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July 19, 2007

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Comments

Lucinda Dunn

Indeed, the irony of the basic human condition is unchanged: we compete with each other for supremacy and to distinguish ourselves from the herd but without the herd we cannot exist (or survive) as individuals.
However while biological reality remains the same, societal reality- the common rules by which we ostensibly relate to each other- does mutate, and this difference can be felt in our everyday experiences.
Previously people relied more on anonymous superstructures like the State/Nation/Queen or institutions like political parties, educational establishments or even social classes to- almost blindly- anchor their social identities in. Nowadays, people seem to be personalizing their consumption in an attempt to establish more individualized social identities. For example, one of our uploader interviewees told how she would buy a well-known bike brand, only to cover over the label with diamante stickers- just to make it her own. The ability to brand oneself through a personalized blog or MySpace account seems part of the same phenomenon.
So social existence is becoming ostensibly more individualized, and with this a visible reorganization of the herd is already occurring through the mushrooming of thousands of interconnected online communities that support it. People online are connecting and assimilating with many more people than before, they are crossing geographical and social boundaries; they are connecting as individuals, but are using their newfound individual capabilities of expression and communication to understand each other’s needs more closely, thereby allowing society to collaborate more effectively en masse.

Daria Radota Rasmussen

I don't think this is any new phenomena. It is enough to look at the evolution. We could never survive without collaborating with others. Collaboration is the part of our nature, we just want to believe we are individualistic, that we are more special. But the truth is we are just memebers of human herd.

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