The end of a relatively quiet weekend that saw me finally catching up on my volunteer work, and still managing to do some things around the house. I think I’m back on schedule assuming I can carve out time tomorrow.

The weather has gotten cold again – not polar vortex cold, but February in the northeast cold. And damp. With the smell of snow in the air. And the promise of another winter storm on the way for early in the week. Oh goodie.

For reasons unknown (seriously, I have no clue), something brought to mind The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the SEP filter that Slartibartfast explained to Arthur when no one seemed to notice the spaceship parked on the cricket field. For those that have never read the books (I highly recommend you do – Adams’ grasp of human nature & sense of the absurd are fantastic),  a Somebody Else’s Problem filter is how our brain prevents us from seeing something that it either doesn’t want use to see, or simply can’t handle so it doesn’t allow is to see. Like a spaceship landing on the side of a cricket field during a match. No frame of reference, so we reject it. Variations of that concept play out in the nonfictional world, as well, but with less extreme results (usually). There’s also this qualification, also articulated well by Adams:

“Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see.”

And it is true that children lack filters, so they sometimes do notice things that adults don’t, but they also lack the knowledge and experience to help them make sense of what they do see. And I think that’s important to keep in mind as we move through our often contentious world.


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