Couldn’t help but notice these two stories about facebook today: Facebook investigated on child safety and Microsoft Is Said to Consider a Stake in Facebook. While I discovered social networking on friendster, moved to myspace and flirted with orkut – my favorite social networking service these days has been facebook. Its clean interface, minimal advertisement, panoptic social feeds and its open-source platform won me over. Facebook has been my most updated and frequented social profile for months now. However I may have to reevaluate my long term commitment to facebook in light of these two stories, they certainly echo the headlines which circled myspace prior to its acquisition by News Corp. Msnbc even referenced Rupert Murdoch in their article:

Facebook, the fast-growing social networking group, has come under investigation by Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney-general, who said on Monday that the company did not do enough to protect children from sexual predators on its website...

The attorney-general’s investigation comes days after Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp and owner of MySpace, a rival social network, predicted Facebook would run into problems over child safety…

Good thing there are giant corporations waiting in the wings to save social networks like myspace and facebook from child safety problems…

direct democracy

According to the U.S. State Department, democracies can be organized under two general categories, direct and representative. In both forms the public participates in governance yet in a representative democracy elected or appointed officials mediate this participation, whereas in a direct democracy this participation occurs “without the intermediary of elected or appointed officials.” In citing spatial limitations, the State Department argues the impracticality of direct democracy with the following description of ancient Athens:

Ancient Athens, the world’s first democracy, managed to practice direct democracy with an assembly that may have numbered as many as 5,000 to 6,000 persons–perhaps the maximum number that can physically gather in one place and practice direct democracy.

The inability to physically organize a public within one place may (again… MAY) have, at some prior point in time, been a legitimate argument against direct democracy, but with the proliferation of ICTs and the continued assimilation of cyberspace into everyday life, can such an argument still be made?

Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign used cyberspace to organize a feedback loop with over 600,000 participants in order to shape his campaign’s platform and practices – a far cry from the 6,000 persons of ancient Athens. The question no longer is “can a direct democracy exist?” but “why doesn’t a direct democracy exist?”

Jung on Futurism

This post has been imported from .psych

From Carl Gustav Jung’s The Undiscovered Self:

Historically, it is chiefly in times of physical, political, economic, and spiritual distress that men’s eyes turn with anxious hope to the future, and when anticipations, utopias and apocalyptic visions multiply.

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