August 18th, 2009

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Turns Out 40% of Tweets are "Babble"

By which the researchers apparently mean "people talking to each other about their personal stuff which may or may not be important to them but the rest of the world doesn't care about.

By this criteria, most phone calls are probably "babble" as well. Human beings are social critters who like to communicate. Until 100 years ago, that was the bulk of communication. Then came electronic media, and push communication, along with recording media to enshrine the worthy forever. We went from a world where people sat in their parlors or porches or in front of their tenement buildings and talked to a world clustered around around our electronic devices giving us the voices of a few. Why sing around the piano when you can listen to Caruso? Why sit and crack jokes when you can hear Jack Benny?

And now that we restore the ability of people to communicate, a substantial number of people wonder what is the point.

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Link Harvest: Straw Poll Results From Netroots Nation

(I really have to put this and Personal democracy Forum on my calendar for next year.)

In any event, the results are interesting given that this is a self-selecting group within a self-selecting group of progressive activists. Key takeaways (besides the fact that John Stewart is the person to whom these guys feel most favorable, followed by Barak Obama and Stephen Colbert).

1) A majority do not favor healthcare reform without a public option, but do favor incremental steps on energy reform and Employee Free Choice Act.

2) Healthcare is the issue on which people feel most intensely, but even here, there is only limited commitment to contributing time and money to make it happen.

3) 95% approve of Obama's performance so far -- indicating that Obama has not lost the support of the Netroots advocates (this may change depending on what happens with public option). This is also reflected in the fairly even split between those who feel the best way to move a progressive agenda forward is to support Obama generally and reserve focused criticism for those opposing the progressive agenda, v. those who believe that netroots activists should openly criticize and oppose Obama and Democrats when they take non-progressive positions.

4) A majority of those attending classed themselves as "Progressive," with a substantial plurality classing themselves as "Liberal."