posts about or somewhat related to ‘politics’
It isn’t just a reflexive movement like breathing air or drinking water. The reason is that when we’re in a state where we can be monitored, where we can be watched, our behavior changes dramatically. The range of behavioral options that we consider when we think we’re being watched severely reduce. This is just a fact of human nature that has been recognized in social science and in literature and in religion and in virtually every field of discipline. There are dozens of psychological studies that prove that when somebody knows that they might be watched, the behavior they engage in is vastly more conformist and compliant. Human shame is a very powerful motivator, as is the desire to avoid it, and that’s the reason why people, when they’re in a state of being watched, make decisions not that are the byproduct of their own agency but that are about the expectations that others have of them or the mandates of societal orthodoxy…
…[A] society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission, which is why every tyrant, the most overt to the most subtle, craves that system. Conversely, even more importantly, it is a realm of privacy, the ability to go somewhere where we can think and reason and interact and speak without the judgmental eyes of others being cast upon us, in which creativity and exploration and dissent exclusively reside, and that is the reason why, when we allow a society to exist in which we’re subject to constant monitoring, we allow the essence of human freedom to be severely crippled.
— Glenn Greenwald, Why Privacy Matters. TEDGlobal 2014.
Via Pacific Standard:
Writing in the journal Political Psychology, a research team led byJennifer Brundidge of the University of Texas at Austin reports left- and right-wing bloggers communicate with their readers in very different ways.
In short, it finds liberals use more complex arguments, acknowledging different points of view before asserting the (alleged) superiority of their own. Conservatives, in contrast, use simpler arguments and are less likely to concede there are any other reasonable viewpoints…
…[Blogs] were analyzed in several ways, including for their use of emotional language and, most importantly, their “integrative complexity.” That term refers to the extent to which they consider events and issues from multiple perspectives.
Blogs analyzed included those such as Breitbart, Red State, and The Blaze (conservative); and Crooks and Liars, Talking Points Memo, and Daily Kos (liberal).
As Pacific Standard notes: “A large amount of psychological research has found conservatives are less tolerant of ambiguity than liberals, so it makes sense that their blogs are less willing to acknowledge gray areas.”
Shabnam S., a 25-year-old woman from Afghanistan, in The Therapist.
The piece is part of a series by Jeffrey Stern, a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, called Afghanistan: On Its Own, in which Stern chronicles how vulnerable groups (women, minorities, youth, businesses dependent on foreign presence) are preparing for the withdrawal of foreign troops this year.
Shabnam, for example, writes about how jobs including her own are funded by foreign money:
Nowadays, people are graduating with good grades from universities. They go and search for jobs, but they cannot get them. For my own job, funding is provided by foreign countries. Once 2014 comes, foreign forces will leave and it is concern for all. We are all concerned, scared. But with all these challenges and with all this thinking that comes to our minds, we still try to believe that even after the foreign forces leave Afghanistan, we can stand on our own feet. And that we should still help these people on our own, somehow. But we understand that we are losing our budgets.
And the other concern we have is that, right now, there are organizations working against drug sellers, working against people who are importing, using, producing drugs, but when the foreign forces leave, there will be insecurity. And that insecurity will increase the rate of drug sellers and drug users and drug importers. That’s a big concern, because it is a big problem for us, we will have even more people addicted to the drugs. Now, there are organizations who are taking care of child labor, street children and other children, but in the future there won’t be such a thing. That will make more children drug users.
See the other pieces in the series, published in Foreign Policy, here.
Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.
Opening paragraphs of a joint letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney from 30+ news organizations. (PDF)
Background: During a press briefing last week, the Washington press corp continued its criticism of the Obama administration and its perceived lack of access to the president.
Meantime, Santiago Lyon, vice president and director of photography at The Associated Press, took to the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times to call out the White House’s “draconian restrictions on photojournalists’ access to the president.”
This issue has been around for while. Last Febrruary, Politico ran a piece about a growing rift between the Obama administration and the Washington press corp.
As I wrote at the time, though, the access issue surrounds most every administration:
Go back to Timothy Crouse’s 1972 book, “Boys on the Bus,” about that year’s presidential campaign and reporters are complaining about “media events” and message control.
Or fast forward to the Reagan years and press complaints about Reagan’s mastery of political television and the importance of image over substance and you have, largely, the same phenomenon. It’s just different technology these days.
Yes, access is important. So too is recognizing and reporting on the political theater that surrounds a photo op. — Michael