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    • There is a growning sense of peril for our democracy. How can we have a shared democracy if the pool of shared values is drying up and discourse is being stamped out? Gone are the days when I could only blame the far right. Today, the culture of victimization has created a new religious dogma amplified by social media and 24hr cable news. Have we really become a nation of triggered snowflakes stuck in perpetual identity crisis? And if this is a minority, how is it that the majority continues to enable them?

      Perhaps what is lacking is what psychologists call "seek first to understand, then to be understood." As social animals, we can use words to inflict harm, but also to heal. Do we really place more value in being righteous, than in being whole? Are we so fragile that we cannot tolerate dissenting views with openess and intellectual humility? Technology helped to propel us into this sorry situation, can it not also help us evolve past it? I can think of no greater good than for Cake to serve as a place that somehow brings together people from opposing views. Can Cake help turn down the volume?

    • No, I don't think Cake or any other forum can turn down the volume. What it can do, though, is give some of us respite, a place to conduct civil discussion and hopefully learn something. But we can't stop the provocations of Fox News or other rabble rousers.

    • By "volume", do you mean "hyperbole" and the tendency to turn everything possible into a giant "shitstorm"?

      If so, probably not. Shitstorms exist because they work - and because they work in someone's favor. That latter group of people has no interest to stop creating them, so the only other option would be to reduce the overall virality, so that they stop working at all.

      If only a low percentage of all people leaves a "viral platform" for a "non-viral platform", then this is likely not enough to achieve herd immunity. If the percentage of people who know that they are being tricked into some negative behaviour is high enough for it to work, then the question is why they didn't stop participating even before.

    • I think the larger question is "can *anything* turn down the volume? And to me, that's an easy "no" and thus we have to ask a different question, which in my close to 59 years has occurred to me more than once - can we make the noise irrelevant?

      Noise theoretically should cancel out other noise and allow signals to emerge, and there have been many times in the past when the noise grew loud enough to drown out everything - until it encouraged counter-noise which reduced its effectiveness in grabbing attention.

      Will once said and I'm sure someone else said it first; We get the government we deserve. The same can be said for the media. It's also true that "connectedness" is taking on an entirely new meaning right before our eyes - the next generation will have little in common with mine, for example, when it comes to assumptions on how people communicate, gather, share ideas and fight for a cause.

      So, I sort of see this current era as The Big Time Out. Everyone has a voice now and they're using it, creating an enormous racket - but it must and it will settle down. Trump has broken through some sort of wall with his tweet storms, and no new President going forward will ever run the risk of ignoring social media - no candidate for the office will, in fact.

      So, as things shake out and settle down, all forms of interaction including the media will learn to better identify signals among the noise, and we'll be back to our regular boisterous selves, agreeing, disagreeing, fighting, making peace, being wrong, being right and learning as we go.

      Will that be enough to save us from ourselves? New topic ;)

    • Cake is is not a free speech outlet, it is moderated. Which for its intended purpose is not a bad thing.

      Heated discussions with the ability to hide or delete portions of a conversation will not inspire trust when such strong passionate views are expressed.

      I don't see it happening here. Heck a toilet picture was removed from the front page of posts yet it was noted that it was inline with the conversation. Never saw it so cannot speak to it's nature, yet knowing it happened means we are playing and abiding by Cake reviewers policy. Again perhaps not a bad thing for what it is intended for?

    • I had a reporter tell me the other day they would need to see mass exodus from Twitter to us to believe we'll be a story. I've been reading the new book about Reddit and when they met with Yahoo about a possible acquisition, the Yahoo exec looked at their numbers and mocked them as insignificant.

      There are so many trends that started out slow but then helped attitudes change. Road races for runners were considered ghetto when Frank Shorter started competing in them; track was where it was at. Now look at where marathons are. The trend in grocery stores was pretty sterile and they bludgeoned each other with price wars when Whole Foods entered the scene with their small hippie stores that were overpriced. Now it seems they at least influence most grocery stores. Veganism was extreme not long ago and now its hip on the coasts and influencing the food industry.

      Maybe...if we on Cake show that real conversations can be had online...it will become a trend that influences other services?

    • Heated discussions with the ability to hide or delete portions of a conversation will not inspire trust when such strong passionate views are expressed.

      Just to be clear, the ability to hide or delete portions of a conversation is a feature of Facebook, Instagram, and blogs too. Twitter is pretty unique in not supporting it.

    • Understood, and those platforms have not had a volume reducing effect either. Was not a slight at cake at all. I do not believe the general user understands much of this to be frank, that is a big part of the problem., maybe the biggest.

    You've been invited!