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Dr Pangloss

The online world: where reputation is all

By Brian Eno   September 2009

If we’re to believe the media, young people are getting worse and worse—stupider, coarser and more violent. However, as a father of two socially active teenage girls, and as an occasional teacher, I have to say that my experience is exactly the opposite: the high level of courtesy, empathy and general good-naturedness among young people continues to surprise me. What makes people behave well?

I once knew a wonderful commune—40 or so people—which conducted its affairs according to strict anarchist principles. All issues were thrashed out over the muesli, and things ran pretty well. Later I got to know a…

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