I hate the word "paradigm".

It’s not often I disagree with Yahtzee, that guy is a smart cookie. Which I guess is why I was so surprised to see him in his column this week spout a bunch of distracting bullshit about “ensuring the continued survival of the species” while he tells us that a male hero / female damsel relationship is actually worse for the male because he has to do all the work (which in this case is “being a hero”) while the damsel is actually better off for not having to (or being able to) do anything at all.

He says his “only” objection is that it’s tired and lazy (which it is), then goes on to specifically state that he doesn’t find it unrepresentative of himself. Leads me to wonder what  he expects from the real females in his life.

I’m realising that this point of view is really tricky to see past. The trouble with smart people is they are smart enough to fool themselves into believing ridiculous things if they have a good (emotional) reason to.

We all need to stop assuming that we understand all of reality. It’s an illusion that your brain creates– a necessary illusion, because a consistent reality is pretty important for human sanity. When your brain runs into ideas that don’t fit in your present understanding of reality, it either ignores them or finds a reason to dismiss them. That old axiom “ignorance is bliss” is reflected in the way your brain has evolved to selectively ignore anything it thinks you don’t want to know.

Some examples of ideas some people can’t handle: the way we unconsciously discriminate against people we see as different from us, the fact that we are screwing up the planet with our excessive consumption, resistance to the idea of women’s autonomy, the prevalence and impact of bullying on both a personal level and on the geopolitical stage. The idea of homosexuality or especially transgenderism is very hard for some people to resolve because their understanding of reality can’t support an idea that complex.

And I honestly feel for those people. Society is doing things many people never even considered as possible before, and instead of explaining to everyone how our understanding of reality has evolved and improved, we just mock them for not already understanding, because our pretension forces us to deny just how easy it is to be wrong about something so fundamental. And from there people start overreacting, everyone gets angry and more time and energy goes towards controlling the conflict than tackling the ideas themselves.

So that’s where we are now.


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