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As always, despite all her self-analysis, Lily remains the character with the least self-awareness. I think that's funny.

Speaking of a lack of self-awareness, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but one of the things I check every morning, without fail, is Scott Adams' blog.

I've been reading it for years and years. I was reading it before the firestorm of sexism accusations, I was reading it before he claimed to be able to master any discipline in an hour, I was reading it before his monomaniacal obsession with a certain gold-plated sewer-pipe's mastery of "persuasion".

I read it because the Dilbert creator and I think in very similar ways. We're both primarily thinkers and writers who taught themselves to draw. We're both irreverant philosophers who will follow an impractical idea or chain of reasoning as far as it'll take us, common sense be damned. The inside of Scott Adams' skull feels like home to me.

It's also - especially lately - a potent reminder that there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Twitter user @pattymo described Adams as "The World's Most Divorced Man", and I think that's about right, but not just about marriage. Adams has spent years without needing to meaningfully associate with anyone he didn't want to associate with. He draws what he wants, he writes what he wants, he has a shit-ton of money, and he doesn't need to impress or amuse anyone other than himself. As a result, if I had to pick a single word to describe the difference between Mr. Adams and I, it'd be solipsism.

You can see it when he equates his own feelings with hormonal shifts, and extrapolates that as a universal biological truth to the rest of the species. You can see it when he shows how a turn of phrase or momentary brainfart can twist one's perceptions, and extrapolates that to entirely invalidate all human cognition. You can see it when he is unable to buy a truck - something that literally thousands of people do every year - and assumes not that the problem is with himself, but that buying a truck is actually an impossible thing to do.

And the result of this navel-spelunking solipsism, ultimately, is the breakdown of basic concepts.

You see, it's easy, when one is sitting alone, to pick holes in an idea like, say, the equality of persons. After all, some people are smarter, or more moral, or more productive, or make greater changes to the world than others. Why do we persist in this fiction that all humans are born equal? (Note: this is a particularly easy leap of logic to make when you're rich, white, able-bodied, etc.)

In a similar way, sitting alone, one can easily discard fictions like personal responsibility, ownership of property, free will, chronological continuity, and even the existence of the self as a contiguous entity at all. All fictions! All simplistic fairy tales for the sheep, perpetuated by the powerful as a means of maintaining a stable society.

And.... yeah.

Of course morality and ownership and free will and such are logically inconsistent fictions that we use to keep society running, but we need to keep society running. Similar to Pascal's Wager, these fictions are all ideas that it is beneficial to believe, so it's important to stick with them.

I'm bringing it back around to Lily, I promise. Stay with me.

One of the key distinguishing features of the solipsist is the way they use the word "just".

When a solipsist unravels a concept - like, say, equality - down to its initial starting point, they'll often use the word "just". You just believe that because you were trained by your parents. You just believe that because it makes you feel nice. You just believe that because it works to your advantage. You just believe that because of hormones, or conditioning, or cognitive dissonance.

The key difference between the solipsist and everyone else, though, is in thinking that this "just" is proof against the concept, that peeling back the psychology of an idea to its initial source somehow disproves it.

And yeah, maybe I only believe in the fundamental equality of persons because I've been programmed to by society, but that doesn't make it untrue. Maybe I only believe that I love my mom because I imprinted on her as a young child, but that doesn't mean I don't love my mom. Maybe I only believe in climate change because supporting anything with "science" in the name makes me feel smart, but that doesn't mean the planet isn't getting hotter.

So Lily has unpacked her misandry's roots, but recognizes that revealing her belief's psychological origin doesn't make it untrue.

...hey, I didn't say this always worked out in a positive way.

(Thursday evening, INT: bowling alley.)

LH: So yeah, fuck my parents, fuck my development. They don't dictate who I am. I am choosing to make a change, and I am not waiting until I'm a week closer to the grave to do it.
LH: The only things in this life that matter are the things you seize and make for yourself, and my own psychology and behaviour are no exception.
GU: That's the spirit, Lily! You can move onwards from misandry, I believe in you.
LH: What? No. No, I'm just choosing not to be a controlling bitch to my friends. I never said anything about discarding hormone neuroscience and violent crime statistics.
GU: I thought Ellen figured out that your misandry was a result of trying to exclude men and control women.
LH: I concede that may have been its starting point, but it doesn't make it not factually correct. I'm just no longer controlling your life, that is the change I'm choosing to make.
GU: You do remember that I didn't actually want to go bowling, right?
LH: This is different. I'm helping you.
LH: Speaking of which, this time up, try shimmying your butt a little, okay?