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Empathy Sentence

Have victims groups wear google glass & make criminals watch it
  [vote for,

For any crime that shows extreme lack of empathy for the victim (such as hate crimes & rape), the judge can mandate "empathy sessions". (Add this to the choices of prison, parole, community service,etc)

Each "empathy session" is where the perpetrator needs to show up where they are shown 1 hour videos of what "a day in the life" is for people who are similar to the victim.

Victim's advocacy groups would get volunteers to wear google glass (or similar) to record daily life. They'd edit it to make clips showing how they are both 1) Human too, & 2) suffer from discrimination in remarks, looks, etc

The "empathy sessions" would need to have a facilitator (parole officer, volunteer?) who's empowered to take attendance & not count attendance if they are not paying attention. Don't show up? Go back to more painful sentences.

sophocles, Mar 20 2014

Voight-Kampff machine http://en.wikipedia...ight-Kampff_machine
Prior Art [8th of 7, Mar 21 2014]

Recent press on a similar app http://www.themachi...er.org/?page_id=820
beAnotherLab [sophocles, Jan 26 2016]


       //extreme lack of empathy// I'm not sure socio/psychopaths are going to get anything useful out of this.
FlyingToaster, Mar 20 2014

       [+] We need ways out of where we're stuck now.   

       I think a large percentage of those showing lack of empathy would just try to play this as a game, but even if it functions just to make explicit what is *expected* of a decent human being, it's more progress than showing someone how to become worse, the way we do, now.   

       Let's say this gives 5 offenders actual insight? (Pushing the anticipated maximally successful outcomes right down.) That's still 5 deep-level ascents up to full humanity. The knock on effect lasts years, and spreads wide. Often the little changes make up for their small scope by their durability. Little kindnesses propagate outwards (like little cruelties, maybe, but still in more practical ways than little ideas.)   

       Because so many would just try to squeeze some advantage out of this, though, I think it'd be better to attach no rewards to compliance. The reward needs to be personal satisfaction at discovering one's capacity for compassion, if there's any at all. (Or so I think.)
skoomphemph, Mar 20 2014

       I can see this backfiring where the psychopaths learn the wrong lesson.   

       People have been trying and failing for years to make psychopaths more empathetic. Mostly what they achieve is to make the psychopaths more subtle and cunning, instead.   

       Ironically, this over-emphasis on empathy results from a misunderstanding, by "experts", of how they, the psychopaths, think.   

       I hypothesise that lack of empathy is not what makes a psychopath a psychopath; they have that in common with harmless, and occasionally saintly, autistic people. What makes them psychopaths, and not harmless dorks, is that the lack of empathy is combined with (a) high self-esteem and (b) lack of benign moral-intellectual structures.
pertinax, Mar 21 2014

       Yes, a really bad kind of wrong lesson would be learning of some previously unsuspected human vulnerabity, exactly by being offered a look inside the thoughts of someone too ingenuous. I can't think what such a "weakness" might be, but I would think even the careful student of vulnerability might keep learning new things all life long.
skoomphemph, Mar 21 2014

       Maybe this won't work for true psychopaths. But, I think it could help many people (like me).   

       When I offend people, I sometimes don't even know it, & justify my meanness by only what *I* felt.   

       But, my S.O. can often point out, later, the perspective from the victim in that situation.   

       Then, I realize how foolish I was, & wrong I was, & then I really understand & will act far better in the future than if I was just "punished" without any empathy lesson.
sophocles, Mar 21 2014

       // Maybe this won't work for true psychopaths. //   

       It won't. Trust us on this. If you had met any of [MaxwellBuchanan]'s family, you would immediately realise the foolishness of that comment.   

       // But, I think it could help many people (like me). //   

       1. No-one can help you. Just learn to Give In To Your Hate.   

       2. Why do you think you need help anyway ?   

       // When I offend people, I sometimes don't even know it, & justify my meanness by only what *I* felt //   

       When we offend people, we always know it. Either we don't care, or that's what we intended in the first place.   

       // But, my S.O. can often point out, later, the perspective from the victim in that situation. //   

       May we draw you attention to the fact that there may be more than one motivation and/or process operating here, specifically the schadenfreude of your S.O. in getting the opportunity to point out in great detail how wrong you were, are, and ever will be.   

       // Then, I realize how foolish I was, & wrong I was, & then I really understand & will act far better in the future than if I was just "punished" without any empathy lesson. //   

       Painful electric shocks would be equally, if not more, effective in inducing aversive behaviour. If you will provide a cat, we will be delighted to demonstrate.   

       Actually, better make that several cats. It's always a challenge to achive the desired effect while making sure the shock is not immediately lethal. Since our algorithm involves starting at max power and then dropping down in small steps, and given the variability in sensitivity of the test subjects, calibrating the equipment is a slow (but highly enjoyable) process.
8th of 7, Mar 21 2014

       As the rioters start seeking suitable projectiles, the next Iteration of the serious matter stumbles innocently round the corner, deeply and offensively sincere.   

       The throwing hands are raised above shoulder height and thousands of eyes glare in eager anticipation at the Iteration.   

       And still it says: I think what we need here is a psychopath detector. It would be a fairly simple device. Cameras would measure pupil dilation, while a wounded mouse was presented to the subject. Predatory responses would be taken as an psychopathy indicator...   

       I seem to be getting my species conflated or combobulated ... anyway ...   

       Psychopaths could be put on the forced drug addiction program (to a new narcotic tailor made to be unobtainable on the street). This might make them controllable, if not reformable. They could be conditioned to simulate acceptable behaviour for treats. Non psychopaths would be put on empathy training.   

       And minutes after the OK button was clicked, the HB resident psychopath got up from his desk, looking at the monitor, inspired...
skoomphemph, Mar 21 2014

       This thread reinforces why I love the HB, & don't want it getting more popular. I just love the small, intense community here. It's clever, strange, brave, silly.
sophocles, Mar 21 2014

       ... dark and evil. You forgot the important ones.   

       // I think what we need here is a psychopath detector. It would be a fairly simple device. Cameras would measure pupil dilation //   

       Baked. <link>
8th of 7, Mar 21 2014

       The Director of Correctional Services (the ironic name given to our local thug-training agency) should place an order with Voight-Kampff right away!   

       Though it starts to feel like the only ways to deal with the more reptilian form of criminal are, themselves, psychopathic, somehow it still doesn't seem terribly Wrong to diminish the capacity for the exercise of free will of someone who gets excited by ... well pit bull fights, for example.   

       (Better examples of worse hominids exist, of course, but I, for one, wouldn't consider those who attend dog fights at all borderline -- They catch pet labradors here as bait for the fighting dogs, after all. Being pets, they're nice and trusting. Being Labradors, the idea is they don't do the (expensive) fighting dog too much damage.)
skoomphemph, Mar 22 2014

       Going off on a bit of a tangent here;
Though science has distanced itself from shamanistic practices I see many correlations between the two when discussing the mind. Specifically referring to individual mental traits as belonging to other species.
A persons actions are seen as animalistic, predatory, or cold-blooded when psycho/sociopathic, where herbivore terms are used to describe empathic folks who try not to harm and tend to flock together as sheeple.

       I had a point here a minute ago... what was I...   

       Ah yes, this whole animal-spirit embodiment thing may not be as far fetched as it sounds. It may even be a function of the genetic code.
Consider that any group dynamic changes based on its number of people; two's-company, three's-a-crowd, being-the-fifth-wheel, etc., and each size of group eventually has it's slots filled whether the people comprising the group realize that they are falling into these roles or not.
Someone ends up leader, another one ends up peacekeeper, somebody ends up nurturer... it just happens. Smaller groups on the whole will try to fill unperceived gaps with new members and when these various roles become more complete then jealousies over position cause the group as a whole to tend to find other groups to frown upon or remain separate from.

       You find the same thing in any system in nature. There are slots to fill, so creatures either already fit or evolve to fit, and those slots get filled or the system crashes.
Well, since we've more-or-less removed our species from having to co-exist in an ecosystem, it would seem that our DNA has taken on the job of filling the slots we think we've removed ourselves from.

       Most people I meet strike me as resembling certain animals, and just like in nature, there are a lot more prey than predators. It's people's mannerisms more than their looks, and it is fairly simple to spot predator/prey traits in other folks. The predators know this and get good at wearing sheep's clothing but, as good as anyone can get at controlling their own physiological responses, it's not really possible to lose that glint in their eye.   

       A sociopath can no more be blamed for their nature than a crocodile can be blamed for killing a gazelle, and that person could not be taught empathy any more than a sheep could be taught to drag a rabbit into a water-hole for a death roll.
Blamed for their actions yes, but not their nature.

       So... if it can't be squashed, it must be recognized early enough to be channelled somehow.   

       I think if it's recognized early, it's at least worth trying to do some repair/improvements, yes. I also think we're more complex than snakes, too. Psychopaths would probably have some non-terrible qualities, too.   

       The commission of a crime is a pretty arbitrary dividing line between letting be, and bringing down the club, but at least it narrows the discussion to a particular type of psychopath - and to an emphasis on the effect of behaviour, rather than on the motivations. We can always fall back on result sought (less crime, somehow).   

       In any event, it would be good to have a criminal justice system that absolutely prioritises young first offenders over all others.   

       I'll harp on again about the need to be able to undo what's done. There needs to be some way to earn readmittance to the human race (at the end of which someone should even say, "Welcome back to the human race, X", before burning the criminal record.)   

       Apparently even psychopaths can be of some value to humanity. The people who pursue goals while ignoring the (permitted) harm done to those who obstruct the way might count, too, as psychopaths / having psychopathic facets. Sometimes they're useful.   

       And seeing anyone as simply useful is possibly a universal psychopathic-tending deed?   

       We enter into the definitions at some point away from the clear cases. Lions are empathetic psychopaths if called in for human-valued scrutiny. Geckos talk to each other, and sometimes seem to play. And even pit bulls are nice people deep inside.
skoomphemph, Mar 22 2014

       // even pit bulls are nice people deep inside //   

       Well, obviously. The stomach first, and then the duodenum …
8th of 7, Mar 22 2014

       Indeed. No gassy, tripe-lined rumen in a pit bull. Just a proper stomach parts like all the other rat-based life forms.
skoomphemph, Mar 22 2014

       //For any crime that shows extreme lack of empathy for the victim (such as rape), the judge can mandate "empathy sessions//   

       I have no problem with this as long as you execute them afterwords.
doctorremulac3, Mar 22 2014

       What an excellent idea, although it might result in an unacceptably high turnover of judges. However, this is clearly a situation where valid data can only be determined by an extended practical experiment.   

       Would the judges be allowed to choose their own method of execution ?
8th of 7, Mar 22 2014


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