Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Internet Tells All

The world is an internet forum
Racial and sexual insults? Death threats for voting for healthcare reform? It's the kind of thing that happens every day online

Colin Horgan, Saturday 27 March 2010 11.00 GMT

By now we've all heard of the protesters shouted racial and sexual epithets at some House Democrats as they made their way to hear President Obama speak to his party this weekend to encourage them to pass the healthcare reform bill. Emanuel Cleaver was apparently spat on, Barney Frank was called a faggot, and John Lewis was called the N-word. And on Wednesday, CBS released some of the messages left for Bart Stupak, calling him, among other things, "a baby-killing motherfucker" for his decision to support the healthcare bill that President Obama signed into law on Monday. At least 10 members of Congress have received death threats.

I hardly find this surprising. Not because I'm a liberal, and not because I feel that these people are the crazy fringe elements of the world looking for a place to vent. And not because we saw it last summer at the town hall meetings. I'm not surprised because our tactile, physical world has become like the internet, and this kind of thing is normal there (here).

In Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan explains that, "The 'message' of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs." It's the thought process behind his famous assertion that "the medium is the message". In other words, McLuhan said, something like the railway (the medium, or "extension of ourselves") didn't introduce humans to the idea of transportation, but rather altered human perceptions and functions as they related to distance, leisure, and to complete article

1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

MSNBC.COM : Minority babies set to become majority in 2010 - Year could be tipping point when non-white newborns outnumber white

Associated Press
Minority babies set to become majority in 2010
March. 10, 2010

Minority babies set to become majority in 2010

Some excerpts :

WASHINGTON - Minorities make up nearly half the children born in the U.S., part of a historic trend in which minorities are expected to become the U.S. majority over the next 40 years.

In fact, demographers say this year could be the "tipping point" when the number of babies born to minorities outnumbers that of babies born to whites.

The numbers are growing because immigration to the U.S. has boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years.

Minorities made up 48 percent of U.S. children born in 2008, the latest census estimates available, compared to 37 percent in 1990.

"Census projections suggest America may become a minority-majority country by the middle of the century. For America's children, the future is now," said Kenneth Johnson, a sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire who researched many of the racial trends in a paper being released Wednesday.

Johnson explained there are now more Hispanic women of prime childbearing age who tend to have more children than women of other races.


The Census Bureau is running public service announcements this week to improve its tally of young children, particularly minorities, who are most often missed in the once-a-decade head count.

The campaign features Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer, the English- and Spanish-speaking Nickelodeon cartoon character who helps "mommy fill out our census form."

That is because Hispanic women on average have three children, while other women on average have two.

The numbers are 2.99 children for Hispanics, 1.87 for whites, 2.13 for blacks and 2.04 for Asians in the U.S.

And the number of white women of prime childbearing age is on the decline, dropping 19 percent from 1990.

Youth, Minorities, Politics :

Vicente Duque