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[at-l] stereotypes/huristics (was: get your whips,another dead horse)

On the topic of not judging a book by it's cover, there was something I 
meant to say before that thread fizzled out
(brandishing my whip)
So this is off the topic, and for those of you that are tired of my 
ranting, now is the time to click that nice "delete" button.

</start rant>

I like to think I give some leeway to people with various extra body 
punctures, a little more or less hair, etc. having known many such fine 
people (and having known many fine bikers, remember that thread?)

Maybe this is the evolutionary psychology advocate in me (see the latest 
newsweek for an abuse of the perspective), but remember that we judge 
books by their cover for a reason.  One definition of learning is the 
ability to generalize from one situation to similar ones.
It takes too much time (and indeed would be stupid, if not impossibe) to 
judge each situation anew.  I can make a general assumption, that the man 
with a mask and a gun is about to mug me from what I know about people 
like that in general.  It would be nice if I could gather more 
information on the individual before making that judgement, but it might 
be dangerous and at the least would take time.

I'm not comparing people with tatoos to muggers, but I before people cry 
"your jumping to conclusions" and "your stereotyping," remember that it 
is part of human nature and we *all* do it every day (assuming the car 
with a turn signal on is going to turn based on our past experience and 
conception of what a turn signal is for, etc)

The reason that I give more leeway to people with nose-rings is that I 
have generalized from those whom i knew who were good people, to the 
nose-ringed population as a whole (plus I think they look good on a lot 
of people), so i have "stereotyped" using the same mechanism for positive 

Anyway, my point was merely that those who 'stereotype' about other 
hikers who look different are acting out human nature and dont deserve to 
be crucified.

</end rant>


PS - I'm told that the septum piercing can be very dangerous if it gets 
infected, be careful about keeping it clean and stuff on the trail.
Jeff Mosenkis            MAPSS Student          University of Chicago
              *Freelance Joking Avunculate For Hire*

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