A Conversation for Deep Thought: Milgram Thoughts

We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 21

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

smiley - rofl

In answer to your theoretical, Caiman, that would have been even more impossible for Dr Milgram - his 'victim' was in on the gag, and was never actually shocked. And they still thought he was a monster. But your question is a good one, I think.

As someone who often spends hours trying to outwit Google's commercial algorithm, I sympathise. But I used to have to do the same things with live librarians. Librarians often try to dump tons of irrelevant material on your desk, recommend unsuitable books, pass on shallow 'go-to' sources, etc, because they aren't subject matter experts, but like to think they are. As a lifelong researcher, I have learned to bypass librarians unless I need to ask the really meaningful questions, like 'Where's the microfilm room?' and 'Do you have a copy machine?'

Elektra's going to kill me now. She's a retired librarian...smiley - run


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 22

Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post'

You are safe from me. I remember fondly helping immigrants to write letters. helping people with the card catalog and job searches.


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 23

FWR

I shall stand down the extraction team DG, but give us the signal if things turn nasty... smiley - cool


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 24

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

ESL teacher AND librarian = great combination. smiley - hug

Also, I have just helped an Edited Guide user find information for her thesis - from the Edited Guide. On Twitter. smiley - angel She tweeted back, 'God bless you!'

The Edited Guide = Useful Thing. smiley - book


We covered that experiement in psych class in college in 1967

Post 25

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

Some are less vicious than others.

The work may drive some of them a bit crazy. Think about it: it's your job to build up a fantastic collection of books or recordings or videos, etc. You do your job so well that some patrons won't return the best items so others can enjoy them. This leaves a less attractive collection.

So, either the librarian keeps replacing items, or burns out. Those are the most likely choices. Depression and OCD are fairly widespread among librarians, especially in big, bureaucratic libraries. I know of a place where a lot are on medication. smiley - sadface

And, yes, you can imagine librarians giving electric shocks to patrons who won't return the best items. smiley - biggrin

(We all have a vulnerable side, and were once capable of humanity)


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 26

FWR

I was actually referring to the vicious inhabitants of Beta Librae, colloquially known as Librarians, apologies for any misunderstandings...


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 27

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

Were they Utricularia? If so, then thy were featured in Star Control II, and I have figured out where you are coming from. If not, then "Golden Helix" is the only other possibility I can come up with.

I have no problem with the idea that librarians either start crazy or become that way by exposure to their environment. I retired ten years ago, so I don't take it personally. Some of my bosses were about as crazy as anyone I've ever met anywhere. If I personally happen to be crazy, please believe me when I say that I was once a kindly, reasonable human being who became damaged by my journey through life. Or not. I still hope to see some sign of hope just around the corner.

I will deal with Dmitri's kinfolk in the next post.


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 28

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

"Librarians often try to dump tons of irrelevant material on your desk, recommend unsuitable books, pass on shallow 'go-to' sources, etc, because they aren't subject matter experts, but like to think they are.
Elektra's going to kill me now. She's a retired librarian." [Dmitri]

I trust you, Dmitri. That has been your experience. You are truthful, for which I am grateful on a daily basis.

My worst moment as a librarian came one day when a young intern in the reference department called me to say that she couldn't come to work that day because she had gone to New York and couldn't get back in time. I later learned that she had been calling from a mental hospital, where she had been committed. The last head librarian I worked under made the intern seem like a rock of sanity by comparison. She was a nightmare to work under, and I was happy to escape with my health and what was left of my mind in 2010. And don't get me started about my *first* boss, who could seem perfectly agreeable until, without without warning, he would blow up and throw things at people.

But I still had a core of belief that these people had some claim on my empathy and hope for a better future. John 8:7 I'm not casting stones at them, just explaining why I was not up to the task of dealing with them.




We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 29

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

Librarians can be the good guys/gals in literature. I know several series about that, and there's a TV series where librarians try to foil literature's greatest villains who escape form the books to attack the real world.

Here's Alcatraz versus the evil librarians:

http://www.amazon.com/Alcatraz-vs-Evil-Librarians-Versus/dp/0765378949


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 30

FWR

Sadly I have no links to the tribes of Beta Librae (or their saddo neighbours on Alpha lol), however in all my years working in mental hospitals, I never came across an Earth 'librarian', but met a few from Beta.
Funny old omniverse isn't it?


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 31

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Hm...considering that this conversation was originally about the Milgram Experiment, I don't know whether I'd say it was badly derailed or merely trackless...

But I just stopped by to say thanks - I got the subject for a future column. smiley - laugh

Carry on now. smiley - run


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 32

FWR

Oops!


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 33

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

I'm sorry that you don't have links, FWR. Your source material will remain a mystery, I guess. I would be fascinated to come across librarians who were truly evil rather than crazy/psychologically damaged, etc.

If you came into the world bent on wreaking harm, would you choose to work as a librarian, knowing that the work would be a. often boring, b. performed in plain view (privacy would let you do worse things), and c. not usually conducive to the good life. You might get shunted into an academic specialty in a college library. Wait, this could make a great cover, and who would suspect a librarian of hacking into the database?

I might conceivably be able to think of a story with a villainous librarian myself! smiley - run

smiley - winkeye

Well, anyway


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 34

FWR

Sorry Paul, but your inter Web doesn't support Beta Librae media. I have tried but it keeps frying these puny devices...

Apologies DG, it's happening again.


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 35

FWR

And when did we get the extra E in experiment? I am WAY behind you funky American kids!


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 36

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

If Beta Librae is a computer game, I can figure out the rest, even if I can't actually go there.

Pretty much anyone and everyone can be a detective (or a bad guy) or a superhero, etc., these days. Jane Austen and Mozart have solved murders (as fictional characters).

Are librarians colorful enough to make the cut?

I know what those of us over fifty remember about librarians. The shelves of books, and then the shelves of CDs and DVDs, and finally the online databases and ebooks.

Librarians interact with people, though, or they're supposed to. Parents bring their very young children to libraries, and librarians tell them stories. Sometimes a guest speaker will come to a library for a presentation on almost any subject. I've seen my library packed to the rafters with people for these.

Ask yourself what ought to be the *center* of a community. A shopping center? The Town Hall? The Park? The village square with cafes and small shops? Well, a library could also be considered part of the center. If not all libraries see themselves in this way, that's a loss for the towns that they serve. (Or it was until February 2020, when the world began to become a collection of isolation cells.)

Zoom is fine, but you have to ask yourself why 20,000+ people would crowd into a stadium for a game or concert. This is part of normality, too, and we've lost it for now. smiley - sadface

Whe the weather was milder, I enjoyed walking around m trailer park, knowing I would see (but not get close to) other people.


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 37

FWR

The center of any community would be the stocks or gallows, Librarians love a good show with dinner.


We covered that experiment in psych class in college in 1967

Post 38

paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented

If there are gallows in our towns, they are well-hidden.
smiley - doh As Data would say, "Ah, humor!"

Is there a way to think of a world that isn't out to get the average person?

But you write great stories without such a world. Oh, well.


Key: Complain about this post