Jan. 24th, 2017

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Rumors and gossip play an important role in human communications because, for better or worse, they help establish one's reputation within a local community and maintain social hierarchies. [skip a few hundred thousand years of social change]. In the 21st century, online services — Amazon, Uber, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. — institutionalized this chatter and made it useful and globally accessible. The media also took advantage of the "gossip instinct" and created celebrities, so that the rest of humanity can chat about them without restraint or harm.

A more recent development is that, due to privacy concerns, people are now more reluctant to comment on those who are really close to them. Therefore, they get their gossip fix by commenting extensively on events and people that are totally outside of their life circles. Today, one of the most common examples of this "gossip reversal" trend would be when one picks a media report about a random idiot in the opposing political camp and re-posts it, with a running commentary!, online. A bunch of fellow gossipers appear and engage in a meaningless discussion on a meaningless subject. As a result, the benefits of the gossip instinct are totally wasted. [Well, maybe not totally, because typically the participants feel better about themselves as they become convinced that they are smarter than that other idiot on the other side of the globe]

On the other hand, I see less of it among the younger generation. Maybe they've already figured out a productive way to gossip. Or maybe I'm just out of touch with reality myself.
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When they thought that they were at length prepared for this undertaking, they set fire to all their towns, in number about twelve - to their villages about four hundred - and to the private dwellings that remained; they burn up all the corn, except what they intend to carry with them; that after destroying the hope of a return home, they might be the more ready for undergoing all dangers.

-- The Gallic Wars, by Julius Caesar. 1.5.

Sounds very similar to the Exodus.

upd: another great quote -
for the immortal gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances.

-- ibid 1.14.
timelets: (Default)
Вдруг подумал, что марш женщин на Вашингтон хорошо укладывается в нарратив сказки про Красную Шапочку. Осталось только найти охотников, чтобы выкинуть волка из белого домика, например, через два или четыре года.

Еще интересно, что сама идея массового публичного протеста против хуйла вызывает такое неприятие у трампистов. Видимо, сказывается психология спортивного болельщика, в которой у каждой игры есть фиксированная структура с определенным финалом. Целью такой игры является "победа", т.е. возможность сказать "Мы победили!" без приложения собственных усилий, потом выключить телевизор и пойти спать морально удовлетворенным.

А тут, вдруг, выясняется, что политика - совсем другая игра. Может, это совсем и не игра.


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