How It Is Supposed to Be

People can have a hard time coping when their suppositions about life are not met, when things don’t work out how they are supposed to. I’ll even go so far as to say that people really don’t like it at all. If things don’t gel with an imagined trajectory, it grates. But life does not always conform or comply with how we think it should pan out. Life alters the narrative, changes the scripts and otherwise fucks with our best laid plans. The longer we cling to our suppositions and that should and ought, the more we suffer. The sooner we switch to is and are, the easier life becomes.

Once the horse has bolted, the genie has left the bottle, the camel’s back has been broken and the milk has been spilled, we cannot undo. Life does not have an undo button. Even if these things were not “meant” to happen, they can, and they sometimes do. People can feel extremely hard done by when their cunning plans fail in their execution. “That is not how it is supposed to be! Boo-hoo, boo-hoo. It wasn’t meant to work out like that.”


Although we may wish that we could, we cannot always have life on our own terms. The universe is bigger than us. There are other people in the world, we are not the sole arbiter of how they will behave.

Having cued this up:

Do I get upset when things pan out in ways other than how they are supposed to?

If so, why?

Is it possible that I have some control-freak tendencies?

Immersed in the Babel Problem

“Without mentat overlay integration, you can be immersed in the Babel Problem, which is the label we give to the omnipresent dangers of achieving wrong combinations from accurate information.”

I suspect that this Babel Problem is very widespread. People get some data, some information, some hearsay, some of which may be accurate much of it not, and they put it all together and come up with some ersatz which isn’t coffee. It might look like coffee, sound like coffee but it doesn’t smell like coffee, so it isn’t coffee. Yet they drink it as if it was going out of fashion.

When I was in Cardiff in 1989 (previous) things were very different. Joking aside I would be very at home in an establishment as portrayed and this says something about me. Yet even when I say to people that I am Welsh, because I sound private school educated(ish) there is an assumption that I am Engl-ish. But I am not. Lacking the mentat overlay integration certain behaviours and thinking are expected of me. And when they don’t materialize on cue, it can be disconcerting.

This is a part of a wider problem. People think they have it “sussed” when they don’t. In some cases, people are damn sure they have it “sussed” when they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will have noted some eclectic and esoteric flavour. I also swear like a fucking trooper from time to time. Believe it or not everything herein is somehow integrated in my mind, at least there if there alone, it is all joined up. I suspect that I am a little difficult to compartmentalize, maybe you could use the broad brush of nutter or lunatic.

The trouble is that when one is thoroughly immersed in the Babel Problem that is all one can see. It never occurs that we have the wrong end of the stick, that our conclusions and suppositions are fallacious.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever been immersed in the Babel Problem?

If so, for how long?

How did I get out?

Am I still immersed in the Babel Problem but unaware of this?

Shocked by Reality?

It seems that many are. This is because they have a whole list of  “supposed to be” things, which predicate their expectations of how the world ought to be. In the last post I suggested that stalking and spying on someone you know, is like perving at someone as they undress from behind a lace curtain or venetian blinds. The mind can come up with some pretty strange justifications. “He obviously wanted me to watch him take his shirt off.” Of late there has been a massive backlash about dodgy male behaviour. “Isn’t it shocking that a bunch of rich bankers {rhyming slang} groped some young pretty hostesses? Tut, tut…” But women can be pervs too! I have noted, in science tutorials, at a top university, women less than half my age perving at my biceps. I have had my arse pinched, a long time ago, in a night club. Serves me right for walking through a hen party. I was obviously wearing too tight trousers, what a slag. And I have been handcuffed and paraded around a pub, by some girls, again a long way back. People get shocked at all sorts of things. Maybe they need to get out more and see a bit of life.

I have a hypothesis that says people in general are way more weird than they let on to others.

What goes on in the minds of sane people can be damn strange.

What do you reckon, is this hypothesis any good?

The problem is that when supposition and actuality do not overlap “it” doesn’t make sense. This is shocking. The natural order, according to the suppositions, is broken. Oh my! What to do? One can try to retro-fit, or one can be shocked, stunned, gobsmacked. In some cases, the reality isn’t faced at all. We can pretend that “it” never happened. We can go deep into denial. And if someone has views which differ markedly to our own, they are obviously stark raving mad. We must therefore go “la-la-la-la not listening”, like any sane person should.

Having cued this up

Do I ever find myself shocked at what happens in life?

Am I shocked by the opinions and views of others?

Who is the loony, me or them?

How Well Do You Know Someone?

In the blog it may have come across that I am not a great fan of assumption and supposition, this is true. Neither am I a fan of using what “they” say as an inviolable source of reference. Nevertheless, all of these are common methods of building a story about someone. We form opinions based on shitty data. Further the internet, bless its unfailing accuracy, isn’t all that reliable. I’ll hypothesise that we don’t know people as well as we think we do. They may add to this by hiding behind a façade of unreliable shininess. I was talking with God the other day and he said that the planetary number count of angels is on the extremely low side, and that superheroes are actually fictional. Well that told me!

Now we may think we know who or what we are dealing with and be so far off the mark. We could stumble across the blog of someone we thought we knew and in stalking them and spying on them, find out a whole different side to them we hadn’t imagined. If they were aware that we might be stalking them, they might start to mess with us. What to believe? I know, let’s ask “they”, they will know, they always do. We are back to square one.

The only way to get to know someone well is to spend a lot of time with them and in a variety of circumstances. That way you have personal experience. Even so, they may still surprise us by doing something we hadn’t considered them capable of. One of the people who came to see me in a pastoral care role told me that they could not see how this boring git, who lectured chemical kinetics, could be any use. That is until we got talking. As it turned out I was helpful, and we have had a good laugh about this, subsequently. This is a minor example. But I’ll guess we have all had a few surprises in respect of the behaviours of others, some pleasant some less so.

I am a fan of finding out, but that takes time.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever been convinced that I knew someone only to be proven wrong?

If so, does that suggest that my convictions generally are not as sound as they seem?

Might this warn me about premature conclusion and pre-judging?

Is there anything in this world as reliable as direct, current, personal experience?

Selective Perception and Supposition

It is not uncommon for people to imagine things very different from how they actually are. For example, the notion of cancer patient rarely conjures up a hairy fifteen stone guy with a full head of hair and still in possession of most of his own teeth. And the idea of quantum mechanics does not sit so well with a working beef farm. In the two clips previous, nothing has been faked or photoshopped. It is just like this. There is a big stack of patents and papers just behind me and outside I wait for Mr Pheasant the chicken fancier to make an appearance as he does usually, at this time of day.

The written word can easily be subject to selective perception. My speaking voice is as it is in the clip and I am nearly always calm, so if anything else is imagined, imagined it is. People will select from a whole bunch of perceptions and fit them to / with their suppositions. Many selective perceptions are so wide of the mark. Unless you have current personal experience of someone, chances are your perceptions are out of date and inaccurate. Once you have fallen off the cliff of selective perception, there can be no going back.

People make all sorts of shit up. It is weird but true.

What Fries Your Brain?

And no, I am not talking about puzzles, quantum mechanics or freaks of nature. I am referring to the more mundane, the day to day. There are a set of rules, commonly held, about how life situations are meant to evolve. Things are supposed to go one way according to some set of precedents. There is a sense of established patterns, a kind of predictable causality. “If I do this then so and so is likely to do that”. There is a kind of protocol, that may work. Many attempt to manipulate situations according to an established method with a view to a particular outcome. We have the “cunning plans” of Baldrick and Black Adder. In TV land there is a comedic outcome, in reality when things don’t pan out, it can fry your brain, blow your mind.

This supposition can lead to a “what the fuck just happened?” moment.

These quirks, these unexpected things, can really mess with the set of world-rules which people have. There ought to be some kind of reliable trajectory of causality, some predictability even certainty. Humanity, as a whole, is coming to terms with an end of certainty in so many spheres. Yet there is still marked complacency in regard of the general applicability of world-rules. Life is more volatile these days.

When cunning plans go wrong, as they can do, people can be crest fallen. Life, for whatever reason, does not comply with the terms which we seek to foist upon it. Many persist in trying to shoe horn their terms onto life, to make it fit the shoe of their expectations. The universe can throw multiple spanners in. The narrative of how it should be, can fail. And even should it fail people do not like, how it is.  This conflict between the actuality of is and the insistence of should, causes suffering and angst.

Sometimes, in life, it is just like this and not how we deem it meant to be.