15 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. As society scales up, gossip becomes ineffective. Rumors don’t spread easily from village to village, so I can get away with violating norms when I venture out and deal with strangers.

      Gossip doesn't scale, mostly because rumors don't spread from village to village. As a result you can get away with violating norms when you deal with strangers.

    2. Someone who is skilled at acquiring and spreading information can have high status in the tribe. As receivers of gossip, we are excited to be “in on the secret.”

      A gossip-monger can be afforded status in the group because of what he knows.

    3. Telling lies may eventually get you in trouble, but not necessarily. If the victims of a false rumor are unable to fight back effectively, people who engage in false gossip may be successful.

      Telling lies as gossip may result in the same benefits as telling truths, especially if the victims are not able to fight back.

    4. To escape from the chaos, we will need new norms of behavior that incline us away from gossip.

      To balance out this gossip-driven world, Arnold Kling argues we need new norms of behavior (I would argue perhaps we need new mechanisms), to incline us away from gossip.

    5. The result is that we are living through a period of chaos. Symptoms include conspiracy theories, information bubbles, cancel culture, President Trump’s tweets, and widespread institutional decay and dysfunction.

      Symptoms of this chaotic, gossip run world are: conspiracy theories, information bubbles, cancel culture, Trump's tweets and decay of institutions as well as dysfunction.

    6. We have increased the power of gossip-mongers and correspondingly reduced the power of elite institutions of the 20th century, including politicians, mainstream media, and scientists.

      The scaling up of the gossip mechanism on top of ISS has resulted in an increase in power for gossip mongers and a decrease in power of the institutions we relied on before: politicians, mainstream media, scientists.

    7. Our ISS technology changes this. It makes it possible to gossip effectively at large scale. This in turn has revived our propensity to rely on gossip. Beliefs spread without being tested for truth.

      Internet, Smartphones and Social Media (ISS) allow gossip to take place at a larger scale. Arnold Kling suggests that because of this, we've come to rely more on it than we used to.

      One consequence of gossip being scaled up by ISS, and gossip not being about the truth, is that we have a proliferation of beliefs without them being tested for truth.

    8. But gossip is not the search for truth. It is a search for approval by attacking the perceived flaws of others.

      Gossip is detached from objective truth. Gossip fundamentally is not about truth, it is about gaining approval (~status?) by attacking perceived flaws in others.

    9. Large societies need other enforcement mechanisms: government, religion, written codes.

      Larger groups, such as societies, use other mechanisms to enforce norms, such as: government, religion, written codes.

    10. As a social enforcement mechanism, gossip does not scale.

      Gossip does not scale to larger groups as an enforcement mechanism for social norms.

    11. Human evolution produced gossip. Cultural anthropology sees gossip as an informal way of enforcing group norms. It is effective in small groups.

      Gossip evolved as a strategy to enforce group norms and it is effective in small groups.

  2. Aug 2020
  3. Jun 2020
  4. Feb 2019
    1. Obscurity, verbosity, and pretentiousness are to be avoided; unusual words are to be used only when they aid clarity and prevent the aforementioned faults. For Aslell, women's rheloric should focus on the art of conversation, us both Sutherland and Renaissance scholar Jane Donawerth have argued. This is women's proper rhetori­cal sphere, different from but in no way inferior to the public sphere in which men use oratory.

      My mind immediately went to gossip and how the exchange/passing along of information/knowledge between women has been through this "proper rhetorical sphere" -- (private) conversations.

      The way obscurity is used here versus how it's used by Locke is also very interesting and very, very gendered.

  5. Oct 2013
    1. This doesn’t mean gossip is always good.

      I'm glad to see a statement that the results from this experiment in "procosial gossip" does not translate into meaning that gossip is always good.

      I wonder what insights we can take away from this and turn into action in our own environment?

      I feel the antidote we need is more meaningful and real-time feedback, not gossip.