Here’s a couple things for you to read:
Three years ago, one of the strangest criminal cases in recent memory began in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I live, when a young woman sent a series of text messages telling her boyfriend that a man had abducted her, followed by a series of texts, allegedly from her captor, taunting her boyfriend with threats of sexual violence. Her story was strange, and the case was fraught with complications from the get-go, but the accused ended up in prison long after the doubts outweighed the evidence.
I love a good rant:
I objected to the Huffington Post’s Decidery Decision to put Trump on in the Entertainment section for the same reason I object to the media’s embargo of the Planned Parenthood story:
It is an attempt to win an argument without having an argument, an attempt to win what should be a contest of competing ideas by use of processes that have nothing to do with the intellect.
Human beings are pack mammals. There are various ways to get a human being to claim agreement with your way of thinking. Excluding the more physical ways, such as simply beating that human being with the thigh-bone of an auroch until he rolls into the fetal position of surrender, here are the two main socio-intellectual ways to convince someone of something:
1. You can have an honest discussion with him, conducted on an intellectual, not emotional, not social, plane, in which you both offer your ideas and your best possible arguments for them. While such discussions rarely change minds, when they do change minds, they change them honestly and purely, by reason, by force of logic, by persuasiveness.
2. You can run a series of social-hierarchy, social-shaming political games against the person you wish to convince; you can ostracize him, setting him away from the group, alone and afraid, to be ritually mocked by the group until his humiliation and desire to end the torment of social pain compels him to confess a (coerced) agreement with you.
I’m not going to lie to anyone; #2 is more frequently effective than #1, if all you care about is pure outcome, and furthermore, #2 is very easy compared to #1, as #2 only requires that you have some allies you can convince to run the social shaming game on a target — the butt, the scapegoat– and it’s easy to convince people to do that, because people like being cruel.
#2 is by far the most common form of political tactic, and it is indeed political — just like any political campaign, it consists of designating a Hero (or Hero Position) and a Villain (anyone holding the Villain Position), and getting the most people to hoot and bray and jeer and spit at the other side.
You know when you’ve won when you get the most people on your side, or at least the most people willing to spit the most, and cow the other side into social submission.
There is a bunch more and you should read it.
When freeways go bad: