☆ The Social Media Chorale

Chatting with Jill earlier, I ended up watching this TED talk by composer Eric Whitacre:

Which led me to his Virtual Choir project, which I found exceptionally beautiful and moving:

and to this year’s Virtual Choir 2.0, which drew together an astounding pool of global talent:

I’m moved by both works, by the beauty of the music as well as by the grace of the gathering together of strangers to create that beauty. I think I’ll enjoy the CD that contains both works (I’ve ordered it from Amazon UK; also on Amazon US).

The Value Of Social Media

Both of those Virtual Choir videos are the product of social media, downloading and peer-to-peer systems. Groups of people have voluntarily contributed their own voice and performance to collectively create a larger work beyond the scope of any one – or even any group – of them locally. When legislators lash out blindly at “social media” or “downloading” it harms not just the underclass they are briefed by lobbyists to envisage but also the creative energy of a meshed global society.

We saw during the London riots that social media was the vehicle for the expression of cohesiveness and contribution as well as for frustration and destructiveness. Here we see social media as the vehicle for creativity and beauty in an area we are being told it’s only used to “steal” and damage.

The truth is that tools are amoral (which does not automatically imply immoral), producing whatever the hands that hold them intend. We already have plenty of laws in our society which deal with malicious intent. I remain unconvinced we need new laws to deal with its modern expressions through new technology.  We need to tell our political representatives that banning social media, downloading, peer-to-peer and other technologies because they have only heard about the bad uses is wrong.

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