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February 26th, 2022
Is it good to judge an evolving thing? Say for instance, a child, who is learning the ways of the world. Would it be good to lay some sort of conclusive judgement on this kid after they, say… whack their brother in the face for no reason whatsoever? Of course not. Only the most short sighted and callous adult would write the child off as violent. We intuitively understand that children will learn and improve.
What’s a bit odd is that people continue to change throughout adulthood, but we ignore this fact. Or, at the least, we don’t give it the same sort of importance that we do when we think of children. It’s true that people, in general seem to be less capable of change as time goes on, but no one really wakes up the same exact person they were on the previous day. We all change a little, even if it’s imperceptible.
Other things that rapidly evolve seem to get the adult-treatment. Most novel forms of technology for example, are tried and regarded as either good or bad, which is again quite odd since innovation can change a piece of technology and improve it. The most basic form of this today is simply the software update. Incredibly, updates are supposed to improve things but a lot of people dread updates because things change and suddenly the tried and true way of using a piece of software seems no longer available.
The idea that things keep static is a convenient falsehood. Cognitively it’s far less taxing to assume the world and the people in it aren’t as dynamic and changing as they actually are. Such dynamism is also out of sync with the static nature of words and the labels we create with them and slap on to different things: that person is a psycho, this app sucks. Well did you see the new update? Did you know that person was grieving and had almost no sleep during the last few days? Our labels for the world have to be constantly updated when new information arises, but this requires the actual information, which might not be available, and it requires a willingness and a desire to make the mental update. Neither of which always happen.
Perhaps religions have a concept of a ‘final judgement’ because it’s simply impossible to make a conclusive judgement while things are still in progress. Nuance is hard to catch on the fly while it changes, and the mind constantly yearns for a definitive last word. But the truth is it’s all just laziness. People dread the update of their own mind the same way they dread the new phone update. It’s pure laziness, because all these changes, all these updates, all the effort required to incorporate new information? It’ll lead to a better world, and a better experience - that is, if we’re willing to make the effort.