Speakeasy forum


Not looking for a bun fight. I found this concept very

by Ziks511 / January 31, 2013 1:22 AM PST

compelling and illuminating of the way dumb ideas seem to take hold of a reasonably intelligent and sensible group of people who all hold the same set of pre-conceptions and prejudices.

Apparently the Pentagon (or the military generally) identified a form of group think which was then called "Incestuous Amplification".

A group of like-minded individuals coalesces in a position of power, say in development and procurement, or in tactical simulations, in the case of the Pentagon, or in an Administration which wants to project toughness.

Part of the price of being part of that group is to check your independent thoughts at the door, otherwise you are no longer viewed as like-minded and are no longer part of the group. Then, when asked to perform a task, militarize the AR-15 for example, or design the Bradley AFV, or come up for reasons to invade Iraq in the absence of any evidence of complicity in 9/11.

If the premise is flawed, or the group is wedded to previous shibboleths regarding military firearms. or the Administration has an agenda, the Incestuous group crowd around, rejecting any alternatives and hypering one another into a frenzy over this brilliant and necessary plan. It then moves forward, possibly acquiring random ideas thought good, which may diminish the effectiveness of the idea, but because they have been taken up by the "family" who are pushing the idea.

Instances of this sort of thing are present in every area. The company which releases a new product which is found to be ludicrously bad. An Education system which adopts a model of teaching which is not conducive to learning. A Corporation which adopts and accounting method which may be criminal, and certainly doesn't serve its shareholders.

"Incestuous Amplification." A great term for a bad process.



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a new product which is found to be ludicrously bad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2013 1:29 AM PST

To broaden this discussion and amplify it is well, but you did make me think of a recent observation.

-> A while ago I watched the "worst products of 2012" on CNET and that week a sale popped up on two of those products. They sold out in minutes.


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H.L.Mencken, Baltimore's leading misanthrope and cynic.
by Ziks511 / January 31, 2013 2:14 AM PST

and a gimlet eyed observer of people's behaviour:

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."


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Something like in the old
by Steven Haninger / January 31, 2013 1:53 AM PST
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(NT) Pretty much. Thanks, Steven, much appreciated. Rob
by Ziks511 / January 31, 2013 2:16 AM PST
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What's need here is more bun control!
by MarkatNite / January 31, 2013 11:21 AM PST

10-day waiting period before buying buns.

Background checks on anyone buying a bun.

Ban Cinnabon because no one NEEDs a bun that big. (Actually, where is Mayor Bloomberg on this?)

Ban plastic buns that look like real buns despite being inedible.

Even San Francisco is rethinking their "bare buns" law - Mark

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(NT) Herd mentality, don't be the squeaky wheel
by Willy / January 31, 2013 2:13 PM PST
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I don't know how I missed it
by Steven Haninger / February 1, 2013 12:44 AM PST

The described anomaly sounds very much like what's been happening lately at election time. Thinking about who to vote for is no longer required. In fact, it's discouraged. Wink

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internet contributes to a similair circular amplification
by Roger NC / February 1, 2013 8:36 AM PST

people find people who agree with them and they all cite each other as proof they're right.

Other views are nutcases, loonies, traitors, commies.............

Internet support have convicted some people that might still have had a small doubt that they're absolute infallible and everyone else is wrong and out to get them because they can find some blog to support their idiosyncrasies and damn everyone that disagrees.

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how would you relate that thought
by James Denison / February 1, 2013 6:50 PM PST

to this forum?

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there is definately opposite views here
by Roger NC / February 1, 2013 8:53 PM PST

but then I was speaking in generalities in relation to the OP.

There doesn't seem to be much attempt to understand the other here though.

But even where you have opposing views online, normally there is no discussion, just condemning the other side and everyone has a list of like minded web sites handy to back their assertion they're right.

Finding a volume of vindication for their views encourages some people not to consider any value to any other view.

Indeed, I have to wonder about the effect on a borderline mental stability individual who can find online support for his paranoid ideas or his prejudicial hatreds. Does the online availability of vindication of almost any view you can imagine encourage people to tip over?

I don't know, but sometimes I wonder.

One thing about here, at least about political arguments, I can find links to both sides given to me, without having to search myself. However, I find it's a good idea for a totally unknown site to scan some stories other than the one quoted/linked. It gives you an idea of how the site views the world, an idea of how much value you place on their opinions. Quoted or claimed facts you can search to see if they are facts or exaggerations.

The opposite side of that is posters who take extreme views (at least to the reader) and use what the reader finds to be campaigning sites for a point rather than a news site repeatedly lose their appeal, and their references may not be read because the reader has come not to trust the posters references because of repeated past disappoints in their quality.

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