Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Miscellany: Odds, Ends and Personals

Hello Monday.

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An email from Leo in response to the Omer Washington post “I’ve learned”:

Wonderful words Otto.

I fail miserably on a lot of them.

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From Tobye in response to the repost “How to create bureaucracy”:

May be an oldie but it’s a goodie-and sadly all too true.

Thanks, and have a great weekend! 

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From Arthur in response to the same repost, “How to create bureaucracy”:

Hi Otto

I remember some time ago, and I am sure you would know about it as well, that in the States a psychologist did an experiment with students, having some of them become criminals and some to be the guards. It got so bad with the guards belting the ones that were supposed to be criminals that the professor had to stop them. The monkeys reminded me of that. Have a good weekend Yiaosu. 


The experiment Arthur is referring to is known as The Stanford Prison Experiment.

This is what Wikipedia says about it:
The Stanford prison experiment (SPE) was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted at Stanford University on August 14–20, 1971, by a team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. It was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and was of interest to both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as an investigation into the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners. The experiment is a classic study on the psychology of imprisonment and is a topic covered in most introductory psychology textbooks. 
Twenty-four male students were selected, from an initial pool of seventy-five, to adopt randomly assigned roles of prisoner and guard, in a mock prison, situated in the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department building, for a period of between seven and fourteen days. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond Zimbardo's expectations, as the guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, at the request of the guards, readily harassed other prisoners who attempted to prevent it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his role as the superintendent, permitted the abuse to continue. Two of the prisoners quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days, to an extent because of the objections of Christina Maslach. Certain portions of the experiment were filmed, and excerpts of footage are publicly available.

More about this in a future Bytes.

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A Monday item for those who may not have seen it on news sites last week.

11th grader Chanie Gorkin was set an assignment by her school, the Beth Rivkah High School in Crown Heights NY, to write about her worst day ever. She did so and then posted it on From there it was posted by various people, eventually going viral after someone saw it pinned on a wall.

Here is the pic of the poem on the wall:

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