Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Window into Minds

Of all the numerous benefits of the Internet, the most interesting to me was that it provides a window to look into other minds. I said was because I do not find it interesting anymore.

I've always been curious about the experiences of other people and what's in their mind. However the opportunities to satisfy my curiosity had been very limited before the advent of the Internet. There are only so many people you can meet face to face, not all of them are inclined to talk, and when they do talk they tend to hold back some, out of discretion or consideration or whatever reason it may be.

The Internet has changed all that. A multitude of online forums have sprung up, allowing people to anonymously talk to strangers regardless of geography. Hiding behind a nickname people now can chat freely with someone next door or an ocean away, and boy oh boy do they talk - if you could find a way to translate the jabbering in cyberspace into real-world vocal conversations, the noise level would be quite a health hazard.

My initial excitement was quickly replaced by disappointment though. I had expected to see a multicolored, multifaceted, sparkling display of intelligence. Instead what I saw could be charitably described as pervasive inanity, which really left me agape.

Most people, I found out, have the problem of conceit, justifiable or not, whether they realize it or not. And it is this conceit that makes them woefully mulish. When we hear something new, we all measure it against our own knowledge and experience, which are inevitably limited. The trouble is when people hear something that doesn't quite fit in their scope of mind, instead of reaching out to see if they can learn anything new, they too readily dismiss it as baloney, being too cocksure of their own smarts. How these folks ever expand their horizons beats me, but it makes their jabbering such a bore.

So the window into minds is wide open, but mostly to reveal close-mindedness, which is really very uninteresting.

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