Osh blogs about serendipity here. Clearly we’ve been spending time chasing similar ideas, but I missed Malcolm Gladwell at Rotman and I’m dying for a tour of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Quantum Computing. With recent strong showings at DemoCamp from Waterloo-based entrepreneurs and technologists, I’m thinking reciprocation might be in order. Anybody interested in a DemoCamp tech road-trip to Waterloo? I’ll bring the beer.
Basically, left-wing and right-wing blogs link to their ideological kin extensively, whereas there are few links across the left-wing/right-wing divide. With the many difficult economic, social and political challenges facing our society, I would like to say that social media like blogs have the potential to improve the level of political discourse. Unfortunately, the complaint of many that the blogosphere is an echo chamber appears to hold true, at least within these self-selected social groupings. Then again, this is not much different from the physical world, where liberals and conservatives often run in different social circles and rarely interact in any meaningful way.
What is also interesting from this image is the resemblance of the nodes and connectors of a physical brain, with left and right hemispheres. Where is the social media equivalent of the corpus callosum? Where are the connectors between the two hemispheres, whether across political, social or economic divides? Is there a role for social media intermediaries in a world where a million echo chambers occupy every possible area of human interest and pursuit? Where is our sense of collective culture and collective identity headed in a world where we can all surround ourselves with like-minded folk who do not challenge our world-view?