»For what appears to all this we call Being« Aristoteles
There are some things on the Internet you just want to believe, for the mere reason that somebody puts them online. This credit of trust, despite all the necessary skepticism, may derive from the fact that the message would be worth sharing only if the content is true and not made up. Youtube videos of people doing the most amazing trick shots would set a case. Brodie Smith, an ultimate Frisbee player, throws his Frisbee into the bucket of a driving basketball hoop 100 meters away. From Germany comes a series of videos called A Normal Day, in which the guys use household utensils for unbelievable tricks.
What the videos have in common is that the tricks are possibly easier to fake than to actually do. Still, the videos only make sense if we have the endless failures in mind, which had taken place before the perfect shot was finally recorded. As long as we cannot see an incentive to produce a fake – the authors attending a 3D animation school or working in the advertising industry – we tend to believe in the authenticity of those videos. In sociolinguistics, Paul Grice explains the reason for this. He states that the listeners, in a normal conversation, usually believe that the speakers obey what he calls the »cooperative principle«. Three assumptions are seminal to this principle. First, speakers are usually truthful about their statements and have some evidence for it. Second, their contribution should have just the right amount of information – not too much and not too little. And finally, what they say should be relevant to the situation one is currently in. It is our belief in the cooperative character of a normal conversation that makes us not expect to be treated in an unfaithful way and assume that the guys from A Normal Day and Brodie Smith really tried some fifty times and did not ask a friend for postproduction.
Below, I will try to re-read Arendt’s famous argument on action in the polis. I will try to look at what it takes to act in what Arendt calls the »space of appearance«. I will argue that this space, where »(n)o man… can live in it at all the time« is not only the space where (political) action is performed, but it can be understood in a broader sense the space of knowledge production. After citing the quote by Aristotle that I put at the beginning of this text, Arendt continues
whatever lacks … appearance comes and passes away like a dream, intimately and exclusively our own, but without reality.«
In arguing for this reading of action, I will argue that Arendt’s model comes close to what is now being discussed in social epistemology and political theory of communitarianism. The predominant part of knowledge in a society is constituted not by direct experience or logical deduction, but based on testimonies given by others. I didn’t see the Gulf Stream myself, nor did I witness the Arab spring; still I am convinced that both do exist. Returning to the Youtube videos referred to above, I will finish by discussing some aspects of the virtual space of appearance, the Internet, and how knowledge is created and exchanged there. I would like to begin with revisiting the core of Arendt’s concept of action. A reading of the polis as the space where all knowledge is created, does make Arendt’s original bold critic of Modernity impossible, but will allow for a more detailed account on the changes that the polis undergoes.
Labor, work, action; common world, public sphere
Arendt’s concept of action is formulated in The Human Condition (1958), On Revolution (1963), and Crisis of the Republic (1972). Two famous distinctions lay the basis. First, she divides the active human life – the Vita activa – in the three activities of labor, work and action. Second, she separates the frame for these activities in the public sphere on the one side and the common world on the other.
I would like to discuss them together as the activities are possible in some and necessary for other spaces. Arendt describes the common world as the shared surrounding of human artifacts, institutions and settings. It is the result of humans’ appropriation of nature so that it fits their needs. In a much-cited metaphor she describes it as the media that both separates and relates us, like the table that »gathers us together and yet prevents us falling over each other, so to speak.« The common world accommodates the activities of work and labor. What are these activities? The first activity humans engage within the Vita activa – labor – is the mere reaction to natural necessities. It is to satisfy the biological needs of consumption. This activity of the Animal Laborans is communal only to the degree that labor is something that is not individual. Everybody has to eat and drink, not only humans but all creatures. Work, the second on her list, is what the Homo Faber is capable of. It describes an individual process of production; the assembling of chair, a law, a piece of art or poetry. What the Homo Faber does is communal because her products typically outlast the maker. It is only possible in case of freedom from the necessities of daily life – the getting and gathering of food for example.
Finally, action is what happens in the public sphere. The space where it is performed is not a fixed physical surrounding. In other words: the public sphere is not spatial by necessity, it is only meta-phorically referred to in spatial terms. Throughout her writing, Arendt uses the Greek polis to illustrate her concept of the public sphere, the space of appearance and political action. It is not that she wants us to live a life at the time of Pericles. An integral part of her writings and the way she wrote is for emphasizing the importance of narrative. We will look at it in more detail below, but here, for our discussion of the polis, this means that the reader should think of it as narrated by Aristotle and must not recall the stones of the Agora in Athens reconstructed under the financial patronage of John D. Rockefeller.
So, what space then is the polis? It is
»not the city-state in its physical location; it is the organization of the people as it arises out of acting and speaking together, and its true space lies between people living together for this purpose, no matter where they happen to be.«
Arendt describes the polis or the public sphere as the »space of appearance«, created by people »acting« that is, referring to Aristotle by »sharing words and deeds«. Acting does not only take place in the polis, but it makes the polis. Acting is communicating with individuals that are the same and yet different. It is intimately linked to speech. To act is to disclose one’s identity; something not needed for work and labor and requires any newcomer to answer the question »Who are you?« In acting, one cannot hide the »who« and »what« one is – »his qualities, gifts, talents, and shortcomings, … (are) implicit in everything somebody does.« Interestingly, Hannah Arendt describes the »Who« as something hidden from the person itself, but as a socially constructed collage of past events and situations, either experienced personally or transmitted via narratives. This social self is »like the daimõn in Greek religion which accompanies each man throughout his life, always looking over his shoulder from behind and thus visible only to those he encounters«.
Arendt is aware that the communal answer given to the question »Who are you?« is the source of exclusion. Not everybody can appear in the polis. Although »all men are capable of deed and word, most of them – like the slave, the foreigner, and the barbarian in antiquity (and women), like the laborer or craftsman prior to the modern age, the jobholder or businessman in our world – do not live in it.« Like Fustel de Coulanges summarized: to be considered a citizen, part of the polis in Athens, one had to be a free male, worshiping the Gods of the City and owning a Megaron inside the city walls.
The polis is the place for communal interaction and the community selects its members. Hence the polis is not a physical location, but the location of the political (action) proper.
Many authors in social epistemology share the idea that the social self is the source of exclusion. Looking at dawn of a new science in the seventeenth century, Steven Shapin has shown what it took for a scientist to be considered as a part of the discourse. To be attributed a truth-teller, like being a citizen in Arendt, was the necessary condition to enter the polis of scientific discourse. At the time of Robert Boyle the gentleman was the model of the perfect citizen. Those who were not
recognized included women, servants, »the poor and the mean in general,« tradesman, Catholics, Continental gentry, Italians and politicians. In the case of all of these groups, their »unreliable truthfulness … was pervasively referred to their constrained circumstances.« A gentleman was considered to have no such constraints: neither would he have financial dependencies, nor political interests. »Gentlemen were truth-tellers because nothing could work upon them that would induce them to be otherwise.« Shapin’s analysis furthermore points to the two central features that Arendt stipulates for -action: freedom and plurality.
The space of knowledge
Outlining her view on how the Modern Age came about, we can see that the products of action for Arendt are not only political revolutions, like the French and American, but all sorts of scientific and technological inventions are sources that brought about modern thought. Not only political action, but any knowledge created in general can potentially bring about revolutions. Revolutions have been used in philosophy and philosophy of science to argue for a relativistic
understanding of morals, methods, cultures, or more generally knowledge.
Let us briefly stop and outline the relativist position. Two -people, or competing positions can come to what has become known as »faultless disagreement«. In moral end ethical debates this is typically easy to accept. I could, for example, disagree with a person that insists that half a square meter is enough for a hen in breeding poultry. These kinds of disagreements cannot be solved by rational arguments or evidence, but only by the conversion of one of the involved parties. This furthermore implies that none of the positions can claim truth in the classical sense, that is, referring to a proposition in the world that can be discovered. The sociology of philosophy, of science and the theorists working in the strong programme have argued that the faultless disagreement occurs quite often and that all of our knowledge is affected by that. I do not have the time and space here for a detailed account, this position includes, on an epistemic level, relativism implies that knowledge is typically something that is attributed to groups rather than individuals and by default political. In other words: knowledge is created in the polis.
Arendt seems to have a similar idea in mind. Without the presence of others, acting would not mean anything. Acting can be realized only by appearing in public, by participating in a community, by »the presence of others who have seen and heard and will remember«. Acting is made possible by plurality that is »the fact that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world«. Nietzsche seems to dislike the constraints of communally produced knowledge, when he frets that, being a philosopher, he has no right to be
»›disconnected‹; we must neither err ›disconnectedly‹ nor strike truth ›disconnectedly‹.«
Furthermore, as acting is a communal occupation it entails two central qualities: as a necessity, any act is »unpredictable« and »irreversible«. It is unpredictable as »we are never able to foretell with certainty the outcome and end of any action« simply because »action has no end«, »it brings about an unlimited number of actions and reactions.« Returning to the similarities between Arendt’s position and the one held by social epistemology we find that the second requirement that Arendt states for a polis to emerge, »freedom«, is also recognized by epistemology.
Recalling Shapin’s argument, a truth-teller, someone who was part of the discourse at the times of Robert Boyle, was a person considered to be free of any outside ascendancies that would make him follow some agenda. Arendt describes freedom as essential to her concept of the public sphere, freedom as the possibility »to start anew«. Shapin shows that freedom was considered as the source of trust. It is identical to not having constraints that could modify one’s behavior. Earlier, Georg Simmel described the stranger as somewhat »freer« then others. He was »not tied down in his action by habit, piety, and precedent« – having in Aristotle’s words a smaller daimõn. Arendt describes the social constraints for slaves, who were not considered as citizens hence excluded from the polis for lacking »freedom of movement, economic -activity and personal inviolability«. Freedom is the ability to choose amongst possible alternatives and the probability of the community to take an individual’s suggestion into consideration. In a way, the counterpart of freedom is power.
Power, for Arendt, is the capacity of individuals to act in concert, hence inherent in plurality. It derives the legitimacy by the initial getting together. On the other hand, and somewhat contradictory, she points out that »power is what keeps the public realm, the potential space of appearance between acting and speaking men in existence.« Like the space of appearance, power is always »a power potential and not an unchangeable, measurable and reliable entity like force or strength … (it) springs up between men when they act together and vanishes the -moment they disperse.«
In the last two quotes taken from The Crisis of the Republic and The Human Condition power is not understood only as an external force, but also as the thing that glues people together, aligning their actions. Power can be seen as including not only an external dimension, people acting together to achieve some means, but to present it as the opposite of freedom, the constraints that evolve when people have to coordinate their acts. These constraints manifest in shared social and moral conventions. These constraints are alien to the stranger. If freedom is the potential to start something new, power points at established bounds that a community incorporates.
We can now turn to Arendt’s view on narrative and remembrance. It is a fundamental part of her theory as it should show how societies establish connection to past
and future generations. In other words, the here theory of the narrative is about knowledge management in the space of appearance.
Narrative and remembering
»The anecdote« Walter Benjamin maintains »brings things near to us spatially, lets them enter our life.« It is the narrative that »tells us more about their subjects, the ›hero‹ in the center of each story, than any product of human hands ever tells us about the master who produced it.« Listening to stories helps to train our imagination by having the chance to »go visiting«. This is why a polis has to rely on the storytellers and poets to »establish an everlasting remembrance of their good and bad deeds, to inspire admiration in present and future ages.« There is no Archimedean point from where we can look at society. This remembrance can be created only from within society. People like »educator of Hellas«, who will do the job. This reminds us of the poststructuralist view that holds that there cannot be a privileged critical standpoint or consensus some critics try to build.
Agreement in the polis is reached by virtue of narrative, by assuming the position of others. Hannah Arendt writes objectivity »is not the result of some higher standpoint that would then actually settle (a) dispute by being altogether above the melee«; instead, it »is obtained by taking the viewpoints of others into -account« or in Benjamin’s words by the »procedure of empathy«. To my understanding, her argument falls short of acknowledging that any narrative is valued and selective, something Benjamin seems to recognize. It is the narratives that constitute both the »Who« one is and the community one is in. By necessity a community has to decide what to remember and what to forget. This is true for oral as well as for written accounts.
More than 3500 years ago, the clay tables that held the Epic of Gilgamesh were stored in boxes of different material. Made of cedar, bronze and lapis lazuli they strongly suggest a hierarchy, a secondary order implied on the text. It is very likely that the stone tables were rearranged with respect to changing customs and fashions. At the library of Alexandria (3rd century B.C.) the librarians faced the problem of making information available as the various collections grew to be over 500,000 volumes large. As the collection proliferated, so did the demand by outsiders to gain access – and need for a more advanced system to search. -Zenodotus, the first librarian, started to introduce a spatial concept of order and arranged the collection by type. He later set forth the idea to record the volumes in an alphabetical catalogue, superimposed over the spatial arrangement. Callimachus, his possible successor, enhanced the catalogue so that it covered author and category. Even though 120 volumes large and including an elaborate system of categories and subcategories, the catalogue only involved the »eminent« authors.
The problem of passing information, hence the selection of eminent authors and text, was seen as one of the great problems of Enlightenment by many authors. Scholars faced the drawbacks of Gutenberg’s invention. Arthur Schopenhauer in his 1851 -essay On Reading and Books complains about »writings (that) have been printed today and are still wet from the press.« They »breed every year in countless numbers like flies« and the public swallows them with a never-ending appetite, since »similis simili gaudet«, he states. And it is due to a conspiracy of »author, publisher, and reviewer (that) have joined forces« only to take »a few shillings out of the public’s pocket«.
The reading room of the British museum has a similar plan and section as Bentham’s Panopticon. It derives from the same episteme to use Foucault. The idea behind both designs is to construct or lay out a finite object (of study). As with the human as object of study this involves a decision of what is rewarding to study and
Arendt’s demands towards the polis should also comprise the »organized remembrance« that any polis or community is built upon. It is the materialization of narratives into poems, books and stone-tables or monuments, paintings and architecture that makes history »tangible«. It is the permanence of these things that constitutes a social and moral system. The opposition of the common world of things and public sphere as discussed above hence was only a conceptual one. Plurality and freedom and power, the principle of irreversibility and unpredictability are of importance
not only for the encounter of individuals, but also for the way to manage and organize a communal stock of knowledge. It is from this perspective I will start my critique of search engines and social networks. But let us briefly look at the history of the link and one ancestor the »renvoi« to better understand how the virtual polis now organizes its remembrance.
This idea formed the basis for a high Enlightenment project that sought »to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe (…) and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race.« The internal logic established by the authors is also the basis for the Internet as we know it.
What distinguished the Encyclopédie from other reference books was its internal organization. It compromises three structures: alphabetic order, taxonomy of human knowledge and cross-references to other articles
to indicate the link between the subjects. The renvoi point from one article to the other, link it with others, setting relations, suggesting connections, neglecting some others. The article on Eucharist points at »cannibalism« and »bread«, but not at »theology«. Page Rank, the algorithm that Google uses to sort search results uses the number of links coming and going to a page. It is a system that supports large actors over minorities.
To further increase quality and relevance of the results, search engines and social networks introduced »personalization« of search results. As Larry Page puts it, the perfect search engine would »understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want«. Personalized search opens spaces of individual information based on the user profile that resembles the search history of the individual. The idea does not derive from the history of science or knowledge production, but from marketing. Loyalty card systems were introduced by Aaron Montgomery Ward and Lester Wunderman. By introducing a bonus program that was bound to a card and the identity of a customer, retailers could supply their clients with personalized advertisements. With the personalized shopping information at hand, advertisers could provide information on diapers ten months after a person bought a pregnancy test. The affinity of search engines and marketing instruments is clearly outlined by Google’s Eric Schmidt: »Think about it first as an advertising system.«
Facebook’s Like Button turned a social network site (that should be thought of first as an advertising system) into an information retrieval service. Social Networking sites like Facebook use to same
technology to sort friends visible. The pushing of well-established ideas is fundamental for both technologies and derives from its ancestors; be it the citation-logic of Google that knows stronger and weaker nods or the Like narrative.
In 1996, John Perry Barlow, the American poet and former lyricist of the Grateful Dead, published the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace. He declares »(c)yberspace consists of transactions, relationships and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of communication.« The only rule he and his fellow inhabitants of the »new home of Mind« are willing to accept is the Golden Rule. Let us return to what Paul Grice has to say about the rules people typically observe during conversation. His proposed maxims only suffice for conversations where there is no reason for the speaker to modify her behavior, or for the listener to have doubts. We trust the guys from the A Normal Day series that they really did the tricks and put them online, because
if we use our imagination and »go visit« the motives of the speaker, we in fact can see no reason for them to fake all of those. They are not »sociological generalizations about speech, … (they are) presumptions about utterances, presumptions that we as listeners rely on and as speakers exploit.« Social Networking sites use these presumptions for their mix of private conversation and individual advertising. Companies like Microsoft with their water-slide jump and Samsung with their extreme Sheep led up produce videos that look very much like those by A Normal Day or Brodie Smith in their advertising campaigns. However, in 1726 Daniel Defoe noted that the tradesman’s word had to be understood in the context of the »circumstance of trade«. The author of Robinson Crusoe maintained: »The tradesman should not be understood strictly and literally to his words.« The circumstances of a tradesman are a reason to modify behavior and a reason for the listener to doubt the testimony.
The space of knowledge that the personalized web provides, realizes Barlow’s vision of cyberspace in a peculiar way. Users are now provided only with information that they would provide for others. Groups, people with same interests, are provided with the same information. In creating customized information spaces, marketing firms quickly learned that they should not be too perfect. When American retailer Target sent a high school girl in Minneapolis advertisements for baby clothes and cribs (based on her shopping behavior) an angry father appeared at the shop. Although it turned out that the statistical department of Target was indeed correct and knew about the pregnancy earlier than the father, they reconsidered their strategy and now put directed marketing information next to other ads. According the Roland Barthes, »nonfunctional detail« is used to construct reality, by novelists or as peculiarity of photographs.
Many authors have called the effectiveness of the Golden Rule into question. Kant argued that a prisoner could appeal to the Golden
Rule and ask the judge whether he wanted to be in prison. Furthermore, how would I know what the other
wants, as a sadist is a masochist following the Golden Rule.
The predominant problem is: a polis following the Golden Rule holds no social beliefs. Moral conventions are not produced as a part of a communal discourse, but held individually. Arendt’s view on freedom, as the possibility, inherent in human nature, »to start something new« would be lost. In the extreme version, »(w)ithout being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover«. The initial interests one started with build the horizon of possible knowledge and possible encounters. Exclusion is realized based on the »self« created by oneself and on our acts reflected by the society.
 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1172 b 36 ff.
 brodiesmith21, 2011. Frisbee Trick Shots (Original) | Brodie Smith. (video online) Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLbz0X_7waU (Accessed on: 1 April 2012)
 Blindclassic, 2011. Best of A Normal Day. (video online) Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ-Nw8RAn_U (Accessed on: 1 April 2012)
 Grice, Paul (1975). »Logic and conversation«. In Syntax and Semantics, 3: Speech Acts, ed. P. Cole & J. Morgan. New York; Academic Press. pp. 41–58
 Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1958. p. 199
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 52
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 75–135
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 84, 79–101
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 80–82; 87–92; 138
 Human Condition, Arendt continues with reference to Thucydides: »Wherever you go will be a polis.« Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War. Book VII, 7.7.83, p. 198
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 197–98; Aristotle 1126bl2
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 176
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 7, 10, 178–79
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 179
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 179–80
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 199
 de Coulanges, Fustel, The Ancient City. Ontario: Batoche Books, 2001 (1864) pp. 162–65
 Arendt, Hannah, »Living in Politics« in Crisis of the Republic. New York: Harvest Books, 1972. p. 31
 Shapin, Steven, A Social History of Truth. Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England. Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1994 p. 86
 ibid, p. 94
 The list contains (amongst others) Galileo, Copernicus, Hobbes, Descartes, Newton and Einstein, Jesus, Robespierre, Billy Budd, The Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Charly Chaplin
 Arendt, Hannah, On Revolution. New York: Penguin Books, 1962. p. 42
 Important contribution being Kuhn’s revolutions: Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1962
 This hopelessly short summary of the relativist position, does most likely not suffice, not even for this text. See: Baghramian, Maria and Bahramian, Mari, Relativism (Problems of Philosophy). New York: Routledge Chapan & Hall, 2004. The famous counterargument by Boghossian, Paul, Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 95
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 7–8
 Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals. Preface 2 to first essay »Good and Evil«,»Good and Bad«, 1887
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 233; 190
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 9, 31, 217, 234–36
 A Social History of Truth, 1994. p. 39
 Simmel, Georg, »The Stranger,« in Sociology of Simmel, pp. 402–08
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 217
 Crisis, 1972. pp. 143–44
 Crisis, 1972. p. 151
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 200
 Benjamin, Walter, The Arcades Project. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, p. 545
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 184
 Arendt, Hannah, Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. Ed. Roland Beiner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982 p. 43 as cited in Disch, Lisa Jane, Hannah Arendt and the Limits of Philosophy. New York: Cornell University Press. 1994. p. 2
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 197
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 41, 197
 Arendt, Hannah, Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. Ed. Roland Beiner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982 p. 42 as cited in Disch, Lisa Jane, Hannah Arendt and the Limits of Philosophy. New York: Cornell University Press, 1994. p. 161; Benjamin, Walter, »On the concept of history« Gesammelte Schriften I:2. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. 1974. VII
 Benjamin, Walter, »On the concept of history« IX; A; B
 George A. R., The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic. Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts Volume I. New York: Oxdford University Press. 2003. p. 446
 Duguid, Paul, »Ther World Accordung to Grep« in Becker, Konrad und Stalder, Felix, Deep Search – Politik des Suchens jenseits von Google. Wien:Studienverlag.
2009. p. 34
 Schopenhauer, Arthur, »On Reading and Books«. in Parerga and Paralipomena. 1851. p. 34
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 95
 Human Condition, 1958. pp. 169; 167–74
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 Larry Page on http://www.google.com/about/company/products/ (Accessed on: 01 April 2012)
 Root, Damon. »Marketplace of Ideas.« Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, 2009, p.1; Brandweek 50,no.36.D1–D4 »The Next Generation of Direct Marketing.« Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, 2009. p. 6
 Andrew Smith, Leigh Sparks, »Making Tracks: Loyalty Cards as Consumer Surveillance«, in European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Darach Turley and Stephen Brown, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research. 2003. pp. 368–373
 Vogelstein, F., »As Google Challenges Viacom and Microsoft, Its CEO Feels Lucky«, in Wired 04.09.07. 2007
 Barlow, John Perry, Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace. Available at: https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html (Accessed on: 01 April 2012)
 »One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself« is found in many writings from Code of Hammurabi to Confuzius
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 Defoe, Daniel, 1726. The Complete English Tradesman. London p. 276, 279, 285, 289–92 as cited in Shapin 1995. p. 95
 Duhigg, Charles, 2012. »How Companies Learn Your Secrets.« in: The New York Times (online) February 16. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hp (Accessed April 1, 2012)
Hill, Kashmir, 2012. »How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did.« in: Forbes (online) February 16. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/
(Accessed on: April 1, 2012)
 Barthes, Roland. »The Reality Effect«, in: The Rustle of Language. Trans. Richard Howard. Oxford: Blackwell, 1986. pp. 141–148., 146
 Human Condition, 1958. p. 237