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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 29 March 2013

The TTC: The Truth Will Set You Free

It's easy to not pay attention, when the consequences aren't looking you in the eye; if you're confident the other guy is passive (or not as aggressive as you are) then you don't need to worry whether you're picking a fight on a streetcar, smoking in a no-smoking, standing at the top of a subway exit or putting your feet up on a seat.  

To some degree, everyone does it; to an even greater degree, we get annoyed when others do it.

But you know what's even easier and provides a sense of gratification?  Posting pics of thee offenders online.

Now, you can question the legalities of this - is it an infringement of one's rights to have your pics posted acting poorly?  But then, wasn't it infringement of someone else's rights that got you in trouble in the first place?

Particularly as we see top dogs getting off with crimes that would put regular people in jail, people are growing frustrated with our justice system.  Fortunately, thanks to modern tech, today's lynch moms are social posters. If there aren't enough police resources to catch minor criminals, there certainly won't be for this kind of infraction - unless, of course, it starts involving enforcement officials themselves.  There's a tricky line there that can shift in some interesting ways.

Social media is helping to bring village-level personal accountability from the individual to the community.  It's not just about what you get out of it, it's the price that access comes with.  This calls upon the individual, at whatever level they're at, to start thinking through the personal consequences they face (like employers being punished for posting drinking pictures on Facebook) but also start to see the value of being recorded by strangers doing things like practical giving up your seat to a pregnant woman or helping a stranger get their stroller down stairs.  

The Objectivists out there will hate this trend, but societies have always involved mechanisms of social control, ranging from the rite of marriage to the shivaree.
Of course, humans are social animals - always have been.  It has only been recently people have forgotten this.  Well, as they say:     The truth will set you free.

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