23 January, 2002 :: 12:19 p.m.
Okay...I need the help of a mathematician. I need help developing a formula to find out exactly how stupid a given group of people will be. See, people get stupid when they get in groups...even intelligent people.
The larger the group, the dumber the people get. I'm thinking maybe it's live a cover charge to get into a club...like check 10% of you I.Q. at the door. Or if the group is larger, check 20-30-40% of your I.Q. I'm not sure what the formula is and this is where I need someone's help. But I know it's true.
Hell, I can even feel myself get dumber when I get in a group. Like anything more than 3 people. Not always, because sometimes I don't get involved in the group; I stay outside and observe. But when I choose to get involved, I feel myself getting dumber. It's like carbonation in soda, you open the bottle and fwoosh, there goes some of the carbon dioxide...I get into a group and fwoosh, there goes some of my intelligence. I do and say things and even have a good time, but then I look back later and go, what the hell was I doing? That wasn't me. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me anyway.
This is why I'll never join a frat though. I see groups of frat boys--sorry, "brothers"--and they just act like idiots. They sit and talk about nothing for hours. I couldn't handle being a part of that scene. It's also why I'll never join a church. People can be religious and/or spiritual or whatever and that's fine, but get them in groups and you see ignorance and stupidity rise up and take control. If you aren't part of the group, there's something wrong with you. That's why I like Buddhism...I don't know a lot about it, but from what I've seen and heard, it seems like more of an individual thing. You are supposed to explore and learn about yourself, enlighten yourself. They don't knock other religions or try to convert people; Buddhism is there if you want it and if you don't, that's cool too.
That was a bit of a tangent from the thing about groups, but not one of my tangents that have nothing to do with anything. Individuality, that's what I value. It's important to be happy and have fun--but not at the expense of the happiness of other people. People dumb themselves down in groups. It's like they are afraid to show that they are an individual with a mind so they hide in this stupid group mentality thing.
It can be dangerous. You have a bunch of biggots that are on their own, they aren't going to do shit. They'll hate people for stupid reasons like skin color or religion or sexual preference, but that's just it, they'll choose not to like them. Most biggots aren't going to do anything about their feelings on their own other than avoid the people that they don't like. Put them in groups though and suddenly they feed off each other, their hate becomes a living, breathing collective thing. Now they have to prove to each other how much they hate people who are different; they have to prove their convictions and violence happens. Militias...one person doesn't like the government, they'll be bitter and unhappy but that's about it, for the most part. Put these people in groups, even small groups, and they get that collective conscious and suddenly have courage to act out. Even Timothy McVeigh had people helping him. When you hear about an individual shooting an abortion doctor...maybe it seems like he/she (usually he) acted alone, but that's not the case. He probably didn't tell anyone he was going to go shoot a doctor who performs abortions, but he was buying into an ideology of the pro-lifers. He received encouragement somewhere form a group that had similar ideas. The murder was his, but it was inspired by a group. Groups suck.
I agree with DynamiteKid...have a few close friends that you know always have your back. I'd rather have a few friends that I know well and cultivate a great relationship with than a bunch of acquaintances that I don't know all that well. Individualism is important. Don't be afraid to be true to yourself. I know too many people that have a lot of "friends" that they hang out with and laugh and joke with and then turn around after the person leaves and bitch about them. Why would you do that? If you don't really like the person, why pretend to be friends. There's nothing wrong with having acquaintances, but admit that that is what they are, don't call them friends. Friends have your back, friends will tell you if you're being stupid or getting out of line, they don't pretend to support you and talk about you behind your back.
As usual this entry went in directions that I didn't think it would. It was gonna just be a short thing about group stupidity because last night at work we kept getting these groups of people that acted like they were so clever, acted like they were doing things no one else had ever thought to do, but it turned into a bit of a rant. Oh well.
Humans as individuals can be crazy, wonderful, beautiful creatures; humans as a group suck.