Why Do People Do What They Do?

How does one answer that question in a short blog post, or even several short posts? Such a feat is not really possible. I can offer a few random thoughts on why some carelessly selected and unrelated phenomena occur. The answers, as I like to think of them, are not what you were probably expecting. Some of my answers may confuse or offend. That’s okay because reality can be confusing or offensive.

So, two random questions and answers:

1. Why do men love football? It gives them something in common with other guys. This sense of commonality engenders the trust that’s needed in social relationships and in business. (It is comparatively hard to trust some slightly bitter loner who sits at home at night and writes eggheaded stuff.)

2. Why do women watch soap operas? See above.

And, some random observations:

  • Our individual decisions to do stuff, or not do stuff, can influence society in many ways. Sometimes the influences are obvious in particular cases and sometimes things take a bit of effort to understand..
  • That nutjob in Pennsylvania who killed the Amish children has made a mark on society.
  •  People who watch infomercials are building a society that keeps producing informercials for products and services ranging from the useless (colloidal silver) to the ridiculous (no down payment real estate investing).
  • Teenage guys car surf because they are rewarded by other young people – you know who you are!
  • Why do guys insist on acting like pigs? Because they tend to be rewarded with sex, probably by the same women who complain..
  • Why do guys buy flashy sports cars and hot motorcycles? Three reasons: sex; social status; a cultural rule that says this is an appropriate way for a man to express his personality and show of his wealth.

So, the individual decisions we make to do things or not do things, or to reward or punish add up in ways we don’t always think about.

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~ by chetdavis on October 5, 2006.

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