How to encounter strangers regularly without attempting to kill them
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Mr. Keller. I don't know if you know this about me. But one of my favorite old guy authors is a UCLA professor named Jared Diamond. He's written such hits as guns, germs and steel, the fates of human societies and collapse how society choose to fail or succeed. Our quote today comes from one doctor diamond, who said, with the rise of chiefdoms around 7500 years ago, people had to learn for the first time in history, how to encounter strangers regularly without attempting to kill them. I thought this guy was sort of interesting in that I feel I'm not a medical doctor, but this vaccines gonna kind of slowly roll out, we're not going to get it all at once that everyone will be cured, you're going to have to some degree, kind of figure out who you're going to want to be around. According ish to what do you think they're healthy or not? First of all, your thoughts on that?
Yeah, I'm, I've been wondering how I'm going to adapt to that or what steps I'm going to take because there's not going to be an all clear flag, you're not going to look the NASCAR analogy, you're not going to get the green flag to go back. I'm kissing strangers on the mouth again. So you're gonna have to take educated, educated, make educated decisions on who you are and interact with. And yeah, I don't I don't necessarily see that. Well, I guess I do see the correlation to this. Anyway,
to the original question. Not Yeah, back to the original question. Like, when normal times did you choose to? Are you skeptical of a new person that you meet? Are? Were you very open to, hey, this guy might be an okay person or gal.
I think it would just I think a lot of it depends on the situation you're in. Like, if I was with a group of friends and a new person comes in, you're probably more open to being able to be open about that person, then if you're feeling vulnerable. For me, this quote made me think of how just in general, we're trying to tell people not to make judgments. And a lot of them are Don't be prejudiced or don't do stuff based in negative feelings. But like it made me wonder, is it a learned habit? Or is it primal, based on this quote, to instantly make snap judgments about people? Like if I was walking down the street, and I saw the coach of the New England Patriots, I might think he's a homeless person, I could make a snap judgment based on that, like based on his appearance, we're told not to do that. But based on this quote, it's more of a primal reaction to do that.
I mean, I think it's most of the things that are human are primal, right? Because our brains are wired to make snap decisions. Once again, back on the Serengeti, you come out of the cave, you quickly got to realize do I run from that tiger? Do I pick up a spear and throw it you got to like, make these instantaneous decisions, and only because life is gonna become society? We don't have to make them as quick anymore, but I still think we our brains are wired to make snap decisions about people.
Yeah, I think they are I think the funny version of this is thinking about someone going up to a stranger and trying to kill them and their friend gone. Wait,
how do you how do you size someone up? Do you do you need the characteristic do you use to when you meet somebody kind of size them up? You mean as a physical threat or just them as a person like in general like oh, that that's someone I want to get to know more? Wow, that guy's a turd bag. I could never see them again.
Well, first of all, I can't turn this off. But everywhere I go, I size up. Anyone I see. And if they attack me I have a way that I'm going to react to it like I'm always have how I'm going to fight in the back of my mind.
But just hold on a second. What's that movie with Matt Damon? Like he walks in the room and know exactly how he's always gonna get out and who's got a punch in the light is that wasn't born? Geez, I
know. I know. I can run it a full out sprint at this altitude and my heart rate will stay below 60 beats per minute. But I guess to answer your question, I kind of like I judge. I use people's posture. I use their how they engage with people. It's just, I think physical attributes is what what people present is how I make the judgment without actually getting to know them. What do you do?
I'm, as you know, my defense mechanism editing is I ask people questions and I let them sink or swim on their own. I feel like my bs detector is pretty good. And if I I just feel like if I ask enough questions I can usually get to the heart of whether they're spewing BS. And if they're spewing. Yes. And I just met them. I'm like, Yeah, I don't know if I ever needed to talk with this person again.
Yeah, that'd be an interesting thing. The difference between like a salesman and someone who works in a laboratory, like a scientist like having to do that all the time, I think the more the more you interact with people, the more you're going to be able to make snap decisions in a more accurate way. But then the problem with the making the snap decisions in an accurate way is there's the outliers, like nine times out of 10, and Larry with blond hair is going to reach for a Coors Light. But sometimes you're going to reach for Miller Lite. Like there's there's exceptions. So, of course, give people the benefit of the doubt, but it's primarily to protect yourself.
This is kind of the last question I have with this. We've met people during the pandemic. It's not like you've not met anybody, you've you've had to go meet contractors for your house. We've certainly have you noticed any difference with meeting someone when they have a mask on? Yeah, the weirdest thing for me is so right now we have
people refinishing the floors, and I met a guy for the first time. And we talked and I told him, we were gonna do I go back later, a lot of the construction guys put the mask on to talk to you. And then when they're working to take it off, because they're all around each other all the time. And I go in there, I'm like, Hey, is uh, is Omar here. He's like, yeah,
Unknown Speaker 6:31
I'm Omar. Ah,
I've met so many people with masks on and then you see them later without a mask on out of context and you don't know who they are. It's interesting how much the nose and mouth makeup how you look?
totally true. And I feel like with this book today, I'm gonna pay attention a little bit more to people when I see them with their masks on because you really can't see expression like you just like, I could be smiling or smirking or whatever you can't. I don't know. It doesn't even matter. Sometimes I go like doesn't really matter.
Yeah, I mean, do you ever have the urge to kill someone when you see them and don't know?
yes. Well, if you don't want to die, please reach out. You can find us at repost a podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I'm Andrew Keller for the mortician, saying thanks for stopping by
Transcribed by https://otter.ai