Mental flotsam and jetsam floating in a not-very-big space, but at least my pertinent epiphysis are unfused. They really are, feel my forehead. My baby cousin is having surgery on his skull right now to open up the only two cranial sutures I correctly identified on my forensic archeology exam. I don’t think the two happenings are related.
I’m swinging from the monkey bars on the lines of linear thought. Feel the sway?
Today on the way to school I saw a large, heavily tattooed man pushing his son in a stroller, walking a wolf-dog; quite a juxtaposition of primitive imagery and modern now-stuff. Like he just got dropped into suburbia.
Also, I watched a video on Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. I hadn’t seen the footage and was disturbed. Prisoner 8612, the most heavily affected subject, had to be released early. He later became a prison psychologist. apparently the only thing that stopped the experiment was the opinion of a grad student, which snapped Zimbardo back to reality. “I think it is terrible what you are doing to those boys.”
The TA in the class informed us that some of the subjects of the (volunteers obeying orders to deliver supposedly lethal levels of electrical shocks to an unseen person) committed suicide, but I cannot find any documentation on that. Here is a good jumping-off point from there, an essay including real-life examples. About half way down there is a substantial reference to Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”, which frightens me in its implications. Check out Zimbardo’s personal take on the Abu Ghraib incident.
Now I am off to teach myself some more chemistry, look over a paper and call all the people who really, really, need to be called right now.
- TED Weekends: Understanding evil (ted.com)
- Stanford Prison Experiment (thesalience.wordpress.com)
- Phil Zimbardo and the Heroic Imagination Project: TED Blog exclusive video (ted.com)