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MLA Full: "Shailene's Hair, Unfair Monopoly, and the Just World Fallacy." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 13 August 2013,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2013)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2013, August 13). Shailene's Hair, Unfair Monopoly, and the Just World Fallacy [Video]. YouTube.
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Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "Shailene's Hair, Unfair Monopoly, and the Just World Fallacy.", August 13, 2013, YouTube, 03:44,
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In which John discusses the just world fallacy, Lupe Fiasco, Shailene Woodley's impending hair cut on her road to becoming Hazel Grace Lancaster for The Fault in Our Stars movie, the way that power gets wielded, and how difficult it can be for all of us to see the world as it is and not just as we wish it to be.

A bit about the Monopoly research:
And a study about how power changes the brain to decrease empathy and generosity: (CRAZY STUFF!)
Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. So I want to talk about Shailene Woodley and her beautiful hair, but let's begin at the University of California at Berkeley, where for the last couple years psychologists have been engaging in a series of fascinating experiments centered on the board game Monopoly. Because, you know, that's what psychologists do with grant money.

So all these Monopoly games are set up, but in each of them, one player has a huge advantage, like starting with more money for instance. Basically, the game is rigged, but the crazy thing is that the people the game is rigged in favor of come to believe over time that the game is more fair than it actually is, and that in fact they deserve their advantages. Similarly, a bunch of studies have shown that rich and/or successful people tend to be the least empathetic, the least generous, and-- this is completely true, Hank-- they are more likely to steal candy from a baby.

This is all a function of something called the Just World Fallacy. Most of us believe, and in fact can't help but believe, that people in essence get what they deserve in life. And the Just World Fallacy has the effect of making rich or successful people less empathetic and less generous because they believe that they deserve their success, and that also, people who are less successful deserve that lack of success.

But it's important to note that this doesn't just apply to, like, Wall Street bankers. It's also true for all of us. Like, Hank, the vast majority of people watching this video feel entitled to own or at least regularly ride in cars, and yet if all seven billion people on Earth had the same relationship with automobiles that I have, we would be totally screwed as a planet. Not just ecologically, but also the traffic.

But the weirdest and possibly most troubling part of this research is that no matter who you give the advantage to in these rigged games of Monopoly, people tend to behave in pretty much the same way. Hank, that means that on some level, people aren't wielding power. Power is wielding people.

I've been thinking about this ever since noted rapper and public intellectual Lupe Fiasco tweeted about it. "When man does harness power can he only do so in the same tradition as those who have had it before him? And thus yield only the SAME results as those who had power before him?" Now Hank, I often disagree with Lupe Fiasco, but those are very interesting and provocative questions. Like, we all know the disappointment of electing a new leader and expecting things to really change, only to find out that change is... sort of... measured.

But maybe that's true not only in politics, but also at, like, middle school playgrounds. The Monopoly experiments imply that maybe in the end, individuals are just vehicles through which power is wielded. And Hank, that would mean that even very powerful people are in fact not that powerful at all-- they're just doing what power tells them to do.

"Hank, I'm concerned about this in my own life," he said, just noticing that his shirt matches the wall. Right, but anyway I'm concerned about it because I want Nerdfighteria to be an active and effective force against Worldsuck. And I don't want it to be just another community whose goal is to become big and powerful. But it's really hard, both personally and communally, to resist that urge toward power.

And Hank, that's why we're gonna try to make things even more transparent around here so that Nerdfighteria can hold us accountable and so that we can work together to decrease Worldsuck effectively.

Which brings me, at long last, to Shailene Woodley and her hair.

So Hank, Shailene is gonna play Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars movie, and Shailene is that rare soul who despite becoming successful stays weird and empathetic and just wonderful. Like, she's often called a hippie by the media, but it's mostly because she cares about ethical eating and trying to minimize her footprint, which by the way, so does Hazel Grace Lancaster.

Anyway, last week Shailene had a great idea. She has to cut her hair to play Hazel Grace of course, and she's going to donate her hair to Children with Hair Loss, an organization that provides free wigs to kids who've lost their hair because of illnesses or burns. And I'm gonna donate some money to that organization so they can make the wigs, because I do not have enough hair, although some wives would argue that I maybe have too much on my face. 

But anyway, I thought it would be cool if other people wanted to join Shailene in doing this. You need at least eight inches of hair, more info in the doobly-doo.

So to summarize, Hank, I hope we can be more aware of the Unfair Monopoly trap and try not to fall into it. Let's try to remember that the world isn't just, because only then will we have the power to change it. Hank, I'll see you on Friday.