Liked The Messy Fourth Estate – Trust Issues – Medium by danah boyd (Medium)

Many Americans — especially conservative Americans — do not trust contemporary news organizations. This “crisis” is well-trod territory, but the focus on fact-checking, media literacy, and business models tends to obscure three features of the contemporary information landscape that I think are poorly understood:

  • Differences in worldview are being weaponized to polarize society.
  • We cannot trust organizations, institutions, or professions when they’re abstracted away from us.
  • Economic structures built on value extraction cannot enable healthy information ecosystems.

Marginalia

Doctorow creates these oppositional positions to make a point and to highlight that there is a war over epistemology, or the way in which we produce knowledge.The reality is much messier, because what’s at stake isn’t simply about resolving two competing worldviews. Rather, what’s at stake is how there is no universal way of knowing, and we have reached a stage in our political climate where there is more power in seeding doubt, destabilizing knowledge, and encouraging others to distrust other systems of knowledge production.

As the institutional construction of news media becomes more and more proximately divorced from the vast majority of people in the United States, we can and should expect trust in news to decline. No amount of fact-checking will make up for a widespread feeling that coverage is biased. No amount of articulated ethical commitments will make up for the feeling that you are being fed clickbait headlines.

It doesn’t take a quasi-documentary to realize that McDonald’s is not a fast-food franchise; it’s a real estate business that uses a franchise structure to extract capital from naive entrepreneurs.

no amount of innovative new business models will make up for the fact that you can’t sustain responsible journalism within a business structure that requires newsrooms to make more money quarter over quarter to appease investors. This does not mean that you can’t build a sustainable news business, but if the news is beholden to investors trying to extract value, it’s going to impossible. And if news companies have no assets to rely on (such as their now-sold real estate), they are fundamentally unstable and likely to engage in unhealthy business practices out of economic desperation.

ROI capitalism isn’t the only version of capitalism out there. We take it for granted and tacitly accept its weaknesses by creating binaries, as though the only alternative is Cold War Soviet Union–styled communism. We’re all frogs in an ocean that’s quickly getting warmer. Two degrees will affect a lot more than oceanfront properties.

There are three key higher-order next steps, all of which are at the scale of the New Deal.

  • Create a sustainable business structure for information intermediaries (like news organizations) that allows them to be profitable without the pressure of ROI.
  • Actively and strategically rebuild the social networks of America.
  • Find new ways of holding those who are struggling.

Trust cannot be demanded. It’s only earned by being there at critical junctures when people are in crisis and need help. You don’t earn trust when things are going well; you earn trust by being a rock during a tornado.

Liked Using Your Lack Of Trust To Take Advantage Of You (kinlane.com)
Much like the Internet’s inability to shake its military origins and use as a surveillance apparatus, I think the blockchain will never be able to shake its roots in a zero trust environment. Which requires a massive amount of faith in mathematics (not humans), and belief in the distributed nature of the web (which isn’t real).
Liked Challenging the invisible beast by Paul Browning (Compelling Leadership)

If you are a newly appointed leader here are a six tips to help you wrestle the invisible beast:

  • Spend time listening, seeking to understand the prevailing culture, “the way things are done around here”.
  • Be a questionable person. Identify the things you don’t agree with in the culture and have the courage to lead a life that is in opposition to those things.
  • Identify the crusaders, the nay-sayers and the influencers.
  • Take care not to get sucked into the prevailing culture, it is very powerful and you will be subsumed into it if you don’t have the courage, or strength to resist.
  • Develop strategies to change those aspects of the culture you don’t agree with, strategies to develop new norms.
  • Once a new strategy or norm is established, commit.