links for 2010-11-24

  • "If we're going to keep arguing about "the challenge of staying fully human in the brave new online world," at some point, we're going to have to define what "fully human" means. Too often, it seems to refer to the author's preexisting preferences for leisure time. Being on the Internet is very different from being in a quiet room with a good book and a long time to think about it. So if you're someone who likes to spend Saturday in a quiet room with a good book and a long time to think about it, you might find Facebook unnerving. And Zadie Smith and Ross Douthat do. Sometimes, I'd guess, we all do."

    Which is fine. But just because Zadie and Ross don't care for Facebook or being online doesn't make them more human than the rest of us. Let's just go back to chipping stone tools out of flint — that's pretty human.


One Response

  1. Whatever humans do is being “fully human” from committing genocide to saying grace before meals. Genteel behavior, civilized behavior— which is what this article seems to be about— is desirable, but they have nothing to do with being “fully human.”

    And to anticipate anyone who replies that the more we’re like animals, the less human we are, it’s good to remember that we eat, mate, rear our young, and feel many of the same emotions as animals. There’s so much overlap that to be human is to be part animal.

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