Civility in Communication

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Archives

Today’s the day… a really important anniversary.

Material affluence in human society has been rising for millennia.  However this increase comes in waves with up and down cycles.

Much of the world’s population became much richer in each upwards cycle, but these changes were accompanied by turmoil caused by periods when the old order had not let go and the new order had not taken hold.  Many forces came into play and there were struggles for dominance to establish order.

We are in one of these turbulent periods now where social networking has become a dominant force, but has not gained full dominance.

In 1978, the BBS–or Bulletin Board System, was created.

Time flew and the internet grew. In 1994, Geocities started and could be called the first social networking site. In 1995 TheGlobe.com helped users connect with people who have the same hobbies and interests.

AOL Instant Messenger and SixDegrees.com both added instant messaging giving users the freedom to chat with friends, and create a profile in 1997.

After that, Classmates, Friendzy, Hi-5 and SixDegrees.com accelerated the social networking trend.

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Then today, 17 years ago, was the day.  On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched a service called “TheFacebook”, originally located at thefacebook.com.  Membership was originally limited to just Harvard students and it took several years before the general population could come on board.

Communication evolution has continued and social networking has had a profound impact on our world.

We can see huge impacts in business, politics, investing and almost all of life.

Not enough can be said about Twitter’s threads running though the fabric of politics.

This last month we have seen social networking turn world investment markets upside down.  (I’ll say more about the AMC, Gamestop, silver spikes  in another message.   This is nothing more than good old fashioned pump and dump – so note I sold all my silver holdings yesterday).

In this message I want to look at a different reason hwy humanity is struggling with social networking.

National upward cycles of affluence require strong education, character, civility, a strong work ethic, low corruption and high respect for rules, such as rule of law.

For success, people must work well together, united behind a common view and a common purpose.

Social networking has created the ability for a large population, who have not learned the power of civility nor the purpose of group communication,  to interact.

They do not know how to turn  their writing into effective communication so they just blast out verbiage, often profane, simple noise that creates separation rather than cooperation.

MIT Technology Reveiw

 

A recent article at MIT Technology Review “The Future of Social Networks Might be Audio” (1) outlines how this lack of civility is continuing to diminish social networking’s power.

The introduction says: What’s happening: A new wave of apps are baking the immediacy and rawness of audio into the core experience of social media, making voice the way people connect again.

Some examples: Cappuccino is an app that takes voice recordings from a closed group of friends or family and delivers them as downloadable audio. The best-known audio-focused network is Clubhouse, the buzzy, invite-only app that debuted last spring to glowing reviews but has since come under fire for its lack of moderation. Gaming chat app Discord, meanwhile, has exploded in popularity. Twitter launched voice tweets—140 seconds of audio—last year. And dating apps are getting in on the audio act, too.

The good and bad: The intimacy of voice makes audio social media appealing in the age of social distancing and isolation. But voice-only spaces can quickly get ugly, just like elsewhere on the internet. And content moderation in audio is far more difficult than it is in text.

Social networking still lacks moderation and until a form of moderation that’s not censorship unfolds this avenue of communication will be weak.

The lack of politeness is a huge problem that weakens communication.

churchill

Take this example.  In my research about population growth in Florida, I stumbled across an article about a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who died in a shooting at a Florida Interstate 95 rest stop.

That to me was a tragedy.

This was made much worse by the public comments I saw at that site.  “AMEN! It’s one pig safer in Florida!” – “Isn’t that convenient that the news did not show the image of the black man who murdered this white Trooper” – “Celebrate in your own way… Teacher says, “Every time a pig dies, Satan gets a new flesh-light.” – “I would have thought the hardest part of the job was covering up for all the criminal cops – I wish the government would end its war on its citizens.until then this is just one less soldier “just doing his job”. “Free the plant free the people!” – “I’m not mourning” – “I wonder how many citizens ths guy has tazed, pepper sprayed, beaten and shot. Aint no fun when the rabbits got the gun huh guys?”

Only one of 13 comments contained a hint of civility…  “Damn… R.i.p…he was helping some one too and served our country. My condolences.”

Do not get me wrong… our reports, in print as well as online, for the past 50 years, have warned about the bad elements of government and how to protect against the excess of authority.

However we live in a complicated world that’s ruled by the law of 80/20.  The simple reality is that the universe is imbalanced.

All of life is about balancing an imbalanced world.

This 80/20 law is nicely described in an article “The 80/20 Rule – The Law of Unfair Advantage” (1) at the website of eazybi a company that provides business intelligence and other software solution services.

The introduction to that description of 80/20 says: Whether it’s business, life, or nature – cause and effect relationships are never equal. There are the vital few and the trivial many everywhere.

The law of imbalance has existed since the beginning of time, but it was discovered in 1896 by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto.

Pareto discovered that approximately “80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population”. He soon realized that this 80/20 rule seemed to be a universal truth that could be applied to practically all aspects of life:

In other words, about 20% of law enforcement people create about 80% of the excess force.  80% of law enforcement are decent people, just like you and me,  who abhor what the bad 20% do.  We cannot change universal laws however and if we want peace and affluence we need civility, low corruption and high respect for rules, such as rule of law.

Since 20% of the population are likely to create 80% of the crime, we need laws and law enforcement, which means we will get some abuse from 20% of the law creation and enforcement system.

We need to balance imbalances in every system, but let’s not communicate stupidly.  Decorum exists because it lubricates communication and communication is the key to the cooperation and  productivity that makes our lives better.

To paint 100% of any system based on the 20% that create 80% of its problems is just plain dumb.  Comments like those above relating to the murdered trooper don’t accomplish anything except reinforce a group of people who are already in agreement.  Divisive uncivil noise is not communication and is not effective.

Incivility problems creates opportunity.

Survival of the fittest creates competition and that’s part of universal law.  We have to compete to win so it’s not wise to give extra energy to competitors.  Civility and gracious winning reduces animosity and resistance, both qualities one does not want a competitor to have.

Our mantra for decades has been “Turn Your Passion into Profit”, but perhaps in this era, it should be “Turn Your Anger in a Civilized Way Into Profit”, because anger can certainly be a passion.

nyt.com

Last week a message at this site  looked at how this 80 year woman turn her anger into action.

This is exactly how to become a self publisher, to earn as you help others solve problems that make them angry.  Turn your anger into productive use!

Decorum can be profitable, plus it can be good for you.  Research shows that kindness produces Oxytocin which aids in lowering blood pressure.  Kindness also produces Serotonin, the feel-good chemical that calms and produces happiness.

So be angry if you must, but take advantage of this problem and focus it into positive, kind, civil, productive action.

Those who help turn the growing problem of anger in society can gain riches in many ways and social networking makes it easy for any of us to enjoy publishing success.

Gary

Learn how to communicate effectively with social networking and self publishing.  Everyone wants to go viral, but no one wants a virus!  Become a leader in the evolution of social networking.

Self Publishing Opportunity in the Remote Work Era

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gary-scott-image

Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

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The foundation of human society is the ability to communicate ideas through words.   Words support a framework of love, hate and desire and all the emotions throbbing through the heartbeat of mankind.

Writing builds shelters against the storms of stagnation and creates progressive energy that artistically leads us from the tyrannical grasp of existing thought into new dimensions and ideas.

marco polo

Marco Polo photo

Take Marco Polo and the impact he had on changing the thought process of the Western world.

Marco Polo was a merchant and an explorer.  He saw wonders when he ventured into the Eastern world.   When he shared these wonders it altered the entire way that mankind in Europe lived…  from the introduction of gun powder to paper money.

Yet what made Marco famous was his ability  to share these innovations due to his writing!

Biography.com says of Marco Polo’s exploits (bolds are mine):   Just a few years after his return to Venice, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was eventually captured and sentenced to a Genoese prison, where he met a fellow prisoner and writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia, what he’d seen, where he’d traveled and what he’d accomplished. His stories were soon committed to paper and eventually published as a book called The Description of the World,

The book made Marco, who was released from prison in 1299, a celebrity. It was printed in French, Italian and Latin, becoming the most popular read in Europe. But few readers allowed themselves to believe Marco’s tale. They took it to be fiction, the construct of a man with a wild imagination. The work eventually earned another title: Il Milione (“The Million Lies”). Marco, however, stood behind his book. He also moved on with his life. After his release from prison, he returned to Venice, where he married, raised three daughters and, for some 25 years, carried on the family business. 

Marco died at his home in Venice on January 8, 1324. As he lay dying, friends and fans of his book paid him visits, urging him to admit that his book was fiction. Marco wouldn’t relent. “I have not told half of what I saw,” he said.

Marco’s desire to earn more money, his travels and adventures were the foundation of his destiny, but his writing was his legacy.  Here is one more excerpt from Biography.com.

In the centuries since his death, Marco Polo has received the recognition that failed to come his way during his lifetime. So much of what he claimed to have seen has been verified by researchers, academics and other explorers. Even if his accounts came from other travelers he met along the way, Marco’s story has inspired countless other adventurers to set off and see the world. Two centuries after Marco’s passing, Christopher Columbus set off across the Atlantic in hopes of finding a new route to the Orient. With him was a copy of Marco Polo’s book.

Writing to sell is one of the most powerful forms of marketing  and marketing is what we do in every aspect of life… every day. 

The heart of all events requires marketing.  We market ourselves, our business, our thoughts ideas and beliefs all the time.  In business, marketing covers strategic planning, product design, packaging, distribution, advertising, public relations, promotions and sales.  Marketing is the process by which anything and everything, product, service, idea, person is introduced and promoted. Without marketing, you may be or have something great, but no one knows it.

All marketing begins with writing… whether, a speech, picture, video, movie, advertisement, announcement, banner,  jingle, song… the birth place is in the written word.

Why words are better than cash.

You can turn words into cash.  Mix in a little wisdom and deliver benefits.  The value of honest word’s never deflate.  A dollar, decades ago, was worth 15 greenbacks today… or more.   Useful, wise words, even hundreds of years aged… are often worth more now.

Take these 153 year old words: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Has time diminished the value of these words?

Sometimes Merri’s and my writing led us into incredible adventures.

gary-merri-scott-llanganatis

Here I am with Merri and an Ecuadorian Yatchak deep in the Llanganatis Jungle creating a shamanic tour.

We even built a…

little-horse-creek

Yet during the pandemic we have been able to continue sitting away from the madding crowd in our cabin on Little Horse Creek and at our Florida farm.

There is a possibility that Merri and I know more about writing from home than 99.9% of the people in the world.  We have been at this for over 50 years now and thousands have taken our online correspondence course on how to create your own self publishing business.

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Sincerely,

Gary Scott

(1)  www.technologyreview.com: the-future-of-social-networks-might-be-audio

(2) eazybi.com/blog/the_80_20_rule