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Collective Psychosis

just wanted to share with y'all a little article which talkes about how people can really get worked up.

That social anthropologist Mr. Peiser got it straight on the ole ‘Days to Come’ hysteria down there in Yelm-land. Turning climate change news into fortune-telling stories told by mr. ram-zee myth - wonders never cease. I STILL don’t understand how the gov’mt hasn’t come after that jayzeee. Dindn’t take them so long once we got our folks hysterical.


"Those who say they are affected are the product of a collective psychosis," Jorge Lopez Tejada, health department chief in Puno. This psychosis could have begun as a result of fear ... on the part of the residents and spread as reports confirm and give it credence.

"The event seems to be a rare case where we may be witnessing collective anxiety that is approaching near hysteria," said Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at John Moores University in England. "The major[ity] of the affected hinted that some of the mass anxiety is due to fear of imminent impacts and psychological stress which is not surprising given the premature speculation and media hype.”

"The fear of cosmic disaster has existed in all cultures for millennia," Peiser told SPACE.com. "Only since the late 20th century, humankind has become aware of the risk posed by asteroids and comets," Peiser said. "Unfortunately, this risk has been wildly exaggerated by popular culture."

"In recent years, there have been numerous cases where alleged meteorite falls were linked to mysterious explosions on the ground--only to be proven wrong," Peiser said. "One of the main reasons for the significant increase of such claims is almost certainly due to the growing media interest in the cosmic impact risk. It is part of human nature-- and extremely tempting for the news media - to hype any event that initially looks mysterious."

While this fear is normal and understandable, it's been blown out of proportion so that the public thinks that impact risks are higher than they are, Peiser argues.

meteorites, tsunamis, earthquakes, calderas, the end of the world - one lump or two?