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Eclipse, superstitions. - Balinares — LiveJournal

Oct. 3rd, 2005

02:11 am - Eclipse, superstitions.

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From:unblue
Date:October 3rd, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
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You know, my parents are pharmacists, and in the weeks before the 1999 eclipse, sold the glasses made, as you said, by professionnals.
And they ran out of such glasses two weeks before the eclipse, and had discussions like those :
"Hello, do you have glasses for the eclipse ?
- Sorry, we don't have them anymore.
- Alright then, I'll have to stay inside and shut the curtains."

It stopped being funny after a while. Still today I can't understand what kind of confusion of the mind can lead people to think that sunrays suddenly become deadly when the moon hides them.
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From:grey_wolf_xvii
Date:October 3rd, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
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It's not just the moon! The Gods are angry!
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From:balinares
Date:October 3rd, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
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This is why I love you. :)
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From:jallora
Date:October 3rd, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
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Still today I can't understand what kind of confusion of the mind can lead people to think that sunrays suddenly become deadly when the moon hides them.

It's called the "magical thought" in psychology (translation not warranted, "pensée magique" in french). When confronted to something bigger than them, or that they're unable to grasp, people will refer to a magical/mystical/god/hell/curse/whatever explanation rather than face the fact that they don't know.
What's more, if you add to that the right message (such as "Don't you dare look at the sun during the eclipse, or it'll burn your eyes, unless you have your talisman/glasses!")well, it's not that surprising...


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From:balinares
Date:October 3rd, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
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I think you told me about that once, yeah.

I think that people just simply don't think. Or more precisely, they don't stop to think. It is not natural for them to think in terms of logical causes and consequences. Ergo, they perceive, from TV hearsay, that something is bad about the sun during eclipses, and that glasses can keep them safe, and nothing in their brains triggers the process of actually thinking about that perception.

It's this lack of a thinking trigger that matters, I think. I don't know if there's a word for it. It's not stupidity, as the mean part of me would once have sneered; it's just... well, lack of a think-starter. If there is no word for this, we definitely need to coin on up.
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From:kefen
Date:October 4th, 2005 07:26 am (UTC)
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Laziness of thought?

Like not needing to actually start thinking when a zillion people did it for you already — I mean, if it says so on TV, many many very smart people studied it and know better so better do what they say and not bother anymore...

(And I remember Brel saying stupidity was just laziness, it somehow makes sense too...)
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From:balinares
Date:October 5th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)
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Not even laziness, I think. Laziness would require awareness that there /is/ some thinking to do, and a purposeful decision not to follow through. Which I don't think is the case there.
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