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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:56 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:06 pm

funny that it was not what it seemed but now serves as a parable to
something that is in fact a phenomenom. i think in NY, with all of the
communities in clusters--not a cohesive unit by far, it is--on a less serious
scale, understandible to see how it might have developed [the syndrome].
one protects their own. in areas of like incomes, backgrounds, ideals, etc...
you see someone doing something wrong, you think with empathy...

my values and mindset are being violated because that familiar person
over there has been wrongfully harmed/etc...

in that split community of various backgrounds--fear long since emerging
from the unknown of said unfamiliarity, the tone is set for lack of involvment.
i just couldn't imagine it in cuba/pakistan/india/ or a small town where all
known each other.

the city is a place people pass through--perhaps traditionally a junction of trade
and anonymous power, etc...so everyone's a stranger, maybe. who knows.
i think that it was so easy to believe--Kitty's story, and that the newspapers so
readily jumped the gun with the story, at least speaks of something prevelent, if not
in that neighborhood.

in DC, anyway...in the lower income neighborhoods--without great airconditioning,
etc...people sit on their steps. maybe not enjoying expansive backyards to recline
to. in the middle incomes, you get people coming home, locking their doors, tuning
out the world. i imagine this to be more possible in that environment. a shoot out
took place right outside my middle income neighborhood--that borders a neighborhood
of lessor income. other than me, and a woman not originally from the city of DC, no
one ventured out. massive rounds, and a death...and everyone in for the night.
shell casings on the sidewalk, and no-one was even curious enough to at least find
out something. it didn't even make the papers. i think this happens when people don't really
feel it's their home. i live in my house--for good, unless my finances suddenly change like
magic...and i can tell you that if someone's sitting on my step, he needs to answer why
he's there. i just don't feel that level of rightiousness from my transient neighbors. they
think they're buying time, possibly passing through--even though many of them stay for
years and years. it's odd, in a word.

it's sad that a sick f&8k like Mosley could do this to a human being. i don't like thinking
about this woman, who's last moments were occupied by someone who is waisting valuable
air on this earth.

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:26 pm

Here's a link to a thread on The Dog Brothers forum where this issue came up a while back. The original video clip is gone unfortunately, it was of a drunk off duty cop in a bar or cafe or something who gets asked to leave by a waitress much smaller in stature than him. He is caught on CCTV grabbing her and beating her onto the ground. It takes quite quite a while for the other people to wade in. Fortunately the waitress was not badly hurt.

About half way down, the thread starts talking about bystander apathy:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1218.0

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:29 pm

Our societies ceased being socieities along time ago.Society has now become a darwinian jungle where we go to hunt and gather then huddle around the fire and listen in fear at the sound of the ferocious animals circling us in the night.Our "dream" of atomised individual bliss free from other people is a chimera, man by nature is both individualist and social.We have nothing in common with each anymore, is it any wonder no body gets involved.
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:03 pm

Danite wrote:
Our societies ceased being socieities along time ago.Society has now become a darwinian jungle where we go to hunt and gather then huddle around the fire and listen in fear at the sound of the ferocious animals circling us in the night.Our "dream" of atomised individual bliss free from other people is a chimera, man by nature is both individualist and social.We have nothing in common with each anymore, is it any wonder no body gets involved.

i get what you're saying.
like a full circle, the tide was high, the came the low tide again. ironically as so many
other things are so advanced, we have blinders on for the why's and what-to-do-nows

i always liked Richie's quote from his promo vid,
"they're not monsters, they can be stopped, and they should be stopped"

love that. words to live by.

Maija--long lost sibling scratch ,
that's quite a disturbing article. what the heck was that officer thinking. i know liquer tends to bring
out the most uninhibited arsehole in most--when not in a balanced mood, but how far from touch does
someone have to be for that. i have a real beef with authority that isn't...
esp..with regard to officers whose paychecks are cut from our tax money. what an insult. from public
servant, to public menace. cops are hit or miss in general--i've found. some are really amaizing folks able to process their battle fatigue with a philosophical and humble take for the big picture...some are
are just shit'heads chasing a chimera of power they never had without the glock and badge.

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:19 pm

To get back to the bystander apathy aspect -
It seems this is a 'natural' human reaction in a group situation, but I don't necessarily think that it is OK to leave it at that. There were questions and ideas that came up on the Dog Brothers thread about how to step up in a scenario like this, and obviously this response will vary depending on the situation. However, I do think that if one trains to be switched on and an active 'force for good', one should have some plans for what to do in a situation requiring intervention, or at the least bearing witness.
There are crisis situations where many of the attributes one trains in SP would be of great use - awareness, problem solving in stressful situations, controlling your state, ability to ACT when needed etc.
Just making eye contact and pointing at people telling them what to do "You, call an ambulance". "You, come with me". etc - apparently work better than a general call for help. Stuff like that I think is very useful to know, says the person that lives in an earthquake zone ......

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:26 pm

Maija,
that makes sense. directives are much more easily processed under pressure than
poetic license. nice piece to reflect on. i work on a crisis team in an american high
school, and we understand that a leader sort of emerges according to student rapport,
confidence, first on the scene, etc...giving the others directives and not getting the
"too many chef's in the pot" syndrome.

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:19 pm

If you live in a rough inner city area you get immune to shouts and screams in the night- not because your soul has become some dull lifeless hard thing, but because 90% of the time its just people messing around drunk or high, 9% of the time its a domestic between socially retarded, subnormal alcoholic crack heads and the other percent is just "generic loud noise", machinery, traffic, helicopters, roadworks

the Kitty Genovese case is in reality a media hyped parable, there were not "38 witnesses doing nothing but knowing full well someone was being killed". If you've lived in those types of conditions you would know it's very hard to judge whats just random screaming and what's a genuine cry for help. Having lived in conditions like that for years I heard a lot of screaming (yes, people just walking down the road screaming) and only twice that I can remember was the noise an indication that there was an actual incident.

Its like the "Noise that cryed wolf" if you know what I mean.

Human beings are naturally kind caring creatures designed to live in small packs of 30 to 60 in what we would call "rural surroundings".

I'm lucky, now I can afford to live in a nice area, pretty rural and if some of those noises I had heard living in central Liverpool or East London popped up outside my window I'd be on the phone to the bizzies right quick and checking out what was going on. It's silent at night here.

So the "cruel indifference" displayed by "city folk" is just the natural reaction of a human conditioned in auditorally harsh /overstimulating surroundings.

Put those same people in a village (different context) and give them the same stimulus (the screams) there would have been a stronger reaction. Simple.

couple of points: people arent designed to live in cities, anonymous, transient, unknown to anyone and not knowing the people around them in huge numbers, city life as a large scale phenomena is very very new and so far , all stats indicate, its not great for a human's mental health

secondly

Quote :
Social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané started this line of research, showing that contrary to common expectations, larger numbers of bystanders decrease the likelihood that someone will step forward and help a victim. The reasons include the fact that onlookers see that others are not helping either, that onlookers believe others will know better how to help, and that onlookers feel uncertain about helping while others are watching. The Kitty Genovese case thus became a classic feature of social psychology textbooks.

we are just pack animals, we take cues about what to do ALL DAY every day from everyone around us and have done since we were born- very unusual to get someone breaking away from the pack. Even to do something seemingly sensible:

Observe people queing - as I drove up to the toll booths out of the mersey tunnel today I watched people choose out of the 5 options of toll booths not the ones with the shortest lines that they can get through quickest, but the LONGEST lines that had the most number of other sheep in them. Strength in numbers I guess. I must admit, when tired or stressed Ive noticed myself just following what other people do...

why?

In point of fact, they are usually right!

Therefore the passive, do what everyone else is doing strategy "works" most of the time and gets positively reinforced, making you even more likely to use the same lazy assed strategy again.

Of course if whatever else is doing is mediocre then mediocrity gets propagated, but thats a discussion for another day Very Happy

So its not that we are "callous" or particulalry "thoughtless" either, its just how things work.
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:43 pm

Hmmm .. I suspect that, as you say, we are group animals that look to others in the group for cues as to how to behave, and that the 'lazy assed strategy' is just how things may work - not that this outcome makes me very happy.
An interesting point I would like to add however, is that the type of group or environment you are in, does affect what this behavior is.
A very good friend and fellow eskrima player, ex US Army Ranger lives in an area of the city called 'Ghost Town' - known for its many derelict buildings, liquor stores, drugs and gang violence. He cuts a striking figure in the neighborhood, and I have experienced personally, and have heard from friends, that when you park on his block, there are often guys hanging out, that will start sauntering over to check you out, but as soon as they see you are headed for his home, will turn around.
Interesting thing is, he's always talking about how safe his block is! And in a way it's true - on his block, if there is ever any disturbance, raised voices, whatever, all the curtains twitch, and you'll get at least 3 or 4 guys on their front porches with their 'home protection' shotguns or machetes, within a few minutes.
He says the only violence happens when one gang tries to encroach on the timetable of another, or there is some change in the routine. Once balance is re established, calm resumes. He said the most trouble came from the liquor store on his corner, but since it burned down, that things have been very nice ....
Now, I'm not saying that this is how I would choose to live, but the 'tribal' behavior on his block is certainly interesting to compare to the percieved apathy of the general population.
The question is, is it his personality and willingness to step up that influenced the rest of his neighbors? Or is it an environment that necessitates this kind of behavior with or without him?

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:29 am

In my experience I think its that that environment necessitates that kind of behaviour- I knew the most people and saw the most people outside of their "dens" in the rougher areas Ive lived in, it's you (the people who live there) versus the "scumbags" (the outsiders who will come in and rob your house)

it's great when you get 3rd generation benefits fraudsters , drug dealers and car theives coming to your house introducing themselves and telling you you need to watch each others backs against "scumbags"... they meant of course crack heads and junkies - yeah, damn those scummy addicts and their criminal ways Razz

However in middle class surroundings like Im in now I know noone and very rarely see them and when I do they dont deign to speak to me... they are far too wealthy to be polite or friendly Wink

BUT climate is also a factor, in a nice area I lived in in Spain people were curious to meet fellow ex pats and would hang around outside because hanging around outside was a pleasant thing to do

there are no hard and fast rules, but if I lived in a rough area in the states I would feel more comfortable going out and making allies than sitting in and praying for the best- your behaviour might be seen as aloofness, in which case who is going to bother stopping anyone from robbing you?
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:54 pm

Richie,
Do you believe and individual can influence the behavior of a group just by being themselves, but not necessarily telling people what to do?
There's plenty of neighborhood blocks where people DO just sit inside and hope for the best. Do you think by the very fact the you WOULD go introduce yourself and make alliances in your 'hood, that you could influence the willingness of others to interact?

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:10 pm

a charming British gent with mind control skill and charisma like mine in Compton? I'd have them gang bangers eating out of the palm of my hand
Razz (smiley face used to indicate Im joking)

common sense dictates there are limits, as long as there is something in it for them you have leverage, but in answer to your questions: absolutely
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:02 pm

maija wrote:
. Do you think by the very fact the you WOULD go introduce yourself and make alliances in your 'hood, that you could influence the willingness of others to interact?

in addition to Richie's--pardon jumping in, i can imagine that others will comply if:
-they feel you are a friend
and [this one's important]
-you don't have them feel they'll have to do all the work

1.people don't just follow, they follow a leader. that armed ranger dude who's incited a certain
satisfying fever on his block worked his magic because he led from the front.

2.another angle, of course, is being a really nice person--and making allies...this is another trigger
to people's heart strings. not that this should be a manipulated effort, one should be nice anyway,
but certain folks come to my mind that just wouldn't even factor in any time lag between witnessing
and reacting.

once the precedent has been set, however, and the ball is rolling--and some successes are being
felt...i believe it'll become important and satisfying to all. to taste courage and right action is like a drug
that wont soon be given up--humans in general have simply lived far too long in cowardliness.

i think it can't all be your idea, it has to develop slowly with others feeling like they're sort of wanting it too. perhaps you coming to someone elses aid first--but now i'm just making assumptions on people and their hesitance toward transition states lol! who knows, maybe they're just waiting for someone to say it first. there's a guy who lives by me that could have this kind of support but he sort of blew it, like your air borne guy, he's fearless and fast acting...BUT UNLIKE YOU AIRBORNE GUY, HE'S PICKED OFF BATTLES TO MOVE WITH AND IS SUBSEQUENTLY PROVING HE'S BAT-SHIT CRAZY. the last battle he engaged--and the next 3 or 4, concerned people deficating or peeing in our collective alley. uhm, he lost group support as the excreting perp got the shite beaten out of him for showing poor judgement. other neighbors have isolated themselves by litterally devoting WAY too much time to being unpleasant with those around them. we have a speed freak [probably--actually he's either a coke head, bipolar, or both by his actions, which include cursing people up and jumping in their faces...making the police come and harass his neighbors for parking in his space where he'd prefer his baby [an expensive car] should sleep soundly. i've gotten theats from 'hitting the pads too loudly at night'. etc...

to make a long story short, he was mugged in the back alley--not that any of us heard it, we would certainly have called the cops...BUT NONE OF US CARED affraid

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:31 pm

yepp, growing up on the east side of a large metropolitan city meant I got pretty desensitized to a lot of the sights and sounds that normally make a sane person cringe.

...when you actually have to step over passed out junkies on your way to work in the morning, you can't do anything but become numb to it. My basic rule was "do what you want, but if you disrupt my life or someone I care about I with unleash hell upon thee..."

It's easy to see how people learn to turn their heads away. Junkies used to always seem to shoot up on the front steps of my workplace. I'd always let them know they needed to be moving along, and most would comply. One time, this one guy didn't like being told 'where he couldn't shoot up' and decided to point his dirty needle at me. I got EXTREMELY pissed off at the threat and told him in no uncertain terms what would happen if he didn't drop it.... he did and moved on. That experience almost made me not want to bother anymore... the danger I was in being close to that dirty needle bothered me...but if I didn't deal with that, the secretary may have to when she steps out for a ciggy, and I didn't feel that it be very manly of me to allow that to happen to her instead. lol.

The police were around the neighborhood a lot, but it didn't really make me feel safer, they usually were there to clean up in the aftermath. I've known some good cops, but also some not so bright ones, and some other power junkie nut bars. When you can spot the crack head firing his air rifle at passers by from behind his living room curtain, and the cops are heard pressed to even look let alone do anything, it's frustrating.

I imagine it's frustrating for them too. Arresting the same people over and over while the 'justice' system recycles them back onto the street... that'd drive me nuts. Maybe some of these officers had good intentions before they got into policing, but after realizing the futility in their actions, probably lost a lto of their original drive.

Either way, living in a big city is definitely not a mentally healthy thing and not a natural environment for most of us, but it's often necessary...

The story of Kitty Genovese is tragic... but you can see how it can happen... when a single life gets lost in the urban shuffle. Sad, that there were no leaders in that neighborhood... it might have made a difference.
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:52 am

D.M.B. wrote:
When you can spot the crack head firing his air rifle at passers by from behind his living room curtain, and the cops are heard pressed to even look let alone do anything, it's frustrating.


The story of Kitty Genovese is tragic... but you can see how it can happen... when a single life gets lost in the urban shuffle. Sad, that there were no leaders in that neighborhood... it might have made a difference.

good points, we all get naturalized to it and tune it out--possibly for our own piece of mind at times. double edged sword, that. distrust notwithstanding, if someone comes running to me with a story, i have to say...i'm starting out not believing and wondering if it's a scam unless it's painfully obvious. i've picked up the money on the street and found myself in a bogus 3 on 1 scam meant to disorient me.
didn't work for them, i almost kept the money out of spite but ended up returning it and slapping the main idiot on the back before walking off miffed.

the ones that make me nervous are these out of neighborhood/town dealers and pimps. they do something, and then disappear. life is so cheap to them. i knew a street person who was stabbed to death by one--for pestering one of his 'girls'. but one--around here, pegs them into a box, sort of tunes them out [and watches them drive away the next morning from outside your house where they parked, sort of feels like they come and scent mark your area and don't get the flack they royally deserve].

okay, end of rant Embarassed

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:59 pm

I've actually seen a woman getting the sh*t slapped out of her by a guy, I intervened and gently asked the guy to relax. The female then turned on me, and cursed me out for "butting in", then she told me to mind my own business.

So personal experience has taught me to just keep moving.

Unless it's my own, or someone I know, I generally will do as that ungrateful b*tch said, and "mind my own business".

It's a sad reality. I don't often see people getting beat up, so I don't feel so bad "minding my own".

As far as sounds, like Richie said, I hear it all at any given time living in a big city. I pay it no mind, I just keep moving...
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:36 pm

ARodomus wrote:
I've actually seen a woman getting the sh*t slapped out of her by a guy, I intervened and gently asked the guy to relax. The female then turned on me, and cursed me out for "butting in", then she told me to mind my own business.

people are so screwed up...my maternal grandfather dived of a knife wound to the back--splitting
up a fight, assuming the side he had chosen wouldn not cost him. however, although people are
largely so fooked up, i'd leave a part of myself aside for someone asking for help mate. even if it's
phoning someone on their behalf.

that particular woman...well, she can obviously go and get stuffed right? but if your mother, sister,
etc... was overlooked because of such thoughts, you'd see the flaws in it right?

stand nearby, if it's no danger to you. i'd think if someone wasn't completely bat'shit'crazy they'd
have a presence at some point to say, "are you going to help me?" or "help me". i say this as someone
that's pretty jaded himself. it makes it harder on one's personal codes and ethics. makes things grey
that really would be much better black and white. i've been in other similar situations of battered women.
at some point, my help symbolically turns into them chosing me over him--if only metaphorically and not
romantically. that kind of 'crazy love' usually picks the wrong man. my own sister did the same when it
came to a stand off. it can make one quite jaded.

write off the individuals if you have to, but not society based on a few f&*kwits.\

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:14 pm

ARodomus; maybe talk to the victim rather than your potential target; ask her if she needs a hand; keep the target in a sight line
but otherwise "appear" to be ignoring him... but it's REALLY easy quarterbacking from this armchair Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:44 pm

Russ, I get it, I am not completely unwilling to help. If asked, or invited, I would not turn a blind eye.

But as rule, unless I see the clear signs inviting it, I just mind my own.

But I definitely get your point.


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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:45 pm

nix wrote:
ARodomus; maybe talk to the victim rather than your potential target; ask her if she needs a hand; keep the target in a sight line
but otherwise "appear" to be ignoring him... but it's REALLY easy quarterbacking from this armchair Smile

I agree here as well.. But when 2 rabid animals are going at it, or one is in an attacking frenzy, it's difficult to intervene without getting bitten. You know?

All valid points though..
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:29 am

Fucking sad: http://www.insidebayarea.com/dailyreview/localnews/ci_13651646?source=rss

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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:37 am

maija wrote:
Fucking sad: http://www.insidebayarea.com/dailyreview/localnews/ci_13651646?source=rss

Evil or Very Mad here's hoping they all go to prison and get raped repeatedly themselves....
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:54 am

FROM THE NEWS ARTICLE

Quote :
For several days, the community has struggled to understand how so many could stand by and watch, failing to call police or alert other adults in the area.

What I struggle to understand is how this never fails to surprise people.

When DOES bystander intervention actually happen the way so many expect it to?

It seems to me that when it happens, the news recognize it for the rare treat it is, and present it as the sensation it is. THESE DAYS anyway...

On second thought to why people being surprised that bystanders just stand by annoys me. It's probably an instinct. But this world isn't what the instincts were attuned to. In a tribe the expectation is reasonable. Among selfish strangers in hairy situations it's not. And that seems instinctive too. Cooperation is the lifeblood of a tribe, and risking your ass over outsiders is not worth the risk. Hell I'm on a roll here... Maybe even CONDEMNING people who do not assist is instinctive. Seeing that they're bad for your tribe, and by extension; you.

From another angle there is something referred to as "the fundamental attribution error." People believe that both themselves and others are most strongly affected by their personality. In the news article video, a police officer states that these people are monsters. But the research keeps showing that what the SITUATION is has the most power to predict what will happen. Situations with many people involved snowball. Suggestible, pre-myelinated teenagers with a fucked up value system get sucked in easy.

These are fucked up people. By and large the action must have been floating fairly close to the surface in the entire group for it to have so much support, and so little resistance. It wasn't a large step for them.

They will probably get what's coming to them. Maybe not being broken on the wheel:



But the legal system is fairly good at hiding retribution and deterrence under euphemisms. So a lot of it still exists in these times of pussification. Look at the electric chair for instance. If all they wanted was to kill effectively, that's easy. Remember the video of the guy electrocuting himself on a train powerline? The second he touched it, it went KZUMM and a he turned into a blinding lightbulb for a split second. Dead and on fire, smoke rising from his smoldering hair. In the chair they take the time to cook them just right. The principle applies in many levels of the penal system. So with some help of karma, maybe the penile system will do it's job and rape them good.

Yes, that was an intentional typo. Twisted Evil

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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:47 pm

Quote :
When DOES bystander intervention actually happen the way so many expect it to?

Ive not seen it myself but I believe in the east its more frequent

havent we discussed this here before somtime?
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PostSubject: Re: Kitty Genovese Syndrome   Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:57 pm

This is from the TED lecture series. Talk given by the guy who was part of the prisoners and prison guards experiment done with a group of students a while back.
I think it relates here because it duscusses the group mentality, and situational behavior we are talking about.
http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html

Just watched it again ... it's about 25 mins long, but if you have the time please watch - I think this guy has some great insights.

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