Entries tagged "life"

WITH contd – Hey, social media commentators: It’s about us stupid.

Alex Madrigal, The Atlantic’s tech writer, has a really nice response to Zadie Smith’s critique of both the film Social Network and facebook itself and its meaning.

Madrigal is hitting on the main thing that most social media phobic critiques miss (eg. Jaron Lanier, Gladwell and Sherry Turkle’s upcoming book which I had the chance to respond to at a recent conference at Bard): the technology is made by us. Us people. Our relationship needs and issues exist without and with the technology.So what is it we are going to do about it? Alex Madrigal mentions a need for a kind of “urban planning” to make facebook and social media better. This is like the idea Stowe Boyd had a while back to approach social media like architecture.  Ross Douthat today commented in the New York Times on Madrigal’s Atlantic comment on Zadie Smith’s NY Review of Books piece saying he weighed in on the side of Madrigal’s call for “mastery” of social media rather than avoiding it.


And even if these publications weren’t finally online and blogging they’d still have esteemed writers writing about each other and people would talk to each other about it and hey, that sounds an awful lot like social media and the Internet, only slower.


I disagree entirely with Douthat’s framing of the question or Smith’s that our challenge is about “how to remain human in a social media world.”  Our challenge is how to be connected to our humanity with or without social media.


Ross Douthat and Zadie Smith why are you so sure we have more human-ness before social media rather than after?


Dissociation is easy to come by. I did it with books for years. Does it make that act less real than when it’s done with a screen? You can do it with a drink, a thought, a snort, a fuck. You can check out and not see others or feel your own basic impulse extremely easily. Intellectuals are as good at this as anyone. Whether you got a PhD for your method of checking out or the delirium tremens our need is to fell what it is we really feel and to be able to handle those feeling, thus developing enough as people to be able to handle and see and enjoy what is in others too, including what is different.


I believe the real question we face is: how can we be ourselves and be ourselves together. How can we be WITH each other?


And I believe that social media is part of a major change in our getting closer to this. Because people who have only been able to manage analytically are getting forced to reconnect to the relational and the relational is getting translated into data where the analytical can understand it.

At night I look to the stars / Will they say kaddish for me

Last night I look at the stars here in Monticello Florida on my journey #<3trip. I didn’t recognize them and so I felt alone.

You are never alone – Socalled

And this dude makes music with David Krakauer whom I got to see play at Bard a couple of weeks ago with a symphony and he blew my head off. Seriously. I had to walk down from the mid-level balcony to the mezzanine to get it and stick it back on. Then I could feel the film strip between my ears, so I know what Socalled is talkin about.

I reach New Orleans tonight people. I think I’m going to visit with some clarinet music.

If you’d like to meet up reach me @heathr

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80s snack

If I was willing to be completely honest, I’d admit I wore a hairband or two back then. I would also acknowledge this was not a wise choice.

(via @ch_clifford)

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WITH 1 – Video of my talk at Bard – The feminine moves to the center.

WITH is a project I’m creating socially through public talks and conversations.

This video is from the first of these at this conference at Bard. Many thanks to the Hannah Arendt Center for having me and to Sherry Turkle and Ray Kurzweil and all the other presenters whose talks helped create part of this response.

I’m exploring my premise that social media is part of the major shift of what we’ve called the feminine back into a central place in our public culture.

Business is now having to solve the same problems as people working on social issues like racism and sexism because the central goal is to create ways and space in which we have WITH relationships. This means you don’t act AT or TO someone else but WITh them. You each see each other. 

Information and data become simple and easy to access and then what becomes recognized as “scarce” and also powerful? Our time with each other. 

It’s not that the relational is new. What is changing is that we are having data convey the relational to the mostly dudes who have managed most powerful public business. And that the information economy leads to this. Social media is accelerating it. What were publicly dismissed as “private” “feminine” skills and topics are now a major amount of our western culture anyway (gossip, personal lives, friendship etc)

Here’s the initial post about it. 

Please comment there to leave me your thoughts, feelings and responses or send them @heathr on twitter.

To bring me to your event or organization for one of the next talks contact me.

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My interview about the Rally for Sanity on TWIT's East Meet's West podcast

I had a great time talking with Tom Merritt and Roger Chang who is one smart cookie. I’ve known Tom a little while (he was actually one of the backers of my first crowd funded talk show at SXSW 08), but this was the first time I got to meet Roger who really impressed me.

Listen or download and enjoy.

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As good as any root beer I've ever had #BeverageforSanity

and I am a root beer freak

at @northsidesocial in Clarendon VA w the lovely @wonderwillow

Tomorrow is the #RallyforSanity

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In DC w Lizz Winstead at Pre-#RallyforSanity comedy show

Lizz has been rockin it since the 80s and co-created The Daily Show. A true feminist and prolific political comic. Amazing to meet her and perform in the same show. Many thanks to Jeff Kreisler for having me at Comedy Against Evil.

“The American dream is a couch with a toilet.”-Lizz Winstead

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The humans at Bard's Being Human in an Inhuman Age Conference

I don’t find our time inhuman at all. Here we are together!

Thanks to Roger Berkowitz and Bard for having me. I’ll post my talk/performance when the video’s available soon.

((tags: #

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My kinda road food #


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TummelVision live. Real Time Crowdsourcing

Kevin, Deb and I tummeled everyone at Crowd Conference. Kevin made one beautiful slide that shows really well how tummeling is the key to the sweet spot of engagement and conversation. Didn’t that sound compelling in market-o-speak? In regular talk: it’s a way to be able to hear others, make connection and sense out of what’s going on.

It was fun to have the whole TummelVision band together. More podcast delights from us here.

Thanks to Lucas Biewald and everyone for having us.


If you’d like to learn how to tummel a room, check out my UnPresenting workshops.

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