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Why people read posts and how to provide it

OLPC: XO internet access

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Write about something that people have an emotional investment in. Yesterday I had my biggest single one day page view. It was almost 3,000 views. Prior to this I had only had 1,700 views. I think this occurred because I wrote about something that tapped into an emotional aspect and not a logical one.

It has been my experience that most people look or only accept evidence that confirms their worldview. When they meet evidence that challenges their worldview they discount it. I think this is a survival mechanism from early cave man behavior. I read a study that said that people seek out their own views most of the time. Apparently roughly 33% of the time they are willing to try new ideas.

So I found it surprising that my most popular post wasn’t something that took the most effort, was the longest, or best researched. It was something that touched on the emotional issue of fairness. What is a fair charge for Internet access and why are the US prices out of balance compared to other countries?

I don’t have the answer. The easy answer is that US corporations are allowed to get away with bad behavior because of lack of government intervention. Another answer may be that we US citizens don’t do enough to support low cost internet providers. Isn’t it strange that we complain about high prices but rarely do anything about it? We could form communities and pool our resources to buy community internet access like community food co-ops. Perhaps if AT&T and Verizon continue to act in irresponsible ways, it will come to that.

It is said that most people don’t change from their disease making ways unless they have either fear, pain or loss of something important to them. I wonder if that is the final human carrot stick that also changes our behavior?

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