A far too large fraction of humanity holds severe misconceptions about what others can and want. It is one thing to live in a society were you can’t learn to know others. It is another thing to be able to do that and still believe in such myths. At worst people don’t consider that they have to find out such things. Instead, they take it for granted that they already know. But what they believe themselves to know is against human nature. At least as I understand it in evolutionary terms.
Some misconceptions on this subject can be explained by segregation. It does not have to be segregation enforced by law. It could be a cultural practice or economic segregation. Regardless of it cause it leads to people not having any experience of meeting other groups. Add lacking a habit of reflecting on the motivations of others. Then it becomes easy to delude people into believing things which to me are patently absurd.
Other deficiencies can be explained by being too preoccupied by conformism. One believes oneself to have to appear as a stereotype in other to be socially accepted. That could explain certain strange deficiencies in ability to communicate. Maybe the person can communicate some things but not other things. We can imagine such a person can understand some signals from others however not other signals. Other signals are misinterpreted or make the person confused. Such a person may take it for granted everyone is equally conformist. Something which does not at all have to be the case.
Some people have impaired imagination. They can have hard to imagine things considerably different from their own personal experience. Say the person also has a habitual suspiciousness. Then we get well-documented mental conditions mistaken for exploitive hoaxes.
Some individuals have impaired power of insight without realising it themselves. (Ludwig Wittgenstein was such a person.) Other individuals may simply be habitually thoughtless. It still looks rather strange when everyone is ascribed ones’ own characteristics. I have seen people argue as if they personally constituted the peak of human capacity. Is there something they themselves can’t do it is supposed nobody could. The trouble is there are loads of people having other competencies than ones’ own. It has happened that I have been able to do things supposed to be impossible for everyone.
I have impaired power of insight myself but least I am aware of it. So I try to compensate by conscious reflection. Over the years I have arrived at different models of explanation. But these are not always enough. A particularly troubling example of this I will deal with later on.
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