Social Distancing Or Physical Distancing?

The more people are isolated from one another, the weaker they are, as social interactions are one among the universal human needs. The less they can find their needs fulfilled by their social network, the easier they can be controlled by external forces.

The so-called tragedy of the commons happens when actors are acting based on self-interest AND not coordinating with one another when they realize that the common resource risks depleting.

The tragedy is not that the resource is getting depleted, it is that economists believe and want others to believe that it is the natural conclusion. Only in a simple model of reality does this become the case.

Is it possible, then, that the term “social distancing” stemmed from the same (lack of) perspective? That it came from a paradigm where people are agents that will only stop getting infected if they cut off human connections? A simple model of reality that ignore the difference between physical distance and social distance, or, rather, that chooses the one that will also make people easier to control?

By asking people to reduce social connections, bureaucrats in charge of policies reinforced the belief that people should not talk to each other and coordinate with one another? Was this a Freudian slip?

Note: the World Health Organization favours the term over “social distancing”)

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from olivierg
All posts