Science of scaring people

As Tulsidasji said, love too is born of fear, making fear the greatest tool to alter human behaviour; so understanding science of scaring people is extremely useful is you want to bring a change. 

As it is the thinking neocortex that rejects change, mind-control through fear is possible only if neocortex is set aside. And a great tool to manage this is by using numbers. 

Safety in numbers, and its corollary, fear of numbers are instincts that were with humanity well before we invented numbers.

Inducing fear, and thus change, through numbers is a powerful mechanism that works mainly because it is backed by a real threat in form of an ancient superpower we all can unleash, i.e. ability to form mobs. 

Mob-mode is a brilliant innovation of evolution as it allows a human-collective to protect its collective-survival by switching off individual drives of survival in its members and make them blindly follow the objectives of the super-organism formed while functioning under the mob-mode.

As humanity depends heavily on the collective for long term existence, mob-mode is a very rational solution because once it is switched on, individuals can be made to act beyond their self-interests or self-preservation for the benefit of the collective. As it unleashes violence unbridled by survival-fear or neocortical morality, it is an all-out weapon for dealing with any opponent, so we designed to succumb to its fear.

As directly switching on of mob-mode can lead to a violent conflict, evolution has ensured that there are postures executed prior to real action.

So, gathering in numbers, marching with aggressive body language and chanting the idea that the collective wants to communicate are natural precursors that are expected to strike fear in the hearts of opponents. Using these postures to announce readiness of unleashing the power of mob are common tools of those wanting their ideas to be accepted. 

So, if you shade the illusion of moral superiority, be it an army chanting “Allahooakbar” or “Ayo Gorkhali” or liberals marching down the street chanting “Make love, not war”; the essence of the posturing remains the same, i.e. fear us.

The irony of marches in the name of #NotInMyName happening in India right now is striking from this perspective because the movement itself is against mob violence, while unknowingly it is using the very threat that it is fighting against.

If #NotInMyName is not a campaign to induce fear, there is no other utility of such a posture. Apart from ancillary benefit of safety-in-numbers encouraging some fence-sitters to join in temporarily, it is unlikely to serve any real purpose (other than few politicians knowingly pretending that they are scared of the toothless tiger, as they would not like to lose a single vote).

As a pragmatic person who knows that wishing away mob violence is like wishing away of autoimmune disorders while enjoying benefits of immunity; all I really see possible is that humanity indulges in as little mob-mode as possible. And the only way towards it is drastic reduction in survival threats, which looks a bit unlikely till we have a democratic system where politicians, the grand masters of scaring people benefit from evoking such threats.

But, if you really wants to change the way humanity responds to a perceived survival threat and indulges in mob-violence, the only option is to prevent the threat from surfacing.
Accept the bitter reality that you shall never have the numbers that other forces in India can whip up without even touching the smartphone. If you really want the equation to change in your favour, there is absolutely no other way but to work on their base through positive action of helping masses.

If you try the language of numbers, you are likely to evoke a modified third law of Newton in context of human actions where reaction is massively unequal to action (that you want to imagine doesn’t exist).
Spread science, spread knowledge, increase literacy. That is the only way if you really mean to bring a change. 
DNA: 9/7/17

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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