A biologist explains the reason for the outbreak of “troublesome uncles. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A biologist explains the reason for the outbreak of “troublesome uncles.

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Uncle Mounting,” “Uncle Preaching,” and “Uncle Bumping.” ……

Customer harassment has become a social problem in recent years. In the reported cases, many of the harassers are “uncles. According to a survey conducted by the labor union UA Zensen in FY2012 (Customer Harassment Prevention Survey), 70% of the perpetrators of customer harassment were male, and 90% of them were estimated to be in their 40s or older. Incidentally, the largest proportion of all generations was in their 60s (29.4%).

Uncle’s annoying behavior is not limited to harassment. There are “mounting uncles” who want to mount up in both public and private life, “preaching uncles” who can’t stop lecturing once they start, “bumping uncles” who bump into people as if to say they are in the way, etc. The Internet is full of lamentations about troublesome uncles who pretend to be righteous without regard to the inconvenience of others. Why do these troublesome uncles continue to exist?

Why is it that there is no end to the number of these troublesome uncles?

In his book “The Disaster of Idiots,” biologist Dr. Kiyohiko Ikeda points out that people who engage in such nuisances as harassment and distracted driving are “idiots who are obsessed with the idea that they are absolutely right.

He also pointed out that human beings have a special ability, not found in other creatures, to “regard different things as the same thing,” and that this ability has become so twisted that they are unable to understand “the existence of identity that differs from themselves. He warns that the world is full of “idiots” of various levels who bring about a wide variety of disasters.

Why is there no end to the number of troublesome uncles…

For example, the other day he saw a “preaching uncle” like this.

For example, the other day, he saw this “lecturing uncle” who was loudly scolding a female student who was talking on her cell phone in the car. He said in a big voice, ‘Don’t you know the rule that you are not allowed to talk on a cell phone? It’s true that I shouldn’t, but it’s a small voice and the car is empty, so it’s not annoying or anything. The voice of the man who was scolding me was much louder (laughs).

I have even made a phone call to inform my family of a train delay, and to put it another way, I would put my life before the rules in a situation where I needed to protect myself. However, people like this man, who are so concerned with compliance, don’t think for themselves and don’t even try to see the situation. There are many such people. (Dr. Kiyohiko Ikeda, hereafter, same as above)

The same is true of the masked police who have been caught up in the COVID-19 crisis. Once it is well known that wearing a mask is a good way to prevent infection, even if the preventive effect is uncertain, people will mount up just to see someone who is not wearing a mask.

He considers that the reason why there are so many people with this kind of compliance supremacy is because of the problems in the Japanese education system.

In Japanese schools, teachers teach students to follow the rules, to get along with others, and to be equal. This is like saying that everyone is always equal and should always think the same way, and this kind of teaching leads to the mass production of “idiots who think that they are absolutely right and that everyone else must think the same way. The most sinful thing is to “follow the rules.

The most sinful teaching is “follow the rules. If we continue to receive such uniform education, we will be imprinted with the idea that we should just follow what our superiors tell us to do. I think this kind of education is exactly the kind of education that denies people the ability to think for themselves.

Smart people are those who can balance their own opinions with those of others.

However, there are, of course, “smart people.

In Dr. Ikeda’s opinion, a wise person is the opposite of an idiot who is obsessed with the idea that he or she is absolutely right, but someone who understands that his or her own opinions differ from those of others.

When he listens to others, he listens to what they have to say, and when he requests something from them, he is able to convey his thoughts in a very polite and well-organized manner. He is not a person who says, ‘My opinion is right,’ but a person who takes in other people’s opinions and reconciles them with his or her own. I think such people are wise and highly valued at work. It is only natural, because no business deal can be successful if you only tell people what you want to say in a one-sided manner during a business meeting.

On social networking sites, for example, a comment made by someone can be offended by someone else, and the comment can become unstoppable, always flaring up somewhere.

If people understood that there are various opinions, they would be able to argue calmly with each other, whether they are refuting or being refuted.

In “The Disaster of Idiots,” Dr. Ikeda mentions that “idiots have such intolerance that they do not even tolerate the existence of people with different opinions and positions. There must be people in the younger generation who can relate to this.

He believes that the Internet society, which allows people to express their opinions anonymously as much as they want, is also increasing the number of “idiots.

Nowadays, people can freely express their opinions through social networking services, so they don’t need to communicate, and they have no intention of doing so. As a result, the ability to communicate one-sidedly has become stronger.

In the past, the only way to communicate one’s opinions widely was to post them in the newspaper columns, but now people can post anything anonymously on the Internet. Now, however, you can post anything anonymously on the Internet.

Also, in the past, face-to-face conversations were the norm, and if someone argued against you, you had to find more words to persuade them and hone your communication skills.

What I fear most about the increase in the number of “idiots” is that “a strange kind of peer pressure will arise, and many people will fall in line with it.

Japanese people have a strong tendency to follow what everyone else is doing, rather than saying or doing something based on strong convictions. The wartime period is a good example. The whole nation was supposed to be shouting ‘God bless America and Britain’ and ‘Long live the Emperor,’ but as soon as we lost the war, it changed to ‘Long live MacArthur’ (laughs).

(Laughs.) My mother told me a story about a man on the train during the war who was shouting “Salute! and everyone obeyed. But in fact, what he was seeking was not the people’s respect for the emperor, but to make them follow his orders. He just wanted to be a big shot, cursing those who did not salute him as unpatriotic. He lamented that there were troublesome people like that.

People who want to mount up are the same as this, they just want to look like they are great, rather than their beliefs. But as I said earlier, many people do not think for themselves, so there is a fear that if a strong wind blows, everyone will turn in the same direction. I have a feeling that this kind of Japanese disposition will not change over the decades.

If Japan’s education and the Internet society are the cause of “idiots,” why are the plagues of “idiots” so conspicuous among the generation of “uncles”?

In the second part, we will ask why and how the younger generation can prevent themselves from becoming troublesome uncles.

Click here for Part 2: “The ‘true self’ you think you are is just a delusion…” A biologist explains how to live without becoming a “troubles ome uncle.

Kiyohiko Ikeda was born in Tokyo in 1947. Biologist. After graduating from Tokyo University of Education with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a doctorate in zoology from the Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School of Science, he became a professor at the University of Yamanashi Faculty of Education and Human Sciences and Waseda University Faculty of International Education, and is a professor emeritus at the University of Yamanashi, Waseda University, and director emeritus of TAKAO 599 MUSEUM. He is the author of many books including “Lies of Environmental Problems” (Chikuma Shobo), “The Truth About the Environment” (KADOKAWA), “The Disaster of Idiots” (Takarajimasya Shinsho), “From 40 Years Old, Live Free: Examining Life in Biological terms” (Kodansha Gendai Shinsho) and “The Amazing ‘Real Evolution Theory'” (Fusosha Shinsho). He is also the author of a newsletter, “Kiyohiko Ikeda’s Skinny Diary,” and “Kiyohiko Ikeda’s Morura Manzou” on Voicy and YouTube.

  • Interview and text by Keiko Tsuji Keiko Tsuji

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