Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to scifidink@gmail.com)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unexplainable.

It is hard to even come up with a reasonable account for such behavior. I would be interested in the thoughts of others as to the opinions offered in the article. I will say the Chinese take little time in handing out punishment. I found it interesting they make mention of all the people in China with "mental health disorders" but in the next paragraph make mention that there was "no history of mental illness" in the executed murderer. Why even mention "mental health disorders"?What horror.

20 comments:

JP said...

I suppose that at any given time, certain cultures will mass produce certain types of evil craziness where anger is externalized in particulary disgusting ways. Once you have a template, it's easy to get repeats.

America got the Columbine-style repeats.

China gets these "slaughter young children" repeats.

With a world full of billions of people, unfortunately, you are going to get this type of behavior from time to time.

There's no good way to eliminate serial killers and psychopaths.

Thai said...

Yuck!

Is it really worth understanding why? I suppose it probably is but I think it will have to be someone besides me.

Agree JP

I like the idea of cultural template and copy-cat, etc...

Dr John said...

I think it would be worth understanding why in hopes that it could be prevented but I do not think this is ever going to be a realistic expectation as JP points out.

I think there is something distinctly different behind the kind of pathology it takes to go into a school and shoot unarmed peers, who you may believe have ostracized and bullied you vs. going into a pre-school with a butcher knife and stabbing 4 y/o kids who you have no relation to in any way shape or form.

Dink said...

A while back we contemplated whether thought caused emotion or vice versa. Something to do with David Hume...

Anyway, this horrible event in China got me thinking about emotion. There really aren't that many emotions; we've all probably felt all of them by junior high.

But the twisted cognition that triggered the emotion and the twisted cognition that then responded to the emotion by creating his behavior... a complete freaking disaster. Upsetting.

JP said...

I don't think you can actually understand (or should you really want to understand) "why".

You can only really figure out whether you can prevent it before it happens.

Dr. John says:

"I think there is something distinctly different behind the kind of pathology it takes to go into a school and shoot unarmed peers, who you may believe have ostracized and bullied you vs. going into a pre-school with a butcher knife and stabbing 4 y/o kids who you have no relation to in any way shape or form."

I think the Columbine killers were more psychopathic.

The Columbine attacks were far more planned with respect to the intent to kill. They wanted to be mass murders and they were quite successful.

It's not hard to kill 4 year old kids with a large knife if that is your goal. In this article, he didn't actually kill them. He just stabbed everybody and sent a bunch into intensive care. Much more rage against the defenseless, but seemingly much less in the way of intent to actually succeed in killing.

Perhaps we need better screeing for psychopaths.

People going postal seems much harder to predict. Some people will just crack under chronic severe stress, particulary if they have severe trauma in their past.

JP said...

Dink says:

"Anyway, this horrible event in China got me thinking about emotion. There really aren't that many emotions; we've all probably felt all of them by junior high."

Emotions contain information and some emotional combinations are more subtle than others. Subtle emotions contain subtle information.

I don't think you can make proper decisions without emotions. I recall reading recenlty the problems caused in certain brain disorders where emotions were stripped out of the equation and the people themselves basically were no longer able to really function.

Dr John said...

"I recall reading recenlty the problems caused in certain brain disorders where emotions were stripped out of the equation and the people themselves basically were no longer able to really function."
Spock seems to do ok.

I would agree we need emotions but the problem is we have way too much of them in general.

I am not sure we have an agreed upon definition of "psychopathic". I would disagree that planning for fame in the act of an atrocity signifies a greater level of psychopathy. It designates a different kind. I would say that a desire to reap such carnage on children is to me more debase and less human. Somehow it seems so contrary to what appears to be an instinctual protective response most have towards children. That is what makes such an act hard to fathom.

JP said...

Dr. John says:

" I would disagree that planning for fame in the act of an atrocity signifies a greater level of psychopathy. It designates a different kind. I would say that a desire to reap such carnage on children is to me more debase and less human. Somehow it seems so contrary to what appears to be an instinctual protective response most have towards children. That is what makes such an act hard to fathom."

I see your point.

The entire assault on random children seems much more fundamentally incoherent and chaotic than acting out a preplanned slaughter fantasy against your classmates.

JP said...

I remember some show I saw a few years ago where someone was trying to articulate a difference between the various degress of evil/psycopathy in various mass murder/violent types.

I wish I could remember where I saw that show. It seemed like he was trying to draw lines where no lines could really be drawn.

At some point you just pass the "Charles Manson" line at which point society recognizes that "this person needs to be put into prison for the rest of their lives and/or executed".

JP said...

Would psychiatric hospitalization be of any benefit for somebody like this Chinese knife attacker?

Thai said...

Re: hospitalizing Chinese killers

No, and even if it did, you'd need to examine coat/benefit vs. any other way money used such as better road safety

Dr John said...

I agree Thai. It makes me ill how we have medicalised such behaviors. Psychiatry has no understanding of such evil nor any treatment yet it does not prevent the group as a whole in attempting to lay claim to some kind of explanatory pseudo-expertise.Sexual offenders are a wonderful example. There is no compelling evidence TX of any kind works. Psychiatry treats almost nothing effectively. Certainly not killers of childern.

The entire field of forensic psychiatry makes me sick. I have little interest in speculative explanations of wrong doing. I only care about just punishment. My psychiatric unit has become a Holiday Inn for law breakers. The police support this nonsense and often tell people "you can go to jail or the hospital". This is why the bubble is growing and will burst.

Dr John said...

Also JP you get my point exactly. No doubt those two boys at Columbine were twisted but who of us has not fantasized about taking out our oppressors in a burst of glorious gunfire from our searing hot Uzi or raining down Ninja style death blows to our enemies in payback for our perceived slights? Ok maybe just me.

Anyway it takes an especially perverse mind to slaughter innocent children.

Thai said...

"Anyway it takes an especially perverse mind to slaughter innocent children."

Agreed.

My wife used to be absolutely fascinated by the mind of "evil". Though I have not noticed as much interest in this topic in years, she used to devour books on serial killers like Ted Bundy, etc...

I've always had a hard time with this fascination. From my perspective these people simply need to cease to exist and as they have done so much damage, as long as there is not a significant deterioration in the rate of convicting the innocent (which is a important issue to me), then the cheaper the better.

If death penalty is cheaper, fry them. If it is more expensive then keep them behind bars.

The situation is bad enough without having to compromise elementary school budgets in order to appease someone else's sense of cosmic justice.

PS- I'm not "pro" death penalty as the idea of harming people is not very appealing to me. I'm pro "get them out of the system"- period. Punishment is not my issue, I just don't want these people around. Punishment really seems more for someone we are trying to rehabilitate and bring back into the system.

Whatever fractal combinatoricsof neural cell clusters and environmental factors has led to this, it is simply outside the boundaries of my system.

Dink said...

"But will they really pay all the damages given the negative externalities of dead wildlife, habitat destruction, loss of property values from oil on the beaches, etc. I mean, the losses are just going to be staggering.

If I keep this up, I am going to get all doomerish on everyone. I am already depressed enough."


I'm sitting on the barstool next to you sobbing into my own beer, Okie.

This oil spill is going to be horrific. A lot of animals, through no fault of their own, are going to suffer. Joyful animals like dolphins and seals. But the real heartwrencher for me is the otters. The cute litte bastards are just so playful and enthusiastic.

So I've been following links to see how I could help the otters, but there isn't infrastructure yet. The seabird people have gotten some stuff set up, but I get the impression that no one is quite sure what to do yet.

So do I drive to the Gulf in the RV and catch some otters? They're fast and slippery. I'll need a trailer full of clams to keep them fed. Once I get them home I only have three bathtubs. Will the local rivers be too cold? The complexity is paralyzing me. Maybe the magic of youth (and the bliss of ignorance) is being only able to see simplicity and therefore able to dream and act without limit. Of course, disillusionment will come to them fast enough.

I swear I may lose it and go get some gulf river otters; regardless of the cost.

Thai said...

Dink, you put this on SRCS

I don't think Okie is reading this thread. He is in the jungle right now.

And agreed, the pictures are tragic.

Dr John said...

Thai I swear I had a post asking for a fractal explanation of all this but did not think there was any way to ask without coming off as a smart ass and you go and give me a link anyway, without me asking. Hysterical.

Thai said...

Oh, go ahead and be a smart ass. ;-)

There are cruel smart asses but I don't read any cruelty in your humor.

Thai said...

I'm not sure if you have seen any of these reports.

Not sure if they are true or not but either way it is really really sad

Dr John said...

I did not see that. i am never sure what to make of such statistics and wonder how they relate to poverty or economic issues in other perhaps poorer cultures.

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