Thursday 5 March 2015

What You Think Is Not Reality

UncaBob comes up with an excellent reminder that what we think we know is not how the real world actually is:

The Map Is Not The Terrain

The idea that we have of the world in our head is only a semi-working model. It doesn't apply all the time.

Every now and then, along will come a random freak event that will knock everything you "know" about the world (more accurately, "expect" about the world) down into a pile of broken shards. If we're not at least semi-flexible, then what do we do? If it's bad then we will often panic.

The old Murphy's Laws:

1/ If something can go wrong, it will.
2/ If something goes wrong, it's bound to get worse.
3/ If the first two laws are passed, and you're still around, panic.

We should remember this: Murphy was an optimist.

Yes, this applies to what we think we know about women in the Manosphere too.

Like anything it mightn't apply all of the time. Just because we take a regularly-observed behavior and it seems to be without exception, doesn't necessarily mean that it will apply in 100.000% of all situations. Even if we can (and do) put that regularly-observed behavior into a neat little box and give it a convenient label with a comforting little explanation attached.

That's the path of flawed logic that we risk walking down: some P is Q, therefore all P is Q. Not necessarily true. It might be an overwhelming majority - yet there might be some tiny, smidgeon of a splinter of a grain of sand which is different.

In the end, you're going to be better off if you are mentally and emotionally prepared for that rare situation where things turn out differently from what you expect them to in your head. We usually notice them more when they're bad, because that tends to walk up and smack us upside the head. Very hard to ignore!
Now, conversely, there is that rare situation where we find an unexpected gem. It could be anything good:

* a gold and diamond ring at a rummage sale
* an old watch that is actually a collector's item worth thousands
* a piece of real estate that is amazingly low-priced

There are people out there who make money this way: filtering through the "normal" to find the "unusual".

In the investing real-estate market there is a saying: "The deal of the decade happens every year." For them it does, because they are actively looking for that exception and are willing to put in the effort for it. They can decide to sell it immediately (flip it) for it's real value and pocket the profit, or keep it as a longer-term investment that brings in money (rent) while it accumulates greater value.
When our heads are firmly stuck inside the boxes that are the mental models we make, we can be easily blindsided by nasty events - and at the same time we don't see the good events, the opportunities for good things out there. We need to be open and flexible to be able to deal properly with both.


  1. Yep, random freak event = divorce......and Murphy was an optimist.

  2. All this is very true. The ‘sphere is criticized often for making observations about men, women, intersexual dynamics, human nature, etc. But there’s talking about what people think or believe; and that’s a very different thing from talking about what people see and observe.

    A good part of what’s done in the sphere is the latter – reporting what is seen, what is observed, what actually happens or has happened.

    1. My post wasn't very clear - I was attempting to look a bit more high-level at the rest of the world too. From that perspective comes things like bank runs, stock market and real-estate collapses, etc. Bubbles - booms and busts - come from reality not matching what's in our head, until the point occurs that everyone suddenly realizes the reality out there. Splat. If you don't realize it in time, you are left holding the bag of wooden nickels.

      That's why I added the parts about finding good things in life if you look for them, because they're out there also. It's that the bad things are a lot more noticeable and force themselves on our attention, where a gentler "here's a good opportunity" can pass us by because we're locked in our mental box. It doesn't kick the damn door down and throw you out on your ass like something really shit does. We need to be prepared mentally for both.

      At any rate this post has come across a lot less coherent than I meant it to. I will leave it up and work harder in the future.

      Though Anonymous' comment probably has all the clarity needed.

  3. "Murphy was an optimist", I believe is called the O'Toole Principle.