In Defense of Facebook
Responding to Zadie Smith's recent criticism of Facebook, Jonah Lehrer says online networks are evidence of our humanity—our drive to be social with one another.
While I’m sympathetic to many of [Zadie] Smith’s critiques of Facebook—the site is easy to eviscerate—I think she’s making a similar mistake, and is obsessing over the incidental details of the technology (the upholstery of the carriage, so to speak) while ignoring what really matters, which is that underlying need to connect with other people. Technology has an impact. Facebook is a fascinating and perplexing phenomenon. But I have enough faith in our relationships to know that they won’t be obliterated by a few ads on a website. When Facebook is over, when we’ve moved on to a new social technology with a new way of monetizing our connections in exchange for free storage space, what will remain is what always remains: human nature.
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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