AuthorTopic: 😞 Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever  (Read 3095 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever/ Why humans are cruel
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2018, 07:34:09 AM »
Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. The old are robbing the young in the U.S.. The fossils fuels are going going gone. Animals and plants that are not human are being exterminated.

Big deal that is the way the world is. If you can not cope it is evolution in action. Just die and stop whining.

Another happy acolyte of the Randian gospel. I got mine; if you don't got yours, eat a bullet.
Libertarianism in action.

Why humans are cruel

A psychologist explains why humans are so terrible to each other.


By Sean Illing@seanillingsean.illing@vox.com Updated

The grounds of the former Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Why are human beings so cruel to each other? And how do we justify acts of sheer inhumanity?

The conventional explanation is that people are able to do terrible things to other people only after having dehumanized them. In the case of the Holocaust, for example, Germans were willing to exterminate millions of Jews in part because Nazi ideology taught them to think of Jews as subhuman, as objects without the right to freedom, dignity, or even life itself.

Paul Bloom, a psychology professor at Yale, thinks this explanation of human cruelty is, at best, incomplete. I spoke to him about why he thinks its wrong to assume cruelty comes from dehumanization — and about his grim conclusion that almost anyone is capable of committing staggering atrocities under the right circumstances.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.


Sean Illing

Can you sum up your argument about the roots of human cruelty?

Paul Bloom

A lot of people blame cruelty on dehumanization. They say that when you fail to appreciate the humanity of other people, that’s where genocide and slavery and all sorts of evils come from. I don’t think that’s entirely wrong. I think a lot of real awful things we do to other people arise from the fact that we don't see them as people.

But the argument I make in my New Yorker article is that it’s incomplete. A lot of the cruelty we do to one another, the real savage, rotten terrible things we do to one another, are in fact because we recognize the humanity of the other person.

We see other people as blameworthy, as morally responsible, as themselves cruel, as not giving us what we deserve, as taking more than they deserve. And so we treat them horribly precisely because we see them as moral human beings.

Sean Illing

I’ve always thought a campaign of genocide or slavery requires two things — an ideology that dehumanizes the victims and a massive bureaucracy.

Paul Bloom

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I disagree that those things are “required.” I think a lot of mass killings unfold the way you described it: People do it because they don’t believe they’re killing people. This is what some call instrumental violence, where there’s some end they want to achieve, and people are in the way, so they don’t think of them as people.

This is obviously what happened in the Nazi concentration camps. People were reduced to machines, treated like animals for labor. But a lot of what goes on in concentration camps is degrading and humiliating, and it’s about torturing people because you think they deserve it. It’s about the pleasure of being dominant over another person.

But if you merely thought of these people as animals, you wouldn’t get that pleasure. You can’t humiliate animals — only people. So dehumanization is real and terrible, but it’s not the whole picture.

Sean Illing

What does that say about us, about our psychology, about our susceptibility to this kind of violence?

Paul Bloom

Think about it this way: We’re all sensitive to social hierarchies and to a desire for approval and esteem. So we often fold to the social pressures of our environment. That’s not necessarily evil. I come into my job as a professor and I want to do well, I want the respect of my peers. There’s nothing wrong about that.

But our desire to do well socially can have an ugly side. If you can earn respect by helping people, that’s great. If you can earn respect by physically dominating people with aggression and violence, that’s destructive. So a lot depends on our social environment and whether it incentivizes good or bad behavior.

Sean Illing

Are our intuitions about why people do terrible things wrong? Are we too sanguine about human nature?

Paul Bloom

I think our intuitions are wrong in just about every way they can be. First, there’s this myth that people who do evil are psychopaths or sadists or monsters who are driven by the sheer pleasure of watching other people suffer. The truth is far more complicated than that.

Then there’s the myth of dehumanization, which is that everybody who does evil is making a mistake. They’re just failing to appreciate the humanity of other people, and if only we could clear up that mistake, if only we could sit them down and say, “Hey guys, those Jews, the blacks, the gays, the Muslims, they're people just like you,” then evil would disappear. I think that’s bogus.

Sean Illing

Why is that bogus?

Paul Bloom

Consider the rhetoric of white supremacy. White supremacists know about the humanity of Jews and black people and whoever else they’re discriminating against — and it terrifies them.One of their slogans is, “You will not replace us.” Think of what that means. That’s not what you chant if you thought they were roaches or subhuman. That’s what you chant at people you’re really worried about, people who you think are a threat to your status and way of life.

Sean Illing

So cruelty isn’t an accident or an aberration, but something central to who and what we are?

Paul Bloom

It’s many things, and I don’t think there’s ever going to be a magic bullet theory of cruelty. I think some cruelty is born of dehumanization. I think some cruelty is born out of a loss of control. I think some cruelty is born out of an instrumental desire to get something you want — sex, money, power, whatever.

I think a lot of cruelty is born out of a normal and natural appreciation of the humanity of others, which then connects with certain important psychological appetites we have, like an appetite to punish those we think have done wrong. I think that, for the most part, people who do terrible things are just like us. They’ve just gone astray in certain specific ways.

Sean Illing

I tend to think of human beings as more malleable than we’d like to believe. Under the right conditions, is anyone capable of almost anything?

Paul Bloom

Wow, that’s an interesting question. I sort of believe that. I think, under the right conditions, most of us are capable of doing terrible things. There may be exceptions. But we’ve seen, both in laboratory conditions and real-world circumstances, that people can be manipulated into doing terrible things, and while there are some people who will say, “No, I won’t do that,” they tend to be a minority.

Again, I think the banal answer is that we’re swayed by social circumstances in ways that might be good or bad. You and I would be completely different people if we lived in a maximum security prison, because we’d have to adapt. There are powerful individual differences that matter, though. People can transcend their conditions, but it’s rarer than we’d like to believe.

“WHITE SUPREMACISTS KNOW ABOUT THE HUMANITY OF JEWS AND BLACK PEOPLE AND WHOEVER ELSE THEY’RE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST — AND IT TERRIFIES THEM.”

Sean Illing

I ask because I used to study totalitarian ideologies as a political theorist, and I spent a lot of time thinking about Nazi Germany and how an entire society could be led into a moral abyss like that. People look at that moment of insanity and say to themselves, “I could never have participated in that.” But I don’t think it’s that simple at all. I think almost any of us could have participated in that, and that’s an ugly truth.

Paul Bloom

I think you're right. We have this horrible tendency to overestimate the extent to which we're the moral standouts, we're the brave ones. This has some nasty social consequences. There was a great article that came out in the Washington Post last week about people who say, “I'm confused about the people who have been sexually assaulted, because if it happened to me, I would say no way, and I would put the person in their place, and I would speak out.”

This attitude is oftentimes scorn towards people who get harassed. They’re somehow morally weak, or maybe they’re just not telling the truth.

It turns out that one of my colleagues, Marianne LaFrance, did a study a while ago in which they asked a group of people, “How would you feel if you had a job interview and someone asked you these really sexist, ugly questions?”

Just about everybody says, “I would walk out. I would give the person hell,” and so on. Then they did it. They did fake interviews where people thought they were being interviewed, and people asked the sexist, ugly questions, and all of the women were just silent.

The point is that we don’t behave in stressful situations the way we think we would or the way we would like to. So yeah, if you and I were in Nazi Germany, we’d like to think we’d be the righteous ones, we’d be the heroes. But we might just be regular old Nazis.

Sean Illing

If your thesis is right, then it’s foolish to think we can get rid of cruelty if only we got rid of those noxious ideologies that justify it. In the end, it’s about us, not our ideas.

Paul Bloom

I think there are all sorts of ways we can become better people, and I think we are becoming better people. But if I’m right, there’s nothing simple about this. Acknowledging other people’s humanity won’t solve our problems.

Ultimately, we need better ideas, better ideologies. We need a culture less obsessed with power and honor and more concerned with mindfulness and dignity. That’s the best we can do to quell our appetites for dominance and punishment. Am I optimistic that we can do this? Yeah, I am. But it won’t be easy.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Eddie

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Re: Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever/ Why humans are cruel
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2018, 09:34:14 AM »
Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. The old are robbing the young in the U.S.. The fossils fuels are going going gone. Animals and plants that are not human are being exterminated.

Big deal that is the way the world is. If you can not cope it is evolution in action. Just die and stop whining.

Another happy acolyte of the Randian gospel. I got mine; if you don't got yours, eat a bullet.
Libertarianism in action.

Why humans are cruel

A psychologist explains why humans are so terrible to each other.


By Sean Illing@seanillingsean.illing@vox.com Updated

The grounds of the former Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Why are human beings so cruel to each other? And how do we justify acts of sheer inhumanity?

The conventional explanation is that people are able to do terrible things to other people only after having dehumanized them. In the case of the Holocaust, for example, Germans were willing to exterminate millions of Jews in part because Nazi ideology taught them to think of Jews as subhuman, as objects without the right to freedom, dignity, or even life itself.

Paul Bloom, a psychology professor at Yale, thinks this explanation of human cruelty is, at best, incomplete. I spoke to him about why he thinks its wrong to assume cruelty comes from dehumanization — and about his grim conclusion that almost anyone is capable of committing staggering atrocities under the right circumstances.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.


Sean Illing

Can you sum up your argument about the roots of human cruelty?

Paul Bloom

A lot of people blame cruelty on dehumanization. They say that when you fail to appreciate the humanity of other people, that’s where genocide and slavery and all sorts of evils come from. I don’t think that’s entirely wrong. I think a lot of real awful things we do to other people arise from the fact that we don't see them as people.

But the argument I make in my New Yorker article is that it’s incomplete. A lot of the cruelty we do to one another, the real savage, rotten terrible things we do to one another, are in fact because we recognize the humanity of the other person.

We see other people as blameworthy, as morally responsible, as themselves cruel, as not giving us what we deserve, as taking more than they deserve. And so we treat them horribly precisely because we see them as moral human beings.

Sean Illing

I’ve always thought a campaign of genocide or slavery requires two things — an ideology that dehumanizes the victims and a massive bureaucracy.

Paul Bloom

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I disagree that those things are “required.” I think a lot of mass killings unfold the way you described it: People do it because they don’t believe they’re killing people. This is what some call instrumental violence, where there’s some end they want to achieve, and people are in the way, so they don’t think of them as people.

This is obviously what happened in the Nazi concentration camps. People were reduced to machines, treated like animals for labor. But a lot of what goes on in concentration camps is degrading and humiliating, and it’s about torturing people because you think they deserve it. It’s about the pleasure of being dominant over another person.

But if you merely thought of these people as animals, you wouldn’t get that pleasure. You can’t humiliate animals — only people. So dehumanization is real and terrible, but it’s not the whole picture.

Sean Illing

What does that say about us, about our psychology, about our susceptibility to this kind of violence?

Paul Bloom

Think about it this way: We’re all sensitive to social hierarchies and to a desire for approval and esteem. So we often fold to the social pressures of our environment. That’s not necessarily evil. I come into my job as a professor and I want to do well, I want the respect of my peers. There’s nothing wrong about that.

But our desire to do well socially can have an ugly side. If you can earn respect by helping people, that’s great. If you can earn respect by physically dominating people with aggression and violence, that’s destructive. So a lot depends on our social environment and whether it incentivizes good or bad behavior.

Sean Illing

Are our intuitions about why people do terrible things wrong? Are we too sanguine about human nature?

Paul Bloom

I think our intuitions are wrong in just about every way they can be. First, there’s this myth that people who do evil are psychopaths or sadists or monsters who are driven by the sheer pleasure of watching other people suffer. The truth is far more complicated than that.

Then there’s the myth of dehumanization, which is that everybody who does evil is making a mistake. They’re just failing to appreciate the humanity of other people, and if only we could clear up that mistake, if only we could sit them down and say, “Hey guys, those Jews, the blacks, the gays, the Muslims, they're people just like you,” then evil would disappear. I think that’s bogus.

Sean Illing

Why is that bogus?

Paul Bloom

Consider the rhetoric of white supremacy. White supremacists know about the humanity of Jews and black people and whoever else they’re discriminating against — and it terrifies them.One of their slogans is, “You will not replace us.” Think of what that means. That’s not what you chant if you thought they were roaches or subhuman. That’s what you chant at people you’re really worried about, people who you think are a threat to your status and way of life.

Sean Illing

So cruelty isn’t an accident or an aberration, but something central to who and what we are?

Paul Bloom

It’s many things, and I don’t think there’s ever going to be a magic bullet theory of cruelty. I think some cruelty is born of dehumanization. I think some cruelty is born out of a loss of control. I think some cruelty is born out of an instrumental desire to get something you want — sex, money, power, whatever.

I think a lot of cruelty is born out of a normal and natural appreciation of the humanity of others, which then connects with certain important psychological appetites we have, like an appetite to punish those we think have done wrong. I think that, for the most part, people who do terrible things are just like us. They’ve just gone astray in certain specific ways.

Sean Illing

I tend to think of human beings as more malleable than we’d like to believe. Under the right conditions, is anyone capable of almost anything?

Paul Bloom

Wow, that’s an interesting question. I sort of believe that. I think, under the right conditions, most of us are capable of doing terrible things. There may be exceptions. But we’ve seen, both in laboratory conditions and real-world circumstances, that people can be manipulated into doing terrible things, and while there are some people who will say, “No, I won’t do that,” they tend to be a minority.

Again, I think the banal answer is that we’re swayed by social circumstances in ways that might be good or bad. You and I would be completely different people if we lived in a maximum security prison, because we’d have to adapt. There are powerful individual differences that matter, though. People can transcend their conditions, but it’s rarer than we’d like to believe.

“WHITE SUPREMACISTS KNOW ABOUT THE HUMANITY OF JEWS AND BLACK PEOPLE AND WHOEVER ELSE THEY’RE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST — AND IT TERRIFIES THEM.”

Sean Illing

I ask because I used to study totalitarian ideologies as a political theorist, and I spent a lot of time thinking about Nazi Germany and how an entire society could be led into a moral abyss like that. People look at that moment of insanity and say to themselves, “I could never have participated in that.” But I don’t think it’s that simple at all. I think almost any of us could have participated in that, and that’s an ugly truth.

Paul Bloom

I think you're right. We have this horrible tendency to overestimate the extent to which we're the moral standouts, we're the brave ones. This has some nasty social consequences. There was a great article that came out in the Washington Post last week about people who say, “I'm confused about the people who have been sexually assaulted, because if it happened to me, I would say no way, and I would put the person in their place, and I would speak out.”

This attitude is oftentimes scorn towards people who get harassed. They’re somehow morally weak, or maybe they’re just not telling the truth.

It turns out that one of my colleagues, Marianne LaFrance, did a study a while ago in which they asked a group of people, “How would you feel if you had a job interview and someone asked you these really sexist, ugly questions?”

Just about everybody says, “I would walk out. I would give the person hell,” and so on. Then they did it. They did fake interviews where people thought they were being interviewed, and people asked the sexist, ugly questions, and all of the women were just silent.

The point is that we don’t behave in stressful situations the way we think we would or the way we would like to. So yeah, if you and I were in Nazi Germany, we’d like to think we’d be the righteous ones, we’d be the heroes. But we might just be regular old Nazis.

Sean Illing

If your thesis is right, then it’s foolish to think we can get rid of cruelty if only we got rid of those noxious ideologies that justify it. In the end, it’s about us, not our ideas.

Paul Bloom

I think there are all sorts of ways we can become better people, and I think we are becoming better people. But if I’m right, there’s nothing simple about this. Acknowledging other people’s humanity won’t solve our problems.

Ultimately, we need better ideas, better ideologies. We need a culture less obsessed with power and honor and more concerned with mindfulness and dignity. That’s the best we can do to quell our appetites for dominance and punishment. Am I optimistic that we can do this? Yeah, I am. But it won’t be easy.


This is the correct explanation for the viral growth of the term "Zombie Apocalypse" in our popular culture, imho. I wrote something about that sometime back, I think.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: 😞 Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2018, 11:15:01 AM »
So what can we say about the vast numbers of people who commit slow suicide by a series of acts and inactions that last a long lifetime and render them the living dead, those whom Thoreau so famously said were the mass of people who “lead lives of quiet desperation”?

Because, you dumb sonofabitch, that's what life IS.

It's what happens while you're busy making other plans, as one gifted young martyr to the cause said, way back in 1980 or so.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Lt3IOdDE5iA&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Lt3IOdDE5iA&fs=1</a>

Camus and John Lennon....talk about the karma of fame.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: 😞 Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2018, 11:57:55 AM »
So what can we say about the vast numbers of people who commit slow suicide by a series of acts and inactions that last a long lifetime and render them the living dead, those whom Thoreau so famously said were the mass of people who “lead lives of quiet desperation”?

Because, you dumb sonofabitch, that's what life IS.

It's what happens while you're busy making other plans, as one gifted young martyr to the cause said, way back in 1980 or so.


Camus and John Lennon....talk about the karma of fame.

Struck me as a dumb sonofabitch too.  Definitely someone who wishes life could become his preferred dream of choice.  Off point.  Suicide is up because people are stressed, without answers, without purpose, suffering from a lack of direction.  Most are not prospering as well as you or I and prosperity does drive the blues away to a point.  A split is going on and we are on the better side of things, but with our own minds.  An important distinction.

People are no more living lives of quiet desperation than they did a decade or two or three ago.  Now more of them are living lives of intense desperation and it is pushing them over the edge.  But that is not the only thing that is going on.  I work where I am seeing two new Americas emerge.  A new homeless America and a new middle class America.  Both of these Americas are not quite like what we have had before.

The new middle class is really a poor rich that thinks and acts like the rich but they still have to work.  Fewer in number than the middle class of the 1960s or 70s this new middle class resembles the rich more and are a bit better off at least in appearance, than their parents were.  The total number in this class is smaller and the pie slices are naturally bigger.  These people are a select crop of the former middle class and are neo-liberals or neo-conservatives on steroids. Petite bourgeoisie.

The new homeless are a people without hope and have tuned in and dropped out.  They skipped Mr. Leary's advice to turn on though some are making up for lost time.  That is a joke.  Fact is the homeless have been homeless for several years now and the jobless recovery did not give them anything to change their circumstances.  They are evolving into a permanent gypsy class with values and attitudes totally different from the rest of America.  They are not camping on the laws of State capitals demanding jobs and change.  Instead they are a new form of urban wildlife that is evolving to prosper as well as they can in our urban landscapes.  They have joined the raccoon and the urban rabbits and the bobcats which eat the rabbits.  They are dedicated to flying under the radar and just getting by day by day.  They are becoming their own tribe.

Ed Curtin can wax poetic about 'Thoreau' if he wants but I don't see how it helps.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 12:19:18 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: 😞 Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2018, 12:39:47 PM »
That Sean Illing, Paul Bloom dialogue was good.  I'm not surprised at the conclusion and it is more or less what I came to on my own over the years.  People can be cruel, very cruel.  If people think other people are not following basic rules the natural reaction is to want to kill them.  Best we admit it.  A sense of unfairness kicks in and makes a mindless rage.  People have no idea of how bat shit crazy and mean they will get to maintain what they see as a 'correct' social order.  However they see it.  People from other tribes often are the brunt of such aggression because information to counter mindless prejudice is not in the scope of the perpetrators world.

The same craziness happens here all the time.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 12:49:42 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: 😞 Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2018, 01:21:02 PM »
Somebody should do this with suicide rates.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/shqJR_0WdrI?ecver=2" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/shqJR_0WdrI?ecver=2</a>

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Quote
We often hear about shifting unemployment rate at the national scale. It went up. It went down. It changes month-to-month. But unemployment is very regional, more common in some areas of the country than others. In many areas, unemployment rates remain relatively high despite the decreases in the national average.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates county-level unemployment on a monthly basis. You can also get annual averages that go back to 1990. In the animated map above, I used the datasets to show the shifts over the past few decades.

Watch out for the big shift between 2008 and 2011 — and then the decrease in unemployment leading up to the present.

https://flowingdata.com/2016/10/17/animated-map-of-unemployment/

Since I have been in the same place over the time period of the map I watched my spot.  The changes were a barometer of how well I have been doing.  Even the places where I had a job but nobody who had a job at the time was stupid enough to switch are a shade of gray that matches the time.  The times when musical chairs could be played are brighter.  My unemployment periods match the map except I lagged the map the last time I had to get re-employed.  A lot of people destroyed between 2008-2010 vanished so I was lucky.  It will happen again and many will vanish.

I expect a map of suicides would match pretty well to this one.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 01:30:20 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

 

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