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The Monkeysphere

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Stumbled upon the above article a while back. It's a really good read, highly recommend it.

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I get the feeling I've seen that before at some point or had it somehow explained to me through one matter or another.

Either way, it is a pretty good read.

and actually pretty relevant on the interwebs

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I remember hearing/reading about this exact same thing a long time ago but they did not name it "monkeysphere". However, my own personal discovery of this idea was actually realized in a slightly different way. Instead of looking at our limitations as compassionate/empathetic beings, as this "monkeysphere" does, I found this little word: sonder.

Everyone's story is likely as complex as our own, everyone deserves initial respect. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” - (Not sure whose quote) Regardless, just because someone is outside of our "monkeysphere", should not devalue them to us. Their worth is equal to yours, as are their struggles.

What I just said may seem obvious, right? Be kind to others for they are people too, even if they are unknown to us? The reason I bother saying this is because the article itself mostly says things that are somewhat obvious. It is only obvious however, to those concerned with our individual impact on others lives. Because for one to put equal value on others lives as your own (I mean to truly put equal value, not just have the concept in your head "oh yea of course everyone's life has equal value duh" but to live by its consequences), you must come to this realization yourself.

Our minds purposely, in order to prevent becoming overwhelmed, simplify things. It is easy to lie to our brains. If we tried to "conceptualize" everyone we meet in life, that puts more strain on our brains. Unnecessary strain, that can be avoided by simply labeling individuals as what they represent in our lives right now "trash guy, cute girl, dumb fucking pubbie" rather than recognizing that we only truly see a tiny aspect of their existence. It is ignorance for the sake of efficiency. 

Now of course, many of us recognize we do not know others lives and try not to assume. Problem is, this takes brain power. We have to tell our brains "I do not know, stop and consider". This is not reaction, nor is it even natural per se. It is a cognitive power, one which does not come easily. Most often, we ignore it altogether without ever realizing. It is inefficient, why not just assume and move on?

It boils down to this, we either fall to our ignorance of someones complex life and label them, or we acknowledge our ignorance of their life. To acknowledge this ignorance however, is to leave a massive gap in their profile within our minds. We do not like gaps, so our brains fill in these gaps with assumptions. That, or we fill in the gaps with our actual knowledge of that person. We can only handle filling in these gaps to a certain degree (at which point they become three dimensional) for around 150 people according to the article. The rest remain one or two dimensional due to the efficient ignorance in our minds, because ignorance is bliss. 


My 2cents

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