Bonk!!! *I hate the bonking no-you-got-it-wrong quiz show noises, but well, I put it there anyway*
No, actually I'm making an observation about how odd we are as a species.
Here's the thing--we do things ALL THE TIME that are not in our best interest.
Aren't animals--and humans--supposed to do whatever they can to survive, you know procreate, of course, eat, breath, avoid danger, whatever? And isn't survival supposed to be the main thing? We wanna live as long as we can so we can, well, procreate, ensure the longevity of our genes 'n stuff?
So why do we do such dumb things that are totally counterproductive to the purposes of survival?
It's like we are more interested in saving face and impressing the other guy than in keeping ourselves in one piece.
Okay, I'm going to pick on teenagers again. Yeah, I know. You teenagers never get a break.
Have you noticed how die-hard obsessed and nutty teenagers are about fitting in with their peer group? Not just that, but impressing their peer group? Showing off that they are the number one coolest person in the world and everyone else wants to be like them?
"No, Cheryl, you've got it all wrong," Gen Eric Teen says. "I don't try to fit in. I try to stand out. I try to be different. I don't care what anybody else thinks about me. So, no, you are absolutely wrong and friggin' stereotyping me!"
Okay, okay, calm down Gen Eric. What a funny name, by the way. Did your parents name you that? Here's the deal--are you trying to be different just like the kids you hang out with who love labeling yourselves as different--the geeks, the freaks, the kids who are just grooving to their own thing? Cause if that's the case, then, no, you're not really trying to be different. You are--in the words of a good friend of mine--being different, just like everybody else.
Getting back to my premise--that we are a stupid species that does things that go against our own self interest--think about what dumb things people do not to make their lives better, but to fit in or impress the other dummies standing around? How many people have taken up smoking--ahem...not actually good for you--to fit in with the people they hang out with? How many people have done drugs--not going to lead to a great quality of life, actually--because everyone around them is doing it? How many teen girls have slept with their boyfriends--okay, so that's propagating, but it could also lead to an STD that shortens your lifespan--because they didn't want to lose Mr. Prince Charming? Yeah, and there's other stuff too.
Teen boys are the worst. They won't admit it, but they're not trying to impress the girls--well, maybe there's a small part that is. They're trying to impress each other. That's why they jump off cliffs, skateboard off the sides of buildings, and drive motorcycles through windows. Recently I heard about a kid who impaled himself on a statue of a steer because he was hanging around in the middle of the night with a bunch of other meatheads. Yeah, that's not going to ensure longevity. The kid died.
So why on earth do we do such stupid things? It seems that we are more interested in society and our standing in it that we are in our own skin. Wouldn't it be smarter and more logical if we were more concerned about our own well being?
Sigh. Fine. Yes, I know there is a perfectly logical reason why we do the stupid things we do. It comes from evolution.
As we were hunting bison and small rats and gathering nuts and weeds, it was much safer to live within a group than by yourself. And in order to live in a group, you had to get along with the other rat-hunter/weed-gatherers around you. Otherwise, they'd leave your butt in the cave and go off to hunt and gather elsewhere. So, yes, I realize that's the reason why we still strive so hard to fit in with the idiots around us. We haven't evolved far enough to do what's good for ourselves.
So in the future, after we've invented daily-use spacecraft, we can look forward to the news reports about how many idiots have flown into the sun and vaporized themselves because someone dared them to do it.