“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Losing Face in an Online World

The UK Conservative Party's Chancellor of the Exchequer (Ben Bernanke and Tim Geitner rolled into one) simply can't back down from a palpably disastrous austerity program that is leading the UK into a triple dip recession.

I believe that quite a lot of the reason why is that in the current online world, no one yet knows how to do that very well (with some notable exceptions, viz Obama's "We screwed up," "We got shellacked" etc.).

The internet seems to prime the pump of the superego. Just think of the kind of piranha fest that erupts on Twitter frequently. Admitting you're wrong suddenly involves losing face in a freshly minted shame culture.

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