That hypothesis more or less amounts to the idea that humans who would be nicer to each other in person might feel more inclined to get nasty when interacting with other pseudonymous internet users. The researchers found little evidence for that.
Instead, their data pointed to online interactions largely mirroring offline behavior, with people predisposed to aggressive, status-seeking behavior just as unpleasant in person as behind a veil of online anonymity, and choosing to be jerks as part of a deliberate strategy rather than as a consequence of the format involved. They also found some evidence that less hostile people simply aren't as interested in talking about politics on the internet. [...]
One study [...] found that the most aggressive online trolls may tend to be high in cognitive empathy, which allows them to identify when they're pushing someone else's buttons, but low in affective empathy, enabling them to avoid feeling bad or internalizing the suffering they cause. [...] as platforms have "optimized for connectedness, they have negligently optimized for the growth of mob-like communities connecting around noxious yet identity-defining goals." [...]
Bor told Engineering & Technology that the results supported stricter enforcement of rules against hate speech, as it is "not born out of ignorance" and aggressive people are fully aware of how disruptive and harmful their actions are.
Among the things that I find incomprehensible about this incomprehensible, interminable shitshow are:
- We all know that the Republicans enthusiastically embrace any number of immoral electoral strategies (gerrymandering, voter suppression, the filibuster, the electoral college, etc.) and would certainly straight-up murder people to hold on to power. But what is the strategy in murdering their own voters? How does that play out? Does it mean that they've already completely given up on the idea of needing elections to stay in office?
Most in hospitals and on morgue slabs are unvaccinated. So what are we in for? Dr. Jonathan Reiner extrapolates from a new NBC poll: "Only 50% of Trump voters are vaccinated. There were 74 million votes for Trump, so 37 million Trump voters are unvaccinated."
- I know that cries of, "But if it saves just one child, won't it have been worth it?" have always been disingenuous bullshit in service of all manner of repression, but it still seems just so very off brand for parents, local governments, and school boards to double down on trying to murder their children just as quickly as possible.
I get that Zoom sucks, and missing school is not great. But you know what else has lifelong consequences on learning? Your kid choking to death on their own phlegm.
If you're choosing to pack your unvaccinated children together in person instead of just waiting 4 months until they can be vaccinated, you must really, really hate them. Put a checkmark in the "NOT DEAD" column and take the win.
But most people seem to think that if the choice is between "no school for 4 months" and "dead kids", their hands are super tied, and, aw shucks, dead kids it is. Nothing to be done.
- Allowing any exceptions to "proof of vaccination", particularly negative tests, is, has been, and remains insane. Delta is infectious many days before becoming symptomatic, so the fact that you had a negative test 3 days ago means exactly fuck-all.
Any time a policy says "vax required, OR..." what they are saying is, "everyone must behave responsibly, unless it mildly inconveniences them in some way".
As for the tiny percentage of people who have real medical reasons that they can't be vaccinated -- guess what pal, you don't get to be a front-line worker or eat out at restaurants! You should not be allowed around patients, or students, or customers. Yeah, sucks for you. The rest of us already had to stay inside for 18 months, and for you, it's longer. The virus does not care about your pre-existing condition, or your inconvenience, or about making the pandemic more "inclusive" for you. It is a machine, and it will reprogram your cells to murder your family.
But the religious exemption is so obviously koo-koo krazypants that where do you even start? I, for one, would really like to hear about what qualifies as a religious exemption, how it is verified, and how many are being granted:
A data breach of records from California State University, Chico were dropped on a message board revealing an assortment of selfish jerks who filed requests for religious exemption from the school's vaccine requirement. It also revealed instructions on how to lie. "Students who stated they believed in healing through prayer were approved for exemption, and many referred to their bodies as a temple."
- Finally, nature is healing:
Covid has killed more US police officers in 2020 and 2021 than all other causes combined. "By the end of this pandemic, it is very likely covid will surpass 9/11 as the single largest incident cause of death for law enforcement officers," said Chris Cosgriff / ODMP. This week police in Chicago, New York, San Jose, and other locations around the US have vowed to fight against vaccine mandates. Fire them all and enjoy a payroll reset.