Stockholm Syndrome and Cargo Cults
Last Updated: 2019-08-08 18:04

Two concepts:

Stockholm Syndrome:

  • A bunch of classes / requirements are probably only perpetuated because of Stockholm-Syndrome-esque reasons, where people think "Well, it's obviously good because I was required to do it."
  • Also, maybe spite, ala "If I went through a bad experience, so should others!"

There's a more complicated way to point to this phenomenon that's about rationalization and tradition, but given that Stockholm Syndrome is more well-known, co-opting it might make more sense for explaining it to others.

No one seems to understand how causal mechanisms are supposed to work, and there's cargo culting all the way down:

  • Schools requiring students to meet the identifiers of a great essay (e.g. having at least 3 citations) will not produce great essays.
  • Marketing ploys which use athletes to promote their health product. Just because Alice is successful and uses Product X doesn't mean using Product X will make you successful as well.