Friday, February 17, 2012

Accepting change

I had a bit of insight into myself that I decided to share.

I easily adopt or adapt to new things that I see as better.

I was thinking about this as I washed dishes. Yes, I do domestic chores. Anyway... not too long ago I figured out a more efficient pattern for arranging the dishes in the drain rack, and immediately began using the newer arrangement. The other (occasional) dishwasher still uses the old pattern.

In many other areas of life I have done the same. I may have been doing something the same way all my life, but when I discover- or am shown- a better way, I usually adopt it quickly. If it holds up, I keep it. If not, I may scrap it and go back to the old way, or once the "spell" is broken, I may research and look for other possibilities. Now, my "new way" may not be new to anyone but me, and my "old way" may not be the way anyone else has ever done anything; I am only talking about "new" or "old" in regards to the way I have been doing things.

I think this is why I am an anarchist/libertarian/voluntaryist. The old way worked OK for me until I started seeing the flaws, and then discovered a better way that didn't have all the flaws. So, I kept adopting "new" ways- tweaking what works to eliminate more flaws- until I got to where I am. Which will probably keep being tweaked.

I have also noticed that most people don't seem to let go of their old ways as easily as I do. Maybe they are more emotionally attached or something. This may mean I am lacking in some emotional component.

Maybe what I lack is unconditional loyalty.

That might just be the problem. After all, I tend to do the same in my relationships. When one ceases to "work" for me, I may try for a while to fix it, but if nothing changes fairly quickly, I stop having any emotional investment in it. I start keeping my eyes open for something better.

I'm not saying any of this is the best way to be; just how I am.

What do you think?



  1. I think one of your distinguishing characteristics is the capacity for analytical thought. Most people don't have it, and are capable of nothing better than mere regurgitation of factoids fed them by their betters.
    As far as the unconditional loyalty thing, yeah. It took me about a half a century to figure that out, so I think you're ahead of the curve, there.

  2. Thoughts about loyalty:

    But then I am someone who washes dishes by hand.

  3. That's a good one, Paul. (I'm sure I read it when it was new since TLE is a weekly stop.)

    Yeah, I am "the dishwasher". There's a spot in the kitchen where a mechanical/electric dishwasher once was installed, but not since I have lived here. I'm not a luddite, and will use a dishwashing machine if one is available, but I don't want one enough to spend money on it.

  4. I've also noticed how reticent most others are to adopt improvements, even if they're right in front of them.

    The immediate problem is that when I ask one of them why they aren't adopting a whatever, they get defencive.
    This may be because I'm being unintentionally rude and I don't know how, but for me it just means I have to guess at why they won't change.

    The only real lead I have is cognitive.
    Sometimes, I have also been resistant to change. It's been because it takes thought and my thinker was overwhelmed at the time.
    Similarly, I've been resistant to new foods when I'm still getting to know the foods I've got.
    Occasionally, I'm resistant to new methods of e.g. dishwashing because my current dishwashing isn't mainly for washing dishes, but as a tool to develop some other skill.

    Come to think, it is probably mainly about dominance.
    It's the scholar hierarchy again.
    For most, accepting a new method means raising the status of the method-deliverer, which is only very, very rarely worth the price.
    Being asked about the method is a challenge; both a threat of out-grouping if the method is not approved, and a sort of intellectual chest-thumping.

    Time to bust out my psychological lockpicks, I guess, and get hacking.

  5. The "new foods" comment reminded me of something.

    A while back my son invited me to go eat at a place I had never been, to try food unlike that I was accustomed to eating. I went, and I ate, and completed the entire meal with only chopsticks (which I had also never done before).

    It was fun, delicious, and a little exhilarating.

    However, I noticed that some of the others with us didn't want to do things that were unfamiliar. I thought they were missing out on half the fun.

    So, there we are again. Is it an ego problem? Personally, I like to be shown new things, and I even like the feeling of being taught something. I have even allowed someone to believe they were teaching me something I already knew just because I enjoyed the experience. Pick that psychological lock! Haha.

  6. The door's open and a 'welcome' sign is posted above it; there's not much to pick. :)

    I bet I could find something, though, if I really tried...though I also bet it's off in a corner somewhere out of the way.