Virginia Postrel: The Glamour of Autonomy and the Glamour of Synchronization

If autonomy represents the glamour of standing out, synchronization offers the glamour of fitting in. … Here actions, goals, and personalities mesh smoothly. Synchronization encompasses the social glamour of witty repartee–saying the right thing at the right moment, not an hour later–and of camaraderie in a common cause. It intensifies the glamour of fellowship, making the connections between people seem intuitive or telepathic. … Both autonomy and synchronization are illusions, of course, requiring drastic simplifications of reality. Autonomy suggests that we can shed the constraints of complex relationships, whether familial ties or electrical grids, without sacrificing their benefits. Synchronization omits the trials and rehearsal that real coordination requires. It hides conflict and disguises the compromises necessary to achieve apparent harmony. It assumes goals that are not only shared but worthy.

– Virginia Postrel, The Power of Glamour, pp. 94-95