Saturday, June 01, 2019

David Brooks presents Solutions Journalism Network as a bridge between talk and action (maybe for less sociable people)

David Brooks, the Canadian commentator who tells us how “to be good”, has a few recent commentaries that seem to point to the need for more singleton-like people (like me) to become re-socialized. 

The latest post (as of today) talks about trolls (I might even be one, given his flexible definition) and crybullies (which only at first glance refer to the ragebait social media users from the identarian Left).

But the most important one recently seems to be the one on May 16, “The Big Story You Don’t Read About” with the tagline “Journalists don’t always cover what’s really going on”.

He talks about the Solutions Journalism Network, who people are responding to problems, largely locally, as what Brooks calls “weavers” (#WeaveThePeople), builders of social capital. 


I have to admit that for some time I have worked largely alone, without a responsibility for anyone, which, according to some interpretations of Nicholas Taleb’s “skin in the game” theory, would mean I shouldn’t be allowed to keep my own individual voice online at all.  I’ll come back to that later, and this seems like an extreme, ironically Marxist theory. Yet we’re seeing it in China already and big Tech is starting to think about “social credit” even here.  Should people be expected to engage big community service projects (maybe even traveling and camping out in disaster sites) with non-profits with people they don’t know?  Should they just jump in, enlist, and take orders again?

Recently, WJLA in Washington DC reported on a case where a young boy needed a kidney transplant and, even with a donor organ, could not get one as long as he “lived in a hospital” (like in the recent film “Five Feet Apart”).  So one of his teachers (a male) became a foster parent and took him in. That is off the charts for me but it is engagement at a personal level that was unimaginable the way I was brought up.

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