“Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market-capitalism, American style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by the human intelligence, undone by human nature.”—Arundhati Roy (via azspot)
Sociologist Dave Phillips coined the term "The Werther Effect" in 1974 to describe the phenomenon that self-preservative and destructive behaviors as socially contagious as they are correlated to one’s genetic disposition. The term was of course, named after the protagonist in The Sorrows of Young Werther, a novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published in 1774.
The Sorrows of Young Werther reportedly led to as many as 2,000 cases of copycat suicides among young men, who took their lives just as Young Werther did. This has led to a voluntary self-censorship on media’s coverage of suicide cases. On a less bleak note, it also spawned a trend of pairing a custard yellow trouser with an electric-blue jacket.
I am terribly late on this one, but Steve McCurry has a blog which is carefully and beautifully curated around various themes. The underlying message that McCurry tells with his photography is quite clear: the pursuit of love, compassion and humanity is universal across all culture, and beyond borders. Here are some of my favourites:
Today, excellently engineered cameras are flying off racks at an unprecedented rate. Yet this commodification has created no more meaningful photographs than the past eras. Perhaps the ease of transferring reality onto an image has obfuscated the true meaning behind photography. If facebook albums and its obsessive taggings are any indication, expensive cameras are merely tools of narcissistic expression. As the famed photojournalist W. Eugene Smith said: "What use having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?”