Tag Archives | authority

Flash Wisdom on Authority

[From the new disinformation® book by Russ Kick, Flash Wisdom: A Curated Collection of Mind-Blowing, Perspective-Changing Quotes]

Government, the legal system, school, organized religions, the media, corporations, various economic concerns . . . there are a number of powerful, pervasive institutions that want to control you. It’s either their overt purpose or a by-product of their very existence. In order to not disintegrate, they must have at least a piece of you, if not all of you, for at least part of your life, if not all of it. They might not have been created for nefarious purposes, but this is nonetheless the effect they often have. They flatten and deaden. They exploit and punish. They’re never happy with the amount of power they have; they always seek to expand the breadth of their reach and the strength of their grip. This has not gone unnoticed by many of the finest and bravest minds throughout history.… Read the rest

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Milgram was wrong: we don’t obey authority, but we do love drama

By Kathryn Millard

Why have the landmark psychology experiments of the post-war era proved so enduring? Designed as dramas about human behaviour, experimenters drew on theatrical techniques and tailored their results for cinema – results that, though skewed, have become embedded in the collective subconscious.

The two best known experiments of this sort are Obedience to Authority (1961-3) devised by Stanley Milgram and the Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) staged by Phillip Zimbardo.

Now, those experiments are back in the spotlight with two fictional films – the Milgram biopic The Experimenter (2015) and the Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) – which screened at the Sundance Film Festival last week, and more in the pipeline. My own upcoming feature documentary Shock Room is among them.

Over the decades these experiments have inspired multiple screen translations. This raises the important question: are they as much art as science? That’s a question Milgram asked himself when he called “wrap” on Obedience (1965), the documentary film that authored his results.… Read the rest

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Abusive, Camera-Phobic Mall Cop Picks Fight With Wrong Woman

Via Information Liberation:

Depending on what side of fallacious authority you may have found yourself in the past, this video may either make you cheer or collapse in disgust. Maybe both? A group of people taking pictures on the very edge of mall property – pictures not of the mall, mind you – is confronted by a wildly out of control mall security guard. The guard demands that they leave because she says they’re not respecting mall rules. Reasonably enough, cameras turn toward her.

At this point, she actually tries to confiscate the cameras and then tells them to delete their footage. After that fails, the cop says she’ll make every single one of them leave one by one, and then puts her hands on a woman in the group. Things get real pretty quick. It looks to me like the woman knows some Jiu-Jitsu. I think I see a takedown, followed by a half-guard, transition to mount, ground and pound, an over-the-shoulder arm bar and hastily-applied guillotine but perhaps one of the more experienced BJJ practitioners here might know otherwise.… Read the rest

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Why Anti-Authoritarians Are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

tia_2232234bPsychologist Bruce Levine shares his thoughts on why people with anti-authoritarian tendencies are at risk for being diagnosed as mentally ill. Good reading, especially if you’ve been told you have a “bad attitude” or “have a problem with authority figures”.

Via Mad in America:

Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.

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Four Psychologists at the Gates of Hell

gates-hellRoy Eidelson, Ph.D., writes at Psychology Today:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

             — Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

******

This is a story of four siblings with improbable names: Safe, Legal, Ethical, and Effective. Just as improbably, they all grew up to become psychologists, each with a different area of professional focus. Over many years of independent practice, the four gained considerable recognition for their expertise. Eventually, they joined together to form a high-profile, all-in-one firm in which each sibling’s specialized contributions complemented the others.’

Brother Safe was an expert on risk.

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Mexican Town Defends Itself From Drug Violence By Throwing Out The Police

The Christian Science Monitor on dreaming up alternative methods of community governance, via the successful case of an indigenous town plagued by criminal gangs from the outside:

The indigenous town of Cherán used to be like many places in Mexico, caving under the weight of drug-related crime and a police force that did little to stop it. But about two years ago, citizens here threw out the police, and took over their local government, running the town according to indigenous tradition. So far, they’ve had remarkable success.

The Purépecha indigenous people have lived in this area for centuries, relying on a mix of subsistence farming and selective timber harvesting. But eventually national political parties gained influence in the village, and five years ago, so did illegal loggers with ties to drug mafias. Eventually, the police intervened, but on behalf of the loggers. So the townspeople threw everyone out: loggers, police, and politicians, too.

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From Security Checkpoints to Predator Drones – Teaching Our Kids To Love Authority

If you’re intent on bringing about a police state marked by an increasing level of authoritarianism while carrying out crimes against humanity in faraway lands, it’s important that you have the support of your citizens. After all, as Aldous Huxley once said, “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

Of course, if you leave it until it’s too late the citizens might develop unsavoury traits such as questioning authority and employing critical thinking, so it’s vital that the State ideology is drilled into them while they’re young. What better way to do this than with a series of exciting toys?

As Barack Obama continues his killing spree via Predator drones in the Middle East, killing innocent children in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere even as the UN launches a major investigation into civilian deaths, American kids can get in on the action as well, with Maisto’s UAV Predator drone toy.… Read the rest

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A Serious Challenge to the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments

“Authority allows two roles: the torturer and the tortured” – V for Vendetta, Alan Moore.

Picture: PaulR (CC)

A serious challenge to theories regarding human behaviour based upon the ground breaking Milgram and Stanford Prison experiments has been reported. Humans who choose to follow roles given them by authority figures actually relish the process more than was previously imagined, even when it involves gross acts of cruelty, according to The Telegraph:

Professor Stephen Reicher, Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of St Andrews, and Professor Alex Haslam of the University of Queensland, Australia, have published [a] paper in the journal PLos-Biology on the nature of tyranny and evil.

[…]

Professor Reicher said: “In short, people do harm not because they are unaware that they are doing wrong, but because they believe that they are doing right.

“It is this conviction that steels participants to do their dirty work, and that makes them act energetically and creatively to ensure its success.”

The study began when the two researchers ran their own prison experiment, which was broadcast by the BBC in 2002.

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Voters Favor Deep-Voiced Politicians

Barry White would have been the ultimate politician

Barry White (1944–2003) would have been the ultimate politician.

Via ScienceDaily:

Candidates with lower-pitched voices may get more votes in the 2012 election. A new study by biologists and a political scientist shows that both men and women prefer political candidates with deeper voices. The results also suggest that biology — not just partisanship or ideology — can shape voters’ choices.”We often make snap judgments about candidates without full knowledge of their policies or positions. These findings might help explain why,” said Duke University biologist Rindy Anderson.

“It’s clear that our voices carry more information than the words we speak. Knowing this can help us understand the factors that influence our social interactions and possibly why there are fewer women elected to high-level political positions,” she said.

To test voters’ preference on voice pitch, Anderson, Duke biologist Susan Peters and University of Miami political scientist Casey Klofstad recorded men and women saying, “I urge you to vote for me this November.” The scientists then edited each recording to create a higher- and lower-pitched version of the original …

Read more here.… Read the rest

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