All of our lives, schools, movies and magazines bombard us with a specific set of counterintuitive ideas which everybody is to understand are correct and “enlightened”. So pervasive are they that even most conservatives and libertarians have absorbed some of them. It has taken me years of reading old books and scientific articles to untrain myself and understand that the default settings with which we humans come pre-installed were in fact correct.
First impressions really do matter. Intuitions about people are right an awful lot of the time. Women really do prefer jerks. Repressed people really are psychologically healthier. Different races really don’t get along very well. Beautiful people really are better at a lot of stuff. (Scroll down to the fifth paragraph.) Men really are more aggressive and better at math. Nepotism is natural. Genetic parents really are usually the best bet for children. People really are means sons of bitches, and very few people ever think for themselves. Class really does matter. How other people treat you and feel towards you really does affect your own emotions, whether you “let” them bother you or not. Jealousy is not a social construct. Boys and girls really are born different. A lot of our personalities really are just inborn. Letting everybody vote is a really bad idea. Teachers – people who choose to spend most of their time around people who are compelled to endure their company and have no means of defense against them – really aren’t very bright and really do have major mental problems. Religious people really are happier and generally better functioning and give more to charity. Sleeper was right: they’ve been lying to us about nutrition for years. Idiocracy really is happening. Despite the temporary rebound, we are on the brink of a massive Depression. We are well on the path to dictatorship.
I could give several more references to prove each of these points, but for efficiency, I tried to just choose one for each which contained hard, well-supported data. But as I searched for each point, I came across legions of articles and blog posts firmly asserting the opposite, usually with little or no supporting evidence, sometimes trying to interpret the same data I am resting on in such a way as to explain it away. Take as an example this rather desperate effort to corkscrew and serpentine away male aggression.
I find it intensely discouraging that vital decisions are being made by people who have been immersed in this degree of misinformation.