Sometimes things are connected in ways we've never before imagined. This space is for exploring those emergent patterns.
Photo credit: Mike Russell. Used under Creative Commons license.
I love fractals. Replicating patterns. They show up in all kinds of different places and in different ways, and I spend a fair amount of my free time contemplating those patterns. What they mean. Why they've formed. One could call me a pattern detective, considering how much joy I have in discovering new ones.
Double negatives have permeated our culture, and quite possibly many other cultures too. But why? Have we always spoken this way?
Two things come to mind in response to these questions.
First, there is a bias towards negativity in our (American) culture. There are more negative than positive words in our language, and there is a tendency to consider people who speak negatively as being smarter than those who don't, according to the Psychology Today article "Are We Hardwired to Be Positive or Negative?"
Or at least we used to. And that leads me to the other thing that comes to mind, which is also where the fractal comes into the picture.
I believe that our perception about the world has become increasingly skewed towards the negative, with the onset of the 24-hour news cycle and a much greater emphasis on reporting negative stories like terrorist attacks and gun violence than positive ones. This BBC article explains how it turns out that people are drawn to negative news, in part, because it comes as a surprise that the world isn't as rosy as they may have thought.
Well, that may have been true back in 2014 when the article was written, and even earlier when the research discussed in the article occurred; however, I think that because news has and continues to use shock and awe tactics which typically include something sensationally negative (also discussed in the BBC article), that our manner of speaking has begun to reflect that by the increasing usage of negative, as well as double negative language.
One of my favorite metaphors, the pendulum, provides a great example of this, where at some point things swing as far as they can go in one direction, eventually reaching a point where things start to move back towards the middle - towards an equilibrium - and I believe that point is taking place right now.
Some signs indicating this shift include growing interest in mindfulness and meditation. The entrance into popular culture ideas around simplicity, presence, and Eastern philosophies. Sure, they've been lingering around the edges for decades, but they are now, I believe, integrating with the general public in ways we haven't seen in modern times.
That's all I have to say about this for now, since, as this section suggests, it is an idea in formation. But it's something that has been lingering in my head for a while so I feel I can't not share 😜.
I respect your right to privacy. That's why what you share with me, stays with me.
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