We need a way to clean up our media environment ~ by Paul Greenberg

The polluter has to pay.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from two decades of environmental reporting it’s this simple rule. When industries like coal and oil are allowed to reap extraordinary profits from the environment without paying for the cost of the damage they inflict they have zero incentive to behave as responsible members of society.

In the last few years I’ve been writing more and more about the Tech Industry and surprisingly I’ve come to the same conclusion about the media environment. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media companies are the major conduits through which fake news and incitements to intolerance pour into the nation’s collective reservoir of consciousness. And yet as things stand today the companies that are most responsible for dumping media toxic waste are the least liable under the law. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act states “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In other words, right now, the owners of all those pipes that are dumping all that toxicity into our media environment explicitly don’t pay.

As we start to move into the thornier phase of the Biden administration it’s therefore imperative that we begin to reform our media laws so that they more closely behave like environmental laws. We have a Clean Water Act that prohibits the dumping of harmful chemicals and refuse into our waterways. We need our Communications Decency Act to behave more like a Clean Media Act — a law that would make the polluter pay, not only for the cost of dirtying the environment but for the time and expense it takes to clean it up.

To extend the metaphor it’s worth looking a bit more deeply into what makes The Clean Water Act so effective. The Clean Water Act, signed into law overriding President Nixon’s veto, pledges that the major waterways of the United States should be “swimmable and fishable.” Americans should be able to immerse themselves in American waters without getting sick and draw value from those same waters. The media environment should be similarly clean. We should be able to spend time immersing ourselves in news and not be sickened by calls to violence and discrimination. And like a fisherman fishing in clean water, we should be able to draw usable value from our media waterways. We should not have a media environment like Russia’s, so spoiled by misinformation that citizens find themselves unable to make informed choices in their day-to-day lives.

The Clean Water Act requires that major waterways of the United States be “swimmable and fishable” . . . The media environment should be similarly clean

With the fishable and swimmable premise established for the media environment we can follow the Clean Water Act’s guidance even further. The Clean Water Act focuses on regulating “point source polluters” — entities that introduce pollution directly into the environment — the pipe owners themselves. When the EPA seeks to punish an automobile plant for dumping leftover car paint into a river, they fine the plant not the autoworker who painted the car. The same should hold true for the owners of the media pipes — the Facebooks, Twitters and YouTubes of the world. Sure the guy who made an Islamophobic, fact-free meme is culpable. But it’s very hard to track down that guy and punish him for his misdeeds. That’s why we need to police the Media Outflow Pipe Owners (MOPO’s?) so that they in turn police the bad actors on their sites.

MOPO’s should also have to pay for remediation and repair of the environment they’ve polluted. Dirty Media, like dirty water, has downstream effects — sickening the thoughts of young people, corroding the pipes and bridges of society, building up like DDT in our minds over time — and so we need to figure out a precise mechanism for making polluters pay. Judges in Clean Water Act lawsuits typically assess damages done to the environment by putting a unit cost on, say, a spilled barrel of oil and then multiplying that cost out by the number of barrels spilled. It was through a calculation like this that litigators slapped a $20 billion fine on British Petroleum after it leaked more than three million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Social media may defend themselves by saying they can’t really control how misinformation spreads throughout their networks. I’m pretty sure if Twitter were liable for each instance a hateful meme was shared, the company would figure out a best available technology to scrub that meme from its platform ASAP.

Lastly, should a media company be found to be irredeemably toxic the government should have the authority to create something equivalent to a SuperFund site out of it. It shouldn’t only be up to Apple to ban Parler from its sales platforms. The media equivalent of nuclear waste needs government containment, oversight and continued monitoring until its half-life diminishes to something approaching harmless.

All of this is a tall order and if the government does choose to abolish section 230 from the Communications Decency Act there is sure to be intense blowback from Tech. That’s because a large part of their business model relies on not being liable for the damages they themselves are causing. But fixing this problem is an urgent imperative. The very existence of good governance depends on it.
American media polluters have amassed fortunes equivalent to those of the pharaohs of Egypt. Our loss has been their gain. For the sake of our health and the health of our children going forward, it’s time to fix the upstream problem so that all of us downstream can start to think our way clearly and rationally into the future.

More of my thoughts on media and/or the environment in my two new books by Paul Greenburg

Goodbye Phone, Hello World and The Climate Diet


Scan viral content sites for new topics to instantly earn six figures…

Kiran Yasmin
Feb 22 · 4 min read

In the freelance writing industry, money is considered motivation to work harder and better. Various aspiring writers feel shame about what they are earning every month. In an urge to make more than enough, they take writing courses and often copy the content or ideas of top writers. They are not ashamed of their skills and hard work. They are probably ashamed of confessing that they are making pennies. This may not be the case of every single writer, but it is obviously the situation of those who are writing solely for money or have families to take care of.

The good news is that anybody can write six-figure articles. The Internet is full of viral content sites to get ideas from. Here are a couple of examples for you.

Get $200 To $500 Per Article
Manage your own time and make enough money…

This Website Pays Content Writers $100 Per Post
Feel free to write as much as you want…

    Unique Visitors: 220000000
    BuzzFeed is one of the best independent digital media companies in the world. It is known to leverage data and innovation to reach millions of people every month. The website has loads of topics. You may choose a category of your choice and read a few articles to create similar stuff. However, you are not permitted to copy anything. Some of the main options are given below.
    You can create videos, quizzes, lists, and plain yet informative articles.
    Like BuzzFeed, you can write portfolios of top personalities or talk about different brands that are trending on the Internet.
    If you are able to produce original content for cable, film, and digital platforms, you will be paid heavily and your articles may go viral, making you millions of dollars.
    World-class reporting and investigation stories can be written to get more and more visibility.
  2. VOX.COM
    Unique Visitors: 25700000
    Vox covers everything from culture and science to technology, politics, history, and health. Like BuzzFeed, this website has plenty of viral content ideas. You can write topics similar to Vox, and if you copy several lines or photos, please don’t forget to cite the original author. Here is what its writers love to write.
    Vox has a separate section for big and major stories outside of the news cycle. You can go to this section to get some inspiration for your next viral story.
    The site has various professional writers trying to predict the future of humanity. These kinds of stories get lots of views.
    This section is devoted to the things people buy on a daily basis.
    Unique Visitors: 20900000
    Mashable is popular culture, science, technology, and entertainment platform of the United States. It publishes hundreds of news stories every day and was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore. If you are scanning Mashable for viral content, you may like the following sections.
    These days, everybody is talking about coronavirus and such stories instantly get millions of views. Go to this section to know what is happening in the health sector and start writing something good.
    If possible, you can create an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that can be downloaded and listened to by the world’s users.
    Who wouldn’t like entertainment? The world is full of problems, and if you write entertaining stories, people will definitely want to read them. You can create lists or write news stories on celebrities.
    Unique Visitors: 9150000
    Bored Panda is popular art, design, and photography community for creative content creators. Every story published here goes viral, and this is probably the reason why so many people use Bored Panda to get backlinks. You can scan this site to obtain useful information.
    In the Featured section, you will find some of the best and finest stories. These articles have received hundreds of comments and keep generating more views.
    In this section, you will find stories that have never been told. You can find various information and photos here.
    Last but not least, this section contains the current or latest information on almost everything. It is good for writers who are looking for fresh and unique content ideas.
    After checking these sites, you will surely get various topics to write about. The more you write, the higher will be your earnings.



What works for you may be different from what has worked for other writers…

by Kiran Yasmin

The Internet is full of tips and advice on how to write viral stories, how to gain enough followers, and how to get plenty of reads or views. Only a few of these tips and tricks are worth the time of a writer.

It is important for every writer to produce high-quality and unique content.

Every story you write should be free from grammatical and spelling mistakes and must provide the reader with something good and interesting to learn from. I know that not everyone can write content daily, as we all have our own lifestyles or routines. However, when you decide to write a post, you don’t need to devote a lot of time. Thirty to forty minutes are enough to write a story of 800 words.

Here is a quick and effective guide for every aspiring writer.

writing, typing, journaling

Step#1: Think What You Are Going To Write
Time Required: 5 Minutes
The Goal: 200 Words

Before you start writing, you need to spend five minutes thinking about the topic. You may check the most trending posts to have an idea of what to write today. Or else, you can select your own subject or topic and collect information on it right away. Writers should get their head clear and ask themselves the following questions:

What I am trying to argue?

How am I educating my target audience?

What type of problem I will solve?

What actions do I want my readers to take?

Please bear in mind that your article topic should be engaging and informative. It should not be something that wastes the time of readers.

Step#2: Organize Your Thoughts And Information
Time Required: 5 minutes
The Goal: 100 Words

Once you have chosen the topic and have collected the relevant information, the next step is to organize your ideas and thoughts. It won’t take you enough time if you have already written several articles. You may create an outline, which I think is the best way to organize one’s thoughts.

Writers who have multiple pieces of advice or tips on their topics can format their content into “tip” articles, such as 10 Tips To Writing Viral Stories and 5 Ways To Boost Your Performance. Once you are done, you will be ready to move to the next step.

Step#3: Write Fast And Furious
Time Required: 15 Minutes
The Goal: 300 Words

It is going to be the most difficult step, especially for those who have not written much content. However, there is nothing to worry about. You just need some practice and hard work to be able to write 300 words in ten to fifteen minutes. Here are some quick tips for my fellow writers.

Write 100 words in five minutes by following the outline you have made.

Fill each part with something that comes to your mind in terms of information.

Don’t forget to use the information you have collected from different offline and online resources.

It is all about getting the words on the page as quickly as possible. There is no need to worry about grammar and spelling because your focus should be on writing the required number of words. If you pause to consider what you have said, you may lose the momentum and the writing process will be slowed down.

Step#4: Clean It Up
Time Required: 10 Minutes
The Goal: 200 Words

This is the step in which you have to edit and proofread the work. You may write another 200 words as a conclusion if you think that the length of the article is not enough. There are plenty of tools for writers to check grammar and spelling, Grammarly being one of them.

I think that there is no alternative to manual editing and proofreading. Besides writing another 200 words (optional), you should edit and proofread the whole content and make sure it is understandable and readable from a reader’s viewpoint. I suggest you spend a couple of seconds elaborating on your ideas and cleaning up anything that is not clear to you.

Step#5: Write The Headline
Time Required: 5 Minutes
The Goal: 5–15 Words

The headline or title of the most is what will attract the audience. It needs to be eye-catching and informative. You don’t need to spend hours writing a good headline. In fact, you need five minutes to brainstorm a good title.

I recommend writers writing multiple titles or headlines and choosing one of them. You may revise the title to make it look good but the length should not be more than ten words. Attend peer review groups or seek the help of a fellow writer if you are confused about writing a great title.

Last but not least, you should naturally use the main keyword in the title and sub-title.


Percy Bysshe Shelley
BORN: 4 August 1792
HorshamSussex, England
8 July 1822 (aged 29)
Gulf of La SpeziaKingdom of Sardinia (now Italy)
Eton College
University of Oxford
Harriet Westbrook
(m. 1811; died 1816)​
Mary Shelley
(m. 1816)

How a simple poem influenced famous freedom fighters like Gandhi to adapt peaceful protests and non-violent resistance.

by Tamara Mitrofanova
Percy Shelley is so underrated that it hurts. Shelley was the first to encourage peaceful protests in overthrowing tyrannical governments and this had inspired Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and others. His legacy is being the first to pioneer peaceful protests that toppled regimes.

Percy Shelley, a famous poet from the Romantic Era, was the first to advocate for peaceful protests and he inspired Gandhi to adopt non-violent resistance. Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance influenced Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. They had all followed Shelley’s philosophy and it helped create a new world.

When Gandhi read Shelley’s poem, “The Masque of Anarchy” he was instantly captivated by its message for freedom through peace. It is known that Gandhi would often quote various passages from the poem to vast audiences during the campaign for India’s independence.

Percy Shelley wrote this poem after hearing of the tragic event known as the Massacre of Peterloo. More than a hundred working men, women and children were seriously injured when they staged a public meeting to determine how to achieve reform through “the most legal and effectual means.”

Like many others, Percy Shelley was furious over this naked governmental oppression and seized the opportunity to write what is now considered, “the greatest poem of political protest ever written in English.”

Sadly, during his lifetime his poem was considered too radical and never published until 1832, years after he died.

In 2020, this poem is still very relatable to modern events. We have seen many people throughout the world rising up in protest.

The BLM protests in response to police brutality, the Beirut explosion followed by mass protests against corruption and protests in Belarus against government oppression. The quote “Ye are many — they are few!” in the Masque of Anarchy resonates even today.
Percy Shelley’s poem had even influenced the Egyptian revolution 2011, with protestors chanting the lines, “Rise, like lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number!”

Percy Shelley is the most underrated intellectual who envisioned way ahead into the future and foresaw pacifism as the greatest weapon against despotism and injustice.

As a self-proclaimed Atheist and an advocate for freedom, he did not fit in strict and religious 18th century England. Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for atheism, broke ties with his rule-abiding father and eloped with two women, one being Mary Godwin Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Discriminated against and hunted for being a political radical, he died tragically at age 29. Despite the difficulty he experienced, he never gave up hope for a better future. Percy Shelley walked around Italy wearing a ring with the good time will come inscribed on the inner surface.

Indeed good times did come and it was his poem that inspired others to take up the scepter in creating a better world.


This is the year to de-center your smartphone

Paul Greenberg

Paul Greenberg

For the sake of yourself and your country, it is time to get off your phone.

Yes, I know you needed to see the latest from the Capitol storming, the impeachment hearings, the Republican backlash, and then you’ll need to know how it’s all going down with the new administration in the first 100 days, and then perhaps you’ll want to check in on the stalled Covid-19 vaccination effort. And then poof, before you know it, midterm elections will be ramping up and you’ll need to scroll and scroll and scroll.

But there’s a good reason to balance a civic duty to stay informed with a personal responsibility to protect yourself. According to the online survey company Chartbeat, Americans burned 173 million hours reading about Trump (and other stuff) on their phones over the last four years — more than twice as much time as they spent reading about him on their laptops or desktops. Those same 173 million hours would have been enough time to clean all of our beaches of plastic debris, or tackle any of our myriad personal goals.

Image for post
Source: ChartBeat

But what’s really significant about all the doomscrolling time is how it has affected our minds. Phone-based news reading tends to be done in spurts, with scant attention paid to nuance or substantiation of argument. It is, in short, the perfect cave for Trumpian thoughts and conspiracy theories to dwell. We need to move our attention away from Twitter and TikTok and focus instead on fact-checked and fact-based arguments.An Easy 3-Step System for Reclaiming Your Time from the News CycleRaise your hand if you’ve come up for air after a doomscrolling session only to discover that you forked over an hour…forge.medium.com

How to do this? As I write in my book Goodbye Phone, Hello World, changing your relationship to your phone requires a change in your relationship with your daily life. De-centering your phone won’t cause you to lose money, friendships, “connectedness,” or opportunity. Rather it will be an opportunity for you to take your life back from Big Tech’s agenda and start making rational, sound plans with you in control of your time.

Here are 12 steps you can take right now to begin the process:

Get an alarm clock

The moments between sleeping and waking are the times when we are most in touch with our subconscious, and thus precious for creativity. Protect those tender morning minutes. Have an alarm clock wake you up, so that first thing you are focused on something other than your phone.

Engage with your dreams

Dreams are your window into what Carl Jung called “the night-sea journey,” the pathway to the inner workings of your being. Start a dream journal that you keep next to your bed. Record your dreams in words and images every morning the moment you wake before they dissipate in the morning light.

Choose something other than your phone as a morning practice

In the ancient Sanskrit sacred text The Bhagavad Gita, the God Krishna, incarnated as a charioteer, instructs the young warrior Arjuna on how to live a fulfilling life. He tells Arjuna that the divided mind is an unhappy mind but that “[w]hen a person is devoted to something with complete faith, I unify his faith in that form.” Mastery through practice is faith. By replacing some of your device-divided time with unified time, you begin to lay down your own path.

Take a month to experiment with different practices that could be sustained over time. Is it the piano you once played? The watercolors you’ve always wanted to paint? Try taking 15 minutes of what was your smartphone time and dedicating it to that practice. Evaluate your feelings after each short session. At the end of a month, choose the practice you want to follow and pursue it consistently throughout the next month, increasing the time you spend on that practice by one-minute increments each day as time allows.

Do your morning reading from a physical magazine with in-depth, fact-checked reporting

Reading on paper can be good for you. A 2016 study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine found that individuals who read on paper increased their life-span by an average of 23 months. Spend some time reading serious journalism — or a favorite book.

Make at least one meal a day tech-free

Research has shown that even the presence of an inert phone on the table serves to make conversations shallower.

Have an unedited conversation

Many people say they text or email rather than talk because they have come to fear the spontaneity of actual conversation. They fear an awkward silence. But “[i]t is often in the moments when we stumble and hesitate and fall silent that we reveal ourselves to each other,” Sherry Turkle writes in her book Reclaiming Conversation. Choose to be revealed.

Use your phone with intention

Before texting, posting, or making any other public statement, remember Gandhi’s helpful saying: “Speak only if it improves upon silence.”

Call a friend you’re about text

Use texting just for logistical purposes, saving emotional information for more direct communication.

Focus on real friends

The social media use of the word friend is an appropriation that downplays the critical roles actual friends play in our lives. Most psychologists agree that humans can only effectively maintain a relatively small number of truly intimate friendships — usually around 15. By this standard, having 1,000 “friends” is absurd. Take a long, hard look at your list of digital friends and cull the list to those with whom you have meaningful communication.

Curate curation

One of the things that distorts our exercise regimen and attitudes toward our own bodies is an obsessive curating of self-image. Editing images of yourself and posting them online creates unrealizable expectations, especially for young adults.

Limit your self-curation both for your own sake and for the sake of the younger people in your life who are particularly susceptible. Try to go for a given period of time without editing photos of yourself or your loved ones. Examine how you feel after this “self-curation” diet.

Stick with your plans

Smartphones make it easy to waffle; you can always text an apology when you’re running late or bailing on plans entirely. Try to honor your commitments to your intimates. Make a plan and stick to it. Be respectful of the agreed upon time you and your loved one have set aside to be together. Keeping commitments with your intimates is another bedrock of trustworthy relationships.

Protect the night

You’ll get a better night’s sleep if you avoid looking at screens beginning two hours before bed. In your last moments before sleep, write in a journal, meditate, read some lines of poetry, or have an exchange with your partner: a look in the eye, some words. Close your eyes with the expectation of exploring the wealth of your own mind in the morning.

Remember, breaking a phone addiction isn’t easy. Be gentle with yourself. Understand that when you stare into your phone 10,000 programmers’ eyes are staring back at you, monitoring your move, adapting the on-screen environment so that you’ll keep looking and scrolling. Let’s make 2021 the year when we stopped doing that mindlessly.

Let’s take back control of our country, our time, and our minds.