Posts Tagged ‘Bob Caylor’

February 13, 2013

 

Stopping The Wreck: Professor’s Research Builds A Case That We’re Losing The Battle To Save American Society

By Bob Caylor of the News Sentinel, Fort Wayne In., November 17, 1994

This is the continuation of the newspaper article explaining my research and theories on America’s decline

 

Part Four

CONTAGION

No one is raised in utter isolation, and people–particularly children–are influenced to an extraordinary degree by what happens to them and around them.

Just as people can spread a cold or the flu among themselves, so can behavior spread.

“That thoughts, emotions and actions can spread from on individual to others is a well-established fact…we have all felt the powerful contagious influence of someone’s yawn and also their happiness, sadness, fear or anger,” Mawhinney said.

“For example, individuals who were born and raised in the circumstances of the ghetto may move into a peripheral area to sell drugs. The greater availability of drugs in this new area will then lead to increased rates of addiction within that segment of the population. Increasing rates of addiction will, in turn, lead to the spread of incompetent and damaging behavior patterns such as juvenile delinquncey, robbery, murder, child neglect and abuse, family disorganization, child abandonment, intellectual impairment and underachievement, and more,” he said.

Although there’s debate over whether sex and violence depicted by the media lower sexual standards and encourage violence, the argument’s over in Mawhinney’s mind.

He’s satisfied that what we see, read and hear influences us, whether it’s news or fiction. He’s convinced by research linking acts of violence on television with increased aggression in toddlers. He’s particularly adamant about the influence of sexual depictions, or worse yet, the intermingling of sexual and violent themes. Sometimes he shows parts of “I Spit on Your Grave” to his students to show them–in stomach-turning detail–an agent of contagion.

“You can go to the video-rental store, in the horror section, and you can see simulated anal rape…and assault by a woman getting even for anal rape. You can see her cut the penis off a man in a bathtub with blood going everywhere and him shrieking…this is contagion,” he said.

As The population increases and as a greater share of the population clusters in urban areas, the density with which people pack together makes contagion a greater risk, he argues.

“I’m just suggesting that the more dense the population, the more likely that the alcoholic’s behavior will impact on more people. The child molester, the pedophiliac, will have hundreds of victims…I think population density is catalytic to contagion, period.”

In the next part five, learn how the mechanisms of Sociocultural Entropy weaken the viability of our Nation.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/13/13

Loosing Battle to Save America: Part One

February 11, 2013

Stopping The Wreck: Professor’s Research Builds A Case That We’re Losing The Battle To Save American Society

By Bob Caylor of the News Sentinel, Fort Wayne In., November 17, 1994

Part One.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, chairman of the psychology department at Indiana University-South Bend, believes that American society as we know it is nearly a goner.

For seven years now, he’s been trying to prove it. He’s been grinding through thousands of pages of statistics, books and research studies, looking for patterns and evidence that support what many feel: Things are getting steadily worse.

Now he’s making his case.

Why now? Because he thinks we have little time to stop the decay of American society. At some point, would-be social engineers won’t be able to stop the train wreck; they’ll just be taking notes as the carnage unfolds.

“I need something that’s simple enough for people to grasp. I’m trying to introduce 250 million people standing on a railroad track to the train that’s coming..to see whether they can organize themselves in time to jump out of the way.” For now, he’s not overly optimistic.

“A rate pressing a bar will not change its behavior because of rewards or punishments unless there is a real close connection–ideally, a half second or less–to the action. I’m not so sure that human beings are any better when it comes to making decisions about the future.” The ideas at the center of his bleak theory of social decay are really pretty simple.

He says the corruption in society–murder, rape child neglect, drug addiction, child molestation, beating, robbing, and the thousand other varieties of misery–don’t spawn in a vacuum. They can spread from one person to another, like rot in a piece of fruit or flu in a crowded office.

As more and more people “catch” evil–or, as he might put it, exhibit maladaptive behaviors–the good have a harder and harder time holding their own.

Here is how he thinks it’s happening.

                             Please see Part two, to be blogged soon.

                            V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/10/13

Loosing The Battle To Save America: Part Two

February 11, 2013

Stopping The Wreck: Professor’s Research Builds A Case That We’re Losing The Battle To Save American Society

By Bob Caylor of the News Sentinel, Fort Wayne In., November 17, 1994

This is the continuation of the newspaper article explaining my research and theories on America’s decline

Part Two

FEWER CHILDREN, MORE ELDERLY

Mawhinney’s theory begins and ends with children. The condition of children today foreshadows the shape of society decades from now, and what he sees isn’t good.

Children younger than 5 are a smaller portion of our population than ever before. In 1900, 12 percent of Americans were 5 or younger; in 1986, 7.4 percent of the population was in that age group. By 2010, that number is expected to fall to 6 percent.

Meanwhile, the 25- to 64-year-old age group is increasing its share of the population, but slowly. Mawhinney calls this young to middle-aged group the “culture-sustaining” portion of the population. They are working, paying taxes, raising children–in short, doing the bulk of the work involved in maintaining society.

And the elderly comprise an ever-growing share of the population. Most of them are retired and collecting much more in government benefits than they’er paying in taxes.

Much of the culture-building work the elderly could perform–helping with child care and passing on knowledge, tradition, ends up not being done, because many grandparents don’t live close to their grandchildren.

In the next part, learn how an increasing percent of our decreasing population of children (our future) are at increased risk for various bio-psycho-social problems.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 2/11/13


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