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Our Times 3

Romin Tafarodi

  • QAnon and America’s political moment

    QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory popular among supporters of Donald Trump, is symptomatic of a problematic digital culture of echo chambers and algorithmically sealed filter bubbles. Here, credulity, manipulation, resentment, tribalism, and misinformation mix and ferment into strange and powerful brews. Such is the dark side of participatory media. The roots of QAnon, however, run deeper.

  • Paying attention: Focus and distraction in the digital age

    Attention, as a dialectic of focus and distraction, has become central to understanding mediated life in the information economy. If we are our experiences, and there are more possibilities to experience than ever before, then the highly selective allocation, surrender, and capture of attention determines what we become—and all that we can become⁠—as individuals and as a society.

  • Can a pandemic be boring? Yes, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

    Philosophers and psychologists teach us that boredom can be a good thing when it provides impetus for articulating our moral commitments and pursuing the personal and societal changes needed to realize them. There is reason to believe that is happening now. Let us hope that once the pandemic is behind us, and we’re left dealing with its fallout, we will all reap the benefits of that realignment.

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