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Comment on Rampages

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This is actually a comment on three posts at the Social Evolution Forum on rampages interpreted as early signs of social unrest.

Firstly, By demonstrating a tenfold increase in shooting rampages over the last decades, the post touches a neuralgic point. Those data are contested by many. In my opinion the data may be as good or bad as Pinker's but implications is what matters. It is a hot ideological issue.

From its very beginning states and governments justify their existence by providing security, so any announcement that declares a decrease in violence is warmly welcome in any culture, at any time in history, and however falsified it may be. Announcing the opposite, an increase in violence, declares a government's inability to protect its people, the spreading news of insufficiency further destabilizes the state, and reflexively, instinctively, and even subconsciously such announcements are attacked.

Secondly, the author of the post as well as the books quoted are right. It is some kind of social feedback not a mere private or personal issue. And there is, I agree, great similarity between terrorism and such rampages.

According to fauceir theory feedback is always imprecise, or—as some authors put it—causes some collateral damage, especially if it begins to evolve. Later on, with evolutionary progress, such feedback gains precision, becomes faster and less resource consuming.

Thirdly, I disagree with that post and many comments. It is not social inequality that causes such rampages. The tensions caused by social inequality can rather be interpreted as another symptom of the same social disorder. As we all know, such rampages occur in countries with far less social inequality, Norway for instance.

Theoretically, deduced from fauceir theory, such rampages can be prevented by simply enabling better feedback mechanisms. But this is easier said than accomplished as it necessarily collides with resilient ideologies (see my first point).

For instance, a cardinal point in Western countries is, for instance, democracy's inability to ensure proper leadership[1]. Obviously, there is a good correlation between such rampages and bad leadership when measured as long term social stagnation and falling behind in international competition.

Finally, some links, mostly in German, but at least I hope understandable anyway.

Tags: Ideology Imprecision Society Sociology

Categories: Psychology Sociology


(c) Mato Nagel, Weißwasser 2004-2013, Disclaimer