One Against All

What great overarching “thingness” is devouring all diversity?

I really began reflecting on this after reading a passage from one of Robert Bringhurst‘s talks (from the collection the Tree of Meaning):

The European colonists’ arrival in the New World marks the escalation of a war that had been fought in Europe and Asia for more than two millennia and continues even now. It is the war between those who think they belong to the world, and those who think that the world belongs to them. It is the war between the pagans, who know they are surrounded and outnumbered by the gods, and all the devotees of the number one – one empire, one history, one market, or one God – and who nowadays insist on the preeminence of everyone for himself: the smallest number one of all.

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the Lucifer Effect – Updated

What this says about what make us behave in ways counter to our expectations, or, how to turn good people evil.

the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has become notorious for how quickly it spun out of its designers’ control. It was a shocking lesson in how particular situations can set people against their better natures. There is a lot written about it,  – the Lucifer Effect is the first thorough presentation of the experiment and its conclusions.
Lucifer_Effect

the Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo

Life is the art of being well-deceived; and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted.
–William Hazlitt, “On Pedantry,” The Round Table. 1817

Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man’s spirit than when we win his heart.
–Eric hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954)

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