bheema (vrikodhara) wrote,
bheema
vrikodhara

Milgram's nurses

Warren Ellis posted a drawing by Brandon Graham (royalboiler) which is quite exquisite and which has Fucking Flying Whales.

I love flying whales. I am sure that in one of my more fevered dreams, I was chased by a flying whale through the halls of a decaying palace.

In fact I am sure I wrote it up, and I want to read that.

Now!

Unfortunately, Google doesn't index my lowly blog in all its glory.

So I was browsing through my old posts, and I spotted this old (and flying-whale-less post). That post does little more than quote from a piece by one of the participants in Milgram's Obedience experiment. Rereading the article by the participant in Milgram's experiment, I spotted this line:
   "Results were worst (that is, the highest percentage of testers went all the way to 450 volts) with a group of nurses in Bridgeport."

Which is tremendously interesting. Why, you might ask, would nurses, those angels of mercy, be the ones with least empathy and have a keen sadistic streak.

Is it because
   A) Nurses regularly have to force the bitter medicine down people's throat
   B) Nurses, to a large extent, do not have independent authority and have to follow doctor's instructions
   C) Nurses, like soldiers, do not have the time to question orders - a seconds delay, in their normal working life, could lead to someone's death

I first read about Milgram's experiment when I was in my early teenage, while flipping through one of "Science Today" issues in my uncle's collection from the 1970s. As you might guess that has left a huge lasting impression.

"Science Today" was this really nice Indian popular science magazine, published by Bennett, Coleman & Co before they got into the business of wholesale distribution of toilet paper.


Edit: Regarding flying whales, found a post that just links to a post of "Life in whale falls", and another post which had this bit:
Whales fall from the sky. With their guts full of Helium they are lighter in air, but getting their massive bodies moving takes way too much work. Most of them once they push off into the skies, never stop till the end, for in the end, the act of stopping and inability to get started off again is enough to send them slowly spinning down to the ground.

I believe there should be another post somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it.
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