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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

How The Outrage Echo Chamber Ruins Social Discourse

Posted by Richard Conniff on February 12, 2014

This article in the Kennedy School Review struck me as a spot-on analysis of how the internet is ruining our political discourse by encouraging “moral exhibitionism.”   The phenomenon is disturbing, especially because we are all guilty.  But I also love the article’s language of “flocking bias,” “filter bubbles,” “clickbait,” and “outrage generators.”  It’s written not by one of our leading thinkers, but by a graduate student in forensic psychology at The University of New South Wales, who works as an advocate for Australian nurses.

BY CLAIRE LEHMANN

The political divide between conservatives and liberals is growing increasingly bitter. Each side thinks that the other is evil. At the same time, a new currency is emerging within the eco-chambers of social media. It is the currency of outrage, and it is eroding our ability to listen to one another.

Those of us who follow news and commentary on Twitter flock together in groups according to our shared values and interests. On Facebook, algorithms selectively filter what we see based on our past search history, clicking behavior and friendship groups. The Twitter flocking bias and Facebook filter bubble have created eco-systems in which moral exhibitionism flourishes.

Because we are all interconnected within these online environments, we inevitably have our collective buttons pushed by skillful ‘outrage generators’ peddling a type of commentary designed for Read the rest of this entry »

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