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10 people, 10 unpopular opinions

I invited fellow NotePD users to collaborate on this fun list. Thank you to all the contributors! I won't list them, because I invited 28 people and I'm not entirely sure who did what. Feel free to tag yourself, though (I see there is a list of contributors, but they're numbered at 12). There is one idea of mine as well.

10 people, 10 unpopular opinions

    1. Most psychological problems are biological in nature. This is why a vast majority of psychological research and study is mostly a waste of time. Fix the biology, and the psychology automatically fixes itself.

    An example:

    My neighbor has a dog. She's a cute and fluffy Maltese mix-breed.

    But unlike most other dogs, she had some "psychological" issues. Notably, she seemed to be scared of almost everything.

    Based on my observation of the dog's eating habits, I noticed that her diet consisted mostly of mainstream dog food, and was severely lacking in essential nutrients for the body. So I created some nutrient-rich, organic treats for her, and I'd give her some every time I passed by.

    After a couple of weeks, her behavior started changing dramatically. She started becoming a lot bolder, braver, and even... smarter (so smart in fact, that she suddenly started learning on her own how to open doors by jumping up and pushing on the handle).

    Needless to say, her "psychological" issues melted away. And she started growing a much thicker, and more beautiful coat of hair too.

    I see this all the time. Fix the biology, and the psychology fixes itself.

    2. Political Parties Are Not Sports Teams and You Don't Owe Them Your Undying Allegiance

    Governments should be run in such a way that they serve people. As such, people should vote on policies, in such a way that those policies will solve the problems of the day. It's OK to identify your values as being somewhere on the political spectrum, but that doesn't mean your vote should go to a particular party because it supposedly occupies the same space on said spectrum. More people need to think in terms of solutions when t

    3. One cause fallacy: Most problems have several causes, but people focus on one

    I've seen this repeatedly on political issues, public policy issues, and day-to-day discussions. People assume a single explanation for outcomes. Multiple factors impact outcomes.

    For example, people say the reason for homelessness is laziness, or the system failed them.

    There are many reasons beyond an either-or situation:

    • Intelligence level (IQ below 85 is correlated with trouble navigating in life)
    • The breakdown of families and the rise of dysfunctional family life
    • Genetic factors leading to mental illness
    • Culture (the friends or influences that they had around them)
    • High disagreeability and low conscientiousness

    Like idea generation, we need more to generate more cause to properly deconstruct any issue.

    4. Pineapple belongs on a pizza

    5. Genders should not be segregated in sports

    When you watch a swimming competition, you want to see the best human swimmers in the world competing with each other. Why should male swimmers be separated from female swimmers? It seems sexist to assume that males and females perform at different levels and should be segregated. All sports, from sumo wrestling to golf, and shotput to basketball, should allow both males and females to compete against each other. Sure, some sports will heavily favor certain body types that are more common in men or women, but a person should not be barred from joining a competition simply because their body is a certain size or produces different levels of hormones.

    6. Your opinions are not what makes you a good or a bad person

    No matter how extreme and appalling someone's opinions are, they don't define how good of a person they are. Being a good person is not about the opinions and beliefs you hold, but about the good that you do and the harm that you prevent.

    You can have racist and sexist opinions without necessarily acting in a racist and sexist way, and be a great person overall who's a good friend, helps their community, volunteers, and whatever else is supposed to make you a good person. You can have the most "correct" and "tolerant" points of view and be a narcissist, an emotional abuser, or an overall asshole.

    Two examples of hypocrisy: I met a guy who insisted on having unprotected sex and, a few months later, posted on Facebook that he was at an AIDS march. My friend and I met a guy who advertised his feminism, complained about guys who disrespect women, and then disrespected my friend when she texted him saying she didn't feel like hooking up at the moment.

    7. Experts are not always experts.

    Most often, the default response to an issue is to seek out assistance from an 'expert' in whatever area the issue resides. Classic examples include seeing a medical doctor when one is sick; getting a coach to help increase one's fitness; reading a book by a financial 'guru' who has been hailed as a money genius to learn how to better invest savings; or, taking advice from an automobile mechanic on what to get fixed on one's vehicle.

    Most people considered experts in their respective fields are indeed more knowledgeable than the average person on their topics. By definition, however, that would mean I am expert in coffee over most people
    because I drink a hell of a lot of it (!). Does that mean you should come to me to discuss the nuances between arabica and liberica beans? Hell no! I have no idea the difference. That example may seem silly, but humans by nature engage in this sort of thinking all the time.

    By now, most people know about the famous/infamous experiments by Yale researcher Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. If you don't, Google 'Milgram Experiments' and be prepared to be blown away. These experiments clearly demonstrate the human tendency to assume anyone who appears as an authority must be correct and must be obeyed even against one's one intuition.

    I don't suggest experts should never be trusted - most of the time they are helpful and more knowledgeable, and therefore their advice should be considered. Yet, I believe the old Ronald Reagan quote applies here: Trust, but verify.

    8. Universe happens in a continuum not in categories

    Humans like to categorize and think in categories, but in all actuality, the universe happens in a continuum. Our obsession with categorizing makes us miss the reality and focus on black and white while the world is largely gray.

    Let's start with an easy one. The USA is currently dealing with a hurricane. Hurricanes have categories, right? Below is what those categories mean, acquired from the National Hurricane Center, https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php


    When you criticize categorization, people always say that categories make us understand things easily. But do they? Or all they do is cause misunderstandings.

    People get shocked, panicked, or worried when a hurricane changes categories. But what is the perceived difference between a 128 mph hurricane and a 131 mph one? Nothing. What about a 112 mph hurricane vs 128 mph? Even though they are within the same category, the difference between those two will be felt more severely. Thinking of them within categories just confuses us.

    Let's look at how color works next. We think that there are seven colors, and when you mix them together, it makes white, right? In actuality, light happens --surprise surprise-- in a continuum. Humans can see around 300 nanometers of this spectrum, and our brains perceive the changes in wavelengths as changes in hue. I got the spectrum color chart from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-visible-light-spectrum-2699036 and you can read more about the wavelength color relationship there.


    Our eyes have two different kinds of receptors and one kind of receptors, cones, gathers the data about the wavelength and the other, rods, about the value, or brightness. Our brains mix and match this data and give us a perception of color. And like any person who has ever used Photoshop and played with the color box can attest, there are more than seven colors. Also a secret, our eyes can see a wider variety of colors than the color box of Photoshop shows.

    What harm is there in limiting the colors to a couple? Research shows that focusing on a couple of colors instead of understanding that color happens in a continuum narrows our visual perception and makes us actually see fewer colors than there are. I believe this is one reason why there is racism based on skin color. If you approach the subject, there is no black or white skin. Everybody's skin is a mixture of yellow, red, and green. Moreover, the skin tone changes within the person. For example, the tip of your nose will be reddish while the skin over your mouth will be yellowish or greenish, depending on your gender.

    Accepting that binaries are human constructs of laziness will allow you to understand how things actually work. Next time you see a category, just think if that category really has to exist or can you increase your understanding by thinking in a continuum.


    9. The US Government should have never shut down the economy during the COVID Pandemic

    10. Newborns are ugly

    Anything that looks like a wet dwarf Bernie Sanders from the start isn't cute.

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