Do airplanes make weird people stick out less?

by on July 22, 2005 at 6:49 am in Medicine | Permalink

When you live in a small village, or hunter-gatherer society, everyone knows that a weird person is weird.  You stick out like a sore thumb.  But when I fly to, say, Dubai, hardly anyone knows I am weird.  Perhaps I dress differently, talk differently, and spend too much time reading books, but to them I appear weird in any case.  The proverbial "Aunt Millie from Peoria" also would come across as strange.  The differences in weirdness are blurred, and the truly weird can pass for simply being "foreign."

I recall my time in Yemen: all the women wore veils, and all the men carried daggers and chewed qat.  Just don’t ask me who the weirdos were.

This suggests that airplanes lower the costs of being weird.  Of course, with enough globalization — especially mass market images — this relationship can cut the other way.  Perhaps the people in Dubai are wondering why I don’t act more like Tom Cruise.  Alternatively, we might send them some more Johnny Depp movies.

Does this mean that weird men are more likely to have foreign wives?

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