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Topics - Cainad (dec.)

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The Lifespan of a Lie

The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of those mainstays of armchair psychology. I know it has heavily influenced the way I think about human behavior and situationism ever since I heard about it.


History has an annoying trend of being more nuanced and complicated than the version you heard when you were in high school.

The article isn't that long, but here's some out-of-context paragraphs for you to read and misinterpret:

While Zimbardo likes to begin the story of the Stanford prison experiment on Sunday, August 15th, 1971, when guards began harassing newly arrived prisoners at the “Stanford County Jail” — making it sound as if they became abusive of their own accord — a more honest telling begins a day earlier, with the orientation meeting for the guards. There, addressing the group less as experimental subjects than as collaborators, Zimbardo put a thumb on the scales, clearly indicating to the guards that their role was to help induce the desired prisoner mindset of powerlessness and fear.

In surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015, Richard Griggs and Jared Bartels each found that nearly every introductory psychology textbook on the market included Zimbardo’s narrative of the experiment, most uncritically. Curious about why the field’s appointed gatekeepers, presumably well-informed about the experiment’s dubious history, would choose to include it nonetheless, I reached out. Three told me they had originally omitted the Stanford prison experiment from their first editions because of concerns about its scientific legitimacy. But even psychology professors are not immune to the forces of social influence: two added it back in under pressure from reviewers and teachers, a third because it was so much in the news after Abu Ghraib. Other authors I spoke with expressed far more critical perspectives on the experiment than appeared in their textbooks, offering an array of reasons why it nonetheless had pedagogical value.

The racial dynamics of the Stanford prison experiment, which have never been adequately explored, should probably have given reformers pause. Carlo Prescott, who had just suffered sixteen years of imprisonment as an African American, played a pivotal role in shaping the architecture of the experiment. Frustrated in part by the lack of black experimental subjects, he intervened repeatedly in the action, seeking to bring, as he put it to me, “an air of authenticity to boys who were getting $15 a day to pretend to be prisoners — all Caucasian, as you recall. [Ed. note: one prisoner was Asian American.] Some of the genuine things that shock you as a result of having your liberty taken and your ass being controlled by people who hate you before you even get there.” Yet Zimbardo’s account of the “situation” that engendered abuse left race out of the equation. He often used the word “normal” to describe the participants in his study despite the fact that they were hardly a normal representation of the American inmate population at that time. Analyzing American prisoner abuse as a product of race-blind “situational forces” erased its deep roots in racial oppression.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 26, 2018, 04:08:27 pm »
I've been workshopping an idea that I'm tentatively calling the magnet theory of social change (maybe better to call it the gravity theory, but it's a metaphor anyway so fuck it). The idea is that each of us has some amount of "magnetic" pull on our peers, as part of a greater social system.*

The society overall can be seen as a field of little magnets on a flat surface. Since politics is the subject of interest, you can imagine this flat surface has the Left-Right/Authoritarian-Libertarian political axes on it, or whatever axes you consider relevant at the moment. This spread also serves as a visualization of the Overton Window.

If you are super gung-ho about your views and pull yourself far to one side, you may be able to pull some number of people along with you, depending on your charisma and persuasiveness. But your pull on the overall field of magnets, on society generally, is dramatically lessened with distance. Likewise, if you become estranged from the pull of the larger society, you cease to care or be influenced by what the bulk of society cares about, as their magnetic pull on you has lessened. This is probably not a desirable place to be, unless you're into being a hermit or charismatic cult leader.


You can still move in the direction you want while maintaining your magnetic pull on those near you (in meatspace or headspace). Ways to do this include:

- Being chill and not being hard to talk to ("Don't get him started on capitalism, you'll never hear the end of it")
- Being rich and powerful so people are motivated to follow you

so yeah mainly just the first one is an option for most of us

What this DOESN'T necessarily include is reaching out to people who are on the far side of the society from you. This may be necessary if the opposition is (a) so intractable that it takes an unreasonable amount of energy for you to engage them, or (b) their preferred tactic is to feign reasonableness and waste your time with rhetorical games. Ideally, the magnet theory relies on the strength of the bulk of society pulling most people away from the ideas that suck ass, and allowing the fringe to be the fringe.

The more I think about it, the more this probably should be the gravity theory rather than the magnet theory. It's sort of an evolution of BIP "cog in the machine" thinking, which asked that you change yourself only so far as to effect change on your immediate surroundings, rather than futile grand schemes.

* This hinges on the general reality tunnel (which I've been using lately) that humans are a generally communal, cooperative species with occasional clashes of interest that take up a lot of our energy. This does not work if your reality tunnel mainly views humans as individual agents who are generally in conflict and only occasionally cooperate (a la Ayn Rand hyper-individualism).

Apple Talk / ITT: I am drunk
« on: March 11, 2017, 03:44:14 am »
Don't ask me shit

fukc you

Aneristic Illusions / November 2016: Hail Discordia
« on: November 09, 2016, 11:55:27 am »
Oh, frabjous day!
Holy Strife has come to play.

Blood-stained goddess and hidden dagger,
One fucked-up forum's peals of disgusted laughter

Welcome back to 2000, Pee Dee Dot Com. It's like we never left, but it's bigger, meaner, and uglier than ever.

Apple Talk / On Cheap Massages and Inevitabilities, Or: Why I Am A Dumbass
« on: September 02, 2016, 07:10:40 pm »
I could have posted this in Open Bar, but it falls into a level of sordid and inane human experience that I think warrants being cordoned off in its own thread. Not everyone wants to see the icky bits of some jackasses' life story. But this is PD, and some of you freaks revel in that shit, so here we are.

Allow me to frame the scene: there is a massage parlor in a town I used to live in, and I visited it on occasion. I have made regular exercise a part of my life and it seemed like a fair idea to get my stringy muscles tenderized every month or so, if only so that when the aliens from space come to eat us I will be all the more tender and delicious. I'm considerate like that.

Now, this particular massage parlor is staffed, as far as I can tell, entirely by ladies of Asian descent. The sign out front has one of those diagrams of feet with inexplicable pictures of organs on the sole. The more worldly among you will have already deduced what I am getting at here, based on the thread title and the scene I have just described. For those in the back, I will briefly explain: these businesses, usually dubbed "Chinese massage parlors," are somewhat notorious for providing services that can only loosely be described as "massage."

"Jack shacks" would be the more gauche way to describe it.

But I will HAVE YOU KNOW, dear readers, that I am a gentleman of the highest order and that my intentions were pure as the driven snow. My fucking neck hurts sometimes and I like having it kneaded like a French bread every so often, alright? I visited this establishment a half-dozen times while I lived in the area, and I found the services provided to be of good quality, and none of that funny business, in case I haven't made that perfectly clear. Masseurs and masseuses are trained professionals and associating them with jobs that fall outside their scope of work is unseemly and poor behavior. Also, this place was cheap, like really cheap. Very attractive to my wage-earning wallet. I paid for an hour or half-hour of massage as my time allowed, tipped generously (because really, no way the employees are bringing home enough based on that hourly rate), and said "thank you" in Chinese because I am polite and it seemed to amuse the nice ladies.

Fast forward, about three months later. I live very far away from this place now, but it just so happened that it was on my way back from a job site on this particular day. How fortuitous, I thought, because I had tweaked my upper back the night before, and was generally sore from a recent return to regular exercise after a hiatus. Additionally, I was running on about 3 hours of sleep and had woken up at an ungodly hour to drive for 2 hours to the job site. Laying still in a quiet, dark room while my muscles were plucked, stretched, and rubbed down with hot stones seemed like a heavenly idea.

First I lay on my stomach, and my back was worked on as it had been several time before. No surprises, and the hot rocks were especially welcome this time. Seriously, you should try it if you haven't before.

Then I flipped on to my back. Each masseuse seems to approach this phase a little differently, so I was ready for whatever. Or so I thought.

I should have clued in the moment my chest and stomach were caressed, rather than rubbed down. I am a bit ticklish and was focused on keeping my cool, however. Let the professional work, I say. Then work began on my thighs.

It happened so fast, I barely understood what was going on. That of course is not really true: I knew immediately what was going on, but it was quite sudden and my senses overloaded. My life up to this point had not prepared me for this situation. I couldn't think straight, and since I had been more or less holding still the whole time it seemed only natural to continue holding still.

And then it was over, just about as fast as it started. Faster than I would have thought possible, if I'm completely honest. So quickly that I thought, absurdly in my mental haze, that there didn't seem to be much point. Then the massage was completed as normal, I paid the tip, and said "thank you" in Chinese as always, and left.

All I can really think of, some time later, is that I really wish that time had been spent on my pectorals. They're still damn sore.

Propaganda Depository / Found an old project
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:56:53 am »
Let me know if the attachment doesn't work. This is an incomplete draft of the second Intermittens issue I tried to make, but never finished to my satisfaction. I don't remember exactly when this was made, I think about 2011-ish.

Apple Talk / The Food Surgeon
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:28:20 am »
what the hell is this

I love it. I must see more.

« on: December 16, 2015, 07:03:05 pm »
I just accidentally hit "Mark All Read"



Discordian Recipes / I'm roasting a chicken RIGHT NOW YOU FUCKS
« on: December 02, 2015, 05:21:06 am »

Apple Talk / Old Finnish People With Things On Their Heads
« on: October 29, 2015, 01:59:13 am »
I saw this on the internets and I decided to bring it to the experts here at PeeDee.

Why, Finland?

Apple Talk / Luxury Doomsday Shelters
« on: October 12, 2015, 03:57:25 pm »

Put 'em all in one place for easy pickin's after we all turn into Morlocks. Good plan!

Apple Talk / TIMECUBE.COM is fucking DOWN
« on: August 31, 2015, 02:20:05 pm »
 :horrormirth: :horrormirth: :horrormirth:

I just placed a bid for the domain name, but I am not exactly hopeful.

Also, today I learned that is blocked by my usually pretty open workplace filter as "Cult/Occult"  :lulz:

Apple Talk / A Most Glorious Troll
« on: August 18, 2015, 01:06:12 am »

For 27 years it's been up there on the flat roof of Mark Gubin's building in the flight path of Mitchell International Airport. A sign painted in letters 6 feet tall tells people arriving here by air: "WELCOME TO CLEVELAND."

"There's not a real purpose for having this here except madness, which I tend to be pretty good at," Gubin said Tuesday when I stopped at his place in Bay View to see the sign.

The sign is in Milwaukee :lulz:

Aneristic Illusions / Political stickers we can all get behind
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:21:50 am »
(blatantly stolen from tumblr)

« on: February 05, 2015, 01:55:04 pm »


Yeah, I'm reposting, what's your problem?

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