Monday, January 06, 2014

Is normal ideal?

In the film Yo Tambien there is a scene where the main character, someone with Down syndrome, is presented with the question: "Why do you want to be normal?" Then he bursts into tears.

In my life, I recognize that I am trying to be "normal. " It would be perfect. I just do not know why .

Since 2004 I am on a quest for " What is attention? " I define the term "attention" as my overall energy system, not just "focus (as a cognitive process)". If I get a call while walking, I notice that I'm going slower. Apparently there is a total amount of attention in my system that I can spend, be it on walking, or on being on the phone, but not both at the same time.

I began to regard man as an attention processing piece of nature. The term "resistance" took on new meaning. After all, resistance is the light bulb converting electricity into light (the main product) and heat (the byproduct). Would it be possible that resistance is also in humans, in me?

I searched for definitions. "What is normal?" I read about geese, who save 71% energy through their V-shaped collaboration. Is "normal" somehow related to "resistance", something to do with preservation of energy? I set up a preliminary conclusion: "normal" is what costs the least amount of energy for the group. The goose who flies out of formation not only consumes extra energy for herself, but she also withholds from the group a fair amount of energy savings. Would the group want to invest  extra energy to get the advantage back? Should I understand the request "Act normal!" to be an appeal to both the individual and the group for mutual energy gain?

Back to the movie. I was hit real hard by the insight that I thought "normal" was the same as "ideal". I wondered if I had mixed up the two terms, "normal" and "ideal". Is normal the same as ideal? Maybe I had always hoped that normal people experienced less resistance in their lives.

In 2004 fellow Mensa member Alexandra asked me the question: " How much surface below the line of the normal distribution do you believe is normal?" I thought 67% or perhaps 98% . She thought 100% .

Today I understand: from the ideal perspective every human being is "normal".
I "am" normal, because I am seeking the ideal of less resistance.

The penny dropped.
Thank you, Alex !

Enschede , January 6, 2014
Ronald Wopereis