On the morning of Day 4, Noura went on a tirade about how lazy other people in the Lairo tribe seemed to her. First was a long rant at Kellee and Molly about being the only one keeping the fire going at night. Then she complained that people should at least bring back coconuts or firewood when they went away on strategy sessions. Noura claimed to be the only person who was serious about maintaining the camp.
As a viewer, it can hard to fathom how clueless Noura seemed. Had she ever seen the show before? How could she not be aware that chastising multiple tribemates was an excellent way to be voted out, especially so early in the game? She probably would have made the same observations at home when watching players in other seasons.
Based on how she acted later, mentally separating the tribe into “cool kids” and “nerds”, I suspect that Noura feels extreme anxiety during most of her life. Almost everyone feels anxiety, but it might be running a little more out of control in Noura than in the majority of people.
Noura could be using anger as a way to control this anxiety. Of course, I don’t know anything about her other than what we see on Survivor, but almost all humans seem to search for ways to control their anxiety. In fact, we can spend a significant percentage of our days fighting anxiety. Prescription drugs are currently a very popular method. Other people use alcohol, sex, work, exercise, studying, movies, talking, etc. Most people use combinations of methods.
However, a good question might be why Noura would choose anger when an even better way to soothe her anxiety would be staying calm and winning tribal council votes. Questions like this have occupied the attention of many philosophers. Some have claimed that it was impossible for people to knowingly act against their self-interest. That whenever people like Noura seem to be acting against their self-interest, it is only due to their ignorance about what would be in their self-interest. In contrast, other philosophers have observed that sometimes people seem aware that they are acting against their self-interest. Any attempt to call this “actually” a type of self-interest would seem to be just defining away the problem. (Like fitting a square peg into a round hole simply by renaming “round pegs” as “square pegs”.)
To me, it seems that people can knowingly act against their self-interest. There have been many times when I’ve had an additional drink or clicked on yet another YouTube link, despite being very aware that any momentary pleasure would be overshadowed by worse longer-term consequences. If anyone asked me in those moments which was the better choice, I likely would have said turning off my computer or not drinking. This is often the nature of addiction and procrastination.
When people seem to act against their best interest, there is some evidence that their brains are frequently choosing the “bad” option because humans have generally evolved to prioritize short-term anxiety relief over long-term planning. Perhaps because for most of humanity’s time on Earth, so many threats against us were short-term rather than long-term. Food couldn’t be preserved, predators were hard to keep track of, storms seemed to come out of nowhere. So even though our mental network devoted to long-term planning might be well aware of the negative consequences, and is sometimes fighting hard against the impulse to temporarily relieve our anxiety, the long-term planning network can’t overcome the short-term anxiety-relieving network. The different networks of our brains don’t always coordinate with each other.
On another note, why the hell wasn’t Elizabeth making fire for the Vokai tribe? Didn’t she get a special lesson about fire-making from Sandra and Boston Rob? Yet she was nowhere to be seen while Aaron and Tom failed over and over. Elizabeth lost a clear opportunity to help her social game, and her weak story about the Island of the Idols shows that she also apparently can’t lie. She could learn something from Kellee. Kellee also unfortunately used the weak “three urn” lie, but recovered by crying on demand, hiding her idol in her hair, and then offering to be strip-searched in order to prove that she didn’t have an idol. Based on this, I assume that Kellee will use her MBA to work in consulting.