Saturday, October 30, 2010

My little social experiments.

I will do odd things sometimes, just to see people’s reactions. One of those, if I move my knight to your bishop, what will happen then, type of things. Is it the same if I take your bishop with my pawn? Probably not. (Sorry with the chess analogies again. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good game. Must be jonesing)

I like seeing what cause and effect is. I like measuring and analyzing different human reactions.And I don’t often give a flip about what people think of me for it. Not anymore. But we’ll save a bit of the “It’s liberating to not care what others think of you” for another time.

One of my favorite experiments was on what I dubbed, “The toothpaste theory.” …This one was a little mean. And I’m not going to divulge any details now. I’m still collating data, and the experiment, due to unexpected developments in the “controlled” environment scenario, it may forever be technically inconclusive. But I think I have enough to write the few chapters in the novel I needed that information for. The experiment is basically, once a person is dubbed the “bad guy,” “scapegoat,” or “outcast” of any social grouping, is there really anyway to TRULY repair the damage. Can that person truly be given a second chance if it were ever proven that they were wrongfully accused of whatever crime they committed in the social structure? Would that second chance be as genuine as if that same person under a new identity were reintroduced to the same social structure.

In my book, there is a character that is blamed for a great deal of horrible events occurring. She is slandered and labeled as a selfish fiend for years, and allows everyone to blame her as her way of protecting someone she loves. When reintroduced to her former friends, now semi enemies, there is a great tension. They agree to let it all be water under the bridge, but keep careful watch over her, expecting her to repeat past behaviors that was falsely accused of. Despite their attempts to give her another chance, she has been branded the villain too long.

My experiment had to do with the philosophical implications that coincided with the end of the novel, where the truth comes out. When her friends find out that she has not been responsible for all they had believed her to be will they be able to alter their own behaviors in regards to her.It also has significance to foreshadowing on how the society this group of characters is set in has made use of scapegoats.

It was an interesting experiment to put into practice in real life, and the results (however inconclusive) were a little disturbing from what I could deduct. But that is all past now. My current experiment was something based on just personal curiosity.

I do things on whims sometimes. Sometimes it’s something big, like quitting my job or enrolling in school. Or hopping on a plane. Sometimes it’s bumping into an old friend that insists I audition for a play with them that night, when I hadn’t done theatre in years. Or joining martial arts just for a change of pace. Sometimes it’s something like cutting or dying my hair.

Once every two years or so, I will cut my hair off. It grows fast. So it is usually down to my lower back by time I cut it again. It is a drastic change. And has been the tradition since junior high.Well, this last change was a bit more drastic. I cut my hair twice. The first time as I normally cut it. The second time…

You can see the difference. The goal was not to see how many people would not recognize me, in my various social settings as well as complete strangers reactions.

Here are the results. The First day concluded with 15 people admitting that they did not recognize me until speaking with me. The second day 13 people, which was a combination of people at work as well as well known friends. The third day, 3 stragglers that hadn’t seen me yet, or REALLY hadn’t been paying attention. This resulted in a grand total of 31 people.

As for complete strangers… I find that people seem to act more pleasantly towards me with the short blonde hair for some reason. Coincidence? I don’t know just yet.

I’ve also been having a lot of people suggest I keep it like this. I was planning on keeping it short for a while. But blonde? Maybe I’ll keep it blonde a couple weeks longer than I had intended. I may even put a couple of fancy colors in just for good measure. ….but I will be going brunette again in some nearing context.

The blonde was really meant to just be an experiment as well as part of my Halloween Costume as “Tinker-Hell.” Which Ironically was the ONE apparel choice that did NOT conceal my identity.

All in all. It was and is fun for now.

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