Defined Words: trend, normal

I’ll start this section with a simple puzzle. The goal is to fill in the blank:

ABC-123-ABC-123-AB_-123

In this example, you can see the ABC repeating after 123. With that information, you can anticipate a C to fill in the blank.

Here’s a harder one:

ABC-123-GFI-769-EFA-_61

This one is a little more complex. There is no repetition like the first example, but there is a similarity. You might recognize that the numbers correspond with the alphabetical order of the letters, so you can correctly guess a 5 will fill in the blank, corresponding with E. Once you synapse the causality of the pattern, you can anticipate unknown.

These examples of pattern recognition, while simple, illustrate the entire idea of trends. A trend is simply a repeated connection of two ideas. You have the ability to detect and record stimulus as information and synapse that information together. You also have the ability to synapse causality to the information if one can be determined.

The determination of causality is also called science. You are a scientist and a detective at heart: you always want to know why! You see information and know that there is something that connects it all. Your completion drives to you discover what lies underneath.

Determining trends also helps with the habituation process. If a trend exists that you can anticipate, you will eventually become habituated to it if it poses no threat. For example, let’s say you’re on a safari tour to see some wildlife. Your car drives very close the animals and they don’t seem to be scared of you at all, despite the potential danger that comes from a vehicle filled with humans.

This probably isn’t always how the animals behaved; they were probably terrified of the vehicles driving around initially. However, safari tours are nonviolent and, with enough benign tours, the animals synapsed the trend that the cars are not dangerous. Because of their lack of danger, the cars now tend to fade into the background of the animals’ lives. There is no need to focus on it since it doesn’t pose a threat.

Now let’s say that you are looking at a pit full of red balls with one blue one. The first thing you’ll notice is the blue one. Upon first glance, you synapse the idea of red to the ball. That synapse is solidified with the other red balls and the trend of red balls starts to form. Then you notice the blue one and the trend is broken. All of that happens within a fraction of a second!

When a trend is disrupted, it calls attention to the consciousness. Let’s look at this in our earlier habituation example. If the animals are habituated to safari cars, and a tank rolls through the safari trail instead of the car, the animals are going to take notice. The new vehicle is not known as safe by the animals and the new unknown vehicle will stimulate fear and a fight or flight response.

Let’s look at trend formation within our early social interactions, namely school. The social goal in school is one of two things: stand out or fit in with everyone else. Your personal goal will depend on how you were exposed to attention from others earlier in life.

When a new kid comes to the school, everyone takes notice: a disruption of a trend since new kids don’t come most days. If that kid uses a wheelchair, there’s another disruption of the trend since most of the kids at school probably do not use a wheelchair. If that kid has red hair, there is yet another disruption of trends as red hair is rarer than the common brown or blonde.

Children have the tendency to point out, and sometimes make jokes about, differences between each other. It is an automated process to detect disruptions of trends! As children grow and develop, they begin to expand their perspective to see the differences in what they do versus what they expect their peers to do. You notice the ways that you disrupt the trend of what is normal, making you a bit more self-conscious.

Kids, listen up. You are different. You are unlike anyone else, and that is great! Everyone is different and part of growing up is noticing those differences. You can go the usual route and hide your differences to blend in with everyone else; but if everyone is hiding their true selves, we will live in a very boring world. If you want to be cool, just be yourself.