Friday, September 18, 2015

Stop Stereotyping, Humans !

The picture says it all. Humans need to take a break. Take a chill pill and relax before God/Aliens - whoever created us and watching over us decide to hit a reset button.

My Facebook feed has been overflowing with the comments on a school kid being arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school. While most of the posts were in support of the kid, there have been few votes for the other side too. Forget about religion, I think it is just a sad state of affair for humanity that a school kid can even be suspected of doing such a thing.

I have a thirty minute drive from my office daily and today's drive was usefully spent thinking about this. While my brain was making weird connections that started with the above mentioned incident to a hot discussion I had with my friends once, it finally came down to one thing. Stereotyping. The problem with us is stereotyping. We do it everywhere. We generalize everything. I think our brain is wired to generalize as a part of the evolutionary cycle. We live in a world where our brain processes tons and tons of data and to make sense out of it, it tends to categorize things and slap a label on top of it, thus successfully stereotyping it. That is just how our brain works. But like in every dataset, there are outliers. This concept, though a very important one in statistics, somehow seems to be missing in the human brain. So it is only fair that we make an exception ourselves and try to consciously make the change in our attitude. Stop stereotyping and be more inclusive of things that are different from the general conception.

I am a victim of stereotyping but then I have learnt to rise above it. Every time I hear something stereotypical, I calm myself down and try to determine if it is worth my time to explain the concept of outliers. If yes, I launch into a huge monologue of how everything in the world is wrong due to stereotyping and the need to look beyond it. If it is not worth it, I simply move on !

It is high time that we stop doing this !!

P.S.: I had a bit of an overdose of the incident today and the above rant is a result of it.