Margins: The Brothers Karamazov (Book VI, Chapter 3)

March 11, 2013

In which Fyodor Dostoevsky, writing more than a century ago, expresses pessimism regarding the future advent of social media:

We are assured that the world is becoming more and more united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves. They live only for mutual envy, for pleasure-seeking and self-display.

(From the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation.)


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