[extropy-chat] Humans--non-rational mode

kevinfreels.com kevin at kevinfreels.com
Thu Mar 9 17:14:10 UTC 2006

When I think of irratinal behaviour, I thing of behaviour that doesn;t make
sense in the slightest. For example, every time my daughters go to their
mother's house for visitation (I have custody), I hear weird stories like
one of her dropping her pants in front of the girls and farting on their
face. Or waking the younger one up at 2am and force-feeding her a brownie.
She often makes disjointed comments that seem to have no attachment to
anything going on at the time. This would make sense if she was just
following a line of thought for a bit and then blurted out part of it, but
with her, it's stranger than that. For example, you can be talking about the
girls needing to brush their teeth and in the middle of the conversation
she'll say "That reminds me of my favorite word...hermaphrodite. Do you know
what that is?". Of course, she says this about once every 3-4 months. A
couple years ago, my youngest was 5 yrs old and she peed in the bed. Her
mother picked her up and dropped literally threw her in the bathtub giving
her several bruises and a bloody nose. Her way to rationalize it was "she
got in a hurry because she was worried about the bed".

So I don't think "rational" thought is overrated. Instead, I think it is
very common but misunderstood. I think that the accusation of being
irrational is overused incorrectly. Most people assume that any two people
who make a rational decision would make the same decision and that's not the
case. What is rational is always clouded by emotion. Something may be
rational and logical for me, but not for you simply because I place a higher
level of importance on something. For examle, Is it rational for me to spend
$10 on anchovies? Not if I have absolutely no use for them whatsoever. But
if I get anything out of it...even just a chance to see the checkout person
sneer, then it becomes rationalized in my mind. The look on the person's
face is worth the $10 to me and that's all that matters. Someone else would
likely call that irrational, but in fact, they mean that it's something that
they wouldn't do and they don;t understand my motivation.

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