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The Selfish World-Brain: In Praise of Digital Narcissism

All the self-analyzing and, in turn, self-promotions, that we interact with through digital and social technologies has actually created a caring economy based on shared values. 

What’s the Latest Development?

The quantified self movement has seen the development of technology to measure an evermore complete set of data about your life—how many steps, bowel movements, yawns, sneezes, and yogurts have you had today? “As we use technology to learn more about ourselves, we are beginning to create our own personal value systems, publicly posting, liking, commenting, and sharing our views on the world, be it social, political, cultural, or personal.” All our bragging about ourselves, coupled with the ability to connect to others, vastly broadens the range of things we are able to care about.

What’s the Big Idea?

The age during which large philanthropic funds powered the goodwill of the world is drawing to close. Today, anyone with a few dollars can make an immediate impact on very specific projects they care about. Crowdfunding volume is expected to reach $5.1 billion in 2013. More than 4.2 million people have pledged over $643 million dollars for more than 42,000 creative projects on Kickstarter. “It’s not that the Internet is creating better people with better souls. It’s that technology is redirecting people’s behavior by making it easier to find things you care about, and then removing the roadblocks to giving. That means people are giving more.”

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Read it at Fast Company


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