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Showing posts from March, 2016

Virtual Anxiety and Tech Addiction

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Defying all the forecasts and expectations, Gordon Moore's law about the capacity and speed of microprocessors has been increasing for over three decades now. Devices have become smaller and the explosive growth of mobile technology has resulted in hundreds of thousands of apps, tools, and games. We are witnessing a cultural shift of tectonic proportions - anyone who is not adept at using the technology is likely to be ignored if not shunned by peers, friends, and society at large. How does this augur for the future?

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, a premier institute located in India, has identified a new mental disorder - virtual anxiety. In a paper to be published soon in a prestigious medical journal, specialists at the Institute have defined virtual anxiety as a state arising out of outright rejection, or even the mere act of receiving more "dislikes" than "likes" on social media. Going a step further, an alarming discovery is aff…

Moral Dilemmas

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Most of us do not have to contend with excruciating moral dilemmas. However, as Ruth Benedict has pointed out, we need to understand the subtle differences between a guilt culture and a shame culture. A guilt culture in its essence is based on one's conscience of what is right and wrong: belief rather than knowledge underpins this process. The positive aspect of a guilt-culture at its best is its concern for truth and justice and the preservation of individual rights. The sense of guilt might also preserve us from engaging in wrong-doing which no one would ever discover. But it can also be misplaced and potentially neurotic.

In a shame culture, what other people believe is much more powerful. Indeed, one's principles may be derived from the desire to preserve one's honor or to avoid shame to the exclusion of all else. We see this in operation all the time. When was the last time you openly disagreed with a colleague? In a pluralist society, culpability may be determined by …