One of the exhibits I am going to look at for Assignment 2 is the smart mob at work in the movement, called Kony 2012, that is blazing through the younger set. (One of the side benefits of this course is how much more I have to talk to my teenaged sons about!) And I wanted to share it myself and start to think out loud about it.
For those who don't know, Joseph Kony is, as a leader of a guerrilla army in Uganda, infamous and notorious for alleged crimes against humanity. But he is not yet famous. And that's what Kony 2012 aims to change.
Using some of social media best practices, the group has styled its tactics after of a U.S. political campaign's, as it marches toward an April 20th day of international action. If you've got 30 minutes, watch the video!
Writing in 1921 in Public Opinion, journalist and scholar Walter Lippmann could see the changing contours of the world of communication, even though smart mobs and collective intelligence were phenomena of the future. He tells us world wide press services, photography and moving pictures are "key inventions...for bringing the unseen world into the field of judgment" (177).
I am out of my depth on this (and haven't finished the book, and am not convinced Lippmann would have been among the utopians of our age) but this is a crucial development because it attacks an ancient assumption that Lippmann calls "of the utmost consequence."
And that is that men could give little attention to public questions, and that the attention available would have to be confined to matters close at hand.
"For the possibility of bringing any aspect of human affairs within the range of judgment breaks the spell which has lain upon political ideas," he writes.
I sense that there are some tentative conclusions to reach looking at Kony 2012 with the help of Walter Lippmann.
It took about a day to get the video 1.8 million views on YouTube, so something is happening. And about to happen.
Lippmann, W. (2010). Public opinion. BN Publishing.