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Through the Deadly Shallows

Now comes the voice of Johann Hari, author of the recently published book, Stolen Focus, an exploration into declining attention spans and the deterioration of our individual and collective ability to think deeply. A lucid exposition that, alas, many readers may find difficult to follow. Below, a few brief excerpts from an interview with the […]

Rage For Sale

Longtime readers of DP know of our deep aversion to social media: we are not linked to Facebook in any way, nor have we ever dipped a single toe into the toxic backwaters of the Twittersphere. We have no Instagram feed, nor do we Snapchat. To be clear, we are not “late adapters”; we were early refusers! […]

FB = Fried Bananas

OK, now that we have your full attention: surely the time has come, for the thousandth time, to delete your Facebook account. Listing the reasons would consume a year’s worth of DP, yet we are grateful to a DP correspondent for alerting us to a powerfully concise summary in the Opinion pages of the NYT, […]

Because They Were Here

Now comes Charles Homans with perceptive comments about the ever-expanding archive of online wildfire videos. The entire essay is worth close consideration. Brief excerpts below, with images from the remarkable video at the heart of his observations.                 ˜˜˜˜˜ From Pliny’s second letter to Tacitus, we read: “Ashes […]

FB = Filter Bubble

Now comes early Facebook investor Roger McNamee with concise, accurate and informed comments on the insidious, addictive nature of Facebook. DP readers will be familiar with the critique, one that we explored in numerous posts. Yet the publication of McNamee’s ZUCKED brings fresh texture and personal details to a story that will end, in time, […]

Miners of the Self

One of our core themes here at DP: Our social life-world has become increasingly transformed into a vast data mine, an extractive and highly lucrative corporate bonanza in which the “mine” is our own subjectivity, together with whatever is left of our communities and collective identities.  The behavioral psychology lab offers the dominant social organizational model, with strip […]


On the weekend following a grand announcement by a toxic media company that they would no longer prioritize filter-bubble content from commercial entities on its “news” feed, we are indebted to a correspondent for alerting us to a forthcoming book by Adam Alter (the irony of his initials does not escape us here at DP) […]

A Frenzy In Our Souls

In his influential 2011 book The Shallows, media critic Nicholas Carr examined the impact of the internet on subjective consciousness and a range of cognitive and emotional competences, including the ability to follow complex narratives and the capacity to identify empathically with the suffering of others. Towards the end of the book, Carr writes: What […]

Violence of the Incompetent

Our title descends from Isaac Asimov, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” So it goes with the varied forces of “order” deployed at Standing Rock, and their unhinged use of excessive weapons, better suited to the battlefield. Using such weapons against unarmed, peaceful Water Protectors is both cowardly and criminal. Consider the violence committed […]

Of Genocide and the Pipeline

Today, since we are far away from our vast editorial office complex, we serve as relay for an important message from Kelly Hayes, a founding member of the Chicago Light Brigade and an organizer with We Charge Genocide. Emphasis on final two sentences added by DP. ˜˜˜˜˜ Yes, everyone should be talking about climate change, […]