Obviously I am as aghast as everyone at the murder of David Amess, but I think my autism/Aspergers (self/internet diagnosis) may be relevant.
I look for trends rather than practicalities. Is this a freak one-off, or bearing in mind that almost exactly the same thing happened to Jo Cox only 5 years ago, when it was unprecedented, is this the shape of things to come?
Social media has been blamed for being at least partly responsible for deepening polarization. It is certainly true that individuals find it easier to ‘troll’ (abuse) others more easily using the new medium, but that does not mean that it is the only factor.
I have watched with increasing dismay the worsening rift over the trans issue. My sympathies are with those being sacked without debate, but whatever its merits, how has this issue suddenly hit the headlines (or at least the middle pages of this week’s Guardian) whilst the warnings on climate breakdown become steadily grimmer? Does the ecological issue not lend itself easily enough to controversy?
The lack of interest in the threat to the entire Ecosphere is worrying, at least to some of us, but is it not also extremely puzzling?
Tentatively, I hazard another factor which might be relevant. What effect is the use of mobile phones having on the still forming brains of growing children and adolescents?
There has not yet been time for an investigation of the motives or mental state of David Amess’ murderer, but I note that he is 25.
How capable are those now in their 20s of holding a reasoned debate with opponents, as compared with before the widespread use of mobiles? My perspective may be limited, but I am under the impression that blocking unwelcome points of view has recently become a feature, for example by individuals elected to or seeking positions of responsibility in the Green Party.
Social media and mobile phones became commonplace at more or less the same time, but we do need pointers as to where to look for solutions.