This, not incidentally, is another perfect setting for deindividuation: on one side, the functionary behind a wall of security glass following a script laid out with the intention that it should be applied no matter what the specific human story may be, told to remain emotionally disinvested as far as possible so as to avoid preferential treatment of one person over another - and needing to follow that advice to avoid being swamped by empathy for fellow human beings in distress. The functionary becomes a mixture of Zimbardo's prison guards and the experimenter himself, under siege from without while at the same time following an inflexible rubric set down by those higher up the hierarchical chain, people whose job description makes them responsible, but who in turn see themselves as serving the general public as a non-specific entity and believe or have been told that only strict adherence to a system can produce impartial fairness. Fairness is supposed to be vested in the code: no human can or should make the system fairer by exercising judgement. In other words, the whole thing creates a collective responsibility culminating in a blameless loop. Everyone assumes that it's not their place to take direct personal responsibility for what happens; that level of vested individual power is part of the previous almost feudal version of responsibility. The deindividuation is actually to a certain extent the desired outcome, though its negative consequences are not.
Nick Harkaway
Ever since she was a young girl, [Patricia Highsmith] had felt an extraordinary empathy for animals, particularly cats. The creatures, she said, 'provide something for writers that humans cannot: companionship that makes no demands or intrusions, that is as restful and ever-changing as a tranquil sea that barely moves'. Her affection for cats was 'a constant as was feline companionship wherever her domestic situation permitted,' says Kingsley. 'As for animals in general, she saw them as individual personalities often better behaved and endowed with more dignity and honesty than humans. Cruelty to or neglect of any helpless living creature could turn her incandescent with rage.' Janice Robertson remembers how [...] Highsmith was walking through the streets of Soho when she saw a wounded pigeon lying in the gutter. 'Pat decided there and then that this pigeon should be rescued,' says Janice. 'Although I think Roland persuaded her that it was past saving, she really was distraught. She couldn't bear to see animals hurt.' Bruno Sager, Highsmith's carer at the end of her life, recalls the delicacy with which the writer would take hold of a spider which had crawled into the house, making sure to deposit it safely in her garden. 'For her human beings were strange - she thought she would never understand them - and perhaps that is why she liked cats and snails so much,' he says.
Andrew Wilson