jfager4 karma2015-10-14 16:01:54 UTC
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jfager1 karma2015-10-14 19:27:47 UTC
jfager1 karma2015-10-14 21:27:32 UTC
jfager1 karma2015-10-15 00:16:16 UTC
"... riots are sometimes more than spontaneous outbursts. If they evolve, it means they have depth and length and a history ... what if the way to explain the school-shooting epidemic is to go back and use the Granovetterian model—to think of it as a slow-motion, ever-evolving riot, in which each new participant’s action makes sense in reaction to and in combination with those who came before?"
Gladwell is embedding shooters in a metaphorical riot, making the case that we're walking down the threshold ladder. But doing so is a process, a progression, and, if you take this idea seriously, we must be somewhere in the middle of it, as we aren't all going around shooting up schools yet. I think the article suggests very strongly that Gladwell believes one threshold that's being crossed now, in the current unfolding process, is "autistic kids at risk of counterfeit deviance".
Also, you're twisting something here in a way that I think is a little ironic. I'm not suggesting that Gladwell is advocating for screening individuals ignoring group dynamics, I'm suggesting that Gladwell is using a single example, the story of one individual, to identify a population that he claims is now at risk of becoming school shooters. The last paragraph of the article:
"In the day of Eric Harris, we could try to console ourselves with the thought that there was nothing we could do, that no law or intervention or restrictions on guns could make a difference in the face of someone so evil. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts."
Calling a child "autistic" de-individualizes them and assigns them a whole body of psycho-social baggage whether it particularly applies to them or not. That's kind of my whole problem w/ the article; "potential school shooter" is a pretty awful stigma to throw into that mix, and I think its irresponsible and harmful to advance that narrative on the flimsy evidence of a single troubled kid who didn't actually go through with hurting anyone.
jfager0 karma2015-10-14 15:48:39 UTC
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