One reaction on “Lynch Mobs and Smart Mobs

  1. In all issues of ethics, it’s often tempting to ascribe mystical qualities to our own practices, insisting that by no possible grace of any god could we ourselves go there.
    the difference between a lynch-mod and a smart-mob is only in retrospect. being European, you should know about Tarantellism of the middle-ages, and how this purely psychological devestation could spread from village to village by way of the echo-chambers of social network communications, peer pecking orders, NLP/hypnosis or whatever it was, it was, like facism and other mob-rule phenomenon, deeply irresistible.
    And let’s not fall into any delusion of living in modern enlightened times. We are still that same social-reflex animal. For example, take the SARS hysteria. Direct product of a smart-mob: The hysterics began, according to the post-mortem reports, when a cell-phone equiped pharmaceutical salesman SMS-spammed everyone at the conference to tell them that his company had the ‘cure’ for SARS, and the ensuing echo that he didn’t caused such volume of messages that other people thought “Well, it must be important!” and the rest is the sad history that crippled the Hongkong and Toronto economies … on a ghost-story.

Comments are closed.