Tangentially related to a paper I wrote for my cognitive science seminar, I've been collecting references to stories on CBC, CTV, and other outlets that allow commenting. What I'm interested in is the popular reaction to matters related to what can loosely be described as justice. For instance, I've bookmarks to stories on Robert Pickton, Thomas Svekla, street racers who've killed people, Gregory Despres's trial, some child pornography cases, and so on.
Besides the obvious effect of the stories themselves - litanies of the indignities which we visit upon one another with depressing regularity - I've found a couple of other things. First is an extension of that thought; it's similarly depressing how people who are presumably largely Canadian citizens, my peers, presumably fairly well-educated and in the top 10th or 20th percentile worldwide, folks who are well-enough off to have both the free time and access to read and comment on these stories online, are able to so casually dismiss and pass judgement on other human beings with a minimum of information. Second is now every time I see a story that's likely to get such comments, I mentally grin and rub my hands in anticipation. Then I feel guilty, because each one of those stories means something horrible has happened to one or more human beings, and chances are something horrible is going to happen to at least one more person.
I have a rough idea where I'd like to go with this stuff, and I even have a rough idea about the direction in which I'd like to see our society headed. But given that we live in a democracy, it's fairly unlikely we'd even come close to what I'd like to see, at least in my lifetime.