badge-man

This Is Evolution

This frontal lobe of the brain is what I call the man brain. It's where we leave most of our animal evolution behind, and come into possession of all the things that make us, you know... human.

The part of you that might be complaining "what about women, this is a sexist term" is your monkey brain. A woman is a type of man, and it is entirely up to you whether you regard that as a diminutive (not really a man), an elevation (a special type of man), or neutral (a distinct variety of man). And whichever one you choose, it is this part of your brain which allows you to contemplate the possibility that you might be wrong.

My own opinion varies with the phase of the moon. Is a man regarded as special? Is a woman? Is either? I don't know. There are compelling arguments that men are regarded as special for what they do while women are regarded as special for what they are, making women the most special. And then there are compelling arguments that we regard what a man does as more special than what a woman does in a world where what one does is the primary indicator of value, making men more special for no good reason. I have noticed that I tend to lean in the direction of the most compelling argument I've heard lately.

Accordingly, rather than attempt to find the best answer, I have chosen to use the easiest one.

But the very ability to ask the question is a uniquely human quality.

The monkey brain can't ask questions like this, because it leans toward the evidence of your own surroundings and the values you hold yourself. You look around and decide whether the members of your tribe are treated equally or not. The notion that members of other tribes may not be treated the same way is foreign to the monkey brain, which cannot even entertain the idea.

In fact, the question of what comprises equal treatment depends greatly on the question of what treatment you're examining. When you examine the question of whether a person can get a job at all, you're ignoring what kind of job it is and what kind of advancement potential exists there.

Meanwhile, when you complain that you don't have the job you want and there's no advancement potential, pretty much the entire workforce looks at you and says "what's your point?" because the overwhelming majority of us don't have the jobs we want and can't advance as far as we'd like. So, you know, that's equal treatment.

Most of the bitching and complaining you do is coming out of your monkey brain because you just plain don't engage your man brain.

The trap, of course, is that you can engage your man brain to explain anything; whether by using real logic and reason supported by real evidence and empirical data, or by just... well, making shit up.

It's kind of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you can speculate accurately about things when you have no direct sensory evidence of them. On the other, you can just make something up in your head and pretend it's reality. Which quite handily allows you to make up in your head that everyone else is just making shit up in their head while you are speculating accurately.

Which is all well and good, when you retain the awareness that you could be wrong and a desire to be right.

The postmodern perspective, of course, is that all truths have equal validity (this is true for me, that is true for you) and therefore neither the idea of being "wrong" nor the desire to be "right" have any meaning, which is again the intrusion of the monkey brain on the proceedings. This is true in my tribe, that is true in your tribe, neither is universally true because there is no universal truth so there.

These ideas persist for one primary reason: the abstract notion of ubiquitous universal truth has far less utility than a practical notion of local empirical truth. Arguing that you are a member of a group which represents 30% of the population, and only 10% of worldwide company leadership is made up from members of that group, does absolutely nothing to cement you any place in that company leadership.

Should there be three times as many people from that group leading companies? Well, in the absence of objective contributing detractors, yes. Should one of those people be you? Well, that is a much more specific question in which the demographics of worldwide company leadership are completely irrelevant.

So what's the answer to this? How do you get what you deserve in a world where the objective truth is largely irrelevant to you personally?

Yeah, you guessed it. Tomorrow.