Slim man in silhouette

Fighting the SLIMness

I've talked extensively in the past about the natural tendency of people to be SLIM - Selfish, Lazy, Ignorant, and Mean - and how that's really not all that productive so we need to fight those tendencies.

The important thing to remember is that you're not supposed to be the exact opposite. You might think Generous, Employed, Educated, and Kind is the correct response, but that's just being a GEEK - not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you look around at geeks, they tend to be unhappy. And there's a reason for this.

Fundamentally, no matter how much we want to transcend our human nature, we are still human beings and we have that nature for a reason.

There is always a big movement about transhumanism and being more than the human body naturally provides. Lately there's a lot about piercing and tattooing and subdermal implants and extreme body modifications and various forms of cyborgism. In the 1970s, it was all about mental power and psychic phenomena.

And there is always this one fringe area off to the side where someone is claiming he has not eaten or drunk or slept for decades. And this person claims that the human body does not need food or water or sleep. And then one day, someone catches him eating a Baconator from Wendy's.

You can't fight human nature. It is the way it is because it is supposed to be that way.  Human beings have eyes because it is valuable to see. Human beings have ears because it is valuable to hear. And human beings are SLIM because these are valuable survival skills.

Take selfishness, for example. You're in a group of six proto-humans living in a cave. You find enough food for two people. What do you do?

The GEEK shares the food among all six people. They don't have enough food so they all die.

But SLIM Jim keeps the food for himself, and chooses one special person from the other six to share it. Probably the one with whom he'd most like to mate. That ensures the survival of the species.

Similarly, laziness is a valuable survival skill. Less activity needs less energy, which means less food and water to keep you alive. Plus, if you're in a dangerous environment like a cave, it is far safer to stay where you know your way around, instead of exploring all over the place like an idiot. That's how people fall to their deaths or drown in underground lakes or stumble over some hungry mama bear and her cubs.

Ignorance is also rather valuable, since "curiosity killed the cat" and that's kind of how we learn everything. "I don't know whether that is good to eat," thinks the GEEK. "I will try it and find out!" And he poisons himself with the pretty red berries.

SLIM Jim goes "I don't know if that's good to eat, I will go eat something else" and away he goes. He'll try something new if he is starving.

Even being mean is a survival skill. If there's not enough soup for everybody, you have to look at someone and say "no soup for you" even though this is really fucking nasty and you're basically saying "fuck off and die." The thing is, it has to be done. Some resources are scarce and need to be conserved.

The GEEK just can't help himself and lets people have too much of things when there is not enough in the first place, and the really shitty part is that when it comes time for someone to not get any and die... it's probably the GEEK.

SLIM Jim survives. In fact, the tougher times are, the more important it is to be a bigger douchebag. That's why we have so Goddamn many of them. That's why our society is bound up in this constant cycle of throwing SHIT. Because throwing SHIT used to be an important survival skill.

In times of extreme scarcity, people get SLIM. And they should. But in modern society, we don't usually have such a thing as extreme scarcity. The terrible hardships of most people are trivial bullshit. The price of petrol, for example.

Well, you wouldn't fucking care if you didn't have a car. We have people bitching that they are out of beer on the day of the big game and their wife has gone to get her hair done with one car while their teenage daughter has gone to the mall with the other car, and neither of them is answering the phone - but they sure hope someone is back before the game starts in two hours so they can get to the store which is a whole mile and a half away.

That's an hour. Seriously, if you shut the fuck up and walk out the door, you can be to the store and back with a case of beer in an hour. And would it kill you not to have beer for the big game? Seriously. These are not problems. These are just SLIMness.

Plus, I'll bet one of your neighbours has a car, but you probably don't know your neighbours. Which brings us to the FATness...