Betting on normal: What if the crowd is wrong?

In the last video, I talked about how we have this drive to head to the centre of the crowd, to be away from the edges, to look for safety in the crowd.
And although it makes sense in many ways, it also has its dangers, to be here surrounded by others.
If the principle, maybe, is that we want to be away from the predators that are outside the group, so we hide in the middle of the group- but now, as humans, we’re in a world where the biggest threats to us are other humans, not, you know, wild wolves in the forest that are outside the group.
It’s the humans inside the group, and maybe even the overall operations of the group itself that are the biggest threat to us.
So this drive we have to hide in the crowd, to hide in the middle, maybe doesn’t serve us as well as it once did.
Now, there’s another way of looking at what’s this problem with being normal.
We know we have all these comforts that we can get from being normal, trying to fit in, be average, be acceptable to society.
Maybe don’t have to be this exact average, but within a range that is considered acceptable to society, so that we are treated as part of the group and not some kind of outsider ourselves.
But despite all the advantages that come with us being acceptable, so that we can be part of this big group, and you know, be on the side with the biggest numbers, the problem with it, one of the problems with it, is that if we are part of this group, if we are “normal” the whole definition of what normal is depends on what the group is doing, and that idea of what is normal changes over time.
And the circumstances that we’re in change over time.
So we can be doing something because it’s normal.
We can be fitting into this group because we’re being normal for this group, and everything seems normal from inside, but then if we were to look at it from outside, if we were to look at it maybe from the point of view of a different society, maybe a different time, and look back to what was considered normal, we might then think that this is madness.
This is not normal at all.
But if enough people are doing it, it becomes normal.
Usually we define what, you know, “crazy” versus “normal” is based on what the main group is doing.
Whatever the main group is doing is considered normal, and whatever a few scattered people are doing that is different, well, that is considered abnormal.
And it just seems to be so automatically built into how we think that, you know, and it’s an easy it’s an easy simple heuristic to work with that yeah, OK, normal is probably safe.
Because overall, normal is what has worked for many people for some time, and it’s what a lot of people do, and you know, if 99 people are saying this is the way to do it, and one person is saying “No, this is the right way to do it, it’s a different way”, you would probably be safe most of the time to go with the 99.
So it’s a simple tool we can use to try to make a safe bet.
Just go with whatever is more popular, more accepted, more generally done.
Very reasonable.
But it doesn’t guarantee in any way that what we’re doing is right.

#followthecrowd #conformity #beingnormal
There’s certainly no reason why 99 couldn’t be wrong and one be right, for various reasons.
Now, the 99 are not just gonna, you know, randomly be wrong and just all make the same mistake, but they could be working with the same information, working with the wrong information, and all going in a certain direction that makes sense to them.
But if one person sees things differently, that person, even though they may be usually wrong, they might be right.
So my thought for today is that as much as we can try to make a safe bet by doing what most people do, we can never be sure about that.
And simply following the crowds could be following them off the cliff.
So I wonder, how do we tell this difference? How do we know when should we just accept what’s conventionally done because it’s our best bet, and when should we go against the crowd, go against the numbers, and take a risk doing something different?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *