…that means you MAY BE lacking independent thought by using the same thoughts as others.

ok, i’ll break it down a little:
a) humans tend towards stereotyping other humans into groups.
b) we stereotype because our brains are small and need simple, compressed patterns to handle all the uniqueness in the universe, including among people.
c) these cues, however they were derived, help us sort out people (and potential threats/friends/clan members/whatever) very quickly.
d) when someone belongs to a stereotyped clan/group/etc, that imples LESS independent thought because it implies that people of a particular group/clan/etc think similarly to each other.
e) this means, people “of group [x]” think alike.
f) this means, people “of group [x]” lack independent thought.

So, it’s easy to recognize lack of independent thought in others because of our stereotyping behavior.

But it’s also possible to be WRONG about it.

This fact that we can be wrong about it means that it’s very difficult to recognize our OWN stereotyping patterns.

It is also likely that our stereotyping patterns are VERY SIMILAR to the patterns used by other people to stereotype groups.

If the way you stereotype someone is same/similar to how SOMEONE ELSE stereotypes someone else…

…that means you MAY BE lacking independent thought by using the same thoughts as others.

One common example is people that use the same style of logic to determine truth-values.

If 10 people use the same system and ask the same questions and come to the same conclusions, they’re not independently thinking. They are dependent upon the system they use to derive the conclusions.


Systems of behavioral patterns. Systems of inquiry. Imagine a maze. There’s Start. There’s Finish. There’s tunnels inbetween with many doors.

10 people each follow the same path to get to the finish.

2 people follow their own paths to get to the finish.

The 10 people who use the same system that causes them to follow the same path to get to the finish are not independent thinkers.


Rationalizing processes for one. Inner dialogue for example. Intuitions. It’s not just semantic reactions – it could also be emotional reactions. It could be an intuition that’s the same, etc.


Unfortunately, as you’ve witnessed, being an “independent thinker” sometimes poses a communication problem.

I have my own way of seeing things. I’m not special. I just am how I am. It’s normal and everyday to me.

But then I find myself surprised when I’m not understood at first. So I have to explain. Provide examples. Break things down. Provide metaphors, analogies, a b c d e f g, stuff like that.

It’s very very frustrating for me because I’m not extra intelligent nor special. It’s just a roadblock I come across in communicating with others. The good thing about it for me is, with practice, it gets easier and easier to explain my thought processes to a large variety of people.

The roadblock is mine of course; I sometimes think I have a cognitive flaw where i can’t guess what someone else is thinking or inferring. Some people seem to have what seems like a magical ability to ‘know’ what someone else is thinking/feeling.

I don’t have that, so I have to depend on patterns, plunge ahead, and hope someone is willing to take the time with me until I’m speaking their language a little better.

Well I’m not well read in general semantics – just a few videos on youtube and some wikipedia stuff. It “felt at home” to me though, so I suspect, given some of my favorite authors as a child and TV show producers were heavily influenced by General Semantics themselves, I’ve absorbed its way of thinking or its processes throughout my life.

In short, I don’t precisely know what enumeration means but I’m guessing it has to do with how I break stuff down.

Well yes, I expect murphy’s law. I expect to be misunderstood, so I’m always prepared. I’m always a little surprised when I’m understood.

Other people’s minds are a mystery to me. Group dynamics have always been a particular mystery to me that I’ve been trying to unravel from the days of meangirls in 3rd grade. I’ve made some progress thankfully.


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