The Invention of Blame (Scapegoat Mechanism)

published on July 17, 2020

Vsauce Kevin here and these three grains of rice help explain why you are you also the knife and jar represent a hypothesis for human sacrifice we'll get to that later let's start with you you'll be the green rice you desire things love respect money friends wisdom

A cool haircut Fame YouTube views shoes a robust stamp collection those ever-changing objects of desire are the red rice and you just want those things because you want them right you know what you like it's your freewill to

Decide what it is you desire maybe not anthropological philosopher Rene Girard didn't think so while survival depends on satisfying biological needs like hunger desires are not innate we're not born wanting a

Fancy car or the prettiest gown at the ball desires manifest from imitating other people the subject we imitate for any given desire is called a model that's the blue rice your mom is blue rice your dad grandma Maggie Albert

Einstein Harry Potter is blue rice a model can be a person close to you or just a person you've read about and a triangular desire relationship flows from you imitating the model to receive the desired object I want to be as

Wealthy as Bill Gates I want to be as funny as my aunt Maureen I want to be as sexy as some sexy muscley hunk why do I speak English why do you speak your native language because you imitated people who imitated people

Because aside from crying imitating people was the first thing you ever did in your life infants are able to imitate facial acts like sticking out their tongues immediately after being born the youngest infant tested successfully

Imitated 42 minutes after leaving the womb according to psychologists and infant development researcher Andrew meltzoff that suggests infants have an inborn mapping between the perception and production of human acts becoming

You starts by becoming someone else but it's not just monkey-see monkey-do or conditioning a dog to dance for oranges we project our own internal experiences onto others to come to an understanding that those moving meat bags with

Eyeballs are like me gaze following is a nonverbal triangular communication between subject model and object infants are more likely to gaze follow mothers whose eyes are open rather than closed leading meltzoff to hypothesize that an

Infant knows when it closes its eyes the world goes dark so it must go dark for mommy to no need to follow her closed eyes when I know she's not actually looking at anything humans are born imitating and human culture evolved by

Imitating neuro anthropologist Merlin Donald says our mimetic culture of imitation is the first definitively human stage of development non-human primates do learn in social settings but it's an episodic culture meaning they

Pay attention to the result of an action and then figure out the method for achieving that through trial and error rather than duplicating the successful mannerisms they observed imitation is humanity's cultural zero

Point long before we developed fancy words like cultural zero or point according to Gerard human society developed as people copied one another's desires to the point of becoming rivals if the object of desire is in limited

Quantity whether its territory or a girlfriend the rivalry to obtain it eventually leads to violence when the violence spread to a point where society was at risk of collapse everyone got together

And sacrificed a goat more or less the scapegoat mechanism is the process by which group hostility is transferred onto a single victim and banishing this victim restores unity to the group illusionist James Warren visualizes this

Phenomenon using a jar rice and a knife imagine that each grain of rice is an individual person as their matching desires jobs love and wealth spread like a virus they get closer and closer until they're packed so tightly that rivalries

Emerge and friends families and neighbors turn into enemies violence is inevitable with society at risk of collapse someone in the group is perceived as an outsider and is chosen as the party responsible for the chaos

All hostility is turned on the scapegoat and social order is restored by uniting around the common cause of banishing it from the group or delivering the ultimate banishment killing it Gerard believes scapegoating

Explains how early human societies developed in Rene Girard and myth richard Golson details of myth from the vendor people of South Africa the snake God Python had two wives during a drought the second wife was seen as a

Major disruption and was blamed for the drought and the suffering of the people so she was killed her death triggered a flood and the community was saved after successfully uniting the group the scapegoat is sanctified from their

Sacrifices honoring the event became a religious consecration sacrificing humans and later animals like goats paid tribute to the gods and the great uniting scapegoat the word scapegoat means a symbolic bearer of the sins of

The people during the Salem witch trials occult magic was used as an imagined differentiator to single out women as witches who were then executed to restore peace to the village foreign-born queen of france Marie

Antoinette was scapegoated as the cause of unrest during the French Revolution and off went her head here's the problem scapegoating can only provide a temporary sense of contentment soon enough rivalries flare up a new

Scapegoat is chosen and exiled and the cycle begins again people actually become dependent on this cycle as reflected in CP kavafis waiting for the barbarians in the poem an entire city-state joins together in solidarity

And bases their behaviors around the impending danger posed by the barbarians except the barbarians never arrived it ends with confusion and now what's going to happen to us without barbarians they were those people a kind of solution

Scapegoating happens at home in school in online communities and on social media it's an emergent property resulting from mimetic desire leading to memetic rivalry and ending in mimetic violence an escape goat is chosen to

Quell the crowd you can see its underpinnings everywhere even disco in 1977 Saturday Night Fever catapulted disco music into the mainstream and its soundtrack became one of the top-selling albums of all time

Within two years cultural dynamics ranging from sexual and racial demographics to internal strife among commercial artists led to disco becoming a scapegoat for eroding musical values and baseball's Chicago White Sox

Capitalized on the hysteria they promoted a disco demolition night that featured crowd supply disco albums being blown up during the middle of a doubleheader more people United to participate in the figurative death of

Disco and to watch the actual baseball games disco was symbolically banished to appease the crowd the effectiveness of the scapegoat mechanism is contingent upon the group being unaware of its presence and being convinced this

Scapegoat is actually guilty by recognizing a group scapegoating the power of the mechanism is diminished and the violence is revealed however because we're mimetic creatures because we imitate each other to the

Point of contagion it takes active defiance in the face of our very nature to step away from the crowd and acknowledge the hidden force in play which is really hard to do it's hard to stand out because it's lonely as Russian

Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky who himself was exiled from his society wrote in notes from underground I am alone and they are everyone Dostoyevsky's books have been translated

Into 170 languages people all over the world can learn from his writings they can learn from him his mimetic influence spreads and survives in a way more powerful than a genetic influence ever could he had four kids but he has

Millions of grains of green rice by watching this video part of you is now me if you consider that all of the information and imitation passed down from generations has been absorbed and

Then ingrained in you throughout your life to develop you into you you realize that in a general sense Dostoevsky was wrong they are at everyone you are everyon and as always thanks for watching

the person who inspired me to make a YouTube channel was probably Tim Heidecker from Tim and Eric awesome show great job his style was so accessible it

Was just a guy being hilarious and being weird and having his own unique sense of style and comedy and it spoke to me on such a personal level that is the first time I considered to myself like hey I'd like to do this – hey I'm Destin from

Smarter every day believe it or not I'm inspired to make videos because of my children they are curious little people that like to learn and I want to be the exact same type of person and I want to learn stuff so that they can watch

Videos in the future of their dad learning stuff I have looked up to Bret Michaels since I was 13 years old just being a fellow type one diabetic and he influenced me just by inspired me and I wanted to take that and inspire others

And the best way that I knew how which was through my artwork and through charity I even keep his guitar in the background of my videos for me guys like John four Lakers and soldier knows best really show that there was actually a

Future and doing tech videos on YouTube the person who inspired me to start making YouTube videos is my friend and was my roommate at the time nice Peter made his channel and it looked like a lot of fun so he helped me to make my

Channel I'm getting me a leg up as well as that time we got locked out of the apartment he gave me a leg up to get through the window because we can't do it alone my high school teachers definitely introduced me to science

Communication but I think it was Derek Muller and Henry Rice and by heart and Charlie McDonald that are the ones that inspired me to start my own YouTube channel because I saw what they were doing with this new platform and I was

Like it's so cool like they've hijacked this platform for cat videos but are using it for science the person who inspired me to start a YouTube channel was natalie tran who makes community channel she is hilarious she's a YouTube

Og and best of all she is an awesome person and I'm pleased now to be able to call her a friend my inspiration not just for making youtube videos but for making in general comes from being a kid as far

Back as I remember I've always wanted to make movies and the thing that inspired that the most was was horror films strangely enough when I was a kid a young lad my brother who is older would always

Show me slasher films and horror movies like right there teenth Halloween night round Elm Street child's plays sleepaway camp stuff like that and I love them because they took you on an emotional journey it was it was spooky it was

Scary but it was funny and there was all these different emotions that you felt while watching and I loved the fact that something something that I couldn't interact was something that was a passive experience I was just watching

Could influence my emotions that much and I wanted to be a part of that I wanted to be able to do that to others and that's what inspired me to make movies to be able to take people on some sort of experience some sort of

Emotional journey and it just landed on making them in a scientific I guess way and that becomes the motivation for why we're telling the stories we're going on an informational journey and it just fit I was inspired to make my first youtube

Channel by Eric fence Leard I've never met Eric Vince lair but he is the guy who made the famous GI Joe PSA parodies he took actual GI Joe cartoon public service announcements and overdubbed their voices with his own so

That they would say bizarre surreal things and the strangeness of these Clips made them viral I think they were actually if not the first viral videos on the Internet they were certainly in that first batch that first generation

That showed the power of the Internet and I had to get involved it seemed so subversive and Punk to be able to take a thing and subvert what it meant and not need to have the blessing of any gatekeepers it was just you and

Then over time what I was putting out there on the Internet evolved into what it is today science communication like and it enabled me to marry my interest in in performing and and and art with facts and knowledge and questions and

Curiosity I think that line is always blurry but man I really am thankful to Eric fence ler for making things that made me laugh and made me want to aspire to make something similar my main influence has always been my dad he's a

Brilliant creator he builds guitars for a living and now I build videos so because of him I knew I always wanted to have a life driven by creativity and one of the creative projects I'm really proud of is the Curiosity box this is a

Subscription box filled with wondrous items handpicked by Michael jaqen hi and it's like getting Vsauce delivered right to your door a portion of the proceeds goes to Alzheimer's research so it's not only good for your brain getting the

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