Kony 2012, Does Social Media Oversimplify?

African Refugees

*+-Matthew Kavanagh: From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate – but what about the dangers of oversimplification?

Politics: It’s About Identity, Stupid

blame

*+-Charles Hayes: Elections are won and lost through appeals to identity. It’s that simple and that complicated. This is why symbols and 30-second, hot-button commercials sway public opinion.

Name That Decade: the ’00s, the Whatever Decade

Hopelessness

*+-Great pessimism during economic busts is as characteristically American as great optimism during boom times. The oh-ohs’ whateverism is less fleeting and thus more dangerous. A culture of denial, disengagement, dissociation is dysfunctional. We need a culture of engagement and responsibility, even with all our traumas, distractions and high-tech toys.