Oct 172013
Observing a Psychopath

Years ago, I rented a car and drove over a mountain pass to pick up the psychopath and his minion from his job site.  Psychopath rode shotgun while Minion sat behind him in the backseat. In my rearview mirror I could see Minion's eyes and he could see mine. On the drive back I chose…

Jul 232012
Penn State's Fall From Grace.

In Violence and The Sacred, Rene Girard explains that the sacrificial victim must be guilty so that his death can be justified. If the victim isn’t believed to be guilty then his death won’t bring peace to the community. Shortly before the date of execution, the prisoner’s `escape’ was ritually staged. Invariably, of course, he…

Jun 212012
Book Review: Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

In their book, Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, authors Carol Tarvis and Elliot Aronson define cognitive dissonance as  "a state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent..."   They call cognitive dissonance, "the…

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