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« Another Year | Main | Qin Shi Huangdi Was A Bad Man »

September 12, 2007


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Interesting post. I think you're right Confucius would have approved. It's another way at least to try to reverse the trend of growing alienation from one another, through the very technology that often facilitates the alienation. However, Confucius might also have thought that we cannot gain the necessary social connections to cultivate ren through this method alone, mainly because our friendships online come with "no strings attached." They're too easy--with the click of a button we can disengage with someone. Building meaningful relationships seems to require struggling through difficulties with another, being in community a sense of shared struggle and sometimes opposition. How, I wonder (as might Confucius), do sites like Facebook fare in this regard? This isn't simply a rhetorical question, by the way--the answer to this question seems to me far from obvious. It would be a great sociological study.

Hi, I really like your post and the thoughts you developed. I have just recently started using facebooks after several "friends" requests and am a bit startled by this new and, well, shallow meaning of the word friend. as the previous comment says, if you can just click to end, it does not seem to have gone very deep. anyways, I wanted to let you know that I put a link to your post here - I like to share ;-)

pumuckl and Alexus,
Yes, Facebook connections are shallow and insufficient to fulfill all of the social duties of friendship. "Friend" may well be a bad name for Facebook connections. But these links can play a little part in keeping people socially related and, thus, they are helpful from a Confucian perspective. And I, too, an unsure of the full sociological implications of "defriending". I guess we'll just have to watch...


I put together a brief reply to your post over at my place ( Take a look when you get a chance.



I am trying to get a hold of my friend Chris Panza. He is an old college buddy and I have been having a hard tıme trying to get a hold of him. My only info is that he ıs affiliated wıth your site.

If at all possible, please forward this to him.

Many thanks!

C. Browne

You can reach Chris at his own blog, here:

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