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The Outlier

It's easy to identify an outlier. For example, when you see sheep herding together, moving together, and doing the same thing, look around. You may notice a sheep (it may be a black sheep) that is standing apart from the herd. This is an outlier. It is exploring its surroundings instead of just following the herd. It stands on a hill observing the world instead of joining the herd in the valley with their heads down eating grass (or texting), oblivious to the world around them.

Skeptical outliers help protect the herd from those who would deceive or harm them, like wolves who wear sheep disguises and infiltrate the herd seeking the weak as prey.  At large gatherings of people, outliers are the ones near the exits, so when trouble starts they can take action or escape.

Skeptics are always skeptical. Skeptics are seldom fooled and fools are seldom skeptical.

I am a retired U.S. Navy master chief petty officer who has been a skeptic since childhood. This has always made me an outlier since my skepticism kept me from associating with the "in" groups or doing what everyone else was doing, both as a teenager and as an adult. I don't do things because others do it. I'm what I call a functioning outlier. I can live in society and move among the public unnoticed while maintaining my skepticism of much of society's norms. I don't force my skepticism on others and I don't appreciate others expecting me to conform to the norm.

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