I’ve Changed

As a child I loved bright colours
You could tell from my art and my clothes
Then came high school
Where you learn the cost of not fitting in
So I saved for expensive surf-brand t-shirts
I’ve never known how to surf
Later I switched to band merch
Then tees with pop culture memes
Now I wear bright colours again
Because the world is far too grey

I used to think that all Truth
Lived in p-values
From double-blind randomised controlled trials
Changing just one variable at a time
I studied genetics
Struggled with systems that are hopelessly complex
The replication crisis tore up entire fields
I studied how to study data
Now I’m not sure we know much at all

I used to hate “sluts”
Promiscuity inflamed my moral disgust
But slowly I did some living
And read The Ethical Slut
Now I don’t care at all
So long as there’s consent
I guess all along
I was probably just insecure

I used to hate economics
Except it turns out
I didn’t know a thing about it
What I actually hated was selfishness and unfairness
I still do
I still think the world is tragically unfair
And that most people are greedy
Probably myself included
But not that incentives are evil

I used to fear Pascal’s Wager
And lived with Christiany unease
At uni I read some books
And came to feel
I’d been lied to and manipulated, and I was angry
So I seethed at religion for a while
Now I don’t
I think people need purpose
And I’m a little Buddhisty myself

As a young progressive
I figured “sex work should be legal”
So long as there’s consent
Until a sex worker told me what sex workers want
I learned:
They don’t want to be tracked
On some government database
Decriminalisation is where it’s at

I used to fear drugs
Like demons that might possess me
If I let down my guard even once
I once smacked a joint from my friend’s hand
While reeling drunk from whiskey
Then I read some David Nutt
I learned:
Drugs fall on a spectrum of risk and reward
And alcohol is one of the worst

I once wanted to be brilliant
To work endlessly, win a Nobel someday
I’m older now
And perspectives change
These days I mostly just want to be loved
And to help others feel loved
And to do a little good in the time that I’m here

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