If the Ice Bucket Challenge Is Narcissistic, Is Narcissism Good?
As the ALS ice bucket challenge demonstrates, being charitable now means making sure all your friends and acquaintances know you're a caring, generous person.
In its ideal form, charity is a humbling experience: sacrificing something you could use for the benefit of another. But as the ALS ice bucket challenge demonstrates, being charitable now means making sure all your friends and acquaintances know you're a caring, generous person. For celebrity publicists, charity crazes represent public relations opportunities for their clients, and so have they become for each of us in smaller ways. It seems obvious that the ends justify the means in cases like these. What harm does a selfie or Youtube video do if millions of dollars are raised for medical research?
University of Georgia professor W. Keith Campbell agrees that narcissism is now met with reward but that doesn't mean there aren't negative aspects as well:
"[Narcissism] has these positive short-term qualities. But it also has more negative qualities which are that you’re often more willing to manipulate people or take advantage of others. Your ethics suffer, so it’s very much a mixed bag."
In other industries, such as energy efficient consumer goods from cars to solar cells, advertisers use people's desire to be seen as good as a selling point. Consumerism now has a positive veneer that once left if vulnerable to even the most apologetic social critic. Ideally good behavior would be entirely generous but as long as narcissism is here, why not get some good out of it?
Read more at BBC Future
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Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
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- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
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- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
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- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
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Yes, a coup d'état.
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- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
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