Tag Archives: social media

Who’s afraid of the cybermob?

Nothing quite affords anonymity like the internet does. One may choose to be anonymous there, and by its very nature you already are: a minute part of an enormous data set, where our merged identities form a gigantic collective, infinitesimal flashes of electricity, among trillions of others, in a remote server farm far, far away….

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Trying to describe South Africa without ‘overkill’

The novel I am writing has its opening scene in Cape Town on the day Mandela was released from prison. This manuscript is my project for the masters degree in creative writing programme at Auckland University in New Zealand. My protagonist, Ruth, is a young South African, and Chinese in appearance. She does not know, among…

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Is state surveillance only about violating the right to privacy?

In a recent article (sent to me by an astute and observant friend) on “Totalitarian paranoia in the post-Orwellian Surveillance State”, the renowned “critical pedagogics” intellectual, Henry Giroux, dwells at length on the implications of state surveillance on the part of agencies such as the American NSA. Giroux provides a thorough analysis of the relation…

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Shaming rape survivors and other bull

“What a week for women! First, two of the (very few) prominent political mavens became kissing besties and then spectacularly not, and then that rape-cry-baby Michelle Solomon made a scene and had to be put back in her place by a good ol’ cigar-smokin’ man like David Bullard (for a bet it turns out, classic!)…

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Facebook: A life laid out in linear form

Newborn babies have started appearing on my Facebook news feed, lovingly cradled by people that not too long ago (it seems) were holding bottles of cheap vodka with such tender care, playing disastrously drunken games of table tennis together, still in their first year of university, innocent and unaffected, with delusions of adulthood. I recently…

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Social media in healthcare and why the doctorsaurs became extinct

Sometimes I feel very alone and vulnerable here. You see, it is rare that doctors air their views on social media (SM), and I have done a fair bit of that on this forum. If you sift out all my posts pertaining to healthcare and read them in sequence, you will have a pretty representative…

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Beyond the ‘House of God’ – how medicine hasn’t really changed at all

In 1978, as I neared the end of high school and readied myself for medical training, a book called House of God (HOG) was published by a doctor under the pseudonym Samuel Shem. By the time I read it as an intern eight years later it had become a cult classic among doctors. Everyone I…

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Pistorius case highlights the failings of social media

Oscar Pistorius is an inspirational icon whose fierce love for his woman inadvertently had nightmarish consequences. That’s what the cloyingly vociferous fans on his website would have us believe. Oscar Pistorius is an ego-on-stilts with temper issues which, due to his arrogance, inevitably resulted in violence. That’s what his detractors punt on social media sites…

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The slow descent into social media’s superficiality

I think I know why social media is good for everyone. I just think I do, but don’t really. Besides being a vehicle for sparking Arab Springs, social media is first with the news and enhances your brand if you’re a journalist, editor, social commentator or political analyst. In fact if you’re none of these…

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Is Oscar’s attorney really a star?

Why is the defence advocate, Barry Roux, considered a star by the faceless social media when a defenceless woman was killed? One realises there are sub-editors, and part of their jobs is just to make a sensational headline. But the story in reports like these celebrate Roux as if he were a chess grandmaster. The…

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