Saturday, August 30, 2008

Every Game Has Its Rules

Sometimes the idea strikes me that life is just like an intricate series of games.

As children, we play games to mimic adult behavior, as training for the realities of adulthood.

But sometimes I wonder about the reasoning behind individual actions. Some of the things we do a certain way because we are taught, but other times we do things a certain way because of our own instincts.

But everyone plays. Even adults. But the people who use the term "play" the most of all, are young adolescents, teenagers, college students...those making the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Don't believe me?

Did you ever play in the band? Did you play football? Or are you just a player, straight up?

We won't let people associate with us unless they follow a strict series of rules, which more often than not is a very good thing for us.

For example:

Want to be my friend? Don't be rude. Don't annoy me. Don't antagonize me. Please respect my feelings. Please respect my personal space. Please respect my belongings.

Those are all very simple and obvious rules, because friendship is one the least complex relationships that we form as humans. That is why very small children can be friends, because the game does not require an overwhelming amount of skill or technique.

Other relationships (games) are more difficult, and the closer you get to someone, the more difficult it becomes to play the game, and the more rules you must follow.

I am strongly interested in evolution, and how the human brain works, specifically. I believe that the way we act is in very large part determined by evolutionary precedent, in a much bigger way than we have previously realized.

Based on previous experiences and our own intuition, we define rules for our own protection before we will enter into any kind of relationship or friendship with another human. Everyone has their own rules, some greater, some lesser than the norm. I believe that humans practice natural selection much more than we realize. Other animals have specific mating patterns, and we say, hogwash, we don't; I choose who I want. But no, we very much do have specific mating patterns. These rules we create (and/or are born with) are the patterns we follow: not every single detail of these rules is specific to everyone, but everyone tends to form these patterns (rules) in the same way.

Human females have their own rules, as do human males, just like the individual genders of other species have their own generalized sets of rules. Just like in any other game, he who knows and follows the rules, wins the game: speaking strictly from the standpoint of evolution.

Those who do not know the rules, or cannot learn them, or cannot follow them, are eliminated. Just like in any other game. If you don't know the rules to Monopoly or Battleship, or you are incapable of learning the rules, or if you don't follow the rules or know the strategy, you're going to get killed. The same lesson applies for humans.

I hope this reasoning hasn't completely blown your minds. You'll need them later.

No comments: