Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Lehrer

Out of control? Online shaming spirals

Misused or confused privilege of freedom of expressions?

“Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the Third World. I was making of fun of that bubble.”

Are the ideologues winning on social platforms?

In the early days of Twitter, it was like a place of radical de-shaming.

People would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, “Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.”

Voiceless people realized that they had a voice, and it was powerful and eloquent.

If a newspaper ran some racist or homophobic column, we realized we could do something about it. We could get them.

We could hit them with a weapon that we understood but they didn’t — a social media shaming.

Advertisers would withdraw their advertising. When powerful people misused their privilege, we were going to get them.

This was like the democratization of justice. Hierarchies were being leveled out. We were going to do things better.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.

1:01 Soon after that, a disgraced pop science writer called Jonah Lehrer he’d been caught plagiarizing and faking quotes, and he was drenched in shame and regret, he told me. And he had the opportunity to publicly apologize at a foundation lunch.

This was going to be the most important speech of his life. Maybe it would win him some salvation. He knew before he arrived that the foundation was going to be live-streaming his event, but what he didn’t know until he turned up, was that they’d erected a giant screen Twitter feed right next to his head. (Laughter) Another one in a monitor screen in his eye line.

I don’t think the foundation did this because they were monstrous. I think they were clueless: I think this was a unique moment when the beautiful naivety of Twitter was hitting the increasingly horrific reality.

And here were some of the Tweets that were cascading into his eye line, as he was trying to apologize:

 “Jonah Lehrer, boring us into forgiving him.” (Laughter)

And, “Jonah Lehrer has not proven that he is capable of feeling shame.”

That one must have been written by the best psychiatrist ever, to know that about such a tiny figure behind a lectern.

And, “Jonah Lehrer is just a frigging sociopath.”

That last word is a very human thing to do, to dehumanize the people we hurt.

It’s because we want to destroy people but not feel bad about it.

Imagine if this was an actual court, and the accused was in the dark, begging for another chance, and the jury was yelling out, “Bored! Sociopath!”

You know, when we watch courtroom dramas, we tend to identify with the kind-hearted defense attorney, but give us the power, and we become like hanging judges.

Power shifts fast.

We were getting Jonah because he was perceived to have misused his privilege, but Jonah was on the floor then, and we were still kicking, and congratulating ourselves for punching up.

And it began to feel weird and empty when there wasn’t a powerful person who had misused their privilege that we could get.

A day without a shaming began to feel like a day picking fingernails and treading water.

Let me tell you a story.

It’s about a woman called Justine Sacco.

She was a PR woman from New York with 170 Twitter followers, and she’d Tweet little acerbic jokes to them, like this one on a plane from New York to London: [Weird German Dude: You’re in first class. It’s 2014. Get some deodorant.”

-Inner monologue as inhale BO. Thank god for pharmaceuticals.]

So Justine chuckled to herself, and pressed send, and got no replies, and felt that sad feeling that we all feel when the Internet doesn’t congratulate us for being funny. (Laughter)

Black silence when the Internet doesn’t talk back.

And then she got to Heathrow, and she had a little time to spare before her final leg, so she thought up another funny little acerbic joke:

[Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!]

And she chuckled to herself, pressed send, got on the plane, got no replies, turned off her phone, fell asleep, woke up 11 hours later, turned on her phone while the plane was taxiing on the runway, and straightaway there was a message from somebody that she hadn’t spoken to since high school, that said, “I am so sorry to see what’s happening to you.”

And then another message from a best friend, “You need to call me right now. You are the worldwide number one trending topic on Twitter.” (Laughter)

What had happened is that one of her 170 followers had sent the Tweet to a Gawker journalist, and he retweeted it to his 15,000 followers: [And now, a funny holiday joke from IAC’s PR boss] And then it was like a bolt of lightning.

A few weeks later, I talked to the Gawker journalist. I emailed him and asked him how it felt, and he said, “It felt delicious.” And then he said, “But I’m sure she’s fine.”

But she wasn’t fine, because while she slept, Twitter took control of her life and dismantled it piece by piece.

First there were the philanthropists: [If @JustineSacco’s unfortunate words … bother you, join me in supporting @CARE’s work in Africa.] [In light of … disgusting, racist tweet, I’m donating to @care today]

Then came the beyond horrified: [… no words for that horribly disgusting racist as fuck tweet from Justine Sacco. I am beyond horrified.]

Was anybody on Twitter that night? A few of you.

Did Justine’s joke overwhelm your Twitter feed the way it did mine? It did mine, and I thought what everybody thought that night, which was, “Wow, somebody’s screwed! Somebody’s life is about to get terrible!”

And I sat up in my bed, and I put the pillow behind my head, and then I thought, I’m not entirely sure that joke was intended to be racist.

Maybe instead of gleefully flaunting her privilege, she was mocking the gleeful flaunting of privilege.

There’s a comedy tradition of this, like South Park or Colbert or Randy Newman.

Maybe Justine Sacco’s crime was not being as good at it as Randy Newman. In fact, when I met Justine a couple of weeks later in a bar, she was just crushed, and I asked her to explain the joke, and she said, “Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the Third World. I was making of fun of that bubble.”

You know, another woman on Twitter that night, a New Statesman writer Helen Lewis, she reviewed my book on public shaming and wrote that she Tweeted that night, “I’m not sure that her joke was intended to be racist,” and she said straightaway she got a fury of Tweets saying, “Well, you’re just a privileged bitch, too.” And so to her shame, she wrote, she shut up and watched as Justine’s life got torn apart.

6:56 It started to get darker: [Everyone go report this cunt @JustineSacco] Then came the calls for her to be fired. [Good luck with the job hunt in the new year. #GettingFired] Thousands of people around the world decided it was their duty to get her fired. [@JustineSacco last tweet of your career. #SorryNotSorry Corporations got involved, hoping to sell their products on the back of Justine’s annihilation: [Next time you plan to tweet something stupid before you take off, make sure you are getting on a @Gogo flight!] (Laughter)

A lot of companies were making good money that night.

You know, Justine’s name was normally Googled 40 times a month. That month, between December the 20th and the end of December, her name was Googled 1,220,000 times.

And one Internet economist told me that that meant that Google made somewhere between 120,000 dollars and 468,000 dollars from Justine’s annihilation, whereas those of us doing the actual shaming — we got nothing. (Laughter) We were like unpaid shaming interns for Google. (Laughter)

And then came the trolls: [I’m actually kind of hoping Justine Sacco gets aids? lol] Somebody else on that wrote, Somebody HIV-positive should rape this bitch and then we’ll find out if her skin color protects her from AIDS.”

And that person got a free pass.

Nobody went after that person. We were all so excited about destroying Justine, and our shaming brains are so simple-minded, that we couldn’t also handle destroying somebody who was inappropriately destroying Justine.

Justine was really uniting a lot of disparate groups that night, from philanthropists to “rape the bitch.” [@JustineSacco I hope you get fired! You demented bitch… Just let the world know you’re planning to ride bare back while in Africa.]

Women always have it worse than men.

When a man gets shamed, it’s, “I’m going to get you fired.” When a woman gets shamed, it’s, “I’m going to get you fired and raped and cut out your uterus.”

And then Justine’s employers got involved: [IAC on @JustineSacco tweet: This is an outrageous, offensive comment. Employee in question currently unreachable on an intl flight.] And that’s when the anger turned to excitement: [All I want for Christmas is to see @JustineSacco’s face when her plane lands and she checks her inbox/voicemail. #fired] [Oh man, @justinesacco is going to have the most painful phone-turning-on moment ever when her plane lands.]

[We are about to watch this @JustineSacco bitch get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she’s getting fired.] What we had was a delightful narrative arc. We knew something that Justine didn’t. Can you think of anything less judicial than this?

Justine was asleep on a plane and unable to explain herself, and her inability was a huge part of the hilarity. On Twitter that night, we were like toddlers crawling towards a gun. Somebody worked out exactly which plane she was on, so they linked to a flight tracker website. [British Airways Flight 43 On-time – arrives in 1 hour 34 minutes]

A hashtag began trending worldwide: # hasJustineLandedYet? [It is kinda wild to see someone self-destruct without them even being aware of it. #hasJustineLandedYet] [Seriously. I just want to go home to go to bed, but everyone at the bar is SO into #HasJustineLandedYet. Can’t look away. Can’t leave.] [#HasJustineLandedYet may be the best thing to happen to my Friday night.]

[Is no one in Cape Town going to the airport to tweet her arrival? Come on, twitter! I’d like pictures] And guess what? Yes there was. [@JustineSacco HAS in fact landed at Cape Town international. And if you want to know what it looks like to discover that you’ve just been torn to shreds because of a misconstrued liberal joke, not by trolls, but by nice people like us, this is what it looks like: [… She’s decided to wear sunnies as a disguise.]

So why did we do it? I think some people were genuinely upset, but I think for other people, it’s because Twitter is basically a mutual approval machine.

We surround ourselves with people who feel the same way we do, and we approve each other, and that’s a really good feeling. And if somebody gets in the way, we screen them out. And do you know what that’s the opposite of? It’s the opposite of democracy.

We wanted to show that we cared about people dying of AIDS in Africa. Our desire to be seen to be compassionate is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act. As Meghan O’Gieblyn wrote in the Boston Review, “This isn’t social justice. It’s a cathartic alternative.”

For the past three years, I’ve been going around the world meeting people like Justine Sacco — and believe me, there’s a lot of people like Justine Sacco. There’s more every day. And we want to think they’re fine, but they’re not fine. The people I met were mangled.

They talked to me about depression, and anxiety and insomnia and suicidal thoughts. One woman I talked to, who also told a joke that landed badly, she stayed home for a year and a half. Before that, she worked with adults with learning difficulties, and was apparently really good at her job.

11:54 Justine was fired, of course, because social media demanded it. But it was worse than that. She was losing herself. She was waking up in the middle of the night, forgetting who she was. She was got because she was perceived to have misused her privilege. And of course, that’s a much better thing to get people for than the things we used to get people for, like having children out of wedlock.

But the phrase “misuse of privilege” is becoming a free pass to tear apart pretty much anybody we choose to. It’s becoming a devalued term, and it’s making us lose our capacity for empathy and for distinguishing between serious and unserious transgressions.

Justine had 170 Twitter followers, and so to make it work, she had to be fictionalized. Word got around that she was the daughter the mining billionaire Desmond Sacco. [Let us not be fooled by #JustineSacco her father is a SA mining billionaire. She’s not sorry. And neither is her father.] I thought that was true about Justine, until I met her at a bar, and I asked her about her billionaire father, and she said, “My father sells carpets.”

I think back on the early days of Twitter, when people would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, “Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.” These days, the hunt is on for people’s shameful secrets. You can lead a good, ethical life, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all, become a clue to your secret inner evil.

Maybe there’s two types of people in the world: those people who favor humans over ideology, and those people who favor ideology over humans.

I favor humans over ideology, but right now, the ideologues are winning, and they’re creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas where everybody’s either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that’s not true about our fellow humans.

What’s true is that we are clever and stupid; what’s true is that we’re grey areas. The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we’re now creating a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.

Let’s not do that.

Bruno Giussani Don’t go away. What strikes me about Justine’s story is also the fact that if you Google her name today, this story covers the first 100 pages of Google results — there is nothing else about her.

In your book, you mention another story of another victim who actually got taken on by a reputation management firm, and by creating blogs and posting nice, innocuous stories about her love for cats and holidays and stuff, managed to get the story off the first couple pages of Google results, but it didn’t last long. A couple of weeks later, they started creeping back up to the top result. Is this a totally lost battle?

Jon Ronson:  I think the very best thing we can do, if you see a kind of unfair or an ambiguous shaming, is to speak up, because I think the worst thing that happened to Justine was that nobody supported her — like, everyone was against her, and that is profoundly traumatizing, to be told by tens of thousands of people that you need to get out.

But if a shaming happens and there’s a babble of voices, like in a democracy, where people are discussing it, I think that’s much less damaging. So I think that’s the way forward, but it’s hard, because if you do stand up for somebody, it’s incredibly unpleasant.

15:34 BG: So let’s talk about your experience, because you stood up by writing this book. By the way, it’s mandatory reading for everybody, okay? You stood up because the book actually puts the spotlight on shamers. And I assume you didn’t only have friendly reactions on Twitter.

15:48 JR: It didn’t go down that well with some people. (Laughter) I mean, you don’t want to just concentrate — because lots of people understood, and were really nice about the book.

But yeah, for 30 years I’ve been writing stories about abuses of power, and when I say the powerful people over there in the military, or in the pharmaceutical industry, everybody applauds me. As soon as I say, “We are the powerful people abusing our power now,” I get people saying, “Well you must be a racist too.”

BG: So the other night — yesterday — we were at dinner, and there were two discussions going on. On one side you were talking with people around the table — and that was a nice, constructive discussion. On the other, every time you turned to your phone, there is this deluge of insults.

JR: Yeah. This happened last night. We had like a TED dinner last night. We were chatting and it was lovely and nice, and I decided to check Twitter. Somebody said, “You are a white supremacist.” And then I went back and had a nice conversation with somebody, and then I went back to Twitter, somebody said my very existence made the world a worse place.

My friend Adam Curtis says that maybe the Internet is like a John Carpenter movie from the 1980s, when eventually everyone will start screaming at each other and shooting each other, and then eventually everybody would flee to somewhere safer, and I’m starting to think of that as a really nice option.

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Out of control? Online shaming spirals

In the early days of Twitter, it was like a place of radical de-shaming.

People would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, “Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.” Voiceless people realized that they had a voice, and it was powerful and eloquent.

If a newspaper ran some racist or homophobic column, we realized we could do something about it. We could get them.

We could hit them with a weapon that we understood but they didn’t — a social media shaming.

Advertisers would withdraw their advertising. When powerful people misused their privilege, we were going to get them.

This was like the democratization of justice. Hierarchies were being leveled out. We were going to do things better.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
Twitter gives a voice to the voiceless, a way to speak up and hit back at perceived injustice.
But sometimes, says Jon Ronson, things go too far.
In a jaw-dropping story of how one un-funny tweet ruined a woman’s life and career, Ronson shows…
ted.com|By Jon Ronson

1:01 Soon after that, a disgraced pop science writer called Jonah Lehrer he’d been caught plagiarizing and faking quotes, and he was drenched in shame and regret, he told me. And he had the opportunity to publicly apologize at a foundation lunch.

This was going to be the most important speech of his life. Maybe it would win him some salvation. He knew before he arrived that the foundation was going to be live-streaming his event, but what he didn’t know until he turned up, was that they’d erected a giant screen Twitter feed right next to his head. (Laughter) Another one in a monitor screen in his eye line.

I don’t think the foundation did this because they were monstrous. I think they were clueless: I think this was a unique moment when the beautiful naivety of Twitter was hitting the increasingly horrific reality.

And here were some of the Tweets that were cascading into his eye line, as he was trying to apologize:

 “Jonah Lehrer, boring us into forgiving him.” (Laughter)

And, “Jonah Lehrer has not proven that he is capable of feeling shame.”

That one must have been written by the best psychiatrist ever, to know that about such a tiny figure behind a lectern.

And, “Jonah Lehrer is just a frigging sociopath.”

That last word is a very human thing to do, to dehumanize the people we hurt.

It’s because we want to destroy people but not feel bad about it.

Imagine if this was an actual court, and the accused was in the dark, begging for another chance, and the jury was yelling out, “Bored! Sociopath!”

You know, when we watch courtroom dramas, we tend to identify with the kind-hearted defense attorney, but give us the power, and we become like hanging judges.

Power shifts fast.

We were getting Jonah because he was perceived to have misused his privilege, but Jonah was on the floor then, and we were still kicking, and congratulating ourselves for punching up.

And it began to feel weird and empty when there wasn’t a powerful person who had misused their privilege that we could get. A day without a shaming began to feel like a day picking fingernails and treading water.

Let me tell you a story.

It’s about a woman called Justine Sacco.

She was a PR woman from New York with 170 Twitter followers, and she’d Tweet little acerbic jokes to them, like this one on a plane from New York to London: [Weird German Dude: You’re in first class. It’s 2014. Get some deodorant.”

-Inner monologue as inhale BO. Thank god for pharmaceuticals.]

So Justine chuckled to herself, and pressed send, and got no replies, and felt that sad feeling that we all feel when the Internet doesn’t congratulate us for being funny. (Laughter)

Black silence when the Internet doesn’t talk back. And then she got to Heathrow, and she had a little time to spare before her final leg, so she thought up another funny little acerbic joke:

[Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!]

And she chuckled to herself, pressed send, got on the plane, got no replies, turned off her phone, fell asleep, woke up 11 hours later, turned on her phone while the plane was taxiing on the runway, and straightaway there was a message from somebody that she hadn’t spoken to since high school, that said, “I am so sorry to see what’s happening to you.”

And then another message from a best friend, “You need to call me right now. You are the worldwide number one trending topic on Twitter.” (Laughter)

What had happened is that one of her 170 followers had sent the Tweet to a Gawker journalist, and he retweeted it to his 15,000 followers: [And now, a funny holiday joke from IAC’s PR boss] And then it was like a bolt of lightning.

A few weeks later, I talked to the Gawker journalist. I emailed him and asked him how it felt, and he said, “It felt delicious.” And then he said, “But I’m sure she’s fine.”

But she wasn’t fine, because while she slept, Twitter took control of her life and dismantled it piece by piece.

First there were the philanthropists: [If @JustineSacco’s unfortunate words … bother you, join me in supporting @CARE’s work in Africa.] [In light of … disgusting, racist tweet, I’m donating to @care today]

Then came the beyond horrified: [… no words for that horribly disgusting racist as fuck tweet from Justine Sacco. I am beyond horrified.]

Was anybody on Twitter that night? A few of you.

Did Justine’s joke overwhelm your Twitter feed the way it did mine? It did mine, and I thought what everybody thought that night, which was, “Wow, somebody’s screwed! Somebody’s life is about to get terrible!”

And I sat up in my bed, and I put the pillow behind my head, and then I thought, I’m not entirely sure that joke was intended to be racist.

Maybe instead of gleefully flaunting her privilege, she was mocking the gleeful flaunting of privilege. There’s a comedy tradition of this, like South Park or Colbert or Randy Newman.

Maybe Justine Sacco’s crime was not being as good at it as Randy Newman. In fact, when I met Justine a couple of weeks later in a bar, she was just crushed, and I asked her to explain the joke, and she said, “Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the Third World. I was making of fun of that bubble.”

You know, another woman on Twitter that night, a New Statesman writer Helen Lewis, she reviewed my book on public shaming and wrote that she Tweeted that night, “I’m not sure that her joke was intended to be racist,” and she said straightaway she got a fury of Tweets saying, “Well, you’re just a privileged bitch, too.” And so to her shame, she wrote, she shut up and watched as Justine’s life got torn apart.

6:56 It started to get darker: [Everyone go report this cunt @JustineSacco]

Then came the calls for her to be fired.

[Good luck with the job hunt in the new year. #GettingFired] Thousands of people around the world decided it was their duty to get her fired. [@JustineSacco last tweet of your career. #SorryNotSorry Corporations got involved, hoping to sell their products on the back of Justine’s annihilation: [Next time you plan to tweet something stupid before you take off, make sure you are getting on a @Gogo flight!] (Laughter)

A lot of companies were making good money that night. You know, Justine’s name was normally Googled 40 times a month. That month, between December the 20th and the end of December, her name was Googled 1,220,000 times.

And one Internet economist told me that that meant that Google made somewhere between 120,000 dollars and 468,000 dollars from Justine’s annihilation, whereas those of us doing the actual shaming — we got nothing. We were like unpaid shaming interns for Google. (Laughter)

And then came the trolls: [I’m actually kind of hoping Justine Sacco gets aids? lol] Somebody else on that wrote, “Somebody HIV-positive should rape this bitch and then we’ll find out if her skin color protects her from AIDS.”

And that person got a free pass. Nobody went after that person.

We were all so excited about destroying Justine, and our shaming brains are so simple-minded, that we couldn’t also handle destroying somebody who was inappropriately destroying Justine. Justine was really uniting a lot of disparate groups that night, from philanthropists to “rape the bitch.” [@JustineSacco I hope you get fired! You demented bitch… Just let the world know you’re planning to ride bare back while in Africa.]

Women always have it worse than men.

When a man gets shamed, it’s, “I’m going to get you fired.” When a woman gets shamed, it’s, “I’m going to get you fired and raped and cut out your uterus.”

9:00 And then Justine’s employers got involved: [IAC on @JustineSacco tweet: This is an outrageous, offensive comment. Employee in question currently unreachable on an intl flight.] And that’s when the anger turned to excitement: [All I want for Christmas is to see @JustineSacco’s face when her plane lands and she checks her inbox/voicemail. #fired] [Oh man, @justinesacco is going to have the most painful phone-turning-on moment ever when her plane lands.] [We are about to watch this @JustineSacco bitch get fired.

In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she’s getting fired.] What we had was a delightful narrative arc.

We knew something that Justine didn’t. Can you think of anything less judicial than this? Justine was asleep on a plane and unable to explain herself, and her inability was a huge part of the hilarity.

On Twitter that night, we were like toddlers crawling towards a gun. Somebody worked out exactly which plane she was on, so they linked to a flight tracker website. [British Airways Flight 43 On-time – arrives in 1 hour 34 minutes] A hashtag began trending worldwide: # hasJustineLandedYet? [It is kinda wild to see someone self-destruct without them even being aware of it. #hasJustineLandedYet]

[Seriously. I just want to go home to go to bed, but everyone at the bar is SO into #HasJustineLandedYet. Can’t look away. Can’t leave.] [#HasJustineLandedYet may be the best thing to happen to my Friday night.]

[Is no one in Cape Town going to the airport to tweet her arrival? Come on, twitter! I’d like pictures] And guess what? Yes there was. [@JustineSacco HAS in fact landed at Cape Town international. And if you want to know what it looks like to discover that you’ve just been torn to shreds because of a misconstrued liberal joke, not by trolls, but by nice people like us, this is what it looks like: [… She’s decided to wear sunnies as a disguise.]

So why did we do it?

I think some people were genuinely upset, but I think for other people, it’s because Twitter is basically a mutual approval machine. We surround ourselves with people who feel the same way we do, and we approve each other, and that’s a really good feeling. And if somebody gets in the way, we screen them out.

And do you know what that’s the opposite of? It’s the opposite of democracy.

We wanted to show that we cared about people dying of AIDS in Africa. Our desire to be seen to be compassionate is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act.

As Meghan O’Gieblyn wrote in the Boston Review, “This isn’t social justice. It’s a cathartic alternative.”

For the past 3 years, I’ve been going around the world meeting people like Justine Sacco — and believe me, there’s a lot of people like Justine Sacco. There’s more every day.

And we want to think they’re fine, but they’re not fine. The people I met were mangled. They talked to me about depression, and anxiety and insomnia and suicidal thoughts.

One woman I talked to, who also told a joke that landed badly, she stayed home for a year and a half. Before that, she worked with adults with learning difficulties, and was apparently really good at her job.

Justine was fired, of course, because social media demanded it. But it was worse than that. She was losing herself. She was waking up in the middle of the night, forgetting who she was. She was got because she was perceived to have misused her privilege.

And of course, that’s a much better thing to get people for than the things we used to get people for, like having children out of wedlock. But the phrase “misuse of privilege” is becoming a free pass to tear apart pretty much anybody we choose to. It’s becoming a devalued term, and it’s making us lose our capacity for empathy and for distinguishing between serious and unserious transgressions.

Justine had 170 Twitter followers, and so to make it work, she had to be fictionalized. Word got around that she was the daughter the mining billionaire Desmond Sacco. [Let us not be fooled by #JustineSacco her father is a SA mining billionaire. She’s not sorry. And neither is her father.] I thought that was true about Justine, until I met her at a bar, and I asked her about her billionaire father, and she said, “My father sells carpets.”

12:58 And I think back on the early days of Twitter, when people would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, “Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.”

These days, the hunt is on for people’s shameful secrets. You can lead a good, ethical life, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all, become a clue to your secret inner evil.

Maybe there’s two types of people in the world:

those people who favor humans over ideology, and those people who favor ideology over humans.

I favor humans over ideology, but right now, the ideologues are winning, and they’re creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas where everybody’s either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that’s not true about our fellow humans.

What’s true is that we are clever and stupid; what’s true is that we’re grey areas.

The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we’re now creating a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.

Bruno Giussani: Don’t go away. What strikes me about Justine’s story is also the fact that if you Google her name today, this story covers the first 100 pages of Google results there is nothing else about her.

In your book, you mention another story of another victim who actually got taken on by a reputation management firm, and by creating blogs and posting nice, innocuous stories about her love for cats and holidays and stuff, managed to get the story off the first couple pages of Google results, but it didn’t last long. A couple of weeks later, they started creeping back up to the top result. Is this a totally lost battle?

Jon Ronson: You know, I think the very best thing we can do, if you see a kind of unfair or an ambiguous shaming, is to speak up, because I think the worst thing that happened to Justine was that nobody supported her — like, everyone was against her, and that is profoundly traumatizing, to be told by tens of thousands of people that you need to get out.

But if a shaming happens and there’s a babble of voices, like in a democracy, where people are discussing it, I think that’s much less damaging. So I think that’s the way forward, but it’s hard, because if you do stand up for somebody, it’s incredibly unpleasant.

BG: So let’s talk about your experience, because you stood up by writing this book. By the way, it’s mandatory reading for everybody, okay? You stood up because the book actually puts the spotlight on shamers. And I assume you didn’t only have friendly reactions on Twitter.

JR: It didn’t go down that well with some people. (Laughter) I mean, you don’t want to just concentrate — because lots of people understood, and were really nice about the book.

But yeah, for 30 years I’ve been writing stories about abuses of power, and when I say the powerful people over there in the military, or in the pharmaceutical industry, everybody applauds me. As soon as I say, “We are the powerful people abusing our power now,” I get people saying, “Well you must be a racist too.”

BG: So the other night — yesterday — we were at dinner, and there were two discussions going on. On one side you were talking with people around the table — and that was a nice, constructive discussion. On the other, every time you turned to your phone, there is this deluge of insults.

 JR: Yeah. This happened last night. We had like a TED dinner last night. We were chatting and it was lovely and nice, and I decided to check Twitter. Somebody said, “You are a white supremacist.”

And then I went back and had a nice conversation with somebody, and then I went back to Twitter, somebody said my very existence made the world a worse place.

My friend Adam Curtis says that maybe the Internet is like a John Carpenter movie from the 1980s, when eventually everyone will start screaming at each other and shooting each other, and then eventually everybody would flee to somewhere safer, and I’m starting to think of that as a really nice option.

Are TED talks lying to you?  And why did I hear all these predictable stories before?

The writer had a problem. Books he read and people he knew had been warning him that the nation and maybe mankind itself had wandered into a sort of creativity doldrums.

Economic growth was slackening. The Internet revolution was less awesome than we had anticipated, and the forward march of innovation, once a cultural constant, had slowed to a crawl.

Thomas Frank posted on Salon this OCT 13, 2013:

TED talks are lying to you

One of the few fields in which we generated lots of novelties — financial engineering — had come back to bite us.

And in other departments, we actually seemed to be going backward. You could no longer take a supersonic airliner across the Atlantic, for example, and sending astronauts to the moon had become either fiscally insupportable or just passé.

TED talks are lying to youEnlarge

Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm in “Mad Men” (Credit: AMC/Michael Yarish/amc)

And yet the troubled writer also knew that there had been, over these same years, fantastic growth in our creativity promoting sector. There were TED talks on how to be a creative person.

There were “Innovation Jams” at which IBM employees brainstormed collectively over a global hookup, and “Thinking Out of the Box” desktop sculptures for sale at Sam’s Club.

There were creativity consultants you could hire, and cities that had spent billions reworking neighborhoods into arts-friendly districts where rule-bending whimsicality was a thing to be celebrated. If you listened to certain people, creativity was the story of our time, from the halls of MIT to the incubators of Silicon Valley.

The literature on the subject was vast. Authors included management gurus, forever exhorting us to slay the conventional; urban theorists, with their celebrations of zesty togetherness; pop psychologists, giving the world step-by-step instructions on how to unleash the inner Miles Davis.

Most prominent, perhaps, were the science writers, with their endless tales of creative success and their dissection of the brains that made it all possible.

It was to one of these last that our puzzled correspondent now decided to turn.

He procured a copy of “Imagine: How Creativity Works,” the 2012 bestseller by the ex-wunderkind Jonah Lehrer, whose résumé includes a Rhodes scholarship, a tour of duty at The New Yorker and two previous books about neuroscience and decision-making. (There was also a scandal concerning some made-up quotes in “Imagine,” but our correspondent was determined to tiptoe around that.)

Settling into a hot bath — well known for its power to trigger outside-the-box thoughts — he opened his mind to the young master


Anecdote after heroic anecdote unfolded, many of them beginning with some variation on Lehrer’s very first phrase: “Procter and Gamble had a problem.” What followed, as creative minds did their nonlinear thing, were epiphanies and solutions.

Our correspondent read about the invention of the Swiffer. He learned how Bob Dylan achieved his great breakthrough and wrote that one song of his that they still play on the radio from time to time. He found out that there was a company called 3M that invented masking tape, the Post-it note and other useful items. He read about the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and about the glories of Pixar.

And that’s when it hit the correspondent: He had heard these things before.

Each story seemed to develop in an entirely predictable fashion. He suspected that in the Dylan section, Lehrer would talk about “Like a Rolling Stone,” and that’s exactly what happened. When it came to the 3M section, he waited for Lehrer to dwell on the invention of the Post-it note — and there it was.

Had our correspondent developed the gift of foresight? No.

He really had heard these stories before. Spend a few moments on Google and you will find that the tale of how Procter & Gamble developed the Swiffer is a staple of marketing literature. Bob Dylan is endlessly cited in discussions of innovation, and you can read about the struggles surrounding the release of “Like a Rolling Stone” in textbooks like “The Fundamentals of Marketing” (2007).

As for 3M, the decades-long standing ovation for the company’s creativity can be traced all the way back to “In Search of Excellence” (1982), one of the most influential business books of all time. In fact, 3M’s accidental invention of the Post-it note is such a business-school chestnut that the ignorance of those who don’t know the tale is a joke in the 1997 movie “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”

These realizations took only a millisecond.

What our correspondent also understood, sitting there in his basement bathtub, was that the literature of creativity was a genre of surpassing banality. Every book he read seemed to boast the same shopworn anecdotes and the same canonical heroes.

If the authors are presenting themselves as experts on innovation, they will tell us about Einstein, Gandhi, Picasso, Dylan, Warhol, the Beatles.

If they are celebrating their own innovations, they will compare them to the oft-rejected masterpieces of Impressionism — that ultimate combination of rebellion and placid pastel bullshit that decorates the walls of hotel lobbies from Pittsburgh to Pyongyang.

Those who urge us to “think different,” in other words, almost never do so themselves.

Year after year, new installments in this unchanging genre are produced and consumed. Creativity, they all tell us, is too important to be left to the creative. Our prosperity depends on it. And by dint of careful study and the hardest science — by, say, sliding a jazz pianist’s head into an MRI machine — we can crack the code of creativity and unleash its moneymaking power.

That was the ultimate lesson. That’s where the music, the theology, the physics and the ethereal water lilies were meant to direct us.

Our correspondent could think of no books that tried to work the equation the other way around — holding up the invention of air conditioning or Velcro as a model for a jazz trumpeter trying to work out his solo.

And why was this worth noticing?

Well, for one thing, because we’re talking about the literature of creativity, for Pete’s sake. If there is a non-fiction genre from which you have a right to expect clever prose and uncanny insight, it should be this one. So why is it so utterly consumed by formula and repetition?

What our correspondent realized, in that flash of bathtub-generated insight, was that this literature isn’t about creativity in the first place. While it reiterates a handful of well-known tales — the favorite pop stars, the favorite artists, the favorite branding successes — it routinely ignores other creative milestones that loom large in the history of human civilization.

After all, some of the most consistent innovators of the modern era have also been among its biggest monsters. He thought back, in particular, to the diabolical creativity of Nazi Germany, which was the first country to use ballistic missiles, jet fighter planes, assault rifles and countless other weapons.

And yet nobody wanted to add Peenemünde, where the Germans developed the V-2 rocket during the 1940s, to the glorious list of creative hothouses that includes Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, Belle Époque Paris and latter-day Austin, Texas.

How much easier to tell us, one more time, how jazz bands work, how someone came up with the idea for the Slinky, or what shade of paint, when applied to the walls of your office, is most conducive to originality.

But as any creativity expert can tell you “no insight is an island entire of itself“.

New epiphanies build on previous epiphanies, and to understand the vision that washed over our writer in the present day, we must revisit an earlier flash of insight, one that takes us back about a decade, to the year 2002. This time our future correspondent was relaxing in a different bathtub, on Chicago’s South Side, where the trains passed by in an all-day din of clanks and squeaks. While he soaked, he was reading the latest book about creativity: Richard Florida’s “The Rise of the Creative Class.”

Creativity was now the most valuable quality of all, ran Florida’s argument, “the decisive source of competitive advantage.” This made creative people into society’s “dominant class” — and companies that wished to harness their power would need to follow them wherever they went.

Therefore cities and states were obliged to reconfigure themselves as havens for people of nonconformist tastes, who would then generate civic coolness via art zones, music scenes, and truckloads of authenticity. The author even invented a “Bohemian Index,” which, he claimed, revealed a strong correlation between the presence of artists and economic growth.

Every element of Florida’s argument infuriated our future correspondent. Was he suggesting planned bohemias? Built by governments? To attract businesses?

It all seemed like a comic exercise in human gullibility. As it happened, our correspondent in those days spent nearly all his time with the kinds of people who fit Richard Florida’s definition of the creative class: writers, musicians, and intellectuals. And Florida seemed to be suggesting that such people were valuable mainly for their contribution to a countercultural pantomime that lured or inspired business executives.

What was really sick-making, though, was Florida’s easy assumption that creativity was a thing our society valued. Our correspondent had been hearing this all his life, since his childhood in the creativity-worshipping 1970s. He had even believed it once, in the way other generations had believed in the beneficence of government or the blessings of Providence.

And yet Richard’s creative friends, when considered as a group, were obviously on their way down, not up. The institutions that made their lives possible — chiefly newspapers, magazines, universities and record labels — were then entering a period of disastrous decline. The creative world as he knew it was not flowering, but dying.

When he considered his creative friends as individuals, the literature of creativity began to seem even worse — more like a straight-up insult. Our writer-to-be was old enough to know that, for all its reverential talk about the rebel and the box breaker, society had no interest in new ideas at all unless they reinforced favorite theories or could be monetized in some obvious way.

The method of every triumphant intellectual movement had been to quash dissent and cordon off truly inventive voices. This was simply how debate was conducted. Authors rejoiced at the discrediting of their rivals (as poor Jonah Lehrer would find in 2012).

Academic professions excluded those who didn’t toe the party line. Leftist cliques excommunicated one another. Liberals ignored any suggestion that didn’t encourage or vindicate their move to the center. Conservatives seemed to be at war with the very idea of human intelligence. And business thinkers were the worst of all, with their perennial conviction that criticism of any kind would lead straight to slumps and stock market crashes.

Or so our literal-minded correspondent thought back in 2002.

Later on, after much trial and error, he would understand that there really had been something deeply insightful about Richard Florida’s book. This was the idea that creativity was the attribute of a class — which class Florida identified not only with intellectuals and artists but also with a broad swath of the professional-managerial stratum.

It would take years for our stumbling innovator to realize this. And then, he finally got it all at once. The reason these many optimistic books seemed to have so little to do with the downward-spiraling lives of actual creative workers is that they weren’t really about those people in the first place.

No. The literature of creativity was something completely different. Everything he had noticed so far was a clue: the banality, the familiar examples, the failure to appreciate what was actually happening to creative people in the present time.

This was not science, despite the technological gloss applied by writers like Jonah Lehrer. It was a literature of superstition, in which everything always worked out and the good guys always triumphed and the right inventions always came along in the nick of time.

In Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From” (2010), the creative epiphany itself becomes a kind of heroic character, helping out clueless humanity wherever necessary:

Good ideas may not want to be free, but they do want to connect, fuse, recombine. They want to reinvent themselves by crossing conceptual borders. They want to complete each other as much as they want to compete.

And what was the true object of this superstitious stuff?

A final clue came from “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” (1996), in which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi acknowledges that, far from being an act of individual inspiration, what we call creativity is simply an expression of professional consensus. Using Vincent van Gogh as an example, the author declares that the artist’s “creativity came into being when a sufficient number of art experts felt that his paintings had something important to contribute to the domain of art.”

Innovation exists only when the correctly credentialed hive-mind agrees that it does. And “without such a response,” the author continues, “van Gogh would have remained what he was, a disturbed man who painted strange canvases.” What determines “creativity is the very faction it’s supposedly rebelling against: established expertise”.

Consider the narrative daisy chain that makes up the literature of creativity. It is the story of brilliant people, often in the arts or humanities, who are studied by other brilliant people, often in the sciences, finance, or marketing. The readership is made up of us — members of the professional-managerial class — each of whom harbors a powerful suspicion that he or she is pretty brilliant as well.

What your correspondent realized, relaxing there in his tub one day, was that the real subject of this literature was the professional-managerial audience itself, whose members hear clear, sweet reason when they listen to NPR and think they’re in the presence of something profound when they watch some billionaire give a TED talk.

And what this complacent literature purrs into their ears is that creativity is their property, their competitive advantage, their class virtue.

Creativity is what they bring to the national economic effort, these books reassure them — and it’s also the benevolent doctrine under which they rightly rule the world.

An edited version of this essay originally appeared in Harper’s magazine

Thomas Frank’s most recent book is “Pity the Billionaire.” He is also the author of “One Market Under God” and the founding editor of “The Baffler” magazine.

“Self Illusion”: Bruce Hood and Virginia Woolf?

At a phase in her writing career, and after writing two novels with a conventional Victorian narrator (of viewing everything from above), Virginia Woolf announced in her diary in 1920: “I have finally arrived at some idea of a new form for a new novel. Only thoughts and feelings, and no cups and tables.” The new form would trace the flow of our consciousness, the “flight of the mind” as it unfolds in time.

As Woolf shifted her attention to her inner feelings she realized that her consciousness never stood still: Her thoughts flowed erratically, and every moment ushered in a new wave of sensation.  Woolf’s mind was neither solid nor certain: “It was very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now in a daffodil in the sun.”

At any given moment, Woolf seemed to be scattered in a million little pieces. Her brain was barely bound together. And yet, it was bound together. Her mind was made of fragments, but it never came undone. She knew that something kept us from disintegrating, at least most of the time. Woolf wrote in her diary: “I press to my centre and there is something there.”

Woolf’s art was a search for whatever held us together. What she found was the self, “the essential thing.” Although the brain is just a complex network of electric neurons and contradictory impulses, Woolf realized that the self makes us whole. It is the fragile source of our identity, the author of our consciousness. If the self didn’t exist, then we wouldn’t exist.

Woolf projected the feeling of simultaneously affirm our existence and expose our ineffability, to show us that we are “like a butterfly’s wing…clamped together with bolts of iron.”

Bruce Hood, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, picks up where Woolf and the modernists left off. In his excellent new book, The Self Illusion, he seeks to understand how the singularity of the self emerges from the cacophony of mind and the mess of social life.

Jonah Lehrer interviewed Bruce Hood and posted on May 25, 2012 under “The Self Illusion: An Interview With Bruce Hood” (with slight editing):

“Dr. Hood was kind enough to answer a few of my questions below:

LEHRER: The title of The Self Illusion is literal. You argue that the self – this entity at the center of our personal universe – is actually just a story, a “constructed narrative.” Could you explain what you mean?

HOOD: The best stories make sense. They follow a logical path where one thing leads to another and provide the most relevant details and signposts along the way so that you get a sense of continuity and cohesion. This is what writers refer to as the narrative arc – a beginning, middle and an end. If a sequence of events does not follow a narrative, then it is incoherent and fragmented so does not have meaning.

Our brains think in stories. The same is true for the self and I use a distinction that William James drew between the self as “I” and “me.” Our consciousness of the self in the here and now is the “I” and most of the time, we experience this as being an integrated and coherent individual – a bit like the character in the story.

The self which we tell others about, is autobiographical or the “me”, which again is a coherent account of who we think we are based on past experiences, current events and aspirations for the future.

The neuroscience supports the claim that self is constructed. For example, Michael Gazzaniga demonstrated that spilt-brain patients presented with inconsistent visual information, would readily confabulate an explanation to reconcile information unconsciously processed with information that was conscious. Spilt-brain patients would make up a story.

Oliver Sacks reported various patients who could confabulate accounts to make sense of their impairments. Ramachandran describes patients who are paralyzed but deny they have a problem.

These are all extreme clinical cases but the same is true of normal people. We can easily spot the inconsistencies in other people’s accounts of their self but we are less able to spot our own, and when those inconsistencies are made apparent by the consequences of our actions, we make the excuse, “I wasn’t myself last night” or “It was the wine talking!” Well, wine doesn’t talk and if you were not your self, then who were you and who was being you?

LEHRER: The fragmented nature of the self is very much a theme of modernist literature. Nietzsche said it first: “My hypothesis is the subject as multiplicity” and Virginia Woolf echoed Nietzsche, writing in her diary that we are “splinters and mosaics; not, as they used to hold, immaculate, monolithic, consistent wholes.”

In your book, you argue that modern neuroscience has confirmed the “bundle theory” of the self proposed by Hume. Do you think they have also confirmed these artistic intuitions about the self? If so, how has science demonstrated this? Are we really just a collection of “splinters and mosaics”?

HOOD: Yes, absolutely. When I was first asked to write this book, I really could not see what the revelation was all about. We had to be a multitude – a complex system of evolved functions. Neuroscientists spend their time trying to reverse engineer the brain by trying to figure out the different functions we evolved through natural selection.

So far, we have found that the brain is clearly a complex of interacting systems all the way up from the senses to the conceptual machinery of the mind – the output of the brain. From the very moment that input from the environment triggers a sensory receptor to set off a nerve impulse that becomes a chain reaction, we are nothing more that an extremely complicated processing system that has evolved to create rich re-presentations of the world around us.

We have no direct contact with reality because everything we experience is an abstracted version of reality that has been through the processing machinery of our brains to produce experience.

I think Nietzsche’s nihilism and Woolf’s depression could have been reflections of their intuitive understanding that the richness of experience must be made up of a multitude of hidden processes and that the core self must be an illusion – and maybe that upset them.

But I don’t think appreciating the self as an illusion is a bad thing. In fact, I think it is inescapable. My critics often dismiss my position as too reductionist or too materialist. Well, if the human condition is not materialist, then an alternative good explanation must be non-materialist.

Show me good evidence for souls and spirits and then I will be forced to change my view. But so far, there has been no reliable evidence for souls, ghosts or supernatural entities that inhabit bodies. They are conspicuous by their absence.

In contrast, we know that if you alter the physical state of the brain through a head injury, dementia or drugs, each of these changes our self. Whether it is through damage, disease or debauchery, we know that the self must be the output of the material brain.

LEHRER: If the self is an illusion, then why does it exist? Why do we bother telling a story about ourselves?

HOOD: For the same reason that our brains create a highly abstracted version of the world around us. It is bad enough that our brain is metabolically hogging most of our energy requirements, but it does this to reduce the workload to act. That’s the original reason why the brain evolved in the first place – to plan and control movements and keep track of the environment.

It’s why living creatures that do not act or navigate around their environments do not have brains. So the brain generates maps and models on which to base current and future behaviors. Now the value of a map or a model is the extent to which it provides the most relevant useful information without overburdening you with too much detail.

The same can be said for the self. Whether it is the “I” of consciousness or the “me” of personal identity, both are summaries of the complex information that feeds into our consciousness. The self is an efficient way of having experience and interacting with the world.

For example, imagine you ask me whether I would prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream? I know I would like chocolate ice cream. Don’t ask me why, I just know. When I answer with chocolate, I have the seemingly obvious experience that my self made the decision. However, when you think about it, my decision covers a vast multitude of hidden processes, past experiences and cultural influences that would take too long to consider individually. Each one of them fed into that decision.

LEHRER: Let’s say the self is just a narrative. Who, then, is the narrator? Which part of me is writing the story that becomes me?

HOOD: This is the most interesting question and also the most difficult to answer because we are entering into the realms of consciousness. For example, only this morning as I was waking up, I was aware that I was gathering my thoughts together and I suddenly became fixated by this phrase, “gathering my thoughts.” I felt I could focus on my thoughts, turn them over in my mind and consider how I was able to do this. Who was doing the gathering and who was focusing? This was a compelling experience of the conscious self.

I would argue that while I had the very strong impression that I was gathering my thoughts together, you do have to question how did the thought to start this investigation begin? Certainly, most of us never bother to think about this, so I must have had an unconscious agenda that this would be an interesting exercise.

Maybe it was your question that I read a few days ago or maybe this is a problem that has been ticking over in my brain for some time. It seemed like a story that I was playing out in my head to try and answer a question about how I was thinking. But unless you believe in a ghost in the machine, it is impossible to interrogate your own mind independently. In other words, the narrator and the audience are one and the same.

As the philosopher Gilbert Ryle pointed out, when it comes to the mind you cannot be both the hunter and the hunted. I think that he is saying that the brain creates both the mind and the experience of mind. So you can become aware of a thought, but you are not independent to that thought. Now that is a very unsatisfactory answer for most people because it simply does not accord with mental experience.

We entertain thoughts. We consider options. We gather our thoughts together. We play out scenarios in our mind. However, unquestionable as that mental experience might seem to all of us, there can be no one inside our head considering the options. Otherwise, you would then have the problem of an infinite regress – who is inside their head, and so on, and so on.

LEHRER: I get the sense that not all of your colleagues agree with your deconstruction of the self. Some argue, in fact, that the self is a bit like a wristwatch. Just because a watch is a bundle of different parts doesn’t mean it is an illusion. How do you respond to these critiques?

HOOD: For me, an illusion is not what it seems and for most of us, we consider our self as some essential core of who we are. Most of us feel our self is at the center of our existence responding to everything around us – that notion of an integrated entity is what I am challenging, not the experience of self.

Most of us, including myself have that experience but that does not make it real. For example, most us think that we see the world continuously throughout the waking day when in fact we only see a fraction of the world in front of us, and because the brain blanks out our visual experience every time we move our eyes in a process called saccadic suppression, we are effectively blind for at least 2 hrs of the day. This is why you cannot see your own eyes moving when you look in a mirror! So conscious experience is not a guarantee of what’s really true.

As for the comparison with a wristwatch…Clearly, it is composed of many parts and the sum of the parts is the wristwatch. However, a wristwatch is only a wristwatch by convention. An alien or a Neanderthal would just consider it to be some form of complex composite object. You could even use the wristwatch as a weapon to kill small animals. It’s a bizarre use of this object I grant you, but there is nothing inherent or essential to the watch that defines what it is.

A microbe living on the watch face may not consider it an object. So a wristwatch is a wristwatch because of a recognized function and to some extent, a convention – both of which do not confer an independent reality to the mind that is considering it. It depends on how you look at it.

When people talk about the reality of the self as the culmination of its constituent parts, I think that they are falling for the trap of thinking that the self exists independently to its parts, which it doesn’t.

In the book, I argue that because we have evolved as social animals, those around us construct a large part of our mental life that we experience as our self. We can see the influence of others but often fail to recognize how we too are shaped.

I am not denying the role of genes and temperaments that we inherit from our biology. After all, children raised in the same environment can end up very different, but even these intrinsic properties of who we are, play out in a social world which defines us. If you think about it, many of the ways we describe each other, such as helpful, kind, generous, mean, rude or selfish can only make sense in the context of others.

So those around us largely define who we are. I hope this book will remind us of this obvious point that we so easily forget…” End of interview

Do you think there is similarity between Hood’s views and this post? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/genes-are-transformed-by-nurturing-genes-functioning-as-default-program/


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adonis49

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