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I discover more and more that in any group of people, there's a tendency for it to fragment. Tiny differences can turn into huge obstacles. I've long been aware of this in terms of Christian denominations: one difference in the reading and interpretation of a single verse can (and has) led to a split, the formation of two denominations from one. In almost every respect, the two new groups agree with each other. But on this one point they disagree, and they separate.

It seems to happen with any group, from 2 members up to millions. In couples, small differences can lead to huge problems. Among vegetarians and vegans, some do not go far enough to satisfy others. Among atheists, there is agreement that there is no god -- but we still form into various factions that are in conflict.

There's no revelation here, I know. I'm sure it's long been known. I'm not a social scientist. I'm just seeing it everywhere now. Is something changing, or has it always been this... severe? Politically, people in congress used to be able to dislike each others' positions and yet work together to get things done for the common good. Not now...

I remember when Burger King came up with "have it your way". I once went to a Taco Bell and they didn't know how to charge for a burrito without meat, so they wouldn't sell it to me. Now, it's the norm for everything to be customized, from burritos to cars to educational programs. There's a lot to be said for it and I'm not complaining. But does this degree of individualism have a negative impact on cohesion as a group? I don't know; I merely ask.

Omnedon 7 Feb 13

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Agnostics don't agree there is no god. God is irrelevant. Only people matter.
That said, the Democratic Party is VERY fragmented.
Republicans have been systematically dismantling the Democratic system by which we establish what the majority wants the government to do.
Believing they speak for god, they are contemptuous of what secular men and women (who they believe are evil in their very essence) think, want, do, etc.
Republicans want to gain and maintain control by any means necessary, period. They are the "vast right-wing conspiracy" Hillary shouted about at the top of her lungs, and she was right.
The only remedy is to VOTE in high enough numbers to defeat them before it's so too late.
Our democracy is at stake. Without it we will live in a fascist oligarchy.

"The truth is, I thought it mattered - I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks? Not compared to how people matter."

In my opinion, there are people in both parties that wish for power however they can get it. I'm not a fan of either the Democrat party or the Republican party, nor of the de facto two-party system we have. Right now, though, my focus is on neither party, but on one person: Trump. He must be defeated so the nation can have the opportunity to draw together again.

@Omnedon It is “The Democratic Party”, please don’t use “The Democrat party” to show disrespect like Republicans do.

@Redheadedgammy I had a knee-jerk reaction, but have thought better of it. No disrespect was intended. I simply didn't know that using the term "Democrat party" was an issue. I'm not very political and am not a member of either party. I know better now, thanks.

I hate to be the one to break the news, but our republic is already gone. It was taken over by two groups the KKK and the NAZI party years ago. They just took control 4 years ago. Enjoy the last days of “freedom”.

@Detritus Do you vote?

@Omnedon HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two parties. The real problem is, liberals do not VOTE! Why they don't is a mystery.
Oh you can think of all kinds of 'reasons,' but they are meaningless compared to the bald-faced fact they just don't seem to care.
Say what you will about conservatives...they VOTE!
That's the simple truth of the matter.
And if they don't care, there's really not much more to say, is there?

@Storm1752 yes, not that it does any good.

@Storm1752 I agree that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans. I'm just saying that people being people, there are untrustworthy ones on both sides. However, no one I know of has ever come close to Trump.

@Detritus I don't fully understand this... Are you saying the KKK and the Nazis are responsible for Trump's election? For myself, I feel the country is certainly suffering from his presidency, but that doesn't mean the republic is gone. I'm still optimistic that we'll get through this difficult time and be able to move forward once again.

@Omnedon Oh I don't know...W., Cheney, et al., killed hundreds of thousands and irreparably upended an already hopeless Middle East.
Too bad we couldn't have at least taken over the Iraqi oil industry, as planned.
(Oh...just checked: Western oil Giants have moved back in after being shut out since 1973.
Mission Accomplished!
Iraq has oceans of oil, second only to Saudi Arabia, so...
Well done!)

@Storm1752 Let me be more specific. It's not difficult to find examples of politicians doing things they shouldn't, throughout history (including Unites States history) and at all levels. Given the recent impeachment, Nixon comes to mind. What I mean about Trump is largely about his personality and way of doing things. He lies and lies and lies, and somehow still manages not only to gain but also retain support. I know of no other president that compares to him in this way. And I don't mean that in a good way, just to be clear.

@Omnedon Oh...well I stopped following the news after he got elected, so not up to speed on all that. I'll take your word for it.
But for sheer greed and criminality by the oligarchy, W.'s hard to beat.

@Omnedon You mentioned not being too into politics. That said, watch the ‘false equivalency’ that's unfortunately become rampant.. Most of those claiming “they’re both the same” regarding party politics in the USA know very little about either party. Take if from someone with loads of experience - there’s a shit load of difference(!).

@Varn, the parties are like day and night. Like you, it amazes me some otherwise (apparently) intelligent people say they are similar in any way.
They (apparently) know close to nothing about the situation in which we find ourselves, on the brink of ideological Civil War, with practically NO cooperation between the two warring camps.
Risking very little exaggeration, Republicans are now lying about anything for an advantage, corrupting our electoral system, running amok over civil liberties, debunking science, doctoring textbooks, making a mockery of the separation of church and state, debasing the free press, silencing critics, the list goes on and on...and for what?
To further empower and enrich the ruling elite, and strengthen a fascist oligarchy, leaving ordinary people bewildered and impoverished.
It is disgraceful what is going on, which is why I've stopped following current events.
The scary thing is, it could get much worse.


It was mentioned in an article that I read recently that one of the reasons that Scandinavian Countries do well in the World Happiness Report is that,

‘They stress more than we do the importance in finding things we share with other people rather than always trying to show how different we are from others.’

It was about a book called, Can we be Happier? Evidence and Ethics by Richard Layard; if you’re interested 😉

Swedes have this lovely worldview of "lagom". Meaning "just enough" or "just so". Not too much, not too little Never outstanding. Whereas Americans have this "it's all about me" perspective. When you interview for a postion in Sweden, you don't talk about personal achievments, you talk about group achievements. I prefer Sweden.

@Kymmacg sounds great. People who have never lived in a society like that generally just have no idea. I think the greatest thing America could do for world peace would be to require all students to spend at least a year out of the US living in several different countries a few months at a time. Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East.

@prometheus I love your idea that college students should live outside of the US for a period of time. It's a great idea.

@Kymmacg I never realised I was Swedish, there you go lols, another nationality to collect.

@prometheus many Brits have gap years between college/ school and Uni where they travel. Many Aussies back pack. Plus in both of these cultures there are exchange programs where school age kids swap parents with a child in another Country in order to study and live there for a period; it tends to be a European or Asian(oriental) families that swap.

@girlwithsmiles unfortunately that's not too common in America - unless you have rich parents or feel inspired to do a voluntary service overseas kind of plan. The only kind of travel I hear kids obsessing about is spring break where they focus on a couple of weeks of intense hedonism in some remote beach or lake location like Cancun - and it's only overseas so they can escape US licensing restrictions. Not exactly the kind of eye-opening world travel I had in mind.


I don't see individualism as the issue. It's an increasing lack of tolerance for difference, not the difference itself, that has made things so contentious. For example, compare Nixon and Trump. Part of the reason Nixon resigned was that Republicans were not a monolith and he could not count on their votes.
I think, and this is purely conjecture, that perhaps the anonymity of online discourse has led people to state things they originally were to embarrassed or ashamed to say publicly. And then, as others read these things they realize that they aren't alone in holding these views. And they repeat them and after a while it becomes somewhat normalized to identify with views that were once seen as not acceptable. And now a person has established an identity rooted in intolerance. This happens on the left as well. Only the left factionalizes even more so because "diversity" in general (and not just in race or religion) used to be a founding principal.



The more people there are ..the less valuable we are, the more competition, factions and divisions… The only way individualism works is when there’s enough to sustain their niche.

Politically (in the USA), division is planned, by the smaller/ lesser of our two parties. Lacking a majority, they sow division, while uniting their own with god, gay or gun fears.. As one side bolts toward rabid individualism, their political opposites unite over ‘their big three’ (we lose).

United we stand / divided we fall … as our downward velocity increases..

Varn Level 8 Feb 13, 2020

I love this thread. But the ability to be tolerant and accepting of others that are different does appear to be "sped up" of late. It's the hatred of the "other" that's being pushed.


I disagree with this statement.

"Among atheists, there is agreement that there is no god."

NO, there is not. There is agreement that there is no valid reason to believe in any Gods because they all lack empirical evidence.
Some of us insist that "There is no God", which is a check you cannot cash, we can no more prove there is no God than believers can prove there is.
For those that do insist that there is no God, their evidence is the uniform lack of any empirical evidence which they assert is preponderance of evidence. That is a logical position most of us assume because there is no evidence. It does not equate to a proof of lack, but rather an absence of evidence when we only see 1% of the Cosmos.
This is Gnostic Atheism, assuming that since we have no evidence there is in fact No God, which is to me as much a position of faith as belief itself.

The reality is I do not know, and never shall, because we are an ignorant little species on a backwater planet on a third rate galaxy.
Thus I have to go case by case, person to person, because no believers define their God in the same way, even among faiths and denominations.
They have commonalities and focus on those.

Although I am technically an Atheist (non believer), Ignostic is a term better suited to my actual position.

I am an Ignostic

I was raised a believer
AS a believer I thought understanding God of the utmost import.
SO I studied that.
Which is why I am today an Igtheist/Ignostic

Ignosticism is an Epistomologic position; it is a set of ideas refuting the importance of determining the existence of God. It claims that knowledge regarding the reality of God is altogether unprofitable.

It is the idea that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and other theological concepts; including (but not limited to) concepts of faith, spirituality, heaven, hell, afterlife, damnation, salvation, sin and the soul.

Ignosticism or igtheism is the idea that the question of the existence of God is meaningless because the term god has no coherent and unambiguous definition.

IF you cannot even define what you are talking about, or consider it beyond human understanding, how is it you can claim to know anything about it and keep your intellectual integrity intact?

When I wrote this, I was focused on something other than the definition of atheism. I admit my single sentence referring to atheism could have been worded better. I mis-spoke. As an atheist myself, I'm not interested in getting into yet another debate on what it means to be an atheist. I'm well aware that there are many subtleties involved in belief or lack thereof.

What does interest me is the energy and ire that you seem to have poured into your response, which underlines my main point here. There's a lot of anger and disagreement about almost everything, even among those who are nominally on the same general side, and atheists are certainly not immune. No one is.

@Omnedon No anger or ire at all, as least none I felt or tried to communicate.

To me I was simply being technical, as specific as possible.

"There's a lot of anger and disagreement about almost everything", I see this as a sympton of tribalism, of which religion is but one aspect. I am not very tribal, I prefer trees to most humans.

I simply meant to point out that even among Atheists there is not some uniform agreement. Plus that is a very common steriotype placed upon Atheists in general and myself more than I can count. The language and terms are evolving in real time, and that irks a lot of people who oft pigeonhole me into a claim I am not making and never have made, that there is no God. Hell, I don't even have a clue what most folks mean by that term, and on closer inspection neither do they.

@Omnedon You were correct in your statement.. The detractor has an agenda of denial when it comes to Atheists. We do not believe in a god … so carry on 😉

@Varn I've acknowledged the phrasing was not the best; it might not be 100% accurate to say that atheists agree there is no god. I'm aware it can be a bit more nuanced than that. You phrased it as "we do not believe in a god", which is subtly different. In any case, thank you for the support!


Too many chiefs, not enough someone used to say

twill Level 7 Feb 14, 2020

My grandmother used to say that all the time. I have to laugh now.


Has this always been this severe? Perhaps not because people tried to be more civil before but now since the elimination of civics classes in schools, not much. It's not individualism that causes discord, its the externalization of selfishness that creates discord. Of course discord impacts cohesion anywhere.


I've always said that as soon as the Christians take over and get their "Make America Gilead Already" dream the various Christian churches will start tearing into each other fighting for who is the right one. Just like the Muslim factions too. And that will happen in a society will ample resources where no one needs to vilify and wage war against their neighbors just to stay alive.

I think that it happens due to human traits:

  • our evolutionary trait of xenophobia that limits our ability to emphasize with those outside our immediate small social circle which is in the 120 person range - a few extended families probably. That makes it easy to vilify those outside those circles, and kill for the ones within them
  • the ever present 1 to 2% of socially handicapped members of society normally referred to as sociopaths and psychopaths. These will always climb to the top of any group because they have no empathy for it and if inclined will use the group for their own selfish purposes
  • good old fashioned greed - which is present in the above leads to a rogue group ready to bring down the system for its own benefit, or at least what they think is their own benefit, but is probably to that of an elite few sociopaths and psychopaths

If this all sounds rather familiar, yup it certainly should. And right now a prime psychopath is building his own twisted religion claiming to be a great uniter while vilifying over half of America and all outsiders. It'll be a continuous war and death by a thousand cuts until only the "inner party" is considered pure and even among them there will always be an even smaller circle of top dogs who kiss the ring of the glorious leader - just like the Pope is, or was, supposed to have a hot line direct to God.

Churches have been fighting for eons … with their main shared concern being their fear of ‘non believers’ (us).. Brilliant deductions, though.

The “sociopaths and psychopaths” are deadly, and it appears society - even so-called civilized society - continues to fall for them 😕 Our only hope is education, as you’re doing.. My youngin’s learned all kinds of psychology & sociology in both high school and college, and were/ are quick to identify it. My age group ..not so much. Hopefully, if it’s recognized, it’s avoided…


Common cause enabled 13 distinct colonies to unite in revolt against a monarch, draw up a constitution and establish a new form of government. When properly motivated and organized, it is amazing what can be accomplished.

And yet we as a nation are founded on the principle of equality. The statement, "All men are created equal," (initially conferred only to white male landowners) has been expanded to include women and all races and creeds. This assertion, that a commoner is no less worthy or of value than a member of the nobility, forms the very basis for what some might label individualism. And the recognition of the rights of the individual over the state has been a repeated theme in legal findings. The right to be left the hell alone is a bedrock principal, going back to the Framers.

A diversity of opinion is generally healthy, so long as the conversations and debates are respectful. We should always be wary of conformity of thought and unanimity of opinion. As a fairly wise observer of the human condition once said, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
Mark Twain

"The statement, "All men are created equal," (initially conferred only to white male landowners) has been expanded to include women and all races and creeds."
Has it? As a member of a minority, women, I challenge that. Is there any legislation that directly deals with male healthcare? Is there a reason why egalitarianism has not been legally codified for women?

@Kymmacg Understood, and I accept your point--the brush I was painting with was perhaps too broad. That said, the Declaration of Independence is not a legally binding document, and the point I was trying to make was that rights once attributed only to property-holding white men have been expanded, not that we've arrived.

I recognize that the struggle for full equality has been a never-ending one, occuring little by little, state by state, law by law, and ruling by ruling. I support the ERA, which will codify the equality of women in the 'law of the land.' I don't understand, however, how minority status may be ascribed to women in a country where females represent 51% of the population. Perhaps I'm missing something.

@p-nullifidian If I may redefine minority as other than it's most pedantic meaning?
"Minority, a culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. As the term is used in the social sciences, this subordinacy is the chief defining characteristic of a minority group. As such, minority status does not necessarily correlate to population." I'm sure you would not deny that, as a minority by this definition, women continue to be discriminated against on several socio-economic levels?

@Kymmacg While I don’t consider myself a pedant, I do feel that accuracy and consistency are important regarding terminology and definitions. I may be open to a broadened definition of a minority, however class would seem to be the strongest factor behind minoritarianism, as we appear inclined to allow ourselves to be led by plutocrats and even kleptocrats. Votes effect change or maintain the status quo, and 10 million more women than men voted in 2016. But when presented with the opportunity to elect the first woman to be president, 42% of the female vote went to a misogynistic grabber of female genitalia!

@p-nullifidian If I may inject humour into our oh-so-serious topic....
Stockholm Syndrome???


@Kymmacg Your humor holds a somber and unfortunate kernel of truth. In the context of our conversation, the Stockholm Syndrome may be seen as equating to gaslighting--the psychological and perhaps physical intimidation of women at the hands of men. I find such a concept as unbearably cruel.


Read the work of Leon Festinger. Group cohesion and individuality are antithetical. The thing that defines a cohesive group is a shared set of values and norms. If one show significant failure to adhere to those values, he or she will be urged to "come back into the fold". If he or she does not, he or she will be expelled or excluded from the group.

I looked up the definition of "creed". As in the latin base. Our word credit is based on the base.


I believe your observation that things are worse now is correct. Social media creates echo chambers, as well as isolation. Echo chambers and isolation are damaging to civil society, as civil society, by its definition must take disparate views into account and unify.

I find the oft repeated meme that social media (or the internet) creates isolation somewhat jarring. We existed for millennia without social media and the internet, never understanding or even knowing about other opinions and cultures, but now this tool that allows us to communicate with people around the globe is supposedly making us more isolated?

Whether we label them a club, or a church, or a political party, what we blithely call echo chambers have, and probably always will exist. People are most comfortable when sharing their commonly held ideas and, yes, prejudices. This is just part of what makes us human. Our ability to better discern, collect more data and to analyze it doesn't necessarily present a new trend. Just because we may now see the landscape in greater detail doesn't mean that the land itself has changed.

@p-nullifidian I don't know and am just speculating, but perhaps the term "isolation" here refers to the fact that so much discussion can now happen when people are physically isolated from each other. In an online discussion, you don't have to see the person you're talking to, and you don't have to really identify yourself, both of which together can lead to less politeness and opens the door to more extreme behavior, which can increase division.

@Omnedon @p-nullifidian Omnedon is on track with what I am implying. P-null, while we are more connected to people at a distance, we are biologically predisposed to deeper and longer connection to those immediately by our side. Effectively, quantity cannot replace quality. The isolation I speak of is the isolation from your neighbors and community and in-person, which is what humans are primed to respond to, with positive brain chemicals and feelings of connection. On-line connections are stevia compared to real sugar, hotwheels to a real mustang. Perhaps a more succinct metaphor is empty calories to good calories. When the gov't puts Cheetos and Doritos on the "available with food stamps" list, but not fresh broccoli, people end up with diabetes, but felt full every step of the way. Social media is a diet of cheetos, and the equivalent diseases to diabetes is already being seen, with greater depression and anxiety in those who were raised on it.

@Omnedon I understand. We should recognize that social media and the internet in general act much like alcohol, apparently removing one's inhibitions and sense of propriety. But just like alcohol, it doesn't alter who we really are, at our core; rather it exposes it. Alcohol is nature's truth serum. A mean and vulgar drunk is but an exaggeration of who one really is, just as a happy and sensitive inebriate is an amplification of his/her personna. The internet tends to expose who we truly are.

@Omnedon, @APaleBlueDot I somewhat disagree with the notion that proximity is the key to connection. Mind you I live and have worked for decades in Silicon Valley, however I have many friends or co-workers who met on line, connected and eventually--sometimes after more than a year--decided to meet and later wed. Here, the connection was sparked and fueled without any face-to-face interaction. A distinction should be made between "Likes" or "ReTweets" vs. the intimacy that can occur over great distances via person-to-person interactions over this medium.

@p-nullifidian @omnedon In an effort to be above the board, I deleted a post of mine that was in reply to you (p-nullifidian), because it was a little off-base, and snippy to boot. I'm going to step out of this discussion with you. I get some of what you're trying to say, but we're coming from some very different angles. I think it is a mistake to imply that on-line interactions can be a 1-1 replacement for in-person interactions. It's simply not how the brain works. In our brains, 200,000 years of evolution, behavior, and interaction-types cannot be appropriately supplanted in 30 years by the offerings of the internet and the new ways we are communicating. Yes, there are similarities, but they fall far from being direct replacements. Cheers!


Everybody is an individual (except for me)

Are you a hive mind or something? Just kidding. 🙂


My personal opinion of this is to mediate this we really need to prioritize a value of Equanimity in discourse. Identifying those values of common humanity. It is tough, but we are seeing more of it with the rise of things like Street epistemology, and other focus on conversations which allow disagreement without dehumanizing each other. I do think that, as a whole, we are getting better at this. Though it may not always seem that way within an individual life time.

@OwlInASack Well said. You appear to be talking about Republican types, to whom decency, humanity, selflessness, and, esp. fairness, seem to be a joke. I have to avoid those people or not talk about anything meaningful that involves values, because they may as well be on a different planet from me.

@TomMcGiverin "Republican types, to whom decency, humanity, selflessness, and, esp. fairness, seem to be a joke." Do you actually think this? Certainly there are people like that (a prime example would be Trump himself, who I find disgusting), but I know of many conservatives who are good people. Admittedly, it's a mystery to me how they can support Trump, but I think there are explanations for that phenomenon which don't depend on describing roughly a third of the U.S. population in such extreme terms. The literal hate that seems to exist between the two parties now is an example of how our society is becoming more and more severely divided.

@Omnedon Yes, I do think this. I have met very few Repub types who do not see those who seek equality and fairness as "losers" who should just shut up and be grateful for what they have as peasants.

@Omnedon if you support drump, IMO you either overtly or secretly admire his "work"/stance/outlook. To continue to like/admire/associate with those kinds of people is a personal choice which I cannot ascribe to.
He is without doubt the most divisive person on the planet. Before him, a thin but strong veneer of Commom Courtesy was longer.

@OwlInASack exactly, like trying to talk diversity and human rights with a Nazi

@Bilbobagins Godwin's law: []

@AnneWimsey It's true, Trump is awful. But I have a friend who is a supporter. I don't understand it, but we don't discuss it, just as we don't discuss religion. I know for a fact that my friend is a good person in many ways, so I have to conclude that there's something else going on there. I don't for a moment believe that he admires Trump's constant lying, for example. Somehow he's able to overlook or excuse the bad things about the man, even though the bad things are so numerous and egregious... As I say, I don't understand it.

Kyle, I agree that this is what we need. And it may be true that in general, on generational time scales, that we are gradually getting better at it -- but in recent years in the United States I think we've been moving backwards.

@OwlInASack That's a pretty difficult question to answer based on a few lines of text. I can only say that the friend I speak of certainly is a good person. I've known him for a long time and there's no doubt in my mind.

@OwlInASack One of my favourite sayings: "People are the worst." I don't mean it literally of course. But people are capable of such good things, and yet are so flawed. I'm sometimes painfully aware of some of my own flaws, yet mitigating them is not easy even when possible.


Putin and his GRU spy organizations have been working overtime to create chaos in the West. With this unrestrained and even abetted subversion, social media have been weaponized to weaken everyone else. It is mass psychological warfare, and the US is now in full-fledged civil war as a result.

I strongly recommend The Great Hack on Netflix as a primer to understand the process.

Really? His spy organisations are called GRU? Lols. (Sorry, it’s relevant to the Despicable series of cartoons, the name of the main protagonist 🙂).


I have to shake my head when I see videos of snake handling churches, started because of one verse in the Bible that says you can take up poisonous snaked and not be harmed. The verse in question wasn't even in the original versions, and was inserted decades later, but people devote their lives to it.

I find it entertaining and a good example of Darwins law.
There are people who also don't allow sex, I was told the Shakers are dying , the only way to sustain the number are new recruits. That doesn't sound like a great survival plan.

@PondartIncbendog , I thought the Shakers had died out. There's a Shaker village close to Bowling Green Ky. Friends and I went once. There are separate dorms for the men and women. The main staircases are even separate. I remember the tour guide talking about the separation being the main reason for the religions demise.


Read Tribes by Sebastian Junger. It will explain alot.


It does seem to be really apparent now. I have often thought of this. I wondered if I never realized it or if it is in fact so extreme today. I guess with all the diversity we can hope for some major progressions soon. I feel like my entire mind is opening up to greater and deeper possibilities. New energy.


@p-nullifidian For some reason the reply button on this thread wasn't working for me, so I'll respond here.

[ramble start]

I agree that the anonymity that the Internet can provide tends to allow the real person to show through -- not that it somehow changes the person. It can enable one to engage in negative behaviors with little or no consequence. Normally, when in a group of people one does not know, one will probably not rip into some other member of the group; but in online discussions (here and elsewhere) I've had the experience that a total stranger will violently attack me. Of course, there are exceptions; there are those who seem to have few inhibitions and filters in any setting. But I think usually if one is facing the person to whom one is speaking, and that person sees your face and perhaps knows your name, there's a tendency to be more careful.

I've encountered some people that seem to carry courtesy from real-life into the virtual world very easily. It's their nature and anonymity doesn't affect the way they express themselves. Like everything about people, it's complicated and we're all different.

Of course, if one is in a relationship with a person, or seeking such a relationship, things are different. One probably isn't going to act badly toward those people. Certainly one can be physically distant from someone and still remain tightly connected. It used to be that people would mail letters to keep a connection alive. Now, it can be almost instant instead of taking days, weeks or even months. But the sheer ease of communication now can sometimes make it seem less meaningful.

[ramble end]

Nice ramble, well said. "I've encountered some people that seem to carry courtesy from real-life into the virtual world...anonymity doesn't affect the way they express themselves."
I strive to be that kind of person.




You say you're not a social scientist but this is exactly a subject that is studied in Sociology and Social Psychology. A favorite sociologist, Erving Goffman, wrote about it extensively, and one of his better books, "Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity." Start with the Wiki, which is by no means comprehensive, but will give you a jumping point. []


At the end of the day, we're all different, so I don't think there will be two people who would agree totally with another. However, you're right, people, many times, let very puny differences get in the way of things.


I think of biblical story of the tower of bable. It says people were working together to build a tower to heaven or something. Then the languages got confused and they could no longer work on the project together.

Is there a psychological explination for organisms to not like diversity in a group at times. Birds of a feather flock together. I have thought about some races of people are very uniform in some of their appearances. African hair type and color compared to caucasian that has a variety of blonde, red, brown and black hair. Why are people generally not open to mixing very well racially?

Uniformity seems to make for better (slave-wage) laborers. In my work experience individually is not often appreciated because it might all for people to do things their own way rather than a prescribed , regimented or regulated way, as could be arbitrary either way.

Word Level 8 Feb 13, 2020

try "Sapiens" by Yuval Harari.

"Homo sapiens rule the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights."
Interesting. I must read it.

@PondartIncbendog it's an excellent tool and resource. I use it all the time.


What you have discovered is exactly why there are so many religious denominations. Also we find that religion aside man tends to form into groups.


I've long known this about denominations, but it seems like this phenomenon is becoming more prevalent among groups of all kinds. But I don't know if my perception is accurate on that.

@Omnedon Its been going since the beginning of time when tribes got too large. All it takes is a little environmental stress and divisions will start.

@Omnedon, @Frannyfrann Monkeys!

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