Teaming with Hate

That film clip sticks in my head. It’s from the 1970s – seems they did an awful lot of odd experiments on kids then – and it involved puppets. The kids would giggle and enjoy watching one of two puppets get their heads bashed over and over. They would have empathy for the other puppet. It depended on whether the puppets liked the same kind of food as the they did.

I think we get better at justifying this to ourselves, but I think the basic impulse doesn’t change over time. Disagreement over what is good and bad on any scale feels like an attack. Probably because it sometimes results in an attack.

I was – and am – sad that our national curriculum took out the phrase about tolerance for other people’s values and replaced it with the ability to see what we have in common.

Maybe the weirdest response when someone says they didn’t like something is, “Can you do better?” And among the erudite, defense of an opinion often involves pulling in the opinions of long-dead people to be on your side.

A random phrase in agreement will garner a slew of flattery.

There’s that.

In the best of settings, a kind of dolphin training. Ignore what’s undesired, reward what you want more of.

I just learned that “teaming” is a jargon verb now. I think it is hilarious since the word teaming still conjures a school of fish in my mind’s eye.

This is related to what I am working on, by the way. The timer hasn’t gone off yet, but I am ready to get back to the writing. That’s a good sign. And if you agree, I am going to take that at face value, not look for ironic insults, and offer you a cookie.

The kind I like.


%d bloggers like this: