Chapter nine of Global Brain by Howard Bloom. 1st ed. Copyright 2000, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
"If anything, the behavioral circuitry of sadism seems a curse genetically prestamped into us" (82).
This chapter goes into detail on just what conformity enforcers are capable of. Our primate brethren will shun a pack member with a broken leg. A herring gull who calls for help is more often attacked by her own kind. Likewise, when one American child lost her mother in a car crash, her classmates suddenly kept a great distance from her. A Chinese university student told her classmates that her mother had died when she was young, and was made fun of ever after.
The Bantu of Africa hold a form of witch-hunt, where the Bantu gather in a circle, chanting softly, as the witch doctor goes from man to man, sniffing each. The person the witch doctor is sniffing when the chanting grows loudest is the witch. This man is killed, his houses burned, his family exterminated, and his possessions given to the village chief, with a few granted to the witch doctor, for the trouble. Not surprisingly, the "witches" are usually the less-than-popular members of the village.
This sort of behavior carries over into all areas of adult life. Scientists who pursue unusual theories, or make use of non-standard methodologies, find themselves shunned by their more conservative colleagues. This means no funding, no research, no job, and no future. Lots of good ideas get killed like this.
Back to chapter 8: Reality is a Shared Hallucination
On to chapter 10: Diversity Generators: The Huddle and the Squabble--Group Fission
Up to the Index.