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Michael Egnor: How the internet turns coffee klatches into mobs

Michael Egnor

Here’s neurosurgeon Michael Egnor living up to his reputation as Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne’s “archenemy” (Coyne’s designation):

A philosopher sheds light on how the Covington high school kids became America’s Most Hated:

The internet provides two dynamics that inflame hatred and even violence: obscurity and contagion. By obscurity, I mean that the traditional “one-on-one” nature of personal attacks is circumvented by the anonymity of the internet. On the internet. you can personally attack someone without ever seeing them, knowing them, or being anywhere near them. You can attack people in a way that leads to violence against them without your own identity ever coming to light. The anonymity of the internet and the distance it creates between an attacker and his victim both lend an obscurity to the attack that is much more dangerous to the victim and much more desirable for the attacker. It is even possible to harm others unintentionally through the spread of errors and misunderstandings which are so common to internet communication.

This dynamic of obscurity was noted by military strategists involved in the development of artillery, which is the most lethal weapon on the modern battlefield. Part of the lethality of artillery — in addition to its inherent power to maim and kill — is its ability to maim and kill at a distance. More.

Michael Egnor is a neurosurgeon, professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurological Surgery, Stonybrook School of Medicine

See also: Does brain stimulation research
challenge free will? (Michael Egnor)

Is free will a dangerous myth? (Michael Egnor)


Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor has become Darwinian Jerry Coyne’s “archenemy” Coyne has good taste in archenemies. It shouldn’t go unrewarded.

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