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May 24th, 2021
What sort of person gossips, and why do they do it? Surely everyone has engaged in a little gossip, even if just once to try it out. In a perverse sort of way, providing a little gossip feels useful. It often creates a heightened sense of interest and delight in the person listening. It bears a mask of entertainment and utility. The utility being that it can be rather useful to know the secret workings and events of other people’s lives who you are connected to. This is the most unfortunate communication system that seems to be foundational to politics. There’s absolutely a larger statement to be made about politics as it stems from these notions surrounding gossip.
To be a successful gossip, there needs to be a constant source of input, of news. This requires looking out for it, or slyly digging for it. Here the perspective is all outward and parasitic. It’s like the lumber industry magnate who gets excited about the discovery of a new old growth forest and sees only dollar signs which the forest can be converted to. The gossip likewise treats their relationships like resources to be ruthlessly mined. It’s no surprise that a gossip is often a bit of a social butterfly, having many friends, but also having a large turnover in that pool of relationships. The lumber or oil magnate is similar. They look for as many different instances of resource as possible, because when those resources get used, they get used up.
The plain truth about the gossip is that such people often don’t have anything else going on in their life. Productive people are often just too busy to engage in gossip. There are more important things at hand. The focus is not so much inward as it is focused on the highly personal process of creation.
It says a lot about politics that gossip seems to be such a fundamental part of it’s communication system. Perhaps the field of politics attracts such people because despite the enormous amount of work that could be done by governments, the norm is to do quite the opposite.
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