Sunday, 17 August 2014

know thy selfie

Writing for Aeon magazine, philosopher Simon Blackburn delivers a thorough and thoughful analysis on the differences among vanity, narcissism and self-esteem and the interplay that too often results from the misapprehension of one for another. Bravery to do the needful is one thing—else we would too easily wither away from those challenges that we ought to confront, but the hubris that comes with never courting any real resistance or dissent is quite another, and particularly treacherous when it comes to assaying those things that are not instantly condemned or applauded, like leadership and relationships. Rather than acknowledging that pride and over-confidence has made us prone for a fall, praise for ourselves and for those kindred—who'll echo that praise, quickly turns into arrogance. If the first few sentences were not scathing enough, the spectres of all the great thinkers of the past become an absolute haunt, hopefully to disabuse us from our vanities—not for accomplishment but for admiration. What do you think? Does the medium rather make something harmless—or even invert them into something of a vulnerable catharsis?