Saturday, February 2, 2013

domestic science

I have been accused of sloth, disorderliness, unhygienic behavior, and general filthiness; and general moral depravity and social unfitness by implication. I call to my defense: Science!

The facts are not in dispute. In the bedroom, I have failed to make the bed; I have stepped over underwear rather than stooped to pick them up. In the kitchen, I have ignored dirty dishes in the sink the counter; I have dropped banana peels onto already overflowing rubbish bins. In the bathroom, I have have left the toilet seat raised and drops of urine on the rim; I have failed to react to empty toilet paper rolls. These neglectful behaviors result in others doing the work that is rightly my responsibility. All of this: not in dispute.

I am, however, innocent. Science will show that I am blameless just as the blindman who, as a result of poor design or inadequate legislation, walks in the wrong side of a revolving door, causing inconvenience to travelers rushing to catch their train. Imagine the distress of that blindman as he suffers the outrage of travelers concerned only with their own journeys. I am that blind man.

I have explained that I simply do not see the unmade bed / discarded underwear / dirty dishes / overflowing bin / urine drops / toilet seat state. But my pleas are refused, and I am accused of pride, arrogance, sloth, incontinence, and worse. I call as evidence: the Monkey Business Illusion:


It's common to overlook what you are not looking for. This is the way Attention works. Objects and events not related to our immediate concerns fade into the background. The cocktail party effect, where we selectively tune into a particular conversation among many in a crowded noisy room, is another example of this phenomenon; as is the illusion below. I think it's related to the connectome.
easy to overlook what you aren't looking for
Q.E.D. Vindicated. Science has shown I cannot be accused of pride, arrogance, disrespect, or sloth (at least on the basis of the present charges). I do not ignore mess and filth; I don't see it.

I am occupied with bigger things: Global Warming, Unrest in the Middle East, the European Financial Crisis. My accusers occupy themselves with smaller things: clothing, schooling, food.

Research toward my defense against the related charge of incontinence is ongoing.

If you prefer less introspective fare, my other blog is for the more practical and professionally-minded reader

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