Showing posts from March, 2021

Atlanta Shootings, Anti-Asian Violence, and Online Radicalization

The Shootings Robert Aaron Long Robert Long, 21, shot 8 people on March 16, 2021, including six Asian women at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. This shooting, like many before it—and many that will happen in the future—was predictable. There are certain signs and patterns that indicate to society that this is what will happen. The unpredictable part is that it’s often unclear where and who, but it’s clear that certain things will happen given certain circumstances ( stochastic terrorism ). Some people say the Atlanta shootings were an Asian hate crime, which it was. Some say it was misogyny, which it was. Some say it was hatred for sex workers, which it was. It wasn’t just one thing. It was all of these things, and more. I have been closely studying online radicalization and its real life consequences for the past 3-4 years. Several people asked me for my input so here is my analysis (sources at the end of the article).  Not a Coincidence nor a Surprise It’s not a coincidence that t

How Childhood Abuse Becomes Self-Abuse

All of us have probably acted against our own self-interest at some point in our lives. For some people, it’s feeling sick after eating a bag of candy or drinking too much, while for others it’s self-mutilation and mental self-erasure.  The concept of abuse is complicated. It’s simple on an abstract theoretical level: abuse is a type of behavior that is harmful. But it’s much more complicated on a psychoemotional level because people tend to justify or minimize the horrible experiences that they either went through themselves or caused for others.  We start conceptualizing reality early in life. Since we are still developing and dependent on our caregivers, our perception of reality depends on other people. In other words, how a child sees themselves and the world in general is formed with significant assistance from those around them: parents, siblings, other family members, nannies, teachers, peers, and so on.  When a child goes through an abusive experience, it usually results in d

Gaslighting: What It Is and Why It’s So Destructive

Many of us have probably heard of gaslighting. In this article, we will explore what is behind this concept and why it is so destructive, disturbing, and toxic.  Origins and Definition Gaslighting is a term used in psychology and common speech that refers to manipulation whose purpose is to create doubt in a person or a group of people. It includes but is not limited to denial, lying, deflection, and contradiction to make the target question their perception of reality.   The term gaslighting originates from a 1938 stage play and its later film adaptations (1940 and 1944). It has been used colloquially since the 1960s. In the story, the husband tries to convince his wife and other people that she is insane. He is doing so by manipulating certain elements of their environment and by continuously insisting that she doesn’t remember things correctly and that she’s delusional when she notices the changes he made.  The title comes from the husband dimming the gas lights in the house and t