Don’t forget the ugly

A post over on Half Sigma got me thinking. Which is a scary and evil place to start.

Deconstructing. Reverse engineering. Diverging crookedly off into my own solitary and physically unattractive mental evolutionary nook.

Titled “Global warming and the herding instinct,” Half Sigma doubts (questions?) the appropriateness and acceptability the influence that the invokers of climate change (aka, “global warming) have over the mass of current popular (herd) mentality found in mainstream culture.

Laying the Sky-is-Falling groundwork at the foot of all like-minded believers of slow Apocalyptic death by the ravages of Earthly climate mayhem, Half Sigma alleges that the global warming doomsayer “Gaian” fringe is attempting to garner the powerful forces steering human herding behavior to infect that very same herd with dire climactic tales of doom and gloom. In essence, manipulating and harnessing human nature for the movement’s own ulterior ends: recruitment of new believers. And with this gift of new batches of followers, propulsion of its agenda into the global psyche which will in turn breed even more followers into its matrices as their superficial popularity increases. Instead of corporate price fixing, we’re looking at nothing less than artificial manipulation of societal attitudes.

I find the herding concept very interesting. The fact that a very natural human instinct (which I completely believe exists) can potentially be exploited by groups intent on exerting idealogical monopolies…meaning money and power, more of it. Theoretically very sneaky, slimy and duplicitous. The finest traits we have to offer as a species. I can’t tell if Half Sigma is insinuating this is a conscious and deliberate strategy, however.

Half Sigma takes a detour and accuses a “Gaian” (paganistic worshipper of Mother Earth) editorialist of engaging in an ad hominem attack in an editorial which raises a question: why are most climate change skeptics men? And the writer continues embellishing his piece with the claim that such skeptics are “mentally defective.” On the heels of this observation, Half Sigma happily proceeds to assert that

people who actively participate in non-mainstream movements [dq: are we to deduce Gaians?] are disproportionately physically unattractive men.

Now, instinctually an ad hominem attack in itself; like all good HBDers, however, Half Sigma, lacking the bread and butter of his community (cold hard statistics), still attempts to neutralize the irony of his ad hominem with grounded logic. In a linked post he writes

This is because ugly people become social outcasts, and social outcasts are more likely to be attracted to outcast movements like atheism, libertarianism, communism, etc.

Yes! Now that is something I can sink my teeth into!

Forget global warming and its suspect existence.

Let’s talk about ugly people.

Why is it ugly people are so much more interesting than beautiful folks?

Do the reasons coincide? I think so.

Ugly people have character.
Pretty people have their face.

Ugly people have flaws.
Pretty people have unique features.

Ugly people have depth.
Pretty people mimic depth.

And as is to be expected when trying to engineer an intelligent scheme dealing with the discussion of physical attractiveness, or lack thereof, one must resort to generalizations which are rife with loopholes and qualifiers.

When Half Sigma posits a trait such as “unattractive” does he mean average? Anything less than runway model glamor? Is that description reserved only for the hideous?

I’m guessing unattractive in this context denotes anyone who falls below a “9.”

Basically all of us.

While I actually agree with the hypothesis Half Sigma proposed explaining the inversely proportional relationship between attractiveness and “outside the box” thinking, I tend to believe that it is most pronounced and visible at the highest and lowest levels of attractiveness simultaneously. As usual, all the pretty people get the recognition…

Typically, we fixate on the beautiful but neglect the hideous.

The stomach-churning ugly suffer much the same fate as the horrifically attractive. With both there is a strong tendency towards inhuman contextualization.

The extremely attractive and ugly are not allowed to join humanity on their own terms; they are estranged from typical human experiential conditioning based on looks alone. The 10’s and the 1’s can never surmount the burden of their appearance because society won’t accommodate.

As an intelligent and overly sentient species, our cognitive reactions get the better of us, thus we inadvertently raise or bury the physically extreme populations by keeping them at bay due to the repulsion and awe they inspire in us. Perhaps you may think “not me, I treat everyone the same.” That’s dishonesty. Our instinctual reactions to others are constructed with layers upon layers of thinly-veiled displays of body language, facial expression, vocal intonation; and even the more overt signs of distaste or pleasure based on actions and favors (or disfavors).

The farthest reaching social behavioral adaptations are formed from continual and repetitious minute involvements by society’s participants over generations. My fair and equitable treatment of the repulsively ugly person I encounter on the train platform will not negate the cultural trend of dehumanization that person must experience over a lifetime. Now if I had a choice, I would rather be 10-attractive over 1-ugly any day. Simply because I equate these 2 sides of the equation I am not implying they are equal. Not at all. I’ve merely detailed the one area I do believe these 2 groups intersect.

This world only welcomes and nurtures the average.

The bell curve does not only describe; it leads the way to mankind’s heart.

2 Replies to “Don’t forget the ugly”

  1. I have a friend who obsesses over appearance. Or rather, I don’t think she obsesses as much as she verbalizes her thoughts about it, which most don’t do.

    So she categorizes people into “pretty” girls, and well, “not so pretty” girls.

    Her roommate lost it on her one day when she kept referring to her as “pretty girl.” She shouted,”Stop calling me the pretty girl!”

    A similar topic was covered on this blogpost.

    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2009/09/11/hookinguprealities/do-pretty-girls-have-it-harder/

    Watch the video.

  2. Nice post David. When I was growing up I always had a charismatic personality. I may write this post someday on the blog, I’ll do it briefly… One day an older lady said something to me when I was checking her items out.

    Lady – You seem like a fun fella to work with.

    Me – Thanks

    Lady – Your co-workers really like you because they only bag for you

    Me – I guess so

    Lady – You must have been the ugly child.

    Wow…

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