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Thread: On the merits of being normal

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    creator kari's Avatar
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    On the merits of being normal

    By normal, I mean by subscribing to and following societal traditions, adhering to the status quo. I think this would be interesting to explore because I consider myself… not abnormal, since that connotes pathology, but a-normal at times, which I think could benefit from a healthy dose of assuagement.

    It seems to me that general use-value of tradition is to facilitate large-scale survival of the species. Traditions are time-tested behaviours, passed down from generation to generation. The benefit of adhering to tradition rather than carefully tailoring specific responses to specific circumstances is twofold:

    1) it saves a lot of precious energy that can be partitioned elsewhere, and
    2) it displays allegiance and loyalty to the herd.

    I can't remember exactly where I heard this - perhaps on a Joe Rogan podcast. Basically the guest was saying how there was an evolutionary explanation for racism, xenophobia and tribalism. In the past, it was extremely to risky be introduced to new and foreign tribes & cultures, since they brought with them an influx of unfamiliar pathogens and contagions. Tribes that failed to turn away external cultures risked contamination and ultimately the population dying off. Tribes that were hostile to new influences survived and passed on their aversion.

    Obviously in the modern world, the racism tradition is at best archaic.
    But I think there is a lot of wisdom in other traditions, and we are intuitively drawn towards them because of eons of evolutionary programming. As someone who has always thought being normal was boring, I’m starting to think it’s the most exciting thing, because you’re tapping into something primal and wonderful.

    Unconventionality has its merits and can also be explained within the evolutionary paradigm. I think weirdness, unfamiliarity, novelty, are akin to genetic mutations – new traits that push the boundaries of what is possible. The survival of the species depends on biodiversity, so that entities with favourable genetic mutations to suit shifting environmental pressures may survive and propagate.

    Weird people are either revolutionaries or they are liabilities.
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    Member Stigmata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flurps View Post
    That's the sound of your Si cracking open

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    Member MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    I keep things unremarkable from an aesthetic standpoint because it really expedites business of all kinds. I guess I'm propping up Babylon by keeping my haircut in regs but I just want to hide in plain sight. I find 'unusual' people over the age of thirty exhausting. An over thirty with non-matching socks, for example. Spare us your contrived whimsy.
    I find extra-usual people over thirty to be suspicious. The American Psycho types I see taking lunch laps around the Capitol building for example. There's a zone of conformity to which I'm drawn, which is hard to define. I like young counter-cultural types. I guess they're actually being normal. For their age. I like tradition. This used to make me normal.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Give it ten years and you won't have to do any of this on purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    Traditions are time-tested behaviours, passed down from generation to generation.
    On many occasions I have come to the realization that millions of dolts doing the same thing might mean there's actually something to it.

    I used to feel "not normal" in my 20s. I was surrounded by artists, intellectuals and bohemians. I remember the first normal guy I dated. He was so ordinary I was absolutely blown away.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    The older I get the more I see that wisdom accumulates with age, and the more likely I am to think that old people and the things that get passed down from previous generations are useful in ways that can't always be plainlyly articulated. We were people long before we began to speak, and long before that we were simply beings. Much that is useful in life comes from the time before rationality. We just happen to live in a time when thinking and speaking are the new normal. I am personally trying to find a balance so I can make the best of this existence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    As someone who has always thought being normal was boring, I’m starting to think it’s the most exciting thing, because you’re tapping into something primal and wonderful.
    i don't relate to this at all.

    boredom is one of the most intense psychological pains i've ever felt in my entire fuckin life. it is stagnation and being trapped.

    i used to be indifferent to the concept of "normal" but i've since grown to reject it, personally. as a social construct, at best it's meaningless and easily disregarded, at worst it's an oppressive ideal and not something to actually "be." nobody is as normal as they could ever want to be. it's also always changing with the times and between cultures. it's too vague to be useful for me.

    but for communication's sake, i tend to use the word "normal" to mean functional and conventional. whatever that means changes with context.

    i don't understand attaching any sort of value to it, or making "being normal" a goal.

    it seems like something to make into a goal when/if the actual goal is to hide some part of yourself that causes rejection time and again.

    it's being an imposter.

    i don't know. i don't care about it.
    the clouds in the sky caress my mind so tenderly

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    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    False dichotomy.

    "Normal" for any given society includes a certain amount of variation.

    I don't really get the point you're trying to make. You want to try to fit a normalized ideal?
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    "Normal" for any given society includes a certain amount of variation.
    i was researching chicken poo the other day, and long story short, there is a huge variety of chicken poos that falls within the range of what's "normal" and healthy.

    i know now that i don't have to worry about the different types of poos coming out of my poopy chicken.

    ...this just reminded me. there's a life lesson in there somewhere.
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 05-11-2018 at 05:03 AM.
    the clouds in the sky caress my mind so tenderly

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    creator kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyJungle View Post
    I keep things unremarkable from an aesthetic standpoint because it really expedites business of all kinds. I guess I'm propping up Babylon by keeping my haircut in regs but I just want to hide in plain sight. I find 'unusual' people over the age of thirty exhausting. An over thirty with non-matching socks, for example. Spare us your contrived whimsy.
    I find extra-usual people over thirty to be suspicious. The American Psycho types I see taking lunch laps around the Capitol building for example. There's a zone of conformity to which I'm drawn, which is hard to define. I like young counter-cultural types. I guess they're actually being normal. For their age. I like tradition. This used to make me normal.
    I don't have favourable impressions of anyone that dresses counterculture past the age of 35, and this is someone who grew up obsessed with punk rock.


    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Give it ten years and you won't have to do any of this on purpose.



    On many occasions I have come to the realization that millions of dolts doing the same thing might mean there's actually something to it.

    I used to feel "not normal" in my 20s. I was surrounded by artists, intellectuals and bohemians. I remember the first normal guy I dated. He was so ordinary I was absolutely blown away.
    Well then in that case I am absolutely looking forward to my 30s.

    Normal guys are the best, especially if they are apelike. Mmmm, go out and hunt for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    The older I get the more I see that wisdom accumulates with age, and the more likely I am to think that old people and the things that get passed down from previous generations are useful in ways that can't always be plainlyly articulated. We were people long before we began to speak, and long before that we were simply beings. Much that is useful in life comes from the time before rationality. We just happen to live in a time when thinking and speaking are the new normal. I am personally trying to find a balance so I can make the best of this existence.
    Yeah this is what I mean and a bit of it is the unnerving realisation that your parents were right (not about everything, definitely)

    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    i don't relate to this at all.

    boredom is one of the most intense psychological pains i've ever felt in my entire fuckin life. it is stagnation and being trapped.
    Suffering is pain from overstimulation, boredom is pain from understimulation. Yeah, I'm not particularly fond of being bored. Actually stagnation is probably the worst thing in the world. But my point was normal is now exciting to me.

    Suffering, I love that pain in good doses.
    I fucking hate the cold! - Wim Hof

    Check out my art. https://www.instagram.com/karililt/

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