Just Briefly: Domestic Blindness.

Posted: 12/04/2010 in General, Humour, Quick Thoughts

I get into trouble all the time for not being able to find things. Constantly. And I always have. I swear it’s not my fault. “You had a ‘Boy-Look’, didn’t you? LOOK! There it is right there!! Dufus!!”
This is common littany, spoken of furtively in gentle sobs wherever men gather to share their tribulations.

Thing is, it’s not laziness, stupidity, or the vague general inadequacy that women love to tell each other, and us, we’re the very personification of. It’s the inbuilt search technique.

See¹, looking for something is Hard Work. Moreso if you only a vague idea where to start looking, and there’s seldom anything so frustrating. So we seek to make it easier on ourselves by selectively scanning based upon the characteristics we expect the object in question to have. If we think it’s blue, we look for “blue”, to the exclusion of all else. If we’re looking for what we think is a blue stapler, and it happens to be red, we haven’t got a snowflakes’ of finding it. Like, ever. Even if it’s right in front of us.
If it’s square and we thinks it’s supposed to be another shape, no cigar. Unless it’s actually cigar-shaped, in which case we stave off cries of “Useless!!” for one more day.

This trait is so common among men that it has to be an evolved functional characteristic. All morphology is functional – this is axiomatic. The trait therefore must have its place, and that place is not looking for stuff right in front of us around the house. I’d guess that scanning for particular physical characteristics is useful in long-range scanning in a range of lighting conditions, when the full detail of the object being sought is not available.

So the next time a woman in your life decides to lambaste you for being blind, stupid, lazy, or some soul-dampening combination thereof, rest easy and, yes, quietly smug, in the knowledge that you’re filling your evolutionary niche admirably, and that if she wanted the bloody stapler she should bought a blue one.

1 No pun intended.

  1. Duncan says:

    No, no, no, you’ve got this wrong. When certain blue things, or stapler-shaped objects, can’t be found, it’s simply that the Time Sprites have been active. They sneak around, sprinkling Temporal Woofle Dust over things, which then disappear for a short while. When you leave the room to search elsewhere – fruitlessly, or course – then return to search again, the object will be clearly visible, where it wasn’t, just minutes ago. Don’t fret about this, it’s not personal.

  2. Rob says:

    Or you could just use a paperclip?

  3. Yo! Mr slackmocracy! you gonna update this thing? or is three blog entries all the creative juice you got?

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