Thursday, March 31, 2016

You're an object

At least, you're someone's object. And that reaction you're having right now? Emotional.

We assume, daily, that we're important. That we're not simple widgets. That we matter. Check Eric Flint's 1632 to see how unusual that mindset is.

And it's false. We other people continuously. These days, we live in gatherings far beyond what the human brain can grasp. Multi-million cities and metro areas, electronic relationships, mobility... And yet the mantra "every person is important" remains uncontested.

Despite proof to the contrary. Photoshopping top models to make them even thinner? Othering, both them and their admirers. Selling coffee that endangers lifestyles half way through the world? Othering. Buying it? Too. Almost every single "progressive cause" comes from a response to othering. Terrorism requires othering. So does a certain "progressive" mindset: He's white, ergo he's... (fill in the pet peeve) "All men are rapists". "Bring back our girls"? Othering.

What!? Yes. If someone in your family was kidnapped, would you forget about it when the hashtag faded? Or a friend's child. A coworker's? These events are used to trigger a certain tribal mindset: "we're one and we're good because we all care about this".

How you deal with it is your own choice. BUT if you're not aware of it you'll keep finding people you'll label as enemies when they simply don't care enough about you. That way lies madness (and blog posts and hashtags).

Take care.

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