Skepchick Quickies, 5.23


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Good follow up Mark. That article gets to something that I feel is important in the discussion. You need to make sure that there is community support for any efforts. Make all the anti-harrassment policies you want but if everyone knows that they won’t be followed up on or taken seriously it won’t be a help.

  2. The description of how Camping’s group became convinced seems to be to bear a striking resemblance to how some schizophrenics I’ve encountered seem to think. There’s this sort of incredible number of interconnected observations and coincidences, so that it becomes impossible to refute the delusion, or even fully understand it. With no way to organize the information into a simpler, coherent picture, and given that any attempt to try will be be plagued with confirmation bias and magical thinking, you get a small number of strong themes underpinned by mountains of totally irrelevant connections presented as “evidence”.

    This is not to say that Camping or his followers were schizophrenic (well, statistically some of them probably were), but it makes me wonder if there’s some underlying cognitive phenomenon shared between schizophrenics, apocalypse believers, and conspiracy theorists…

    1. One of the best books I’ve read on the topic of the cognitive dissonance behind the post-Doomsday believers is “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris. You should check it out.

    2. Years ago, I read an excellent book by Julian Jaynes (“The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”) which seemed to have as its central premise that before about 300 years ago, everyone (or almost everyone) was what we would now call schizophrenic.

  3. There is a very popular car that has “problems” with its brakes not working correctly. Anyone who works with cars can tell you which one it is but none want to name it directly because that parent company likes to throw its weight around when it has been wronged. But if you are thinking about buying a car, ask the saleman and he will tell you which make really needs to be discontinued. This would be crazy, why is it not equally crazy to say that about misogynist dickheads getting away with shit because they talk good?

    It hit me that after Mel Gibson had his anti-semetic misogynist drunk driving meltdown that lots of people came forward to say that they knew he was this way but that they continued to work with him because it was good for their careers.

    Just a couple of mind melting thoughts I had while reading Jen’s piece. (It made me sad) It also put me in mind of the Edmund Burke quote, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    I think that all fits.

  4. Excellent article on feminism and men.

    I personally can attest to the statement that men are of victimized by other men. I shudder to think that there may be women that endured what I did.

    It also makes one think; in the War on Women, some of those waging it ARE women.
    It seems to follow that men wage a sort of “war” against men.

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