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Schoot shootings: what is the proximate cause?

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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27 May 2019 04:59
 
burt - 26 May 2019 06:23 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 26 May 2019 09:53 AM
burt - 26 May 2019 09:08 AM

From the Tomasello book: “The unique human form of executive regulation is social and/or normative self-regulation, in which the regulation is taking place from the perspective of others.” So perhaps when we talk about a failure of executive functioning the failure is loss of this perspective taking capacity. Is it possible that childhood development in the American social environment (in suburbs and small towns) somehow overloads empathetic capacities to the extent that they just shut down, turning some kids into vengeful psychopaths?

Elaborating on the idea in light of what’s been proposed elsewhere about a critical period for learning socialization/conflict resolution skills (invoked in this thread as well)…

Given the lack of free time for children to learn on their own how to resolve conflict among peers and thus develop the skill by putting it to use, we’re seeing the tail ends of the distribution of failure.  For note: peaceful, equitable conflict resolution requires “regulation taking place from the perspective of others.”  In coming to see the other side for oneself, one can moderate one’s own position; one can reach compromise.  Lack of practice in this area with real conflict absent resolving parental supervision means, at the tail ends, some kids will go to two potential extremes.  On the one hand, they shut down, introject, and self-negate—thus becoming severely depressed, especially young men (introverted anger leads to depressive symptoms in males, and suicide among young males is up 70%, I think).  On the other hand, they lash out and try to dominate the other side—thus becoming violent, with school shootings being the extreme form of violence.  So, I’m not sure about an overload of empathetic capacities as much as a failure of using them taking two forms, one where the subject ‘over-empathizes’ with the other at the expense of negating himself (depression, suicide) and the other with a complete lack of empathy and an urge to dominate (violence, school shootings).  The data—that there is a rise in both suicides and shooters along with a decline in free play time fits—this model.  What we are seeing with the rise of extreme depression (and depression generally) and extreme violence is a failure of regulation taking place from the perspective of others.  Ultimately, this incorporating others is what self-regulation involves.

I would like to see data on bullying and fights generally.  The depression data is always out there, and depression (and suicide) among young males has been on the rise for decades, with a big spike around 2012, I think…

(It is possible that this distribution is not symmetric, meaning more will be depressed than violent.  In fact, I suspect this is the case.)

That could go with Baron-Cohen’s theory that autism and psychopathology are two extremes of an empathy spectrum. As I recall, he posits that empathy has two factors: (1) the emotional ability to feel others emotions; (2) the cognitive ability to understand others feelings. People who have a failing with (1) have psychopathic tendencies, they can cognitively understand others emotions intellectually, but have no emotional connection and use their intellectual understanding to manipulate others. Those with a failing in (2) feel the emotions of others, but have little or no cognitive structures to understand them.

Yes, I think the two ideas are related.  In depression/suicide we’d have an overload of emotion without the cognitive resources channeling and directing it, whereas in violence/murder we’d have the the cognitive resources directing behavior at the exclusion of the emotional rapport.  So yes, I think: both depression/suicide and violence/murder could represent a spectrum of the failure of one component of empathy.  In this case it would most likely involve navigating the relations with one’s peers, especially when it comes to conflict.

The full blown rampage shooters like Klebold and Harris would probably be a different animal altogether, though.  They are more like violent sociopaths getting an early start than a failure attributable to external causes…

 

[ Edited: 27 May 2019 06:00 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 May 2019 06:01
 
burt - 26 May 2019 06:23 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 26 May 2019 09:53 AM
burt - 26 May 2019 09:08 AM

From the Tomasello book: “The unique human form of executive regulation is social and/or normative self-regulation, in which the regulation is taking place from the perspective of others.” So perhaps when we talk about a failure of executive functioning the failure is loss of this perspective taking capacity. Is it possible that childhood development in the American social environment (in suburbs and small towns) somehow overloads empathetic capacities to the extent that they just shut down, turning some kids into vengeful psychopaths?

Elaborating on the idea in light of what’s been proposed elsewhere about a critical period for learning socialization/conflict resolution skills (invoked in this thread as well)…

Given the lack of free time for children to learn on their own how to resolve conflict among peers and thus develop the skill by putting it to use, we’re seeing the tail ends of the distribution of failure.  For note: peaceful, equitable conflict resolution requires “regulation taking place from the perspective of others.”  In coming to see the other side for oneself, one can moderate one’s own position; one can reach compromise.  Lack of practice in this area with real conflict absent resolving parental supervision means, at the tail ends, some kids will go to two potential extremes.  On the one hand, they shut down, introject, and self-negate—thus becoming severely depressed, especially young men (introverted anger leads to depressive symptoms in males, and suicide among young males is up 70%, I think).  On the other hand, they lash out and try to dominate the other side—thus becoming violent, with school shootings being the extreme form of violence.  So, I’m not sure about an overload of empathetic capacities as much as a failure of using them taking two forms, one where the subject ‘over-empathizes’ with the other at the expense of negating himself (depression, suicide) and the other with a complete lack of empathy and an urge to dominate (violence, school shootings).  The data—that there is a rise in both suicides and shooters along with a decline in free play time fits—this model.  What we are seeing with the rise of extreme depression (and depression generally) and extreme violence is a failure of regulation taking place from the perspective of others.  Ultimately, this incorporating others is what self-regulation involves.

I would like to see data on bullying and fights generally.  The depression data is always out there, and depression (and suicide) among young males has been on the rise for decades, with a big spike around 2012, I think…

(It is possible that this distribution is not symmetric, meaning more will be depressed than violent.  In fact, I suspect this is the case.)

That could go with Baron-Cohen’s theory that autism and psychopathology are two extremes of an empathy spectrum. As I recall, he posits that empathy has two factors: (1) the emotional ability to feel others emotions; (2) the cognitive ability to understand others feelings. People who have a failing with (1) have psychopathic tendencies, they can cognitively understand others emotions intellectually, but have no emotional connection and use their intellectual understanding to manipulate others. Those with a failing in (2) feel the emotions of others, but have little or no cognitive structures to understand them.

Burt, are you saying that autism and psychopathy in some way represent opposite poles? I’m not following you. Also, do you know where Baron-Cohen discusses his take on these things?

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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27 May 2019 08:52
 
nonverbal - 27 May 2019 06:01 AM
burt - 26 May 2019 06:23 PM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 26 May 2019 09:53 AM
burt - 26 May 2019 09:08 AM

From the Tomasello book: “The unique human form of executive regulation is social and/or normative self-regulation, in which the regulation is taking place from the perspective of others.” So perhaps when we talk about a failure of executive functioning the failure is loss of this perspective taking capacity. Is it possible that childhood development in the American social environment (in suburbs and small towns) somehow overloads empathetic capacities to the extent that they just shut down, turning some kids into vengeful psychopaths?

Elaborating on the idea in light of what’s been proposed elsewhere about a critical period for learning socialization/conflict resolution skills (invoked in this thread as well)…

Given the lack of free time for children to learn on their own how to resolve conflict among peers and thus develop the skill by putting it to use, we’re seeing the tail ends of the distribution of failure.  For note: peaceful, equitable conflict resolution requires “regulation taking place from the perspective of others.”  In coming to see the other side for oneself, one can moderate one’s own position; one can reach compromise.  Lack of practice in this area with real conflict absent resolving parental supervision means, at the tail ends, some kids will go to two potential extremes.  On the one hand, they shut down, introject, and self-negate—thus becoming severely depressed, especially young men (introverted anger leads to depressive symptoms in males, and suicide among young males is up 70%, I think).  On the other hand, they lash out and try to dominate the other side—thus becoming violent, with school shootings being the extreme form of violence.  So, I’m not sure about an overload of empathetic capacities as much as a failure of using them taking two forms, one where the subject ‘over-empathizes’ with the other at the expense of negating himself (depression, suicide) and the other with a complete lack of empathy and an urge to dominate (violence, school shootings).  The data—that there is a rise in both suicides and shooters along with a decline in free play time fits—this model.  What we are seeing with the rise of extreme depression (and depression generally) and extreme violence is a failure of regulation taking place from the perspective of others.  Ultimately, this incorporating others is what self-regulation involves.

I would like to see data on bullying and fights generally.  The depression data is always out there, and depression (and suicide) among young males has been on the rise for decades, with a big spike around 2012, I think…

(It is possible that this distribution is not symmetric, meaning more will be depressed than violent.  In fact, I suspect this is the case.)

That could go with Baron-Cohen’s theory that autism and psychopathology are two extremes of an empathy spectrum. As I recall, he posits that empathy has two factors: (1) the emotional ability to feel others emotions; (2) the cognitive ability to understand others feelings. People who have a failing with (1) have psychopathic tendencies, they can cognitively understand others emotions intellectually, but have no emotional connection and use their intellectual understanding to manipulate others. Those with a failing in (2) feel the emotions of others, but have little or no cognitive structures to understand them.

Burt, are you saying that autism and psychopathy in some way represent opposite poles? I’m not following you. Also, do you know where Baron-Cohen discusses his take on these things?

I head this at a conference presentation he made in 2012. Made notes on it, but didn’t follow up. But the idea was not quite opposite poles. Rather that normal involved the collaborative functioning of two different systems (emotional, cognitive) so that pathology occurred when one of the systems failed.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 May 2019 09:34
 

Yes, systemizers and empathizers employ distinct—perhaps opposite—approaches to learning, especially if only those two approaches are available. Part of the problem with forum writing is that our words get automatically “corrected” all the time, so we never really know whether someone intends to say “psychopathy” or “psychopathology.”

 
 
unsmoked
 
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28 May 2019 14:13
 
no_profundia - 19 May 2019 11:32 AM

I think it would be far more effective to have a government agency that was devoted to overseeing the manufacture of guns and imposing safety standards on guns the way we do with toys, food, drugs and all sorts of other things - and the agency could also sponsor studies of gun violence. It is bizarre to me that guns have constituted an exception in this regard. I have trouble imagining what principle someone could have for supporting an agency that makes sure toys are safe but opposing one for guns.

For example, imagine an electric rocking horse that has a speed dial on it.  By turning the dial the child can go from a gentle rocking motion to ‘Bucking Bronco’ in which he or she gets thrown across the room and dashed against the wall.  No government regulation?

The Second Amendment was written in 1791.  Since then the dial on guns has been turned up until you can now shoot hundreds of rounds per minute.  When gun manufacturers develop barrels that don’t melt, will the government make it illegal to own assault rifles that ‘spray’ 1000 rounds per minute?  400 rounds per minute will still be legal?

We’re talking about weapons of mass murder in the hands of a species that has a widespread penchant for horror.

penchant - noun

a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something.

synonyms:  liking, fondness, preference, taste, relish, appetite, partiality, soft spot, love, passion, desire, fancy, whim, weakness, inclination, bent, bias, proclivity, predilection, predisposition, affinity

Trailer for ‘HITCHCOCK’ (2012) starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odn-Z0bpmrs

 

 

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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01 June 2019 11:15
 

Is there a difference between mass shootings like Las Vegas, where it takes place in a general venue, and shootings that take place in a bounded venue such as with schools and workplaces? And what sort of similarities and differences are there between school shootings and workplace shootings?

 
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