We all hate change. I think it’s safe to say that unwanted change in our lives is one of the primary sources of stress for pretty much all of us. Even for those people who appear to thrive on change and chaos, underlying their lives are secret routines they have that we can’t see. If our routines and habits are disrupted by someone or something, this makes us angry, confused and stressed out.
The most obvious reason why we don’t like change is that human beings prefer what’s familiar. That’s a constant throughout human history; we humans have always preferred the familiar to what’s not. We could have a long conversation about why that is, but I want to focus on a second reason why human beings fear change and, more specifically, dislike reform, e.g. socio-political changes. This reason compliments and reinforces our innate fear of the new and different. This reason is The Just World Fallacy.
Why do so many Americans deny global warming/climate change? Is it because they’re idiots who don’t understand science? Is it because they believe in faith over reason? Or is there something else going on, a little more nuanced?
It has long been a cliche of our internet age that the comments section of an article will feature the worst of what humanity has to offer – every kind of discrimination and slander you can imagine, all supposedly enabled by the anonymity of the internet. But the same kinds of behaviour can be found on twitter where many people use their real names or aliases that can be readily linked to them. This bad behaviour, whether it’s trolling or something else, targets various “minorities” more often than not, but often seems to focus on a “minority” that’s actually a majority: the female half of the species. Why is it that women are a persecuted “minority” on the internet?