Quote of the Day | 0202

The film records an experiment in a mental hospital in San Bernadino – California. The patients are given rewards in the form of plastic fake money if they do what the doctors consider the right social behaviour. They can then use that money at meal-times to buy their way onto a “nice” table – with tablecloth and flowers.

Those without the rewards have to eat – as one of the nurses puts it, “in less elegant conditions”.

What emerges in the hospital is a new, ordered hierarchy created by a system of reward – but one where the patients don’t feel controlled – instead they feel “empowered” because it was through their actions that they received the reward. Skinner makes clear in the film that he sees this as a model for how to run a future kind of society.

Watching these sections of the film does make you think that what is being described is spookily close to the system we live in today.

Adam Curtis, ‘Happidrome’

[x]#11665 fan maandag 2 februari 2015 @ 13:24:03