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18 March 2014 @ 08:18 am
Other Minds  
Robert Sheckley wrote a great sf story called "Protection." The protagonist is faced with an alien menace, but the friendly aliens reassure him that he's OK as long as he doesn't lesnerize. Unfortunately, he has no idea what lesnerize means, and they can't tell him.

I've been like that all my life. I don't seem to have Imposter Syndrome, but in its place I have the feeling that at any moment I might get caught violating the Rule That Everybody Else Knows. In general, I always wonder if people's internal states are like mine. And now I can wonder what universal human experiences am I missing without realizing it.

Thanx to andrewducker
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Ayesha: frescobrowngirl on March 18th, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that is a fascinating essay *and* your riff on it is interesting and resonant in a slightly different direction.

I know that one reason I'm poly is that I don't get jealous. I get clingy, I get envious, but I don't get that "You must do X only with me or X loses all value" feeling that is part of love for so many people. (I see the difference between jealousy and envy as that jealousy is "I don't want you to do X with anyone else" and envy is "I want you to do X with me" maybe with "because I saw you do X with Z and I wanted your X too" added.) This is not necessarily a virtue of mine (o my clinginess, o my enviousness) but just a feature.

As for not lesnerizing -- augh of frustration. From what I can see, human societies do keep having unspoken rules like that, waiting as pitfalls.
El Coyote Gordo: alchemysupergee on March 18th, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
I usually define jealousy and envy the opposite way, but my feelings are like yours.
(Anonymous) on March 18th, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
I've felt for most of my life that I don't seem to feel, or think, or react like normal people. When I was about eight years old, I decided I must be an android/robot placed on Earth by enigmatic aliens to be their Galactic Observer. I even figured out that the processed film (this was way before the digital age) behind my eyeballs travelled lower down in my body, got wrapped in, umm, "processed" food matter, and the delivery packets were eventually recovered from the sewer system where they ended up.

(Why, yes, I did eventually end up writing some science fiction and fantasy. Why do you ask?)

-- Bruce Arthurs
Dr. Ben Mack: Prominent User of the Internetepi_lj on March 18th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
I'm getting a 403 Forbidden error on the link, which is kind of ironic given that you presented it as being about missing out on universal human experiences. :)
et in Arcadia egoboo: banana genesapostle_of_eris on March 19th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
Hmm Two categories that look similar, but it's not clear how much.
We know color blindness is out there, and it's structural. I don't know if I'd ever heard of anosmia, but I get it, and assume there's an analogous neurological deficit.
But -- social-cue-blindness? That might be in new, poorly understood areas like mirror neurons, and the diversity of social styles of ape species strongly suggests a major genetic component, but I wonder how much might actually be some spot in brain structure.
Johnjohnpalmer on March 20th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
It's something that's on my mind too - I don't know if I've always been severely fatigued, or not, and I don't know if there was a way to have realized that I wasn't "normal". It's become a bit of an obsession now. Was there a way to have told my younger self "you have a problem, and you want to try to fix it now, and here are the signs and symptoms, and *here* is why you know that they're more severe than other people face."
MIKE SHERWOODdmsherwood53 on March 22nd, 2014 12:40 pm (UTC)
lesnerize
Yeah I sa I was off sick with the measules when they covered how to behave in ordinary society & small talk 101
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