The Number Of Mass Killings Has Exceeded The Number Of Calendar Days

"Since WWII, the number of mass killings (defined as an idiosyncratic, not state-sanctioned, killing spree with multiple victims) has been growing exponentially at a rate of 5% every year. This means that every 20 years or so, the number of mass killings triples (1.0520 = 3)."

"Since WWII, the number of mass killings (defined as an idiosyncratic, not state-sanctioned, killing spree with multiple victims) has been growing exponentially at a rate of 5% every year. This means that every 20 years or so, the number of mass killings triples (1.0520 = 3)."
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6 comments on “The Number Of Mass Killings Has Exceeded The Number Of Calendar Days

  1. Anonymous

    Under the directions of Big Brother the Fourth Estate is achieving it’s goals at the expense of it’s own citizens. MOAB killed about 300 innocent people and Westerners gloated. A case of selective Empathy.

  2. Big brother? The fourth estate? What is the end game? Human beings, with all their lofty proclamations and delusions of grandeur, are basically savages in dress. Unlike other dominant species, long extinct, man possesses the ability of logical thinking and reason. We have discarded the best of ourselves for myth, fairy tales, and group-think. Like all past, dominant species on this planet, humanity will perish, but unlike the dinosaur, it will be our own hubris that relegates us to a footnote of cosmic history.

  3. In the 1960s a French mathematician named Rene Thom originated a new branch of dynamical systems theory, which he dubbed Catastrophe Theory, to explain how dynamical systems will occasionally bifurcate and change their state abruptly. Thom dubbed this abrupt change a catastrophe. Most dynamical systems, those systems whose states fluctuate constantly with changes in the environment in an attempt to maintain their stability, are subject to abrupt changes. One of the first societal systems to be studied using this new theory was the US and how it changed abruptly from a society in broad support of the Vietnam war to one which suddenly demanded an immediate end to the war. For many observers this change was quite unexpected. The societal pressure caused by this sudden change of attitude served to force a quick end to the conflict. Prison riots occur in much the same way. A seemingly controlled environment suddenly erupts into chaos. The key to understanding these events is to discover what catastrophe theorists call the “splitting factor,” the variable, which when it reaches a certain point, causes the system as a whole to change its state abruptly. Stock market crashes beg to be studied with this framework.

    Reading the post above I was struck by the fact that two questions arise when applying the idea of catastrophe theory to the growing violence in our global society in general, and in America in particular. One is: what will be the nature of the abrupt change when it occurs? Will it be that society suddenly abhors the exponentially growing violence so much that it forces change to a more normal state of humanity? Or will it be that the violence takes off to such an extent that it reaches an apocalypse from which there is no return? The other question is what is the spitting variable that will be the catalyst for the inevitable abrupt change in the state of our fragile human system in either of its two optional directions?

  4. Interesting idea to apply Catastrophe Theory to human behavior – normal and or pathological. However, not mathematically probable to be accurate – due to a general lack of accurate human emotional and pathology variable measurements.

    In my opinion, historical references (below) and my memory of the Viet Nam War – it would be a non-supporting Catastrophe Theory analogy. Unless one uses inaccurate historic observations. There was nothing abrupt or sudden about the US society or politics being pro-war and then anti-war – it was a long and gradual process.

    As a multi-national war the Viet Nam war lasted from 1941 (technically from 1888 when the French started it.) to 1975. The US involvement lasted from 1955 to 1975 (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day). Hardly a quick ending conflict. The US involvement in Viet Nam (by historic reference) lasted longer than its involvement in WWII (US involvement – 6 years and 1 day). However, WWII technically had international involvements and instigations from 1923 to 1946 – 23 years). Additionally, there are those that argue WWII US involvement had many MIC economic motivations and a political/economic tool to end and exit the effects of the Great Depression – also arguably not completely different from the Viet Nam War.

    The Viet Nam War was a war arguably created by the MIC (military arsenal supply contractors, oil industry, and other resources) and its political (anti-communist paranoid – “Domino Theory” ideologues) bed fellows. Its actual popular support was debatable and dubious from the beginning. Its end came slowly – not so much as popular opinion shifted, but as opposition to the war became much stronger, much more publicly visible to voters. Mounting political pressure from the increased media attention focused on college students protesting the war increased. There were defining moments as the political (not public) will to continue the war slowly changed (as an unpopular military draft’s boomers came of voting age, less restricted historic changes in war and protest media coverage, and perhaps the Kent State massacre). The TV viewing voters’ mental patriotic image of their “benevolent” government changed – to an image of a more sinister, violence prone and politically self-interested government. I don’t see any accurate and or knowledgeable description that would support that public opinion suddenly changed – or a measurable point of “bifurcation” occurred – and or the Viet Nam War supporting Catastrophe Theory well – if at all. Additionally, it could be argued that Nixon’s economic and political interest in opening up China, required our ending of the war with its ally – Viet Nam. The greater economic interests – winning out over paranoid political anti-communist ideology wing of the Republican Pary.

    Using the Viet Nam War to support Catastrophe Theory – seems more of a case of a poor or selective knowledge of history – being force fitted to support the Catastrophe Theory. While the Catastrophe theory might well describe physical systems, trying to fit mathematical theory to most complex human behavior and human observations of same – would seem a stretch to start with.

    Trying to fit Catastrophe Theory to a mass shooting and something as broad and mathematically unmeasurable as human emotions – sex/love, frustration, rage, greed, and or the progression of human mental pathologies – surely exceeds Catastrophe Theories inherent need for the precise mathematical input of required variables to accurately determine any point – or existence of – bifurcation.


  5. Hyman Minsky has something to say about stability as well…

    I think American society has been rewarding narcisists and sociopahs for far too long. Those afflicted or ‘blessed’ with these pathologies have learned to manipulate enough of a cohort in representative democracy to destabilize an equilibrium that appeared stable.

    I hope the next stability comes faster than many in the past. Some thinkers are forcasting an entirely new system of monetarism in the coming decades. That can only occur with a major trauma. It will take immense pain to properly begin pricing externalities like atmosperic carbon. I suppose we have to hang on tight. Turbulence ahead. Let’s hope and work on keeping the wing attached and a return of rationality and empathy.

  6. When a very massive star exhausts its fuel, it explodes as a supernova. The outer parts of the star are expelled violently into space, while the core completely collapses under its own weight. If the core is very massive, no repulsive force inside the core can resist gravity, which causes collapse into the black hole.

    The intrinsic problem of capitalism lies in its endogenous self-destructibility: It contains the endogenous mechanisms of systematic self-sabotage and undermines itself by being overly successful. That is the Minsky’s message (which never sat well with macroeconomic orthodoxy). And we are seeing the first signs of capitalism’s collapsing under its own weight. There is no force on hand that could be expected to reverse the three downward trends in economic growth, social equality, and financial stability, and end their natural reinforcement. However unpleasant it may be, the system must be allowed to collapse spontaneously, and this process must run its course as an autoimmune failure, without interference and bailouts of various kinds.

    We’ve seen the communist supernova explosion some 30 years ago. At the time, it was unimaginable, but it was over within weeks after it started.There were casualties and black holes (there still are), but the wings did not fall off.

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