Humans on average probably devote more time to figuring things out than do other creatures. But it turns out that many humans stop doing this long before they die, some on the assumption that everything's pretty damned obvious anyway, and others, more sophisticated, on the assumption that they've been there & done that. The former assumption is what makes clichés cliché. The standard stories we tell us ourselves, people believe, are there simply to be plugged into. If the formula stories don't fit anyone's real life too well, it's not the stories' fault, but the surrounding humans for not living up to the clichés (which are supposedly the right and true ways to live) If I sound a little sensitive about this, it's because I've endured decades of people (a) trying to make me fit properly into certain stories; and (b) telling me I think too much (or, the variant, that I take myself too seriously).

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