Sports is a socially acceptable outlet for xenophobia

June 19, 2015 By: erik Category: Musings, Soccer

Your Team SucksToday I heard one of the best explanations for sports fandom that I’ve ever heard. The team sports as war tribalism metaphor has been obvious to me for a while. What I want to discuss today is not how it feels to be a player, but more about the sports fan culture that is built up around different teams. As someone who doesn’t really participate in that – although I try every four years – it can be confusing seeing photos of my peers dressing their children in team colors and making really derogatory hateful comments about other teams and fans of other teams. But it has finally clicked for me as to why sports is so important.

Filter Bubbles Scare Me

June 01, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Politics

Theories about information flow are particularly fun when they arrive to your brain through the very mechanisms they are explaining. Recently several of my Facebook friends, a couple people I follow on Twitter, and two of my favorite podcasts started reporting on a new concept from Eli Pariser called The Filter Bubble. The general idea goes like this: as search engines and social media sites use smarter and smarter algorithms to better serve what they determine our needs to be, the less and less we are exposed to opposing viewpoints.