How do people in different countries remember which direction to change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time?

Answered Nov 17, 2019

The idea is, “Spring forward, Fall back”. On whatever Sunday night is designated. This applies to both northern and southern hemispheres.

Personally, my only clocks are on the computer and the phone. So I set them to update the time automatically.

(Non-UK) In Northern England we tend to say “thank you” to the driver when we get off a bus, however Southerners seem to think this strange. What is the bus exiting etiquette in your country?

In New Zealand, we generally thank the driver.

When I leave from the back door, I lightly call, “Thank you.”

Leaving from the front door, I lightly say, “Cheers.”

I live in a small city, so the drivers and I sometimes recognise each other, and they may even know where I am going.

I do this thanks/cheers for both local buses, and for intercity buses.

This habit might be waived if there is a big crowd getting on or off.

This is normal in Palmy and Welly, and probably the rest of New Zealand.

What’s something you can’t believe you had to explain to another adult?

Updated Fri, Dec 27, 2019

So many things I have found myself explaining to (alleged) adults…

  • It is possible for an adult to live someplace that is a long distance from the town where they were born, or from anywhere they lived as a child. Actually living in that place, not merely a brief, temporary vacation.
  • Extended from the previous item, it is possible for an adult to pack up and move to a new town, city, state/province, or even country. To actually live, not a vacation.
  • The US military has a pervasive practice of requiring servicemembers (and, by extension, their children) to pack up and move to new places, long distances, repeatedly. It is normal within the context.
  • There are other job fields involving high rates of geographic mobility. Which results in children becoming accustomed to the concept of relocation.
  • When an adult relocates to another country, she will generally continue speaking with an accent from her original country. It doesn’t instantly change, and she isn’t obligated to change it. She gets tired of hearing, “You have an accent” over and over. Also, claiming that, native-born New Zealanders don’t speak with any accent is totally ignorant.
  • Some people’s parents don’t live together. Or anywhere near each other.
  • If you are eighteen, and your mother is moving to rural NothingTown, with very poor job prospects, it is reasonable and legitimate to move a long distance to your father, who lives in a city with much better job prospects. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is the mature, responsible thing for some people to do.
  • There are eighteen-year-olds who are mature and responsible enough to be living completely independently of their parents, voluntarily. Working, paying the rent, etc. And, being eighteen, they are legally adults, and within their rights to act like it. Some people have to start supporting themselves younger than that.
  • It is possible for an adult to live a long distance from her mother, and to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • Extended from previous item, it is possible for an adult to permanently refuse any contact of any kind with her mother. And to be quite satisfied with that situation.
  • There are mothers who don’t love their children. There are mothers who physically beat their children in a manner that constitutes a crime. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • It is possible to travel to an unfamiliar area, whether across town, or to a new city. And to navigate one’s self, without another person giving directions. This involves the use of a thing called a map, which some people actually possess the basic skill to use.
  • Rubbish and recycling pickup may be scheduled for very early in the morning (so the truck is no longer blocking the street by the time people are driving to work). A neighbour knew this, since she stated that, she had attempted to put her rubbish out on the way to work, but the truck had already been past. It happened at least twice. She saw me placing my rubbish out on the evening before pickup day, and said, “That’s a really good idea”. She hadn’t bothered to read the printing on the official council bags that said you could put them out starting 5PM the evening before. She was in her 40s, and my guess had been dependent on her now-former husband for this simple task and knowledge.
  • When at a retail store, you may need to wait your turn in line to checkout. Barging up to the counter, demanding that the cashier stop in the middle of a transaction with the person ahead of you, and let you proceed first, is unrealistic.
  • There are jobs that pay more than minimum wage. Often in exchange for more than minimum effort, skills, and attitude.
  • There are jobs that pay for more than 8 hours x 5 days/week of work. This is perfectly legal (with some safety limitations, e.g. transportation), and there are employees who are actually willing to do this. The fact that you aren’t willing to do so is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs (e.g. courier services) that involve physically going to different locations throughout the day. Including on-demand orders, without any fixed route or pre-set itinerary. The worker may even go to locations that she has never been to previously (see item regarding maps). The fact that you cannot psychologically handle such a job is irrelevant.
  • There are jobs that pay on productivity (commission, piecework, etc), without any hourly wage. And, with some of these jobs, it is possible to earn enough money to support one’s self. The fact that you don’t feel willing or able to do so is irrelevant.
  • Even on an hourly wage, it is reasonable that an employer will expect you get a commensurate dollar-value worth of work done. There isn’t any rule requiring them to pay you to just show up and sit around all day long.
  • There are jobs that involve working at night, so the person must sleep during the day. Calling them on the phone in the daytime, and being informed that you woke them from sleep, does not somehow indicate that they are lazy.
  • Generally, a telephone is not a leash for you to randomly jerk. If you call an acquaintance, or your “booty-call” person, without prior agreement, you might receive the voicemail, for a variety of reasons. Acting offended or victimsed is inappropriate.
  • Depending on income and expenses, it is possible to put a portion of one’s income into a savings account, and leave it there. Then gradually build up savings over time. Without just compulsively spending every dollar between paycheques.
  • When someone requires her car to get to work, or during the workday, she should prioritise finances to keep it running. Saving aside money for the next possible repair does not mean she “wants” the car to break down. It also does not mean she chooses to be constantly miserable.
  • Buying lottery tickets is a very poor strategy for attempting to improve one’s finances, or to pursue financial goals. Claiming that it is the only viable strategy, and denigrating someone who doesn’t buy lottery tickets is inappropriate.
  • Some people live in bad neighbourhoods because they are working poor with a low income. Not because they are somehow bad people who enjoy the atmosphere. Not everyone can afford to live in a nice, middle-class neighbourhood.
  • There are adults who can not simply call the Bank Of Mommy And Daddy for a withdrawal anytime they are short on cash. And this does not automatically make them bad people.
  • There are people who don’t use any recreational/addictive drugs, and don’t drink alcohol to excess.
  • When you openly throw large numbers of cigarette butts around the outside of a small apartment building, your neighbours have the right to react negatively. This includes when your butts keep landing in your neighbour’s vegetable garden. When you flick still-burning butts onto the grass, you are creating a fire hazard. Don’t lie and claim that they aren’t your butts, when you do it openly, are the only person in the building who smokes, and there is a trail from your parking space to your door.
  • Some people have views on religion that are different to yours. For example, some don’t believe in any god or afterlife. And that doesn’t automatically make them evil or dangerous.
  • People have the right to refuse to have sex with you. In a specific manner, on a specific occasion, or at all. They have the right to assert boundaries (sexual or otherwise) within a sexual relationship, including the right to unilaterally terminate the relationship. I once explained this to a middle-aged woman, who still refused to understand.
  • Within a relationship, a person has the right to respond negatively when you attempt sexual coercion or assault. Including dumping you to prevent a repeat.
  • Ordering your sex partner (“booty-call”) to barge into her doctor’s office, and coerce a prescription for magical breast-enlargement pills is inappropriate. She isn’t somehow victimsing you by refusing to comply with this demand.
  • There are some females who sexually abuse and assault (sexually and/or non-sexually) their female partners. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate, and make you into a moral accomplice to the abuse.
  • There are people who socialise and try to meet new people for platonic friendships, and not necessarily for sexual relationships.
  • People have the right to refuse to be friends with someone they don’t like.
  • If you want to establish or maintain a friendship or relationship, it is reasonable that you will be required to contribute positively to the other person’s life. And required to not use or abuse them. See previous items.
  • When meeting a new person socially, immediately saying, “I can only talk to you if you promise that, anytime I tell you to do something, you will do it”, is a very poor strategy for making new friends.
  • Empathy, kindness, openness, and generosity are not a deliberate invitation to use and abuse the person. Those things are also limited, and may be exhausted or withdrawn.
  • It is reasonable to pay one’s credit card and other bills, in order to maintain a positive credit history, which is a valuable thing to have.
  • In a classroom full of adult students, it is reasonable to expect them to behave in a civilised, respectful manner. Such a not continuously carrying on irrelevant conversations at the top of their lungs. A more civilised student has the right to respond negatively to out-of-control classmates who degrade the education for which she is paying in money/time/stress.
  • There are people who don’t attend any formal schooling as children, and who still learn the same amounts and types of skills and information. Such as partly being taught (e.g. a parent teaching the child to read), and also by independently reading and studying.
  • Don’t physically touch an acquaintance, classmate, coworker, etc, without their consent. They have the right to respond negatively if you do this.
  • There are women who have never done sexual activity in exchange for money.
  • There are women who never have any children, and are quite satisfied with being childfree. And this is not a deliberate affront against you. There is zero obligation to have unplanned children just because somebody else did.
  • There are women who remain single (not married or partnered), without just desperately marrying/partnering with any random available person.
  • It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect people to just hand you resources, merely because you believe that they possess those resources.
  • The fact that a person has a job does not automatically mean that they can afford to, or are obligated to, hand you any amount of cash you feel entitled to.
  • The fact that another person possesses a car does not automatically make them your personal, on-demand, free limousine.
  • When you are a passenger in a moving car, it is highly inappropriate to suddenly waive your hand in the driver’s face, so that she has to quickly jerk her head back to avoid being hit. When I was a teenager, I had to explain this to my middle-aged mother.
  • When you are living on someone else’s couch, openly abusing and threatening them is conducive to being thrown out on the street. If you don’t like the conditions, rules, or host, your recourse is to go out and find a living situation that you feel is more satisfactory.
  • When you threaten to commit a violent crime against someone, it is reasonable to expect that they will take steps to avoid that. Which may include contacting the police.
  • Physically beating someone is still a crime, even if you don’t put them in the hospital.
  • There exist people who actually will start an unprovoked confrontation with a stranger on the street, which may escalate to an unprovoked physical assault. Denial and victim-blaming are completely inappropriate.
  • If you want to reduce your future chances of arrest and incarceration, you should consider reducing the amount of idiotic crimes that you commit.
  • Your manner of dress and hairstyle will affect your chances of being hired for a job. Deliberately wearing dirty clothes, refusing to bathe daily (despite access to facilities), and stinking up the area will affect many people’s willingness to interact with you in any way.
  • If you walk into a store and attempt to steal something, the employees and owner have a reasonable position to prevent you from doing so, or to otherwise respond negatively.
  • Your drug problem is just that – yours. Other people don’t just exist to enable you.
  • If you approach a taxicab driver, wanting a free ride, it is reasonable that s/he will refuse. If you take a cab ride and then evade payment, it is reasonable for the driver to respond negatively. If s/he suspects that you are likely to do this, there are regulations stating that s/he may require an estimated payment before the trip starts.
  • There are passengers who take taxicab rides to score drugs. And, no, driving them to the police station isn’t a smart idea. And some other passengers will rob and/or assault the driver, who has the right to be paranoid.
  • It is possible and allowable for a middle-aged person to go to university.
  • It is possible for a person to learn new skills and procedures, for a new job.
  • It is viable to live in an apartment that consists of a single room plus bathroom. It is possible to sleep and to prepare food in the same room. And no, this is not somehow equivalent to living in a cardboard box on the street.
  • Stealth camping on public land, for an extended period, is a viable option for some people.
  • It is possible to resign from a job for legitimate reasons, and is not automatically lazy or irresponsible. For example, moving to another city, enrolling at university, or just getting a better job.
  • If your employer is having lowered profits, and shrinking (e.g. a retail chain that shuts down some store locations), it is perfectly legal for them to make you redundant/laid-off, and no longer employed there. You can lose your job without personally doing anything wrong, and you have zero recourse.
  • The fact that someone else feels stuck in a job they hate, or a location they don’t like, or other miserable life situation, does not obligate everyone else to set their lives up that way.
  • Openly insulting someone you just met is not a good way to make friends and receive admiration.
  • Demanding financial information, medical information, or similar private information from someone you just met socially is inappropriate.
  • A person’s money is theirs, to use in the manner that they choose, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • A person’s time, physical body (including medical care), sexuality, physical appearance, and tastes/preferences belong entirely to them, without being dictated to by some random acquaintance, such as you.
  • People have the right to walk down a public street, minding their own business. The fact that you don’t like their physical appearance is irrelevant.
  • It is viable to live without owning a television set. Including long before the World Wide Web or video streaming were invented. Even with a computer, it is viable to simply not watch mass-market television shows. There are actually other activities that can be done in one’s leisure time.
  • There are adults who voluntarily read books, nonfiction, adult-level. Some people actually enjoy reading.
  • When you blatantly lie to someone, it is reasonable that they will never trust you on that issue, or anything else.
  • The limits of your life are yours. What you have or haven’t experienced or witnessed, what you feel capable of, etc, are not the universal limits of everyone else’s life.
  • There is only one guarantee in life – that it will eventually end. Everything else involves some level of ambiguity. And that fact is not a personal vicitimisation against you.
  • Different behaviours are conducive to different results. Things don’t just “happen”.

In some cases, multiple different items above were explained to one person. Some items were explained to multiple different people.

Even when explaining these principles, some people still didn’t comprehend. Some adamantly argued, and insisted that I was the ignorant one.

Why are there so many homeless people in San Francisco?

Updated Oct 8, 2019

It’s partly about two physical layout issues – one general, and one specific. Plus a perceptual issue.

San Francisco is very compact and crowded. Lots of very different people, crammed into a relatively small space. Many of whom take public transport, and also walk around. This includes tourists and other visitors.

Walk down Market Street during the daytime. You will see a large number of people, of all kinds. You won’t necessarily really register and remember the large number of yuppies, hipsters, tourists, etc that you pass by. But, disheveled-looking bums hanging around, aggressive beggars, visible drug use, urination, etc, will make a much stronger impression. Even if that is a relatively small per-capita percentage of the city’s population.

Compare that to a view of Los Angeles, where everything and everyone is spread out. And that view may also be through the windows of a car (including if you are a tourist or other visitor).

Next is the specific location of homeless services, such as soup kitchens, and many of the SRO buildings that San Francisco uses to warehouse the homeless and borderline-homeless. And, of course, some of the street corners where you can openly buy crack and heroin. You can also do various activities such as sleeping or defecating on the sidewalk, without being in front of the homes of any yuppies who might complain to police. This concentration is a charming neighbourhood called the Tenderloin district.

The Tenderloin is conveniently located a very short walk from Market Street. Including the Market and Powell cable car turnaround, which attracts large numbers of tourists. It’s also next to the Financial District, as well as the areas where a visitor might pass through on the way to Chinatown and to North Beach. Spare any change?

In contrast, the Los Angeles Skid Row district (with soup kitchens, shelters, etc) is located very far away from LA’s tourist attractions and other places for visitors. It is also segregated from the middle class, affluent, and struggling-hipster residential neighborhoods.

This leads to a difference of exposure.

With that said, I also agree with many of the other factors in the other answers here.

What is it like to move to a big city from a small town and what are good tips on adjusting?

Answered Jul 27, 2019

Get ready to be surprised by some mind-boggling, willfully-ignorant, small-minded attitudes.

This includes from people who have spent their entire lives in the suburbs of a major city. I know that I seem to belabour this point, but it is heavily female-biased.

Even in “the big city”, many, many women assume that, every person just lives their whole life stuck in one town. Or even just one particular suburban area.

I met people in Orange County, California, who acted like “going to LA” was a special occasion. Or that, going to any unfamiliar area inside the local area would be a disorienting, frightening experience.

There are people in big-city areas who literally don’t know how to use a street map to get to the suburbs on the other side of town. It should be a basic skill, but many actually lack it. To the point where, they are unaware that anyone has that skill.

Then, add on the psychological/social factors. Some people will actually insist that every “adult” stays in whatever town where their mother lives. With zero other factors under consideration. This is one of the female-biased points.

There is a mindset that, any kind of new environment, especially without any familiar people, would just be impossible to withstand.

Then, add on the ignorance of how different other places are. I met people in Los Angeles who couldn’t comprehend, “Smallville has very poor job prospects and mass poverty, and zero educational prospects”. Or maybe they just didn’t care, since they weren’t the one being told that they would inevitably “have to go back” to Smallville.

And, speaking of “have to go back”, you can expect to hear those words decades after you escaped Smallville, without even any visits back there. You will still be treated like you are on vacation.

There are people who simply cannot comprehend that, someone might have moved around repeatedly, long distances, as a child, and so doesn’t have a fixed “hometown”. There are people who cannot comprehend that, your Mommy’s location isn’t your personal “hometown”. Because they cannot comprehend that, anyone’s parents ever relocated.

Some women (that bias again) take the attitude that, the “right” thing to do, is to just draw a twenty-kilometre radius from your birthplace (and/or Mommy’s house), and just accept that that is your world. What is or isn’t available in that tiny world isn’t seen as relevant.

This includes “right” thing in terms of “common sense”, as if every reasonable, rational person would agree.

It also includes “right” thing in terms of morality. Which is a euphemism for dissuading you from doing anything positive with your life that someone else feels too incompetent and/or afraid to do.

What are some things that wealthy/privileged people believe about the working-class/poor that are untrue?

Updated Jun 29, 2019

Many misconceptions don’t just come from wealthy people, but also from those with middle class backgrounds. It can also come from individuals who are themselves doing low-wage jobs, or even who are unemployed, but who have middle-class parents.

  • Everybody can afford to live in a decent/nice house or apartment, in a decent/nice neighbourhood. So, people living in low-rent/high-crime neighbourhoods are choosing to be there because they are scumbags who enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Everybody can call The Bank Of Mommy And Daddy to make a withdrawal, any time they are short on cash.
  • Everybody can move back in with Mommy and Daddy, who live in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood.
  • Women with breadwinning husbands may assume that everybody has one.
  • All geographic areas have the same level of economic opportunity. This relates to the attitude that, everyone should live in one town for their entire life, and that, there couldn’t possibly be any legitimate reason to move. I have been chronically treated like I did something stupid and morally wrong because I moved to a large city as a young adult, and refused to stay stuck in the impoverished, backwards rural town where my mother chose to live.
  • Everybody has the same educational opportunities. Including being supported by parents, to enable university, rather than having to work full-time.
  • Some people get negative attitudes towards a poor person who pursues higher education as a “mature” student. As if she were obligated to just accept a low-education/low-income life. The people showing this attitude run the whole economic spectrum.
  • Severe ignorance about the difficulties of a university student with a low income and zero family support system. This can include affluent students generally screwing around (talking loudly in class, etc), and failing to respect that a poor student is sacrificing and taking education seriously (e.g. she is personally paying for it, and also that it’s her path out of poverty).
  • Everybody can demand that an employer must assign them to a job in a nice, polite, clean, air-conditioned office, sitting down all day.
  • Everybody can demand that an employer pay them enough to live comfortably.
  • Everybody can limit themselves to working 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, with a fixed 9–5 schedule and fixed hourly wage. Severe ignorance of issues like commission/piecework, unstable (including casual) shift rostering, early/late/night shifts, working overtime, etc. I have even encountered open hostility over this. In my experience, that is a specifically female reaction.
  • Intelligence and economic class are automatically correlated. Severe cognitive dissonance at encountering someone who is intelligent, articulate, well-read, etc, and who is employed at a low-paying/low-skill/low-status job.
  • Severe ignorance of the issues that poor people may have in taking care of their health. Including such things as telling someone that they are stupid if they don’t have medical insurance.
  • Severe ignorance of daily issues like using public transportation, which can take large amounts of time and hassle.
  • Severe ignorance of the levels of violence, drugs, and other crime encountered by poor people in the environments where they live and work.
  • Severe ignorance about why a working-poor person seems to stressed-out all the time. Stemming from severe ignorance of how that person may be “hanging by a thread” financially, with a real possibility of becoming homeless.
  • Severe ignorance of the general social dysfunction among poor people. Including the types of people surrounding you when you are poor. This includes severe ignorance of the way that, an employed working poor person will be targeted by parasitic/exploitative non-working poor people.
  • Speaking of exploitation, I once knew an alleged adult with coddling upper-middle-class parents who thought she was entitled to go around leeching off of working poor people. With the delusion that, anyone with any job has large quantities of money to fork over. Her father even expected me to let his out-of-control abusive brat live in my home, rent-free.
  • Severe lack of comprehension that, a working poor person may be justified in having a very cynical view of humanity in general.

Why are immigrants leaving New Zealand?

Updated Nov 24

Someone who was psychologically and practically equipped to move to a new country, may also be psychologically and practically equipped to move again. Also, some people deliberately use NZ as a “back door” to their real destination, Australia, which has greater economic and social opportunities.

However, a big reason could be the incredibly negative social attitudes towards immigrants.

I know I harp on this, but there is a big difference between men and women.

Men say stupid things, like:

“Do you ever think about going back?”

“Huh, huh, huh, I bet you wish you were back there!”

And then they get disappointed if you tell them that you actually have control over your location.

Women are much, much worse.

“You have an accent! Where are you from? Why are you here! You owe me an explanation!”


Most women in this country take one of exactly two attitudes:

  1. You had better confirm that you are being forced to live in your current location, without any choice. And that you are stuck in the same suburb for the rest of your life.
  2. You had better confirm that you will “go back where you came from”, without any choice. Not just the country, but a town where you lived as a child. Because it is very important to be as small-minded as possible, and to have zero adult control.

It really is that micromanaging. A lot of women get personally offended at the idea that someone could even just relocate to a new city, inside the same country. This also relates to many, many women’s locations being based on an emotional umbilical cord to their mothers, and/or a financial umbilical cord to their breadwinning husband. They totally resent women who assert basic adult independence.

Did I mention the, “You have an accent!” harassment with virtually every woman you meet? Some of them expect you to be impressed by their amazing perceptiveness. Some of them act like they have never met a foreign-born person before.

There are women who will start up a rapid-fire interrogation. Where they reveal nothing about themselves (not even their name). While demanding details about a foreign-born person’s legal/governmental status, work and finances (including taxes), and the arrogantly intrusive, “Why did you come here, so I can decide if your reason satisfies me”. Try working with the public, and total strangers will do this.

Let’s not forget the mass racism. If an immigrant is white/European looking, some people will assume that they automatically share the common bias against Asian people.

A lot of the condescension and hostility towards immigrants is really about tall poppy syndrome, and the resentment of anyone who got off the couch and did anything interesting with their life.

Some women get an indignant, “I never get to go anywhere I want!” attitude, as if the immigrant is perpetrating some kind of personal unfairness against them.

No matter how long an immigrant has lived here, there is an automatic assumption that they are really just on vacation. With confusion and resentment about how someone could be on vacation for years and years.

Generally, the only relief is in more educated situations, such as university environments, which contain many foreign-born people.

Speaking of which, there are people who will direct the, “you have to go back where you can from” attitude towards an immigrant with higher education in a STEM field, including a degree that was heavily subsidised by NZ taxpayers. It’s like they actually think that the “brain drain” is somehow going to help the country.

Some will automatically assume that, a foreign-born university student is here on a student visa which will expire upon graduation (or maybe better yet, dropping out). If she corrects this, and states that she is a permanent resident, some still don’t seem to comprehend the difference, and keep pushing.

I once encountered an induhvidual who claimed that, no employer in NZ will ever hire an immigrant, or even someone who merely moved to a new city within the country. The logic being that, all immigrants “go back where they came from”(to a specific town) for emotional reasons. So there isn’t any point in hiring someone who will be doing that real soon now. However, this is combined with the idea of job discrimination being used to force immigrants to leave. So it’s a circular logic.

I have encountered women who will demand to know if an immigrant’s mother lives in New Zealand, and get offended and demand an explanation if the answer is “no”. One directly stated the intent to harass a middle-aged coworker, every single day, to go home to her mommy.

I have encountered a woman who was a small-time landlord’s wife, and who suggested that, a paying, civilised tenant should move out and go back where they came from.

An OK country. But many, many stupid, small-minded people. And that includes in larger cities, like Wellington.

What do people that have never left their hometown think of the world?

Answered Oct 22

They tend to think that everyone is like themselves, and that everyplace is equivalent.

There is common idea that everyone just remains living in one place for their whole life, and that nobody ever changes where they live. If they hear that you have relocated, they may treat you like you are on a temporary, short-term vacation. And that you automatically “have to” to go back to where you “really” live.

People who lack basic relocation-related skills, like navigating an unfamiliar area with a street map, tend to project that skill deficit onto everyone else.

People who lack basic relocation-related aptitudes, like the psychological ability to handle unfamiliar environments, or to go someplace alone, tend to project that aptitude deficit onto everyone else.

People who feel tied to a location based on emotional and/or financial dependence upon someone else, project that dependence onto everyone else.

I have encountered people who couldn’t even handle going across town, insidethe local area, by themselves, and projected that onto everyone else.

They also lack understanding that there may be legitimate practical reasons for a person to relocate. Someone in the suburbs of a large city may fail to comprehend that, some locations have very poor opportunity levels (e.g. small, isolated, impoverished rural towns with severe unemployment and underemployment).

They tend to think that everywhere is basically the same, including foreign countries.

Some people will start up with this immediately upon meeting, and will try to make the entire conversation about projecting these things.

Childhood: What is it like to grow up as a military brat?

Updated Jun 30

A few big issues come to mind, and they also have a sort of sub-issue.

  1. Concepts of adulthood. I knew that, the day you turn 18, you are old enough to be sent to the other side of the planet to kill people. You’re old enough to come back horribly disfigured and disabled. You’re old enough to come back inside a metal box. So it seemed perfectly reasonable that, at 18, I would get my own apartment, and be fully independent of my parents. That’s a whole lot less stressful than someone going to war at that age.
  2. Geographic mobility. The service member goes where the military sends them. Moving long distances, repeatedly, is a normal part of life. I knew that some people stay in one town for their entire lives, and I was really glad that I wasn’t one of them. One place isn’t interchangeable with a different place, and you only understand a place when you have somewhere else to compare. It certainly affects one’s socialisation process, but then again, I don’t like the idea of being mentally handcuffed to anyone or anything. I have relocated long distances, repeatedly, as an adult.

The sub-issue is social. As a child, I naively assumed that these things were common knowledge in the civilian populace. Or that, if someone didn’t know these simple facts, they could easily learn and accept them.

In reality, a significant number of people don’t grasp the concept of an 18-year-old being an adult, on any level. They cannot imagine someone that age even moving out of their parents’ house. I’ve been treated like I did something wrong.

The people who have never left their hometown tend to think that everyone has that same situation. They don’t even grasp that moving to a new city is within human capability.

I get treated like, geographic mobility is an immature, irresponsible, dangerous, “unstable” aberration, or even just a fantasy that I personally invented. I have been condescendingly told that I “have to” go back to where I “really” live, which is assumed to be some town where I lived as a child. They think I have “really”lived in one town for my entire life, and going anywhere else has been some kind of temporary vacation.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, both of these are female-biased things. I have had allegedly adult women insist that everyone “has to” live in the same town as their mother. And that I somehow don’t have the right or even the ability to live any significant distance away. They don’t care if you are middle-aged, as they pester you, or even get angry at you over this issue.

They apparently think that a service member can whine to the military, “Boo, hoo, hoo, you have to station me at a base that is within ten kilometres of my mommy’s house, so I can keep the umbilical cord attached”.

Or perhaps whine to the military, “Boo, hoo, hoo, you can’t reassign me to a new base, because then my child will grow up and offend all those legitimate people who are entitled to have everyone’s world be as small and fixed as theirs”.

There is also the general assumption that, an adult moving alone to a new area is too frightening and disorienting for anyone (including me) to handle. They don’t care if you were in some isolated, low-income, low-opportunity small town. They will tell you that the “right” thing to do was to stay there, and that you should immediately go back and “settle down”.

As a child and teenager, I really failed to anticipate how utterly terrified most people are of any kind of change, and any kind of ambiguity. And the sort of “guilt by association” that would be directed at me. I also failed to anticipate how needy some people are about “friends”, and how they can be so uncomfortable with my low-attachment, introverted style.

A more minor point is that I liked the organisation, standardisation, uniforms, and sense of discipline.

Also, repeated moves helped inspire my inclination towards a minimalist lifestyle, in terms of material possessions.

Another issue was taking an early interest in current events and politics. Including government sabre-rattling and nuclear paranoia, but also just keeping up with the news in general. Many people are very poorly informed, and I failed to anticipate that.

Lastly, being around the military makes it more real and more human. It isn’t about feeling big and tough, or Rambo fantasies, or drooling patriotism. It isn’t some stupid movie or macho video game for pimply boys. The guns are real, and some of the planes have bombs onboard. The base has another country’s nuclear missiles aimed directly at it, possibly with high priority.

It is an economically motivated tool of menacing threats and mass violence, in which real people would suffer.