I feel pretty comfortable saying that this past month has been crazy, specifically in the United States, and fraught with tension. Whenever I’m confused about things, I try to turn to books because what else is there to do. I turned to social psychology to maybe explain some things to me. That lead to me reading The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo. If this name sounds familiar, he was the principal investigator of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment.
This book goes through every step of the prison experiment from opening day to when Zimbardo was convinced to close the doors. Not only this, Zimbardo discusses every step in the slow descent of his guards and prisoners in playing their roles. It also walked through the real-world example of abuses in American prisons across the world built for the War on Terror. Instead of just blaming the “bad apples,” this book accuses the barrel those “apples” are found in, blaming the system that sets the rules in place and gives no actual oversight. In other words, this book does a great job of explaining what is going on in today’s world and how to prevent oneself from being brainwashed by these systems. But before reading, I must warn you of trigger warnings, and I must say every single trigger warning imaginable. If you get offended by anything, this might not be the book for you, no matter how important I feel reading it is.