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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 28, 2014 / 28 Nissan, 5774

Tweeting a Riot

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the good old days gathering a mob together wasn't easy. It took quite a bit of organization. You printed flyers, spoke to small groups at local gathering spots such as bars, social halls, town squares, and parks. You did mailings, got on the phone, and took out ads in the paper. You asked everyone you knew to spread the word to gather at a specific day and time and place. The prep for this mob meeting could take days or weeks.

Once you were able to assemble a large group of people in one place then the next step was to "gin up the crowd." This usually was accomplished by angry charismatic speakers who knew how to use buzz words and terms to incite the emotions of the crowd. Once that "mob mentality" took hold, you were in business and soon the crowd was ready for anything.

"Mob mentality" is a term used to refer to unique behavioral characteristics that emerge when people are in large groups. It is often used in a negative sense, because the term "mob" typically conjures up an image of an aggressive, chaotic group of people. The study of mob mentality is used to analyze situations that range from problems during evacuations to public gatherings that turn violent.

Once the emotions of the mob are incited it is fairly easy for people to join in the group. All it takes is to stop thinking as an individual and go with the flow. The mob develops a collective brain, one usually bent on destruction. It's easy for individuals to hide within a mob and engage in activities that they normally wouldn't do on their own.

Assembling crowds for purposes of protest or civil unrest or worse (like toppling entire governments) wasn't something you could do on the spur of the moment until now.

In an April 20th Wall Street Journal article it was reported that at least 10 riots have occurred at colleges in the past two months, resulting in hundreds of arrests and dozens of injuries. Why? Many think that social media are helping to fuel misbehavior at student mass gatherings. It's no surprise, really. For anyone who has been paying attention the force of social media in gathering large angry crowds has been going on for quite sometime now. Remember "The Arab Spring?" Tens of thousands assembled thanks to social media.

The article went on to detail the college riots. Police arrested 19 people near the University of Minnesota's flagship Twin Cities campus after a recent Gophers hockey loss. At a University of Cincinnati party that drew about 450 students, police had to be summoned when things got out of hand. At an off-campus party at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., police resorted to pepper-spray projectiles to bring the crowd under control.

In Ames, Iowa, Steven Leath, president of Iowa State University, ended an annual week-long celebration, known as Veishea, two weeks ago after a crowd of a few thousand people—mostly students—threw bottles at police and tore down stop signs and light poles on a weeknight. One student was severely hurt when a light pole fell on him.

Many police chiefs interviewed for the article believe that the use of Twitter by students has increased the speed and size with which crowds gather. Gary Margolis, who manages the National Center for Campus Public Safety said, "It used to take a lot more work to generate a gathering. Now one tweet and you've just reached 40 people. Everyone has their own mass communications device in their pocket."

Another new wrinkle in all of this is the popularity of the "selfie." Taking photos of yourself at one of these riots and posting it on the internet has become "cool." As Robert Carrothers, a sociologist at Ohio Northern University who has studied the phenomenon says, "People have a pretty good idea of what they're supposed to do: You go out in the street, you turn things over, you take selfies." It's a riot - literally.

It's pretty simple to cause large scale havoc in the 21st Century for young people who have nothing better to do. While the internet, as a whole, can be used either for good or bad, social media overall is not a wonderful advancement. Voyeurism, nihilism, and forming cliques are predominantly what social media sites are all about for the young.

Take self-indulgent stupid people willing to do anything at all to achieve international media fame, add to that an easy access to instant widespread communication and you have a recipe for big time trouble. Guaranteed. It's the "look at me" mentality. Never mind any destruction or injury it might cause, the important thing is "I'm here! I'm in it!" But it's also the lynch mob mentality. And that's why this thing is so very frightening.

Greg Crosby Archives

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California.

© 2008, Greg Crosby

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