Neuron Culture

James Fallows gets the shootings right, as he does so much else:

In the saturation coverage right after the events, the “expert” talking heads are compelled to offer theories about the causes and consequences. In the following days and weeks, newspapers and magazine will have their theories too. Looking back, we can see that all such efforts are futile. The shootings never mean anything. Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre “mean”? A decade later, do we “know” anything about Columbine? There is chaos and evil in life. Some people go crazy. In America, they do so with guns; in many countries, with knives; in Japan, sometimes poison.

We know the emptiness of these events in retrospect, though we suppress that knowledge when the violence erupts as it is doing now. The cable-news platoons tonight are offering all their theories and thought-drops. They’ve got to fill time. I wish they could stop. As the Vietnam-era saying went, Don’t mean nothing.

Posted via web from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker


  1. #1 CRM-114
    November 7, 2009

    I just heard on the news that Fort Hood is upping security to make it difficult for ‘just anybody’ to come on base.


    Right. After a trusted insider, an Army lifer, goes on a killing spree, the correct response is to deter civilians from coming on base.

    Security theater. It’s like a Punch and Judy show, only without the humor, and at a phenomenal cost.

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