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A Little Bit About Echo Chambers and More

There are many variations and tangents on the topic of Echo Chambers in the internet. We don't have to discuss these in detail on Monday (in fact, you participants are ultimately going to decide what we talk about, anyway), but here is a smattering of reading that you might wish to skim and pick out what you find useful. This is an admittedly idiosyncratic tour of these subjects based on what I'm thinking and also what I just happened upon. And it's not that I'm suggesting you create your own Filter Bubble or anything like that!  ;-)

Echo Chambers:
It turns out to be surprisingly hard to find a concise descripton of the concept. It's mentioned all over the place but I don't see much agreement about exactly how it's defined, even though there's considerable agreement that it is a problem, although this isn't universal.
At least there are some articles and sites that propose what to do the combat the echo chamber. This one is superficial but maybe suggests useful ways to reduce it. This is a decent (but also superficial) intro from Wired. And Navid Hassanpour has famously concluded that losing connectivity can actually help social movements (I think): (here's the NYTimes "Coles Notes" version).

A related concept is "Filter bubbles". The wikipedia entry appears to be a good place to start. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble

In addition, here are two tangential concepts for librarians (beyond those above):
Serendipity: I like this as a goal for librarians. I think this could even be an alternate subject of our conversation. I recently read Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. Among other things, he points out that hypertext is the web's natural state; filters [and echo chambers, I might add] were a second generation add-on to manage the flow that hypertext (and sefl-publishing) unleashed. Further, he contends that Hypertext and ease of publishing are the key to serendipity on the web. As soon as I read that, it ocurred to me that serendipity should, in fact, still be one of librarians' stock-in-trade, Now, I realize that it has been recognized as that for a long time but, as we all know, librarians' have had a habit of designing these concepts into their infrastructure, services, and buildings and then resting on their laurels. I want to know, how can we build this concept into the discourse of our communities? This is somewhat interesting, actually (and, yes, I know it's written by a designer for an advertising company)

 

Transliteracy : This concept feels a bit "buzzwordy" to me.  It's defined as “the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks”. That may be so broad so as to be something everybody already knows about but which the authors just found a good name for. But, nevermind my cynicism, here and here.


Lastly, the following two authors are somewhat on the periphery of our current subject, but definitely part of the big picture: 
Bonnie Nardi,  Sherry Turkle .

And Don't forget
that, whatever we talk about, we are supposed to fit our discussion into the context of the overall theme (here's the link to the discussion guide that I sent before, just in case).

 

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@Phall715

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Video: Are we Irrelevant, yet?

Are We Irrelevant Yet at VPL, December 2013.