Okay, Maybe Twitter Isn't so Bad


I'm officially convinced Clive Thompson has access to each of his readers thoughts. His chapter, opening with the line, "who cares what you had for breakfast," is exactly the justification I utilize for not having a twitter account, and pretty much has me willing to pledge servitude to Mr. Thompson for a glimpse into his mind-reading powers. He seems to hint at his powerful ways when he presents us with the chapter, "Ambient Awareness."


Story Time for Adults


When I was in high school, students would come back from winter break and, instead of immediately rushing back into the unending labor of schoolwork, would get the opportunity to spend a week studying various academic 'crafts.' One year I was fortunate enough to attend a course entitled "The Art of Storytelling." An older gentlemen and my teacher, probably in his 70's, was a member of the local "Storytelling Guild," which is a formal way of saying a bunch of other older guys sitting around listening to each others stories.


Who Said Ignorance is Bliss?


Pluralistic ignorance, a phenomenon that Clive Thompson defines as occurring "whenever a group of people underestimate how much others around them share their attitudes and beliefs" (252-253), can be an obstacle to progress as we see in the examples given in Smarter Thank You Think. Oftentimes, people have misconceptions about what the stances of their fellow members of society on hot-button issues, such as racism or corrupt government. These misconceptions can cause people to keep their own (perceptibly controversial) beliefs to themselves, leaving the dominant social belief unexposed. It's a vicious cycle, but luckily in today's new age of technology, there seems to be a cure.

Toeing the Line


"I call these people human spam...you should feel pity for these people and their delusions. At some point, they didn't get the memo that the world owes none of us anything." - pg. 24, "Don't Be Human Spam," Show Your Work

Reading others minds

First of all, I love how Austin Kleon just doesn't mince words in this section and really tells us how he feels about human spam. We all have that one Facebook friend or person we follow on Twitter who overshares—and in today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s easy to become human spam.

The Pluralistic Ignorant Hipster


After reading this chapter of Clive Thompson's Smarter Than You Think, I personally wasn't aware of what "pluralistic ignorance" was (still), but this nice little definition that Google gave me I think gives me a little more insight:

"In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it. This is also described as "no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes."

This is sort of funny to me, and reminds me of those annoying people in high school who kept talking about how everyone was condoning animal cruelty because they didn't understand or appreciate vegetarianism.



The term "spam" makes me think of the folder in my AOL email account that collects emails about Viagra, a free travel insulated bag from the AARP, and tips for hooking up with hot women (with subject lines that are a little too detailed). Obviously these aren't from anyone I know because I'm not a male senior citizen who's interested in women. The filter looks for certain key words that appear frequently in spam emails, such as Viagra, and email addresses that don't look real, such of deanofadmissions@leathermotorcyclejackets.net (yes, that's a real email on my block list).