When I took Political Sociology as an undergrad, my professor made a very interesting point: when we try to equalize unequal entities, what happens is not that the weaker or poorer element elevates, but the stronger or wealthier entity demotes.
The harmonization does not move up. It harmonizes down.
Of course, she didn't just make an opinion. She had case study after case study proving the point.
If your attempt to elevate the fortunes of the dispossessed hinges on opening the floodgates and making everything accessible to everyone equally, you are going to fail.
You will pull down those who had an advantage of a rig, but in no way are you going to help those people who were once denied it.
It is very simple: the people who had the rig will always assume it is their natural/innate superior that makes them better, and they are used to the rig that serves as their invisible crutch. Kick away the rig, and their reality changes -- a reality they are no longer in tune with, and they will keep doing the same thing, but expecting the old outcome.
But then why do the people on the lower rung fare no better?
Because they never had the opportunity to understand the nuances of the old rig and the limitations imposed on them, they believe their limited worldview is reality. The blinders of their confined world trick them into believing they need no further refinement or understanding. Worse, they will do the same thing, but the new rig at first rewards them, and then they will believe they are making progress, even if they stuck in the same rut as cannot move upwards or forwards.
It is no different than someone with a gambling addiction who got hooked on beginner's luck: they think they are special/smart/lucky when they got their first "win", not thinking that jackpot may have been rigged to sucker in new players.
Stimulus-response takes over, and you have instilled an unnatural habit in the person for life.
You cannot just "liberate". Lotteries now give classes to big winners because society has learned the hard way that you can't just give a big sum of money to previously poor people and honestly expect them to know what to do with it.
And yes, that includes you personally.
It includes all 7.4 billion people, so get over yourself.
What happened to journalism is simple: it got demoted after their rig was taken out of their exclusive control and given to billions of people.
Now the people who wrest control away from old media companies pretty much gave a jackpot to people who once had no way to broadcasting to publishing their own views.
People who had no experience in many different critical things. People who did not understand the concept of sophistry. People who think logical fallacies make definitive crushing arguments. People who never bother to verify information, nor would know how to do it if their lives depended on it.
I used to liken it to amateur writers who got an article published in their local paper. They would crow and compare what they were doing to how I was making a living, and they'd show me the article in question.
Sometimes it would be a "profile" on a friend of theirs that had a business or was a local athlete or artist -- and there wasn't even an interview or a single quote from the subject, and me being me, would make a comment about how it would have been interesting to see a quote from the person and other people who had dealings with them.
The blanched and shocked faces never failed to amuse me. "I hadn't thought about that!" more than one would tell me.
You can read hundreds of articles, but if you had to make one, you would be shocked at all the things you would miss.
Writing is not just slopping words together and then sophistry and insult is going to forever crush opposition. It is about facts. It is about avoiding the confirmation bias, appeal to authority, sink or swim, and a long list of other logical fallacies.
It is a long, complex, and complicated undertaking.
But social media made none of those requirements of broadcasting or publishing to a mass audience.
Journalism was dragged down in quality and power as a result, and the profession collapsed because of this mass equalization. Content providers were decimated because anyone anywhere can write anything they want and billions of people have access to it.
Journalism is trying to scare people into reclaiming their former glory. They still don't get it.
Communications has been harmonized down. People just babble and spew these days because they can get away with it.
And journalism is also just babbling and spewing, too, making them indistinguishable from the amateur babblers and spewers.
But now there has been a shift, and another group of people are suddenly getting harmonized down: the dreamers and visionaries.
Dreamers and visionaries do not function in the same plane as most other people. They have a vision of the future, and they have grand plans.
And understanding that realm is not simple. Not everyone's level of cognitive development is the same. Jean Piaget's fourth and final stage, is the stage where visionaries do the best: in the world of hypotheticals, and unless you have the right mindset, you are not fluent in the language.
Pre-social media, these people had a barrier, keeping them shielded from those who were not imaginative, sensitive, flexible, or forgiving of their eccentricities.
It was the gift of learning Shibboleths and nuances that help elevate them and get them into the history books.
The rich white men had the money and means to build their fortresses and got to do many epic things that the rest of the world got already prepackaged.
But social media is tearing down those walls -- and many of companies who reaped the benefits of these creative big thinkers -- are backstabbing those people at the first sign of controversy, and throwing them under the bus.
Old Tweets are suddenly cause for firing bankable directors. Heartless corporations -- in a bid to pander to complainers who probably never lined their coffers to begin with -- are being equally heartless to not just the unpaid interns they are exploiting, but also the very people who consistently put them in the black.
It is not as if the sentiments weren't known to these companies in the first place. They were merely could ignore them and give in because the returns outstripped the cringeworthy behaviour.
But it is still a harmonizing down.
Elon Musk was once seen as a visionary, and now people who have never done a thing in their lives are decreeing him a fraud.
That's an interesting question because we don't actually know the real answer.
I find it very interesting how certain things are being framed in regards to social media -- but selectively so.
On the one hand, we have a admission that there are literally millions of fake followers on Twitter. Leftie Americans are blaming Russians for disseminating fake news on Twitter...
But they are not actually questioning whether or not the faux-rage on Twitter may be less organic and more, Machiavellian in nature?
Who is not to say that a rival person, group, company, or even nation didn't hire a PR firm or secret operatives is deliberately smear certain targets with fake Twitter rage?
And companies are just falling for it without investigating or asking the most basic of questions.
The harmonizing down allows it to happen.
We have fewer visionaries and when that happens, we stop progressing.
The problem was the honour was given to a very confined demographic, and one would think if social media was a true equalizer, we would see other groups produce their own visionaries, which is something that is depserately needed.
Except that is not the case.
The very structure of incubating visionary thought is being dismantled, meaning we are harmonizing down, not up.
This will prove to be detrimental to progress -- both technological, but also social progress.
Because once that buffer is gone, you don't have anything to work with, nor do you have experienced people passing that knowledge to the next generation.
What we are seeing is the dismantling of progress. When you get a hold of things and try to salvage them, you are starting from scratch, and you are doomed to make errors that you could have avoided if you had some veteran to teach you.
Journalism made this fatal error, and that's why it does nothing but spew hate and babble lunacy.
It has no ideas of its own anymore.
Journalism needed visionaries and dreamers to push it forward, but the industry decided to shove them away.
Social media is a shell game on many levels, and one that is not trustworthy. I am certain a little digging will show that many of these supposed citizen mob attacks were choreographed and had some rival behind it to sabotage some other entity.
It is a Troll Scroll for a reason.
But the damage it is doing to social discourse and progress is not to be ignored, either...