Why People Choose Insanity

In a comment on yesterday’s post, Greenmantlehoyos wrote:

Man, thanks for being sane.

Hey man, my pleasure. It’s no sweat to be sane on the Internet while writing under a nom de guerre to a self-selected group of like-minded people . Sanity is a more difficult trick to pull in real life. It takes guts because there are risks. People–coworkers, friends, even family–might stop talking to you.

Or the reverse: Maybe you get surrounded by people (a group of coworkers, for example) who want to know why you have such wrong thoughts. Then you have to explain yourself, and then maybe also you find out that you don’t know how to explain yourself because you haven’t really thought these things through as far as you should have.

Maybe you were just going off intuition; which is another way of saying that you once had a glimpse of a true observation before you closed your eyes and went back to work; even though that glimpse has stuck with you. But a glimpse is no foundation for an argument. You’ve got to take a good hard look at the world in front of you to make an argument. Then you have to question yourself–take a good hard look at yourself–to try to know whether what you are now seeing for the first time is real, or if you have imagined it.

The latter–imagining things–becomes a real possibility. If what you see now is real, and if it conflicts with what you’ve always thought to be real, then you must accept that all your life up until now you have been imagining what you saw rather than really seeing it. At first this seems like a complication and a pain in the ass. But if you are brave then it’s an opportunity to elevate yourself above your peers. That’s a good thing. It’s also often lonesome.

Loneliness is tough. Years ago I was at a party. We were laughing and drinking and having a good time. Then my best friend said to me, laughing, “You are a lot more fun when you drink!” I got angry, but he was right. Later, looking at it with open eyes I understood that I got angry because he was right, and I had interpreted it as wholly derogatory of me. But it wasn’t. The thing about alcohol is that it slows down the brain. After a couple drinks I am within actual talking distance of others.

Excellence, by its nature, separates.

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19 thoughts on “Why People Choose Insanity

  1. That’s the thing I love about this blog. It is a stripping away, a taking of things (that we have heard and known) at face value and seeing how everything else stacks up.

    Jesus did not directly answer John’s inquiry (“Are you the one?”). He sent back saying, in effect, “You know the answer.”

    I use that exact method to teach my children when they ask questions they know how to find the answers to (“what does that clock say?”). In real world engineering our confidence comes from our methods and training, because there is no answer key to tell us “this design will not cause the building to burn down with the occupants inside”.

    Sand floor. Paint fence. Wax car. Wax on, wax off. You know the motions, Daniel-san, now use them.

    I am a man of few words unless I am very comfortable in my surroundings (which comfort may at times be augmented by alcohol). It helps me to understand, rightly or otherwise, that it’s because the brain is simply working too fast for the tongue to keep up.

  2. The thing about alcohol is that it slows down the brain. After a couple drinks I am within actual talking distance of others.

    Maybe my problem is a lack of alcohol.

  3. It is true most people do not really think things through, the whole Most People are Idiots (MPAI) idea, but we need to be really careful if we don’t walk in too much pride and over value our own intelligence.

    I tend to think more/faster than others, but I can be an idiot at times too. It is important that we keep this in mind when we consider what we can do better.

  4. Alcohol also numbs subtle physical pain that you wouldn’t normally classify as pain but tiredness. When I’m working a lot I feel way better after two drinks.

  5. I’m with you Cane. The ability to grasp the big picture and higher concepts is isolating. When I talk to my guy friends about big concepts their eyes glaze over. They don’t have the desire and/or ability to go there.

    On the other hand, we need to make sure our ideas are actually in line with the Truth. Flat-earthers also feel quite isolated I imagine.

    Sola scriptura

    John 8:32

  6. @Patrick

    The other day I mentioned to my wife that I think my dad should have a couple drinks more often. His mother was a true alcoholic though, so he’s resistant to the idea.

    @RPC

    The ability to grasp the big picture and higher concepts is isolating.

    This is it. This is what I wrote about. Talking to people either singly or in groups is not something with which I struggle. I can chat, flirt, shoot the shit, and am generally extroverted; all without alcohol. When I said that drinking slows down my brain, I meant it in the sense of dimming a lightbulb. I don’t catch all the nuance. I fail to notice, or care too much, that my friend encourages his wife to nag when he hides from her instead of telling her to go mother her children instead of her husband.

  7. I am an introvert, so it isn’t as easy for me. But I expect the same general process would apply for me as well re: alcohol. It is easy for those like us to get overwhelmed by all the stimuli in the environment that needs processing.

  8. I’ve shared about the (red pill) nature of women (as referenced in the Bible, including Genesis and Proverbs) to two men; both of whom I, at that time, thought were safe enough for me to share. They were displeased and I had to ask myself if I was the insane one.

    On another note (and since I had been listening to Alistair Begg’s sermons on the Book of Daniel), I wondered if Daniel ever thought himself as being insane when he (and his friends) were openly defying the king’s orders and to the extent of being sent into the fire or the lions’ den.

    Holding onto our faith in trying times can will test our sanity.

  9. @choking

    Given that the red pill aligns four square with everything written in the Bible, you are clearly not insane. Those two men are not insane either, they are a product of the environment in which they were bred, a cleverly camouflaged female primary social order that is not biblical and that disappoints all players.

    We are also products of that system, but for some purpose have been exposed to the corrupt and deceitful inner workings of it. OK, so those two guys weren’t ready, and may never be, but you’ve learned a little bit more of who and what to look for before you confide in anyone in future. We just have to stay cool with all of this. God is in heaven and we are on the earth.

  10. This problem has grown over the time that I’ve been married. Meaning, as a college student and then a young single man I could sort fiends for those who didn’t glaze over. I am happier with a few non-glazers…..friends in other words, than with a stable of buddies that jump from truncated superficial observational topic (not even really topic) to the next. I suppose men who have a bunch of buddies seem to be having a decent life experience but I admit that I cannot imagine how it can be so. Its utterly uninteresting. The jokes are funnier, for instance, when at conversational depth.

    Then comes the couples friend thing where many times the men are randomly placed and the conversation of buddies would be considered deep compared to what is made to happen at couples gatherings. This applies equally, sadly, to so called “small groups” in one’s church. I’ve no patience for it anymore. I can’t go listen to women talk as a spectator sport with other husbands.

    Unless some alcohol.

    This is challenging. Not because i have a need for alcohol. rather because I have an aversion to many circumstances involving socializing but try and hang in there because, paradoxically, i am a raging extrovert and most often the funniest person in the room, even with strangers just met, , so long as the room is not full or eye glazers and/or I have some drinks.

    Interesting thought side bar Cane.

  11. Empathologism:

    “Then comes the couples friend thing where many times the men are randomly placed and the conversation of buddies would be considered deep compared to what is made to happen at couples gatherings. This applies equally, sadly, to so called “small groups” in one’s church. I’ve no patience for it anymore. I can’t go listen to women talk as a spectator sport with other husbands.”

    Agree. It’s sad but it seems that men in these co-ed “small groups” do not (and can’t) converse freely. Contrary to the small group’s objectives, relationships formed there do not go beyond the superficial. There’s no “band of brothers” kind of intensity in terms of relationships among the men there. I am in one of such small groups. And like you said, I am merely a spectator rather than an active participant, giving the odd quips about my observations during the co-ed Bible study.

    But if we were to look at things rationally and objectively, insanity happens everywhere (a good example would be in a corporation) because many things / policies that are being done or practised do not make any sense if they were to be related back to the objectives or goals. Like a co-ed small group, which is supposed to provide a means for believers to have fellowship and support but men are often sidelined and their “needs” are not really being met.

    It’s insane.

  12. In my early 20s I had a performance review at work with two core pieces of feedback from my peers (which my manager cosigned).

    Where you are doing well: You are very articulate.

    Improvement needed: People often don’t understand what you are saying.

    This really puzzled me at first, and it frustrated me because I had been trying to communicate more clearly by being more articulate. But after thinking it through the penny finally dropped. The solution wasn’t to be more articulate, as that was already failing. The solution was to better filter what I was saying and target it to the person I was talking to and the immediate context. I could talk with the executive in charge of the organization about pretty much anything, and he was right there with me (and we still keep in touch today). But for others I needed to pare down what I was trying to communicate to make it more accessible.

    I think this fits with the topic at hand, because outside of a blogging environment there are limited contexts where it is appropriate to bring up the ideas we discuss in the sphere, and even in those contexts at any given time it only makes sense to cover limited, distinct topics that are relevant to the conversation at hand. If you do this right, you are far less likely to overwhelm the people you are talking to, as this tends not to (noticeably) threaten their established world-view. Instead they have the chance to weigh the accuracy of the observation instead of focusing on whether the frame is PC or not.

  13. Twelve or so years ago during a marital separation my wife and her gaggle of friends at that time all shared in common the view that not one thing i said ever made any sense. It was the most surreal thing to be told by casually acquainted men, husbands of the gaggle, and by counselors for marriage communication, that I made no sense and therefore could not really be taken seriously in whatever type of discourse was needed for reconnecting with my wife. .

    It may not seem so, especially the last couple of years, in my comments and few blog posts, but over the years I have had good communication held forth as a skill I possessed aplenty. My college friends poked fun at me because of the manner in which I communicated. I have been tapped in the past to speak in front of large (more than 1000) groups as a subject matter expert on the not-so-mainstream things in my vocation. Some were even pay-to-attend. So I’ve been fairly confident in my ability to convey what I set out to convey,

    Once I was a party to an arbitration. I was the point man employee for a company being taken to arbitration. It was a badge of honor when the opposing lawyer spat out in anger, “You are one very impetuous young man”. Granted flummoxing him was not due to my expertise on the ins and outs of the case, but rather because of hair splitting, disassembling, , and obfuscation. Not really great skills for the CV.

    The bible study groups therefore are places where I sit and write notes to myself about the things I so badly wanted to say.

  14. Knowledge is cummulative. You don’t teach eighth grade subjects to a first grader – because they have yet to learn the information taught in second through seventh grade that will enable them to understand the eighth grade subjects. So it is with conversations about Red Pill stuff when we underestimate just how much information we have learned that then enables us to understand what it is we understand. Our audience cannot understand us unless they are at a similar spot as us on the learning curve. Most aren’t.

    You cannot talk to a kindergartner the same way you can talk to a college professor. The college professor has the requisite background knowledge so that we don’t have to define every word and concept before we use it. That is not the case with the kindergartner.

    Start off with the simple stuff. And ask question rather than make pronouncements. chokingonredpills would have likely had more success if he had told his fellas that he needed help understanding something, read the target verses, and then asked the fellas what they thought it meant. Their responses would lead to more questions from chokingon – lead them to an understanding they otherwise lack, by asking them questions they have to think through. Over time. Not all at once.

  15. But there are moments when you can troll them for the metric system being part of imperialist oppression. That is if you are fine with losing your job.

  16. “Where you are doing well: You are very articulate.

    Improvement needed: People often don’t understand what you are saying.”

    I’ve had that conversation too many times.

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