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Scott Armstrong


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Our public vs our private persona

Often what we project in public is an edited version of our private selves (or at least our private opinions).

Is this 'social editing' a hallmark of humanity?

Is it a good thing that we do this? Is it a natural human tendency that we have learned through peer pressure?

Or is it one of humanity's bigger flaws?

Is it an issue of honesty vs self-protection?

Should we risk social criticism so that we can reconcile the two and be completely open and honest in public?

Would this merely increase friction and argument or could it lead to greater acceptance of peoples' differences?


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    Jun 25 2011: I would say that to some degree the practice of maintaining a public persona that is not necessarily identical to the private persona is not unhealthy and can greatly promote social harmony. To attempt to unite the two with absolution is a kind of grasping for extremities, in my view. We don't need to be as persistent and constant as a mathematical concept. We are living, changing beings that change and adapt to suit our ever-changing environment and variety of situational conditions (social, psychological, etc).
    The public and private personas can be maintained as two separate sets of ideas that are not necessarily congruent at all times.
    That being said, there are certainly times where one should risk compromising the good of social harmony to do away with some heinous or unsustainable sort of behavior.

    To the last question, I have found that those of my friends who are currently in a struggle to be consistently that 'same person' with as few stipulations as they can have been subject to increased tensions in their social interactions and they don't seem to benefit much from having done so.
    Furthermore, if we're already, somewhat naturally, tending to carry on as we are, what's wrong with it? Social patterns and sets of behaviors often emerge for a reason; often for good and advantageous reasons.
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      Jun 25 2011: Clearly stated. Between your and Christophe's reply's, I feel I have a clearer understanding with regards to our 'masks' and the reasons why we wear them. My thanks.
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          Jun 26 2011: It's posed, I admit. I had just got a new phone and was mucking around with the effects. I'm more egoist than photographer so I made myself the subject.

          The cigar is actually a bier-stick - mini salami.

          The glasses are real - I can't see $#!% without them.
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          Jun 26 2011: Great portrait!!
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          Jun 26 2011: The fact that I appear one-eyed - I wonder if that was subconscious..?
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          Jun 27 2011: Scott One eyed

          Artistic instinct..good one too..
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