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I'm Not Actually a Cynic
I'm a rationalist. I believe in overcoming biases and trying to find the truth (or at least be a bit less wrong about it). I'm analytical by nature, and I tend to analyze things to oblivion - to the point, I'm told, of "taking the fun out of it." Which is a stupid idea, but I'll come back to that. I'm an atheist because I have found no compelling evidence of a deity, and a humanist because I see no need for one. I also tend somewhat strongly towards sarcasm, mostly because it amuses me, and consider most of the human race to be imbeciles.

So I suppose I can see why I might come off as cynical, or as pessimistic. Which is entirely wrong - pessimists have a negative bias, and I do try to overcome both positive and negative bias. The world isn't crap, but it also isn't roses. The world just is.

Anyway, being thought cynical isn't usually the problem, since I'm happy enough by nature to not give that impression. (Except when I laugh at the sappiest scenes of movies, but come on - they're ridiculous!)

The problem is that when I do stop and analyze something, people assume I don't like it. I try to couch criticism in constructive terms, and to praise what's worthwhile, but there is a horribly pervasive assumption that any argument criticizing an idea is a weapon against you (the very metaphor of arguments treats them as battles that can be "won").

It probably doesn't help that I tend not to get excited enough to step in and say something if I don't have something of substance (i.e., analytical/negative/not just gushing) to say. Not that gushing isn't fun - I have to let my inner fangirl off the leash sometimes. But there are limits.

The point is, I analyze the world around me because it's fascinating, and criticize things because I think they can be better - and that they're worth the effort to make them so. There's little point in criticizing something irredeemably bad - it may be fun, but there's nothing in there to save. I tear things apart to get at the parts I value, and because to me, that's half the fun. It's not "taking the fun out" - I enjoy my analysis, and no one actually has to listen to me.

Come to think of it, this is probably why I love Doctor Who so much - none of it makes sense, so I get to see people argue and theorize and try to make it sensical, then join in the battle with my own pet theories.


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