Choi Jin-Sil, her suicide blamed on the Internet
Was reading this thing bout Korea which is like, uhhh. “The governmentâ€™s Communications Commission last year ordered Web portals with more than 300,000 visitors a day to require its users to submit their names and matching Social Security numbers before posting comments.” And this is South Korea btw. In North Korea you have to register to get more than 300 calories per day. I think this is an incredibly toxic and disturbing precedent to set, suicide of a South Korean actress aside. Humans have systematic psychological attribution errors, which it’s weird to see on a national level. And, needless to say, bad.
In psych an attribution error is basically being irrational in a systematic manner. One classic experiment on the fundamental attribution error was
Subjects were asked to rate the pro-Castro attitudes of the writers. When the subjects believed that the writers freely chose the positions they took (for or against Castro), they naturally rated the people who spoke in favor of Castro as having a more positive attitude toward Castro. However, contradicting Jones and Harris’ initial hypothesis, when the subjects were told that the writer’s positions were determined by a coin toss, they still rated writers who spoke in favor of Castro as having, on average, a more positive attitude towards Castro than those who spoke against him. In other words, the subjects were unable to see the influence of the situational constraints placed upon the writers; they could not refrain from attributing sincere belief to the writers.
I mean, it’s no big thing that humans are irrational. We’re essentially working with a monkey toolkit in a world only recently populated with data and logic. However, nations at least should make some effort to see clearly and do the rational thing.
This whole thing in South Korea is triggered (or catalyzed) by the suicide of their movie star sweetheart Choi Jin-Sil. However, suicide is a complex thing rarely attributed to one thing and picking the most obvious (salient) feature and cracking down on that is just running headlong down a psychological rabbit-hole. It’s an error. Choi was a single mother and a divorcee and God knows what else. But South Korea blames it on the Internet. With crap like this:
In a monthlong crackdown on online defamation, 900 agents from the governmentâ€™s Cyber Terror Response Center are scouring blogs and online discussion boards to identify and arrest those who â€œhabitually post slander and instigate cyber bullying.â€
And then there saying that this is a chance for the government to pivot off the massive beef protests of the last year. Science fiction is starting to look more and more real. Comforting even. This world is just dem stupid at the moment.