Bookmark: "The Dangers of Elite Projection"

Sebastian Greger


Jarrett Walker describes “Elite projection” as “the belief, among relatively fortunate and influential people, that what those people find convenient or attractive is good for the society as a whole”.

Walker talks about this concept from an urban planning perspective, yet (as Jason Kottke, on whose blog I stumbled upon this), it is something that can be seen in all areas of life. It’s for sure a very common trait in technologists’ mindset, which puts so much more value into the call to action in his summary:

Again, we can’t challenge elite projection in others until we forgive it in ourselves. Almost everyone reading this is part of some kind of elite. But the more powerful you are, the more urgent this work is. We must all ask ourselves: “Would this idea work for me if I were in a typical citizen’s situation, instead of my fortunate situation?”