Monday, October 12, 2009

Somebody Else's Problem :)

"Somebody Else's Problem (also known as Someone else's problem or SEP) is an effect that causes people to ignore matters which are generally important to a group but may not seem specifically important to the individual. Author Douglas Adams's description of the effect, which he playfully ascribed to a physical "SEP field", has helped to make it a generally recognized phenomenon. The label is now widely used to focus public attention on matters that might have been overlooked and, less commonly, to identify concerns that a depressed individual should ignore. It has also been employed as trivial shorthand to describe factors that are "out of scope" in the current context.

...Douglas Adams has his character Ford Prefect describe Somebody Else's Problem in Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book of the five-book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy:

"..An SEP is something we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem.... The brain just edits it out, it's like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won't see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye."

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