Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Projection is an interesting concept, probably because it's the inherent way the mind tries to understand others. Being stuck in your own mind limits your ability to comprehend other mindsets, subjective experiences are just that, subjective. The key to diminishing the problems with projection is to first accept it and try to edit perceptions of people not through your own feelings in similar situations, but rather their actions. By this, I mean, you can see actions and understand the possible motivations of those actions without coloring them with your own bias. This is why, I so commonly exclaim how I cannot fathom the thought process of the average person. The logical fallacies, psychological cliches, cognitive dissonance all displayed so freely makes it impossible for me to form an image of their mind that is similar to my own.

Imagine the typical brag/taunt. There is an assumption in there. If a child taunts another child with the fact he has a bunch of candy, the presumption must be that the child with candy believes the second child also desires the candy. If the child did not want the candy, the taunt would be moot. The same sort of psychological projection happens to stick with people throughout their lives, typically, if not exclusively.

What this means, of course, is that when someone attempts to taunt someone or brag, the underlying assumption is that the person being taunted has a desire for the object held, metaphorically, over him. However, all this should go without saying, but the important part is this: Most often, what a person attempts to taunt another with is projection, and not a rational outlook of the person and finding out what he desires. In short, if someone tries to taunt you with something, it's because they put value on it, not because you do. The average person doesn't have a level of rational introspection well developed enough to realize non-idiots have different weights.

So then, imagine someone yells, “Haha, I have more jars of shit than you do!” There are two conclusions we can draw from this: The very, very, rare idea the person understands you, and knows that you, specifically, value jars of shit... or more than likely, he values jars of shit, and is projecting his value of them onto you(lets ignore the obvious satirical points for the example.) For idiots, projecting is all they can do, and since the majority of people are idiots, it works well enough, since they tend to put weight on similar objects.

From all this, we can then learn some very significant things from people by virtue of how they attempt to taunt and/or mock you. Not like they would understand, but often times the value they place on things actually mock themselves, and it's painfully obvious. The jar of shit example, of course, is hyperbole, but just barely, it would seem. Lets take another example, I've found someone, in an argument constantly reference his wife as an obvious attempt to make someone jealous. Let us be serious: getting married is in fact less impressive, statistically, than graduating a community college with a degree in interior design. Even worse, in fact. It's just as bad as trying to brag about being a community college dropout. It's no joke, significantly more people are, or have been, married then have either gotten any degree, or even enrolled and dropped out. However, this person was in fact trying to use this fact, that is so absurdly trite and unimpressive, in order to brag is a terrible reflection on him. You're more of an elite by enrolling in community college for a semester and dropping out and bragging about it. However, this person is projecting the fact they got married onto someone else as something they should be envious of... it shows such a profound lack of insight towards that the person has that you can tell they have little going on in either their mind or life.

Now, let me clarify, there's nothing wrong with being happy about being married. Nor is there anything wrong with being happy about getting a degree from a community college, or even your G.E.D. Improving your education is always good. The problem is, when you believe others, particularly people who are not in a similar situation to you, should be envious of these traits it makes a mockery of you. Someone who is unintelligent putting forth lots of effort to get a G.E.D. because they value education, despite being bad at it, deserves respect. Being more educated, or smarter than the average doesn't inherently make you a better person anymore than being taller or stronger or having better eyesight. The problem is that, by trying to mock someone the average person not only mocks themselves, but also reveals significant things about themselves, very unintentionally. Think about someone short trying to mock others by referencing that others are too tall. In this society, it is utterly inane, as being short is not a property that gives advantages, generally. Well, this behavior is commonplace when it deals with many other topics.

So, let us continue but now give some more applicable examples of people projecting their mind on to you.

Take words that you'd find on any standardized test given to 9th graders; that is high school freshmen (about 14-15years old.) If you use these words in a conversation, more so to someone who is aggravated towards you (and guaranteed on the internet) they will say things that reflect so painfully poorly on themselves it absolutely boggles me that they don't understand they're mocking themselves. Now, I know they don't understand but at the same time... I simply cannot comprehend the mindset that would not realize it. It's something that is factual, yet at the same time difficult to fathom. It is the quantum physics of the mind. So, anyhow, use words such as these in a conversation, just a couple that I've found as a first-week freshman vocab list: admonish, efface, relinquish, spurious, perennial, as a few examples. If you use these words it's all but a certainty that this person will call attention to them, proclaiming you're “looking at a thesaurus,” or “what are you, in college and think you're smart” “tryhard” “Trying to impress with big words.” Now, let me be clear. These are high school freshman words, a fourteen year old is expected to know at least 7/10 of them. Yet, these words are so out of the ordinary and impressive to these people they feel the need to call attention towards them when used.

Now, the person who says things like, “you're looking at a thesaurus” or “learned some new words today in college lolz” is really attempting to insult you, but the sad fact is they're insulting themselves and are too stupid to realize it. By speaking using words at the level of a fourteen year old child, you've impressed these people so much, they begin to project, putting themselves into a position where they would use those words. Since a 9th grade writing level is beyond them, it must be beyond others and thus, you must be putting forth significant effort by using normal, unimpressive words that simply are both the most accurate and fit the prose well. The projection is simple, “For me to write at this level, I must use a thesaurus, thus, he is using a thesaurus to write at this level.” This is one of many, many, areas where a person unwittingly reveals their lack of education and intelligence, mocks themselves while doing so and is still too stupid to realize all of that goes on.

Honestly, projection is, if anything, as much a logical fallacy as a psychological fact. It's simple, “argument from self”. I do X in position Y, therefore he does X in position Y. This is no different than any dullard committing any other fallacy, and one can spot it just as easily.

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