As I write this, I am driving to my older sister’s FTC Robotics World Championship in Houston. This is one of the few times a year when I watch sporting events because, to me, sports on the national level are a manifestation of tribalism.
Sports teams are just players from any state or country that are paid to play for one team or another. In short, mercenaries whose loyalty is determined by money and contracts. For example, the Paris St-Germain soccer team is owned by an Arabian prince who paid $200M to retain the services of Brazilian player Neymar.
And yet people vehemently support the team from their state, city or college. Fans wear their team’s colors, cheer for their team, and some even paint their faces. All for the mercenaries that their tribe hired.
Sometimes tribalism gets out of hand. You may want to look up the Montreal Canadians vs. the Quebec Nordiques Good Friday hockey game. It wasn’t pretty, tribal violence at its worst.
Tribalism is also prevalent in our country’s national politics. Two tribes, entrenched in their beliefs, never yielding any ground. Many voters mindlessly vote for their side, regardless of the quality of the candidates.
Why do people behave in such irrational way? They find comfort and security by being a part of a large group. But we’re no longer hunter-gathers in the savanna. However, our brains have not yet to evolved to deal with the realities of modern life.
For entertainment, I prefer to engage my mind by reading books.