by Theodore R. Frimet
Ok. I am going to actually write about the Milgram Experiment (2). That was where volunteers gave shocks to people. The shocks were make-believe, and the persons receiving the shocks faked their pain and suffering. A high number of participants shocked the subjects, despite the apparent visual suffering. And to Milgram’s surprise, the increase shock level would have killed a participant; yet the volunteer continued to deliver the fatal dose. Some, as they left the center, never inquired as to the health or welfare of those they acted on. Milgram discovered a persons intent to follow authority, without question.
Without realizing it, somehow I have connected the dots between Nazi Germany, California’s early Eugenics program in denying the Deaf their reproductive rights (3), and people that write hurtful, and lasting social imprints on the World Wide Web. The first resulted in the deaths of millions, while the second was the progenitor of Shoah. I wait with baited breathe as to the outcome of the Third. Perhaps societal participants writing on the wall, with impunity, is not what it seems to be.
With minds not yet fully developed until the age of 21, the brain simply cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. An adult watches a movie, and your brain transcends you from your chair, to the scene. A child reads a negative post, and is transfixed into a self-harming relationship. They have been baited with your breath. I regret to discuss the outcome of your make-believe Milgram shock.
When we write comments on the performances of others, in a service industry, we can be blunt. Not everyone has the talent of tongue, these days. Most write three or fewer sentences to ascribe their wonder, or blatant dissatisfaction. However, now, in this brief pause between the pauses, I am in dismay. I attribute this to both the public’s fractured memory and the proclivity of the few to practice harmful graffiti.
When you write negatively, be gentle not only with your target audience – be gentle with yourself. Because all the while; all that you experience – your sight, sound, taste, and thoughts, are all recreations in your mindset. Yes. It is an argument that you have with your own ethos. The model that you create is simply yourself. You walk blind in the Universe. Nothing is out there. It is all inside your head.
If you have read up-to-this point, perhaps now you are ready for a new truth. That the lists of ideological mis-steps that you believe in, do order themselves to cause harm to others. The social queues that appear to be unrelated are part of a fuzzy logic system. Simply because the interdependent players remain invisible to you, does not in any way blunt the edge of the knife. When one part of a system is stressed, it will affect the whole. Your practice of leaving behind a curt comment, is only you whetting the edge of a realm where you believe there is absence of malice.
However, I mis-speak. You have decided to not go on. You could continue. The experiment may have required that. It may have been absolutely necessary, and you would have had no other choice. So said, Milgram. You have only written once on the wall. Yet the difference between the Milgram experiment and your licentiousness, is that one act was fleeting; while all the while your participation in a social experiment continues on, day-after-day. Forgive me for being the one that reminds the few – that your practice here, is the undoing of teenagers, everywhere. For you have caste the mold where all learn how to write. Nestled in your brief grammatical structure are the implements of where young minds go to their demise.
Wherefore art thou, Astronomy? He said twice, “I was in a car accident”. I pretended not to hear. I wanted to make sure I delivered the Dob, and beat the rain. It was going to rain. It always clouds in, during an Astronomy event. Why would the conclusion of a sale be any different?
For the past few weeks, I had posted my offer for the great behemoth. Hundreds looked, dozens watched. Several had offered. Many were refused. Of course, all were kicked to the curb, until the last offer. It wasn’t low, and it wasn’t high. It wasn’t even middle of the row. The price was simply right. I accepted. This sale was pre-empted for local pick-up, no delivery. Upon payment, I contacted the buyer. They were busy that afternoon.
Time is a precious thing. Weather can make it more valuable. I needed to look between the clouds, and focus on the light that I could see. Later it would rain. Tomorrow it would certainly be wet. Now is the time. I said, “let me come out to you”. We agreed. An hour later I waited in a driveway, Dob in SUV. Movement. Transfer. New telescope in another home. Nestled under the tree, perhaps? Not really. It isn’t Christmas. Heck, it isn’t Chanukah or Kwanzaa, either.
I am now in the present. The Universe reaches out and taps me on the shoulder this rainy, Sunday morning. It does so with impunity and anonymity. Let’s You and I put away the lazy Susan, and spin a yarn on a crises. Synthetic opioids. Many have the same story. We are truly embedded. It is my time to read the writing on the wall. I am hopeful that I am not succoring to a Milgram experiment. I could list off what I knew of synthetic opioids. I ask you, “what do you know”?
Visit the CDC website and read more about Brenda, Cortney, Devin, Judy, Katie, Mike, Noah, and more. The song remains the same.
The CDC site triggers a memory. A dear friend had committed suicide. So they said. Her fentanyl patch had ruptured. Later we learned that these patches were defective, delivering a fatal dose. I parlayed the story, and suggested that they contact a lawyer. Perhaps there is a class action lawsuit to participate in? A lawyer would know. Always best to send a friend to a doctor who knows best. Or in this case a Juris Doctor.
I will not know the outcome of the story. Not ever. Few are the words that are written on the wall. There is no Milgram participant here to give a shock. My only hope is that all of you, will continue to keep to your ethics. As Amateur Astronomers, as you come out of your seclusion to interact with the public, all I ask is that you too, do not go gently into that dark night.
- Milner – Please read about Brenda Milner’s 1952 research, last accessed on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 10:43 AM EST:
- Milgram – Please read about Milgram’s experiment, last accessed (per tempus) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
- “Chapter 84.” For Hearing People Only: Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions about the Deaf Community, Its Culture, and the “Deaf Reality”, by Matthew S. Moore and Linda Levitan, Deaf Life Press, 2016, pp. 545–554.