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I want to mention, on the record, that I hate the word, “sheeple” just like I hate it when people refer to performing an Internet search as “Googling.” But those are the terms society has chosen to use, and if you want to communicate effectively with people in your society you have to speak their language. So, ironically, in true sheeple fashion, I’m using the term “sheeple” to describe those despicable mainstream zombie bastards who go with the crowd and refuse to think for themselves.

The determining factor of whether or not you’re a sheeple is whether you think proactively and objectively or you think subjectively and reactively. The best example of a non-sheeple in recent history is Carl Sagan. That was a man who spent his life staring at the world around him, proactively analyzing it with a sober mind, tweezing the details apart looking for logical patterns in the noise.

Sheeple don’t think like that. They just wake up at birth and start running in the direction everyone around them is shouting at them to run in. Of course they rebel, but they rebel in the social prescribed ways: cussing, wearing dark clothing, thinking they’re edgier and cooler than preps and squares. They bounce through life on autopilot following the advice of television commercials and charismatic personalities. At no point in their life do they stop and commit themselves to a life-long , systematic quest to seek truth through objective analysis and sustained reflection.

A lifetime of thinking like a sheeple will yield consistent results. Below are 10 signs that you’ve been thinking and living like a mindless sheeple on autopilot who has been subjectively reacting to your environment and ceding control of your life to your subconscious instincts and the society you were raised in.

10. You own an expensive vehicle.Think about it. Do you need a $40,000 vehicle to get from point A to point B. No. So why do you have one? Because you want one. Why do you want one? Because you were told to want one…and you obeyed. Go ahead, make all the excuses you want for why it’s okay to spend an entire year’s wages on a shiny contraption that’s going to break down in 10 years. All I hear is baa’aaing.

On a related note, if you own a $40,000 car and claim to be a Christian then just go ahead and replace your overpriced James Avery crucifix necklace with a huge gangsta-style dollar sign emblem and stop pretending to be a Christian.

9. You watch the top 10 highest rated television shows. This wouldn’t be the case if the top 10 television shows were beacons of genius. As it stands, the top 10 television shows are beacons of petty ignorance because stupid sells better than genius. The reason stupidity sells so well is because sheeple are stupid and flock towards stupidity because it’s familiar and safe. It reinforces their egos without ever challenging them. If you’re confused as to whether or not you’re a sheeple you can check to see if any of your favorite television shows are on the top of the Neilsen ratings. If you don’t know what the Neilsen ratings are, just Google it.

8. You believe that the music you listen to and the clothes you wear make you unique and/or rebellious. Think about it. Music and fashion are mass produced consumer goods no matter what label they fall under. I don’t care if you’re hip/hop, grunge, indie, metal, emo, punk, hard core, country, death metal or classical. There’s somebody else out there listening to the same music as you, wearing the same clothes (that were made in the same sweat shops), congratulating themselves for being unique just like you. But you’re not unique. You’re defining your identity by associating it with mass produced consumer products that you’re going to stop listening to/wearing when it goes out of style. I’m not saying you can’t listen to music or wear clothes. Just don’t assume any of it makes you a rebel.

7. You don’t read or you only read popular fiction. Think about it. Idiots don’t read. Do you read? If not, you’re an idiot. How could you not be? You’re not learning anything outside the cultural influence of the people you surround yourself with. Go get a library card.

Oh you do read? A lot of John Grisham, Stephen King and slutty vampire romance novels? Congratulations, you’re an idiot who is squandering the divine ability to read by only using it to consume mass produced entertainment that in no meaningful way improves your mind. And you’re consuming ideas that are designed to pander to your base desires while the unused portions of your brain that control higher level reasoning atrophy.

6. You get along with pretty much everybody. Think about it. On the surface it sounds noble and virtuous to get along with everybody, but most people are stupid. Stupid people are afraid of ideas. Smart people have ideas. If you’re smart, stupid people won’t like you. If you get along with everybody you either don’t have any ideas to offend their stupidity with or you’re not standing up for your intelligent ideas, and if you’re not going to stand up for what’s right then you’re stupid.

5. Similar to #6: You automatically disagree with people all the time. If you do this you probably don’t notice, but it’s pretty easy to spot when other people do it. So think about this. Stupid people don’t think. They don’t weigh pros and cons logically. They just defend what they already believe and automatically reject everything else even if it’s mundane and trivial. If it doesn’t already have a place in their mind already it’s not coming in. So they constantly disagree with other people. They think this makes them smart because they’re so “good” at coming up with arguments and playing the devil’s advocate. The more they shoot down other people’s ideas and shut them up the more smug and maniacally genius it makes them feel, but all they’re really doing is building a higher and higher wall around their mind.

If you ever meet someone who, after you propose a novel idea to them, they work on it with you and try to improve it you’ll know you’re talking to a thinker. Someone who just tells you that you’re stupid…is stupid. If you’re constantly tearing other people down and congratulating yourself for how awesome you are, you’re a sad, sad idiot.

4. Your best friends are stupid. Think about it. We hang out with people we’re comfortable with. Now be honest. Are your best friends stupid? If they are, then the reason you’re friends with them is because you’re stupid. Stop kidding yourself.

Is your significant other a complete ditz? Then you’re a complete ditz. Both of you need to go back to school. Is your girlfriend 10 years younger than you, but you say she’s mature for her age? No, she’s not mature for her age. You’re immature for your age, and you’re dating someone who is at the same intellectual level as you. Oh, you both have college degrees but you never read books anymore, just gossip magazines? Great. You’re both educated fools. Go back to school and figure out what you missed.

3. You have no philosophy or your philosophy is vague to the point of being useless. Here’s a simple sheeple test in one question: What’s your philosophy on life? Don’t have an answer ready to go? Your mind is empty. You’re following the herd.

But don’t take my word for it. Go do a survey. Go ask everyone you know what their philosophy on life is. Most people won’t have an answer. That means they don’t know how to live. So all they can do is just follow the herd and convince themselves that whatever they’re already doing is novel and ideal. But what they’re doing is neither novel nor ideal. Chances are they’re working a shitty job that’s sucking the life out of them while paying too much rent.

If you do this survey and anyone begins their answer with: “Ooooooooh, well I just think that…” Stop them right there. They don’t think shit. They’re coming up with something on the spot that’s probably going to be a hybrid of overgeneralized, pop-culture norms, and it’s probably also going to be vague to the point of being useless.

A thinker would be able to immediately give you a summary of their philosophy and tell you a long, arduous story about how they came to that conclusion, and they would go out of their way to make the disclaimer that their answers aren’t conclusive, their journey isn’t over and they’ll have more to say on the matter every year.

2. You believe in religion. Think about it. You follow someone else’s explanation of life. You’re a follower. Christianity even refers to the congregation as a flock of sheep. Don’t get mad at me for calling people who worship mythology sheeple, get mad at Jesus for comparing himself to a shepherd.

I’m not saying that not believing in religion automatically makes you smart and independent, but if you do believe in religion you’re definitely a sheeple, and according to most religions you’re supposed to be proud of having blind, unquestioning faith in your pre-packaged, out-of-date beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence proving you wrong. If that’s not being a sheeple then I don’t know what is.

1. You don’t think you’re a sheeple. Think about it. Every one of us is a product of the environment we were raised in. Our most basic assumptions about life, existence and our own identity are interwoven with the fabric of society so tightly it’s usually impossible to tell where society’s ideas end and ours begin. The world simply can’t be divided into sheeple and nonconformists. We’re all sheeple.

If you don’t think you’re a sheeple you’ll never have any motivation to analyze your beliefs and behaviors objectively to decide if you’re doing anything stupid or herd-minded. However, once you admit you’ve been guilty of following the herd your entire life then you’ll be motivated to tear yourself apart looking for the disgusting stains of society within yourself. And when you do that you’ll also find the good parts of your personality that society helped build within you. Then you won’t be such a naively bitter teenage wanker who thinks everything popular is automatically evil and shuts himself off from half the resources that would help him improve his life.

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