People are good: the real Lord of the Flies


(Jane Elliot’s famous “Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes” exercise, a fascinating experiment)

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Good point, although I’ll note that was an adult planting some wrongful thinking into their nature (which as she noted was learned behavior and could also be unlearned).


Interesting watch. Mrs. Elliott was a good teacher. I hope her lesson carried through the lives of her students.

There’s a follow-up video they did 20 years later which brought back the students who had participated in the original exercise. To a person, they all said that the exercise was one of the things that stuck with them the most. There’s also a video where they do a similar exercise with adults (filmed sometime in the 80’s). They get to the same divisive place the kids did, but do it much quicker and with far more nastiness. It’s really interesting to watch. Doesn’t look like they’re on YouTube, but I’ll see if I can drag them up somewhere.

And yes, Jane Elliott was amazing. Had a chance to meet her once, she’s a wonderful person.


Here is an article from the Washington Post about a similar exercise that was done at a middle school in Potomac MD (a fairly rich whiter suburb of DC).