29 May 2012

The Empathetic Civilization

This video (via CD) covers a recurring theme in this blog (and political economy), i.e., how well we do as a society depends on how much we care about each other. Although there are many useful ways to "incentivize compassion" (i.e., the Invisible Hand), it doesn't hurt to actually CARE about people. (It's even more important in this Anthropocene Age, where our actions -- good and bad -- change the world we live in.)

1 comment:

Robpublican said...

I'm concerned that the broader our empathetic horizon stretches, the more abstract it might become. Couldn't the broadening that Rifkin is talking about water down our empathy in general?

Not that it's exactly apropos but this made me think of Dunbar's number, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number
Or, for the fun version, the Monkeysphere, http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html

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