Mass hysteria

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Lance Kennedy
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Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:30 pm

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_hysteria

Mass hysteria is a reality. People have been shown many times doing something irrational as a mass. The reference above has lots of examples. The most recent has been the evil clown hysteria of a year ago. I suspect that mass religious conversions can be regarded in the same light.

The one I am wondering about right now is Hollywood sexual molestation and rapes. This all began when it turned out that Weinstein had a history of molesting women. We all know of the casting couch. It is also true that men in positions of power, status and wealth are attractive to young women and may end up engaging in lots of sex. Charlie Sheen in an interview boasted of having sex with 5,000 different women.

So it began with a nasty bastard being shown up as a sex molester. But it has gone a lot further than that, and we now see Hollywood men being accused of illicit sexual activities in large numbers. I see that moron junior (Trump junior) is now having a go at George Takei for supposed sexual molestation of males. There are now literally dozens of women accusing various men of rape.

I am not suggesting the accusers are lying. The characteristic of mass hysteria is that the people involved are quite sincere. Just mistaken.

I also wonder about accusations of rape against people in high positions. Not only do they have more to lose when outed, but they have no need to rape anyone. They have, like Charlie Sheen, sex pretty much for the asking.

The "Me Too " movement is now well under way. While it is probably healthy for guys who molest women to be outed, the sheer numbers involved have me wondering if all those accusations are real. A lot of them are of events that happened years or decades ago. Human memory being what it is, many are likely to be distorted in the detail after all that time.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:04 pm

Penguins on an ice float: they all wait around for someone else to jump in.
When the first penguin comes back with a fish instead of being eaten by an orca, they all jump in.

In the case of Hollywood, it isn't hard to believe that people in power have taken sexual advantage of hopeful newcomers ever since the inception of the place. There is also little doubt that up until now there was almost never any consequence for such behaviour.

What we have to keep in mind is that sexual harassment usually has no consequence unless it happens within a company and the company hasn't done enough to alleviate the problem: it's the company, not the harasser who is being sued.
No doubt this can be very lucrative (see O'Reilly), but only if there is a chance to convince the public (and with that a potential jury) of the problem.
Current laws are pretty good at separating one-time bad behavior and stupid jokes from actual harassment, so the only problem I see is with the courts getting swamped with cases, not with a with hunt against anyone who complimented a women on her outfit.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Poodle » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:33 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:... it isn't hard to believe that people in power have taken sexual advantage of hopeful newcomers ...

Nor, I would wonder, is it hard to believe that hopeful newcomers have allowed such advantage to be taken. I don't know. I'm just amazed by the oft-seen pirhana reaction to someone's downfall. I'm not suggesting that sexual pressure is not exerted upon newbies - but neither I nor the newbies could hope to get away with a claim of complete ignorance and subsequent innocence.
Just my two penn'orth.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:42 pm

It isn`t just the entertainment industry, or politicians… but wherever men (and maybe even women) are in a position of power with another person in a position of need.

At the Japan subsidiary of a US headquartered financial institution, our new director of HR insisted on personally `training`newly hired executive secretary employees – and chose a hotel restaurant to do so. His explanation was that the secretaries would sometimes be required to setup and even join in meals with senior people and clients. From there, he would take the women to a rented room to `check it out` and instruct her on the room grade appropriate for executives, since they would need to make those arrangements.

Within a year or so, maybe ten of these new employees didn`t finish their probation periods, and finally one went to the subsidiary president and told her story instead of quitting. Upon investigation it was consistent with those who had quit. Once in the hotel rooms he would grope and attempt to have sex. Of course he was immediately fired and we later learned that he had been fired from prior companies too – even though they had given good references.

My take in general, is that this type of behavior is widespread, well hidden, and rarely comes to light.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:59 pm

The big problem here is judging evidence.

There is a very strong tendency to give 100% of the sympathy to the accuser. That is understandable since, if the accusation is correct, the accused is a 24 carat arsehole. But the judge/jury needs to be very sure. It is so easy to find the person who lacks the sympathy guilty. This is especially the case if the accuser is sincere, even if wrong.

A couple decades back, the world went through the 'recovered memory syndrome ' fiasco. A moron (well meaning, but still a moron ) counsellor or psychologist, would have a patient with problems such as anxiety. The moron would assume the problems were caused by sexual molestation or rape, even though there was no memory of such events. The moron would interrogate the patient until she "remembered " the incidents of molestation or rape. This was all based on a false model called repressed memory , in which it was believed that traumatic memories would be repressed so that tbe victim would not have to deal with them. It was total, unmitigated bull-shit, but widely believed. The true name should have been fictional memory syndrome. A number of innocent men were locked up for sex crimes they never committed, and some have never been declared innocent to this day.

Mass hysteria, and false memory of long ago events could easily result in the same.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:04 am

I`d still be very careful in labeling this current series of accusations as hysteria, politically motivated, or gold digging. And apart from multiple accusations, I`d be surprised if much evidence can be found, for or against - such being the nature of crimes committed so long ago.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:48 am

Poodle wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:... it isn't hard to believe that people in power have taken sexual advantage of hopeful newcomers ...

Nor, I would wonder, is it hard to believe that hopeful newcomers have allowed such advantage to be taken. I don't know. I'm just amazed by the oft-seen pirhana reaction to someone's downfall. I'm not suggesting that sexual pressure is not exerted upon newbies - but neither I nor the newbies could hope to get away with a claim of complete ignorance and subsequent innocence.
Just my two penn'orth.



It's a question of power-imbalance: newcomers cannot be allowed to use sex as a bargaining tool, just like grownups cannot be allowed affairs with minors (unless married), no matter how much the minor wants to.

Yes, this might totally suck in individual cases when both parties could just have fun and walk away from it, but his the chances of abuse are so high, this cannot be allowed without clear proof of consent.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:58 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The big problem here is judging evidence.


There is a difference between the courts and the court of public opinion: yes, unjustified accusations can destroy careers and costs elections. But the justice system has learned from the mistake of the "Devil Worship human sacrifice" stories in the past.
Companies will protect their reputation and money against unsubstantiated accusations and will not shy away from lawsuits they know will exonerate them.
A pure "he/she said etc." is not enough for a conviction.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:25 pm

TJrandom wrote:I`d still be very careful in labeling this current series of accusations as hysteria, politically motivated, or gold digging. And apart from multiple accusations, I`d be surprised if much evidence can be found, for or against - such being the nature of crimes committed so long ago.


The lack of evidence is the problem, TJ.
Plus the fact that human memory over a period of years or decades gets distorted, sometimes to the point of total fiction. This has been clearly demonstrated by formal research.

Here is a scenario.
A young and good looking woman gets seduced by a Hollywood actor or executive. She is not totally happy about it, but it is still consensual. Over time, she broods on the memory, feeling bad about it. The memory changes, which is a very normal thing. Then she sees someone else accusing that actor or executive of rape, and she says " I was also raped." Even though that is not what happened. So she adds her testimony to the rape accusers. She is not lying. She truly believes that is what happened.

I am not talking of anything that is weird or unlikely. This memory alteration is happening all the time, though people do not know it. That is why simple testimony is not enough, and confirming evidence really is needed. If a person is raped and reports it immediately, that is one thing. If the report happens years or decades later, the testimony is very, very unreliable and could be total fiction, even though the woman giving that testimony is quite sincere.

If you then apply the principle of 'beyond reasonable doubt ' , how do you get a conviction that is fair ?

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:30 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: ... If you then apply the principle of 'beyond reasonable doubt ' , how do you get a conviction that is fair ?


Indeed. When all a perp needs to do is deny, how do you get a conviction that is fair?

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Cadmusteeth » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:08 pm

With nothing else to convict him with that's where it stops. An unfortunate reality but that's how it is.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:39 am

Cadmusteeth wrote:With nothing else to convict him with that's where it stops. An unfortunate reality but that's how it is.

Its an unfortunate reality when the accusation is true. Its a fortunate reality when the accusation is false.

Question: is reality fortunate or not?
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Cadmusteeth » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:36 am

Point taken

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:54 am

One of my earliest short stories was about a world in which a lie caused a person to be struck by lightning. The story was about how some people simply told the truth while others tried to lie by omission which you could do....but usually as they kept on talking.......they lied.

Life is like that.
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:05 am

It is always tricky when guilt devolves on one persons word against another. Even worse when the remembered offense is decades old. I am not sure that having more than one accuser makes it any more certain. Especially when we know that what one person says will influence others.

How many of those women accusing Bill Cosby of rape are simply misremembering a sexual encounter that was consensual at the time ?

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:49 am

Do you have a better word/concept than tricky?
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:27 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:It is always tricky when guilt devolves on one persons word against another. Even worse when the remembered offense is decades old. I am not sure that having more than one accuser makes it any more certain. Especially when we know that what one person says will influence others.

How many of those women accusing Bill Cosby of rape are simply misremembering a sexual encounter that was consensual at the time ?


How many Lance? You know, right? And while you are at it - how many are reporting actual predation?

It is easy to throw doubt and suggest that remembered means contrived or even false memory. But how do you want to deal with the women who never forgot, but instead relived the memory daily for so many years? Should the perp suffer a thousand cuts for a thousand days? Or should sexual predators simply get the benefit of doubt until they happen to be seen doing their worst - maybe by a handful of men, since of course only men could be trusted - on the 10th, 20th, 30th victim?

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 am

Exactly Right............I haven't seen a dogpile like this since the Salem Witch Trials........popular Religion, sports Teams.....political parties.......etc.

Why do liars like to form dog piles?

Regarding the Moore Five.........they all seem credible with no opposing evidence other than Moore's Denial
, and he is a Class A jerk. Still.......this IS POLITICS. So, I still look to his record: burn him as a witch and put a stake thru his heart............wait 30 days, dig him up and draw and quarter him. Put his head on a Pike. Its what god wants.
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Phoenix76 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:39 am

Without doubt, there are people in positions of power that take advantage of people trying to improve their position, i.e. young starlets hoping to make it big in Hollywood.

From my experience, most of these hopefuls acquiesce. So a roll in the hay gets them another step up the ladder to fame. Now that may sound very cynical, rather than me displaying a healthy skepticism, but if you doubt that, then your head is so far under the sand it's not funny.

Be assured, I do not condone these practices, and with the current cases being exposed in the media, I believe that people have gone way beyond the old roll in the hay for a leg up.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:32 pm

Eventually science should help for cases where there is only verbal evidence - when an accurate lie detector is built. I seem to recall a brain scan device attempting to do this – still in research, but with positive results. And also with significant doubt.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:58 pm

You missed the point, TJ, in suggesting a lie detector. No matter how good a detector might be, it cannot tell the difference between a statement made in the firm conviction that it is true when it is not, and a similar statement that really is true.

As I pointed out, this is about evidence, and testimony from a long time earlier is very, very unreliable evidence. Nor, due to the known reality of mass hysteria, is a number of people providing testimony necessarily more reliable. Beyond reasonable doubt is a high standard to meet.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:33 pm

TJrandom wrote:Eventually science should help for cases where there is only verbal evidence - when an accurate lie detector is built. I seem to recall a brain scan device attempting to do this – still in research, but with positive results. And also with significant doubt.

I thought mri imaging could tell the difference between a lie and the truth? different areas of the brain used in recall vs making things up. Very reliable.....just expensive. don't know if it goes to firmly believed made up stuff or actually recalled. I would think the distinction should still be present.........unless......the firmness of conviction comes from the wrong area of the brain acting up? Should be an app on our phones in 3-4 years.
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:13 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:You missed the point, TJ, in suggesting a lie detector. No matter how good a detector might be, it cannot tell the difference between a statement made in the firm conviction that it is true when it is not, and a similar statement that really is true.

As I pointed out, this is about evidence, and testimony from a long time earlier is very, very unreliable evidence. Nor, due to the known reality of mass hysteria, is a number of people providing testimony necessarily more reliable. Beyond reasonable doubt is a high standard to meet.


Actually, I did not miss that - but instead simply did not add it. In a `mass hysteria` case - even with just two people, if a device is ever determined to be accurate - testing two or more people should give a valid finding. The actual perp would lie, and would be found as such. If the victim lied, they too would be found as such. - covering the case of gold diggers or politics. Better yet - for the repeat perp - only the perp would lie and the rest as a group would be consistent as truthful.

The firmly believed but false conviction af an accuser would not show a lie but that result would be nullified by the `is not lying` result of the non-perp.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:54 am

So far, TJ, no lie detector exists that has the degree of accuracy you want. They can all be fooled and are.

Not that it matters. Courts have convicted innocent people ever since there were courts. The current situation with Hollywood shows all the hallmarks of mass hysteria, and I suspect some innocent guys will pay the price.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:49 am

Evidently, the article I read saying mri could tell lies from truth has not been verified. got to love the scientific process:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -detector/
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:41 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:So far, TJ, no lie detector exists that has the degree of accuracy you want. They can all be fooled and are.

Not that it matters. Courts have convicted innocent people ever since there were courts. The current situation with Hollywood shows all the hallmarks of mass hysteria, and I suspect some innocent guys will pay the price.


Yes - I know that. But some day, just possibly... And of course, some perps will get off free.

BTW - you don`t have a guilty conscious, do you? :twisted:

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:56 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Evidently, the article I read saying mri could tell lies from truth has not been verified. got to love the scientific process:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -detector/


Interesting article Bobbo, but the article itself admits to problems in its accuracy. The mention of card sharps etc really highlights the point that a lot more research and testing needs to be done. I've known people who can look you straight in the eye and lie to you, with not a flinch. And I very much doubt there would be any change in blood pressure in various areas of the brain. But, maybe in the future. There are many nefarious characters out there, very adept at lying.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:57 am

To TJ

You mean conscience, do you not ?

I told my religious friend that I admit to being a sinner, but only a very poor one. All my sins are trivial, and uninteresting. Nothing to attract the condemnation of those attacking Hollywood people on sexual offenses.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:42 am

mri is not about blood flow in the brain but rather about electrical activity. This misplaced reporting in the reputable article was offputting to me.......didn't read it twice to see if I got it wrong.

brief google: two types of mri and NOTHING about electricity which was the basis of my article read 2-3 years ago. Perhaps some other technology totally? I think its the same tech I see currently reported on that those same scientists can tell what you are thinking or maybe just what you are seeing? Heh, heh...... in a MATERIAL world, how could it not be? Only limitation being our knowledge and tools.
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:17 pm

the ones who are mistaken are the men who are perverts ...not the women...is it so difficult to keep your pants on?
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Sixth Woman Accuses George H.W. Bush of Groping - Mediaite



https://www.mediaite.com/.../sixth-woma ... ing-i-wa...


3 days ago - At least six women have now accused George H.W. Bush of sexual harassment — specifically, groping without consent — as Roslyn Corrigan ...
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:30 pm

Roy Moore Is Accused of Sexual Misconduct by a Fifth Woman - The ...



https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/us/p ... enate.html
3 days ago - WASHINGTON — An Alabama woman accused Roy S. Moore on Monday .... Gadsden, for bothering young women, a memory that many in the ...
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:32 pm

Old Vic receives 20 sex abuse claims against Kevin Spacey | Daily ...



www.dailymail.co.uk/.../Old-Vic-receive ... pacey.html
2 hours ago - Kevin Spacey has been accused of twenty incidents of sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour in the 11 years the Hollywood star was ...
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:21 pm

The last several posts simply support my idea. When the first accusations get lots of publicity, then the avalanche begins. This is the nature of mass hysteria.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:46 pm

gorgeous wrote:the ones who are mistaken are the men who are perverts ...not the women...is it so difficult to keep your pants on?


Very difficult to do when the panties are off... ;)

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby TJrandom » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:47 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:The last several posts simply support my idea. When the first accusations get lots of publicity, then the avalanche begins. This is the nature of mass hysteria.


Well, hysteria at least... :lol:

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:54 pm

TJ

There is, of course, no way to 'prove ' one way or another whether this tsunami of accusations is mass hysteria. But in the interests of justice, and "beyond reasonable doubt ", the possibility should be recognised.

It is all too easy to be judgmental and jump to conclusions of guilt when it may not be so.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:01 pm

not mass hysteria...just women telling what happened to them...uncomfortable truth...maybe the first time in human history...deal with it...
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:04 pm

at least some admit it Louis CK , too... Senator Al Franken Apologizes for Groping a Woman in 2006 - The ...



https://www.nytimes.com/.../al-franken- ... ssing.html
1 hour ago - A radio host said Al Franken, now a Democratic senator, forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, before he took office. He then apologized.
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.

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gorgeous
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Re: Mass hysteria

Postby gorgeous » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:11 pm

Former President George H. W. Bush has been accused of groping a woman while in office during a campaign event in 1992, bringing the number of accusers that say he has committed a similar act to seven.

The alleged victim, who remains anonymous, spoke to CNN and described the incident.
-------there are far worse tales regarding Bush jr and sr as well as other presidents. yet to come out....
Science Fundamentalism...is exactly what happens when there’s a significant, perceived ideological threat to one’s traditions and identity.


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