Philosophy and Social Media 5: Swarm RevolutionsPresentation Transcript
PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL MEDIA
2011: year of the swarm
Gladwell versus ShirkyMalcolm Gladwell (1963-)• „Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted‟ (October 2010)• „Strong‟ versus „weak‟ ties
Gladwell versus Shirky „[T]he fact that barely committed actors cannot click their way to a better world does not mean that committed actors cannot use social media effectively.‟ Clay Shirky (1964-)
Gladwell versus Shirky„It would be impossible to tell the story of Philippine President Joseph Estradas 2000downfall without talking about how texting allowed Filipinos to coordinate at aspeed and on a scale not available with other media. Similarly, the supporters ofSpanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero used text messaging tocoordinate the 2004 ouster of the Peoples Party in four days; anticommunistMoldovans used social media in 2009 to turn out 20,000 protesters in just 36 hours;the South Koreans who rallied against beef imports in 2008 took their grievancesdirectly to the public, sharing text, photos, and video online, without needingpermission from the state or help from professional media. … All these actions reliedon the power of social media to synchronize the behavior of groupsquickly, cheaply, and publicly, in ways that were unavailable as recently as adecade ago‟
Gladwell versus Shirky Bill Wasik (Wired 27/12/11: „Gladwell vs. Shirky: A Year Later, Scoring the Debate Over Social-Media Revolutions‟) • Gladwell is right that activism requires more than good communication • BUT: social media maintains strong ties between distributed friends and allies • Emotion: the „glue‟ of distributed relationships
Swarm theory: Coalition of the Willing
Flash mobs as social swarms
The joy of the gift: sorry everybody!
Occupy Wall Street • On July 13th, 2011, Adbusters posted an article titled #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, calling people to assemble in Manhattan on September 17th, 2011 • July 14th, occupywallst.org web domain registered anonymously • On August 23rd, the Tumblr “We Are the 99%” was launched to curate messages submitted by those planning to attend the September 17th protests.
Occupy Wall StreetWe should remember that there are many voices in this movement and as muchdiversity among the protesters as there is in 99% of our population. These differentbackgrounds, philosophies, and affiliations can and should come together under asingle cause: to end the corporate greed, corruption, and interference that hasaffected all of us‟ (Occupy Together http://occupytogether.org/)
Occupy Wall Street
Building social capital Social capital: the social or economic value deriving from cooperation between individuals • Robert Putnam (1941-) ‟School performance, public health, crime rates, clinical depression, tax compliance, philanthropy, race relations, community development, census returns, teen suicide, economic productivity, campaign finance, even simple human happiness -- all are demonstrably affected by how (and whether) we connect with our family and friends and neighbours and co-workers‟.
Building social capital Mark Granovetter, „The Strength of Weak Ties‟ (1973)
Building social capital How is social media creating new forms of social capital? 1. Collaborative consumption: web-enabled „weak tie‟ networks 2. DIY social activism: web-enabled „weak/strong tie‟ solidarity networks
Peoples and multitudesThomas Hobbes (1588-1679)Leviathan (1651)• The social contract: members of the warring multitude forge a „contract‟ with the sovereign• Individuals trade their „natural right‟ to wage war in exchange for security and civil orderThe result:1. Social order has a contractual basis. The social contract is motivated by fear2. In forging a social contract, the multitude becomes a unified „people‟ (under law)
Peoples and multitudesBenedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)• No social contract: members of the multitude collaborate for the sake of mutual benefit• Bound together by social capitalThe result:1. Social order has an affective basis. The motivation for participation and engagement is love (common sense of empowerment)2. A multitude is never established as a „people‟. Multitudes emerge under specific conditions