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I don’t like sweeping generalizations. At the risk of sounding like a raving hypocrite, I dislike all sweeping generalizations.

Let me explain why. It’s quite simple, really.

Nothing is constant.

Got it? No? Let’s go in depth. There are a few “constant”, “concrete” things in day-to-day life. The sun comes up. The moon comes up. The clock starts over again at midnight.  Two times two is four, if two geese lay an egg a gosling will come out.

Well.

The sun comes up at a different time and from a different location each morning. The moon rises in a different phase and position than the night before.  The only clocks on earth that are completely and totally correct are broken ones, and they are only right twice a day (once if they mark AM/PM).  Math is a human invention and, thus, prone to random and total reinvention at a moment’s notice. And thanks to evolution, some day two geese will hatch their egg and something not of their species will step out.

But while it annoys me when people generalize about things(“all fast-food places are bad for you.” “TV is not art.” “ranged combat is so gimped in this MMO.”), what really gets me going is generalizing about people.

“All people in the Middle East are Muslims,” for example. Or its cousin, “All Muslim people are terrorists.”  Um, no.

Or, the other direction. “The American right wing is made up of stupid people.” Also demonstrably not true.

Or less political thoughts!  Like “artists are crazy and obsessive.” I have a friend who is convinced that all football players are evil and stupid.  Or the “hipster” movement that has gotten so much flak on the internet, which supposedly rejects anything that is popular.

Obviously, it’s possible to take this too far. I don’t object to people all being classified as the same species. That’s science. It holds true across every demographic.  You want to say that all hydrogen atoms are the same? Great. It can be proved. But if you want to tell me that every movie that Bruce Lee was in was great, or that all “emo” people cut themselves and are borderline sociopaths, well, screenshot or it didn’t happen. Prove it or get out.

And even worse than this laziness, of choosing a position that has not been proven correct, some people then tell me that they don’t care about the subject (football players, pop music, piano’s presence [or lack thereof] in hard rock) enough to go and see if they’re right or not.

HOW CAN YOU NOT CARE? Not only have you just casually condemned an entire demographic/object/art form, you’ve done so with great apathy.  Your intellectual laziness shocks me.

IMHO*, one should keep in mind that nothing is constant. Just because an idea is ‘eco-friendly’ doesn’t mean it is good. Just because a left-wing politician suggested the amendment, doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad. Religion is not inherently evil, and atheists are not hyperrationalistic androids seeking to destroy the world.  Vegetarian diets may not keep you supernaturally healthy, and vegans are not soulless.

Listen. Observe. Make your decisions one at a time, not from some preset list of prejudices that you consult each time action is required.  To generalize a subject is to trivialize it, to reduce it to something that doesn’t require your active attention. And everything should require your attention.

*In My Humble Opinion

P.S.

Hiya again! It’s been a while since I posted. D:  I was distracted. By pretty colors.

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One Comment

  1. @_@ pretty….


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