Thursday, February 22, 2007

Flaming

Interesting explanation of the increasing offensiveness of internet discourse.

Some have argued that people aren't saying what they really think. I would argue that anonymity is when we become most truly ourselves. Hence the secret ballot and anonymous peer review that allow people to express their opinions without concern for "consequences". Anonymity is also favored by groups like the Klan, whose members are often prominent citizens who can't afford to be known as Klansmen.

Note the two men who tracked down and assaulted a person with whom one of the men had exchanged insults online. I must admit that during last year's debacle, I feared for my safety, especially after I began receiving multiple hang-up calls a day from untraceable numbers. (For those not familiar, pushing a few buttons on your phone before dialing can make your number untraceable.) Was I paranoid? Or damned lucky? I'm hoping for paranoid.

2 Comments:

Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

i read that entire article before realizing it was written by daniel goleman, who wrote a really interesting book on a related subject called "social intelligence." i say it was "really interesting" based on the first few chapters and the table of contents. alas, until i finish studying and take the bar, i can't read *anything* else. but the subject he's studying is really fascinating.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Melinda Barton said...

I definitely want to read that when I get the chance.

3:53 PM  

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