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Considered the third, best-selling poet of all time, Khalil Gibran once said "Desire is half of life; indifference is half of death." Apathy is defined as having a lack of emotion, interest, or concern. It is actually a philosophical term originally describing a "condition of being totally free from the pathē, which roughly are the emotions and passions, notably pain, fear, desire, and pleasure."

Apathy has very serious consequences, such as the bystander effect (if this bystander effect video doesn't shock the hell out of you, consider yourself apathetic). As Albert Einstein noted, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

Not enough are screaming that they are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. With such significant despair, disgust, and anger in the world, psychologically, it's easy to see why people withdraw and become apathetic. So much news about how bad things are just shuts people down. People feel overwhelmed... burnt out... isolated... powerless to affect change. They vote for change and things remain the same. So they give up, stop voting, and learn to be helpless. Call it a defense mechanism or a retreat from reality.

Wikileaks has done an amazing job to expose apathy. For his "exceptional courage in the pursuit of human rights," Julian Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace Medal and the top UK journalism prize. Wikileaks has given the world a tremendous amount of information exposing how terrible governments are - especially the US government. Yet most in America ignore it, preferring instead the latest gossip around Lady GaGa and Paris Hilton's new reality show.

It's as if the world has become intellectually bankrupt. Even Kurt Cobain was disgusted with apathy. You could almost accuse the media of encouraging apathy by focusing our attention on the superficial nonsense and sensationalism.

This isn't just about empathizing with how someone else feels. This lack of interest suggests that apathy and ignorance are linked somehow. At minimum, it indicates values and priorities that aren't consistent with freedom. With the power of the Web, we've never been more connected; yet, it is that same close connection to everything and everyone that seems to be disconnecting us from intellectual progress, problem resolution, and achievement. Apathy is distancing ourselves from each other.

What do you have to say about people in this video who sign a petition declaring themselves morons? Is apathy just a form of ignorance? Do we make a conscious choice to be apathetic? How much responsibility should we take for being apathetic? Why is apathy bad? What do you think it will take to solve the problem of apathy so prevalent in today's society? How do you re-energize people? What do you suggest to light the spark?

People sign "I am a moron" petition without reading headline


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jun 4, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=571

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