weblogs and wikis week 2: an empathetic repurposing

Here’s an extended work for Weblogs and Wikis – a repurposing as a blog essay with embedded vids and links, by ebinkert: The Empathic Civilisation and Social Networks, addressing “the connections between social networks the need to belong and empathy.” Well selected videos and linked sources. The two videos connect on a communicative level: they both tell stories by evolving drawings. Here’s ebinkert’s point, where he connects his work with Rettberg,

If McLuhan is right and technology is an extension of our biological self, then social networks could have the ability to create family like bonds on a global scale. Lets make a leap of faith and say its possible to create a global family. By necessity the bonds of this new family would need to be weak. Strong bonds on a global scale are simply a numerical impossibility. How much sway would weak bond empathy have and could a social network connect people enough to encourage empathic sociability?

But here’s where ebinkert opens into social media, weblogs, YouTube publication, digital identities, and others and invistes comments and further consideration – and you do have to watch both videos to get it:

The specific scene in the above clip where the camera cuts to the crowed and the music changes and we see people in tears did you feel different? Did the tears give the video more impact? If you followed the artist on Twitter would that have made a difference? Why do videos of people getting hurt get tagged as funny? How can movies like Jackass exist if empathy is so strong?

It’s easy to respond to this repurposing-as-participatory essay with Oohs! and Awws! but while it’s harder to to respond to the ideas eric is raising – how social networks create or maintain empathy –  it’s more rewarding.

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