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This article doesn't provide much in the way of evidence for its claims.  It seems kind of strange to post it to this list, precisely the sort of space for communicating and networking that the article dismisses as fantasy.  While I see the point about the contrast between bridging and bonding forms of social capital, I have to wonder whether it is somewhat exaggerated.  One hundred years ago, were Protestants and Catholics and Jews, Blacks Whites and Chinese really mixing so much?  Don't people usually communicate partly on grounds of shared interest or already existing connections?  There is also a lot of rhetoric thrown around the way filters, etc. block out undesirable voices.  Quite frequently, by blocking spam, they facilitate genuine community dialogue.  Community organizations, even some churches, get locks on their doors not to be exclusionary but to stay in the business of being places where people can meet and 'be civic'.  Same thing is true on the internet.  Having moved to a new place three years ago, I can trace much of my extensive social network to the internet, either as starting point or as enhancer.
Steven Sherman

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