While catching up on the speculation and angst about the theft of seven dolls from the NY Dolpa over the weekend (no links because they're all from the reg-required doll boards - if you visit Den of Angels you can't miss the news), i came across something unrelated, except in as much as it's related to everything about our species.
In a generally brilliant post on Den of Demons, LizzEGirlE, after comparing Mr. Shigeta's reality distortion field to that of Steve Jobs, said Pat Henry (editor in chief of FDQ and co-host of the Dolpa) was in her monkeysphere.
So i followed the link to this terrific piece, and thought, "oh, you mean Dunbar's number", which IS a pretty good explanation for just about any human behavior you might otherwise be unable to suss, even if the actual 'sphere' capacity humans have is still being debated . Who are we connected to, not so much in daily experience, but in our own minds? Why can't understandably saddened doll hobbyists see that there are no comparisons to be drawn between the pilferage of several thousand dollars worth of resin and the Tokyo stabbings? And why does a southern collector believe this wouldn't have happened in a 'safe' city like Atlanta? Why do so many Hillary Clinton supporters think Barack Obama is running for president solely to prevent a woman from doing so? Why does every big disaster story lead with the local angle, no matter how insignificant to the event?
What i most enjoyed about David Wong's piece was his what-do-we-do-about-it wrap-up. The skinny is, we can't fix how we're made, but we can train ourselves to be suspicious of simple answers, and compassionate toward what we perceive as hypocrisy in others. When he mocks human society for malfunctioning because its interdependence and reach exceeds the 150 (or 250) limit, i wonder, do we actually have just one circle, with Dunbar's small, medium and large spheres of relationship stability? Following Wong's hilarious examples, it reminds me that the edges of our circles of interest blend with those of many others... i suspect we humans shift between overlapping spheres of relationship, based on various equally important layers of allegiance and membership, all jostling for primacy. i'm suspicious of all theories-of-everything, but enjoy any practical tools for navigating a world with increasingly clashing worldviews.