.
If you think the Arab world today poses a civilizational threat to the West, you are sadly deluded. The US has had its attention focused on the wrong competitors since 9/11.
Great advice. Read the whole thing.
The Big Choice
We all have to choose how to spend the time we’re given.
If you don’t choose, it just slips right by you. I know. On a trip to Vegas not too long ago, I made a pit stop in a casino restroom, and as I was washing my hands, there was this older guy there, also washing his hands. On a whim, I asked, “Hey man, how old are you?”
His reply? “Seventy-two! I have a son: I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday! I was holding him just like so. Well, guess what, he turned 40 years old just last week! It goes by in a flash! Before long, you’ll be lookin’ at THIS!” He pointed at his wrinkled mug, and concluded his monologue with: “Haw, haw, haw! HAW HAW HAW *cough* *cough* HAW *cough* *hack* HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!” and walked out. I think I made his day, although I can’t exactly say he made mine.
When you graduate from college (or high school, for that matter), you have a simple choice facing you. You can either keep learning, or you can stop.
There is an almost unbelievably easy heuristic for knowing whether you’re learning. It goes like this: no pain, no gain. Learning is hard. If it’s easy, then you’re coasting; you’re not making yourself better at something fundamentally new that you couldn’t do before.