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Viewing entries tagged with 'social'

The power of labels — is it time to move on?

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2014, 11:51 am in , , ,

Label saying "Who are you?"Yesterday I posted a meme, which said, “Better to have lost in love than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.”

I liked it of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have posted it. Eleven others did too, some commenting on Facebook, “Amen to that,” and “Definitely!!”

Then this: “Hate it. It’s beat up on people with mental illness time again. Ever had the amazing person you love tell you that they just can't deal with your mental illness anymore? Our society is totally phobic about people with mental illness having intimate relationships.”

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Social media — between a click and a nasty place

Posted by Philip on 26 February 2014, 1:36 pm in , , , ,

Over the last couple of days, social media has shown its bitchy side, rather than outright bullying, but you have to ask which is worse. Blogs like these by Deborah Hill Cone and David Herkt (you might want to read to the end before you click those links) about Charlotte Dawson's suicide have shown how easy it is to spit bile from your keyboard behind the anonymous veil of the internet.

Whaleoil had its comeuppance with its January headline, "Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour."

The insidious side to nasty posts like these is that it's nigh on impossible to voice dissent. In the virtual economy of click value, no matter what you may say on or about a post, be it positive or negative, you've already reinforced its writer or the site's editor/owner by your mere presence on their site. You're a "visit" and the more visits, the more popular the post and the higher their rating in the game of internet traffic.

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14 things I'd like to see happen in 2014

Posted by Philip on 31 December 2013, 9:07 am in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New Zealand's relatively small population, land mass and infrastructure creates so much opportunity to lead the world in recognising some fundamental changes that would improve society in general. Here's my bucket list.

  1. Economies other than financial — eg. resources, time, value — are discussed, considered viable and used in more viable ways.
  2. As the Pope pointed out, poverty and wealth inequality is officially recognised as the cause of most, if not all, social problems.
  3. Government invests in technology — such as breath tested ignition locking and GPS-enabled vehicle intelligence — to lower vehicle-related deaths and injury, rather than more policing.
  4. New conversations about universal needs — such as shelter, food and clothing — begin to create the conditions for nobody to be homeless or hungry.
  5. Government portrays a true representation of society's diversity in social campaigns.
  6. Schools use a wider understanding of diversity as a way of making education more accessible and relevant for students.
  7. Labour wins the election.
  8. Politicians have job descriptions and regular performance appraisals.
  9. The internet is used to enable more democratic, public involvement in local, regional decision-making.
  10. The Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project's ideas and designs of a resource-based economy become common knowledge and popularised.
  11. I win Lotto. Just kidding — Lotto is abolished and proceeds are used to alleviate poverty.
  12. Everyone realises that alcohol and drug addiction is about dosage, not about substances, and are symptoms of poverty and wealth inequality (see 2 above).
  13. Apple, Microsoft, Android, Google etc stop competing and start collaborating to make some really cool shit.
  14. Lorde doesn't forget where she comes from.

Happy New Year!

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Feel like things are becoming less and less orderly? Here's the science behind it.

Posted by Philip on 13 November 2013, 1:06 pm in , , , , , ,

Man biting fingers and looking woried

I've used the scientific notion of entropy before — it's the measure of the number of ways in which a system may be arranged, often taken to be a measure of "disorder" (the higher the entropy, the higher the disorder) [*] — to justify the need to decay culture and structures in order to better understand and accommodate diversity.

In the TEDxTalk below, Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, explains the inherent increase in entropy of the universe. In other words, the universe has and will continue to become more and more disordered over time (in fact, he points out, increasing entropy is how scientists explain the flow of time from past to present).

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Oops, awkward — Govt fails Deaf over family violence DVD

Posted by Philip on 11 September 2013, 11:10 am in , , , , , ,

The media release below highlights a significant gaff on Government's behalf, failing to connect the dots between its social teams and campaigns. What isn't mentioned is the  low profile Think Differently campaign, which aims "to encourage and support a fundamental shift in attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people," which seems out of the loop. There also exists a Domestic Violence and Disability working group, which also seems to have been overlooked in the process.

It will be interesting to see how this slip up is addressed. Easy mistake, but will there be an opportunity for a quick fix?

11 September 2013

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What I don't do and why (HT @thisissethsblog)

Posted by Philip on 2 May 2013, 2:04 pm in , , , , , ,

This morning I read a blog post by Seth Godin. He's one of my favourite bloggers, mainly because he's brief and uses ideas from one area and applies them to others.

Here's what it said (I've taken the beginning, middle and end — you can read the whole post here).

If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you're saying things that are obvious... Consider the alternative. Say the opposite.... And then tell us why. We'd love to know how you're going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try. 

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That's what it's all about, but can we build the app? #lifehackhq

Posted by Philip on 8 March 2013, 6:12 pm in , , , , , , ,

This time last week I wrote a fairly candid post about the Government's Youth Mental Health Social Media Innovations Fund, in particularly Lifehack, the "sustainable technology solution to combat New Zealand’s youth mental illness problems". Today I met with them.

I won't go into the content of the meeting. That would be, at best, tedious for you and, at worst, onerous for me. But I will share my reflection on the "launch >blog > tweet, tweet, tweet > email > meet" process of the last week.

Firstly, we disagreed and allowed the disagreement. I've blogged before that I believe that where communities struggle with diversity is in their need to hear or to speak with one voice and that they need to decay agreement.

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Lifehack: the youth mental wellness answer or a well-meaning quick fix? #lifehackhq

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2013, 9:09 am in , , ,

Last night the Government launched its Youth Mental Health Social Media Innovations Fund. In the swanky highrise Auckland Wespac building, they uncovered a technology incubater run by (my words) well-meaning happiness evangelists and tech geeks, hell-bent on the idea that the answer to better youth mental health is to play more, say, "Yahoo!" and download an app. 

It's called Lifehack and here's what they say about themselves and an inspirational video to cheer you up:

Our mission is to create sustainable technology solutions to combat New Zealand’s youth mental illness problems. New Zealand’s fight for youth mental health and wellbeing needs a fresh approach, and we believe digital technology – created by students for students - will play a key part in the solution.

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The week that was: 15-22 Feb 2013

Posted by Philip on 23 February 2013, 1:27 pm in , , , , , , ,

I haven't felt compelled to blog for a while so I thought I might try a new blogging format for a while and look back on the week in reflection and see what themes and insights emerge. I immediately feel slightly daunted by the task as I take a look at my calendar to jog my memory of the highlights.

Teenage guardianship

The most significant change of the week is that, last Saturday, I became the official guardian of a long-time friend's 14-year old daughter. This is quite an adjustment in both my default living arrangement and "parental" status. I have lived alone for as many years as I can remember and, apart from a few dogs and cats, have never been responsible for any other being but me.

The circumstances are that my friend's daughter, whom I've known since she was born in her parents' living room on Waiheke Island, chose last year to leave Ohakune, where her family has lived for about seven years, in order to attend Western Springs College, which is five minutes walk from where I live. She boarded with others of her Mum's friends last year and visited me each Tuesday after school. This year her boarding situation changed, due to the friends' living arrangements changing, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for her to come and live with me.

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Social media and its power to create social change @MrMikeMcRoberts

Posted by Philip on 11 December 2012, 7:18 pm in , , ,

Update: Here's the link to the story online.

Here's a twitter conversation I had with Mike McRoberts during 3News. He did a pre-intro to a story referring to someone being "wheelchair-bound":

Inline images 1

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