I break things. Then I put them back together. Then I break them again. Just to show I mean business.

  • 3 Posts
Joined 10 months ago
Cake day: August 17th, 2023


  • Compare how and why people cheer for sports teams. If you’re affiliated you will support any statement in favor of the team, while ignoring, suppressing, or attacking any statements to the contrary.

    You won’t debate a Trump troll out of supporting Trump, because it’s about belonging to a group and showing loyalty regardless of facts. Honestly I’m not surprised he’s doing so well, consider how techy most of us are and still get overwhelmed by what the Internet is shaping up to be. If you’re in your 50’s from a poor rural area, what chance have you got to stand against weaponized online propaganda?

    We are all like this, by the way. The inclination to blind affiliation with groups is the result of very deep, very old, very well studied cognitive structures and behaviors.

    Here’s some introductory reading that might fundamentally change how you perceive people’s participation in groups:

    Sherif’s autokinetic experiment - if enough people around you believe something, you’ll soon believe it too

    A similar experiment performed by Solomon Asch

    The Robber’s Cave experiment - arbitrarily divide a group into two, and watch the inevitable descent into inter-group conflict (hopeful note: if you make the groups try to overcome a common obstacle, fighting goes away)

    Leon Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Tests - This is an interesting one as well, here’s the idea:

    Experiment: Infiltrating a doomsday cult before, during, and after the date of their supposed apocalypse, Festinger and his fellow scientists noted that instead of losing faith, members doubled-down on their beliefs after the ‘end times’ came and went — eventually believing that their work saved the world.

    Conclusion: When we have two (or more) incompatible thoughts, we adjust them to minimize internal conflict, what Festinger called ‘cognitive dissonance’ — a term that explains the mind state of those unwilling to accept information that conflicts against their belief.