There is a tendency among Discordians to play up the benefits of neophilia, and the disadvantages of neophobia. While this may more often than not lead to desirable results, this isn't always the case.
For example, there are basically four ways people travel:
1. The Texan. The Texan is the extreme neophobe, and constantly compares everything he sees in a foriegn land to America (or Texas), exclusively to the detriment of the foreign land. He's the guy who goes to India and bitches because he can't find a steak house. No new experience is worth having, because he's seen the best already, at home. He is also quick to tell the foreigners about the superiority of America, and then comes home and bitches about how unfriendly everyone Over There is.
2. The German. The German is the mild neophobe, and is visiting a foreign land for reasons that are outside of his control. He'd rather be home, and he does his best to forget or ignore the fact that he's even in a foreign land in the first place. He's not hostile, he's just disinterested. The trip is something to be endured, not enjoyed.
3. The Tourist. The Tourist is the mild neophobe. He wants to see unrepresentative behavior from unrepresentative people in the nation he visits. He wants new things, but in small, easily controlled amounts, with lots of momentos (pictures, knick-knacks, etc), to take home so he can remember how neat that foreign country was. At no time will he be found outside of a hotel, tourist trap, or tour group.
4. The Tofu. The Tofu is the extreme neophile, who adopts the flavor of the foreign nation, uncritically and completely. He immerses himself in as many aspects of the foreign land, with no distinction between the good parts and the bad...Or he simply ignores the bad. Everything in the new country is better than it is at home, and home becomes the example of everything that's wrong with the world. If the Tofu comes home, he insists on telling his friends and family how fucked up everything at home is, in comparison to the flawless country he just visited.
The same four people, on race:
The Texan: "Keep Those People out of my neighborhood. They have their own communities." The Texan wants to be among "his own people". He doesn't necessarily belong to the Klan, but let's just say he isn't going to run out and join the NAACP tomorrow.
The German: "I don't see color. There's no time for that." Funny thing: He doesn't. He's so self-absorbed in who he is and what he's doing, that he can't put himself in anyone else's shoes, even for a moment.
The Tourist: "I knew a Black guy in college. He wasn't what I was led to expect. He dressed just like I do." The tourist is typically the patronizing sort of racist. Joe Biden's comment about Obama "being clean for his race" comes to mind.
The Tofu: "Yo yo yo!" The Tofu tries to become Black. He's the White guy who runs around with cornrows, wearing a dashiki, listening to NWA, and claiming that he's from The Street (Technically true: Even Morris, Illinois has streets).
As demonstrated, being a neophile isn't always an advantage. There is no worldview that guarantees that you're not an embarrassing jerk.
Okay for now,