I think about this article a lot. The real Lord of the Flies boys were cooperative and helped one another survive: theguardian.com/books/2020/may…
"Our secret superpower is our ability to cooperate": Rutger Bregman: the Dutch historian who rocked Davos and unearthed the real Lord of the Flies theguardian.com/books/2020/may…
Also this: "And so, in the end, men are brought to that most tragically ironic of all divisions, or conflicts, wherein millions of cooperative acts go into the preparation for one single destructive act. We refer to that ultimate disease of cooperation: war.” (Burke, RoM, 22)
I guess remember that when you use "Lord of the Flies" as a metaphor for human nature, that the "human nature" that you're describing is "cooperative." Or, that you're describing the literary device of inverting human nature for dramatic effect.
"Lord of the Flies" as trope or metaphor doesn't mean what you thought it meant.

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More from @jenmercieca

13 Oct
This book was read a lot in 1939, it should be read a lot now too. It's later than you think. Image
It's in the @internetarchive, open access. I end my Trump book by quoting a lot of Max Lerner.
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
Democratic Practitioners Want an Answer to the Question: Who’s Responsible for Scammy Emails? campaignsandelections.com/campaigntech/d…
Here's the request letter mentioned in the article. I'm glad to see some political consultants are concerned about email scam ethics: juggernautproject.com/wp-content/upl…
‘Scam’ Political Groups Try New Tricks—and Rake In Millions thedailybeast.com/scam-political… via @thedailybeast
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct
Hey #AcademicTwitter, we're hiring! Texas A&M Department of Communication has TWO open rank positions. We're looking for folks doing social science research in media studies, health comm, organizational comm, journalism, political comm: apply.interfolio.com/94793
Also, we're recruiting for the ACES Fellows (a fellowship that turns into a tt position). Information here: Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship Faculty Fellows (ACES): apply.interfolio.com/91718
Anyway, Texas is weird, but our department is really decent. And it's cheap to live here! You can have your dream house/farm for less than a starter home in most places.
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
No scholar of deliberative democracy or democratic deliberation would make "engagement" a metric for designing a deliberative process. We use these platforms for democracy, but they were never designed for that. What kind of platform would be good for democracy? Build that.
FB's response via @brianstelter. This is what's called "eulogistic covering," using a positive term (democracy here) to cover over a negative motive (economic self-interest here). FB isn't interested in democracy or people expressing themselves.
In 2016 FB could pretend it didn't know about its negative effects, but it can't in 2021: "I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which it’s a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea."
Read 5 tweets
2 Oct
When I was in grad school the prof who taught rhetorical theory (a man who grew up on the rough side of Chicago & read 7+ languages) warned us against reading a book preface or introduction. "Just read the damn text. Think for yourself damnit," he'd say. I think about that a lot.
The preface of a translation tells you what to think about the text. It's someone else's judgment about what the text means, why it's important, what you should learn from it. It frames your understanding. As a reader it positions you to look for & see what you're told to see.
It was fine for undergrads to read the preface, but grad students had to form their own opinions about what a text meant, if or why it was important, and what was meaningful. He wanted us to start from the beginning and figure it out for ourselves.
Read 10 tweets
27 Sep
Several things about this are interesting to me:
-uses enthymeme to avoid censors
-it's a bad parallel case (compares two things on the strength of the comparison between a known thing & unknown thing)
-a bad analogy (the relationship between two things is essentially the same)
First, enthymeme: to avoid getting the post flagged for covid misinformation the post does not explicitly state its point. It assumes that the audience will supply the missing information to make it make sense. Here the enthymeme is "everyone has to be vaccinated to end covid."
Second, parallel case: the post uses irony to argue that what is true for curing headaches is also true for curing covid. This is untrue because the two are not essentially the same case. One is an infectious communicable disease (covid), one is not. They share no similarities.
Read 8 tweets

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