Does Twitter kill compassion? An academic institution struggles
with the right response to the cata
A few days ago a colleague of a development studies institute sent out a message to the postgraduate student community
about responding to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He is an academic expert on disaster preparedness issues and he wrote
a short message, cautioning people not to make rushed decisions regarding donations and also to think about long-term responses
to such crises. Sending money immediately may not be the best choice. What I found a bit ambiguous was that he had a small
advertisement for his latest book in his email signature and with bad intentions you may have been reading this as an indirect
book promotion. But the tone of the email was appropriate, reflective and cautionary – the sort of writing I would have
done and I felt perfectly appropriate for a message that goes out to a 200+ audience. It also reflected the ton of discussions
in my online network.
Since then, his message has sparked quite a debate and in a follow-up message he explains that he has received about
an equal amount of support and critique for his initial message. He has organised a meeting with students (who have been,
among other things, organising a fundraiser) to discuss the issues in person.
But what I find so interesting is that even if we recognise the multicultural nature of the student body and the
grievances particularly of Japanese students or those with links to Japan, the first reaction by a group of future development
experts is to criticise a call to be cautious about donations. Whereas Twitter and the ‘blogosphere’ started early
on to point out 'why waiting to give to Japan is a good idea'
, there seems to be a strong inclination to ‘deal with these issues later’. Let’s be shocked and raise money
– then think about how to spend it later. The colleague has since then pointed out that being compassionate does not
automatically mean one cannot apply the skills and knowledge that academics have, but still, I’m left with the feeling
that we first should ‘do’ something and then ‘think’ about the approaches etc, even as 'charities
are aggressively soliciting donations around this disaster' as an experted quoted in a NYT article
points out. I don’t think this is how it should work, but I wonder if the ‘Internet’ makes us less compassionate
and too critical or rational?
I don’t think there’s an answer to it really, but I felt that following news and blogs and Twitter may have
put me out of touch with what many people felt, even as Bill Easterly writes about the impact of @TopTweets
he experienced after a post on Japan; The reality 'on the ground' - even in an environment of educated development experts
- seems to be partly different from many online debates.
Information and design are the new magic of the Internet. Here is where International Students
/ Scholars can find the critical information needed to make their participation in America's academic culture more pleasure'able.
There are three distinct elements which I considered when looking
at the internet and how can I get the " best " message out in what I publish which best represents the actual intent of my
personality, interests, skills, and knowledge.
One. Fundemental to everything in which I posted / published was
based upon hard empirical evidence. Thus very hard core research was involved in every aspect of any bit, or in this
case " byte " of information, and the additional deliberate action to force introspective personal discoveries,
is the continued some-what selfish motives and passions behind each step taken.
Two. The single aspect of InterCultural Communications as a
very deliberative means to produce events was the essential empowering element which I found out is the primary socicultural
and sociopolitical power platform for the future. The power comes from the transition of time, and of discourse of additional
aspects of human development in which we, as a civilization are slowly becoming aware, which events which are based upon
InterCultural Communications becomes the very formative up-evolutionary behaviorial anthro-developmental traits which triggers
conflict preventioning to occur. And it is exactly here, "Conflict Preventionng where everything else is derived.
The evidence for this truthism is overwhelming.
Three. The actual recognition of the objectiveness of the internet
itself, in as much as everything it views from various serach engine crawlers or spidders,
bugs, has the interesting clean slate encryption - as each webpage is initial judged. Moreover, it is from here, and the further understanding of the various technologies
involved in both hardware and software development that wide -spreading of content was imperative; this demanded higher
and more deeply penitrative knowledge, and as a result I have well worn used at least 7 libraries within the academic central
community of Ithaca, New York. The central factor for this very timely and costly action is that there are distinct
connections to the bugs of the internet, and empirical information-hard
factual content information which triggers higher results.
The internet goes real buggy
over hard and qualified content information. Like a camel to desert oais water well. At first it can not get enough.
Then later its rider is likewise very satisfied as a result. Thus, a deeping and harder introspection of each information
byte produced the qualified results.
Thus you now have the initial three points, and what they eactly entail,
and why everyone should begin to think differently is not only based upon the growing dependency on the growth of the internet
for future prosperity, but that the single physical action we should take is to produce those events which promotes InterCultural
Communications. To do this, we need addtional International Students / Scholars - which according to my research means
an additional 4.8 million addtional International Students / Scholars.
Does the world have them to offer?
The pedagogy of each institution of higher education will likewise
have to adjust their academic curriculum and grading proceedures to meet the resulting discourse resultant evaluations,
faculty evaluations - student- and teaching aspects adjustments, adjunctive financial support structures - and
the needed additional principle America academia will have to adopt to modify its pedagogy as a result.
Then, and only then, will be very clear what Thinking Differently
means both a vision, and the circumstance resultant as a result of making such a commitment.
We have here in the United States millions, as it now seems, of migrate labors who are primiarly from South
America - even though the Asian are now becoming more numerous. This is opportunity.
What this means, from my own personal point of view is that these hard working peoples should be out-reached
to for these very specific factors:
- Access what are the conditions back in their home country, and from which calibrate a community needs assessments.
- Measure further interests on future jobs developments by the traning needs they wish to recieve while working in the U.S,
- Determine the area of their home community's available resources, and sociocultural and socioeconomic existing structures.
- Confirmed all date base requirements for a think tank resolve in developing career - jobs training program to coordinate
with loans and credits for future economic development and construction of industry, or services in their home of origin
Mr. Roger M. Christian.
You should be getting the point now!