Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Afraid of Americans

Getting back to the yahoo news comments.. I saw a story about a Chinese fighter jet that crashed during an air show.

The comments are as you would expect.. gloating, laughing.. derisive complaints of cheap Chinese manufacturing and so on.. completely missing the obvious fact that American jets routinely crash during air shows, including the military's most prestigious group, the Blue Angels.

Not a single person thinks anything of the pilot that died in the crash, other than that they somehow deserved it because they are Chinese.. and thus an "enemy". It's remarkable the way propaganda can so easily shape a person's entire personality.

I don't think that the anonymous nature of the internet creates the sociopathic behavior of human beings. I think it only serves to demonstrate how much we underestimated how big a percentage of the public at large are actual sociopaths. The only difference now is that they have an outlet where they seem to enjoy demonstrating to everyone else how cruel and callous they can be. Somehow, posting extremely vile views in public is gratifying for them.

One of the larger benefits of having quit playing World of Warcraft is that I don't see as much of that typical sociopathic behavior. It is rampant in WoW. If I never read the comments on the yahoo news articles, I probably wouldn't see much at all. It's probably better not to fool ones self into having a false sense of the human nature of our neighbors by avoiding the places where they express themselves.

I wonder if my desire to see and inflict actual physical pain and suffering on those sociopaths is a mental disorder of my own? Am I lacking empathy and humanity for them? I suppose a truly good person would hope that those people could learn and grow, somehow gaining a sense of empathy. I'm not that good of a person. I fantasize about having a button on the desktop of my computer where I could select a sociopath, and summarily electrocute them over the internet. I don't think sociopaths can change. I would prefer they simply not exist.

Incidentally, this is the moral dilemma facing the central character of the anime Death Note (which is a must see for those that haven't). The character finds a note book, into which he can write a person's name, and that person dies of a heart attack. It's easy enough for me to fantasize about the justice of my internet execution method, but if it were actually possible, I'm sure I would not.

The sociopath, of course, wouldn't have any moral compunction about using it. I don't think anyone I know personally would either.. but then, I'm a firm believer in segregation and so I have no friends or acquaintances of that variety.

At least I don't think so.


Anonymous said...

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. :-) "I wonder if my desire to see and inflict actual physical pain and suffering on those sociopaths is a mental disorder of my own?" It is nice to take a trip between your ears sometimes. Love it!

Tom said...

The imagination can well fill in for things that we simply cannot do.