Comments on: Disclosure Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003 Thu, 31 May 2018 07:56:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: David Friar. M.D. Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:13:42 +0000 Some thoughts from a psychiatrist/psychotherapist’s POV re why the recent abundance/inundation of information has led to individuals narrowly choosing “echo chamber” sources, instead of widening our worlds. It’s more than just “tribalism” and “the tendency to opt for the familiar” although that’s a beginning. Whether a Facebook post or an Ebola story, every information cluster/unit has emotional evocative potential- the intensity, complexity, valence and other qualities of which are determined at the point of impact- particular to each individual who opts to receive. As with music, an individual’s reponse to other forms of information is influenced by multiple factors and dimensions- such as temperament, culture, aesthetic sensitivity, context and history. There is a reflexive tropism- so rapid it must be unconscious and associational- that determines whether the information is chosen or blocked. It goes far beyond just the quantity of information and the individual’s tolerance for stimulation and “overwhelm threshold”.
One of the Buddhist “5 precepts” has to do with not ingesting substances that cloud the mind, and modern teachers include all forms of information and sensory input as potentially being in that category.
In my psychotherapy practice we explicitly discuss what clients are watching and reading and otherwise choosing as admissible sources of input. The choice can mitigate or reinforce suffering. For trauma victims, watching slasher films might seem an obvious thing to avoid- but the well-known phenomenom of “traumatic repetition” speaks to how such victims may be powerfully drawn to do exactly that.
So why (and how) we narrow the bandwidth of what we allow into consciousness is a very important question, which warrants exploration in depth.

By: Digital-Identitet Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:07:15 +0000 […] […]

By: for the record | Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:50:36 +0000 […] led me to craft a disclosure statement that I should have published (ala Dave Weinberger and Ethan Zuckerman and Dana Boyd) long ago. I will post that statement tomorrow. This entry was posted in bad code […]

By: Shas Cho Thu, 31 Jul 2008 01:13:52 +0000 Ethan, please excuse my placing this here, I don’t see another way to contact you.
I read and carefully followed your excellent step-by-step suggestions at V
Between that and this
you answered just about every question and concern I had.
I thank you most sincerely.

My problem is that after carefully downloading and restarting I cqnnot find any Tor buttons, Privoxy or Vidalia icons, nuttin. And the torcheck shows that Tor is not active.
I know you’re busy and I’ll try to be understanding if you don’t reply, but my gadfly activities have already caused me much grief and I’d sure like to prevenr further hassles.

Firefox 3.01, Mac OSX 10.4.11, MacBook 2.1, Intel Core 2 Dou

Thanks for listening


By: Karen Monaghan Wed, 31 Oct 2007 13:46:54 +0000 Hey Ethan
Inspired by your blog and writings by other experts and academics (and my own experience living in Tanzania), I am writing a paper about the transformational impact of mobile phones in Africa. While the impact is great, I do not see it as a silver bullet for African economies given their other governance, infrastructure, etc problems. I have also read that there is an “interoperability” problem in some countries where, it is said that “…In most
sub-Saharan countries, rival telecom companies do not allow customers to place calls to competitors’
networks, with the result that many people find it necessary to carry multiple phones on separate networks…” While I realize in many parts of the world there are restrictions on using other network to “roam” not being able to place a call to someone who uses another operator is a serious impediment to communication. Do you know if this regulation still applies in many African countries? I have searched, and researched, and searched again, but only came up with one claim about this restriction.

Thank you in advance. I love your blog…read it every day. It’s my little trip back to happier times when I was doing more doing than thinking. Hopefully one day I will get back there.

By: Ron Gallagher Mon, 10 Sep 2007 15:08:39 +0000 Hey Ethan,

Thought you might want to know- we have a fantastic first year student from Accra- I talked to him about your Ghana stuff. Here is Kwame’s contact info :



By: SIG-III Blog » Blog Archive » The African blogosphere part II – Kenya Thu, 16 Aug 2007 08:05:41 +0000 […] of the Kenyan parliament. This project grabbed attention around the Internet, from the BBC to Ethan Zuckerman’s widely read blog. In fact Mzalendo received enough media attention both in Kenya and around the […]

By: Ben VanderVeen Fri, 06 Jul 2007 23:14:01 +0000 Hey Ethan, I just wanted to say hello, and tell you that what you’re writing about is really vital. I am a filmmaker from Portland, Oregon, and am working on a documentary right now about Africa, and all of the stereotypes/misconceptions that go along with it.

I especially love your phrase “Africa is a continent, not a crisis”, and I reference it often when talking about my film. Do you mind me using this phrase on our film website? I would be happy to link to your blog. My filming team and I really want to start a global conversation about Africa, and I thank you for taking the initiative in such a great way.

-Ben VanderVeen

By: …My heart’s in Accra » Be afraid. Be very afraid. Thu, 15 Feb 2007 19:34:58 +0000 […] The network ID on my laptop quite often reads “Free Wifi” or “Open Wifi”. That’s because I frequently go to conferences where wifi is expensive, or nonexistent, and I connect my Mac to ethernet and use it as an open wifi node. This is pretty common practice, as are communitarian open wireless networks like CuWin and commercial semi-open wireless networks like Fon (a company I’m on the advisory board of.) In other words, there’s a lot of open wireless networks out there run by folks who are neither unscrupulous or pranksters. […]

By: …My heart’s in Accra » Blogging Al Jazeera - A dilemma? Or a critic’s agenda? Wed, 15 Mar 2006 18:16:45 +0000 […] But Snyder’s solution of weighing blogger behavior against journalistic codes of conduct seems like a mistake. It’s not reasonable to ask that academics who blog turn down travel spnsorship, as it’s pretty hard for us to attend conferences. It may be reasonable that we disclose when we’re attending a conference and our travel expenses have been paid – I have a disclosure policy on my blog which makes this general point, but perhaps I need to be more specific event by event. (And perhaps you guys will let me know what you think I should be saying regarding expenses when I attend events like the Al Jazeera forum.) But I think Snyder’s “ethical dilemma” around my attendance at the Forum is less a dilemma and more an objection to the organization who hosted the forum. Perhaps Snyder has some biases or agendas behind his essay that he should be disclosing? […]