I'm posting just to let off a wee bit of steam on one aspect.
"Binders full of women".....In a remark which could certainly have been phrased better, Gov. Romney inadvertently gave the Twitterverse, Facebook and general chattering classes yet a second piece of nonsense to throw around social networks and internet generally. First piece of nonsense: his "Big Bird" remark in the earlier debate. I do not wish to diminish the importance of what was at the core of these remarks - that is equal opportunities for women and funding of a public TV channel
by criticising Twitterers and the like - but really.......they have diminished those issues themselves.
Is this the best that social media can achieve in the USA? If so, then I suspect we were better off without it, at least at election time. There are many very important issues to be considered, some of which are never given a single mention, due to an already highly controlled media and debate platform, making these debates little better than theatre to distract the masses. Rather than pushing such issues to the fore users of social media choose to throw around these silly bits and pieces.
The masses are so very easy to distract, are they not? I wonder sometimes if these types of distractions are cynically orchestrated rather than naturally occurring.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in "Brave New World Revisited", the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In "1984", Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. "In Brave New World", they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”
― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
According to Facebook, the reference to "binders full of women" resulted in a 213,900 percent surge in mentions at one point during the evening. One Facebook page focused around the topic already has 230,000 "likes." "Binders full of women" was the No. 3 search term associated with the debate on Google; and according to Yahoo, search interest in the term was up 691 percent following the debate. It was also the remark that celebrities were tweeting about most the morning after the debate.
(Oh well - if they were Tweeting about it, it must be important.)
(Statistical info from The Hill).
Disclaimer: I am neither a Romney supporter nor an Obama supporter. See sidebar.