Monday, September 18, 2006

This is not a blog post

OK, so I’m not exactly René Magritte, although I think I've come fairly close to surrealistic blogging once or twice. But this really isn’t a blog post, since (A) I’m writing from a (very good) hotel in Eilat, working on a laptop that isn’t set up with nice utilities like Blogger for Word, and I wouldn't enjoy writing on it even if it did have Blogger for Word because I can't stand typing on laptop keyboards; and (B) my mind is essentially blank, as I've got to give my presentation to this workshop (on “Hypermedia Seduction for Terrorist Recruiting”, sponsored by NATO; my topic is “Virtual Communities as Pathways to Extremism”) in the morning, and I have the usual jitters.

Every time I’m due to present something at a conference, I always have the same insecurities: I don’t really know anything, everything I do know is incorrect, everyone is going to throw leftover food at me - you know, the usual stuff.

So I’m not writing a blog post; I’ve got my PowerPoint presentation to go through, my ideas to try to find some merit in - and of course, I’d be better off if I gave up on trying to improve anything and went to bed instead.

But in any case, I certainly don’t have time to write a blog post!


At Fri Sep 22, 12:19:00 AM GMT+3, Blogger lisoosh said...

“Virtual Communities as Pathways to Extremism”

Sounds extremely interesting. ABC recently did a piece that focussed on a university study in Colorado which showed that when people are consistently around like-minded people their opinions become more extreme - presumably from a constant positive feedback loop. They referenced blog communities as well, showing how left and right wing blogs become locked into congratulating themselves on their own points of view and how people stop being exposed to a large variety of viewpoints.

Is there a copy of your thesis somewhere?

At Sun Sep 24, 12:24:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger Fabián said...

Thank you Don, now I feel less insecure myself, knowing that somebody else also does.

At Sun Sep 24, 01:15:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger Don Radlauer said...

Hi Lisoosh and Fabian!

I'll check and see if I'm allowed to send workshop-related stuff to non-attendees. At the moment all I have is my PowerPoint presentation; but I have to write it up into a formal (or at least semi-formal) paper as well, since the workshop proceedings will be published as a book.

Lisoosh, I agree with your point about increasing radicalization of online communities - in fact, this was one of the major points I made. Since the Internet is both a social venue and an information resource (and also for the social reasons you mentioned), ideological virtual communities tend to become more deeply entrenched in their ideology over time.

Fabian, thanks for commenting. I've added your blog to my blogroll, BTW; I think I'd come across it before, but now I actually took a good look at it, and liked what I saw.

Lisoosh, I would blogroll you as well, if you'd actually post something somewhere! (g)

Shana tova,


At Sun Sep 24, 09:19:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger lisoosh said...

Thanks! I gave up the blog a while ago and deleted it when some moron saw fit to post my personal details elsewhere. I now stick to commenting which I tend to find much more satisfying as I don't have any pressure to come up with interesting topics, post regularly, or expose my family to idiots.

I do however enjoy a good chat about other peoples interesting topics.

At Sun Sep 24, 09:23:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger lisoosh said...

The ABC study also focussed on migratory patterns where people moved to "like minded" communities. They focussed on the polarization of American society (red state, blue state) but I also found it to be extremely relevant to Israel, I've noticed some settlement residents becoming more extremist with time and a Gaza resident had postulated that one of the problems in Gaza is their lack of exposure to outside influences/culture.

At Mon Sep 25, 10:28:00 AM GMT+3, Anonymous Bean said...

I really hate to take pleasure in someone else's butterflies, but it's just so comforting to know that even smart people with important things to say get the jitters sometimes too.

I hope your presentation went fabulously :)


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