#88, solutionism doesn’t identify core problems

April 14, 2017

Emerson College professor Paul Mihailidis says: “We’ve seen again and again that just throwing tools at things doesn’t solve problems. How many tools and guides and kits to fake news have there been now that don’t get into where the origination of the problem really lies? There’s this ‘solutionism’ happening that doesn’t identify the core problems … Our Engagement Lab is a group of scholars interested in doing applied research and creating knowledge out of intervention, still staying true to academic method and theoretical grounding but being able to look at research with communities and in partnership with communities” News and media literacy the way it’s always been taught may not be the right response to fake news woes, Shan Wang

“Resistance School is a free four session practical training program to sharpen the tools we need to fight for our values at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action. A syllabus you’ll actually read, the opening session of Resistance School dives into the steps necessary for engaging in effective communication for change by building on history, exploring the tools of value-based communication, and ultimately reviewing the most meaningful ways to enact this change in the world around us.”

“Corporate Universities and Corporate Museums have never been places of Free Speech. They have always curtailed opinion—because they are the private sector, indebted to corporate agreement … If we allow our confusions about Corporate and Public Opinion and Fake News to destroy our demand for open expression, the Palestine Solidarity Movement will be our next casualty. The people who ultimately suffer from the repression of painful Opinion are not the elite but, in fact, the powerless.” Open Casket, Sarah Schulman

#fakenews was never really the problem, just as quick fixes, tools-at-hand, or even a pillar of wisdom (or confusion) can never really be the solution. The internet is our condition: one of skepticism, bounty, expression, art, corporate control and structuring falsities. The internet is our condition of violence, our condition of power, and a place of resistance. It and we aren’t going anywhere … yet.

At #88, immersed in the rousing, thoughtful projects, labs, analyses, schools, art works, and voices that I’ve collected thus far on my path to #100hardtruths to better understand #fakenews, I begin to see a framework for questions rather than a set of ready answers:

  • Where are our cherished sites for learning about, making, and sharing values-based communication?
  • How deep must we go?
  • What are the qualities of duration necessary to sustain our work?
  • What or who are we trying to fix or resist?
  • Who are our people?
  • Where lies our power?
  • How can technology sustain us?

It is my sense that such questions need to be answered in communities of care and practice.

 

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