It is apparent Milgram assuaged participants’ concerns by making them believe in a noxious ideology—namely, that it is acceptable to do otherwise unconscionable things in the cause of science."
Stephen Reicher, a professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, said the implications were far-reaching.
It showed that ordinary people could commit acts of extraordinary harm, but that thoughtlessness was not the main motivator, he said.
“We argue that people are aware of what they are doing, but that they think it is the right thing to do,” he said.
“This comes from identification with a cause—and an acceptance that the authority is a legitimate representative of that cause.
Researching actually looking into the papers of the famous Milgram experiment (i.e. someone applying increasing fake-shocks to an actor, and many people continuing even after that person appears to be dead.)
Trad reading is that people will just follow authority figures (The Banality of Evil argument). This research would seem to suggest something else - namely the above.
The monuments we build today are going to shift and change — just like we do. What I like about the Mandela sculpture (and what makes me uneasy about the World Trade Center pools), is that [South African artist Marco] Cianfanelli knows that we’re changelings, so his monument keeps asking us to shift position, to adjust, to rethink. The trip from jail to freedom (and back) is a provocative subject; it will keep people thinking for a long, long time.
Hey so. That podcast thing I made: it’s a real thing now. If you want to listen to it, you can do that here or on iTunes (search for Reasonably Sound, not my name). And you can see supporting visual materials for episode #1 here.