Who the heck sleeps with a Fan and AC on? – my comment Groups asking questions on Facebook not sharing results

Donna Kutac Janak

My air conditioner is really inefficient so I keep it at high temperature setting and run two fans continuously. The cost is half of running the air conditioner alone – and more comfortable. I enjoy the noise. You should be asking people why they would run their air conditioner “without” a fan!? Whoever started this kind of chain question should think seriously about gathering, compiling, curating and organizing the results. Just now it says 4.5 Million comments were made. And that contributes no more to human knowledge than a momentary tickle of little grey cells. People working together to pool their skills and knowledge (presumably here for something related to the relative value and strengths of AC and fans in many situations) – gets lost because Facebook of only for fun, only for jokes, however serious. It is gathering and organizing that makes it knowledge. Just my thoughts. Things like this that Facebook encourages and does not do seriously too, bother me. It should be OK and encouraged to be creative, work hard and have fun, without hurting people, and not waste opportunities when focusing millions of minds on a single question.

Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation


Yes, I agree it is fun and have noticed these kinds of questions increasing. But I have been a mathematical statistician all my life, and it bothers me that the knowledge about what is answered is either wasted completely, or might be gamed by individuals or groups for their own purposes. I know that sound cynical, but supposed it were a deliberate survey to ask random Facebook members questions? It is not hard to ask engaging questions and encourage their spread – like those old chain letters. I always focus on – Where is the information going? and Who might be benefiting? And, I see billions of people in the world living long lives with few prospects or resources, when very simple changes would allow large groups to accumulate their group knowledge quickly, and permanently. Like any powerful method, it can be used to benefit a few, or it can be open and help everyone involved.

I really appreciate your comment. It just seems that Facebook and Twitter and lots of these social media experiments and corporate sites could help with the many global problems that are lying neglected. They have the hardware mostly, the basics of the software needed, but staff and managers and leaders lack training in social responsibility and caring for others. All the people involved will be nice, caring, creative, and motivated, but collectively not do anything right.

LOL! I keep trying to understand and find ways to explain what I am seeing. 23 years of exploring the purpose and structure of the Internet is a long time.

That Thinkarete lifestyle group has another question on their page. It, too, does not seem to have any way for them to share the results. Or they are not sharing what they collect with the people who participate in the survey. So millions might answer, but only one group sees the results? Am I missing something?

Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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