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News The horrors of banal, everyday crime.

  1. Aug 6, 2012 #1


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    It happens every minute, all over the world. The more information we get from "The World", the more ordinary, and hence trivial in a sense, do the nightmares of every parent look to us:
    Night to Sunday, a Norwegian girl of 16 years of age, Sigrid, walked home from a girls' night out. She never came home.
    Her shoes and mobile phone were found inside the play area of a kindergarten 300 metres away from her home. Some neighbours have said that at half past midnight, they heard a panicked woman's cry.
    Massive voluntary search patrols have scoured the area, but Sigrid is nowhere to be found.

    Why do I post this?
    It is after all, just another sad incident every one of us are familiar with hundreds of. It is almost trivial that yet another girl is abducted, and probably raped and killed.

    Perhaps I post this because this is, in fact, the curse of globalized world:
    Everyday incidents like this, so tragic and nightmarish to Sigrids parents, we just seem to get used to that they are "the way of the world".
    And, they are in a certain sense.

    Do we really get better at being humans, and compassionate at that, by KNOWING that such incidents are common abd widespread? Or, do we lose something in the process? Something that now only are stirred within us when extraordinary crimes occur?

    I don't know. I'm just sad, not the least saddened by my own necessarily jaded attitude to Sigrid's disappearance. She is just one of many, but still the only one who truly mattered to those who knew her. I'm just a complete stranger leafing through a news report about her. In some way, it feels callous, even indecent, to habitually have that reaction: A girl brutally murdered, just another tiny piece of the news.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
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  3. Aug 16, 2012 #2


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    Joseph Stalin once said:

    "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic": I don't really condone anything that he or any other dictator has/is done/doing, but it's a good insight into how many of us can view the subject.

    The other thing is densensitization: when all you hear about is deaths and all the trauma going on repeatedly you can become densensitized. Also there is a thing in psychology called dissociation which happens when the mind is overwhelmed especially with instances of trauma and the coping mechanism involves this action.

    When you consider these two things even alone, you can see that humans can become programmed to become less sensitive to things like this especially when it happens on a regular basis, and also if it is engineered communicatively to be "artificial" (like when news people report on it).

    What a lot of people are ingesting every day when they watch movies, play video games, and all of that is that especially if it is unreal then people can associate with this as being "not real" and a "fanatasy" and not treat it the same.

    When you have people that make the psychological connection between a fantasy and something that has been engineered to not have the real hallmarks of something real, then the reaction is going to be a lot different.

    If you want to know how a lot of people react to death you should ask some of the ex-soldiers how they have coped and find out the number of people that commit suicide, end up as drug abusers, and basically have other kinds of mental breakdowns.

    These people are in the reality and a lot of people become psychologically screwed up when they face the reality.

    The majority people though have never been through such a thing and to them it is like a fantasy that is able to interpreted in that way: it's engineered, it's not directly experienced, and it is in no way as strong as experiencing the real deal: in other words, it's engineered and fake.

    A lot of humans are good, but the thing is that when people are shielded from the realities and don't know what it's really like to experience that kind of thing, then they can not react and should not be expected to react in the same way that a direct victim has.

    People that train militaries know this: this is why soldiers are effectively brainwashed and programmed to make them good killers. In the first world wars, a lot of soldiers would not kill the enemy even if their own life was at stake.

    Fast forward with experience in war and you now have techniques to brainwash and program soldiers. The other thing is that the new weaponry that takes the soldier further away from the victim makes it easier as well: it's a lot easier to use a drone or drop a bomb from a plane than to stab the victim directly and watch them die. It's a different thing altogether and militaries know this.

    You do the same sort of thing in communications where you engineer the communications and people will have the same effect that the soldiers who are distanced from the actual bodies have. It's like a video game in this situation compared to a real life experience.

    This is the real world: if people don't know that it doesn't exist, and if they haven't seen some engineered production that is so artificial it doesn't resemble anything real at all, then they probably haven't experienced or had to worry about it at all.

    This is what real evil is all about: it's about twisting the truth so that its perceived to not real or not a problem.
  4. Aug 16, 2012 #3


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    A very good post, chiro.
    I remember a musing by the philosopher Hegel about the depersonalization of war due to the introduction of guns.

    The enemy became deindividualized, relative to hand-to-hand combat.

    In his view, if I remember correctly, this deindividualization of the warrior made possible mass armies (fair enough), but precisely for that reason delegitimized the position of the nobility; they weren't relevant anymore, since "personal valour" was no longer a necessary warrior trait.

    Well, anyway, thanks again for a very good and thoughtful post, to which I agree.
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