(My 2016 Presidential Election Forecast Map based on polling data adjusted for guestimated polling source bias.)
by Randall Nozick
Part 2 – What a Weirdo
(If you missed it, see Part 1 – I Dare You to Try to Understand.)
To frame this story, I have to provide a little information about myself. I do so hesitantly because I am a very private person. My desire for privacy comes from living a life outside social norms and the blow-back I’ve experienced when others feel the need to force me to conform (or ostracize me) to protect their belief that their way is “the only way that works”. My relatively happy, peaceful existence seems to upset the mechanism by which they enforce their personal code upon themselves. They appear to follow their code simply because “there is no other way”, but my life provides empirical evidence there is another way. It seems reevaluating their code, or finding a new motivation to follow it, is just too much work or too scary. In summary, I have been a target of discrimination as long as I can remember. My only tool to fight it is concealment.
My deviation from the norm comes from a series of choices which are not based on normal options. I was born with physical differences from “normal” which in the end, will mean a shorter than normal lifespan and, as it appears now, no children. I was born into a disadvantaged family who, despite the best efforts of parents and siblings alike, were unable to raise functioning adults. In both my young and adult lives, I survived a lot of trauma, some of which was from my own bad choices and some of which was thrust upon me with no defenses.
I am also unemployable in any traditional sense, despite requiring an unusually large amount of money to maintain life. Not only do I lack the physical reliability to punch a timeclock, the value I can bring an employer is not something most employers need on a regular basis. Although I’m sure I could be granted disability income, I know I can make my way financially and will not take that resource from someone without the same option. Despite the exceptionally difficult route to sustaining my own finances, I have done fairly well. Even in this, I am discriminated against because the system is tailored to the employer/employee model, a model in which I can not participate.
Through a lot of fires, I still managed to forge a life that works for me.
Over the years, the constant discrimination has had a silver lining. As an outsider, I take nothing at reputed value and very little at face value. I evaluate everything on outcomes and projected outcomes based on objective evidence. This has given me a wonderfully diverse group of friends and associates because I had no expectations of any of them when we met. It has also made me fervently reject all forms of assumption in evaluating anything. At the heart of every “ism” lies a series of assumptions and in that, they are all broken.
(Please stay tuned for the next part. It’s a long story, so I broke it down into life-sized bites.)