The Vancouver riots: a backlash against the backlash

Vancouver media and politicians are now lamenting the “naming and shaming” of Stanley Cup rioters being identified through social media images by “digital lynch mobs” of outraged Vancouverites. Are they feeling sorry for the poor thugs responsible for all that violence, looting and arson during the June 15th riots? Continue reading

The mob mentality revisited

When a crowd gathers near a suicidal jumper, something terrible is unleashed. Just as in looting, rioting, lynchings, beatings, war, chasing a monster with torches – your identity can somehow spring a leak in the presence of others, and the more ‘others’ there are, the more you can dissolve into the collective will of the group and lose your sense of individuality. We saw this during the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots and in the Montreal student protests last spring. It’s what sociologists call “deindividuation”. Continue reading

2011 posts

All the Nags from 2011 JANUARY 2011 Six not-so-simple steps toward protecting us from dangerous drugs First greenwashing, then pinkwashing – now SUGARWASHING! British surgeon threatened with lawsuit for daring to question ‘Boob Job’ cream Researchers: “Osteoarthritis treated with drugs/surgery … Continue reading

Is your life as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook?

U.K. social scientist Dr. Carol Craig has observed that young people in Britain are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and Facebook is providing a platform for self-promotion: “The way that children are being educated is focusing more and more on the importance of self-esteem and on how they are seen in the eyes of others. This method of teaching has been imported from the Unites States. It is ‘all about me’.” Continue reading