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Seeds of Meaning Amid Digital Chaos

    Douglas Bedell
    By Douglas Bedell

    Categories: community, media, technology

    George Ball, chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. and past president of the American Horticultural Society, fears that the Internet has become an uruly field of chaotic content, akin to a setting of mindlessness. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Ball laments that "This altogether noisy now – the digital Bablyon of the new, novel, momentous, scandalous, and sensational – endlessly colonizes our attention via the Internet, Twitter, TV, radio, news, popular entertainment, and advertising.

    "Clicking and flicking," he adds, "we are sucked willy-nilly into a swirling vortex of data, opinion and personalities, a psychic maelstrom devoid of perspective and reflection." Wow! There is that about a worldwide wilderness of digital meandering. But like a faithfully tilled field, the Internet can also yield a harvest of connection and meaning.

    This, indeed, is the aim of the Web community we're building at SimplyFair. We've been in a lull as the site has been under further development. But now, we're renewing our invitation to join in a dialogue about a world mediated by a fresh understanding of fairness – how well we relate to each other on our daily rounds.

    "Since now is the moment when we are most fully alive," George Ball asks, "do you really want to spend it in the company of pixels?" Well, no, but the company of people sharing digitally expressed concerns and experiences about treating others fairly is another matter. Something good can spread from that.

    That's our conviction as we invite you to join in this community about empathy for others, quite the opposite of "the carny fairway of mass media," that so concerns Mr. Ball. We pause to ask, "How're we doing?" in terms of relational well-being, as reflected in our daily experiences. That can produce not a glitzy carnival, but a heartening fellowship of insight and mutual gain. Come on along!