Thursday, April 9, 2020

841: How triggerhappy are we...?

The belief that homo sapiens is basically NOT OK is so deeply rooted, that it seems almost indestructible.
Again last Saturday I read a column in my newspaper in which the author was discussing what would happen, when the corona pandemic is over.
Let me quote: Now we are forced to sit in a room, but whatever has changed after the crisis, not human nature. 
It is unchanging and hopeless. With the passion of long-separated lovers, we will reunite with our bad habits, adding a few more. 
In other words, the machine will run even more brutally than before. 
But there has been a quiet moment, a reflection that gave a view of a world without us, in which the goats came from the hills to eat the hedges bare. -QUOTE-
Are we really that hopeless, brutal, unchanging? A world better without us?
It is the night of November 22-23, 1943. The battle for the island of Makin, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has begun. 
Everything seems to go according to plan. Samuel Marshall (1900 - 1977), colonel and historian, sees it up close. 
He went ashore with the first American troops to report on the conquest of the island, which is in Japanese hands. 
Makin's invasion is a perfectly isolated operation, almost like a laboratory experiment. It is an excellent opportunity for Marshall to discover how it really works in a war. 
During the day, the men advanced three miles in the killing heat. When they stop in the evening, no one has the energy to dig in. 
They don't know that there is a Japanese camp a little further away. The attack starts at nightfall. The Japanese storm the American position up to eleven times. 
And while the latter are well in the majority, the enemy almost breaks through the lines. 
The next day, Marshall wonders what could have happened. He knows you can't understand much about a war if you stare at some flags on a map or read the diaries of a few officers. 
And so he does what has never been done before. Marshall gathers the American soldiers in groups that morning 
and interviews them. Everyone can say what they want. Low ranks may go against high ranks. The result is amazing.
Most soldiers hadn't fire a shot at all!
For centuries generals, writers and artists had assumed that war brings out "the best" in us, the ultimate hunter.....shoot to kill.
Marshal interviewed group after group and came to the astonishing observation that only 15 to 25 percent of the soldiers really had shot at the enemy.
This was all the more amazing as the situation had become critical and life-threatening for the American soldiers at a certain moment.
In such a situation you expect, that everyone will fight for his life, but Marshal had in his battalion of 300 men only found 36 that really had used their rifle.
Why didn't most soldiers fire their rifle? Was it lacking experience. No, rookies and experienced soldiers behaved the same.
Was it fear? No, for no one fled his post during the Japanese attacks, but yet they didn't fire.
To this day, Marshal's book "Men Against Fire" (1947) is read at military academies. 
His conclusion? 
The average and healthy individual has such an inner and mostly unconscious resistance to murdering a fellow human being that he will not take a life of his own free will. 
In fact, most people have a fear of aggression. A fear that is a normal part of our "emotional household".
Thank you for your attention again ...

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:21] Laila Schuman: wow
[13:21] herman Bergson: So, it seems we aren't that eager hunter/killer
[13:21] herman Bergson: I was thinking of something else....
[13:21] herman Bergson: there are millions of guns among private citizens of the US.....
[13:22] herman Bergson: How many of these guns were ever used?
[13:22] herman Bergson: Except on a firing range for simple practice?
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it seem US have a hybris for guns indeed but
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes...for the possesion of a gun, Bejiita
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and indeed even I think being on a firing range is fun but I still could not shoot anyone I just want to blow stuff up and make noise
[13:23] druth Vlodovic: Lindybeige (youtuber) says that in WW1 guns were used to kill people directly mianly by psychotics and older brothers who raised their siblings
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thats ideed a different thing
[13:23] druth Vlodovic: about 2% of the population total at the time
[13:24] Laila Schuman: I was talking with a man around 22 in Chicago... he MUST have a gun....
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes...
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I could not shoot anyone I think (well trump maybe lol) but im not a violent guy at all
[13:24] Laila Schuman: why?  he is afraid.... he wants to protect his wife and child
[13:24] Laila Schuman: FEAR
[13:24] herman Bergson: THese days youngsters here in the Netherlands MUST have a knife....
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm that seems logical indeed
[13:24] CB Axel: In some parts of Chicago, fear is justified.
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): fear is the trigger
[13:25] herman Bergson: same reason protect yourself
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Chicago indeed,
[13:25] CB Axel: But a gun isn't protection from random shootings.
[13:25] druth Vlodovic: or a strong sense of duty, armies have always used techniques to praise and enforce duty over self
[13:25] herman Bergson: We had stabbings here by kids not older than 14
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the violence in the city of Malmö here in Sweden have grown to the point the city have earned the nick "Little Chicago"
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Druth....but it doesn't seem 100% effective
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (gothemburg nearby have the nick "little London") so it goes on that scheme)
[13:27] druth Vlodovic: oh, "protection" reason to own guns is an escalation thing, if everyone in the country is expected to have guns then they will be used against them, if they are not expected to have guns the criminals will rely on knives etc, or just intimidation
[13:27] herman Bergson: You better stay at home Bejiita ^_^
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well I don't live near there
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I think it might have calmed down a bit for now
[13:27] Laila Schuman: not in Chicago
[13:28] herman Bergson: The interesting thing here is that people wants to possess weapons , but in fact don't use them
[13:28] herman Bergson: a minority does....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in Malmö gangs set of dynamite with no thought they might kill/hurt civilians
[13:28] Laz Dresler is offline.
[13:29] CB Axel: I'll never be convinced that the answer to gun violence is more guns.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Of course not, CB...
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true CB
[13:29] herman Bergson: In all european countries guns are not allowed...
[13:29] herman Bergson: so we have little gun violence here
[13:29] druth Vlodovic: they say more people are killed accidentally by guns than are ever shot at
[13:29] Carma Caerndow is offline.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): only police and licensed hunters
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): can have guns
[13:30] herman Bergson: even that might be the case Druth
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: Time magazine did an article "the time week" or something following gun injuries and deaths in, I think NY
[13:30] CB Axel: A lot of guns are used for suicide, too.
[13:30] Laila Schuman: yes
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: they say there is a statistic for number of Americans killed by gun wielding toddlers every year
[13:31] CB Axel: We should ban toddlers. lol
[13:31] herman Bergson: toddlers and suicide....
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the toddler probably think it a toy and BANG!
[13:32] druth Vlodovic:
[13:32] druth Vlodovic: when my son was four he saw some cops and raised his squirt gun and said "bang"
[13:32] druth Vlodovic: I told him not to do that but the cops just smiled
[13:33] herman Bergson: Bu tthe main point of today is, that even in a situation of war we don't show to be that ferocious hunter/killer, which is generally accepted as a view on who we are deep down inside
[13:33] druth Vlodovic: likely populations of homicidal humans were wiped out by each other or their neighbors
[13:34] herman Bergson: Like homo sapiens would have allegedly wiped out the Neanderthals
[13:34] FrannyDJ Dean is offline.
[13:35] theo Velde is online.
[13:35] herman Bergson: Well....
[13:35] herman Bergson: For the time being we still may conclude that most people are OK...^_^
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] druth Vlodovic: "The humans are all right"
[13:36] CB Axel: :)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and switching from gun to pens here is the link I promized
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] herman Bergson: Unless you have to add something to the conclusion....?
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] druth Vlodovic: I suspect we crossbred the protohumans into submission
[13:36] herman Bergson: Very good...
[13:37] herman Bergson: Something like that Druth :-)
[13:37] Laila Schuman: I know a cop in Chicago who works in a particularly dangerous part of the city..... each morning before going to work...he throws up..... his groomsmen gave him a bullet proof vest as a wedding gift....
[13:37] Laila Schuman: I would not want to be him
[13:38] herman Bergson: Unknow in Europe, Laila
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): omg who would want a work like that
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but someone gotta do it I guess
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still
[13:39] herman Bergson: But it is a a local thing Laila....
[13:39] Oceane (oceane.madrigal) is offline.
[13:39] Laila Schuman: yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: The wide spread possession of guns in the US is a mystery to me...
[13:39] herman Bergson: Mainly because these guns may be good trade....but never used
[13:40] herman Bergson: There is an industry behind the belief that you need a gun to protect yourself
[13:41] herman Bergson: It apparently suggest that your society in fact can't offer you that protection really
[13:41] Laila Schuman: there is also experience.... and trump is using the "fear of the other" for all it is worth
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as I get it it comes from an over 300 year old law from the wild west time, I think its called the Constitution ordering everyone to have a gun, this was way before machine guns and rocket launchers
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but this law still apply
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thus so many guns
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes....the emotion of fear is exploited by this industry
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its holy to them just like god
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to have a gun
[13:42] herman Bergson: amazes me every time Bejiita
[13:42] druth Vlodovic: there is a weird dichotomy in that Americans at once do not trust authority but also seem to worship it
[13:42] herman Bergson: interesting Druth....indeed a bit schizophrenic...
[13:43] druth Vlodovic: rugged individualism and fanboyism ramped up to 11 and in one package
[13:43] herman Bergson: what does that mean Druth?
[13:43] herman Bergson: no idea what fanboyism is :-)
[13:44] CB Axel: I was a paramedic for over 35 years. I cared for people who had accidentally shot themselves, some who had purposely shot themselves, some who had been accidentally been shot by others. Never...NEVER... did I care for anyone who had been shot while committing a crime or threatening someone else. So never were any of them shot by someone defending themselves. NEVER
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): comes from japan I guess, Otaku
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and similar
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that term
[13:44] CB Axel: And I worked in Chicago for 10 or those years.
[13:44] herman Bergson: That proof the point of MArshal, CB!
[13:45] herman Bergson: We fear aggression....
[13:45] CB Axel: Also, Bejiita, the US Constitution does not *order* people to have guns.
[13:45] druth Vlodovic: oh, being a big fan of someone to an over the top extent, apparently in the US celebrities get mobbed a lot, I hear of it in Britain too but I am not sure how it compares
[13:45] CB Axel: It gives people the right to own a gun so they can fight in a "well ordered" militia.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as I got it is some kind of relic from 100s of years back that is still going on today
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but was just something i heard way back
[13:46] CB Axel: So not a group of dumb ass vigilantes.
[13:46] Laila Schuman: Chi-Raq
Chi-Raq (/ʃaɪˈræk/) is a 2015 American musical crime comedy-drama film, directed and produced by Spike Lee and co-written by Lee and Kevin Willmott.
Directed by    Spike Lee
Produced by    Spike Lee
Screenplay by    Kevin Willmott Spike Lee
Based on    Lysistrata by Aristophanes
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and as said sure I also think blasting off on a firing range is fun, I know some who are hunters and similar and one of the even have a clay pigeon machine
[13:47] herman Bergson: I see Druth...yes...typical American :-)
[13:47] druth Vlodovic: I think most of my neighbors have gun of some kind but that is because there is a lot of hunting in my area, numbers for murders rarely go much over 20 a year
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I love using that one
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): BLAM BLAM
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and im actually quite good, I amazed myself first time I tried
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that I could keep track that goot first try
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the friend was amazed too
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): o shot! he said I remember
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:49] herman Bergson: We got a trigger happy Bejiita here, it seems :-))
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but I often really go in for things I find fun in general
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well that might actually be true when I get the chance
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depends on WHAT im shooting at too, I still don't shoot at people/my friends, could never do a such thing
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but love making lots of noise now and then
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): among other things
[13:50] herman Bergson: ?me grins
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp when im happy, so EVERYONE notice I am happy
[13:51] herman Bergson: as you do now Bejiita ^_^
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at least ONE happy person in the room:))
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but setting of an explosion n here might be a bit loud
[13:51] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje...:-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I save the salute for later
[13:51] herman Bergson: Behave Bejiita :-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:52] druth Vlodovic: I'm not sure I could ever kill a living thing, but i know people who rarely eat beef because there is so much deer and turkey in their freezers
[13:52] herman Bergson: I think we made our point for today :-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:53] herman Bergson: SO, thank you all again for your participation....
[13:53] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismiised....
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:53] druth Vlodovic: Thank you Herman
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): stay happy Bejiita
[13:53] herman Bergson: Happy shooting Bejiita ^_^
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and don't  worry I won't dynamite a hole in the lawn once I get outside
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next tie
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank YOU :-))
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): time
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] CB Axel: Bye, everyone. See you Thursday.
[13:54] druth Vlodovic:

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