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The Empirical Miracle

Posted on 2013.07.08 at 19:30
Current Location: 67114

Now Beta testing my theories on life, the universe, everything.

As a curious empiricist paradigm reorganzier, I deconstruct everything generally understood to be obvious by tearing apart societal constructs and putting them back together in different ways, seeing what works and what doesn't and perhaps more importantly - why. I tinker with the fabric of society and point out strengths and flaws, then actively participate in life examples I create from my own logic to see if my theories are tenable.

How else could you ever know if your understanding about something was accurate?

I have become The Empirical Miracle!


suzanne1945 at 2013-07-09 00:59 (UTC) (Link)
Love it! Had to laugh out loud by myself.
raingirl26 at 2013-07-09 05:05 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I really want to hear about this in action. Joke or no joke, it sounds like something I need to know about how to do.

Just finishing up reading Sophie's World - a history of philosophy, as novel - and so your post fits right in.

Edited at 2013-07-09 05:05 am (UTC)
ehowton at 2013-07-09 20:15 (UTC) (Link)
Broadly speaking, I have these ideas about all the ways the world is broken - mostly due to herd mentality; traditions people vehemently defend without any understanding why (my short, three-volume That's just how I feel series). Capsulized, societal norms didn't come about because everyone agreed that would be the best way to do it, rather due to survival and the herd mentality - no one wanted to step out of line, so they waited to see what others were doing, yet others were all also waiting to see what others are doing - and then in some sort of critical mass mob mentality, everyone was behaving how everyone else was, because everyone else was. That is totally flawed. And yet there are those today who will believe whatever everyone else believes simply because (ready for this?) everyone else believes it. There is comfort in the herd, I get that, I do. But I am not herd material! (Point of fact I would probably have been killed back in the day.)

So I take these presuppositions about how thing might be able to be, AND I GO AND DO THOSE THINGS. And record the outcome. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong.

People can be touchy when you suggest something to them which conflicts with their beliefs and so they reject the new idea (or even like, facts - yes people reject those too) even though they hold their beliefs without understanding why they hold them, and subsequently reject any new ideas which may conflict with their worldview without understanding the relationship between the two. Fascinating stuff. Yes, its a horrific ouroboros-y rabbit-hole.

All that said, this warning arrived in my inbox late last night: A major feature of your personality is the tendency to become fascinated by offbeat, esoteric subjects, and strange artificial worlds. While these may be interesting to you, they often become a huge waste of time. Watch for this in yourself today.

Hope that helps!
raingirl26 at 2013-07-12 06:12 (UTC) (Link)
That helps. And it's fascinating. And thanks for writing it. But can you be specific and give me an example of you in action with this?

(I read once that some study showed that the more people are confronted with a situation that needs action, the less likely someone will do that action - I'm not saying that quite right. It's like if there's a bunch of people around/walking past a problem, like people in a movie theater with there being a problem with the movie screen, almost no one will decide to get up and tell the theater to get it fixed - whereas is there are just a couple of people than they both will think they will go do it. If someone is hurt, 'well there are lots of people around, someone else can deal with it, I don't have to take action'. But if there's only one person, they will most likely aide. Or if the light in a hallway of an apartment building is out - it doesn't get reported because everyone thinks someone else will deal with it. I'm getting long winded about this. But I thought it tied in a bit with your thing about people having mob mentality. It's a bit to the side, but related perhaps? What do you think?)
ehowton at 2013-07-12 17:02 (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Well, mostly by interacting with people in a certain way or under altered circumstances. Specifics? Here a few off the top of my head:

It was unfathomable that coworkers I have been very close to better part of a decade would twist their bodies and turn their neck as far from my visage as they could when I approached them because they did not wish to acknowledge me. They were fine the next day. See, rather than assume people will react the way they tell you they would in any given scenario, I got to see what people REALLY think/believe by confronting them with it. A rare lesson.

I'd heard some family members never went because it was too teetotalling for them. So I bought a cooler, filled it with beer, and made some fantastic new friends (admittedly shocked quite a few others). Point is, I survived, and maybe - because I was prior to and after the beer so outgoing and compassionate - changed just one mind. (Or I'll never be invited back, will let you know next year!)

Most recently I joined a very active site of locals and began very calmly and cheerfully pointing out subjective language or logical fallacies they were using in their speech, all the while pointing out unqualified simplistic answers to emotionally-charged complex questions are inadequate. Its amazing what you'll find in the sluice trap. I don't know have to know the answers to everything, I just have to know how to think.
dentin at 2013-07-12 17:09 (UTC) (Link)
I used to wear skirts in college all the time. I actually started a trend with the korean students, by the time I graduated there were a dozen of them wearing skirts around campus regularly.
ehowton at 2013-07-12 17:17 (UTC) (Link)
God I love that!
raingirl26 at 2013-07-13 21:58 (UTC) (Link)
Have you ever watched the movie "Harold and Maude"? There's a point in it where Maude (who does things like drives off with other people's cars and wears bright colors to funerals) says something about how her actions are simply reminding people of the transitionary nature of life (she says it much better). Your actions remind me of that.

The movie is one of my all time favorites - it speaks my language. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. If you have seen it and like it, great. Tell me if you think it applies. If you have seen it and hate it - well, you are dead to me (no, just kidding, but I would need to know why you didn't like it).
raingirl26 at 2013-07-13 23:14 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I get it. Thanks for telling me (well and everyone else that sees your post).

Sounds like your basically a 'mixer' as they say in England. But really, it's fascinating. I think I do this kind of thing just by being myself. I don't fit the molds others have for me and I tend to not adapt to the situation.

See my other comment about the movie.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-07-13 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
Also, this one time at band camp he...oh never mind.
raingirl26 at 2013-07-13 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
oh yea...
jobu121 at 2013-07-10 18:53 (UTC) (Link)
That is great... I try but you know.
dentin at 2013-07-12 17:08 (UTC) (Link)
Foolish Mortal! Thou shalt only obtain understanding by reading the One True 2000+ year old book of fiction like everyone else!
ehowton at 2013-07-12 17:19 (UTC) (Link)
Heh - just yesterday I posted that some thought the radiocarbon spectrometer was a FALSE PROFIT because it's dating ran contrary to the earth-is-only-2000-years-old theory.

Speaking of! I've been using less-wrong's Two-Party Swindle to aid in my discussions of both politics and sports. Getting a LOT of mileage from that one, thanks so much for sharing!
michelle1963 at 2013-07-14 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
My favorite form of societal challenge is disproving to people that most things are not mutually exclusive. I developed a taste for this sport back in high school when I first became aware of how society likes to stick one simplistic label on a person or group as if having that label firmly affixed told everyone everything they need to know.

My recent escapde? A relatively new job. I spent three months dutifully doing the training, applying the knowledge in the field - in short doing all I could to be a success. My hard work showed in the number of times I had shown up on the top sales lists. However, inadvertently I had been painting a picture of myself as serious. It's not that I am not. But that is hardly all there is. Unfortunately, that is all they had been privy to due to the situation.

I found myself in a meeting with my sales manager, and our district manager who was in town for a couple of days. We were in a phone conference. The person on the other end of the phone was advocating cold calling on leads that he had been unable to reach by phone. I offered the comment, "maybe some people wouldn't mind that, but I hate people to knock on my door unannounced. They might find me in my pink fuzzy bathrobe with a beer in one hand."

The picture really was contrary to the one the others had formed of me. My sales manager roared. He added, "and calling leads!" That made me laugh - especially since it wasn't far off from the truth. Our young district manager - well, it was the first time I had seen him at a loss for words.

Edited at 2013-07-14 06:03 pm (UTC)
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