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Nietzsche heuristic

Nietzsche says that the generality, the commonplace, always interests more than the exception—that is how you find anything out. And he’s right about that.

People are too caught up in the exception—the media lives on the exception, the three-legged dog or the woman who had an operation to look like a man so that the media said “man had baby”.

The exception is not of much interest, except insofar as the exception proves the rule.

But people aren’t interested in the generality, because the generality bores them or doesn’t seem to interest—it doesn’t entertain them, even though it tells them secrets.

It’s the same with people, what you want to know about them is their general character—not their exceptional acts, either good or bad.

But people are superficial and fixate on the exceptional—they should concentrate on the regularity, the dull regularity.

That’s the real secret.

If you do that, you’ll find out all sorts of things—about political parties, about religions, about families.

So you always have to ask yourself, “What’s the general tendency with this thing?”

And then you’ll have something like a rule, or a rule of thumb at least.

But it’s not so dramatic and fun—it’s just the ordinary, just the average, just the general tendency.

But it’s the heuristic to use if you want to attain knowledge.


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