Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Hey y'all.  So most all people are in one degree or another affected by projection.  Now, I may be misusing this psychology term (anyone can feel free to correct me on it), but I've noticed that many times people will project their opinions on others, expecting that everyone else is motivated by the same things they are.

This is usually innocent.  As every child develops, they never guess that other people don't think they way they do.  It just never occurs to them until some point when they get older, when they find someone who has an extremely different opinion from theirs.

This doesn't necessarily just go away when a person grows up, however.  In fact, it's the source of much conflict.  For example, a person may be offended by a behavior in another person because they assume that the other person meant to offend them -- that activity is what the first person would have done only if he wanted to offend somebody, and thus he thinks everyone who does it is trying to be offensive.

I recently encountered this behavior at work.  I had this book on Noam Chomsky I was going to read, and I was explaining to one of my managers that Chomsky is a liar and manipulator of history.  She didn't know anything about him, and didn't particularly care to learn more.  She's an immensely practical person, and she doesn't feel the study of philosophy and history will help her in her personal life.  She's the sort of person that would like to live on a farm, free from ideological entanglements as she raises her chickens.

So when I spoke to her about philosophers, she claimed that all of them were in it for money.  She said this quite firmly, surprising me.  As a highly theoretical person, I know for a fact that many of the people that use and misuse ideology aren't always interested in money.  The guy who created Scientology is (he even admitted it!), but there are still plenty of philosophers out there who speak in order to influence (Karl Marx), to create a more efficient society (Confucius), or simply just to rant their hearts away (me -- not that I can really be compared to the bigwigs).  Besides, it's always faulty to assume that all people of a type are the same.

Now, in one sense, my manager's projection is a good thing -- it protects her from stupidity, in that she will not listen to someone who she sees is only in it for cash.  It's also a bad thing, because if she continues in this belief, she will not learn to understand how ideas change the world.  It may very well be that her purpose in life is to be practical, and thus she doesn't really need to understand too much.  Still, knowledge is a good thing, and having an understanding of how the world works could help her understand people.

So yeah, this is just a quick blog to let you know I'm not dead, and since I have this next week off of school, I'll be able to get more writing done.  Hopefully I can get through all those top ten favorite character videos and get that blog going.

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