Friday, April 9, 2010

A REAL Step Towards Equality

I've come to realize that you need to be two things in this world, in order to succeed: good-looking and/or intelligent. Having only one one these can land you a pretty comfortable life. Having one and a bit of the other can land you a really comfortable life. Having both pretty much guarantees you a really good life.

Sadly, we're not all equal. Some people are lucky enough to have one of these two. Some are blessed with both. Others don't have either - these ones are shit out of luck. And I feel sorry for them, but that's how it is.

We're not all equal. You'd be foolish to think that we are. Disparities DO exist between race, geography, location, caste, ethnicity, culture, etc. While these are all only factors, they can be worked around...but the real "luck" lies in the inheritance of good looks and intelligence.

People seem to gravitate towards others who are good-looking because of the halo effect - we tend to see them as more sociable, friendly, and warmer than less-attractive people. Although there's no truth in this bias, we all seem to have pre-wired in us that "what's beautiful is good" (although it does hold weight as an evolutionary adaptation.) This is also the reason that people with baby faces tend to seem more trustworthy, nice, etc.

Because of this, these people are often given opportunities that aren't available to others. We like to believe that everyone has equal potential...but the truth is that some simply don't. Attractiveness (for the most part) decides the variety of opportunity, and intelligence (for the most part) determines the degree of potential within opportunities.

Where am I going with this? Some of the most intelligent people aren't the best-looking. Some of the best-looking people aren't the most intelligent. And as Kanye said, "[Sometimes] the people highest up, have the lowest self-esteem. The prettiest people, do the ugliest things". My point is that we use a stupid brush for painting people. This might go against evolutionary predispositions, but I don't think that matters at this point - survival of the fittest has shifted to intellect, not beauty.

Self-serving bias only feeds this problem. We tell ourselves that everything we've accomplished is due to our blood, sweat, and tears - that we've worked hard to be where we're at. But how much of it can we truly accredit only to ourselves?

It's funny because every time someone messes up, we tend to blame it on something THEY did (fundamental attribution error). When WE mess up, we tend to blame it on external circumstances.  The same is true of success: you get a job, and it's because of your hard work. They get a job, and they were "lucky". The truth is that it's probably both. 

The reason for this self-serving bias and attribution error seems to stem from a defense mechanism. What's surprising is that it isn't for coping at the individual's for coping at a collective level. The just world hypothesis posits that everyone rationalizes for negative events in order to tell themselves that the world is just - that we all get what we deserve.

The reality is that we don't...and acting according to the just world phenomenon/theory/hypothesis doesn't do anything to help. The world isn't just. It SHOULD be..but It never will be. However, it's also not as just as it COULD be. 

Prejudice, bias, and preconceived beliefs are almost always unjustified. And I'm not talking about racism...I'm talking about our gravitation towards beauty.

As a way to deal with this, I propose that you guys mess with the natural order, at the most basic level. 

My solution is to treat good-looking people like shit (lol). Just playin'. My REAL solution is to treat good-looking people as equally as you treat everyone else. It's easier said then done. Furthermore, social desirability urges people to say that they do...even though they probably don't.

To the dudes that bend over for hot chicks (in the hopes of getting in her pants)...quit doing that crap. You're most likely not gonna get in her pants, you're only feeding her feeling of self-entitlement, and worst of all, you're reinforcing the idea that looking good is a legitimate REASON to get anything that they want. To the ladies who bend over for good-looking dudes...the same applies. Stop being dumbasses and feeding a flawed system. 

Not only is this solution "good"'s also entertaining/hilarious. For the past 2 years, it's been absolutely enthralling seeing how confused hot chicks are when you refuse to grant them a privilege that they're used to never being denied (ie. cutting in line, hooking them up, etc.) What's even more shocking, is that the reaction they give implies that it's unheard of to not get what they want. Think about what this means, and it's truly troubling to know that actions like this are so uncommon.

If you guys want to see an equal society, it doesn't start with eliminating cultural barriers, or racial discrimination, or even monetary equity (actually, never mind on this last one. Let's not get crazy now...) It starts with eliminating bias.

 Give credit where credit is actually due.


- knowledge


  1. My name is Daniel Stevens, and I approve of this post.

  2. Everything about this post is 100% absolute.. except for one thing; you believe that the world is not just.. but do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

  3. @ Dandan321:
    Thanks Dan. FWIW, I honestly haven't forgotten about your LJ. I'm just waiting for exams to be up before I catch up on ANY online reading.

    That should answer it ;)

  4. Just read it. I was laughing cause your perception is undoubtedly interesting. However, I've got a couple of ideas to throw you.. maybe someday.
    Oh yeah, and I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

  5. i agree with "k" on this one. Yes, there is absolute truth in being treated because you are biologically symmetrical. And, yes if we take the case of a person that knew in elementary school as an example, people did treat him better because of his intelligence people are even fighting to be his friend simply because he was intelligent. Too bad he was a jackass most of the time.But he did study pretty hard, I'm just saying I don't think intelligence should be based on how much you study but how much you understand and learn by yourself. But anyway, my point is we're all born with a face that can be altered, there's makeup... clothes... swagger...blah blah to improve someone's appearance. Hence I'm justifying why I treat more attractive and more intelligent people with a higher degree of respect.I do so simply because I feel like they care about themselves more. a.k.a they are people who have confidence. which to me is an admirable trait indeed. no one is allowed to be ugly anymore! lol! I could be dissing myself here but I'm gonna give myself the benefit of a doubt.

    PS. google terradactyl and see what it means in the urban dictionary

    pps. *Random* yesterday i saw b-girl crying and i walked up and asked what's wrong? she told me that the radio's been playing the same song all day long... Good rappers ain't eating they Olsen twinnin...

  6. i just couldnt continue reading because i completely disagree with the first statement and its sad that you believe in such things


  7. My name is Jeremy Mercado, and this is exactly why i value you as both a family member and a mentor/influence. You give a breath of fresh air to this smoggy and polluted world and im not even explaining the attributes of the living condition in this world but the condition of the living. I mostly agree with this bias decisions that most people have, but this bias treatment towards people is on a most part in everyday occurances, there is other qualities that go into the treatment of others like respect, influence etc., i dont know its a blurr as to what im trying to say, but good points none the less.

  8. @ aph:
    "i just couldnt continue reading because i completely disagree with the first statement and its sad that you believe in such things"
    You know I gotta drop a quote on you: "The mark of an educated mind is that it can entertain a thought without accepting it".

    You may not agree with a premise or two, or even the conclusion...but you won't know until you read the rest. I highly doubt you'll disagree with the conclusion.



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