How we learn to be helpless—and unlearn it

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Do you ever wonder if this is one of the reasons why schools would enable bullying? to teach helplessness to the victims?


I am grateful to a bully who decided I was his next target.

After he recovered from the beating, he never bullied again, and I learned that I could overcome adversity.

I was 8.


They just lay down, curled up on the floor, whined and took it. After hundreds of trials…

Hundreds of trials. Did you ever see that movie, Saw? I suspect that guy was one of these guys.

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One of the speakers mentioned smoking unfiltered cigarettes, hinting they were worse than filtered. Unfiltered cigarettes are actually less bad for you than filtered cigarettes, as filters allow the smallest particles to enter your lungs, which is worse.

Unfiltered also allow the large particles. Is there some voodoo that makes them not have small particles?

I say this as an occasional cigar smoker, I always find the health logic of unfiltered smokers to be suspect. Tell me you enjoy it more, fine. I can get behind that. Don’t pretend it’s better by leaps and bounds.


Made me think of Theon Greyjoy.

You would have to take bigger drags from an unfiltered cigarette to get the amount of smaller particles present in a drag of a filtered cigarette. There were cigarette companies that refused to make filtered cigs because of this, but public demand made them capitulate. You are not so smart, and I do not smoke.

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Sorry, I just read the history of cigarettes and filters, google it yourself

So you read it, but can’t remember the title? But aren’t so lazy that you could type a response? I’m faced with little choice.


If science is on your side, you can offer a citation for this.

Both may be true. The former is some pretty massive asshattery.

Oh look, another condescending internet commenter who wants to play Sorry.

Perhaps this will get the conversation back on the rails & rolling…


As it is keenly observed on the show, sociopaths routinely exploit these sort of cognitive glitches to establish and maintain control… The motivation and mechanics for “breaking the wheel” (or escaping the prison with no doors) felt ham-handed in the finale. The podcast has a much better way of illustrating plausible methods of ending the suicidal cycle of death by a thousand crushed hopes, while the overall story ark on the game of thrones can be argued to be a Pavlovian experiment :wink:

Perhaps it’s better handled in the books, I wouldn’t know, and I suspect neither does anyone else, since they aren’t finished.

I had a coworker who did the opposite. Nothing that failed was ever her fault or problem. She always attributed flaws to others, mostly me. It took months after she quit for me to figure how just how much she had done this. I was ready to accept the situation, because of the way her responses were validated and mine were dismissed.


I had a similar manager. Astoundingly incompetent, bullying and nothing was ever her fault. Eventually I left, but it sure took me a long time to clue in.


Could we use the unlearning of helplessness to get rid of capitalism?


go on…

Yeah, the first thing that came to my mind was modern politics.

I hope to fuck the American populace can discern Bernie Sanders standing at the cage door jingling the keys…