Thursday, July 19, 2018

Vox interviews Will Storr: "Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed"

Sean Illing has an important interview on Vox of British author Will Storr, and a sneak preview of the new book “Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It Is Doing to Us”, from the Overlook Press, 416 pages.
Storr’s comments seem to follow those of Amy Chua, indicating that social identity is hard-wired in our genes and western hyperindividualism is a bit of an aberration.
He gave an example of an experiment of western people and tribal people from East Africa on whom they admired in an aquarium of “free fish”.  The western people identify with the big flashy leader, the east with the meek little followers.
Westeners get challenged by others when their individual self-expression is seen as at least indirectly trampling on those in disadvantaged groups, and then get mental health problems if they are asked to become “losers” themselves.  Trump has leveraged this problem. It also leads to mental health problems.

Back in 2004, Phillip Longman had written in "The Empty Cradle" that many adults have become too self-absorbed to even have children. And even libertarian Charles Murray has criticized the weaker impulse for social ties in "Coming Apart" (2012)/ 

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