I’ve just learnt something new. The other day, I was watching an old episode of Friends when a weird thought came to me: the personalities of sit come characters seem gradually to expand in annoyance over time, to an exaggerated state and to the point of irritation. At the moment I am making my way through old DVDs of Friends episodes and I am currently on season 8 episode 10. I am just two seasons from the end. And Joey, Phoebe, Ross, Monica and Rachel are all getting on my nerves. They weren’t at the beginning and they weren’t just two weeks ago. They are now.
Is she a bit of a tidy freak or an obsessive tidy monster?
So today I decided to google this weird thought of mine and to my horror I find that I am not the first person to have this thought. Not only that, there is a word for it: Flanderization. Students have probably written essays on it and I didn’t realise. It is a well-known phenomena. The phenomena is named after Ned Flanders, a character from The Simpsons who started off in the animation as a fairly benign man next door with nothing outstanding about him but over time he changed to become a mad religious zealot.
How did Ned change over time?
Do people suffer from Flanderization in the real world? Possibly. Perhaps that is something else for those same students to write essays about.
This is a thought I’ve had many times, initially inspired by an episode of Friends which I first saw many years ago. This episode was a light bulb moment for me. In this episode Phoebe argues with Ross about the possibility that evolution could be wrong because of the ‘teeny, tiny possibility’ that science hasn’t yet got it right. Phoebe argues that evolution is just ‘one of the possibilities’ and that the scientists need to remember that they might not yet have worked it all out. After all, they used to think the world was flat.
This woman speaks sense
This is the philosophy by which I live my life. We shouldn’t take things at face value, we shouldn’t just assume that the scientists have got it right. Everything is not necessarily as it seems and we should keep an ever open mind.
Just the other day, I argued with my husband (he can be quite argumentative as you see) about the possibility of the existence of lemons with legs. He stated categorically that lemons with legs cannot exist. He scoffed at the idea. He was forgetting that part of the ‘teeny, tiny possibility’ theory that states that just because you haven’t seen a legged lemon doesn’t mean that such a creature doesn’t exist, somewhere.
You see me so I exist!
Of course the ‘teeny, tiny possibility’ theory itself is only ‘one of the possibilities’. It might be completely wrong and perhaps science has nailed it all after all. I ought to stay opened minded about that and consider the ‘teeny, tiny possibility’ that science is right.