September, 2020 archive
Scientific Blogging carries psychologist Simon McCarthy-Jones’s exploration how and why some persons find cruelty gratifying.
It’s fascinating and timely read; here’s a bit:
Humans typically do things to get pleasure or avoid pain. For most of us, hurting others causes us to feel their pain. And we don’t like this feeling. This suggests two reasons people may harm the harmless – either they don’t feel the others’ pain or they enjoy feeling the others’ pain.
Another reason people harm the harmless is because they nonetheless see a threat. Someone who doesn’t imperil your body or wallet can still threaten your social status. This helps explain otherwise puzzling actions, such as when people harm others who help them financially.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Camille Johnson demonstrates that lies can affect our judgement, even when we recognize them as lies. At the end of the article, she suggests some steps we can take to reduce our chances of drowning in the sea of lies. A snippet:
What is important to consider is that in a world where misleading and false information are constantly being presented in social media, we need to be aware of our vulnerability to that information – even when we know it is false, inflammatory, or intended to sway us. We like to think that we are not vulnerable, that Facebook posts, twitter threads, and funny memes aren’t affecting us – because of course we know that they aren’t 100% true and it is just a joke. But science shows that we are vulnerable. When we see outlandish information, even when we know it is untrue, it sways our judgement. This is especially true if the information appeals to us on an emotional level.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
They just can’t help fondling their portable phalli, can they?
Stephanie Hays noted that the mansions of the very rich often have more bathrooms than bedrooms (we’re talking in the teens or more here), so she set out to uncover the reason.
Scott Maxwell unmasks Florida Governor DeSantis’s misdirection play, which, Maxwell submits, is an attempt to distract from his incompetent and bumbling response to COVID-19. A snippet (emphasis added):
DeSantis staged a press conference to announce new plans — not to combat COVID, but to crack down on protesters and show his support for police. He called it the “Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act.”
His plan was light on details and thick with questions about its constitutionality. So the internet quickly exploded.
Lefties put together videos like: “Trump-loving governor makes it LEGAL to kill protesters.”
Righties screamed: “DeSantis Creates Perfect Legislation That Will Effectively End “Peaceful Protesters” In Florida”
It was just what DeSantis needed to distract from his COVID problems … everyone screaming about something else.
In The Kansas City Star, Melinda Henneberger reports on a small town in the Missouri countryside where most of the residents have chosen to disregard the danger of infection in these viral times. Many of them seem to have bought the herd immunity fairy tale that, if enough people get sick (lots of whom will die, but that part gets left out of the fairy tale version), somehow the threat will magically go away. Here’s a bit:
That’s such a common feeling in this town of 12,000 in the southwestern corner of the state that a mom who sees this nonchalance as “nuts” also said she’s afraid her business would fail if she let me use her name: “I’ve already had to unfollow everyone I’ve ever known on Facebook. More people than I ever would have believed think we’ll never hear about COVID again after the election, and if you wear a mask you get laughed at. A gentleman at the Dollar Tree came up and told me I was a sheep and I looked ridiculous. I have a friend who was diagnosed with COVID” who thought it was no problem for her kids to keep going to school.
We are a society of stupid.
Thom and Dr. Richard Wolff discuss the economic underpinnings of racial and ethnic discrimination and police brutality.