Science Confirms the Obvious: Competition for Victim Status Produces Hostility and Division
I always find it somewhat amusing when science comes along to prove the blatantly obvious. But in this case, this is a well-timed study. From the European Journal of Social Psychology,
"Groups that perceive themselves as victims can engage in “competitive victimhood.” We propose that, in some societal circumstances, this competition bears on the recognition of past sufferings—rather than on their relative severity—fostering negative intergroup attitudes. Three studies are presented. Study 1, a survey among Sub-Saharan African immigrants in Belgium (N = 127), showed that a sense of collective victimhood was associated with more secondary anti-Semitism. This effect was mediated by a sense of lack of victimhood recognition, then by the belief that this lack of recognition was due to that of Jews' victimhood, but not by competition over the severity of the sufferings. Study 2 replicated this mediation model among Muslim immigrants (N = 125). Study 3 experimentally demonstrated the negative effect of the unequal recognition of groups' victimhood on intergroup attitudes in a fictional situation involving psychology students (N = 183). Overall, these studies provide evidence that struggle for victimhood recognition can foster intergroup conflict."
Victims usually perceive a perpetrator. This goes for individuals as well as groups. Of course, sometimes they are right. If someone assaults you, you are a victim and the person who committed the assault is the perpetrator.
But with regards to groups, especially in multiethnic, multiracial and multicultural societies, a victim mindset is destined to produce discord and division. The "oppression Olympics" as they're sometimes divisively called will undoubtedly create what this study calls "competitive victimhood" and thus, "negative intergroup attitudes."
This is an unavoidable problem when true oppression is there. And while I would never deny that there are no problems of oppression in the United States, isn't it ironic that some of the most privileged people who have ever walked the face of the planet-namely American college students-are the loudest in talking about how supposedly oppressed they are.
This mindset has already caused plenty of damage. If it persists, it could lead to a catastrophe.
Dunkirk and Nostalgia
So I just saw Dunkirk last weekend and while it is a great film fulling earning its 93% rating on RottenTomatoes, it also made me rather sad.
I felt this way because the type of film making that Christopher Nolan does seems to be almost alone these days. The film is almost devoid of CGI or over-the-top action sequences. Nothing happens in it that would be shocking to happen in real life. The characters aren't central to the story, but none of them act or seem unrealistic either).
Indeed, the only thing that's unrealistic about it is the lack of gore. But that has become a war movie trope since Saving Private Ryan. And don't get me wrong, Saving Private Ryan was a great film (other than the trite-Deus Ex Machina ending). But then everyone copied Spielberg and went with the "gritty, realistic war movie."
Great film makers zig when everyone else zags, so it's not surprising Nolan went a different way. Instead of over-the-top gore, there was an extreme tension. Throughout the entire film (until an exhausted character falls asleep near the end) there is a ticking clock-like sound. It is always embedded into the music, which makes for one long song that changes often, but always with that ticking sound. This might seem like it would become annoying, but it doesn't. It just highlights the race against time the British were under and heightens the tension all the more.
The aviation scenes are amazing and the highlight of the film. They are extremely intimate and the small details such as the rattling sounds in the cockpit of an airplane as it banks makes one fear exhaling as it might cause the plane to spin out of control.
And the scenery is amazing, especially given it's real. One scene in particular, where a ship is sunk is something else. You see it from the air and can make out people jumping in the water. And you can tell it's not CGI. Hell, it's not even a model. Our minds can tell that even the best CGI isn't real. With the advancements in technology, it's too bad so many film makers settle for CGI when Nolan proves how much more breathtaking it is to use practical effects. As well as how much tension can be added by the small details, such as background sounds you would expect to hear in a cockpit of a 1940 fighter plane, but not necessarily in a movie about them.
In all, it was great movie, but it made me feel a bit nostalgic for the days before CGI. Or perhaps I just wish there were more film makers out there of Nolan's quality. I'm getting a little sick of endless comic book movies, remakes, reboots, reimaginings and the like.
New BiggerPockets Article: How Not Setting Goals Allowed Us to Buy 157 Units in 2015 and 123 Units in 2016
OK, the title wasn't my choice (it's a little braggadoshist for me) but the theme of the article is captured by it. Namely, goals are overrated. The key is systems. I got this idea from Scott Adam's book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. As he notes,
“If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of success until they bore you, or set new goals and re-enter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure” (Adams, Pg. 32)
This way of thinking has been great for me and our company since we moved in that direction. And I expand on the concept a lot in the full article. Check it out.
I've written about this before, but it is endlessly annoying how the mainstream press tilts the narrative on Internet harassment. If you listen to the mainstream press, these are the details:
- Victims are always female.
- Perpetrators are always male and probably white too
- Victims are always liberal
- Perpetrators are always conservative.
None of this is true.
Regarding men and women, a study by the Think Tank Demos found that received male celebrities, politicians and journalists received 150 percent more harassment than women in similar positions. A study by Pew found that “13 percent of female respondents and 11 percent of male respondents said they had been harassed or stalked online.” Another study by Pew found that while women were more likely to be sexually harassed and stalked online, men were more likely to be insulted or to receive death threats.
In other words, it's not a simple picture regarding gender.
Now comes this from across the pond,
"MALE TORY MPS GOT MOST SOCIAL MEDIA ABUSE"
"Broken down by party and gender, male Conservative candidates were the group who received the highest percentage of abuse in their mentions, followed by male UKIP and Labour candidates, and female Conservative candidates. Analysis by a research team from the University of Sheffield based on tweets from the general public; replying to tweets made by MPs, candidates at the election and other prominent politicians. They sampled just under 840,000 tweets sent in the month before the general election between 8 May 2017 and 8 June 2017."
And it's not close. Conservative male MPs received over twice as many abusive mentions than liberal female MPs. I guess there's another mainstream media narrative up in flames.
But really, can this surprise anyone? Have you looked at the mentions Donald Trump gets for example? (Which Twitter seems to be trying to manipulate toward being even more negative by the way.)
Harassment is not a one-sided street. Indeed, it seems to be tilted in the opposite direction of what the mainstream media always complains about.
I've noted before that it appears on a bigger and bigger slice of the Left, the new slogan seems to be something like "Speech is violence and violence is self defense." As absurd as that statement is, look at the actions of Antifa and BAMN, and now read this parody of an article from The New York Times "When is Speech Violence?"
"Imagine that a bully threatens to punch you in the face. A week later, he walks up to you and breaks your nose with his fist. Which is more harmful: the punch or the threat?
"The answer might seem obvious: Physical violence is physically damaging; verbal statements aren’t. “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
"But scientifically speaking, it’s not that simple. Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system."
Yes, because someone saying mean words to you is the same as a physical threat.
"If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence. But which types?"
What is "the rightwing type" for $1000 Alex.
"That’s also true of a political climate in which groups of people endlessly hurl hateful words at one another, and of rampant bullying in school or on social media. A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it.
"That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering."
One assertion after the next.
Indeed, the idea that only rightwingers harass only leftwingers (or only men harass women) is completely and totally false. It's not even wrong, it's just a lie. But the author of this piece, Lisa Feldman Barrett, would have you believe that. Whatever you think of Milo, he had a syringe mailed to his house by his "victims" amongst other abuse hurled at him. But whatever, he deserves it whereas those on the Left don't because reasons or something.
The Left after all has plenty of provocateurs, or at least it did before it became the establishment and thus boring. Should they be banned?
By this argument, the whole "black people can't be racist" or "women can't be sexist" shtick falls apart because it's not about political power, it's about whether something hurts my feelings.
So I guess we need to ban anti-white civil rights activists, anti-male feminists, anti-Christian atheists and the like.
And we obviously need to ban communists!
Also, FYI, I will decide who is anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian and a communist.
Teams are important. No matter what you do in life, you will be a part of a team and one point or another. Furthermore, most teams suck. So let's change that.
Which is exactly what my latest article at BiggerPockets is about.
To start with, I quote Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg on the concept of "psychological safety." As he notes,
“‘We call it ‘psychological safety,’ she said. Psychological safety is a ‘shared belief, held by members of a team, that the group is a safe place for taking risks.’ It is ‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up… It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves'”
Of course, that's just the beginning. There's much more to building great teams. So check it out.
New ThoughtCatalog Article: It May Sound Crazy But Abandoning Your Goals Is The Key To Achieving Them
OK, the title is a bit of hyperbole mixed with clickbait (I didn't write it, the editor does that). But the point of it is still true. Namely, systems are far superior to goals. I came to this conclusion after reading Scott Adam's new book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.
Adams notes that "If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction." There's no permanence with it, plus opportunities can come from anywhere and make old goals irrelevant. Or perhaps, the goal will be too stifling to let you take advantage of that opportunity.
Instead he uses and I recommend as well, systems. Here's one example I describe,
"He must go to the gym each day. Now notice, I didn’t say he must work out each day, he just must show up at the gym. If he can’t handle it that day, he can just leave. But usually, just walking in is enough."
And there are many more such examples. I highly recommend adopting this mindset.
Check it out!
New BiggerPockets Article: How to Motivate Yourself and Others With an Internal Locus of Control
My new post is up at BiggerPockets.com on the difference between those who use an external locus of control (things just happen to me) versus those who use an internal locus of control (I control my life). Not surprisingly, those with an internal locus of control do much better at just about everything.
Also, this is not an unalterable state. You can improve the way you look at the world. As I note,
"it’s essential to remove the idea that your life is dictated by forces outside of your control. Of course, to one degree or another, it is. But there is plenty that we can control. Perhaps hard work, perseverance, and a thirst for knowledge will lead one unlucky person to become a millionaire, while the lucky one becomes a billionaire. But you know what? Being a millionaire isn’t that bad"
There's also a major point regarding choice. This is especially true with employees and subordinates. You give them a choice and that incentivizes them to use an internal instead of an external locus of control. You should structure your business and how you manage subordinates to take advantage of this fact if you want highly productive employees.
I go into this much more in the article. Check it out!
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM