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Geo-Locating Protest: The Changing Role Of Tech In Social Movements Part I

GEO-LOCATING PROTEST: THE REVOLUTION COMES TO YOUR DOORSTEP In 2016, women in several cities began receiving pop-up ads on their smartphones whenever they went near or inside a clinic providing abortions. The ads, which had been sent by anti-choice/ pro-life organizers, offered advice to women who were contemplating abortion. These particular women had been targeted because they had previously looked for Planned Parenthood information online. This practice was ruled an illegal infringement of personal health care data by the attorney general of Massachusetts, but it is one of a number of examples that signal a new phase in the use of technology by activists.

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The Psychology of Polarization And How We Can Overcome Our Prejudices

The polar vortex may have retreated for the winter months ago, but the political polarization within the United States certainly has not. Just as meteorologists provide scientific explanations for our frozen toes, social scientists may have some explanations for our frozen political discourse. America’s political polarization has already been discussed at length. Some blame idiosyncrasies of our system, included closed primaries, money in politics, and the loss of political party ‘middlemen’ for helping elect the most polarized Congress “since the end of the Reconstruction.” While these explanations are not wholly inaccurate, the Law of Parsimony states that simpler explanations are more likely to be correct than complicated ones.

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An Antidote to Divisiveness and Gridlock: Coffee Party USA and Local Communities

Sit down with each other face to face. Keep listening. Be heard. Find common ground. Build a new story. Are we avoiding real conversation, or perhaps yelling at each other from inside our bubbles and lenses?  Limiting ourselves to winning or losing in the political arena? Members of a body politic but paralyzed and cut off from one another? Fearful of the escalating worldwide change and of the breakdown of our social fabric, or cynical about self-government and the future, or despairing of resisting and attacking and being attacked, or hoping somebody does something? We usually realize that our futures are entwined, we affect each other, we can help each other, we have worsening problems that can be solved only by working together, and as humans we have similar needs and hopes.

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