Tarred and feathered – public shaming

We learn about a litany of human debasement. Ever hear that false accusations are never made against men? Listen to the second story from 10:12 to 28:00 (18 minutes)

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/play_full.php?play=522

Gene Cooley had just suffered a huge tragedy, and he was trying to move on. But suddenly anonymous posters started saying horrible things about him on a website called Topix. The horrible things weren’t true. But that didn’t stop the people in Gene’s small town — a town of just 600 people — from believing them. (18 minutes)http://www.thisamericanlife.org/play_full.php?play=522

The problem with this kind of behaviour is not only that such accusations are made of anyone, but that people, accept such things. I’ve heard evo-psyche arguments for why people gossip, and while they may or may not be true, I can attest to the fact that gossip, and the believing of it (worse yet, the acting upon it) is not a necessity. One can, if one chooses, to rely on facts, and to behave impartially, if we choose to.

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