Neighbors According to Zimbardo Research

2015. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 14″

Reading The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo. My wife says it’s unhealthy for me to find sources to corroborate a hypothesis I had since the first 20 year old paid airman knew he could pull a lever and simultaneously murder 35,000 civilians, and did it anyway. Perhaps she is right. The poor boy had no training in social psychology and 1984 hadn’t been written until several years after the devastation of Nagasaki. (Orwell was busy with his war work at the BBC). Anyway, his superior officer told him to do it. And that was good enough for him. Heck, he just wanted a Coke after the bombing, and alone time to write a letter to his sweetheart.

I am so intrigued by the ideas put forth in this book. I believe they will help me avoid many uncomfortable mob lynch-like situations in the future. Unfortunately, I am the only one on my street learning how to clear away from dangerous group think. And although these beasties, otherwise known as local neighbors, appear harmless now, almost friendly-looking actually, I know that at the sound of the right whistle, this colorful mob will fuse into a monstrous, incredibly indifferent, killing machine.

Oh well. Best to know some good escape routes.

For now, let this video do in three minutes what reading a fat tome would accomplish in 12 days:

I’d Rather Be High by David Bowie

 

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