Banking on Bill Gates

By Jennifer Keohane Leadership vacuums beg to be filled, and the void in the coronavirus response from the Trump White House was black-hole-sized. As the government fiddled while the country was ravaged, tech billionaires stepped into the spotlight. Their philanthropic giving has raised ethical questions about undue influence on the government, but it is undeniable …

Continue reading Banking on Bill Gates

`Part II: The Slippage of Monarchical Character Enhancement and Louis XV’s Political Culture

By Mikayla Knutson  In the early years of Louis XV’s minority, Louis XIV’s memory conjured backlash to contemporary political culture. This marked the first departure from extensive control of royal image under Louis XIV. In L'Enseigne de Gersaint, Antoine Watteau depicts Louis XIV’s image being boxed up in favor of new, non-monarchical art. The king …

Continue reading `Part II: The Slippage of Monarchical Character Enhancement and Louis XV’s Political Culture

Part I: Image Control and Character Enhancement under Louis XIV

By Mikayla Knutson  French reverence of the monarch shifted dramatically between Louis XIV to Louis XVI as the pendulum shifted from extreme character enhancement to rampant character assassination.  Under Louis XIV (1643-1715), a comprehensive program glorified the Sun King and engineered his reputation and image to further his political power. This initiative channeled French elite …

Continue reading Part I: Image Control and Character Enhancement under Louis XIV

Webinar # 4: Conspiracy Theories and COVID-19 with John Cook

CARP 2020 Webinar # 4: Conspiracy Theories and COVID-19 is now posted on our YouTube channel. John Cook, George Mason University, Founder of SkepticalScience.com and https://crankyuncle.com/ and Sergei Samoilenko discuss why people become more vulnerable to believing in conspiracy theories. Pandemics are especially fertile ground for conspiracy theories, as people grasp for order and causal …

Continue reading Webinar # 4: Conspiracy Theories and COVID-19 with John Cook

CARP Webinar # 2: The Psychology of Character Assassination with Eric Shiraev

This webinar features a conversation with Dr. Eric Shiraev (George Mason U) about the psychology of character assassination. What can we learn from psychology? Are there inborn "character attackers?" Are there psychological features that make us vulnerable to character attacks? "Some attackers can be psychologically motivated to launch an attack on their target. In fact, there are some people who may …

Continue reading CARP Webinar # 2: The Psychology of Character Assassination with Eric Shiraev

On “Pederastic Monkeys”, “Bedwetting Men”, and “Fat Pigs”: Character Assassination in Online “Dueling”

By Eric Shiraev  Decades ago, in my glorious kindergarten years, I remember those spontaneous episodes of verbal dueling we were engaged with one another, from time to time. Out of nothing, armed with a scarce arsenal of extremely bad words known to the kid, we would throw obscenities at our peers only to dodge the …

Continue reading On “Pederastic Monkeys”, “Bedwetting Men”, and “Fat Pigs”: Character Assassination in Online “Dueling”

The Collaborative Nature of Modern Subversive Campaigns

By Sergei A. Samoilenko In January 2019, fake editions of The Washington Postwere handed out by members of culture jamming activist group the Yes Men at several Washington D.C. locations. The group’s co-founder Jacques Servin told the real Post that the fake paper was meant to be a newspaper from the future providing ideas for how …

Continue reading The Collaborative Nature of Modern Subversive Campaigns

The Amsterdam Colloquium: Some Thoughts

By Martijn Icks On June 21st, Edwina Hagen and I organized the colloquium “Character Assassination! Media and Mudslinging from Caligula to King Gorilla” in Amsterdam. We invited experts on various periods in Western history to discuss practices of character assassination from an historical perspective. Comparing various case studies, we hoped to shed light on some …

Continue reading The Amsterdam Colloquium: Some Thoughts