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Toast_in_the_Machine


Sep 24, 2012, 5:29 AM
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Historically, we've never had it this peaceful.
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http://www.sfgate.com/...er-place-2324730.php

In reply to:
In his book, Pinker writes: "The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species."


petsfed


Sep 24, 2012, 7:44 AM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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I have a theory:
The less we as a species rely on violence as a means of effective interaction, the more we will see PTSD in those tasked with using violence to interact on our behalf.

So as awful as it is, the prevalence of PTSD is actually a sign that we are getting *better*.


squierbypetzl
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Sep 24, 2012, 7:18 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
I have a theory:
The less we as a species rely on violence as a means of effective interaction, the more we will see PTSD in those tasked with using violence to interact on our behalf.

So as awful as it is, the prevalence of PTSD is actually a sign that we are getting *better*.

Seems that way to me as well, but it may just be that since we as a society tolerate violence less, we pay more attention to people's reactions to violence (e.g., PTSD). In other words, maybe we see more cases of PTSD because we're now looking out for it. I find it hard to believe that the families of soldiers returning from WWII 60 years ago didn't experience most of what today's military families do (substance abuse, domestic violence, PTSD).


petsfed


Sep 24, 2012, 8:57 PM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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Well, that also occurs to me, so what I really have is a hypothesis. In the last century, we've gone from battle-fatigue, to shell-shock, to PTSD, but in the century before that, they didn't even have a word for it.

Still, going from calling shell-shocked soldiers cowards to the (woefully underperforming) treatment we have today says a lot.

It seems to me that as fewer troops are killed in combat, the acceptable fraction of disability amongst the survivors has stayed constant. Its just that now that fraction is starting to separate parts of each individual.


g


Sep 24, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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Lt. Col. Dave Grossman wrote a great book called On Killing that covered a lot of what is being discussed, and I'd suggest it to anyone. Over-simplifying, but the vast majority of people can not kill another human under most conditions. It goes against the basic hardwiring of the brain (and he adds a lot of meat to this), but training has allowed us to override that basic morality. But while we've figured out how to get people to fire on another person, we haven't figured out how to deal with the resultant trauma to the person who did the killing=PTSD.

On the broader idea, it isn't new. I think of Coercion, Capital, and European States, and the author's discussion of declining murder rates, though he attributes it to the centralization of force in the state. Though he even makes a point of the US being a special case in the Western world, and that we might have a problem understanding that violence has declined (qualifying that he was discussing interpersonal), presumably because of our gun laws.

I don't know if Pinker is right, but I think one can make a good argument that we are moving towards being less violent and competitive towards more cooperative, and I'd argue, more successful (as biologists like Martin Nowak have argued). In the end you get to questions of human nature, and it isn't as one sided as some would claim. We have selfishness next to empathy, and even risking your life for a stranger. Malleable to an extent by the environment, and both based within the complexity of human nature.


rmsusa


Sep 25, 2012, 1:59 PM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I have a theory:
The less we as a species rely on violence as a means of effective interaction, the more we will see PTSD in those tasked with using violence to interact on our behalf.

So as awful as it is, the prevalence of PTSD is actually a sign that we are getting *better*.

Seems that way to me as well, but it may just be that since we as a society tolerate violence less, we pay more attention to people's reactions to violence (e.g., PTSD). In other words, maybe we see more cases of PTSD because we're now looking out for it. I find it hard to believe that the families of soldiers returning from WWII 60 years ago didn't experience most of what today's military families do (substance abuse, domestic violence, PTSD).

Or WWI, or the civil war, or survivors of Pol Pot. or people who escaped machetes in Rwanda by the skin of their teeth. I think you're right. We'll see it more because we were blind before. It's a very good book, BTW. I'm in the middle of it right now.


pinktricam


Sep 26, 2012, 4:53 PM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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Can't comment on the war violence, but I do believe there's a direct correlation between the violent crime decrease seen and a record number of CCW permits being issued in the last four years.


petsfed


Sep 26, 2012, 5:14 PM
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Re: [pinktricam] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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pinktricam wrote:
Can't comment on the war violence, but I do believe there's a direct correlation between the violent crime decrease seen and a record number of CCW permits being issued in the last four years.

So we'd expect that the number of menacing charges to go up, or the number of self-defense gun deaths/injuries to increase, right? There'd be some other statistic that would show your hypothesis to be correct, and not just two variables showing apparent correlation, right?


pinktricam


Sep 26, 2012, 8:00 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
pinktricam wrote:
Can't comment on the war violence, but I do believe there's a direct correlation between the violent crime decrease seen and a record number of CCW permits being issued in the last four years.

So we'd expect that the number of menacing charges to go up, or the number of self-defense gun deaths/injuries to increase, right? There'd be some other statistic that would show your hypothesis to be correct, and not just two variables showing apparent correlation, right?

Not at all. Not within the context of legal CCW holders. They are, generally speaking law abiding and non-felons. They go through relatively thourough background checks.

However, I will agree that the results of your additional statistical advice would indeed be interesting to see where an illegal firearms presence may abound.

What do you think of John Lott's research into legal gun ownership and crime statistics?


guangzhou


Sep 26, 2012, 9:02 PM
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Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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Personally, I am not sure that the people who escape death in Rwanda and other unstable country experience PTSD. Not those who only saw those countries an a state of chaos at least.

I do believe PTSD is real, but I think that people who have been raise in a environment of fear, terror, and war their entire life are less likely to have it.

If fear and death is an everyday thought and real possibility, then how someone react to it is very different then someone who was raise in a country where they feel safe and secure from day to day.

Sure, PTSD has been a side effect of war, but I wonder if we are seeing more of it because war as become more cold and calculated also.

Shell-shock from the WW and the Civil War too, would have been because canon fire killed masses instead of individuals.
You heard the initial shot, maybe even the cannon moving, but were not sure where it would land. You know someone is going to die, maybe you, maybe not, you just bury your head and hope for the best.

Same with Artillery or big gun naval fire fire in later wars, except you didn't hear the initial shot, you just heard the shot arriving and then explore. You bury you your head, wait for the blast, then relocate in a direction so they have to adjust fire.

From the Civil War Forward, the sniper came into play from a Psychological point of view. The riffle meant one man could hide behind a tree and pluck off people. No more need for thousand of men to line up side by side firing in the general direction. The killer now had a personal connection with who he killed and the person who survived knew the sniper was still out there to take another shot.

My personal time in conflict zone is limited to various squirmiest in the the early to mid 1990s. Within my squad and platoon, soldiers did what they were trained to do, but those who had the easiest time dealing with dead bodies, being fired on, and various other deeds were those who came from gang territories and bad neighborhoods. The guys who had chosen the military to escape where they lived.

Soldiers that came from middle class background had slightly harder time to deal with it, even with various forms of training we received. The guys who joined to get college money. We had no-one from the upper class, not even officers.

Professional soldiers who already had experience dealt with it the easiest.

Not sure why, but my personal theory would be that the rough neighborhood gave a tougher upbringing and taught them how to deal with hardship, where as those who had fairly easy lives growing up in middle class America during the 1980s lived a more sheltered life and didn't know how to deal with those issues or negative influences.

On the above post about the book, the "Nature of Man" has been argued for long time. Killing another person is very easy, killing another person for no reason is more difficult for most. The line between what is a good reason and what isn't varies from one person to another.

I remember one incident where our squad took fire and the enemy was using local civilian as shields. They preferred to use women, and if they were pregnant even better in their eyes. Some of the squad had trouble shooting through the civilian to neutralize the treat, others reacted and didn't have a problem. Most were somewhere in the middle.

Back to the "Nature of Man" and the book above. Arguments go back along way. Among the most famous are:

Hobbes believed that Nature was a state of war, the government imposed laws to create order and to protect it's people. In it's natural state, the world is cold, cruel and dangerous.

Locke Believe nature was perfect freedom but chaotic, neither good nor bad. Men gave up freedom to make it less chaotic. (Ownership of property and liberty balanced)

Rousseau Nature is free and equal. Men are Noble, the government and laws is what corrupted mankind. (General Will, not Representation)

A bit paraphrased and simplified, but the material is easy enough to find for those interested in actually reading more on it.

Personally, my beliefs are more or less in line with Hobbes. No government would mean Anarchy, which would lead to the strongest taking what he wants from the weaker.

The weaker would team-up to protect themselves from stronger individuals and take what they want, protect what they have.

This would continue to escalate until various groups agreed to terms among one another to avoid killing each others groups.

The biggest groups would try to keep other groups in place by occasionally joining forces together to prevent medium groups from fighting each other, especially if those groups have something to offer that help the bigger group.

Oh, wait, that sounds like the world today.


dan2see


Sep 26, 2012, 9:25 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
Well, that also occurs to me, so what I really have is a hypothesis. In the last century, we've gone from battle-fatigue, to shell-shock, to PTSD, but in the century before that, they didn't even have a word for it.
...

What is now PTSD, was called cowardice. Another word for it was "yellow".
To control this deviant behavior, your own troops were required to shoot you at the next sun-rise.


guangzhou


Sep 26, 2012, 9:39 PM
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Re: [dan2see] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
What is now PTSD, was called cowardice. Another word for it was "yellow".

To control this deviant behavior, your own troops were required to shoot you at the next sun-rise.

Couldn't disagree more.

PTSD usually comes after the fact. Being "yellow" or "Cowards" usually was a result of what you did before or at the beginning of the action.

Someone who doesn't show up for the fight can't really have side effects from it.

Shooting at the next sunrise, what are you referring to? Shooting at sunrise would give your position away to the enemy who would be able to call for fire without even seeing you. Not very tactical.

Vietnam Vets showed great PTSD, most people called them flash backs of the war. They had trouble sleeping, avoided open spaces, and were constantly looking around for enemy after their time in Vietnam. (Some vets, not all)


(This post was edited by guangzhou on Sep 26, 2012, 9:40 PM)


petsfed


Sep 26, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Re: [pinktricam] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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pinktricam wrote:
Not at all. Not within the context of legal CCW holders. They are, generally speaking law abiding and non-felons. They go through relatively thourough background checks.

No, I mean I would expect that after a gun defused a situation, then the law abiding CCW holder would then file a police report. Likewise, I'd expect that the number of criminals injured or killed in the execution of a crime would go up.

I've never bought the deterrent argument, which is what you're claiming here.


dan2see


Sep 27, 2012, 7:29 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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I've deleted my post.

I was ranting about an unhappy topic that is fortunately not relevant anymore. I wasn't really thinking through the OP's topic.

I apologize to Toast for messing up the thread.


(This post was edited by dan2see on Sep 27, 2012, 7:59 AM)


squierbypetzl
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Sep 27, 2012, 5:31 PM
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Re: [dan2see] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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dan2see wrote:
I've deleted my post.

I was ranting about an unhappy topic that is fortunately not relevant anymore. I wasn't really thinking through the OP's topic.

I apologize to Toast for messing up the thread.

I'm going to leave this post up since you're doing the decent thing and all, but please consider that if everyone on here took the high ground and behaved decently all the time, we'd be out of a webisite.

Please think about the consecuences before you post next time.


dan2see


Sep 27, 2012, 6:14 PM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
dan2see wrote:
I've deleted my post.

I was ranting about an unhappy topic that is fortunately not relevant anymore. I wasn't really thinking through the OP's topic.

I apologize to Toast for messing up the thread.

I'm going to leave this post up since you're doing the decent thing and all, but please consider that if everyone on here took the high ground and behaved decently all the time, we'd be out of a webisite.

Please think about the consecuences before you post next time.

Yeah OK and since I've already hijacked this thread with a rant, I'm on a roll.

Here is somebody who rants better than I can: Truth Beckons



Truth Beckons These guys have more rants about the world than I could manage.


pinktricam


Sep 28, 2012, 5:25 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
pinktricam wrote:
Not at all. Not within the context of legal CCW holders. They are, generally speaking law abiding and non-felons. They go through relatively thourough background checks.

No, I mean I would expect that after a gun defused a situation, then the law abiding CCW holder would then file a police report. Likewise, I'd expect that the number of criminals injured or killed in the execution of a crime would go up.

I've never bought the deterrent argument, which is what you're claiming here.

So, no comment on my earlier question about what you think of John Lott's research?


petsfed


Sep 28, 2012, 6:31 PM
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Re: [pinktricam] Historically, we've never had it this peaceful. [In reply to]
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No. I'm a fucking grad student. I really don't have time to critically examine an entire book of research that's outside of my field. Based on the snippets of criticism I've read, I'm not sure that he's wrong (vis crime rate and CCW issuing being inversely related), but I still disagree with the claim that CCW is a more effective at deterring violent crime than avoiding the areas where violent crime tends to occur is at preventing it.

That is, I doubt people that need to be shot to stop them sit in their car/apartment/gutter before mugging somebody and think "If I kill my victim, I might get the death penalty" or "There's a chance my intended victim is packing heat, so I'll need to be extra careful". At best its "I need money to eat", and in all probability is something worse. I disagree with the notion that violent crime is performed by basically rational and intelligent people who have the foresight to recognize what might cause animal fear in them later that afternoon, let alone in the far distant future. I feel the deterrent argument gives the meth-head shaking down commuters WAAAY too much credit.

I would also claim that while most CCW people are pretty good at observing people and therefore avoiding situations where a violent crime could occur, there's support to the notion that when you're packing heat, you treat ordinary conflicts as gun-worthy conflicts much more readily. And as you've admitted, pink, I expect a sizable fraction of CCW people to be so piss-fucking-poor at observing the non-mugger portion of their surroundings (remember your Ikea confession) that its only a matter of time before some would-be John McLane gets in a firefight with a would-be mass-murderer, and kills more innocent bystanders than the perp.


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