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Reactions to human carnage

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:54 pm
by hoosegow
I am a safety manager. From time to time I use graphic photos of injuries to drive home the point that certain tasks are dangerous or fatal. I am not a fan of it, but it can be effective. There seems to be three reactions - enjoyment, horrified, or accepting. The people who "accept" the picture never really have a comment one way or another. The other two is where I get the most feedback from.

This is just a casual observation. I understand everything but the enjoyment reaction. The people who react positively are not sociopaths, cruel or mentally deranged in any way. I imagine these people are the same that enjoy Faces of Death and slasher films. It is widespread enough (you can even get into the sport fighting of animals catagory) that it is not considered taboo. I am not against bull-fighting, dog fighting, cock-fighting, slasher films or anything like that. I just don't understand the entertainment value. Conversely and perhaps hypocritically, I do enjoy MMA. I'd like to say the "sport" is entertaining and not the "brutality."

I don't know why I bring this up. Carry on.

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:00 pm
by frogbyte
Is merely the task "dangerous or fatal", or does the photo actually depict a fatality? I can see laughing at stupid injuries if they're non-fatal.

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:57 pm
by hoosegow
Mashed hands, amputations, horrible fatalities. Here is a perfect example. We have large material handlers. They are basically large track exscavaders with grapples on the end. They have large blind areas. I sent out a picture showing a guy being run over by one. The head was crush and internal organs were popped out. I sent it due to we still have people who will get in the way of them without thinking of the consequences.

They aren't laughing. I'd say it is false bravdo, but I don't think it is. Like I said, it is the same kind of people who would rent and enjoy the Faces of Death series.

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:40 pm
by Nevage
I accept things like that, because I just think to myself when I see a pic of someones insides falling out that everyone has that on their insides its just anatomy. I can see how people are horrified because it looks sick and I would probably be horrified too if I didn't just look at it from a biological point of view.

I find the same thing when people see animals being butchered, it doesn't bother me because it's meat. But I know plenty of people who love meat but can't watch an animal being killed for meat. To me, it's just what all carnivores do. Lions and bears don't flinch when they hunt because they're hungry, and we're no different, just higher in the food chain.

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:35 pm
by Ironman
The faces of death is pretty tame. If they look around a little, they will see things that will make them not want to look at that sort of thing again.

I can understand curiosity, but enjoyment is pretty barbaric. But regardless of the reaction people do need to understand how important safety procedures are.

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:08 pm
by Matt Z
Tragedy can be compelling, whether it's real or fictional. Still, I think there's a signifigant difference between morbid facination and bloodlust.

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:27 pm
by Matt Z
In general, I'm pretty thick skinned. For example, I'd have no problem watching a pack of African wild dogs disembowel a still kicking impala on Animal Planet or the National Geographic Channel. Nature isn't always pretty.

However, I do have a major problem with bloodsports like dogfighting and cockfighting, because they involve deliberately orchastrated cruelty as entertainment.

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:41 am
by Jebus
It's becuse they're not mature probably.

Immature people like to joke around with serious topics to come to terms with them.

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:01 pm
by Rucifer
I don't know if this situation is applicable to the current conversation...but I want to bring in the topic of video game violence and see what your reactions are. I am not against most video game violence or violence in the media for that matter. But there is one section of video game violence that does sort of bother me. For those of you who don't know what Grand Theft Auto is, it is a video game where instead of you know, slaying monsters or aliens or even evil men, you are just wondering the streets murdering innocents in addition to battling other crime figures in the game. And banging hookers and doing drugs and so on. And this sort of theme has spread to other genres of games like some game my roommate was playing that was set in a medieval atmosphere where you can pretty much do the same thing. I've tried playing games like this and partaking, but I can honestly say I don't like it. I don't know if this makes me just a wuss, or whatever you want to say, but part of me deep inside feels guilty when I going on a mass killing spree of just ordinary people. It's just a video game, I know, but at least in most other video games, even when you are killing people, you are killing bad ones. My roommate and others claim its just a release for them to play, but I don't know, I don't like that new direction with games.

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm
by hoosegow
Last year I read a book by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman called On Killing. It is a study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects the soldier, and the societal implications of escalating violence.

In it he talks about the desensitisation (sp) and operant conditioning to killing. I think he goes overboard on his stance against video game violence, but most of his points do have some validity. Here is a quote from the book.

"The important distinction between the killing-enabling process that occurs in video games and that of the military is that the military's is focused on the enemy soldier, with particular emphasis on ensuring that the U.S. soldier acts only under authority. - - - The video games that our children conduct their combat training on have no real sanction for firing at the wrong target."

He continues talking about the role playing games (I think it is called first hand shooter games - sorry I'm out of the loop) and how they are identical to the FBI's shoot - no shoot training "games."

He then quotes Alvin Toffler in Future Shock talking about how the new gaiming can substitute reality with a pseudo reality. "This new 'pseudo reality' will make it possible to replicate all the gore and violens of popular violent movies, except now you are the one who is the star, the killer, the slayer of thousands.

"Through operand conditioning B.F. Skinner held that he could turn any child into anything he wated to. In Vietnam the US armed forces demonstrated that Skinner was at least partially correct by successfully using operant conditioning to turn adolescents into the most effective fighting force the world has ever seen. And America seems intent on using Skinner's methodology to turn us into an extraordinary violent society."

Mind you this book was a study on how the military uses certain techniques to turn off the switch that makes us reluctant to kill. Video games have their role in the modern military to do this. I'm not saying I agree whole heartedly with Grossman's conclusions, but they are interesting none the less.

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:24 pm
by pdellorto
You know, you can just show the guys in the warehouse "Forklift Driver Klaus."

Thanks to that video, even I know how to be safe around power tools and forklifts. Seriously.

Comedy works better than carnage for teaching.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:14 am
by Jebus
About killing and video games, Call of duty makes me sort of want to join the military.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:38 pm
by Jungledoc
The anonymity or personalization of the victim makes a huge difference. Imagine looking that the mutilated remains of a stranger versus those of a good friend. The more you care about other people the harder it gets to tolerate violence.

I look at human carnage in one form or another virtually every day. When I first see the injury, it is just an interesting clinical problem. When I look into the eyes of the victim it suddenly becomes a tragedy.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:07 am
by Ironman
I think all the hoopla about video game violence is emotional hysteria with no facts. There was an episode of "bull$h1t!" about it.

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:18 pm
by Jungledoc
Facts would be hard to find. I propose a study in which thousands of children are studied to determine how many hours of violent video games they play per week. They would be divided into quintiles based on this number. They would then be followed for 50 or 60 years to determine what percentage of the children in each quintile turn out to be mass murderers, or even just more violent than average. Of course, you'd have to find ways to control for other violent influences (movies, TV, real life, etc.) they are exposed to. You'd also have to find a way to keep them from making significant increases or decreases throughout their life, or at least track the changes (maybe outcome in only affected by violent video games during a particular critical developmental window).

With my kids, I tried to discourage the games that seemed extreme to me, and didn't worry about the others. So far, no mass murderers in the family.