Groupthink: Logic of the Hive Mind

The groupthink mainstream of academia, media, and politics does not want to allow opposing or contradictory voices to interfere with the accepted narrative. Here are different views of one example of the mainstream preventing cognitive dissonance — through silencing a provocative voice:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/dissenting-opinions-drown-them-out-drum-them-out/article17948121/comments/

http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon0410bb.html

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/04/11/brandeis-and-the-real-war-on-women-ayaan-hirsi-ali/

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ayaan-hirsi-ali-speaks_786719.html

A large part of the dominant left’s ideological battle against all others, is keeping alternative thought as far away from “authoritative” public platforms as possible. So no commencement address at Brandeis for Ayaan Hirsi-Ali.

A more general look at how solitude can provide an antidote to groupthink:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Avoiding groupthink is vital for inventors and scientists, who wish to bring useful and disruptive technologies and products to the public.

http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_curing_everything/

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.16150,y.2014,no.2,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

A look at philosopher Thomas Nagel and his maverick view of brains and consciousness:

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/bringing-mind-to-matter

Climate science has become classic groupthink

Germany’s green Energiewende groupthink crusade has paradoxically resulted in a massive growth of coal mining and coal burning in Germany

Political incest contributes to groupthink at all levels

When avoiding the group mind, one is not looking for things to believe. Rather, one is looking for provocative ideas capable of jarring the mind into alternative levels and avenues of thought. A mind looking for something to believe is a mind ripe and ready for recruitment into the hive.

The Groupthink that pervades Putin’s Russia is reminiscent of other catastrophic groupthinks of the past. Ignore the parallels at your own peril.

Putin puts “the big lie” approach to groupthink into practise

Vladolf Putler Vladimir Putin is tempting fate by inflaming violent passions across East Ukraine and beyond. Given the harsh trends affecting Russia’s future, he may feel he has no choice. After the slow motion collapse from the USSR, which lasted well into the early 2000s, a neo-imperialist rabble-rouser may be the best Russia can scratch up.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/6-more-russian-myths-about-crimea/497899.html

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/why-it-is-time-for-germany-to-stop-romanticizing-russia-a-963284.html

The old KGB grew very adept at inserting propaganda into western media outlets and activist groups. Mr. Putin did not forget his lessons from those days. He has also learned some historical lessons from old enemies of the USSR, in his stealthy, plausibly deniable encroachments into neighboring nations. These are the days of preparation for the bloody days to come.

It has been widely remarked that in his current operation to dismember Ukraine, Putin is following Hitler’s scenario vis-à-vis Czechoslovakia to a T. It might also be said that Obama is playing the supporting role of Neville Chamberlain nearly perfectly as well. Emerging from his Munich victory, Hitler exultantly proclaimed, “My enemies are worms!” Putin might well be thinking the same thing. __Robert Zubrin

It is useful to remember how the USSR survived WWII. Even after WWII, piggy-backing on the US’ nuclear program to become an atomic power, copying and stealing other western science and technology, and mooching off its client states in Eastern Europe — Russia never really recovered from WWII. Once the Eastern European satellites started leaving, and with the Exodus of Russia’s Jews to Israel and the US, the country had a choice to modernise and diversify, or to sink into a hostile isolationism dependent upon exports of natural resources. We know which way Russia finally chose.

More: The oil curse and how Putin and other dictators spread oil wealth around to diminish criticism of their harsh limitations of personal freedoms — particularly economic and political freedoms. Dictators can finance groupthink at home and abroad (using propagandists and other useful idiots in the media) if the prices of commodities such as oil & gas stay high enough.

Good news for the world is bad news for energy dictators like Putin, and vice versa.

More: Groupthink has become common in publishing, as women have taken over more writing and editorship positions. Coincidence? Women do tend to “network.” 😉 Well, not all women. Some women are fiercely independent, and can be attacked from all sides for it. Feminists in particular — given their intrinsic groupthink nature — attack independent women worst of all.

As women have taken over more roles in broadcasting, academia, politics, etc., we do tend to find more groupthink special interest efforts at the expense of the overall common good.

Any man who has a woman in his life learns quickly how influential a woman’s friends and female relatives can be in her day to day thinking processes. Many women need approval from their female friends before doing the most basic things. But again, not all women are like that.

Most people are insecure — and for good reason. There are far more incompetent shites in the world than competent, skillfully confident people. Insecure people band together to reduce exposure and to distribute responsibility.

It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood. But it takes work, and a willingness to step away from the groupthinking crowd.

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7 Responses to Groupthink: Logic of the Hive Mind

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    A good example of group think is what Aubrey de Grey calls the “pro-aging trance”.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Interesting. The concept of “trance” is particularly relevant when discussing hive minds and groupthink. Trance behaviour is automatic, essentially unconscious.

      Anyone who wants to bring positive change on a social level needs to keep that part of social dynamics in mind.

  2. Matt Musson says:

    Violence is contagious and hard to contain. The kind of violence incited by Putin is liable to jump borders like a wild fire blow back in the face of the person who started it.

  3. Sam says:

    Talk about group think. I’m hardly an apologist for Vladimir but the statement.”…Vladimir Putin is tempting fate by inflaming violent passions across East Ukraine and beyond..” Is completely wrong. This inflammation is the work of the US and Israel. Just like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, and …

    • alfin2101 says:

      Sure, if the word “groupthink” means anything you disagree with. 😉

      On a more sober note,only a few people go through the excruciating experience of rejecting everything they have believed in order to try to develop a valid approach to finding what is most likely to be true (see Descartes). On their own. Without an echo choir singing support and providing guidance.

      As a result, everything they think they know, just ain’t so, because they’ve never truly examined themselves. They can only know the world through other people’s eyes and ears.

      For curious readers, famed space engineer Robert Zubrin’s take on Putin’s actions are nothing if not provocative

  4. Sam says:

    “…only a few people go through the excruciating experience of rejecting everything they have believed in order to try to develop a valid approach to finding what is most likely to be true (see Descartes)…”
    I’ve done this directly as a result of 9-11. The facts reported, as opposed to the laws of physics, are so confounded that I no longer believe much of what is proclaimed as “truth” in Western media. Doesn’t mean I believe all the other side either. Today the truth can only be found be comparative analysis of many news sources. For western news sources you have to read between the lines just like the citizens of the USSR read Pravda. Some of the wackiest sites put up by the various agencies have to have some truth to get readership. The wacky parts you ignore.
    You’ve gone on a lot about Nazis lately. That’s why once I posted and said I was a Nazi or fascist. The term of abuse has become so large as to become meaningless. From my perspective to be a Nazi all you have to do is say you want a country to be run primarily by Whites, you don’t want mass immigration and don’t wish your banks to be run by Jewish oligarchs that as a general rule loot the country. The take over of Western Ukraine seems to me to be an engineered coup. Why shouldn’t the Russians be opposed to it? We heard a lot of talk about fascists taking over but the guys left in charge are the same old Jewish oligarchs that pop up everywhere.
    I have thought about the “World Island” strategy being the reason Russia is being attacked. The problem is this strategy is defunct due to space travel. Who rules space rules the world not the world island. If I didn’t know better, and I’m not sure I do, the present strategy seems designed to start a nuclear war between USA and Russia/China. Why are we so concerned with the Ukraine? Why has a Malaysian plane full of Chinese citizens disappeared. Even more important why is the same type Malaysian plane, with the same paint job, which was bought to be parted out in Florida in a hanger in Israel?

    • alfin2101 says:

      “I’ve done this directly as a result of 9-11. The facts reported, as opposed to the laws of physics, are so confounded that I no longer believe much of what is proclaimed as “truth” in Western media. ”

      What you seem to be describing here is probably the opposite of the Descartian method. You are describing the process of disillusionment, followed by a descent into conspiracy ideation. I am talking about breaking away from all ideology, all conspiracy, all pre-fabricated thought-ways of mental confinement.

      Most people are self-congratulatory about what they have accomplished philosophically. When in fact, for virtually everyone: Everything they think they know, just ain’t so.

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