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Messages - 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.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:04:50 pm »
We're having the referendum on abortion today. We have a clause in our constitution saying Mother and child have equal rights to life. This blocked abortion completely in Ireland, and had a side effect that a woman has to literally be approaching death before doctors will intervene to end a pregnancy (they let a woman get septicemia rather then perform the abortion to save her life and she died which sort of triggered today's vote).
I've voted yes to remove this clause, because I trust women to know when they need an abortion (for whatever reason, not just health). But I suspect this is probably the last time they could call this referendum and have a high chance it wont go through.

Good luck. Somehow I have a surprising amount of Irish or Irish-adjacent content on my Twitter feed, so I woke up to a ton of posts about this.

Or Kill Me / Re: The left and the right
« on: May 12, 2018, 07:09:53 pm »
FWIW, I think casting off or disregarding all factors that unify people and trying to make decisions based on pure individualism is not casting off ideology or rising above it.

An ideology is, to borrow a definition I learned from PhilosophyTube ("What Was Liberalism"), simply a framework that defines two main things:

1) What facts are relevant
2) Who are the acceptable targets of violence

Even the most nihilistic, norm-rejecting stance has SOME kind of answer to these questions, and therefore has an ideology.

I'ma go with one that I think sucks the least and has the least separation from testable, empirical experience. Sometimes I'll fuck that up. But I'm pretty much over the "both sides are bad lol" mode of coping with bullshit.

Or Kill Me / Re: The left and the right
« on: May 12, 2018, 06:15:48 pm »
For all distinctions between races, cultures, and ethnicities to be cast down and forgotten. For all gender expression to be eliminated due to all gender specificity of anything (clothing, bathrooms, sports teams, etc.) being eliminated. For the institution of marriage to be eliminated. For all cultures and peoples of the world to be merged into a single superculture.

you don't want norms
but you want to eliminate differences

you want individuality
but don't like how a lot of people have chosen to individuate

you don't want diveristy or difference
you prefer to imagine a harmonious monoculture

I think your vision is in self conflict.

You can't have a unifying culture with no norms. What is there to unify around?
You can't have maximum individuality while eliminating individual racial, sexuality, culture.

(culture, by the way, usually grows from the bottom up... somebody starts using slang, the people around them adopt it, fast forward, you've got a new language... people naturally separate and individuate, culture is a fractal and when you lean in real close, there is always a rough edge containing infinite complexity and diversity)

It reminds me of the libertarians that want freedom from government authority
and therefore support corporate tyranny

the bathwater and the baby fly into the wild blue yonder

First: This post rules.

Second: "I'm above it all" is the wankiest and most worthless response to ideological conflict.
Because unless you've got a spaceship, you're not above it all. You're in this mess with us.

The emperor may have no clothes, but neither do you, peasant.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: March 18, 2018, 07:44:19 pm »
Whoever linked to that Shaun guy on Youtube - thank you.

I have been on a serious binge.

I think I may have at some point recently? I'll take credit and say you're welcome.

Apple Talk / Re: Hate Letters Again
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:33:43 am »

 Nice, both for "Mango Unchained" and the letter.

Apple Talk / Re: Hate Letters Again
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:56:46 am »
Retorted earlier today:

To the Esteemed Doktor Howl,
 for Whom entirely new definitions of Malpractice needed to be codified,
 within Whom resides Thoughts and Ideas unfit for decent society,
 who places himself atop the World and dons a Crown of UUUUNNNNG,

The practice and study of geography may be all fun and games to you, sir. But when the moorings finally break and Tuscon floats away into space, where will you be then? You won't know, and it will be because you can't tell a Mercator projection from a Conical projection.

I kid, of course. The real reason you won't know is because your so-called "Holy Land" has no reliable landmarks except coyote poop and the occasional cactus. You think you're safe from the reach of our gentrified, overpriced Eastern Empire just because the desert is bigger than it actually is and has devoured every one we've ever sent out there on reconnaissance?

The fact that time flows backwards in the desert has been a real pisser, I'll grant you that. You may be safe for a while yet while we figure out how to get up there without devolving into shitgibbons. Our experts think it has something to do with the lack of water. We also aren't completely sure WHY we are all driven like lemmings to get up there and Show You What, but there's no time for introspection these days.

Progress is inevitable, good Doktor. It may be slower or faster, and it is definitely Terrible and Ugly and Wrong, but it is inevitable. It's also kind of squidgy and smells bad, but you get used to it.

Odiously Yours,
Right Rev. Jake

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:23:49 am »
Oh, and we also killed a Dragon Priest.  I wanted the Krosis mask, for more empowered alchemy cheese, so I went up to Shearpoint Peak, and when Krosis popped out I frenzied him and went invisible.  This led to the dragon perched on the Word Wall attacking him and while it didn't kill Krosis, it brought him down to about 1/3rd health before Krosis' staff of fireballs finally killed it.  I finished him off by casting Rout on him and making him run into a pack of ice wraiths who, after being frenzied, happily killed him off.


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 28, 2018, 02:41:12 pm »
Here's what I would consider an example of applying this theory on a personal level:

The title is not very descriptive, but in short it's a straight, white, male who plays lots of video games using his voice to expose people like him to better ideas than the shitty ones they've likely been exposed to on the Internet... and says that's precisely what he's doing, no trickery or mind games.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 27, 2018, 03:45:32 am »
I think it's important because it allows for not wasting your energy on people who's reality tunnels are so at odds with yours that the effort required to effect meaningful change is just not worth it.

You can get outside an ideological echo chamber without jumping headfirst into, like, /pol/.

You can be moderate in your approach without having to compromise with shit. Keep yourself in a position where your influence can actually mean something.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 26, 2018, 11:55:10 pm »

Or Kill Me / Re: Short rant on CLIMATE CHANGE.
« on: February 26, 2018, 06:21:32 pm »
Update:  In 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Harper destroyed the fisheries libraries containing meteorological data going back to 1850 (including, I might add, my father's work from the 1970s).

Because if you have no historical data, you cannot observe rate of change.


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 26, 2018, 05:20:33 pm »
I spun this off from the Corpus Callosum thread, but here's why it made me think of it:

If you are only one neuron in the societal "brain," I'm not sure you can really be on one hemisphere AND be part of the corpus callosum. I'm not sure it's possible to be both the bridge and the destination, in other words.

But other people CAN be the bridge. If you separate yourself from them by being a wingnut, you lose access to the bridge.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 26, 2018, 05:13:41 pm »
lemme crunch this a little bit - is this your position?

that basically, it's easiest to affect the people nearby you (people with slightly different opinions), and that by moving enough of them, they can act as a larger gravitational center which pulls in people from further away?

Yes, I think that's a fair distillation of the idea.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: February 26, 2018, 04:37:14 pm »
Also uhhhh good job everyone on... not dying? Apparently there's been some near misses. Yikes.

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