I'm looking for idioms/expressions similar to these but different (see below):
"rearranging chairs on the Titanic" is paying too much mind to the details on something that's doomed to fail anyway
"dead end" is a path/option that you might pursue only to find out it doesn't lead anywhere promising - a let down
"bikeshedding" comes from software development to mean working on an inconsequential side project rather than the main thing
"You guys clearly backed the wrong conceptual horse" from Rick & Morty
I'm thinking of situations when people create an intricate system of reasoning which might be convincing and make sense internally, but falls apart when forced to reconcile with more objective realities. Taking false premises and running with them. Over-thinking in a vacuum without enough data.
Or another way of looking at it: a system which seems to operate happily within its own territory despite unknowingly being surrounded by a larger and more advanced system.
- Movies: The Village (2004), The Matrix (1999).
- An animal species which continues to survive in an isolated pocket of land but would be out-competed if they came in contact with the more deadly world at large.
- Indigenous native tribes living unaware of imperial civilization.
- When relatively ineffective Tai Chi style martial artists are pitted against highly evolved MMA fighters. In essence a development gap due to isolation.