Friday, July 30, 2010

Being in a minority position is not without its joys.

Throughout my life, I seem to have been enjoying the status of being a minority.

In the junior high, I used to chase butterflies in the field, and read grown-up's books. That was an attitude not ubiquitous among us brats, so I was always looked at as if observing something strange.

As I grew up, my tastes seemed to be shift into increasingly exotic areas in terms of sensitivity and feelings. I had to hide my true nature from time to time, but then I started to encounter people of my own kind.

I remember quite well the rubbishings and abuses we Mac users used to receive from the majority of people who uses the import from Seattle. They said that Macs are for fun and not for serious business. Corporations and schools matter-of-factly announced that their systems and apps were not compatible with the Mac. What do you care? Many computer viruses also turned out to be Mac-incompatible.

When waiting for the train in a Tokyo subway station, I tend to stand in the corners or at the farthest ends of the platform, away from where most people stay for convenience. For me, being alone seems to be more important than seeking convenience.

And the last straw is the problem of qualia. Many "serious" scientists laugh at it as if it is a pseudo-problem. They tend to maintain that functionalist approaches based on connectionist models are sufficient. Again, what do you care. One cannot change what one believes based on empirical observation and application of pure logic.

Being in a minority position is not without its joy. When you are in the majority, it is not that difficult to find people with whom you can resonate. Being in the minority, friend-making becomes an art in miraculous encounters. For example, if and when you find people who are seriously interested in the problem of qualia, that can give you a joy that lasts all your life.


Anonymous said...

Paradigm shift.

Greg said...

Without the frontier, there can be no center. Change is often initiated from the edges where there is greater freedom from orthodoxy and tradition. The USA was once a colony of the British Empire. Satsuma and Choshu were as far from Edo as geography would permit. Yet, they all led decisive movements. My only concern is that Apple is becoming too "cool" and popular. Hopefully, Cupertino does not become the next Redmond in popular culture. ;)

Shaved ice with strawberry syrup said...

I think maybe many people feel they are in a minority of one and keep the idea to themselves. In that case I wonder if they are truly a minority.
I also feel I am "incompatible" with other people, so I need to have some channel like art. I agree with "Being in a minority position is not without its joy".

Did you leave Narita for America?
Have a good stay!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I deeply understand the meaning of this post as my life's path and thoughts are shockingly similar. The fact that you have found people that resonate with you gives me hope that I will someday find friends that resonate with my unique approach to being. Thank you.