Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: One Million Tunes

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  • kmont,

    This big chunk is from here again.

    What characterizes these online communities in which an increasing number of us are spending our time? Social networking sites have a peculiar psychogeography. As researchers at the Pew project have noted, the proto-social networking sites of a decade ago used metaphors of place to organize their members: people were linked through virtual cities, communities, and homepages. In 1997, GeoCities boasted thirty virtual “neighborhoods” in which “homesteaders” or “GeoCitizens” could gather—“Heartland” for family and parenting tips, “SouthBeach” for socializing, “Vienna” for classical music aficionados, “Broadway” for theater buffs, and so on. By contrast, today’s social networking sites organize themselves around metaphors of the person, with individual profiles that list hobbies and interests. As a result, one’s entrée into this world generally isn’t through a virtual neighborhood or community but through the revelation of personal information. And unlike a neighborhood, where one usually has a general knowledge of others who live in the area, social networking sites are gatherings of deracinated individuals, none of whose personal boastings and musings are necessarily trustworthy. Here, the old arbiters of community—geographic location, family, role, or occupation—have little effect on relationships.

    I hope this giant quote is enough to follow the argument. Teenagers and doing the social networking thing which involves a lot of revealing or showing. In contrast to where we are (PA System) which is more of a community of interest.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Should read

    Teenagers are doing the social networking thing

    bah

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Now obviously teenagers need to be aware that the internet is pretty much a sophisticated dictaphone but I still think it is creepy to trawl through social networking sites for dirt.

    To be fair, they didn't find it by trawling, but as a result of being contacted a number of times over the past few months about the page contents, and I think, for better or worse, they thought pretty hard before deciding to run the story.

    There was actually stuff on that page and others they either missed or decided not to mention that would be a subject for family discussion.

    Anyway, I'm glad someone took this morning's advice and took Tom English's profile private.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    What gets me is at the same time ChCh Cops are sending around an email with the message SHOOT TO KILL. The rantings of a 14yr old is the issue of the day.

    Of course Sandra Manderson kicked out the police shooting instructor who kicked her off the range for unsafe firearms use - so you're safe in her sites - just don't stand to the side.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Websta,

    Personally, I'm more troubled that we're squinting past murderous state homophobia (because, after all, there's no homosexuality when all the fags and dykes are dead) as long as the regimes involved keep buying plenty of good Kiwi butter and lamb. That's worth a little more righteous indignation than Bill English's son's crass and offensive Bebo page.

    I couldn't agree more. There are about 5 billion evil and unjust things happening in the world as we speak, but they're all put on the back burner to agonise over the stupid, purile and ignorant rantings of a 14 year old. I absolutely agree that the boy needs a clip upside the head from his dad, in private, followed by some words on not being such a biggoted little fool and keeping his dumb-ass views to himself. But do we really need to waste so much ink and angst on this??

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    This is something I found on Arts and Letters Daily. The title is Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism.

    I meant to say thanks for that link, Kowhai. It was a very interesting read, and it inspired my last comment.

    (Also, this is my 500th comment. Go, PA System!)

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Oops - cops should always shoot to kill (anything else is a miss) - shud have written - shoot first ask questions latter

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Kowhai:

    Hum... lots of crunchy material for thought. Thanks for the linky love.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    500! Woot!

    I feel like skiving off work and having a drink to celebrate.

    That link was awesome, wasn't it? Seriously, everyone should go and read it and discuss it ; )

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Personally, I'm more troubled that we're squinting past murderous state homophobia (because, after all, there's no homosexuality when all the fags and dykes are dead) as long as the regimes involved keep buying plenty of good Kiwi butter and lamb.

    But there aren't any homosexuals in Iran!

    but they're all put on the back burner to agonise over the stupid, purile and ignorant rantings of a 14 year old.

    Whose back burner are you talking about? Front page news is very often the most trivial of all news, but it doesn't mean that people who actually think stop caring about the other travesties that are happening in the world just the Dom says that's what's most important today.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I take your point, and hope I didn't leave that impression.

    My comment was of a general nature, not directed at anyone here. This issue is being debated beyond PAS ie talkback radio!

    some of my best friends and I like to sleep with people of both sexes

    __Phwoar!!__ Datz Hot GF! Got a link? Pictures?
    ; )

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • dave c,

    Russell, if you were the editor of Gaynz.com. would you have run the story on English's sons bebo site - you would know that the mainstream media would pick it up should you chose to....

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Websta,

    it doesn't mean that people who actually think stop caring about the other travesties that are happening in the world just the Dom says that's what's most important today.

    That was pretty much my point.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Craig I have hope that there is a real mellowing in Iran.

    Their heroin addicts now have methadone treatment not a death sentence from a judge or the infected needles.

    If Dubbja can keep his mits off the button it could be a time for gays to get a better deal in Iran than they do in Texas.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Personally, I'm more troubled that we're squinting past murderous state homophobia (because, after all, there's no homosexuality when all the fags and dykes are dead) as long as the regimes involved keep buying plenty of good Kiwi butter and lamb.

    As a matter of fact, I went to a talk by Afsaneh Najmadi earlier this year about sex change operations in Iran (they're called sex changes rather than gender reassignments in Iran, as the distinction between gender and sex isn't the same as it is in the West). Apparently, there are many many more sex changes in Iran than anywhere else in the world, as it's a way for people who experience same sex desire to evade oppressive laws. The point, though, is that these sex changes are all state funded, as a tacit acknowledgment that homosexual desire exists, even if homosexual identity doesn't (cue witty comment about state-sponsored terrorism here). So when Ahmadinejad said 'we don't have homosexuals in the same way as you do here', he kind of had a point.

    And before anyone has a go at me, I know that these laws are terrible and executions do take place on a regular basis. In fact, Najmabadi explicitly declines to name female supporters in Iran because the threat against lesbians is much, much worse than against gay men. Nevertheless, the situation is actually a lot more complicated than it is generally made out to be. I highly recommend Najmabdi's Women With Moustaches, Men Without Beards for a fascinating look at the history of sexuality and gender in Persia and Iran. It's certainly much more sophisticated and worth reading than Rory English's utterances.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    (if they have the good sense they were born with!)

    Nobody is born with good sense (or common sense). It is all learnt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    And its been a learning experience for all concerned, I'm sure.
    Although I'd have thought there'd be some Nat media handlers should have been whispering some advice in MPs and their families ears long before this happened.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    (if they have the good sense they were born with!)

    Nobody is born with good sense (or common sense). It is all learnt.

    For sure. I just like using that phrase at the moment, it sounds so stern and nana-like but I guess it distracts from my point. Social behaviour is taught and needs to be actively taught. My table manners could still use some work!
    In fact in that article I keep banging on about there is some interesting food for thought about this learning/socialisation. So here is some more:

    Enthusiasts of social networking argue that these sites are not merely entertaining; they also edify by teaching users about the rules of social space. As Danah Boyd, a graduate student studying social networks at the University of California, Berkeley, told the authors of MySpace Unraveled, social networking promotes “informal learning.... It’s where you learn social norms, rules, how to interact with others, narrative, personal and group history, and media literacy.” This is more a hopeful assertion than a proven fact, however. The question that isn’t asked is how the technology itself—the way it encourages us to present ourselves and interact—limits or imposes on that process of informal learning. All communities expect their members to internalize certain norms. Even individuals in the transient communities that form in public spaces obey these rules, for the most part; for example, patrons of libraries are expected to keep noise to a minimum. New technologies are challenging such norms—cell phones ring during church sermons; blaring televisions in doctors’ waiting rooms make it difficult to talk quietly—and new norms must develop to replace the old. What cues are young, avid social networkers learning about social space? What unspoken rules and communal norms have the millions of participants in these online social networks internalized, and how have these new norms influenced their behavior in the offline world?

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    That article mentions the search for status.

    Just thinking that when I was an obnoxious 14 year old boy, that very obnoxiousness was in part an effort to accrue status. Rudeness and grossness and hatefulness are amusing and impressive when you're 14. All the more so when your mates are online and competitive.

    these sites promote gatherings of what psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has called “protean selves.” Named after Proteus, the Greek sea god of many forms, the protean self evinces “mockery and self-mockery, irony, absurdity, and humor.” (Indeed, the University of Dayton survey found that “23 percent [of students] said they intentionally misrepresented themselves [on Facebook] to be funny or as a joke.”)

    Maybe he's actually a nice young man in person who would have trouble articulating how he reconciles his bebo personality with the meatspace one. Or maybe he really is a horrible little gobshite.

    I imagine that if you're 14 and really determined to embarrass your family it's pretty easy...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Fancy you picking up on the "protean selves" part of that article Stephen, that also struck me as very pertinent, and not just to 14 year old boys.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    delusional, murderous homophobe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    To be fair, he may just be a homophobe or delusional. As for murderous, I hear heads of states get a pass on that one. Actually I think it's becoming a prerequisite these days.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Apparently, there are many many more sex changes in Iran than anywhere else in the world, as it's a way for people who experience same sex desire to evade oppressive laws. The point, though, is that these sex changes are all state funded, as a tacit acknowledgment that homosexual desire exists, even if homosexual identity doesn't (cue witty comment about state-sponsored terrorism here).

    Your comment was really interesting, Jake. And nice and timely, this article showed up from Salon, and is really interesting too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Gilmor's view was that we're all going to become a lot more forgiving.

    Did he give any idea when this Brave New World would come online?
    Cause this moral outrage, self-righteousness, sanctimonious shitheadedness and I prayed to jesus and he forgave me all worn out their welcome about 60 yrs ago.
    It has also meant a lot of good people who bucked the system and got a conviction now run the danger of having it splashed out in headlines by deeply entrenched wormfood who dont give a FF, to the detriment of NZ, and possibly the world.
    Since when has the job description for a humanity been must live a life holier that god.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Sorry, CR, but it does come back to good
    old parental responsibility. If sock cons want
    to play the family values card, then they should
    make sure their own sprogs don't misbehave in
    such a public manner.

    And no, I was not using Investigrunt or the
    Society for Persecution of Film Festivals to
    'justify' English jnrs behaviour. Cyberbullying and
    abusive texting are serious social problems these
    days.

    Why can't English back down, say he's sorry for
    what his kid did, and we can then step back from
    this little display of elbow flexing?

    Craig

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 567 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    Actually the whole English Jr thing bugs the bejesus out of me (even more so if you pop over to DPF's blog.

    1, the party that preaches individual responsibility the most wants to ignore it on this occasion.

    2 a person who preached to us during section 59 about the moral up bringing of one's children was apparently made aware of this and either did nothing or at the very least allowed to it remain up.

    3 once again the victims are again being run through the wringer, and the alleged offender is apparently getting daddy to call in the lawyers.

    Hardly individual moral responsibility. Daddy should have run the boy through the coals and got the content removed. How does the Manic Street Preachers song go, "if you tolerate this, then your children will be next"

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

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