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Thread: What causes eccentricity?

  1. #1 What causes eccentricity? 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Seeing as it isn't really a mental illness, what causes it?


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    I suppose there are numerous causes; the first to spring to mind being the need to be recognised by an increasingly impersonal society. One can logically see that a person who perceives him or herself to be invisible to the world may either consciously or unconsciously act increasingly more and more 'eccentric' until their need to be recognised becomes fulfilled. It is a basic human need which must be fulfilled somehow.

    But what is eccentricity, aside from the dictionary definition? Is it a cry for attention, or is it in fact simply abnormal behaviour? You assume that "it isn't really a mental illness", but mental illness and normality are two areas of the same spectrum.


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    I was a consciously eccentric child. Having moved from diverse urban environment among intellectuals, age 7, to a small blue-collar town, I came to believe most people are wilfully narrow minded. Small towns discourage novelty because they are really desperately bored gossip cultures where the nail that stands up gets hammered down by all. I actually felt conformity dangerous - I'd heard about lemmings. I had not learned about evolution or robust diversity but had an intuitive sense... amazing how naturally children grasp these things..! So I resolved that if no one else would pursue odd ideas, I should dare for everyone's sake.

    Maybe that was all rationalization? Or maybe there was a real will to evolution through diversity operating on the social level. Anyway in this eccentric's case "being recognized" was a dread not an unfulfilled need. When everybody talked about the same TV show they'd watched, I nodded and agreed.

    One may imagine how that snowballs.
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    What causes eccentricity?

    Excessive numbers of boringly normal people.
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    As I see it, it has some factors of narsisism and partially freed from grop think, maybe some more factors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HexHammer
    As I see it, it has some factors of narsisism and partially freed from grop think, maybe some more factors.
    This.
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    Eccentricity is most likely caused by environmental factors, such as the behavior of others, etc, etc.. As for groupthink, I don't think eccentricity necessarily implies "free of groupthink". One can deviate from the norm in a certain area, but can conform to what's normal in another area, it doesn't have to be in terms of absolutes (If I misinterpreted, apologies.) As for narcissism, are you speaking of clinical narcissism or healthy narcissism that's present in everyone? If it's the former, then I think I would have to agree. If it's the latter, I would have to disagree, because healthy narcissism wouldn't be too much of a contributing factor. Have there been any studies based on this topic, by the way?
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    IMHO - I don't know if anything actually causes it.

    I'd say that there is a spectrum of personalities.

    What some people think is eccentric, some people think is interesting.

    If I had the money... i'd be classed as very eccentric. At the moment, people think I'm mad or weird....

    Maybe someone who is eccentric is someone who does exactly what they want. They exercise their right as a human being to do what they want regardless of what others think.

    After all... how many people are actually prisoners of social constraints? Many many many. The embarrassment of what people will think if they buy a car that is bright pink even though it might be their favourite colour.

    I think deep down... most people are eccentric... but only very few are lucky/brave enough to enjoy their eccentricity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sromag
    I think deep down... most people are eccentric... but only very few are lucky/brave enough to enjoy their eccentricity.
    I agree with everything you said, except the part about pink cars. That's just bad taste.
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    Eccentricity is a subjective observation. To believe otherwise is to suggest an objective norm, which simply does not exist. The reality is that we are all eccentric, in our own small way, from some perspective outside our own--in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Eccentricity is a subjective observation. To believe otherwise is to suggest an objective norm, which simply does not exist.
    All aspects of behaviour can be described. Many or most aspects of behaviour can be measured. Therefore an objective norm of behaviour can exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    All aspects of behaviour can be described. Many or most aspects of behaviour can be measured.
    I disagree; objectivity suggests a perspective unbaised by personal or societal criterias. What may be normal from a personal or societal perspective (e.g., drinking cow urine), could be consider eccentric from another. What is normal behavior and by what criteria is it judged? Is that criteria applicable to all persons and all societies? If not, then one must concede the nonexistence of a behavioral norm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    All aspects of behaviour can be described. Many or most aspects of behaviour can be measured.
    I disagree; objectivity suggests a perspective unbaised by personal or societal criterias. What may be normal from a personal or societal perspective (e.g., drinking cow urine), could be consider eccentric from another. What is normal behavior and by what criteria is it judged? Is that criteria applicable to all persons and all societies? If not, then one must concede the nonexistence of a behavioral norm.
    Well, I reckon Dream doctor that young ofiolite has you on this one. If 68% of the population drink cow urine then that is the norm. It don't matter if you and I belong to the minority who condemn the drinking of cow urine. It don't rightly matter if we consider it abnormal, a heinous sin, or just plain tasteless compared with, say, badger urine drinking, it will still be the norm. that's what norms are: there what people normally do. And as the young fella said we can observe and measure what they do, so we can objectively define a norm.

    I mean if your argument was right then we couldn't come up with an objective measure of the normal size of an asteroid. do you reckon our estimates of asteroid size are all subjective. That seems a pretty crazy idea to me. I don't think you'll budge me far on that. Yep. I think I'm with him on this one.
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    Well put, but I'm not all that young.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruePath
    Well, I reckon Dream doctor that young ofiolite has you on this one. If 68% of the population drink cow urine then that is the norm. It don't matter if you and I belong to the minority who condemn the drinking of cow urine. It don't rightly matter if we consider it abnormal, a heinous sin, or just plain tasteless compared with, say, badger urine drinking, it will still be the norm. that's what norms are: there what people normally do. And as the young fella said we can observe and measure what they do, so we can objectively define a norm.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I disagree; objectivity suggests a perspective unbaised by personal or societal criterias. What may be normal from a personal or societal perspective (e.g., drinking cow urine), could be consider eccentric from another. What is normal behavior and by what criteria is it judged? Is that criteria applicable to all persons and all societies? If not, then one must concede the nonexistence of a behavioral norm.
    I tend to take a larger view. My opinion is that if we put aside views of behavior biased by our personal and societal upbringing, we should observe the absence of normality among humanity in general. From a perspective, alien to our personal and societal norms, our normal behaviors could be viewed as eccentric. Therefore, who are we to label behavior as eccentric when it may be consider normal to others elsewhere? Granted, personal and societal norms may exist yet be nonexistent for humanity as a whole. What is humanity's norm?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Therefore, who are we to label behavior as eccentric when it may be consider normal to others elsewhere? Granted, personal and societal norms may exist yet be nonexistent for humanity as a whole. What is humanity's norm?
    This can be determined, as I now observe for the second or third time, by observing what humans do. What many or most of them commonly do is, by definition, the norm. Behaviour that differs significantly from this is, by definition, eccentric.

    You seem to be assigning value to the terms normal and eccentric. You are making value judgements that one or other of these is good and the other is bad. In a scineitific context that is simply inadmissible. It is purest nonsense. Normal and eccentric are ways of describing and quantifying behaviour, not judging it.

    You could apply value judgements on these terms in casual, informal, unscientific conversation. Such action is wholly out of place in a science discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You seem to be assigning value to the terms normal and eccentric. You are making value judgements that one or other of these is good and the other is bad. In a scineitific context that is simply inadmissible. It is purest nonsense. Normal and eccentric are ways of describing and quantifying behaviour, not judging it.
    I am not ascribing a preference either way to what is normal or what is eccentric. I am merely suggesting that what one person considers normal behavior another might consider eccentric. From a singular personal perspective, all behavior could be perceived as normal and all behavior could be perceived as eccentric. Although a society may label a behavior eccentric, it may not be from a larger perspective of humanity and its array of behaviors. At best, behaviors could be perceived as either condusive to societal coherence or distructive. Again, what may be normal for one person, may not be for another; what may be a societal norm may not be for the majority of humanity. Statistics notwithstanding, what we consider normal behaviors, IMO, are indeed perspective dependent--which makes eccentricities subjective rather than objective observation.
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    Once again DRmDoc, you are using a non-scientific, colloquial definition of normal. You are not using a scientific definition of normal. That renders your observations pointless in any scientific context.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Once again DRmDoc, you are using a non-scientific, colloquial definition of normal. You are not using a scientific definition of normal. That renders your observations pointless in any scientific context.
    And once again you’ve missed my point. As I understood, this discussion encompassed the causes of eccentricities or, as you appear to interpret, deviations from societal norms. My point was merely that what is normal for one society or individual may not be normal for others or all. From my perspective, this suggests no real consensus as to what one may consider normal empirically. So I ask, what is normal?

    I am discussing observations from beyond the boundaries of a societal norm because societal norms are subjective--meaning what is statistically normal for a society is dependent on its culture. Differing societal cultures result in differing standards for normal behaviors. Differing standards suggest no overall consensus between societies (the larger view) regarding what is normal. No overall consensus suggests no real or empirical societal normal. I perceive nothing unscientific in my observations.
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    Drm Doc.

    You could have simplified your argument by saying...

    For example - In parts of Africa, it's not unusual to be offered camels in trade for other goods.... but if you tried buying a second hand car with camels in the UK, it would be considered pretty eccentric.

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    eccentricity Is coursed By autism, mainly asperges syndrome. Its a developmental condition that can be seen in children from a young age.
    Its amazing how many doctors don't know about autism let alone the average member of the public.
    autistic people have access to more arias of there brain than normal people. this courses this continues stream of thoughts passing through there mind. Normal people have filters that block these, but is seems autistic people are missing them. so the eccentricity is coursed by this were the person might look disabled there minds one step ahead of there body, which can course these involuntary jolting or rocking movements.
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    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Nietzsche

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    Considering moving this to general--the idea of "eccentricity" is too broad for scientific discussion in this sub forum--do your best to tighten it up.


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    Eccentricity is just a behavioral example of the bell curve. Some people, as part of their personalities, just noticably deviate from the norm.As for the exact cause of eccentricity, I'm pretty sure that can only be determined on a case by case basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by makecents50 View Post
    eccentricity Is coursed By autism, mainly asperges syndrome. Its a developmental condition that can be seen in children from a young age.
    Its amazing how many doctors don't know about autism let alone the average member of the public.
    autistic people have access to more arias of there brain than normal people. this courses this continues stream of thoughts passing through there mind. Normal people have filters that block these, but is seems autistic people are missing them. so the eccentricity is coursed by this were the person might look disabled there minds one step ahead of there body, which can course these involuntary jolting or rocking movements.
    Every person 'has access to' 100% of his brain.

    And I can't find any data that suggests that autistic people are more subject to cognitive disinhibition than the general population.
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  26. #25  
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    "Something must be the matter with the eye." Kahlil Gibran

    google it
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    Many reasons. I don't see the point of talking about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Man View Post
    Many reasons. I don't see the point of talking about it.
    You don't see the point of talking about it and yet you made a post. Do you think that is ever so slightly eccentric?
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Seeing as it isn't really a mental illness, what causes it?
    I'll take a wild stab in the dark and say... Chuck Norris?
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    What causes eccentricity?

    Excessive numbers of boringly normal people.
    I love this one the most!
    Last edited by xingha; September 26th, 2014 at 03:36 AM.
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    I agree with sromag and those who hold similar views. Only rich people are eccentric. The poor are just freakin' nuts and ought to be locked up.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Only rich people are eccentric.
    I disagree with this one. Its like you were saying that superior genes only seen in rich people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xingha View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Only rich people are eccentric.
    I disagree with this one. Its like you were saying that superior genes only seen in rich people.
    No, you misunderstand. I mean that rich people's odd behavior is tolerated because they are rich. It's kind of like how a politician's humor is raucously laughed at because he's the man in charge. If anyone else made such jokes people would slap them.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by xingha View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Only rich people are eccentric.
    I disagree with this one. Its like you were saying that superior genes only seen in rich people.
    If you look at the second half of his post (The poor are just freakin' nuts and ought to be locked up.) then it seems he is making a joke.

    But the same could be true on a serious level. Poor people, arguably, need to conform in order to get and keep a job. You cannot afford to be unusual. Rich people experience no such pressure. So, under the humour, he is making a serious sociological point. The rich are less constrained by the norms of society; they are not subjected to peer pressure because (economically) they have few peers.

    P.S. Thank you for your kind comment in post #29. I think my comment was made almost five years ago, so I had certainly forgotten about it. However, as I read the title the answer leapt into my mind: eccentricity is a way of avoiding boredom. It's a different response to my original, but still centres on boredom. How's that for consistency?
    Last edited by John Galt; September 26th, 2014 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Edit: I got interrupted before posting this, so I see 甘肃人 has confirmed my interpretation.
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    I am considered by many to be eccentric. I always thought I was just normal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am considered by many to be eccentric. I always thought I was just normal.
    It's one of those irregular verbs.
    I am an individual.
    You are eccentric.
    He is a f*cking loon.

    (Much like D. K. Brown's explanation of the verb "to design": I create, you interfere, he gets in the way...).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am considered by many to be eccentric. I always thought I was just normal.
    It's one of those irregular verbs.
    I am an individual.
    You are eccentric.
    He is a f*cking loon.

    (Much like D. K. Brown's explanation of the verb "to design": I create, you interfere, he gets in the way...).
    Clever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by xingha View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Only rich people are eccentric.
    I disagree with this one. Its like you were saying that superior genes only seen in rich people.
    No, you misunderstand. I mean that rich people's odd behavior is tolerated because they are rich. It's kind of like how a politician's humor is raucously laughed at because he's the man in charge. If anyone else made such jokes people would slap them.
    Ah, ok. I got it. Thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    P.S. Thank you for your kind comment in post #29. I think my comment was made almost five years ago, so I had certainly forgotten about it. However, as I read the title the answer leapt into my mind: eccentricity is a way of avoiding boredom. It's a different response to my original, but still centres on boredom. How's that for consistency?
    Because you can relate, am i right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am considered by many to be eccentric. I always thought I was just normal.
    It's one of those irregular verbs.
    I am an individual.
    You are eccentric.
    He is a f*cking loon.

    (Much like D. K. Brown's explanation of the verb "to design": I create, you interfere, he gets in the way...).

    100 more feathers, Ducky!
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