people so stupid????? Part 3
you ask this question, you don't mean Other People. You mean yourself.
You mean things like - why do women (like me) always pick the wrong
man? Why do I let myself get cheated out of what I deserve? Why can't
I control my temper? Where the hell are my keys? And so on.
There are answers
to these deep philosophical questions and we will summarize them in
It's not that you're stupid - you're just stupid!
This relates to
reason #2 - which is basically the failure to see a reason syndrome.
You think you are stupid when you do something stupid but you're not
- you're just stupid not to realize you had a reason for doing the
stupid thing. Make sense?
Let's say you
are troubled by an ugly quality in yourself - prejudice. You
are feeling particularly prejudiced towards Middle Easterners right
now. And you have a divided mind as to whether that is a stupid reaction
or not. Part of you feels quite emotionally strongly that it's not
only not stupid, it's justified. But the other part tells you that
hating Muslims is stupid and not a sensible solution to anything.
Your own stupid, knee-jerk prejudicial reaction bothers you and confuses
Or you might be
less philosophical and more practically self-centered, wondering for
example, why you are so fucking stupid about investing. Not a quality
you are actually publicly admitting to yet, but still you are looking
at your investments and how much money you have lost and you are thinking
- was I just stupid or what? If this is your first experience
with investing stupidity, you might be inclined to justify it to yourself.
But if you have been burned 3 times, you are beginning to tell yourself,
I am just stupid about investments and maybe even wondering why you
got the Stupid Investor Feature in your pre-installed brain
In both cases,
it is not that you are stupid, it's that you don't understand why
you are reacting the way you are. You don't understand your own software,
you don't understand the human software feature set. And that inclines
you to think there is no reason why you should hate innocent little
Muslim schoolchildren or there is no reason why you particularly got
the Stupid Investor Feature.
In the prejudice
case, you're just not aware of how your brain is hardwired for prejudice
and under what circumstances it comes into play and what it's meant
to do. Briefly, to illustrate, prejudice is built into your perceptual
system in order to allow you to identify and wage war against strangers
from other clumps. You are automatically endowed with features to
allow you to divide up people into My Safe Clump and Dangerous Other
Clump categories and to identify Dangerous Other Clump people by appearance
and habits. This is because during the most formative years of your
brain's evolution People From Other Clumps were the most dangerous
things you could encounter. They were often basically within your
eyesight in order to invade your territory, eat your food, kill your
men, rape your women and slaughter your children. Basically.
You can learn
more in the What's
War Got To Do With It? FAQ.
Suffice it to say you learned how to be prejudiced without effort
because your ass was grass if you didn't. You needed to be able to
quickly bond with your own clump and develop massive energizing quantities
of hatred for Other Clump (Non)People and then kill them ruthlessly
before they killed you.
So your reaction
to Middle Easterners is just your brain doing its work and prepping
you for danger and potential war and making you want to bond to your
clump and hate Other Clumps. Pretty natural reaction under the circumstances.
There isn't, in fact, anything stupid about it, which is why you feel
it so strongly and disturbingly. Your brain has encountered an ideal
circumstance for prejudice and is reacting accordingly. The question
is, do you want to handle this particular situation by war and hatred
and slaughter and all the rest of it or is that not looking like such
a good idea to you?
If you are feeling
sort of hopeful that you can avoid torching mosques in your city and
running swords through Muslim women, then you want to acknowledge
that the prejudice reaction is trying to protect you and while you
are grateful for its input, you are inclined to explore other solutions
at the moment. Your prejudice brain understands this. It knows
why it's there. If this is not the appropriate time for war and prejudice
it will stand down, just keeping a quiet guard in case its services
should be needed again later. Where you get fucked up is when you
beieve that just because it is expressing its opinion by stirring
your emotions it must be right! - or that by contradicting
your Social Brain's understanding of what is socially correct it
must be wrong!
It's just your brain and it's just trying to protect you from harm.
Work with it and avoid harm. Since prejudice is stirred by strangeness,
if it will help it get a more accurate assessment of the danger, then
dose it with familiarity. This is the Reaching Out method of combating
prejudice. It allows your prejudice brain to assess whether the Other
Clump is dangerous or not.
On the other hand,
no need to belittle it because you are not used to it and it's expressing
some awkward opinions. You don't get any points for being politically
correct and not understanding when there are serious serious divisions
between you and Another Clump. The Muslim Clump in your neck of London
may be seriously pissed off at Your Clump and rather vigorously exercising
its group Prejudice Brain. This can be helpful information to know
before the bomb goes off. Your Prejudice Brain is there partly
to help you recognize that Other People are not necessarily You and
they may have different circumstances and reasons to get pissed off.
It's an adaptable little mechanism, but you will continue to think
it and you are just stupid until you understand its reasons.And
you may notice that people have been thinking the human Prejudice
Brain is very very very stupid for some time now and yet, mysteriously,
it hasn't actually gone away.
Philosophical Question - would it be stupid to click on to another