Numbing Numbers

It’s no secret that there are mass atrocities happening in the world, now and always. How do we manage to essentially ignore these events — and sometimes even push for policies that will make them worse? From Vox: A psychologist explains the hard limits of human compassion: “When numbers simply can’t convey the costs, there’s an infuriating paradox at play. Slovic calls it ‘psychic numbing.’ As the number of victims in a tragedy increases, our empathy, our willingness to help, reliably decreases. This happens even when the number of victims increases from one to two.”

Copied to Clipboard