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detrius

Story Monday, August 19, 2019

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3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Justin realized that Susan had no experience with cats.  Thus it is possible Susan did not realize just how unusual Jeremy is.

<_< (skeptical)

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7 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Justin realized that Susan had no experience with cats.  Thus it is possible Susan did not realize just how unusual Jeremy is.

Or perhaps just  lumped Jeremy in with all the other strange things at Tedd's house?

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Well, really, is a half-cat half-hedgehog any weirder than a quarter-human-quarter-squirrel-quarter-uryoum-quarter-lespuko shapeshifting girl?

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4 minutes ago, ijuin said:

Well, really, is a half-cat half-hedgehog any weirder than a quarter-human-quarter-squirrel-quarter-uryoum-quarter-lespuko shapeshifting girl?

No, but she's not aware of that yet.

 

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I meant Susan--Susan had already seen Grace using her powers in the Omega Goo battle, so seeing Jeremy after that was a much smaller shock.

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2 hours ago, ijuin said:

I meant Susan--Susan had already seen Grace using her powers in the Omega Goo battle, so seeing Jeremy after that was a much smaller shock.

Susan was a literal survivor of two potentially deadly fights, one of which did result in a death -- and at her hands, too. I would not be shocked to learn if she had PTSD. It is a brutal shock to the human psyche to kill another human being, especially at that age. There is a reason modern nations outlaw the use of child soldiers.

I agree with you that it probably was a much smaller shock... but part of me wonders if that might not have been due to numbness, too, and that makes me feel terribly, terribly sad.

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58 minutes ago, ijuin said:

I would argue that vampires are inhuman beings.

Yeah, good luck explaining that to a thirteen year old girl who was just forced to kill one in self defence. With an axe. I am sure she is in a real mood to debate philosophy.

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8 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
9 hours ago, ijuin said:

I would argue that vampires are inhuman beings.

Yeah, good luck explaining that to a thirteen year old girl who was just forced to kill one in self defence. With an axe. I am sure she is in a real mood to debate philosophy.

You might be surprised. Dehumanizing the enemy is time tried method of reducing psychological problems with killing. Although usually is done BEFORE the killing, not sure if it's still useful afterwards.

And not just enemy. I would though you have experience with that. I'm sure there were lot of Nazis claiming they would never do to human being what they did to Jews. Similar issue certainly happened (and possibly is still happening on some places) regarding slaves ...

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1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

You might be surprised. Dehumanizing the enemy is time tried method of reducing psychological problems with killing. Although usually is done BEFORE the killing, not sure if it's still useful afterwards.

You might be surprised to learn that this isn't very effective either. Careful investigation of soldiers in battle showed that in an average WW2 army only 10% of the soldiers in any given unit actually attempted to directly kill the enemy soldiers. In some exceptional units this rose to as much as 20%. Humans just aren't that happy about killing one another and simply dehumanising the enemy is not enough. If it is shaped and moves like a human being, your basic person on the street will face stiff psychological resistance against killing it.

What is more, even if you do succeed in killing another human being -- no matter how dehumanised that person may be to you -- you suffer psychological scars from it. A large contributing factor to PTSD among veterans is simply that they cannot process having killed other human beings. And even the best training will not protect you from that. Modern training involves convincing human beings to shoot at human-shaped targets without thinking so that when they are finally in battle, muscle memory will override your resistance to killing. When you know you are just shooting at a target, you do not face this reluctance. Constant training against realistic targets will mean that in battle when split seconds count your reflexes will tell you, "It's just another target, shoot it." And only when you are looking at a bleeding corpse will it dawn on you that you have just killed another human being -- and then, obviously, it is too late. The damage will have been done, to the person killed and to the killer. This training works, mind you. Modern armies with this kind of training sees numbers rise to as many as 50% of all soldiers fighting effectively, possibly more.

All that is moot in Susan's case, though. She had NO training. She did the act anyway. And even if she had had training, she would still have suffered trauma. Your proposed method of psychological support is about as effective as offering a placebo vaccination against the bubonic plague after the patient has contracted it.

1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

And not just enemy. I would though you have experience with that. I'm sure there were lot of Nazis claiming they would never do to human being what they did to Jews. Similar issue certainly happened (and possibly is still happening on some places) regarding slaves ...

Yeah, you really ought to think. I hear you get good results from that and that it results in spewing total nonsense less often. Also just occasionally you avoid doing incredibly offensive things, like taunting the person you are communicating with about how their family was subjected to persecution and genocide.

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35 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

What is more, even if you do succeed in killing another human being -- no matter how dehumanised that person may be to you -- you suffer psychological scars from it. A large contributing factor to PTSD among veterans is simply that they cannot process having killed other human beings. And even the best training will not protect you from that. Modern training involves convincing human beings to shoot at human-shaped targets without thinking so that when they are finally in battle, muscle memory will override your resistance to killing. When you know you are just shooting at a target, you do not face this reluctance. Constant training against realistic targets will mean that in battle when split seconds count your reflexes will tell you, "It's just another target, shoot it." And only when you are looking at a bleeding corpse will it dawn on you that you have just killed another human being -- and then, obviously, it is too late. The damage will have been done, to the person killed and to the killer. This training works, mind you. ...

Ender's Game. Spoiler Alert! (Paraphrase) "We won! Training's over, right?" "No, the war is over. You just won." "I WHAT?" (Prelude to personal breakdown due to realization that he was responsible for wiping out another intelligent species.) ((And they didn't have to dehumanize them, already accomplished!))

Whatever you think of the author, this particular book is basically a pretty good read.

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9 minutes ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Whatever you think of the author, this particular book is basically a pretty good read.

I have an intense dislike for Orson Scott Card but he is undeniably a skilled writer.

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27 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I have an intense dislike for Orson Scott Card but he is undeniably a skilled writer.

Merely an intense dislike, huh? That's kind of the Wiki spin, in Orson Scott Card terms, you're almost a fan. I'm gaining an appreciation for Rational Wiki take on things. I do agree, though, he is a wordsmith, and the few of his things I've read, I've enjoyed to varying degrees. He dwells in what is currently my state of residence, about two hours away. I've never met him (nor tried to).

We had a big Sci Fi convention within a dozen years ago in Raleigh, and I do not recall him being on the agenda. Neither was David Drake, who lives closer.

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1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

You might be surprised. Dehumanizing the enemy is time tried method of reducing psychological problems with killing. Although usually is done BEFORE the killing, not sure if it's still useful afterwards.

You might be surprised to learn that this isn't very effective either. Careful investigation of soldiers in battle showed that in an average WW2 army only 10% of the soldiers in any given unit actually attempted to directly kill the enemy soldiers. In some exceptional units this rose to as much as 20%. Humans just aren't that happy about killing one another and simply dehumanising the enemy is not enough. If it is shaped and moves like a human being, your basic person on the street will face stiff psychological resistance against killing it.

Couldn't this be just because in WW2 they failed to dehumanize the enemy enough? Was the investigating really done on all armies or just Allies? Or was that "investigation" just claim of Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall, which only referred to US army and is not exactly considered true, sometimes even called debunked? (Another link).

I don't want to claim the problem doesn't exists ; I just find hard to believe that even AFTER military training for WW2 it was THIS serious, and sorry, but my internet search doesn't seem to confirm what you said, so I would like some sources.

(Note: of course, what is problem for effectivity of soldiers in battle is considered advantage in civilian life. That aversion to killing another human being may be mostly result of "civilian training".)

1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:

All that is moot in Susan's case, though. She had NO training. She did the act anyway. And even if she had had training, she would still have suffered trauma. Your proposed method of psychological support is about as effective as offering a placebo vaccination against the bubonic plague after the patient has contracted it.

... yeah, on second though it's really unlikely to be effective afterwards ...

... and of course Susan had no training ... and even if Helena and Demetrius though about it, they would be unlikely to manage to train her enough in the short time they had ...

... also, originally it was Nanase who was supposed to kill the vampire ... not that SHE had more training ...

... still might be better than nothing, which appears to be what she got.

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

Expressing my actual opinion of him would take me weeks or months and would end up looking something like 'The Oxford Dictionary of Obscenities and Vulgar Expressions'.

... so, you're saying, he's also educational?

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5 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I don't want to claim the problem doesn't exists ; I just find hard to believe that even AFTER military training for WW2 it was THIS serious, and sorry, but my internet search doesn't seem to confirm what you said, so I would like some sources.

Dave Grossman's excellent book 'On Killing' describes the problems and cites multiple sources. I will send you some of the sources he used in a private message later when I have slept.

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43 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
51 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I don't want to claim the problem doesn't exists ; I just find hard to believe that even AFTER military training for WW2 it was THIS serious, and sorry, but my internet search doesn't seem to confirm what you said, so I would like some sources.

Dave Grossman's excellent book 'On Killing' describes the problems and cites multiple sources. I will send you some of the sources he used in a private message later when I have slept.

Yeah, that book is also mentioned on one of my links. BECAUSE it apparently uses Brigadier General Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall as source.

Can you also specifically look if some of those sources are involving other than US army?

Note that I'm not disputing the solution. One post in that thread says it nicely: What is not in any doubt is that western militaries have gone to great lengths since the end of World War Two to develop sophisticated, realistic training environments to prepare soldiers for battle and develop instinctive responses to stimuli: in effect to stop the soldier from thinking.

It just seem that how bad the problem actually was in WW2 - and how big effect had dehumanization of enemy especially in German and Japan armies - was poorly researched subject.

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2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Can you also specifically look if some of those sources are involving other than US army?

I did. Quite a few of them do, but I am unsure they are any good for the purposes of combat statistics -- these seem to be mostly books about mental disorders in combat veterans and warfare survivors. I've noted British, German and Austrian works so far. I have noticed a few civilian efforts, too, if that is helpful. Also the author has conducted a lot of personal interviews with actual combat soldiers.

2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It just seem that how bad the problem actually was in WW2 - and how big effect had dehumanization of enemy especially in German and Japan armies - was poorly researched subject.

Even Grossman himself stated as much. I think that you are correct in that the exact numbers are uncertain. What does seem certain is that an unknown but large percentage of combat soldiers simply cannot bring themselves to kill other human beings even in extremis. He cites eyewitness accounts that confirm this, though these obviously are no good for statistical purposes.

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39 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It just seem that how bad the problem actually was in WW2 - and how big effect had dehumanization of enemy especially in German and Japan armies - was poorly researched subject.

Even Grossman himself stated as much. I think that you are correct in that the exact numbers are uncertain. What does seem certain is that an unknown but large percentage of combat soldiers simply cannot bring themselves to kill other human beings even in extremis. He cites eyewitness accounts that confirm this, though these obviously are no good for statistical purposes.

And I don't doubt the eyewitness account ; I just don't believe the statistics. Lot of people died in WW2 and someone must've killed them.

Obviously, statistics on earlier conflicts would be even less believable (if any). There would certainly be lot of differences between various conflicts and armies. Those differences were probably not analyzed by psychologists, but I think they were noticed. And I don't believe generals, military commanders etc before second world war were idiots. They didn't have modern science, but some of them are regarded as tactical genies even today. Killing enemy soldiers used to be much harder work in past than today, and there certainly were ways how to make your soldiers more likely to do it.

And one of those methods was dehumanizing the enemy. There probably isn't any scientific research about how effective it was, but considering how often it was employed, I think it must've worked.

On the other hand, you are right that this has little to do with Susan. Susan didn't have any military training (and even Nanase martial art training certainly didn't included killing), and she was raised in 20th century with globalization and decline of nationalism and racism ... not in 18th or 8th. (You may complain about racism today, but it IS better than in past.) She was totally not prepared to see the vampire as something less than human, and explaining it to her afterwards wouldn't be very effective (although, as I mentioned, probably better than nothing). And, talking about how it used to be harder to kill someone ... she used axe, not gun. And while the vampire changing to dust afterwards instead of bleeding there certainly helped, it WAS harder than shooting him.

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12 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

And I don't doubt the eyewitness account ; I just don't believe the statistics. Lot of people died in WW2 and someone must've killed them.

Yes, but remember, a HUGE amount of these casualties came from illness, infections, poor hygiene in general and stress exhaustion. Not to mention indirect warfare. It's a lot easier to lob artillery shells at human beings than it is to actually look them into the eyes as you kill them.

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On 8/21/2019 at 11:37 PM, Darth Fluffy said:

Ender's Game. Spoiler Alert! (Paraphrase) "We won! Training's over, right?" "No, the war is over. You just won." "I WHAT?" (Prelude to personal breakdown due to realization that he was responsible for wiping out another intelligent species.) ((And they didn't have to dehumanize them, already accomplished!))

Whatever you think of the author, this particular book is basically a pretty good read.

A lot of people seem to agree with you, but personally I found that the viewpoint characters all became less likable as the book went on, to the point where about two-thirds of the way through the book I didn't care about them at all anymore. At that point I put the book down and never felt any motivation to pick it back up again.

Card can write books I enjoy however; for a time Pastwatch was among my favorite books, though I strongly suspect it's a lot more problematic than I realized at the time (it's been well over a decade since I last read it).

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19 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
21 hours ago, hkmaly said:

And I don't doubt the eyewitness account ; I just don't believe the statistics. Lot of people died in WW2 and someone must've killed them.

Yes, but remember, a HUGE amount of these casualties came from illness, infections, poor hygiene in general and stress exhaustion. Not to mention indirect warfare. It's a lot easier to lob artillery shells at human beings than it is to actually look them into the eyes as you kill them.

With the range of WW2 rifles, I think that if you saw enemy's eyes you did poorly.

And yes, obviously indirect warfare is easier for psyche. Still, artillery support wasn't available so often.

 

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