India Uncut

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Narcissism and celebrity

The cause-and-affect relationship between the two may be the opposite of what many of us believe, a new study reveals.

It's very easy to get cause-and-effect all wrong. Whenever I'm stuck in a bad jam in Andheri, I know I'm going to see traffic cops at the nearest signal, and sure enough, there are always one or two of them, getting cursed silently by all the commuters. But are they the cause of the traffic jam, or are they there because the jam has become so bad that it needs human intervention?

Mickey Kaus once asked in the context of cars:
[A]re "vans" the safest category, in terms of occupant deaths-per-mile, because the vehicles are safe or because vans (especially minivans) are mainly driven by cautious, milquetoasty moms? Is the Toyota 4-Runner relatively unsafe because it tends to roll over--or do 4-Runner drivers roll over so often because they tend to be aggressive young jerks?
And sometimes cause and effect feed on each other, and are interchangable. You wouldn't be reading this blog if you didn't find it interesting, and I work so hard to make it interesting because you read it. (I probably fail, but it must be an interesting failure if you're reading this.) If I had very few readers, I wouldn't try so hard; if I stopped trying hard, my readership would diminish.

Perhaps it's a virtuous circle at the moment, but I'm such a lazy bum that could change anytime.
amit varma, 9:32 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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