Newsletter # 37- The Church of Spiritual Humanism
November 11, 2016 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. I’m sure some of my readers may be pleased with the presidential election result, but I know a lot of folks are troubled by it. So let’s take a minute to put it in its proper perspective. We have had plenty of bad leaders before, and we survived. We will get though this. I firmly believe that the ingenuity and resilience of humanity is truly something to behold.
As a species we have existed for some two hundred thousand years. We have faced innumerable challenges in the past; epidemics, famines, wars; and we have always pulled through and emerged stronger than before. It is also true that without something to push against, to test our abilities, we become complacent and never utilize our full abilities.
The immediate future may be rough going, but we are made of tough stuff. I am confident we will rise to meet the trials that lie before us and be better for having to overcome them. If the news of the day has got you down it’s time get up, dust yourself off and do something about it.
IN THE NEWS
Trolls for Trump
By Andrew Marantz
“The narrative is being written, and you’d better get off your fucking asses and write your own.”
Twitter is Cernovich’s favorite medium for promoting memes. The site devotes a prominent place to its list of trending topics – the most discussed phrases and hashtags of the moment, according to a proprietary algorithm. “It starts on Periscope,” he explained. “I’ll show you.” He propped his iPad upright on the kitchen table, so that the camera lens faced the mirror, and started filming.
Within seconds, thousands of viewers had signed on. “We’ve gotta get a hashtag trending,” he said.
“It’s hard to tell yet whether this is a killer hashtag or just an O.K. one,” he said. A hashtag will trend, he estimates, if it gets thirty-five hundred tweets within an hour. “That’s a guessâ€”Twitter keeps that stuff secret,”
see full story at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/trolls-for-trump
In a previous newsletter (http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/newsletters/031416.php) I stated that I want this to be a place for positive, upbeat stories because we all already encounter plenty of negativity in the world. I still want to do that. But at the same time we have to recognize and still make use of every tool we can get our hands on to make the world a better place.
Donald Trump has succeeded in his campaign and it behooves us to understand why. I am the first to admit social media can seem a black art. But here we see that those who helped him succeed follow the maxims that conflict is attention, and attention is influence.
In the limited world of Twitter’s 140 characters and of rude messaged memes nuanced arguments are not going to meet with success. Previously I have also written about how being opposed to a position is more powerful than being a supporter (http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/newsletters/mar_2016.php). Making people get angry about something also means that you have their attention, and again I remind you attention is influence.
Twitter and Reddit played an oversized role influencing the outcome of this election. The media is always hungry for a new story and they comb social sites looking for anything that will grab their reader’s eye. If we want to make the world a better place we need to be doing this too.
That’s why I want you to stop reading this newsletter right now and create a Twitter account. If you already have one that’s great, you a move ahead in the game! Either way you should now follow me @ordinations on Twitter.
This is a very important and easy step that you can take to help change the world. Do it now. I’m not yet certain what we will be Tweeting about. We have time to brainstorm about that. But if a fraction of the 30,000 subscribers to this newsletter were to organize I am sure we could vastly leverage our sway on the wider world.
Spiritual Humanist Clergy Packages are available in our online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The Ordination Certificates we provide are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are really cool to own. The Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the solstices, sample ceremonies, etc., and the companion CD has marriage laws for all 50 states. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the promoting Spiritual Humanism.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism