The Empathic Civilisation

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This video animates a presentation by bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical thinker, Jeremy Rifkin. It presentes his investigations into the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.

Learn more about the RSA Animate.

Since my family was abusive, violent and neglectful and eventually gave me up when I was a teenager, and my country of birth never gave two shits about me as an individual, I first experienced “family” when I started university, and my “family” was mostly academically-based until I lost my funding and all my colleagues and so-called friends abandoned me. But now, my “family” is online. My online community has changed over time, but my beloved blog readers have stayed with me — some of them have been friends ever since I started writing my blog on 4 August 2004 — nearly six years ago!

But I am not unique in my perception of the online community being my family, although I might be somewhat ahead of my time in this, since most people who share this view are younger than I; having grown up with computers, the internet, iPhones, etc., as part of their lives. What are your thoughts about empathy, family and community?

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About GrrlScientist

GrrlScientist is the blog pseudonym for an evolutionary biologist/ornithologist who writes about E3: Evolution, Ecology and Ethology, and the subtle relationships between these phenomena, especially in birds. She also is a proud member of that vast liberal conspiracy that your mother warned you about. Regardless of where she ends up in the world, GrrlScientist's main blog can always be accessed through any one of these five domain names:,,,, and GrrlScientist writes a second blog, Maniraptora, at Nature Network. Online interviews with GrrlScientist: Kolibri Expeditions, ScienceOnline09, Nature Blog Network and ScienceBlogs. More biographical information about GrrlScientist.
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