The Impulse Society | Paul Roberts | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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September 14, 2014
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Talks at Google
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The Impulse Society | Paul Roberts | Talks at Google

TL;DR

The author discusses how the urge for instant self-gratification has permeated society and the potential negative consequences it has on social and economic structures.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the act of publishing a book relate to dealing with online trolls?

Publishing a book involves self-promotion, which often leads to encountering trolls in the comments section. The author highlights how trolls can operate in an anonymous and dehumanizing manner.

Q: What happens when individuals have the capability to disengage from social rules and pursue immediate self-interest?

When given the capability to disengage from social norms, individuals are more likely to focus on immediate and narrow self-interest. The temptation to act on these impulses becomes stronger, leading to a society that is increasingly self-absorbed.

Q: How does the power and capability produced by the digital realm affect society?

The power and capability produced by the digital realm can lead to a society that is focused on the self and immediate self-gratification. This can result in individuals becoming disconnected from the social structures and norms that traditionally helped manage personal capabilities.

Q: What is the danger of a society becoming focused on immediate, narrow self-interest?

When society becomes focused on immediate, narrow self-interest, individuals have less attention to devote to long-term challenges and other important matters. This can lead to a lack of focus on complex, long-term issues that are important for societal sustainability.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The author discusses the transformation of publishing and the challenges of dealing with online trolls, highlighting the dehumanizing effects of trolling.

  • The focus is on how society has become more focused on immediate, narrow self-interest due to increased capability to gratify individual desires.

  • Traditional values, such as patience, self-discipline, and a belief in something larger than the self, are being replaced by an impulsive society driven by instant self-gratification.

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