This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Leo Igwe—The Constant Fight Against Irrationality

Roedy's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Roedy

Somebody must have created a mathematical formula to express that fact the more crazy people you get together, the crazier they will act and the surer they will be they are correct.

In some ways the lunacy is like an infection that spreads from person to person.

Isolated crazies are usually fairly harmless.

Once you get a "ball" of crazies, it becomes like a black hole. It becomes stronger and stronger at attracting relatively normal people into its irrationality. The stronger it becomes, the more power it has to seduce saner and saner people.

Look at the way the witch burnings and heretic trials swept up entire populations in Europe and North America.

Another metaphor is craziness is like a magnetic field. The more crazies you get together, the more their fields superimpose and interfere constructively (making the field stronger). Their delusion becomes the consensus reality. Then the field induces craziness in a normal person entering the field.

Consider this experiment. A group of people are waiting for a doctor appointment. All of sudden all the people take off their clothes. This was pre-arranged. Everyone was in on it but one. That one person will inevitable take off his clothes in the waiting room, without even asking why, -- just group conformity.

I see wars that cannot be justified on any rational basis as similar. Everyone goes along because everyone goes along.

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 02:20:27 UTC | #946251