Social media has come under increasing scrutiny for reinforcing people’s pre-existing viewpoints which, it is argued, can create information “echo chambers.” We investigate whether social media motivates real-life action, with a focus on hate crimes in the United States. We show that the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. Consistent with a role for social media, Trump’s Tweets on Islam-related topics are highly correlated with anti-Muslim hate crime after, but not before the start of his presidential campaign, and are uncorrelated with other types of hate crimes. These patterns stand out in historical comparison: counties with many Twitter users today did not consistently experience more anti-Muslim hate crimes during previous presidencies.
I woke this morning to the news that the heroic journalist Julian Assange had been arrested. I had heard that the US government was hammering the Ecuadoran government to hand him over. Well they succeeded. The freedom of the press to report on governments gone rogue is held as sacrosanct in healthy democracies. I needn’t say more. We should all be concerned…very concerned. Learn more from this interview with Ryan Grim and this article in The Nation magazine. Long live a free and unfettered press!
The movie The Green Book rocked my world when I learned it was about the musician Don Shirley. I saw him perform in San Jose, California at the San Jose Civic Auditorium downtown in the early 70s. As a piano aficionado I had heard about his studying in Russia and while I enjoyed his Duke Ellington style playing in his trio, what I really liked was his playing of the Russian composers especially Rachmaninoff. To this day I remember the thrill of listening to him playing classical music. I never saw Horowitz perform but I feel I got close when experiencing Russian trained Don Shirley play classical music.
At the end of the day the real problem we face is overpopulation and far too many people aspiring to attain a first world lifestyle. The earth’s carrying capacity simply cannot sustain this style of human behavior.
It’s always fun for me to stumble across a reference to my work ‘back in the day’. There was quite a debate going on around the time the internet was gaining attention as it was coupled with the invention of the personal computer as an incredibly affordable means of access. The discussion was along the lines of what constitutes ‘appropriate technology’. Some people felt it would be a disaster and that it should be withheld from developing countries. Others felt the benefits outweighed the liabilities and that it should be made available. Opinions even today over thirty years later can be found across the same ideological spectrum, which reminds me of the axiom ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same‘.
“Concerned scientists in many countries want to see the fruits of their labours put to more constructive use. And there are many computer experts and enthusiasts who want to help community and action groups to exploit the new technology.” New Internationalist issue 162 – August 1986
The continued use of petrochemicals in the building products and services industry is not conducive to life. In this article coauthor Duncan Rowe and myself explore the problem by looking at uPVC vinyl windows relative to a future in which green chemistry replaces petroleum-based chemistry.
Andrea Karen Buenzli
January 4, 1940 – August 23, 2015
Andrea was the youngest of five girls born to Andy and Katie Holme. Her father was a world war I veteran and a handyman, buying houses then fixing them and selling them. Andrea was born in Sioux City, Iowa then moved with her family to Pacific Grove, California where she graduated from high school. Her family then moved to San Jose, California where Andrea then attended San Jose State University. After graduating with a teaching degree, Andrea then began what was to be a forty plus year career teaching elementary grade school children. Over the course of her career she taught in several school districts in southern California, finishing up her teaching career in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Andrea was married once for a short time to an airline pilot and bore no children. She loved children however and enjoyed telling funny stories about the students in her classrooms. She took her job of teaching students very seriously and was never afraid to take on school management in the interests of the child and effective instruction. Andrea found community in several churches over the years, most notably Unity and Center for Spiritual Living. An eternal optimist, Andrea always saw the bright side of any situation and would share her optimism with those around her, lifting their spirits whenever needed. She liked to attend conferences as well as her high school reunions. As the eternal optimist, Andrea believed in a bright future for mankind and all sentient beings, helping organize and sometimes speak at conference. One conference she helped organize had Buckminster Fuller as a speaker and she was fortunate enough to drive him to the airport having private time with him. Andrea both espoused and practiced prayer and the power of positive thinking. Andrea surrounded herself with positive affirmations both for herself and others. She truly made efforts to ‘walk the talk’.
Andrea was very interested in retiring overseas and attended several International Living conferences over the years as a part of her search. She settled on the Chapala area of Mexico and spent the last eight years or so of her life there. Andrea really enjoyed Chapala and all the friends she made while living there. The last of her generation, Andrea was seventy five years old when she passed away.