The Psychology of Everyday Life

I tend to be a technical person, but I have to think like a person sometimes – which isn’t too hard, because I am a person. And I can start from there.

I can start from where I am, look around me, at all the other people – and ask myself “What is going on with them?”

The answer I get, depends on where I am.

Yesterday, I took my digital camera and made videos of a celebration that was going on  – some kind of footrace, where teams from different places, all wearing distinctive jerseys, competed with each other. They were hanging out, socializing with each other (as they often do) and were delighted when I started to make a video of them. In a word, they were friendly – and that is why I am living here.

I have to contrast this with the situation in Silicon Valley, where I was working in the Nineties. I was part of a men’s therapy group, where I kept asking the same question “What is going on in the Valley?” The answer I got was unbelievable – all kinds of things were going on, money was sloshing around all over the place, but fundamentally – nothing was going on!

And they didn’t want anything to really go on – because that would have been too disruptive of the way things were. And the way things were was unfriendly. They will never, ever admit this (in fact, they are not aware of it) – but that is how they are. They are interested in other things – not themselves.

The undeveloped world has a problem – not enough money! But the developed world also has a problem – they cannot be good to themselves! In either case, their basic problem cannot be fixed – or fixed very easily.

To continue this investigation of mine – I would have to ask why Americans are in the fix they are in. But that will have to wait for later – right now we have to look at the way things are – right now.

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