Ruminations on People I Hate

This post on Quora reminds me of something I’ve noticed in myself and I suspect is common with humans. That is, we decide whether we like someone within a few minutes of meeting them. In many cases, we strongly like or dislike the person for no obvious reason. On the other hand, there are times when we know exactly why we have the strong reaction to the stranger.

An example that comes to mind of the irrational reaction is Newt Gingrich. The first time I laid eyes on him I detested him with the intensity of a thousand suns. When he opened his fat mouth and started talking in that nasally whine, the urge to punch him in the face was almost overwhelming. Even though he was saying things that I should find agreeable, the only thought in my mind was of him being hit by a bus.

Later, I was proven right, but I also figured out why I had such a strong reaction to him. That is, my bitter weirdo theory of human organization. The first order of business when organizing your society is to make sure the bitter weirdos have no power or authority. Newt grew up as an annoying fat kid picked on by normal kids. He turned out to be a bitter weirdo with a chip on his shoulder. His life is consumed with settling petty personal scores.

An example of someone who I never liked, but instantly knew why, is Ann Coulter. In fairness, I have softened on Coulter as she has matured. When she first got on the scene, her act was just an act. It was plainly obvious. She was the precocious daddy’s girl getting the attention of adult males by saying impolite things. It just seemed like a made for TV act.

That Quora piece got me thinking that maybe there’s something else at work. The human mind, to my observation, is a pattern matching mechanism. It’s what makes artificial intelligence so daunting. It’s not the speed of our synapses; its the nature of them. Our brains have a massive catalog of concepts through which we instantly sort to find the one that closely matches anything new.

Imagine a four dimensional database in which one dimension is time. The new thing is compared to the closest thing in the database, then the next closest and so on at the speed of light. Once we land on a match, that’s where we start to place this new thing in our database of knowledge.

It’s why deception is so effective and so disdained. It violates the innate rules of the human mind. This new thing that looks like this known thing suddenly turns out to be different is alarming. Alternatively, that thing we had put into its proper category that suddenly turns out to be something wildly different is scary. Deception causes us to doubt the very thing that makes us tick.

It’s tempting to assume that we react to strangers strongly because at some level they remind of us someone we know. That strikes me as simplistic and not a very useful adaptation. There’s enough variation in people where we will meet people who are not much like anyone we have known. Children are innately fearful of strangers because their catalog is small and most everything is foreign to them.

My hunch is that in the case of Gingrich, I was picking up on the minor deceptions in his demeanor. His carefully cultivated presentation lacked authenticity and that’s what triggered my dislike. This was a smart guy really good at lying to people. That makes him very dangerous. Ann Coulter, in contrast, was just a TV phony, not dangerous or threatening, just annoying.

As I said, I’ve softened on Coulter. She can still dine out on her looks, but that’s not the sale these days. She can say what she wants as she has her own money so she is more relaxed and honest. Her fake laugh still bugs me, but that’s more than balanced by her ability and willingness to punch a hippie.

Of course, there’s something else that may be specific to me. I detest phonies. I can get along well with people who are what they are, even if what they are revolts me. Here in the ghetto, there’s a lot of social pathology, but it does not bother me as these people are what they are. In SWPL-ville, most work hard to conceal their intentions, which I find intolerable.

 

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BillH
BillH
5 years ago

All my adult life I’ve been attracted to people who are plainspoken. I’m repelled by people who are artful in any way, respectable or disrespectable. Probably comes from the many years in the cockpit where everybody is upfront and brief about everything. You have to be to survive.

el baboso
Member
5 years ago

I once did some recruiting for a certain institution. A mentor of mine told me to always put my effort into the regular guys and steer the weirdos away from the prize. It was very good advice. The Ivies and the Seven Sisters once served to screen out the bitter wierdos. Not a new observation of mine, but one which seems to dovetail nicely with your theory: we seem to have lost that ability as a society. The debate club and the band kids have taken over the polity and many of our institutions. I see this again and again.… Read more »

Kathleen
Kathleen
5 years ago

I’ve always liked Coulter. She’s smart, stays on point, is un-PC, and says things you wish elected officials had the balls to say. And she drives the Leftists wild, which is extra bonus points for her.

bill
Member
5 years ago

I despise the Clintons, Gore, Kerry and their minions because they are prototypical baby boomer hypocrites, hiding behind a faux piety while stealing all they can, lying impulsively and living wretched lives. I am biased but I believe the best of my generation are those of us who put in a year in War Zone C or on the DMZ (obviously there are exceptions). The above mentioned stooges were big men on campus, those who embraced the anti-American agitprop of Alinsky and Herbert Marcuse and ghetto pseudo revolutionaries like Huey Newton and Stokely Carmichael. The damage their ideas have done… Read more »

Jake
Jake
5 years ago

“You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were.”
Holden Caulfield
It never ends.

guest
guest
5 years ago

She, or any other conservative woman for that matter, just makes the cult go nuts, mention Sarah Palin and they start foaming, it’s really funny.

But check out Ann Barnhardt if you want the real deal, a true red pill woman!

ed in texas
ed in texas
5 years ago

All the ‘alarm bells’ you experience with Newt and Ann are the same ones you get when dealing with car salesmen. For much the same reasons.

trackback
5 years ago

[…] When I was writing this post a couple of weeks back, I had a section on how much I despised Donald trump. But, the post got too long so I cut it out. He’s one of those people that I heard speak a few sentences and decided I did not like. That was back in the 1980’s when he was peddling himself as a master negotiator. One of my friends read his book and thought it must be some sort of gag because Trump’s advice was ridiculous. […]