Selecting only 3 good reads this weekend has been a challenge. Given the plethora of sharing around the passing of Singapore’ Lee Kuan Yew, I could probably select 3 from that theme alone. But wanting to spread the wealth, here are 3 reads which I hope add some richness to your morning.
1. The Wise Man of the East. Economist has published what I believe is one of the more thoughtful remembrances of of Lee Kuan Yew. Given the caricature of Singapore so often found in western media and minds, this article offers good insight on what Singapore’s first Prime Minister has accomplished.
2. A better understanding of cybershaming. Jon Ronson has published a new book titled So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and it appears to be a thoughtful work. In this interview, Ronson looks at folks like Monica Lewinsky, Justine Sacco, and Lindsey Stone whose behaviors have brought upon them tremendous public shane, scorn, and even death threats. Centerstage in Ronson’s inquiry you find the behaviors of everyday people–basically good people doing their part in society day in and day out–who heap tremendous hurt and pain onto those deemed guilty of some unspeakable crime.You all know what I mean. Look at your Facebook feed. Who are the people in that feed delivering daily posts telling us how wrong someone else’s choices are, how stupid someone else must be, or how ignorant some party is–all in the tone that the author is somehow superior, in the know, or better positioned to be judge and jury. I am sure you most likely have one of these people in your newsfeed.Now multiply that same basic behavior by hundreds of thousands of people across many continents, merge it all into a herd mentality, and try to imagine what it must be like to be on the receiving end.
Ronson makes what I believe is a fairly good point. Social media has enabled a certain behavior set similar to that practiced by the Stasi (neighbor watching neighbor then shaming). Given the speed with which we eagerly and with a smile screen capture someone’s less-than-finest moment and broadcast it beyond that person’s network makes me think Ronson offers a lesson we should be thinking about.
3. Exhaustion is not a Status Symbol. Last for this weekend, does overwork and exhaustion create a certain numbness that allows us conveniently overlook other parts of our lives? Do we then justify this numbness by wearing it as a badge of pride about how hard we work and the excesses of our accomplishment? A darned good question, and a final read worth your while.
Have a great weekend!