Great article from David Wong – why 99.99999% of the world’s population are “one-dimensional characters” to us:
Picture a monkey. A monkey dressed like a little pirate, if you wish. We’ll call him Slappy.
Imagine you have Slappy as a pet. Imagine a personality for him. Maybe you and he have little pirate monkey adventures and maybe even join up to fight crime. You’d be sad if Slappy died, wouldn’t you?
Now, imagine you get five more monkeys. Tito, Bubbles, Fluffy, Marcel and ShitTosser. Imagine personalities for each of them. Maybe one is aggressive, one is affectionate, one is distant and quiet. And so on. They’re all your personal monkey friends.
Now imagine a hundred monkeys. Then a thousand.
How long until you can’t tell them apart? Or remember their names? At what point, in your mind, do your beloved pets become just a faceless sea of monkey? If you get enough monkeys, you’ll eventually have enough that you no longer even care if one of them dies.
Now, each of these monkeys is every bit the monkey that Slappy was. It’s just that you don’t give a rat’s ass any more.
EDIT 20100601 – updated with new link to cracked.com