Hyper-connectedness co-exists with growing virtual and physical segregation of like-minded clusters, deepening cultural divides and giving rise to a new politics of rage
The best thing I read last week on the London riots was by a 28-year-old Briton, Ben King, who identifies himself only as a university graduate who studied intellectual and cultural history. His analysis managed to combine the tropes of both the right and the left, explaining how the increasing disconnection between the worlds of the rioters and the rich created a situation in which the looters had no "moral regard" for either the police or the rest of the city. He insists, rightly, that they still need to be held responsible for their actions, but observes: "These youths and Politicians Inc are more alike than they realize: Both are closed systems and both have moral regard for their own groups first and foremost."
We hear about connectedness every day. Indeed, Tom Friedman writes today in the New York Times that we are not just connected but "hyper-connected" -- his theory of everything is that this degree of inter-connection makes the rich richer, takes things away from the middle class because they have to compete globally, and allows them to organize quickly and effectively to express their anger.