HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Is America addicted to ou...

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 07:46 AM

 

Is America addicted to outrage?

My sister sent me this message in response to a DU post I sent her.

Here's the DU post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025425904
Okay I Get It. They Don't Give a Damn About Facts Because They Have The Power To Create Reality


Here's her reply ...

I think there's something even more unconscious and insidious going on: Outrage must stimulate something in the brain or why would people seek out news outlets and websites that stoke their outrage? It's not just the right, although the right has done a fabulous job of maximizing the effect to its benefit, even getting people to vote against their own self interest.

I don't see many Democratic politicians using outrage to stimulate their voters, but the rest of us are just as busy seeking out stuff that makes us foam at the mouth, and criticizing Dem. politicians for not doing their share of outrage stimulation.

Meantime, thoughtful engagement in learning what the problems are, how they began, how we might begin to solve them, is boring. It doesn't stimulate anything, it puts people to sleep.

So the end result the left seeks is left behind in a wake of stimulated outrage, and everybody loses: We just become further and further divided, government becomes non-functional and nothing changes.

I wish I knew how to stop this sick symbiosis, but it would require that everybody give up their addiction to the stimulation of outrage. That would require insight, self-reflection and a willingness to give up one's addiction to the stimulation of outrage for something that might actually do some good.

36 replies, 2000 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is America addicted to outrage? (Original post)
Scuba Aug 2014 OP
DetlefK Aug 2014 #1
snagglepuss Aug 2014 #11
bhikkhu Aug 2014 #15
Baitball Blogger Aug 2014 #2
handmade34 Aug 2014 #3
zeemike Aug 2014 #10
Puzzledtraveller Aug 2014 #4
PasadenaTrudy Aug 2014 #21
progressoid Aug 2014 #27
wyldwolf Aug 2014 #5
MsLeopard Aug 2014 #6
blkmusclmachine Aug 2014 #8
woo me with science Aug 2014 #16
L0oniX Aug 2014 #7
valerief Aug 2014 #9
Fred Sanders Aug 2014 #12
840high Aug 2014 #24
Fred Sanders Aug 2014 #25
ancianita Aug 2014 #13
KG Aug 2014 #14
Initech Aug 2014 #17
oldandhappy Aug 2014 #18
BlueEye Aug 2014 #19
Democrats_win Aug 2014 #29
BlueEye Aug 2014 #36
chrisa Aug 2014 #20
catrose Aug 2014 #23
catrose Aug 2014 #22
catrose Aug 2014 #30
fadedrose Aug 2014 #26
LiberalArkie Aug 2014 #28
hue Aug 2014 #31
KT2000 Aug 2014 #32
MisterP Aug 2014 #33
Throd Aug 2014 #34
Guy Whitey Corngood Aug 2014 #35

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:22 AM

1. Of course, but this is true for every human.

Of course humans are predisposed to outrage. Outrage is the mental state during conflict.

* The concept of flock/herd/tribe/nation only works when you can draw a difference between your group and another group, e.g. the territory where they live. But why is it necessary at all to be aware that the other group is "other"? Because they are competition. Being on the lookout for dangers is natural to humans.

* Pick a story. Any story. You have need a protagonist and an antagonist. The protagonist is the person from whose point of view you relive that story. And the antagonist is essentialy just an obstacle that keeps him from doing what he wants. The antagonist could be a villain, a force of nature, a lack of ressources/opportunities, an inherent weakness of the protagonist... Whatever it is, without an obstacle, the story is boring.
Example: "Homo erectus slays an antilope."
Protagonist: the hunter
Antagonist: the attribute "fast" of the antilope


We humans crave excitement, because being on the lookout was our natural state. Nowadays we have civilization. We don't have to flee from predators or to hunt prey. We sit all day and stare at computer-screens. But we still want that kick of being alert and alive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:20 AM

11. Very illuminating post especially the protagonist/antagonist angle.

Your other point about groups brings to mind my issues with identity politics namely that by promoting group/tribe/national identity, it encourages a Us versus Them mentality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:49 AM

15. Of course its a potential, but there are degrees

Plenty of people avoid conflict and just try to enjoy life and see the good in people. I try to understand another's perspective rather than become outraged by it.

(simplistic answer, but little time before work)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:35 AM

2. Outrage has its purpose in the political process.

Individuals are worth nothing in our society. Everything comes down to organized political groups. The only way to get the government's attention is to form very loud groups that can show that they have the power to stymie government projects. A perfect example is a master homeowners' Association that organizes its homeowners, using the common bond of outrage to control them. And it is surprising how easy it is to yield our voices to individuals who we presume to have louder voices than our own. Where the process is getting hijacked is that the local government leaders and the HOA leaders are often the same. If we observe carefully we can see the seams of this orchestration when they publicly announce their compromise. While leaders insist we're moving forward, what many of us come to learn is that behind closed doors our individual rights as homeowners were violated in ways that could never have happened unless the entire process were corrupt and damaged.

And guess what? When we figure out that we've been had, it produces more outrage. Only, individual outrage is worth nothing in our society.



I think to ask if America is addicted to outrage is belittling the problem. Without outrage there is nothing. You will not be able to motivate people to discuss political change without it. It exists because people have real problems that the current system is not addressing. If they were warm and happy in their private lives there would be no reason to even engage in "thoughtful discussions" on the internet.

Think of a game of tug-of-war between the left and the right. The only thing that stimulates change is outrage. We just need to be better at finding leaders who will not hijack our efforts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:39 AM

3. my feelings are that her assessment is wrong

the outrage comes from a REAL reaction to inequality, oppression, injustice, etc., that has never been resolved...

"I wish I knew how to stop this sick symbiosis"... *the sick symbiosis stops when at least one partner makes a serious change and up until now it has been the victim, the one suffering, that has been asked to make the change...

this will continue until the one in power makes the first step

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to handmade34 (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:15 AM

10. All three of the above posts are true.

But the important thing is that those who specialize in manipulation of public opinion use it as a tool...and that tool was sharpened long ago by Madison Avenue to sell us things.
And being connected to the tube makes it so easy to fill the mind with wants and a view of the world from birth to death.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:40 AM

4. yes

some people need to be pissed or incensed all the time it seems, it's an addiction. Personally I feel sorry for those people because to me they allow external events to actually physically effect them, and to color their reactions and thought processes. It's on display everywhere, it is toxic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:17 AM

21. I agree with you n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:45 AM

27. yes.

I have a couple relatives who always pissed about something. Politics, sports, family, restaurants, weather, etc. It's a sickness.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:45 AM

5. "criticizing Dem. politicians for not doing their share of outrage stimulation."

... or 'outrage simulation.' What some on DU have called 'poutrage' or it's first cousin 'faux outrage.' Similar but distinct.

Faux outrage is fake outrage designed to push a bigger agenda.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:45 AM

6. The oligarchs who control us

are addicted to having us outraged, so we don't realize how badly we're being screwed. It's all part of the plan. IMO

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MsLeopard (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:54 AM

8. +1. The 1% NEED us to be fighting amongst ourselves, instead of fighting the 1%.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MsLeopard (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:49 AM

16. This is the correct answer.


Create enough outrage over hyped irrelevancies, and legitimate outrage over what is being done to this country by corporate oligarchs and their purchased politicians can be obscured in the stew.

SHINY OBJECT!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 08:46 AM

7. A blend of the two is more appropriate.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:06 AM

9. I guess we should be less empathetic, so we'll outrage less. Your sister's framing of "the problem"

is very Republican. Our outrage isn't the problem. Our obstacles to survival are.

I don't know about you, but I'm not outraged 24/7. That would be nuts. I'm lucky enough to be able to turn it off. Some people don't have the luxury of those timeouts, through no fault of their own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:26 AM

12. Fox News has discovered outrage sells. They have created a Perpetual Outrage Channel, backed up

by leggy script readers, loud mouthed jackasses, and scary music and graphics.....let the outrage never end.....

I weep for the collective stupidity and gullibility of way too many folks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:32 AM

24. It's not just Fox.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 840high (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:34 AM

25. True. The mass media also sows fear and outrage, they just disguise it better and spread it out

over 4 networks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:40 AM

13. It's a big country. Sleepers recently awakened, then outraged, stand beside the outrage weary.

My daughter's been saying the same thing to me about this outrage addiction.

But when I think about all the damage that's been done to such a big country, and which took decades to enact by stealth and law, I wouldn't characterize all that's happening as an addiction, although that's a part of it.

It's just that such a BIG country is just slow to get a unified (not uniform) perspective on what aids and abets failure and dysfunction of democratic systems. If this outrage is sincere, and if it's not fomented by three letter agency manipulators to keep people too busy to see beyond the public stage.

I think the 30/70 split in completing higher education is also a truly big part of how this country's people process information and knowledge acquisition. I pay attention to how the 70% get their information and ideas. It's not at all just the FOX News demographic, which only constitute 2 million to 7 million people out of 312 million. So that's still a small number, relatively, who have media-induced outrage addiction, and my take is that the 30/70 split is the reason the 30% think the 70% around them are addicted to outrage, but those 70% are just busy connecting dots longer to get at the right reasons, and then the right ways and means to resolve their outrage.

I am outraged day and night. But I'm not addicted. I am appropriate. Period.

Then again, anytime you have some ideas on the "something that might do some good," that would be helpful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:46 AM

14. ARGLE BLARGLE BLARGE!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 09:52 AM

17. Oh won't somebody please think of the children??????????

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:01 AM

18. substantive post and comments

Thank you. This is the kind of conversation I appreciate. Of course, it helps that I agree!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:04 AM

19. There was a book about three years ago titled "The Righteous Mind."

It was written by the behavioral psychologist Jonathan Haidt. One aspect of his thesis was that our brains are literally addicted to partisan rhetoric; that research has shown we literally secrete dopamine when someone says something politically agreeable to us. Outrage stimulated by politicians is intended to maximize that emotional response, driven by physiological mechanisms in our mind.

In the same book, Haidt develops a hypothesis that attempts to explain the left/right divide. If I remember it correctly, he proposes that there are different "virtuous foundations" that people care about. Conservatives and Liberals share the virtues of equality and nonmaleficence, but Conservatives retain other virtues like sacredness and traditionalism that they must balance with the virtues of equality/beneficence/nonnonmaleficence. I didn't totally buy it, but found it thought provoking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BlueEye (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:47 AM

29. Dopamine: some people enjoy being outraged.

A lot of people enjoy being content and happy but you just know that some enjoy being outraged and angry. It doesn't change the fact that there is justifiable outrage from time to time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Democrats_win (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 02:00 PM

36. Oh I don't disagree.

I was legitimately outraged at the police response in Ferguson, and I don't find that unjustified at all.

As a believer in science, however, I believe there are sound biological explanations for our most remarkable behaviors. Partisan outrage is remarkable enough to warrant a good psychological theory.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:05 AM

20. Not just America, but the Internet itself.

Most of the things armchair activists dog pile on others for is stupid. Most of it doesn't matter at all, or wasn't offensive in the first place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to chrisa (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:21 AM

23. And having an Internet connection makes you an instant expert

At least you'd think so from the way people act.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:20 AM

22. Short answer: Yes n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to catrose (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:47 AM

30. but seriously, folks

Anger (or outrage) is energy. Many people are so exhausted from life that the stimulation of outrage is the only thing that keeps them going or gives their life meaning.

Just a theory.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:35 AM

26. Your mom did a good job...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:46 AM

28. Back in the 50's and 60's the media got the left and middle totally outraged

There were programs on national tv and national press about how bad migrant workers had it - Laws passed to help them.

There were programs on national tv and national press about how seniors were dieing from lack of health care - Medicare.

There were programs on national tv and national press about all the racism in the south - Civil rights laws.

We don't have anything like that happening in the media any more except in the right with Fox.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 11:02 AM

31. Behavior/action is stimulated by emotion (1 emotion is anger or outrage).

I think most anger or outrage is based on fear.

"thoughtful engagement in learning what the problems are..." is based on logic or cognition. I actually think most Repukes lack this capability and/or are put to sleep by it or are not interested in it because they just can't understand it.

FEAR is the motivating force behind the Republican/Tea Party sheeple. Faux news and talk radio are based on FEAR.
Just watch or listen to them if You can tolerate it. RW bloggers are all about fear. There is NO LOGIC behind what they say. This is why they are afraid of science. They eschew logic, science/the scientific process. They embellish and "love" religion as there is no logic to it.
Perry walking with his head held high to have his mug shot taken is the perfect example of how their minds function in a trance or fantasy world that they believe is untouchable by law, logic and reason.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 12:10 PM

32. I believe it is adrenaline

and I believe it can become an addiction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 12:12 PM

33. yes! it's not "emotion" it's "emotion decoupled from anything": people's responses only become

something produced "at the touch of a button," not by any actual event; consequently people lose the connection between anger and what causes anger, letting it float free

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 12:17 PM

34. The outrage industry is a very profitable one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 12:19 PM

35. How dare you?!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread