The difficulty of trying to change people’s view through writing

You should read this if you’ve ever wanted to write in order to change people’s view of something. Maybe that’s not something you’ve ever wanted to do. I don’t know. I can’t really tell from where I am. I just made the assumption that there are people who do want to do that, and I made it explicit so you could decide for yourself how to continue. Maybe some of you (hello, my dear readers) do and some don’t. Who knows. Either way, this is the starting point I chose for all of us: you want to write in order…

Who am I?
I am one of We.
I am not one of The Others.

Without The Other, I can’t be, because without The Other there can be no We.

Without sleep there would be no being awake. Being awake would be everything and therefore nothing worth pointing at and talking about.

Without The Other, We would be everything and therefore nothing.

How can I be one of We?

I have to be seen as being one of We, because We are a group of mutually observing subjects that continually produce evidence of separation from Others. We do things, We

The “lukewarm” zone between extremes is used as an excuse for not providing support to people who need it.

My friends got a dog. Or rather, a chihuahua. “Not much of a dog”, someone might say. “Couldn’t they find a rat that was big enough?” Ouch. A bit mean, isn’t it. But imagine they had actually got a rat instead. That conversation wouldn’t even happen. Unless the rat was very, very big. “Why didn’t they get a dog instead? A dog would do a better job at scaring people away.” Do rats and dogs exist on a spectrum? Where on that spectrum would a chihuahua live? Maybe somewhere in the middle, in the lukewarm gray zone?

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Illustration 1: Chihuahua as “lukewarm” dogs/mice on a scale going from “mouse” to “real dog”

Autism used to…

the body/mind distinction is such a naïve attempt at explaining away the inner contradictions of seeing oneself as one, but failing to fully experience the supposed, the purposeful oneness

imposing a simple order on top of a contradiction, not replacing it, not admitting the mistake, but merely hiding it underneath another faulty layer, broken in exactly the same way

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admitting that the one is always a fiction — a dynamic abstraction constructed and held up in a semi-coordinated way by an unordered, ultimately unorderable set of forces and resonators — resolves the tension much better

the contradiction is made explicit…

money is time people spent making things

money is having choices in the future

money is a buffer for when something hits you

money is materialised recognition

money is control over how people spend their time

money is numbers on a computer you don’t have access to

money is why you can’t

money is telekinesis

money is support

money is dependency

money is a band-aid for your conscience

money is a nice evening out

money is memories

money is worry

money is struggle and persistence

money is access to society

money is selfishness

money is abstracting from living beings that need food and hugs to the harsh notion of individual value that determines the quality and length of everybody’s life

money is death


  • ‘Open-mindedness’ as a property of individuals does not exist. However, ‘opening your mind’, as an action, does exist.
  • Opening your mind requires active engagement with foreign ideas, which results in either accepting them, rejecting them, or delaying judgement.
  • Previously accepted or rejected ideas can be reconsidered, which is also an example of opening.
  • You can’t open your mind generically — it always happens with respect to concrete ideas.
  • Accepting and rejecting ideas is part of constructing your identity by creating a distinction between the inside (the accepted) and the outside (the rejected).
  • Accepting a new idea may require rejecting previously…

It sounds nonsensical, doesn’t it. “As a man, in order to be a man, you have to be a man.” However, this seemingly paradoxical statement is actually meaningful. Let’s break it down and see how.

Addressing an audience

As a man

The phrase “as a man” directs whatever comes after it at a particular section of people: those who are addressable as “men”.

It says, “people who know that I am talking about you when I talk about men: the following applies to you”. …

Let’s start with a summary of the point I want to make:

  • The way we talk about the world is a specific attempt at reducing the complexity of all the details around us. This is similar to how a map simplifies the material reality of a city into something humans are able to navigate.
  • Once we’ve settled on a particular way of looking at things, it is hard to break out of it, even if the map is misleading or becoming outdated, because the map allows us to make sense of what’s around us, and without the map, there is…

A: “You are my favorite T-shirt wearer.”

B: “I’m not a T-shirt wearer. I just happen to wear a T-shirt sometimes.”

A: “Here we go again… you and your complicated identity.”

B: “What’s so complicated about it?”

A: “I mean… okay… I get it: sometimes you are a T-shirt wearer and then other times you are a non-T-shirt wearer.”

B: “Not quite. When I’m wearing a T-shirt, I still don’t identify as a T-shirt wearer. It’s just something I do that you see related to my identity and I don’t.”

A: “How about this: maybe you are a partial T-shirt…

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