Notebook Entries, April 2002

Notebook entry, April 28, 2002

An Associated Press news wire report by Arthur Max, as reported in The Denver Post, April 29, 2002, p. 2A, gives us this report with the title: "Right-wing candidate brings Dutch demons into light."  There has been some sobering political news coming out of Central Europe in the past several weeks.  It started with the anti-immigrant Jean Marie Le Pen's, whose claim to victory is that the black African immigrants have spurred a large spike in crime, gave a surprise showing in the first round of the French presidential elections last week.  Now we have news from the Netherlands of a similar candidate also showing surprising strength in the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held on May 15, 2002.  In this particular case the individual, Pim Fortuyn (pronounced fore-TOWN) is a flamboyant, shaven-headed former academic and columnist, a man who leads an openly gay lifestyle, is showing surprising support for his stand on crime being committed by illegal aliens.  Only, the bad guys in his country (according to Fortuyn), are Muslims. Here is an important quote from the news article that I want you to understand : "Netherlands, which has a reputation for liberalism.  It was the first country to legalize gay marriages, regulate prostitution, approve and control euthanasia, and tolerate the over-the-counter sale of marijuana in hundreds of 'coffee shops.' Though tolerant of such subcultures, Fortuyn's popularity has exposed a deep vein of suspicion of immigrants in Europe's most densely populated country, about 2 million of whose 16 million people are not native Dutch.  About 800,000 are Muslims."

The point that I want you to focus on is the density of the population and the percentage of the population that is submissive. The figures in the news report concerning The Netherlands come to 12.5% of the population being submissive.  I don't have the figures for the black African immigrants in France, but I have a feeling that the number is very similar.  Also see my notebook entry for April, 12, 2002 that reported on behavioral changes in high school populations larger than 1200. My speculation is that population density, resources available, the nature of those resources, and  the percentage of populations being dominate and submissive, in combination, can and will create a change in group dynamics affecting behavior that would "turn ugly" toward the submissives. The point is that there are specific amounts of resources available within a definable local environment being "competed" over by a distinct population.  If there is a definable group that is easily in domination, they most likely would let the submissives "share the water at the watering-hole" until the a certain percentage of the population is met.  I speculate that they may be a innate module that is calculating the resources available, dividing those resources mentally, identifying the dominates and submissives, and then when a "threatening" percentage of the submissive population is met, it sets off alarm bells of behavior mechanisms that could be classified as "hate crimes" in various populations or circumstances.

For further note, see my snippet on Hate Crimes dated May 1999.

Notebook entry, April 24, 2002

I attended my Democratic precinct caucus with Diana.  We were the only two there from our small voting district.  Thus, we both became delegates to attend the country assembly on May, 5th, 02.  We also volunteered to become committeepersons for our precinct.  More time away from the web site....oh, well, it is supposed to happen this way.  In my harmless delusional world, I personally felt responsible for the loss of White House to the Dark Side, and I must, in my small way, do something about the affliction.  I do need to get out more and work on my personal skills.  After all, we are a species that lives in the real world of groups and associations, and not on the web.

Notebook entry, April 18, 2002

The news that a four month investigation into the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School of student Daniel Rohrbourgh (there had been a rumors that he was shot by police and not by Klebold and Harris),  will be released to the public Wednesday or Thursday (April 17 or 18th, 2002) has resurfaced another aside story concerning the mental state of the young killers which buttresses my theory that bullying was the major contributing factor of the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999.

In a Denver Post story entitled: 2 teens 'who felt' powerless,' by Howard Pankratz, April 4th, 2002, p. 2B, tells us that [Klebold and Harris] sent a flood of warning signs that they might do something terrible, but that no one paid any attention to them, according to a team of psychiatrists. "Their alienation was intensified by a Columbine High School culture that placed athletes and those with money and status on a pedestal while virtually ignoring many students, some of whom were subjected to unmerciful bullying, the psychiatrists said."

"One of their motives was to teach the world a lesson," said Park Dietz, founder of the Threat Assessment Group of Newport Beach, Calif. "If you push people around long enough, they'll strike back....The group said they concluded that Columbine bullying was rampant based on information they got from the bullies and the bullied....Forensic psychiatrist Joel Dvoskin said one of Columbine's athletes told him that bullying was a time-honored method to rid the school of those they didn't like...'What did you expect us to do?' Dvoskin quoted the athlete as saying.  'We pushed them around to get them to leave school. We hated them.'...In this atmosphere, Harris became extremely angry while Klebold plunged into deep depression.  Alone they weren't dangerous, but together they became a volatile mix...Dovoskin said Harris became extremely arrogant, looking down on the stupidity of the people who bullied or ignored him...He said Harris' attitude toward others was: 'I can even tell you what I'm going to do, and you aren't smart enough to figure it out.'"

The psychiatrists said during a five-hour presentation that Klebold and Harris exhibited most of the 12 warning signs that Dietz formulated a number of years ago from studying mass-murderers...."Among those waning signs are intimidating behavior, preoccupation with police, reference to mass-murderers, preoccupation with weapons, inappropriate comments to peers, stalking their potential victims, anger and depression, and repeatedly accusing other of creating the problems faced by those exhibiting the warning signs....Of the 12 signs that someone is about to go on  a rampage, Harris had 10 and Klebold had 11."

The news article then drifts into FBI profiles relating to the relationship of  mass-murderers to bed-wetting, cruelty to animals, and fire-starting. The article ends with a final quote from Dietz: "These were two young men who felt powerless and had anger toward many people and wanted revenge toward perceived injustices."

I think that the truth is slowly beginning to show that the culture of bullying was allowed to flourish because of school teachers, and especially school administration officials, looking the other way, or, ignoring the bullying behavior as "not a problem."  I have a question that is grinding away at my soul: If Mr. Dietz, the psychiatrist, found 12 warning signs, how come he did not include the two warning signs mentioned if the first several paragraphs of this news article? -- so I feel that there should be 14 warning signs starting with the first two obvious default warnings signs: 1ST WARNING SIGN: "...CULTURE THAT PLACED ATHLETES AND THOSE WITH MONEY AND STATUS ON A PEDESTAL..." AND THE SECOND WARNING SIGN: "...WHILE IGNORING MANY STUDENTS, SOME OF WHOM WERE SUBJECTED TO UNMERCIFUL BULLYING..."  Don't those qualify as warning signs that may contribute to a student going on a rampage?  How come the buck does not stop at the school administration's door?  The reason for this apparent behavior of the school administration is that they also represent the display norms of the society found at the local environment of the surrounding Columbine High School community. Wealth and status are very important, as well as the accomplishments of the male athlete. (The school principle, it should be noted, was a former high school coach).  So, any attempt to blame the current, "profitable" and dominate behavior of the current cultural display norms would resist change.  My theory, and that shared by many others in the evolutionary community, is that "scapegoats" are located and "dehumanized" in which to place the blame and "protect" the culture in the event of any aberrant behavior.  This is done in order to protect the advantage given the privileged few when expulsions from the group occur. (In this case, Klebold and Harris were considered "deviant" by a dominate group (the jocks). Don't you see how easy it is to blame the "powerless" few (whom no one likes in the first place) and cover your ass?  The evolutionary community feels that this behavior originated with our hunter-gatherer group days and that we humans are unconsciously aware of the expulsion powers we process.  We also feel that many understand the "rejection" of the expulsion and have in our innate brains the ability to "feel the pain of expulsion," and the "anger" that goes along with that expulsion. Humans don't like it.  Just because the act of bullying and the advantages of such behavior may be part of our ancestral brains does not mean that our modern society has to accept the ways of our violent ancestral past.  Ignoring the obvious truth only leads to tragedies like Columbines.

To read my original evolutionary theory concerning the Columbine shootings titled: The Littleton Shootings: The Evolutionary Perspective, May 10, 1999, just click the link:.

Notebook entry, April, 12, 2002

A most interesting article in the Washington Post regarding behavior and school size, as reported in The Denver Post, p 2A. titled: School size liked to behavior, study says, by Michael A. Fletcher.  Results drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health of 72,000 students found that when the number of students in a school increases beyond 1,200, student feel that they can no longer sense personal relationships with each other that occur with smaller numbers. The author of the study, Robert Blum, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Adolescent Health and Development said that school administrators know who the kids are with smaller sizes and this keeps the kids engaged and feeling part of the school. When kids become isolated, the theory suggests that they are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as drug use, violence, or early sexual activity.  In the report, researchers tried to isolate the factors that contribute to "school connectedness," which contributes to students showing less evidence of adolescent problems.

I've heard this theory before since Columbine. If one frees one's mind for the moment and thinks about the biological entity of a growing cell, one can almost image that a growing population of humans, such as a hypothetical high school with over 1200 students,, would increase the amount of interpersonal information bantering about one's head.  It's almost like the "cell" had to split into a "smaller" and more "manageable" entity in order to maintain some sort of informational balance.  Perhaps the students, and perhaps the biological cells split because the increased flow of information has become to large to  accommodate, and to become smaller, (or to multiple) who be the ideal objective. Another thought, is that "unacceptable" people perceived by the dominate groups (say the jocks and cheerleader crowd found at every high school) are pushed to the edges of the social hierarchies in the school systems and form their own groups.  Unfortunately, the school administrators only see these groups as doing " unhealthy" activities, such as drug use, sexual activity, etc., while the "beautiful people" do the same thing but nothing is done about it. 

Notebook entry, April 8, 2002

Diana and I just just touched down from a much needed vacation in Maui.  We were only gone for a week, but the time away left us both relaxed and exhausted from the travel.   The best time was spent on a private sailboat where we managed to tail a pod of five males for over an hour.  It is quite a sight seeing these magnificent creatures.  We visited a  whaler's museum and I found the whale bone art work done by the sailors most interesting.  Most of the items where made to assist their potential wives with cooking pies -- cutters and edge pinchers.  Were these items a form of sexual display to the female of the male's artistic ability?  Perhaps. Anyway,  both Diana and I thought that it was wonderful that hunting the whales around Maui has become outlawed (Japan and Norway still hunt the creatures), and that the major industry now is whale watching.