John Shirley: “empathy may be a precious commodity in the future”

In the wake of the Connecticut shootings, John Shirley posted on Facebook this excerpt from a text he wrote as the basis for a TedX talk:

“People who are quadriplegic have stated that they feel less emotion than they did, when they could still feel their entire bodies. The projection of the self into electronics reduces our relationship to the body, the seat of our emotions, and for several reasons that might lead to an increase in psychopathology.

“And empathy may be a precious commodity in the future. Most people unconsciously cut off their empathy when they’re feeling endangered–when the population increases to 8 and 9 and 10 billion, we may instinctively become, as a race, proportionately less empathetic–unless we actively struggle against that kind of degeneracy.”