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View Diary: Knee-Jerk reactions to Home Depot founder's statement (92 comments)

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    a community blogosphere. Instant reactions are just waiting for any bit of news to come out. But the other thing to note is that the internet also fosters reactions and comments that potentially wouldn't be as strong due to the anonymity of the Web. It has the tendency to dehumanize any discussion, because we're reduced to communicating between User Ids.

    Sometimes you get to know the community, and you get to know how typical users think based on a history of comments and prior discussions. Other times, we hide behind the screen and shoot off any instant thought that comes to mind. I know I have been similarly guilty. It's different when you are face to face.

    Emotions will also typically feed on other emotions as well.

    I read an article on Slate.com, which I found quite interesting, unfortunately, I can't find it, but it was all about how when people are in an environment where they are around other people who think in similar ways, there's this natural tendency to outdo the emotion being expressed, which is kind of explaining the mob mentality.

    It happens on both the right and the left. Case in point, at Palin rallies, we were hearing shouts about "terrorist", "kill him" etc. These kinds of reactions were basically inciting further reactions.

    However when you bring left and right together, there tended to be a moderation of the view. Which is why diversity is so important.

    When the right get together, it can almost be too far right. Almost like a contest of who can prove they are more conservative.

    I think fortunately for us, we have what I think is a pretty big tent.

    So we have a spectrum of moderate to very liberal thinking. I keep hoping that we can continue to respect that.

    But to your point, I think there is too much a tendency to react without all the facts at hand. In certain situations, certainly it is warranted to make a judgment.

    If you see a hate crime, or when someone is being abused obviously you have to denounce it right away.

    In other cases, this environment of "breaking news" where we equate everything to be on the same level of  urgency of "OMG" can cultivate instantaneous reaction.

    Case in point the Lieberman storm yesterday, I think some people who initially felt anger wrote instantly, and probably today in a more rational state of mind can better handle the situation, see other points on why it's not as important, and move on.

    Of course there are still a tiny minority, who would rather just hold on to their righteous anger and stew unproductively, and bitterly regret any donation or pledge of support to the democratic party.

    The quality I admire about Obama, and lucky for us, is that he is much more deliberative. He will not only think about what's happening NOW, but what's the implication for the future.

    Human tendency is to want something and want it instantaneously. It's only when we are more rational, and tamp down on our Homer Simpson nature, that we can think more about the most appropriate rational response.

    "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" - Thomas Paine

    by pinkbunny on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 11:21:09 AM PST

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