Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"the Monkeysphere"

I will attempt to summarise David Wong's Inside the Monkeysphere for the benefit of a quick understanding, but if you've got time do go read it as it will benefit the world outside your Monkeysphere...

The size of the monkey's monkey brain determined the size of the monkey groups the monkeys formed; the bigger the brain, the bigger the little societies they built. According to David Wong, we're all living in the Monkeysphere: "That's the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people".
Monkeys: 50 individuals in their society, their Monkeysphere
Human: 150 individuals in our society, our Monkeysphere
(elaborated in points 1-4 of "Inside the Monkeysphere")
Ok so our Monkeysphere can hold roughly 150 people, then what?

The Garbage Man
Oftentimes the garbage man is outside our Monkeysphere thus we do not think of him/her as a person, rather simply The Garbage Man. Is your garbage man "The Thing That Makes The Trash Go Away", or is he the person who just cut himself with that broken piece of glass you threw into the bin without first wrapping it up in newspaper, or the auntie carrying that heavy, gravy-laden, leaking black trashbag to the bin centre leaving a trail of Laksa which she has to mop up after?
"Which would upset you more: your brother dying, or a dozen kids across town getting killed because their bus collided with a truck hauling killer bees?
Which would be bigger news to your neighbors: those dozen mutilated bus children across town, or 15,000 dead in an earthquake in Iran?
They're all humans and they are all equally dead. But the closer to our Monkeysphere they are, the more it means to us."
(elaborated in points 5-7 of "Inside the Monkeysphere")

The rest of the story
I'm not writing anymore, you can read the rest (points 8-12) in "Inside the Monkeysphere" by David Wong, but the gist of it is here already.

The Point Being...?
(the following are my own thoughts)
Everyone else outside their Monkeysphere thinks of you the same way you think of them who are not inside your Monkeysphere, get it? If everyone thought about everybody else with care and consideration, wouldn't the world be a better place?

Ever watched the movie "Pay It Forward"? It was based on a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde about the Pay It Forward Idea: Do good to three, and tell them to Pay It Forward to another three, and so on... 3 --> 9 --> 27 --> 81 --> 243 --> 729 --> 2187 --> etc.

The ideas are the same, just implemented differently: Would you think about people outside your Monkeysphere and Pay It Forward in your own way?

I should mention that I enjoy trying to make the world a better place, even if people ridicule me for the apparently lame effort...


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...since 14 April 2005