Citizens in Cyber World—Despatches from the Virtual “Clinic”

  • Torsti SirénEmail author
  • Aki-Mauri Huhtinen
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 78)


People aren’t “good” or “bad”. People are people, and they respond to incentives. They can nearly always be manipulated—for good or ill—if only you find the right levers. Influence is all about learning what the right levers are and how to apply them (Mackay and Tataham 2011, p. 64). Cyber as a concept has usually, implicitly at least, been understood in technological terms, as a synonym for computer- and internet-based networks. This chapter, however, approaches cyber from psychological perspective and argues that, in addition with it’s technological dimension, cyber should also be considered as kind of a virtual Agora, mental battle space or global mind space where ideas can be mediated, challenged and psychological influencing rehearsed in many ways and on many platforms, ones of which are Internet and Social Medias (SOME). The chapter leans theoretically on Freudian–Lacanian psychoanalytical identity theories, both of which deal with “eternal” struggle between individual and social human past, present and future. The authors have used participant observation as their method when analyzing various discussion threads they have participated in Facebook. The main argument of the chapter is three-folded as follows: (1) Much of today´s clashes between human societies are waged in medias (including SOME) far from kinetic battlefields; (2) The speed of SOME discussions (Facebook especially) approaches the speed of face-to-face discussions, which easily may lead into intolerant comments by a participant discussant of the wider world view towards discussants of the more narrow world views; (3) Mental battles in Facebook against intolerant Freudian–Lacanian ego-fortresses may only be won by the most credible arguments and even then, not by one emancipatory capable ego alone, but with many of a kind.


World View Discussion Thread Finnish Society Mirror Stage Virtual Clinic 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership and Military PedagogyFinnish National Defence UniversityHelsinkiFinland

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