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Impulsivity

2012-07-11T16:13:14+00:00

We aliens don’t do anything impulsive, usually. Every move is carefully planned out, even if that planning only takes a split second.

Except in dreams. Last night I was back in school, walking through the halls, and without really thinking, I shot an acquaintance in the back with a small pistol. It should have done much more damage than it did, in the dream, but it hurt her a lot. She screamed in pain and glared at me, clutching at the wound in her shoulder. “Why did you DO that?” she screamed at me.

I had no answer. I had absolutely no answer, other than, I thought at that moment that it would be an interesting thing to do.

Thus I got to experience the feeling of complete bewilderment that my actions had a consequence, and that it wasn’t a good thing to hurt someone else simply because I thought it would be fun to do.

In waking life, I keep reading news accounts about children who hurt or kill other people, merely because they thought it would be fun. They didn’t think about what their actions meant, or the consequences their actions would have. They are raised on video games, and on never being spanked for an infraction. Their actions have never had a consequence before now, so why would they expect hurting or killing someone to have a consequence? Some of the children I read about feel remorse about what they’ve done, which marks them as normal-but-undeveloped. Others have no remorse, which marks them as psychopaths.

It was a very strange feeling to be in that position. I’m glad it was only a dream.

2 Comments
  1. 2012-07-17T01:25:51+00:00 01:25

    That we don’t go around killing each other is probably more a function of laziness than altruism.

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    • 2012-07-17T20:21:16+00:00 20:21

      What holds me back is both a desire to avoid punishment (the trick to that is don’t talk to anyone about what I’ve done) and also sheer apathy. Some people need killing, but often just not worth the effort.

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