Episode 129

Communication Breakdown


October 15th, 2022

42 mins 42 secs

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About this Episode

Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman, and Shawn Powers talk communication breakdown in social media, its impact on our culture, and what technical solutions may exist.


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Episode Links

  • Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid - The Atlantic — What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower “with its top in the heavens” to “make a name” for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity and said: Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech. The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so let’s hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.
  • Democracy in the Next Cycle of History | Jonathan Haidt - YouTube — Jonathan Haidt sees that we have entered a social-psychological phase change that was initiated in 02009 when social media platforms introduced several fateful innovations that changed the course of our society and disintegrated our consensus on reality. In this conversation with Long Now co-founders Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly, Haidt presses on questions of technological optimism, morality vs ethics, teen mental health, possible platform tweaks that could reduce the damage and just how long this next cycle of history could last. Prompted by Haidt's piece on Why The Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid, this discussion offers a behind the scenes look at the thinking going into Haidt's next book; release slated for the fall of 02023.

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