There’s a curious but sensible meta-pattern in this world: the same underlying pattern, put in contrasting environments may create contrasting (or even conflicting) results.

This meta-pattern can create some funny, ironic and somewhat sad phenomena in real life. For example, I see a fanatic atheist in the internet and a fanatic religious here in Indonesia having the exact same “eyes,” language patterns (“look at those low-life savages”), and behavioral patterns (e.g. shaming others). Or when the people on the left mimic those on the right (“Our side is more rational in politics and in everything.”).

This meta-pattern sometimes makes me wonder if, somehow, we take a fanatic religious guy here in Indonesia, erase all his memory, and put him in the U.S. will he become a fanatic atheist? Probably… Or for a darker, funnier thought experiment: what if we pick the most violent of these fanatics, clone him into two, make one a fanatic atheist and the other a fanatic religious guy, and put them in the same room full of weapons; will they kill each other? Probably… lol… The irony of it all…

Fortunately, this meta-pattern can create awesome situations, such as when I see a wise and tolerant atheist discussing peacefully with a wise and tolerant religious guy about science and religions and the roles each have in society. Another example is when those who believe in after-life work together with those who don’t, to create good art, even with contrasting belief (the believer create good art because they’ll be paid for it in the after-life, while the non-believer find that the belief in alter-life will only limit him in creating good art because he will fear to make everlasting mistakes that’ll result in everlasting punishments).