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Las Ideotas

Las Ideotas

A place for whomever to discuss the "big ideas" in life without restrictions, limitations, or censorship.
Question: how would you define "moral"?
Context: I'm to take a searching & fearless moral inventory, and I choose the format. I gave an example trait about myself, and my sponsor asked, "how is that moral?" I realized... I have no idea what it even means anymore. So my assignment is to ask people & look up definitions until something seems right. - Lo
It's a type of eel. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
Or a mushroom? - Brian Sullivan
What an interesting choice of words. I would say something is moral if it "seems right". I could elaborate, but I feel like I'd just be adding noise to a pretty succinct definition. - Brad Greer
Red, feel free to elaborate. What I'm confused on is if it's just my principle about what's right and wrong, how do I inventory myself? I hate everything about this. - Lo
Or if you wanted a serious answer...a set of rules that one lives by to fit in with a society. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
I actually got the mushroom answer at lunch/cribbage with a bunch of AA people. They went with "whenever you remember something and feel like crap, that's a moral." - Lo
To further explain why this is such a problem for me, I have a personality disorder in which I hold a very rigid set of rules about life & how to behave, and completely lose my shit when I or anyone breaks these rules. Ultimately I did not come up with any of these rules, they were instilled, or inflicted, on me - mostly as a child. I've gone to great lengths to discard these rules... more... - Lo
That's what I was wondering. Morals (in my experience) are intrinsically personal. That's not to say it's impossible to be immoral or amoral. Sometimes you learn your morals after the fact, and sometimes you knowingly do things that aren't right. I would say your inventory would end up being a catalog of regrets and [whatever the opposite of a regret is]. - Brad Greer
The funny thing is, I don't really have any regrets anymore. I worked really hard to get to that point. There are things I wouldn't do over again, but a lot of times doing something that seemed stupid worked out to be very important in the end. - Lo
I guess the real problem here is that my sponsor's notion of working the program runs counter to my other program of working out mental health stuff, and I'm thinking I'd have a hard time finding anyone in AA who wouldn't encourage me to do things that would be harmful to me on the perfectionism front. Even going to meetings presses my buttons & requires constant vigilance. *sigh* This Friday needs more Friday. - Lo
To me, morals are strictly what you consider right and wrong. Ethics are the actual rules. - Victor Ganata
What Victor said. A sense of right and wrong can be very personal, while I think of ethics as something we have as a societal standard of some kind. I'm also a firm believer in substituting the things you don't like about an inflicted moral, transforming it into something you do agree with. You don't have to ditch the rules, especially if that is really hard, you just agree to a different set. - Jennifer Dittrich
Yeah, morals are more of a concept without the details. Like it's morally wrong to hurt someone unnecessarily. - Heather
basically I agree with Red. Something is moral/immoral if it seems intrinsically right/wrong to you. the problem i mostly have with morals is that so many people i know (and seems like so much of our nation) think it's something that Church teaches you and cannot be disagreed with. and that things which are immoral (which is a subjective idea) should be illegal. - Sarah (or SCarla)
So in case anyone was wondering, and since this project is due tomorrow morning... most people said roughly the same thing, which is things you did were immoral if you feel bad/sick remembering them. When I first got sober, there were lots of examples, but I've worked really hard to make my peace with all of them. I have come to the conclusion that I grew up with a byzantine system of... more... - Lo
I've thought for a few years now that, if such a thing is possible, the voters in California have too much say. No better example of this than basically voting to eliminate the equal protection clause. But I'm delighted to see that at least once in a while, the constitution is still in effect in this country. - Lo
Finally, an idea big enough for this room came along :P - Lo
Where do you draw the line between chivalry and chauvinism? (Yay! Las Ideotas resurrected! Right before Easter no less, speaking of irony. :-)
So the other day this guy whom I play softball with was rambling on about how playing infield is dangerous for women, and that women should not be pitcher because, again, it's dangerous, and that that's the same reason why women should not be in the front line because it's bad for morale when men see women being killed. (Frankly I think morale's bad throwing women in the front line for a much different reason.) I'm sure he was saying that in an effort to sound like a gentleman, but you start saying what women should or should not do, where does chivalry end and chauvinism begins? - Lynn
I think the line is crossed at choice. If you give a woman the option of being safe/lazy/etc you are being a gentleman/nice/chivalrous. If you don't allow women a choice because "you know better"/"are trying to protect"/etc it's being chauvinist. I would not at all mind a guy saying "You want help? I don't want you to get hurt." but would totally rebel against a guy saying "Don't do that, you'll hurt yourself." Even if I knew I would get hurt, it's my decision. - Heather
I think they can be two words for the same tendency. Many things can be "good" or "bad" depending on the extreme - tolerance, helping others, critique, etc. The only time I am treated with much chivalry is in the south - after a long time in CA, I am caught unawares by men helping me with door opening and such, because that doesn't happen the same way on the west coast. But there's a... more... - Lo
Brad Greer
Which is more important: happiness or truth? Say you have a dear friend who suffers from unexplained headaches, and they begin an expensive course of treatment with, for example, a homeopathic healer. For the sake of argument, say you understand that homeopathy is a scam, but your friend sees improvement in their symptoms.
Does your moral obligation lie with your friend's perceived well being, or social justice? - Brad Greer
I suppose for me it really depends. If there are other ways for the person to get real help I would want to push them towards a possible cure instead of them spending money on a symptom relief. I've heard of people who had "unexplained" problems who went after symptom relief. They don't always know when the problem is getting worse because they just keep relieving the symptoms. That... more... - Heather
Oooh, this is a great one! Nice and complex. Initially I had some follow-up questions about your example that I'd need to answer before being able to make the call. However, that's about the example and not really the underlying question. I'm actually a bit confused about that too. The example to me is an example of the "harmony in friendship or honesty?" conundrum. "Happiness or... more... - Lo
Now that I think about it, my answer to all three of the questions I listed ultimately comes down to the well-being of my friend, because I guess that's what I think friends are for, in addition to just having fun together. In your example, the question of what's best for the friend is a tough one though. Can she afford the expensive treatments, or is it driving her into debt? Heather... more... - Lo
I moved all that rambling to a separate thread... good to see Las Ideotas back online! - Lo
I guess in the example, I was intending the situation to reflect the exhaustion of conventional medicine's methods. We could even say (in the hypothetical) that we *know* your friend's headaches are psychosomatic. But really, the underlying question is still more relevant, so I'll clarify. You could apply the same logic to yourself. If ignorance is bliss, would you choose to be... more... - Brad Greer
Ok, then I think it comes down to 2 factors. Can the person afford the illusion (like Lo said) or can I provide an alternative? I think it's somewhat unfair to take away someone's comfort without enabling another. Like telling a little kid there is no Santa and walking away. It's just not cool. But if I am willing to put the time and effort into helping the friend find a more affordable cure (or "cure") it's my responsibility as a friend to help them. - Heather
For context, this question stemmed from this heated debate: where everyone was jumping on someone for stating that studies showed a particular form of treatment was as effective as placebo. I thought he was completely justified in sharing that information, but I can also see why you might call that person a jerk for going out of his way to rain on a parade. - Brad Greer
Seeing his comment it seems the delivery was improper. It didn't seem to be done in a caring way. I've never heard of CS but it seems like people are saying it's not the best option. Acupuncture (as far as I know) isn't that expensive (and last I heard no conclusion on if it works). I do want to be made aware when things don't work or don't work for my specific needs, but he provided no back up and did it in a negative way. - Heather
Yeah, there were plenty of factors about that particular debate which made it subideal as an example. But it got me thinking along these lines -- about when or if it's your place to bring to light unpleasant truths (to yourself or others). - Brad Greer
Oh, that guy. He seemed to be biased as well, which instantly made me suspect, as well as his ludicrous assertion that a single unnamed study can ever constitute scientific "proof" of anything. Particularly when gauging its effectiveness in treating a disease that isn't even defined! So going back to your example, if the placebo-effect medication were expensive, but truly seemed to... more... - Lo
I think that depends on which is more important to you, happiness or truth. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
I guess in my case, I'm okay with happiness borne of ignorance, but not of delusion, so I would burst my friend's bubble because it's what I would want if the roles were reversed. - Brad Greer
Note to self: Red has greenlit delusion-poking. (this won't be that fun, you don't seem to have as many as most of us :P) - Lo
Those two things probably aren't unrelated :) - Brad Greer
Obviously, I just added the second statement because the first might imply that I had a whole list ready. :) - Lo
I think if tests have been done and there's nothing seriously wrong with your friend, and that we have established that it's psychosomatic, and that the homeopathic treatment works for her, if only as a placebo effect, so long as it's not a financial drain, why not? Think of it as service rendered. She paid for a service, said service made her physical pain goes away. To each their own,... more... - Lynn
Friends. We all have them, and almost everyone has "real" friends among the general constellation of folks you know. What, to you, constitutes a "true" friend? [Las Ideotas rises again!]
In addition to just having fun together, which is definitely important, the main way to be a friend is to look out for your buddy's well-being. What's best for another person is virtually impossible to judge, though, so I limit it to "is there major harm potential?" The vast majority of people choose to not upset the harmony of a friendship rather than confront a friend with harsh reality, and I consider that to be failing as a true friend. My opinion is probably inflamed by knowing that many people could have pointed out things I was doing but shouldn't over the years, but didn't. True, I might have been angry in the short term, but it could have saved me a lot of suffering in the long term. Ultimately I was helped more often by enemies than friends, and so a willingness to be honest is something I look for very carefully among people I know now, and I take what those folks say more seriously. As a result of these experiences, I tend towards saying the unpleasant truths if I think my friend's happiness (in a major way), safety, or health (mental or physical) is at risk. (this is going to be so long) - Lo
Something I've very recently learned is that if you are this type of blunt, other more typical people (cowards :P) will use you to be honest for them. My dad told me about a friend years back who was about to marry a terrible woman. All this man's friends came to my dad and asked him to confront the guy. They all went on a fishing trip, and my dad, being an honest kind of guy, did tell... more... - Lo
Incidentally, this particular issue is a big part of why my perception of who my "real friends" are changed so drastically after college/getting sober. Before it was all about who was cool & I had fun with, but afterward honesty & who was ready with forgiveness played a much bigger role in who I value. - Lo
I try to be the friend that will say "Are you sure this is a good ides?" but I'm terrible at conflict so it does tend to be brushed off. I like to think I'm doing well at it because I probe the person as to why they are doing something and hope that it has long term benefit in that they think about it later. Though judging by how many friends I've been able to retain I probably have room for improvement. - Heather
I call true friends my "3 am" friends. If I need something at 3 am and gotta call someone, the people I can call at 3 am are my true friends. - Just another Bubba
People you can *truly* be yourself around - Amy
"3 am" friends is great. And Amy, that's a rare friend indeed. I can only think of one person I've ever found that really gives me that feeling. It's quite something! :) - Lo
Lo, well said, I am the one people go to, ask MC I can be very curt and blunt almost to a fault (yes I'm working on it), and have no problem telling people *truths*, hard or otherwise. - Scott. Cat Herder.
You guys are liars, if you were really blunt you'd be calling me windbag :P (I kid, much respect to folks like you. If it weren't for you kinda people I'd probably never have clued into how to improve my life) - Lo
That is not true, Lo. Girl I told you that one dress looked awful! ;-) - Mary Carmen
Kidney donation is a great measure of a true friend :-) - Lo
And ultimately Lo, what you said, cannot in my opinion be communicated in 140 characters. - Scott. Cat Herder.
Boy do I suck at Twitter :D - Lo
I'm a hippie. Are you? It's a poorly defined term which refers to different sets of characteristics, but you make the call based on your own feelings. For extra comedy, list your hippie credentials in the comments. (P.S. If you're a hippie I love you! You can count on me to come to your protest or whatever.)
Yes. I don't have a car, house, or kids. I met Arlo Guthrie, twice. I like plants so much they can be sexually arousing. If I there were no consequences I'd stay high (on pot) for the rest of my life. I believe there's no reason we can't have world peace and end hunger. I only sometimes brush my hair. If I had a time machine and could do anything with it, I'd use it to see Hendrix live. I recycle in three different locations. I call everyone "man," including myself. I hear "you should have lived in the 1960s" more than I'd care to admit. I consider Nutrasweet to be Evil. - Lo
One time, a woman in front of me at line at Checkers complained that the drive-thru customers got food before her, despite arriving after her. I responded with, "did you know that almost three billion people live on less than $2 a day?" Her response: (shocked look) "How do they LIVE?" Me: "Well, they sure don't get to eat here!" [you do not want to hang out with me!] - Lo
I spend years trash-talking filthy hippies a la Eric Cartman (hippie mockery is sometimes the surest sign of latent hippie tendencies). - Lo
Woohoo! Shout out to my hippie friends! High five! No, wait, I'll flash the peace sign at ya, Eric. - Lo
My trouble-making impulse is so extreme that I create controversy within groups that are themselves controversial. That is not a statement of pride, just undeniable fact. The outcast's outcast, always looking for lines just for the sheer joy of jumping over them. Denied it, stifled it, tried to stop it... whatever man, enough denial. I accept my hippiedom and will now chain myself to the Lincoln Memorial and stay there until I levitate the Pentagon with my mind... - Lo
I work in Santa Cruz. To people outside of here, I'm probably guilty by association. - Rodfather
Yes, that level of exposure to the air in Santa Cruz is widely known in the medical community to induce spontaneous episodes of hippification. Welcome to the commune! - Lo
Glen, I don't get what you're confused about. Care to offer something more specific? - Lo
MVB, like I said hippie is a subjective term. The modern eco-conscious girl would opt to not introduce more humans into this environment (especially if she had poor genes and were unable to conceive due to high testosterone levels and a sterilized boyfriend). - Lo
I graduated from UMass Amherst with a BS in Wildlife Conservation. I've hugged trees on several occasions, a few for the purpose of confirming I'm a tree hugger. I've composted all my life and used to be shocked when friends told me to throw apple cores in the trash. I consider home-grown (organic, duh!) veggies to be in a class above all other veggies. I call everyone "dude" and... more... - Heather
I might just be a hippie. :) - Heather
I am - just a tad. - vijay
Right on, gintoki. I've thought of going to Burning Man myself from time to time. And Heather, you're definitely in the fold :) - Lo
Once upon a time nearly everyone I knew was a hippie. Where'd you all go? (or where did I go...?) Anyway, happy to see some "others" here on Friendfeed! - Jason Wehmhoener
Huzzah! Joe, you are the Hippie King of this thread. I really expected 0 replies, like Jason I'm glad to see others! - Lo
Hooray, another hippie! *subscribes* - Lo
Hey, everybody who liked this thread! Joe made a FF commune for us to enjoy: - Lo
I'm definitely not a hippie. I'm pretty much like Cartman in that regard. If it was up to me, the government would round up every VW made between 1940 and 1980 and destroy them utterly along with the modern VW Beetle. But I do believe in striving for world peace and ending hunger, but you can keep the 60s. I'm a man perfectly happy living in this time, right now. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
Alex, who said anything about the 60s? See my comments above re: hippie being a flexible term, Cartman-esque tendencies being a sign of denial about being a hippie, etc :) - Lo
But I don't own Berkenstocks, and don't believe in free love...oh and I'd rather drink wine than smoke pot. Plus I like cigars...hippies don't like cigars. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
Yep, Alex is definitely a closet hippie - Rodfather
Aw, thanks ffcode *blush* AyDi, welcome to the FF hippie elite! You're in good company :) Feel free to join the new commune: - Lo
"hippie elite" :D - Eivind
Oh and I love home theater and video games way too much to ever identify as a hippie. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
I love group sex. I'm just sorry I grew up in the wrong age for that. ;-) - Ton Zijp
Alex, your implication that as a hippie I do not love video games has insulted my honor, and I will now challenge you to a duel. I demand satisfaction! - Lo
I'm pretty sure that hippies don't duel. So I think I'm safe for now, hehe. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
I'm pretty sure that hippies will flout any rules laid down, so be careful! I'm google mapping you right now... - Lo
So true, Mark, once a hippie doesn't mean always a hippie. And there are many false self-proclaimed hippies out there... but clearly you're legit, and you're welcome aboard even without being a pothead (more for me!). Cheers! - Lo
That's great Eric! Super cheered me up at just the right moment too. :) - Lo
I know - FF meetup at Burning Man 2010! - Amy℠
Amy, you are on to something! - Lo
I was a hippie at heart. Quit my job in ’70 and took off to Canada with all we owned including the first copy of Mother Earth News describing how to make a tipi. Made one, lived on Saltspring Island in it for eight years, then homesteaded crown land on the BC coast. Lived there ten years. Finally had to think about “old age”, and since I was completely enthralled with my laptop computer (powered with solar energy), I ended up in IT in Vancouver. I am still a hippie at heart. - Lynne
Lynne, your heart is the best place to be a hippie. Your life sounds quite awesome! - Lo
*bump* Any hippies among my new FF homies? - Lo
no but my kids are deadheads . - VALZONE#NEWHIP
i'm a beach bum: (a) during the season, i spend extra-ordinary hours at the beach, (b) i tan well, (c) when not chilling at the beach, i'm chilling on the pier at the beach, fishing, (d) i know (though rebuke, because its so cali) valley speak, (e) ... ;) - chaz2b
CHAAAAAAAAZ! I love you man. That is all. - Lo
Time for a Big Idea Discussion (after a lengthy drought). Today, let's talk about relationships. What constitutes a romantic relationship? That is, say you're in one - how do you know? It seemed obvious until I stopped to think about it. Is there something for you that is mandatory for a relationship (e.g. sex, compliments, shared finances)?
This seems to lead to questions about the purpose & function of a partnership, and that's okay too. If you're new to Las Ideotas, the first rule is that there really aren't any rules. Go off topic, it's all good. - Lo
If I'm in a romantic relationship, sex/intimate touching/making out better be part of it. Otherwise, we're just close friends. - Mary Carmen
I think it's definitely based on physical, mental and emotional intimacy. If you don't have all three, in my mind, it's not a romantic relationship...or at least not one that's built to last. - Scoble, Alex Scoble
I gave it up for lent 7 years ago - VALZONE#NEWHIP
I'm pretty sure that there is no one out there pining for me. And as far as one-sided relationships go, you never know until you try. I always tell people to go for it. I agree with Alex's comment. - Mary Carmen
In case you're wondering, what prompted this question is my current "relationship." It's so far from my expectations I have a hard time using the word "boyfriend" (tend to default to "roommate"), and that's had me thinking about what exactly I expected instead. - Lo
How about: not what you expect, but what you WANT in a relationship with another person. - Mary Carmen
difficult to define - if it's a romantic relationship, there's some sexual aspect, but I expect other layers of intimacy, not the least of which are honest discussions about deeper topics than video games, and a willingness to claim they are in a relationship. (I say this having dissected my own - let's call it a "thing" since it is not a "relationship". Whether these things are... more... - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
Sex isn't... Intimacy is... If I can't wrap my arms around you at almost any point during the day, we aren't really a couple. In fact, I think that may be the sine qua non of relationships for me. - tehKenny
Some things I've realized I want from not getting them: being allowed to talk about relationship issues at some time, even if it's unpleasant - it doesn't have to be right at a given moment, but sometime. Even if you have sexual issues and aren't feeling it, you care enough about the other person to try to help them have some satisfaction. You do things to support each other and make... more... - Lo
Topernic, that's both hilarious & scary. Thanks for the tip! :) - Lo
Amen, tehKenny. amen. - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
Yes, yes and yes. And I also like Kenny's definition. - Mary Carmen
Needed for a relationship, or legal reasons? Marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries :) - Lo
That is an interesting question. - Lo
My relationship was official on the night he kissed me. (Go ahead, "oh" and "aw" lol) It happened after several nights of long talks that tended towards personal info. The kiss was unspoken to be the moment we sort of "claimed" each other. I think the mental and emotional sharing/connection can be the bulk of a relationship, but there has to be some physical closeness (even if it's long... more... - Heather
Heather, I like it! Simple, unmistakable, sweet. I <3 you, man. - Lo
Are zoos/aquriums inhumane? They used to be my favorite places. Lately I am wondering is it cruel and unusual to trap animals in confined areas just so we can look at them up close and personal. Maybe they are meant to be appreciated the way "God" meant it -- in the wild on Discovery HD.
Nothing is black and white, but zoos serve a lot of purposes for the benefit of animals as well as people. The power of education shouldn't be underestimated, as I'm sure there are many people who simply won't respect why wildlife preservation is important from a distance. Beyond that, they serve as embassies into the animal world, and are typically the only places where studies and breeding programs can be enacted. - Brad Greer
Very good point, Brad. - Lynn from email
I like the idea of zoos as embassies, nice one Red :) As for whether they're inhumane... this guy told me about a drunken time when he and some buddies decided they were going to free the (I can't remember the animal now - monkeys?) from the San Diego zoo. "The Sierra Club is going to LOVE us!" they figured. Only after sneaking in late at night, when he climbed down into the monkey cage, he was actually in with the tigers. He lived. Aside from that, all I know about zoos I learned from reading Life of Pi. - Lo
Remember that stupid kid that got mauled by a tiger (lion?) in SF Zoo? All signs, short of a video, point to the fact that he was doing something stupid that (1) provoked the animal and (2) somehow allowed it to get out of the exhibit (his shoe was inside the exhibit, for God's sake). Poor tiger had to be put down for that clown? - Lynn from email
I actually just went to a zoo (York's Wild Kingdom) and was disappointed how torn I am between enjoyment and sadness. I loved seeing the little kids get so excited, and I liked seeing the animals too. But at a few points (the pair of lions, the African Grey's with no toys) I really felt that maybe it wasn't worth it. Zoos collectively do great work in animal behavior, genetics, breeding... more... - Heather
"Plus, the lions don't eat nearly enough stupid people." Lol, lol, lol, just love it! - Sandra
The overwhelmingly popular response to a flawed world is to distract oneself with various superficial diversions, generally ignoring problems as much as possible. This can make everything seem all right, at least temporarily. Is it enough for you?
This is probably a stupid question to even ask, as I look around FF. But for me, the answer is no, that is not enough. Follow up question, if self deceit is abhorrent in some cases (some of you have vehemently made this case, especially when it comes to religion), then why is it acceptable when you do it in other ways? And I'm not trying to make a point, I truly want to know. - Lo
It has to be, for now, because for the most part there is nothing I can do. For every gallon of water I saved there are people take showers 3x a day, or washing their cars daily. For every plastic bottle I put in the recycle bin, there are a gazillion others out there just think that this whole recycling thing is a scam. What's worse is their attitude, "I simply don't give a shit," they... more... - Lynn
I wasn't looking for any answer but an honest one. So I think yours is perfect! I can certainly relate to feeling frustrated at others not being interested in the same causes as me. Of all the ways to deal with this frustration, I think the only way to really lose is to take the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality. I've tried that many times, and it's never ended well. I get frustrated that there's no one to talk to about Darfur or neurology sometimes, but caring on my own has its own rewards. - Lo
Last time I said something to that effect I got you more depressed. (Apparently I am very good at that.) I didn't exactly adopt the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality this time... although I am an expert at that too. :) I still unplug my laptop at night and recycle what I can, I just don't go above and beyond to try to change the world. Not everyone of us are comfortable with the... more... - Lynn from email
No, it is not enough... but (the big great but) it is a need. When I do not do so I get in a mood that is mix of anger and depression and pesimism that is not funny even for myself. So I do have to "ignore the problems" from a while to be able to act positively, being the key word "act". Not sure if I make any sense, but the question took me back to when I was 15 and asking my dad "why... more... - Sandra
San, on one level I agree with you, I've thought the same things many times myself. Lately I'm wondering though, whether it's actually attempting to be like the superficial, popular girls that makes existential angst so painful (metaphorically speaking). For people like us, lying to oneself does not seem to be the comfort that it is to others. But I agree focusing on flaws only is... more... - Lo
Just read something that summed it all up much more concisely than I: "In the blinding rain, with pressing needs, goals are lost to view, except to keep from coming undone. Impatient frustration just leads to more tangles. He cannot impose his plan with all this defending to do. The young noble locates his feet and stays put, humbly calling on helpers, noting his losses, counting his blessings." Particularly that last part, note the losses, count the blessings. - Lo
I hope this makes sense, I have a hard time thinking for any length of time recently (hopefully just due to lack of sleep). I'm really good at untying knots. The reason someone can fight with a knot, end up making it worse, hand it to me and watch me untangle it quickly is that I look at it first. With a knot, or complex problem, diving in and wrenching the thing around wont solve it. I... more... - Heather
Heather, that sounds like a good strategy. It's definitely not ignoring problems via distraction. I tend to be too hasty when untying knots myself, but working on it. For me, either is better than just ignoring the knots altogether and spending all one's time focusing on completely trivial frivolities. (and for the record, what prompted this thread was the day the war in Darfur was... more... - Lo
If we don't leave time to escape from our problems -- time to imagine ourselves in a better world -- then how will we ever know what to strive for in reality? - Brad Greer
Brad, I guess I wouldn't equate imagining a better world to ignoring reality. I can see how the two might go hand in hand, but either/or is a false dichotomy. Also, when I said "distracting oneself with superficial diversions," I didn't really mean imagining a better world. Watching reality tv, for instance, is nothing of the sort. I find I'm rather limited in my examples, don't want to start a freaking holy war :P - Lo
Weird. I could have sworn I wrote a nice long response yesterday. Drat. I'll have to see if I can reconstruct it later. - Brad Greer
:) "whether it's actually attempting to be like the superficial, popular girls that makes existential angst so painful (metaphorically speaking)." Nah. I had that angst at 15. I truly learnt to love the oddball I am (thanks to an equally oddball bunch of awesome friends and years of psychoanalysis, lol). But really, no, there is no "real" escape, no lying to myself, just some... more... - Sandra
Sorry, San, I didn't mean to imply you were a follower. Only some aspects of the metaphor hold :) I don't really know much about Darfur myself, and I'm not the topic police. I just felt bewildered and disappointed by the superficiality of people who so regularly self-congratulate for their superiority to the superficial. But, sure enough, you guys showed up to show me that my judgments... more... - Lo
(spoiler: I'm a total hippie, pacifist type. If we can get some people in here, you can watch everybody attack me while I put daisies in their arguments! :P) - Lo
OK, got a topic at last! What's the most difficult thing you've learned (or are still learning) lately? Time frame and subject are entirely up to you.
For me there's a whole list, but the #1 is probably: when to not try to help people. - Lo
#2: Just because I hate myself doesn't mean that I don't have a huge ego. - Lo
#3: Sometimes it's better to say nothing, even if I think someone is about to make a big mistake (see #1). And sometimes I'm wrong about it being a mistake, anyway. - Lo
How to answer this question. - Brad Greer
Is it too open-ended, have you never learned anything, or is your life so charmed that everything's come easy? Or something else? Maybe I can help, I love forcing my way into other people's difficulties (see #1) :P - Lo
#4: Life isn't fair, and when adults say this to children they obscure the true meaning. Sometimes the greatest people in the world are made to suffer far more than any evil. Sometimes causing harm is rewarded. Sometimes seeking justice does more harm than good.* And there isn't anything I can do about it. *The US as a nation fails to grasp this to a comical degree. - Lo
No one is going to step in and "save me" I have to get off my butt and do everything myself. It's my life and I decided for myself. - Heather
That's a good one, Heather! - Lo
It just sucks I'm still in the process of learning it, and I'm kinda slow to take action. lol - Heather
Kind of interesting that I've been learning the opposite lesson for quite some time: It's not always my responsibility just because it won't get done otherwise -- it's okay to hold people to their obligations or ask for their help. - Brad Greer
#7: No personal rule should be applied without first asking "how important is it?" (think that strongly ties to yours, Brad) Often, despite ethical conflict, it's better to just let things go. - Lo
#8: It doesn't matter where you try to hide, FaceBook will always come and claim ownership of everything you create and love. - Lo
Good one, Dave. I'm pretty sure Buddha said life didn't *require* suffering though, see noble truth #3. Not that I agree with Buddha in all things, but it's amazing how everyone I've discussed Buddhism with (here particularly) seems to have been taught a variety of half-truths or outright lies about the philosophy. (edit: sorry, not that I'm trying to start a debate about Buddhism. But... more... - Lo
Lately I try not to look at any advertising. If I can't avoid commercials I just mute them and close my eyes. Even when viewing them skeptically I suspect there's negative effects on the brain. More importantly, if I don't see any ads then all in my presence are spared having to listen to my lectures about the misleading tactics. I actually think it should be illegal to deliberately... more... - Lo
Some commercials are actually *FUNNY*! Sometimes I stop TiVo and go back to watch a commercial. ;) At least they stop the practice of flashing images so fast in advertisement that makes you subliminally want to go out and purchase the merchandises! :D - Lynn
I actually really like the cash for clunkers ad that shows an old car being lifted up and a new car falling out. :) - Heather
No way. Jack in the Box has the best ads. Did you see the "Costco" one? Twin pack plasma TV + free 15 lbs beef jerky? :D - Lynn from email
Still learning... trying to learn... not really succeeding at it: PATIENCE (aaaaaaghhhhh!) - Sandra
Oh, pffftttt, that is SO overrated. :D - Lynn from email
Being assertive, especially at work. Getting across the message that, "Darling, this really is not an option." :D - Lynn
Good ones, guys, nice. #12 The only time people will post in Las Ideotas is when I'm not looking. - Lo
You know that little web cam on your computer? He knows when you are naughty and nice... (and not looking at your computer :) - Lynn
Actually I don't have one on my laptop, I was too paranoid that The Man could spy on me. - Lo
And that's precisely why your stockings don't get filled on Xmas day. ;) - Lynn from email
#13 The most difficult decision to make is ultimately to stop hating myself and believe that I'm fine the way I am. - Lo
#14 Yes, we can. - Lo
I really am working on it, Dave. It's so much harder than calculus, which is a shame because that's the sort of thing I actually enjoy doing :P Think I'm finally starting to see some headway, though now that I've said it... lol - Lo
I personally feel that voluntary population control via educating people to have an optimal number of kids and/or *thinking* it through before having kids will solve A LOT of our problems:- less people, less pollution, less carbon footprint, improved sustainability, etc. etc. So why is population control such a taboo to talk about?
Is Lo in tears that we finally have another topic? :) - Lynn
Limitation on freedom is to have a one-child policy like China, not if it's only *strongly encouraged*. There no reason why we can't educate people to think twice before they pop out a kid. And what is this "obvious benefit" we are talking about? - Lynn from email
Is it taboo? I've heard it discussed for years. Unfortunately most intelligent people take the "you need a license to have kids" position (usually at least semi-jokingly), and that's an obvious affront to human freedom. The real problem with a sensible slowing of reproductive rate seems to be economic... the world's overpopulated and still growing, but countries with slowing birth rates... more... - Lo
Also, tangentially related: I really don't know much about the one-child policy in China, but I do know that what I've heard about it here in the US conflicts with what I heard and saw in China from Chinese people. Who knows where the truth lies, but I know for certain that: a) the policy does not apply to all Chinese, and b) if you have a second baby despite being under the policy,... more... - Lo
Yeah, the one-child policy is not absolute. Like Lo said, you can pay a fine, or you can state that your first child has some sort of "defects" and request permission to have another (doctors can, of course, certify whatever they want about their own children). But we don't have to go to that extreme here, I am merely suggesting that we should educate people to think twice whether they... more... - Lynn from email
It is taboo, because people who talk about it, does it jokingly... not seriously. Let me add something to the "benefits"... the benefits are somewhat perceived as personal, not so much as the tax base problem (that is also real) but much more around "someone that will take care of me in my old years". Even if that never happens (in some cases) and rarely said out loud, I have seen that "benefit" included in the list of benefits, just with some other words.... - Sandra
That is probably majority of the reason to have kids, especially in Asia. But such a selfish reason to have kids! - Lynn from email
Uhmmmm... let's face it: Whatever your reasons to have kids it is always a selfish one.... You have kids because you want to have them, not because they are begging to come to this paradise, nor because we have run out of kids to adopt. (and yes, this line has put me in the middle of very heated discussions, but, truly, I still haven't found one reason that is not selfish... some... more... - Sandra
I don't know. I think people who actually like kids and enjoy them is a good reason to have kids, not as selfish as having them to take care of you when you are old. - Lynn from email
I agree with Sandra, but it's not a good/bad thing. When you have kids it's usually to serve your own interest. A couple years ago I would have given various "altruistic" reasons for not having kids, but I can be honest now that it's mostly for selfish reasons. Even my desire to not inflict my negative family patterns on another human being is somewhat selfish, I just want to avoid the... more... - Lo
I've thought about this some more, and I'm wondering if the times when my self-interest seems to conflict with the interest of others are signs that I hold delusions about the topic in question. I'm becoming ever more firmly convinced that delusions are the #1 cause of suffering (for me, at least!) but they are dastardly tricky to discover and eliminate. I figured starting this group would help me figure them out, but boy was that a silly idea. - Lo
Lo, I'm not sure I'm following, by "conflicting interest," do you mean "conflicting opinion"? You think you are delusional whenever your opinion differs from someone else's? Am I totally off base here? - Lynn from email
So the society pretty much dictates that when a person is sick, we will do anything possible to extend his/her life for as far out as possible, never mind that it's his last 3 days in the ICU begging for early relief.... what about animals? Where should we or you personally draw the line for pets?
There are MRI and chemotherapy and kidney transplant (?) for pets, personally I think that's a bit over the top. What's your opinion? - Lynn
I can't answer the should question (starting to really loathe that word). As for where I'd draw the line, it really depends on the conditions of the time. The line used to be a certain place, but I know it's moved. Circumstances (such as how I felt about the animal) could move it again. My mom once had laser surgery performed on a lovebird for some great expense, I thought it was pretty ridiculous at the time (and the bird died anyway) - Lo
Did anyone here participate in the Kiva Community Conference Call? I'm curious as to how it went.
Did anyone else get a load of those rules? I liked "Previous calls have had an "open floor" format where anyone was able to speak up and "take the floor". While this has been successful for past calls, we are expecting this month's call to require more organization." Yeah, "more organization" is one way to put it. I was planning on calling until I read that. The "Unhappy Kiva Lenders" piss me off when they're just spamming my teams, I can only imagine what would happen listening to them speak. I didn't want to scare my coworkers. - Lo
To answer my own question, audio and the slideshow were posted here: - Lo
I'm interested, but I don't know how well I would follow all of it. I should check out the slide show I guess. - Heather
The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish. When the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the...
...He is the one I would like to talk to. -Chuang Tzu - Lo
Maybe it's lost in translation, but that's one of the flimsiest metaphors I've ever heard. - Brad Greer
Care to elaborate? Sorry, I don't even understand enough to ask a more specific question :P I'm not saying you're wrong, just confused. - Lo
For starters, the premise is flawed. When fish are caught, the trap is *reused* to catch different fish. Same with the rabbit snare. If you can allow that, then I'd say the metaphor is apt but misapplied. If not, then I would still say that there's an asymmetry to the relationship of traps and words. Words are used to convey ideas *to others,* not to steal them away from their natural... more... - Brad Greer
Sorry if that was a bit rambling. For those of you keeping score at home, I believe that's three major issues in the structure of the metaphor leading me to doubt the conclusion. Hence: very flimsy. But I'm also fully willing to believe there was much lost in translation (unless I'm being racist and Chuang Tzu is a native English speaker). - Brad Greer
1. Words can be reused to convey different ideas, right? 2. You lost me here. "The direction of the passage of the idea reverses between the sentences..."? Sorry, please translate into 4th-grade level for me. Also, I'm not sure where the 2nd issue ends and the third begins. I think a big stumbling block is the word "forgotten" which is an imprecise translation from the Chinese. Also, I could add that the metaphor is flawed if you focus on the words, but not if you focus on the idea behind the words :P - Lo
1. Yes, hence my caveat that "If you can allow that, then I'd say the metaphor is apt but misapplied." 2. Basically, what I'm saying is that in the first sentence, it would appear as though the author is talking about conveying an idea, as in, I have an idea, and I use words to convey it to you. In the second sentence, he refers to having "grasped" the idea, meaning he is looking at it... more... - Brad Greer
Oh, don't take me wrong. I was just thinking out loud, b/c now that you've got me analyzing the words "forgotten" does seem out of place. You know, I think spending so much time communicating with Chinese folks has trained me to take words a lot less literally and try to "see through" them to the underlying intent. Hey, you helped me learn something about myself! Not bad for having a... more... - Lo
If I had to guess, by the way, I think the intended meaning of "forgotten" is closer to "no longer the focus of attention." In other words, you may spend a lot of time looking at and fiddling with your trap so you can catch food, but once you've got the food your attention is on that. You're right it doesn't quite translate because you get hungry again for the same food, whereas... more... - Lo
It's not exactly a coincidence that I got sick after I got home. I was working long days, followed by air travel, followed by a 3-or-4-day weekend full of significant drinking. The stars definitely aligned. - Brad Greer
Also, in the context of your interpretation (words not being the focus of attention), the staggering irony of this discussion just hit me. - Brad Greer
Damn, I take it back, maybe you are confused :P That's what I was getting at earlier, heh. Go rest and stuff! - Lo
Deep question: Have you ever sneezed whilst urinating? If so, how was it?
I haven't, but nearly did last night and got to wondering... - Lo
True, true. I knew eventually I'd find a topic with the appropriate depth for FF :P - Lo
I officially declare this room dead. My vision for it cannot become reality under the current conditions. However, I will leave it here so that it will be ready if conditions ever change. Thank you all very much for joining.
Boooo... there is no button for "unlike this"... - Sandra
I've been feeling bad for not contributing here, but I have the little nagger in my head that says "that's personal, no one else would be interested in it". Then later on I forget what it was and never post. Sorry for slacking! :) - Heather
Well I tried to come up with a new topic but nobody's biting... seems pretty dead to me. - Lo
Radically rephrased: When faced with conflict, which do you prefer - trying to understand the roots of the conflict (in the past), or just focusing on resolving it in the present? I realize often both are necessary, but what proportion is most effective in your experience?
Please note that if you had a healthy family, not only will you have trouble answering this, but the question itself probably won't make sense. That's okay. Just thank your lucky stars that you were born into a nice family :) - Lo
Or, if nobody else has a dysfunctional family but me, please suggest a new topic! Most of you haven't done so yet... *stares intently at quiet people* - Lo
My family I think has the standard level of dysfunction. My mom's side mostly gets along, but my half sister (dad's first marriage) is definitely the black sheep we try to not discuss often. I really don't know what she was like before the trouble started. When I was young I knew her as someone who came to play with me and was fun. I kind of wish I knew more about her, so I can know to what degree I'm different or if we have more in common then I think. - Heather
I dunno, Dave. There is just such a substance, and I've toyed with the idea of ingesting it, but there's a lot of hesitation. I do believe there are things that aren't worth seeking, but who the hell knows. - Lo
Yeah, psilocybin is what I meant by "there is such a substance." I have mixed feelings on whether doing them now would really be good for me, though. You seem to be making the mistaken assumption that a) I'm just thinking without experiencing the emotions you associate with psilocybin, and b) that I haven't used it before. I was a hardcore drunk, remember? I've done all sorts of drugs.... more... - Lo
Is a chemical induced experience of value? Does it have bearing on day-to-day life? Does it show you truth or fantasy? - Heather
I'm confused. I understand the emotional argument, but wasn't this question about learning about your family? Eating shrooms might give you lots of emotions, but you won't leave with any more information, will you? Unless you meant internal recon, but it didn't sound like you did. - Brad Greer
Heather - Depends on the chemical. - Lo
Red - My desire to find mescaline is completely unrelated to my thoughts about my family, but it's something else that's been on my mind so I just ran with it when Dave brought it up. I don't think I phrased the initial question very well... I meant something more like "When faced with conflict, which do you find is more effective - trying to understand the roots of the conflict (in the... more... - Lo
Dave, I rephrased the original question, and so I'm going to drop all further discussions of chemicals, at least in this location. But you motivated me to finally contact the person I wanted to ask about that topic, and so far it's been most illuminating, so thanks for the push to finally do that... I've been putting it off for weeks. - Lo
No Dave, you "failed" because your point was not clear. Red very clearly stated that he did not see how your argument related to the original question. Likewise, I understand the words you're saying but not how it applies to my question of whether trying to investigate my family background is a productive use of time, or just dwelling on imaginary problems and making myself feel worse. Care to elaborate? And we can now see that I thread jacked, but it's my thread so I felt entitled :P - Lo
For the record, I totally got the point Dave was trying to make. What confused me is when Lo ran with it, making it seem like it was related to the original question *directly*. But now that's all cleared up. It's funny; I was about to post in response to the new question that I sometimes spend large amounts of energy trying to understand even conflicts that are already resolved. It seems fate has provided us all with a very convenient example. :P - Brad Greer
Red, me too! That's what led to this question... is trying to understand conflicts, even if they're not immediately relevant, worthwhile? Or am I just torturing myself? I do realize that it depends on the situation, of course... I'm just starting to wonder whether I do the latter too much, and whether learning more about my family history falls into that category. When you sometimes spend large amounts of energy trying to understand resolved conflicts, do you feel like you're wasting your time? - Lo
I see, Dave. Perhaps you misunderstood my question, but in fairness it was very poorly phrased. The cons of querying my family members have nothing to do with a fear of the unknown, and everything to do with wasting my own time and potentially even inflicting suffering on my family members for no reason. Instead of "is it worth it?" how about "is there a point?" - Lo
It's akin to seeing an actor in a movie, and trying to think of where else you've seen them. The curiosity gnaws and gnaws until you feel like you *absolutely must* know the answer, or you will obsess about it. Sometimes, enough time passes that you forget to obsess, and life goes on until you're reminded. Others, you make a beeline to imdb to sate your curiosity, and can rest easy. The... more... - Brad Greer
Red - Now I know the one thing that makes me call you "my kind" more than anything else - the need to know that you describe is something that I share, and something you've probably noticed is not universal or even common. My advice to you is to never, ever accidentally have any sort of "spiritual" experience. When you HAVE to know, and start to ask questions that are very, very... more... - Lo
Really? I saw the trailer and thought it looked consummately missable/forgettable. Maybe I'll pop it on the ol' Netflix queue when it comes around to DVD town. - Brad Greer
I thought the same thing, but then I remembered a lesson I've learned, which is that Will Ferrell is rarely in a movie I don't like, especially lately. IMHO that man is the consummate example of someone who "hides his light" well, i.e. is much wiser than he appears. The movie is kinda dumb but has some laughs. But the underlying message is one of not giving up when you've gone off the... more... - Lo
Arriving late to the party (I am having a meltdown of computers at home that had me more disconnected that I can bare...) I have to give my cents... for me understanding the roots of conflict has been extremely useful to -most of the time- avoid falling onto the same traps in the present. I say "most of the times" because in some cases while I do understand now the roots of conflict... more... - Sandra
Dave, I thought you just throwing out Uncle Noam was one of those Dave mysteries that I'd never understand, but I should have read it first. I can see how it's of interest to me right now, if not how it related to this. But then, you often make but fail to explain your points, which is why I laugh when you say I'm an enigma. I suppose I must do the same. - Lo
What is this, an enigma contest? heh - Lo
It's a holiday (for me, anyway). Let's do something light. Name something you really, really love. No limits on the nature of the thing. If picking one is hard, name multiples! You know how lax I am about rules :) If it's a holiday for you, enjoy!
I love trees, especially when they're old or have been twisted into unique shapes from forces of nature. I love when someone really changes in a meaningful way. I love when I do something bizarre, and am met with a look of amusement instead of judgment. I really love my grandma. I love solving mysteries, Beethoven's Pastorale, and the Venture Brothers. I love traveling, International Klein Blue, and photos of surfers in beautiful locations around the world. And I love you guys :) - Lo
I love trees in a way I can't even explain, especially the ones with faces. I love learning about anything, even if it means I was wrong. I love surprising people with what I know, think or am capable of. I love animals, even the creepy ones. I love macro photography and seeing things close up in general. I love the power in thunderstorms, playing games from when I was little, and... more... - Heather
I love manga. I love cats. I love being married. I love pragmatic people. I love intellectually stimulating conversations. I love life sciences. I love fooding. I love it when people gets me and likes me for who I am. And I love being blunt. :) - Lynn
I love dark chocolate. I love dark and old movies, as well as dark comics. I love utopias in a very stupid way. I love to learn something new everyday if possible, even if it is a small and silly thing, like a keyboard shortcut or a totally useless trivia. I love to read and good food. I love dogs way more than people (is not like that bar is so high, at least for me). I love traveling,... more... - Sandra
Heather, Parsonii, Sandra - thanks for playing! Those were some awesome lists of things to love. I love a lot of those things too! - Lo
Do you think people are talking about things that really stand in the way of equality, or blow things out of proportion for attention?
I think it warrants discussion, but that it is nonetheless being blown out of proportion. The fundamental issue with characters like this (unlike Jar Jar; I will explain in a moment) is that they have no distinct "race" from the other characters. They're cultural stereotypes, to be sure, but I would be willing to bet that you can find people of at least 3 races who fit that stereotype... more... - Brad Greer
It actually seems narrow minded to me that it's assumed to be about black people. They specifically mentioned that Kevin Federlin (sp?) also fits the way the robots acted. Not all rappers are black, so saying rapper stereotype= black stereotype, imho, is itself racist. I think the fact that a black and white voice actor developed the characters mostly themselves is another check on the side of innocent. If these characters are offensive, then so are every other poser character. -Naive white girl- - Heather
My opinion, as usual, differ from that of Brad. I watched the entire Star Wars and the aliens are just what they are -- aliens -- to me. I did not associate any of them with any specific race. The fact that almost every ethnicity claimed to be offended by a different (and a few fought over the same) alien suggested that they just wanted the attention. I have not watched Transformer and... more... - Lynn
This might be flippant, but pirates also had gold teeth, see Pirates of the Caribbean. :) - Heather
Sure, I've seen Asians with gold teeth too. :) But it's the combination of rapper style + gold tooth that create the African American image. On a different note, check out this avatar that I created. Would the "bling" go with any other ethnicity? I think not. Gangster-wannabe + bad ebonics + gold tooth? I'd say they are racial caricatures. - Lynn from email
I think one thing that's interesting is unspoken issue in this case. Our society expects racial/cultural diversity in media to an extent that everyone is subconsciously assuming there's at least one "black" robot. Then, ironically, we identify it by looking for stereotypes, and are surprised when the result is offensive. I'd even go out on a limb and say there wouldn't be quite as much... more... - Brad Greer
Sure, but there are positive and negative stereotype. Saying that all Asians can do math is a positive stereotype, emphasizing on black's outstanding sports ability is a positive stereotype. There can also be neutral stereotypes. People are only offended when the robot(s) were portrayed as black people speaking broken English, beng gangsters wannabe and only exist to call each other stupid. - Lynn from email
Ok, I'm back from the movie, don't tease me too much for enjoying movies with loose logical merits and big fancy explosions! So the first this is what I noticed most about the twinbots, they're really freaking short! Their car shapes were the same size as Bumblebee, but he was at least twice as tall. Before even seeing the movie I've been thinking about how comic characters are often... more... - Heather
I happened to speak with people of color yesterday about this movie (they brought it up, I didn't). The consensus is that it is definitely stereotype, but they don't find it terribly offensive because they have the funniest lines in the movie? - Lynn
In my opinion, this is not racist. It's mocking a certain attitude/lifestyle which has become glorified among many teenagers and young people, the majority of whom are white. The reality is that kids who want live this way usually *don't* read, because that's not "cool." Besides, if the robots had known how to read the symbols at that point in the movie the plot would have been ruined.... more... - Lo
"Albert Einstein: Concept of a Soul is Empty and Devoid of Meaning" - Do you agree? Why or why not?
Expanded version:- "The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning." - Lynn
Agree. Try as I might, I can't think of any common conception of a soul that doesn't require a functioning brain. Now, if a soul is viewed as the "essence" of a person i.e. the most fundamental parts of what makes them who they are, then yes, it still exists in the memories of those who know them regardless. But as the concept usually goes, a soul is a bodiless manifestation of the... more... - Brad Greer
Assuming the body is the vehicle of the soul, it is precisely like a driver sitting inside a car (invisible in this case), the fact that you can observe the movements of the steering wheel, engine, tires, etc. while the car is in motion does not rule out the existence of the driver. In fact, one can argue that these are precisely the *evidence* that supports the existence of the invisible driver. - Lynn
Understood, but my view is unchanged. The fact remains that you rarely see a car move without a driver, and if you look hard enough, you can always (except in the rarest cases) prove that a driver is or is not present. With no physical definition for a soul, no way of observing it outside of a body, I'm more comfortable invoking Occam's Razor and saying it is merely a function of a living body until someone can show me evidence of it existing outside of one. - Brad Greer
Yes. Life is interesting enough to be worthwhile without needing a soul, and it seems inconsistent with my scientific understanding, so I just tossed the notion aside for good at some point. Haven't missed it. - Lo
I think the fact remains that we don't know what's the difference between a life human and a dead body. Before we discovered/understood electricity and magnetism, they still existed. But I see your point, until there are evidence supporting the existence of souls, you do not believe they exist. I, however, find the idea of soullessness very difficult to stomach. I don't know in what form a soul exists, but I sure hope it does. Am I starting to turn into a theist? O.o - Lynn
Note that Einstein's comment doesn't mean a soul doesn't *exist,* but that the *concept* is redundant. That is to say (and this was my point) there's nothing we can say about a soul that isn't covered scientifically by some other process. You can still call it a soul, and you can think there's something fundamentally unknowable about consciousness, and few people would argue your right... more... - Brad Greer
Einstein may not have said that a soul doesn't exist, but it was certainly implied. I feel that if there's no life after death in some form, our plane of existence will be *empty and devoid of meaning," therefore I choose to believe there are more. But I suppose a "soul" and "consciousness" can be used interchangeably. You say potato, I say po-TAH-to. :) - Lynn
On a different note, this guy go to the extent of having an experiment on proving that there is a soul. Though I don't understand why he'd think that if a soul exists, it will have weight. And his experiment also conveniently supported his Catholic beliefs that animals have no souls. :S - Lynn
See that's interesting parsonii, it seems to me you just said that you don't actually care so much about the question of whether consciousness can exist without a brain (as red originally laid out, and right now I'm trying to be open-minded - though still rather skeptical - about that question, for instance is there any merit to any claim of ghosts/haunting anywhere in the world? I... more... - Lo
Pars that was great! That guy from snopes is hilarious and depressing. As soon as I got to the "only humans have this special thing that I don't understand" he lost me completely. Lame! - Lo
No, no, no, Lo. I care a lot about whether consciousness can exist without a brain. A consciousness outside of our physical form is what I think of as a "soul." I am saying that without life after death, it'd make our current existence meaningless. Sure, we live comfortably in US, I can satisfy with happiness as the ephemeral meaning. What about kids in countries that we help out on... more... - Lynn
I gave the guy credit for being thorough on the human part of the research though, he pretty much covered all angles about possible explanation of weight lost -- perspiration and respiration. Perhaps his 1907 equipments just weren't precise enough to measure the weight of a dog's soul, assuming the weight of the soul is proportional to the mass of the body. =D - Lynn
Believing child soldiers in Uganda all get transported to some magical fairy land where their suffering is relieved - this is a notion that I spent many sleepless nights over the last decade trying desperately to believe. Ultimately I can't force myself to believe something that seems false, no matter how nice it might seem. When I got sober I had an experience that was similar to a... more... - Lo
I disagree that he covered all the angles. I agree that he did cover all that he could/would see, but that was pretty few. He could conceive of two possible ways the body could lose weight, and then gave up and basically chalked it up to magic. If real scientists were like that, many advances would never have come. If there is any substance that leaves the body in a way that is not... more... - Lo
Lo, I see your point about how that thinking can be dangerous. But it doesn't have to be. Whether there is an afterlife or not, it does not mean that we should not try within our means to help people in this physical life. If I know I'll be extremely happy in 30 days, that doesn't mean I will be okay living in a nightmare until then. That is irrelevant. And that's probably why some... more... - Lynn
The guy already have the Catholic preconception that he was trying to prove with his experiments. He wasn't exactly objective. But he covered the angles that I could think of, not that I'm an expert in this subject. :) Plus, the study was too controversial for him to pursue further. The results would have been a lot more convincing, assuming they were consistent, if he had 60 subjects instead of six. - Lynn
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply it has to be that way. It doesn't. But often, it is. After Hurricane Katrina I heard sooooo many examples of people using this logic to rationalize the pain away. It was a defense mechanism among the victims, which I can understand, but that was what really kept the cavalry from ever truly arriving (and it is still sort of straggling in, years after the... more... - Lo
Yah, I agree that there's only so much microlending can do. It will probably not bring by large-scale changes, hence the "mirco" part. But I enjoy helping individuals in small ways and know that for sure that it will make an impact on his/her life instead of donating a larger amount to a charity and have no idea whether my money went to help someone or used up in administrative fees. But, you go girl, try and figure out how you can help in a bigger scale! - Lynn
I should have clarified it's not just that I think microlending won't save the world. I've been presented (particularly in this month's Harper's!!!) with increasing evidence that the pragmatic market-based approaches (now hugely popular) are actually making the problems of hunger worse. We have waaaaay more than enough food for everyone, but hunger is once again on the rise. Despite Bill Gates efforts, and Kiva. Hunger riots all over the world, before I quit reading the news. - Lo
Drat, I was so deep in Serious Thinking Mode I missed your awesome joke. Edible bibles is the best thing I've heard all week :P - Lo
About the study, I clearly remember how the church lost me forever when it was explained to me that there will not be dogs in heaven due to the fact that they don't have a soul. Not that I was a big believer to start with but that was the last straw for me, it couldn't be a perfect place for me if there was no dogs. When it comes to the soul, I really don't care much about if it exists... more... - Sandra
Clearly to have this debate we all need to define "soul" as I see at least two if not three different definitions in play so far. - Lo
LOL. No offense, Sandra, I found it funny that of every other possible reasons, your last draw being there's no dogs in Heaven. :) I was raised Catholic, I have never heard any mentions of animals not having "souls." - Lynn
@Lo, you are correct, I guess we do have different definitions of "soul" here. I assume by "in play so far," you mean this discussion. I was thinking along the line of consciousness/soul more or less as the difference between a live body and a dead one, that would extend to all living things, including plants, let alone animals. I believe when Buddhism talks about reincarnation, it... more... - Lynn
Oh so many things to say! Not believing in a soul, I find it hard to define. :) I agree with Sandra though, it upset me to no end to hear "Animals don't have souls." I find it a cruel concept that a creature (specifically dogs) that has the capability of unwavering loyalty and love could be left out of the eternal bliss promised to deeply flawed humans. Then again, I think what people... more... - Heather
Parsonii no offense taken, I know it sounds pretty funny but hey I was 14 or 15 and as I said I may have not been a big believer to start with. But to put it differently in my teenage mind I could deal with the idea of humanity not knowing enough at the time as to believe someone was born from a virgin (and thinking that of course that they were wrong but just due to the lack of... more... - Sandra
I've never read the entire Bible, but heard that it said somewhere in there that God put animals on earth for us to eat, otherwise it will swing closer to the Buddhism's doctrine and won't be able to justify eating animals. Then again, Buddhism's conflict comes when they eat vegetables -- is an animal's life more precious than that of a plant? In the end, when a doctrine tries to explain *everything*, and half of them are still unknown to us, there will inevitably be big, gaping holes. - Lynn
Parsonii, as far as I understand it (and as an American, understanding Buddhism is very difficult!) there is no conflict in Buddhism because the line is drawn at "sentient being." Of course, this line is very fine when we try to find it scientifically. But in Gotama's day the line was more clear because there was less science - clearly plants don't think, and many buddhists still seem... more... - Lo
The soul thing came up on AASFSHNR! I swear, we all talk about the same things. If we run out of things to talk about, does that mean we've solved all the world's problems? :P - Lo
No, more like we are just too lazy to come up with new topics. =D (This is probably not the answer Lo is fishing for. hehehe) - Lynn from email
Do you find that atheists are just as prone to hypocrisy as the religious, or is there truly a consistent difference?
While I can differentiate that some are less prone to hypocrisy than others, I find that there are some atheists out there spouting views that, in my mind, are "just as bad" as religion. It's amazing how it's possible to reject religion in the name of "rational thought" and yet simultaneously completely fail to embrace freethinking. - Lo
Hypocrisy is easy to come by in all aspects of thinking. People just don't like to apply criticism to themselves, nor hear it from others. In the case of atheism, I get the impression a lot of people are attracted by the "counterculture" aspect and a smug sense of superiority rather than actually arriving at it by pure rationality. That might be one of the sources of what you're seeing. - Brad Greer
Oh dear god yes. HA! I said "god." Oops. - Lo
This makes me think of a South Park episode where Stan asks the "non-conformist" kids for help. They all say no (on the grounds of not conforming), but one responds "I'm such a non-conformist that I'm not going to conform with the rest of you." and helps out. It seems that some people are atheists just to have something different to conform to. Then again I think we all have times where... more... - Heather
Good point, Heather. I guess my opinion is that atheists are subject to the same virtues & weaknesses as anyone else, because we're just people after all. When I first "found" other positive atheists online, it was such a revelation. But over time I've come to find the atheists are just as prone to make rude generalizations about religious folks as the reverse - and often they do it in... more... - Lo
And I shouldn't have used "atheists" in the original topic, it should have been something more like "rational thinkers." It's those that pride themselves on logic and grounding themselves in science who set the bar higher than scapegoating, etc. So it's more disappointing when they succumb to the same errors in logic. - Lo
By the way, Heather - when the kid on South Park joined the dance team because "I'm such a non-conformist, I'm not going to conform with the rest of you," I pumped my fist in the air and went "YEAH!" What does that say about me, I wonder? Hmmm... - Lo
I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I find some of the atheists' (general term for any one who's not a theist) animosity towards theists disturbing. Any forum I go to, I see talk about forming atheist charity. Frankly, that concept eludes me. I went to a Red Cross training last week, the best thing I walked out of there with was when the guy said, "We are not affiliated with... more... - Lynn
I laughed through the whole thing Lo. hehe South Park is a little over the top sometimes, but they're usually spot on. I dislike hypocrisy, but I know I'm guilty of it quite a bit. I think it's a human tendency to try and fit things in boxes, evolutionary even. Look at mimicry, if on thing looks like a poisonous thing, it's safest to assume it is too. People look at things and try to... more... - Heather
I think the concept behind the movement to organize atheists (charities, weekend gatherings) comes from a feeling of disenfranchisement due to the perceived illegitimacy of our philosophy. When a high-ranking cardinal says that atheists are "not fully human," or people launch political campaigns to "out" supposed atheists in office, there's a fundamental disconnect happening that needs... more... - Brad Greer
Parsonii, I think it just has to do with how persecuted you feel. Initially I thought that US atheists felt more persecuted because the US is more intolerant toward atheists, but now I wonder if it says more about our paranoia. I know for me, if I'm being honest my past persecution complexes were more about me than the other guy. Can't really blame anyone, though... coming to grips with... more... - Lo
What with the different nicknames people have here vs. on Kiva, and the lack of avatars next to comments here on FF, I consider it to be a personal victory any time I manage to remember who anyone is :P Everyone's kind of a freethinker, everybody is lovable, you do all sort of blend together. If we knew each other in real life I'm sure things would be quite different. We'd probably fight more, lol - Lo
Dave, that was quite an assumption to make. Although I give you mad props for successfully understanding it was an assumption, which seems to be quite challenging for everyone (including me!) - Lo
For me hypocrisy is less related to your religious (or not) upbringing and more related to general education and personality. There are people that do not want to be hypocrites but would avoid confrontation or making someone else "feel bad" like the plague so they end up being hypocrites (at least for me). On the other hand, there is people like me... it took me 20+ years to (more or... more... - Sandra
I do know what you mean, San. I find that there's often a way to be blunt without seeming rude, but it's definitely the single most challenging brain "process" I can run. Translating right-brain thoughts into language seems to be almost painful. I totally get why "courteous bluntness" is so rare, but it's rare to the point that I didn't really realize it existed until a month ago. You... more... - Lo
Smack them upside the head, Lo. That ought to do the job. =D - Lynn from email
Dave embraces bluntness, as we all know by now. =D - Lynn from email
I *normally* embrace bluntness too, mostly because as Lo said sometimes I feel like translating into a "nice way of saying the same" is too painful for me (and my profession is communications, lol). So with most people I do not care so much if I am blunt or not but it is true that there are some few people you do not want to hurt if you can avoid that. On the other hand, it took me some... more... - Sandra
Dave, by "out of whack" I meant that I see people living according to priorities that aren't really theirs. I do not believe that my priorities should be everyone's. Is that more clear, or should I explain further? Also, what powers are you referring to? I forgot where that came from. - Lo
Parsonii, done and done. I don't think smacking is the best way but everyone seems to be suggesting bluntness is in order, so I'll give it another go :P - Lo
Sandra, it's interesting what you said. You used the word "translation" which is exactly how I would describe putting something harsh into nice words. And you said it was too painful, which is also interesting. It hurts for me too, often it's a headache. I feel like putting things into language, especially feelings, is one of the hardest operations my brain can perform. My profession is... more... - Lo
Oh, for me no doubt is translating and I do believe that with exercise you can get better! I mean, when I first arrived to the USA I would have the same experience when I was trying to explain something more or less complex in English and now I am getting much better at explaining myself. I think is the same with harsh/nice. As I see it, I am translating my thoughts to... more... - Sandra
I forgot to say, that for example Dave's joke in the other thread (TheRapist) is a pretty good example. If I was the one saying that my friends consider me their therapist (what actually is the true with me too) and Dave would make the same joke, I would not be offended at all. On one hand it is an interesting word game (I never noticed that therapist in English is also TheRapist). On... more... - Sandra
TheRapist, as I know it, is from an SNL Jeopardy skit. For some reason there's an on going feud between Alex Trebek and Sean Connery. The Sean Connery character often reads things not how they're meant including the category "Therapists". Which leads me to a really important distinction: words and context. I was offended because I felt the thread was serious, and about Lo. What Dave... more... - Heather
Heather I can understand that you may feel a bit offended. I was just giving an example of how difficult is for me to perceive those things at first glance. I am the kind that will tell a friend that a color doesn't suit her/him, if not in words with my face (and then I got the question "what's wrong" and would I open my mouth and say so). - Sandra
New Discussion Topic: Who in this group is most challenging/most difficult/least comprehensible to you? I know those are very different things, I'm trying to leave this very open-ended, so answer as you wish.
Initially the person I understood the least is EdZ, but by no small coincidence he has become a valuable asset. Currently stumping me is Dave. Nobody here annoys me (yet), unless I'm in a horrendous mood, in which case everyone does. - Lo
At some level every human being is extremely difficult for me to understand (including myself... I missssssss my therapy that was so helpful at that!). On the other hand when you go back to basics everyone seems to be very simple, but I have to confess most of the time (for me) all people are difficult to understand...I cant stop at the basics and there is when I got all tangle up and everybody seems complicated. - Sandra
Everyone here has posted at least once that I didn't understand them. But that could all be on my end :) - Heather
You say that because you don't know me personally ;) Txs anyway, I think no one has called me a delight since I was 12, lol - Sandra
Sandra, you are a delight. There, now you've been called a delight twice in one day for the first time in (some) years. Go buy a lotto ticket or something :) - Lo
I'm thinking about taking a snapshot of the page instead and send it to some of my - Sandra
Personal topic: Do you ever have times when you just don't know how to keep going, how to get out of bed in the morning and put one foot in front of the other? If so, what do you find is helpful to you to take care of yourself in those times? Be as specific as you want to be, small ideas & large are quite welcome.
Since the topic begs the question "Is Lo okay?" I will just say that I am not giving up yet, am in no imminent danger, and yet am pretty fucking far from "okay." These things happen, part of life, but I would like to... handle them better. Hit me with some wisdom, my beloved Ideotas :) - Lo
This may sound selfish (and I would not recommend this just as a "medicine") but dogs are very helpful when it comes to keep going... and if you are worried about "I can't take care of myself, how could I take care of a dog" what I did was to adopt a street dog. Yeah, I was working all day and could give him relatively little time but he was much better with me than in the streets! Of... more... - Sandra
San, you read my mind. Since I'm not tied down enough for a dog, I was debating going to live for a while with an old good friend whose puppy I helped raise. I do miss having furry warm love in my life (boyfriend is just not the same!). And Dave, good point about the mini-trips, I may even just do that on my own. Thanks you guys! I am hanging in there, but seriously I don't even know how. Guess that means tomorrow will be better. - Lo
I know too well how it feels to lay in bed wishing I could just sleep for the whole day. I'm a list maker, so it's not uncommon for me to run though the people and things that matter most to me. When I don't want to do that I have a little talk that goes something like "Give me a good reason to stay in bed." "I want to." "I said good." "Fine, it's too hard to get up." "Right, like... more... - Heather
I set goals. Short-term and long-term attainable goals -- a project, a milestone, or even something materialistic. But, in your case, I have to ask, is what you need a reason to help you get out of bed in the morning and keep going, or are there reasons out there that make you NOT want to get out of bed. If so, how can we eliminate them? A cat offers company too -- warm, fuzzy, and half the work requires for a dog. :) - Lynn
Insightful as always, parsonii. Heather's advice was great, but after reading it I realized my mistake, which is exactly what you pointed out - my problem at most 10% mere existential angst, the main issue is that there are many factors that are so negative and stressful I want to give up. Shame on me for assuming that my will to live is so weak, but then I'm still relatively new to... more... - Lo
I'm not sure if this applies to you, because I observed it from a very specific set of people, but it seems there is no way to totally get over things that bother you. (I know this sounds pessimistic, hold on a sec. :) But what you can do it take how it effects you and turn it into something productive. I'm still working on this part, it's the hard one. My boyfriend sits me down when I... more... - Heather
Heather, that was EXCELLENT. Makes perfect sense, and is in line with some things I've been thinking already but it's great to have verification, you know? I have one of those so-helpful-I-could-stab-him boyfriends myself! Seems like every day I find new ways to both appreciate and be annoyed by him :) - Lo
Okay, I have to ask, if you job makes you THAT miserable, why must you keep it for two more months? - Lynn
That is an excellent question, parsonii. An excellent question. Although, if it makes me *that* miserable isn't that all the more reason to try harder? I guess I need really strong pain to motivate myself, slow learner :) - Lo
I don't know. You are talking to the Queen of all quitters. :) I believe life is simply too short to be so miserable, especially for a JOB, unless, of course, your livelihood depends on it. Not that it doesn't help you "build characters." - Lynn from email
The deterrent has been, my boyfriend is out of work and his unemployment covers the rent but I have to pay everything else. I know I could easily get another job, but probably not buy food. Whether I could get a job that pays as much as my current job is unknown, but to realistically look for a new job I'd need a lot more time and emotional energy... i.e. not have my current job. To be... more... - Lo
Dear lord I don't remember, which is another way of saying I'm not sure what he's looking for, which used to amuse me but now frightens me. - Lo
Oh no. Dave is with me. The world is quickly coming to an end. - Lynn from email
Here's my radical idea: no wait. First you have to promise two things: #1 you will never use this knowledge for evil, #2 don't go writing a bestselling book based on it and not cut me a deal - Lo
@Lo. Yes it is very important to have something else line up before you quit, unless you are very financially sound! You should realize by now that that is very important to me. :) Had this very horrid job once and the only thing that kept me going was constantly looking at want ads and to hang on to the thought that one day I can get out of that shit hole! (And eventually I did.) My... more... - Lynn from email
Character building, literally. Working for horrible personalities... under impossible situations... being miserable... but gained a lot of experience from it... kinda like what Lo is trying to achieve here. - Lynn from email
Wait, Dave, I don't think you're even addressing me but now I feel bad. WTF? To be more clear: I'd agree that a Ugandan's problems would trivialize mine, but they still suck pretty bad. - Lo
Lo, ignore Dave. He already said he's so sleepy he's incoherent. - Lynn from email
*Lo hides the stones* - Lo
"Bugger off," Dave? Are you British? =D - Lynn from email
No. Not really. I'm not the type who thinks that grass are naturally greener on the other continent. =P - Lynn from email
You can come across as a bit blunt, Dave, saying "chap" after everything could be an improvement, or talk like a pirate or something. - Lo
Dave? Man of few words? - Lynn from email
Bursts, yes. - Lynn
Well, parsonii, if you think Dave makes a lot of bursts than that means he must think you're worth bursting at. Only pretend that didn't sound incredibly dirty! - Lo
Slightly off-topic, I know, but I thought of some practical, situation-specific ideas to help. If your income pays for food (and sundries, I assume), try to cut back, even just a little bit, to see how much of a paycut you can afford. Not only will this contribute to your peace of mind (or, more relevantly, your boyfriend's [note: I'm with him that it is supremely ill-advised to quit... more... - Brad Greer
On the more philosophical front, I always thought people *subconsciously* sought challenges. You shouldn't have to force yourself to be miserable under the guise of character building. If you really feel that strongly that you don't want to get up and get on with the day, why not just call in sick? Take a day to recharge or work on your job search and just generally get your head right. Haven't you said it would be preferable to be fired anyway? What do you have to fear? - Brad Greer
You're right Red, the problem is that I am starting to be sick every single day, and every single hour that I am not in this office just makes my workload more ridiculous. A big part of the problem is that it's almost impossible to get any work done during office hours at all, what with the constant interruptions and criticism. I guess I'm just falling apart. I take your point about the... more... - Lo
And the reason I'd prefer losing my job as opposed to quitting is the chance of collecting unemployment myself. But it would be a very small amount of money. Hell I could probably qualify for disability at this point, if I could find a goddamn motherfucking doctor who would deign to actually see me and take me seriously. But that has proved to be VERY difficult for some reason. - Lo
I am a good quitter (except when it comes to smoking) and I have always quit when I feel that the job is depressing me more than the money I earn is making me happy (or keeping me alive). I am a kamikaze type for my friends as I never have anything lined up --for some reason I need to concentrate to look for a job and I can't do that while working, lol. Having said so, my little weapon... more... - Sandra
Oh, BTW... for me it was more helpful to "built character" to quit jobs and search for the next challenge than to "suffer" stuck in a place I do not want to be anymore... If I am going to be miserable I rather be miserable looking for something better (unemployed) than miserable trapped.... - Sandra
Thanks San :) It's great to finally hear something other than "what you want to do is stupid and/or crazy." I wish I could make people understand that my definition of success is different than theirs, thus what is a smart move could be different for me. The health thing is the big stumbling block I feel, I thought I was handling it but when googling (again) for stress-busting tips, the... more... - Lo
Another good point, on some level I really feel like I *need* to be up shit creek without a paddle in this catastrophic economy. To be really afraid and survive, I think, would be good for me. But I don't want to invite even more stress if it's going to overwhelm me... that's where I went wrong last time and ended up a drunk. That was not fun nor particularly helpful. I guess I did learn things in the end... obviously they didn't stick so well. - Lo
Counterpoints well taken. I didn't mean to trivialize anything you're going through by any means. As I said, if you can take a paycut, cut back on fanciness of food or quantity of pot (I was trying to be discreet by calling it "sundries" earlier), then by all means mop up JIB. It's easier to explain than a gap on your resume ("I needed something with flexible hours so I could have time... more... - Brad Greer
I have to disagree Brad, but for what I have been reading we may be the exact opposites. I give a damn about what experts say, gaps or downgradings. I left my previous job in the middle of the recession and it wasn't a nightmare at all but I was just tired, I needed a change. Have nothing lined up (but had savings, again, that is my weapon of choice).Took a couple of months as a... more... - Sandra
BTW Lo, we can make this here or start a new topic or do it privately but I think we could help you brainstorming ideas about jobs.What do you do now? What else do you know to do? What do you love to do? What do you think you are good at? Can you freelance at something like translations or design or.. (fill in the blanks)? - Sandra
I like Brad's idea of having a resume done professionally. I have that done in the past. Just so tired after work everyday because a bad job sucks it all out of you that I finally just said "F* it!" and paid to have it done. Any problem that money can solve is not a problem. ;) And I proceed to sending out the same form resume and cover letter to every job that I see (and remotely... more... - Lynn from email
Off topic but I noticed that 3 out of the 4 females chatting here had opted out of having kids. Coincidence? What about you, Heather? - Lynn from email
I strongly disagree on sending the same cover letter to any job you are interested in. IMHO the cover letter is where you tell your potential employer why you would be a good choice for that specific job. I have hired people in the past and general cover letters do not make the cut with me. - Sandra
You are right, Sandra, in general it's a bad idea, but when you are too tired/depressed/miserable/stressed to job hunt (like Lo said she is right now), it's the next best alternative to not trying at all. - Lynn from email
I think challenges are more character building then misery. I mean, I'm pretty miserable but still have a weak character! *budum-ching!* Anyhow, being ever hypocritical (I'm unemployed) I would definitely third the saving up suggestion. See how little you are comfortable living on. That not only gives you an idea of what standards you need, and what your preferences are, it also saves... more... - Heather
I second that... Lo? Everything (more or less) ok? - Sandra
I saw her on and off Gtalk. I guess she's just very determined to tough it out. ;) - Lynn from email
Aw, you guys are so sweet. I appreciate your concern very much! Weekends I tend to wander away from the internet, and this one more so than usual. I really don't know how to answer the question 'everything ok?' without lying or worrying... let's just say that for now, my boss is out of town and things are finally starting to make a tiny bit of sense. I have really been going through something that I feel unable to explain to a room full of atheists. - Lo
Try us, if you want to talk, that is. We'll be supportive even if you are converting to Christianity. :) And some of us are agnostics, very open-minded... Scientology? O.o - Lynn from email
Thanks, parsonii. I keep forgetting about you agnostics, bless your hearts :) And I can't not say it: Fuck Scientology. That shit is a cult and it kills people and I refuse to even laugh at it. Everyone who perpetrates that shit on someone else should go to prison, and I'm delighted that route seems to be gaining popularity in Europe. I have actually rallied with Anonymous, just don't... more... - Lo
Hah! I saw that you had me mixed up with San at first! =D God coming might not necessarily be a bad thing, depending on which version of God we are talking about, not all denominations portray him as a vindictive God. As for Kunadalini awakening/Satori, sorry I cannot relate. :( I hope that's not what you meant by "did not go well" in the pass. But I do agree with you that it would be... more... - Lynn
If you're unsure of making public announcements I'm totally willing to listen (er.. read) and, if you want, give some feedback. I promise I can hold judgment aside. My friends don't call me "the therapist" for no reason. ^_^ I think most alternative realms of thought have some amount of basis in truth, so even if I don't follow the magical thinking I'm always open to nuggets of wisdom. - Heather
I wasn't going to say anything but I'm sick of the above being the last visible comment. I don't think I want to know how you think it's fitting, but suffice to say I'm insulted. - Heather
Dave, I just ignored the "TheRapist" comment because it made no sense to me. Care to explain? If it's just out of left field, or you are calling Heather a rapist, I feel that some explanation is in order. That is not a label to sling around lightly, and I'm sure she has never literally raped anyone! - Lo
Non discussion point: I keep a journal over at I am not asking you to read it, but I have been "hiding" it from the group, and while I am feeling less paranoid I thought I might as well share. Anyone is welcome, and if you have LJ I'll friend you (access to private). Thanks EdZ for encouraging me to be more open :)
I'll be adding you, I'm I rarely post just because I have so few people reading. (Ignore non-sensicle ramblings >.>) - Heather
Awesome, I friended you and put you in all the "good" filters. Feel free to enjoy over 2000 friends-only entries of pointlessness, although I do recommend against it. Things are getting good lately, though, in my opinion :) - Lo
You know that you got me all reading all about the Hindenburg tragedy? Evil, evil, Lo! - Sandra
Muahahahaha!! It's all working according to my plan of 'good for humanity'! *steeples fingers Burns-style* Excellent! - Lo
New post: In your opinion, when does life begin?
If you guys have already engaged in this discussion on the kiva forum I apologize, but I joined late and missed that discussion altogether. I only saw this blurb on Captain Pete’s blog ( Abortion is a topic that's been extensively discussed recently on the message board. In my opinion Michael had the most Enlightened comment: first, the concept that life "begins" at conception is completely misleading. Life does not begin when a sperm enters an egg because sperm and egg are already alive. It is the continuation of a biological process. We can confirm this by considering what would happen if egg or sperm were exposed to harsh conditions like heat: they would lose their biological activity, i.e. die, and no longer be fertile. In strict biological terms the question "When does life begin?" is moot: it began several billion years ago and hasn't stopped since. Implying some new life has been created by... more... - Lynn
Michael’s comment obviously was defining the beginning of life *literally* when “life,” however you’d define it, first appeared on earth. But I am thinking more along the line of an individual life. Going by his definition, it is impossible to commit murder unless you literally kill off every single human being (lifeform?) on earth. You can murder me so long as I am survived by anyone... more... - Lynn
I would define it as when the egg is fertilized, because that is technically when *I* began to exist. You can argue that sperm/egg have live cells and it's not wrong, but then each time you ejaculate you are committing mass murder. I'd say an individual life begin at fertilization. - Lynn from email
I think I posted it on Kiva, but saying that when a sperm enters an egg some magic happens that makes them one is false. The egg and sperm actually begin to divide before the DNA meshes. If you are looking for the point at which the egg and sperm become one, I think it's after the first few divisions. (I can't site sources, but I remember this from a class.) I think the definition... more... - Heather
Not from what I remember, Heather. Eggs and sperms are gametes (only have half the chromosome of a regular cells), they do not "became whole" (borrowing a non-biological term) again until the sperm fertilizes the egg, which is why I believe this is the only logical time to define the beginning of a new entity. But this is very subjective and definitely has no right or wrong answer. I... more... - Lynn from email
For me life begins when the fetus can survive outside the womb (even if it needs "help" to do so). Therefore imho abortion in the first quarter is not murder the same way that losing your pregnancy is not manslaughter or a successful suicide attempt from the fetus... - Sandra
If that's the definition, why just the first trimester? I don't think the fetus can survive very well outside the womb even in its second trimester. The third is arguable. - Lynn from email
a. it is not 'the' definition but my definition b. as i understand it, an abortion in the second trimester puts in danger the mother's life, so it can't be treated as a normal operation anymore but one that by default is risky. - Sandra
I'm not opposed to "killing it" because "it" is not a living entity on it's own. My hand can die while attached to me, but that doesn't constitute a death. I believe that until a fetus can survive on it's own, it is a part of the woman and therefor her decision of keep or not. To take a different approach, consider that IVF is done with a fertilized egg (from what I'm reading it's already a blastocyst). If this is considered life, what does it mean when the IVF fails (no implantation on the uterine wall)? - Heather
That's a very interesting way of looking at it, Heather. In my opinion, a blastocyte failing to implant is no different than a spontaneous abortion, no harm no foul. But since I believe that life began at fertilization, I feel that discarding of extra fertilized eggs (those that never got used) during an IVF process is no different than abortion. I am pro-choice, but I don't understand... more... - Lynn from email
Technically you are not wrong, Dave. But I think Heather was referring to a fetus's physiological ability to survive outside of it's mother's body. An one-year old can be raised by anyone. - Lynn from email
What does that have to do with abortion? - Lynn from email
I wasn't defining "life", I was defining "independent entity" since we pretty much agreed that life is continuous. Once an entity exists, I cannot forsee any situation in which the entity would not exists without dying. The whole "life support" situation is ridiculous unless you consider the person to now be part of the machine. And Parsonii was right, I was talking about biological... more... - Heather
I'm 25. Dave, are you a vegan? I want to know if I'm understanding your position on life is life is life. - Heather
Let's just go with thirties, Dave. :) And Heather has answered your question to her, so I don't need to elaborate on it. - Lynn from email
Maybe it's my background in wildlife, maybe it's the disconcerting detach I sometimes have for humanity. Either way, I don't see who this is more important then this - Heather
I didn't know I had definition problems. I'm pretty comfortable in my views on the issue. I think that life is a general process like Parsonii said in the first comment. I think the important issue to consider with abortion its the point at which a developing fetus becomes an entity, meaning it's bodily functions are able to be carried out by the organs (lungs, heart, ect). I think the... more... - Heather
You can't stop being an entity unless you become part of something else. - Heather
Dave, there are two clear moments in "life". In one instance (the pregnancy) the mother and the fetus are biologically linked in a way that they are not once the baby is born. It is true the baby needs a "mother" to survive when he is 1 year old but it could be anyone. It can't be anyone when he is part of the mother and that is how I see it. For that same reason I do believe that you... more... - Sandra
It's interesting, to answer this question I'd have to go back to the "soul" question. I can't answer either, but to even give my opinion (or more accurately, form an opinion) I need the terms to be better defined. As the question is currently phrased, my answer is "billions of years ago." I'm loving that you guys came up with something so good while I was away. Good to be back! Edit:... more... - Lo
Assisted Suicide: Why is it that while most people will agree that putting a very sick or injured animal to sleep is a merciful act and not murder but fail to apply the same set of principles when it comes to human beings?
Because people greatly overvalue human life (or undervalue animal life, depending on how you look at it -- it's relative). While most people [who support the double standard] might not use language as harsh as "murder," they'd probably make an argument along the lines of "it's wrong because life is precious," the *human* part being implicit. I've always found it frustrating that we... more... - Brad Greer
I've heard of people putting down a dog because of a thyroid condition. I consider that to be at the very least depraved indifference (I need to watch less Law&Order). My dog had a thyroid condition, she took half a pill, twice a day and had no side effects. I personally think the stickiest part of assisted suicide is proving "of sound mind". When people have serious illnesses they can... more... - Heather
I knew that given enough time, Brad and I will inevitably see eye to eye on something. I agree that with all the talk about how great free will is, and all the hype about being superior, intelligent, and having consciousness, we should be able to determine when we want to go. I believe you can bring charges now for animal cruelty/torture, but I think that is just a misdemeanor. - Lynn
@Heather. Yes, definitely depraved indifference putting a dog to see for thyroid problems. I had thyroid problems before, certainly didn't feel like life wasn't worthwhile. Certainly there are risks associated with individuals who are just going through a bout of depression because of illness. In state(s) (or is it just Oregon) where assisted suicide is legal, very few people actually... more... - Lynn
In a college logic class I took 15 years ago, we had to debate assigned topics, and I had to argue against assisted suicide. I won minds but not hearts; my heart certainly wasn't in it. Since then though I've realized a big sticking point - at least when it comes time to write the laws - is "does this person *really* want to die?" Or is it the family doesn't want to take care of you... more... - Lo
I suppose being pressured by family is a legitimate concern. Should we be designing our ideal society where suicide is not illegal, we can consider Heather's point in which individuals will have pre-set standard at which point they will want to go. (Plus, if it is end-stage Alzheimer's, having seen my uncle in that stage, I won't even blame the family of wanting to be relieved from that... more... - Lynn
You're right, Lynn. I am willing to believe (so far I've never seen evidence, but I do believe) that some people are "long term" suicidal, i.e. they have fully pondered it and are making the right choice. Deciding one's "limit" in advance is probably a good way to weed out the "temporarily" suicidal. In my experience, though, the most common cognitive mistake people (who know nothing... more... - Lo
Terminal illness makes the concept easier to swallow for most people, but definitely not the only qualifier by my books. I interned at the coroner's office when I was in college. I've seen a woman who finally succeeded in killing herself by her 11th try. Evidently not everyone who has the will has the means. (Yet people who won the Darwin's award could easily accomplish something that... more... - Lynn
By the same token, people who seeks death as a relief just might find that "life" on the other side is even worse! It's not unlike job-hopping, we always think the grass must be green on the other side. hehehe - Lynn
I dunno, while I don't claim to know for sure, I don't see evidence of an afterlife. But I do have lots of evidence that there is a life, and I also know that if I wait long enough I will die. Why rush through it? To be honest though the biggest deterrent to me (and I suspect others) to *not* commit suicide is knowing the horrible pain that would inflict on my loved ones. Examining it from 'what's best for everyone?' instead of just 'what's best for me?' is a game-changer. - Lo
We've already been through the evidence part with our soul discussion with Brad. I believe that electrons still existed before we've discovered it, so lacking the evidence that we know of doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist, but that literally is a different topic (right here on Lo's Corner!). Sure, if we wait long enough we are all going to die, but my argument was that it should... more... - Lynn
Sorry, I meant I don't have any evidence personally. I'm certain that it's out there if I looked harder. What I don't have is a sense of how many suicidal people really are in it for the long-term, and how many are just experiencing a temporary critical overload of emotion. Given my background (with the rehabs, AA, etc) my experience is that 100% of suicidal people would change their... more... - Lo
You are CERTAIN that evidence are out there if you look harder? Then start looking! =D I know you said that money is not that important to you, but when you found the answer, you have hit the mother load (and you can help change the world with that). Don't forget the small friends when that day comes. ;) Our experience is what shapes our opinions, what is wrong with speaking from past... more... - Lynn
I don't see how I could make money off knowing more about suicide... I already can think of dozens of ways to improve our response to suicidal cases, but the problem is society collectively believes many falsehoods about suicide, and the critical lack of compassion in our mental health system (and law enforcement) is not so easy to overcome. Certainly not a moneymaker. But I don't care... more... - Lo
My apologies, Lo, my one track mind thought you were talking about evidence of after life. The society collectively believes many falsehood about suicide for good reasons. Many people claim to be suicidal just for the attention. I have hang out in many odd chatrooms before and periodically someone will always express their suicidal wishes. Remember the lady who posted her suicidal... more... - Lynn
I have to agree more with Lo, assisted suicide for those in huge amounts of pain and deteriorating toward inevitable death (ie terminal) is much different then suicide in general. I've been fighting with depression since at least high school, though it's not nearly a bad as a lot of people. I've had suicidal thoughts, but they never led me anywhere. I would not feel comfortable knowing... more... - Heather
Interesting, Pars & Heather your responses combined helped me see a theoretical solution to both the problem of assisted suicide, and the problem I have with poor treatment of the suicidal. Your misinterpretation of what I said, pars, was actually my misunderstanding first - I went straight to the problem of the "thoughtless" suicidal (I really like your term "conscious" suicide to... more... - Lo
It's exactly right that the conscious suicidal should be legally prevented from suicide merely because the thoughtless types spoil the party. At the same time, legally implementing a system making it easier to end one's life raises many thorny issues as long as these thoughtless types exist. Our difference of opinion stems from our perception of how many conscious vs. thoughtless people... more... - Lo
Under this hypothetical new system, anyone found to be "temporarily" suicidal would go to a special program to learn how to not act on suicidal impulses. This is possible, I have personally done it, and I have lots of ideas for how to teach these tricks to others. With actual experimental data I could tell if these ideas worked, but of course there are ethical considerations with lots... more... - Lo
Now Parsonii only, I'd like to address what you said about "just trying to get attention." This is something that has really pissed me off in the past (just hearing the line of reasoning). But now I understand I was just offended, because that line of reasoning could really be said to describe me, but I do not believe I did it for attention in the negative way you imply. But I don't... more... - Lo
Lo. Terms for "thoughtless" -- reckless, impulsive, compulsive, spontaneous.... with impulsive being the best choice. I'll respond to the other part of your post privately as we have already digressed from the original post. :) I agree with Lo, I'll be happy to post my response here if people are still interested. Otherwise, no need to clutter this up. :) - Lynn
Thanks Dave, feedback is awesome. Especially when driving without a map, if you will :) - Lo
*Late night posting may lead to miscommunication and poor spelling. I don't remember specifics, but in high school I read something about suicide and the considerable percentage of survivors who were glad they didn't succeed. It can be said that survivors of suicide attempts didn't try hard and perhaps are likely to not be "serious" about wanting to die. But I think it's a necessary... more... - Heather
Heather, all of your above criteria involve a third-party assessments. If I were to choose to die, I don't want a 3rd party/procedure telling me if THEY decide that I am serious enough. I didn't post the question correctly. I was actually trying to bring up the finalexit, they do NOT actually assist you in the traditional sense of killing you, but give you advise to do it properly and... more... - Lynn
First- I don't think impulsive suicides are the minority. I think we should legislate to the majority, with specific consideration to the minority. Second- I'll let Lo address her specific situation, but impulsive suicidal thoughts can be just as strong to cause action as conscious.So people who think "I just lost my job, I'm so embarrassed. My life will never get better." should be... more... - Heather
If you bring in your physician, that goes against Parsonii's no 3rd parties. Also, the fact we have a legal system means people are putting their morality over others. That's what laws are meant to do. There are some people that do things that hurt others in a way which is too great to overlook. I know you're a great fan of personal responsibility, so lets take family members into... more... - Heather
"We don't need thought and morality police." Back on page 126 on Kiva you posted thoughts on when abortion should be legal. I'm going to pull a Lo and ask you to clarify how you can champion responsibility on that issue while arguing total freedom on this one. Just fyi, this is a huge part of where I'm seeing your stance. "Women should take responsibility not to get pregnant instead of pulling the o'sheit option." (Abortion discussion: pg126-118) - Heather
Sorry, had to chime in on this one. WOMEN should take responsibility?? Because we can achieve that asexually? - Lynn from email
Dave, I'll just take your words for it. Navigating to page 118 - 126 on AASFSHNR's forum will take more attention span than I have. I have yet to catch up with our other string of discussion. :) - Lynn from email
Completely digressing from this original post (which Lo & Ed think is a great thing), if men has no say in the aborption but will be stuck with the financial responsibilities after birth, it'd be in the MEN's best interest to not cause unwanted pregnancies. Hehehe. - Lynn from email
Heather, what does "pulling a Lo" mean? Pointing out hypocrisy? I don't want to be famous for being a jerk, LOL! :) You made my day, lady. - Lo
OK guys, you've established that it's in everyone's best interest not to get pregnant. Tell me something I don't know! (I kid because I love... you keep debating as long as you need to. I just can't resist, my honey & I are so childfree we're famous for it: - Lo
Not at al, Dave. In a healthy relationship when both parties want to have kids, both parties will bear identical responsibilities, but let's be honest, in most relationship, the male still has higher income than the female. Regardless, in an unwanted pregnancy's case, the female gets to determine if she wants to have the child or not. The male, even if he wants to keep the child (and... more... - Lynn from email
Welcome to the child-free club, Lo. We need more members. :D We should start a discussion on whether males in their early twenties should be allowed to have vasectomy. That ought to spark up a discussion with Heather & Dave. =D - Lynn from email
Well, my boyfriend got his at 27 (in case I didn't make it clear enough, that CNN article is about us), so I think my opinion on the matter is pretty clear :) The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure that no doctor would have sterilized me at 27, there is a huge discrepancy in how males and females are treated. Of course, I never tried (no need, he already took care of it), but from what I've heard it's tough for young ladies, especially in some locations. - Lo
Well, in all fairness, females have a more hormonal drive as we approach menopause to have kids (aka the biological clock) while less so in males. There is a biological reason behind that discrimination. Most of my friends did not take me seriously when I said I didn't want to have kids. "You will change your mind when you get older," they said. That has yet to happen and I doubt it will. *knock on wood* - Lynn from email
True, pars, I'm sure women are more likely to change their mind. But I don't understand how that is grounds to refuse the procedure. If I get fixed and change my mind, that's my problem. The argument I've heard is fear of lawsuits, but if you can successfully sue a doctor for giving you a procedure you asked for because you later decided you didn't want it anymore, perhaps our health... more... - Lo
Oh what have I done! lol jk. First, <3 you Lo. I was just teasing since you're frequently looking for clarification on things. I have a hard time coming off as genuinely interested instead of snippy or sarcastic, so I sort of used you in that sense. Second, I think I was 15 when I declared I wanted a hysterectomy. My mom promptly informed me that hysterectomies induce menopause and gave... more... - Heather
Sheesh, you guys, always worrying about derailing. There's no topic here, it's impossible to go off it :) Also, Heather, I see you have discovered my secret. That is exactly what I mean when I say "can you please clarify?" It means "I think you have taken a sharp right into no-sense-ville, please attempt to defend your ideas so that you can see the massive logical contradictions." It's... more... - Lo
Just to keep tossing this line of thinking at you: Once the baby is delivered it's totally cool for the mom to off herself? or since that would be shirking her responsibility would that still be a no go? - Heather
Okay, I am going to get stoned to death here. Is it really that horrible for the preggo woman to off herself instead of leaving the children motherless? I don't see how having a chronically depressed mother is better than her offing herself while she's preggo. Seeing how my mother "offed herself" when I was one. I think I am qualified to make this particular statement. =D - Lynn from email
Okay, first firm rule for this group: No stoning anyone else to death :D I have to say, it's a confusing question but as someone whose mom *didn't* off herself when I was one, I have to agree with pars that it's not necessarily better. - Lo
Plus, depression during pregnancy affects the development of the baby too. From a naturally selection stand point, not a horrible thing either. Lo, are we changing the #1 rule from "no a-holes" to "no stoning to death"? Are we allowed to bite each others' heads off?:D - Lynn from email
You are allowed to stone people to death if you choose, just not in my group. And in fact, I can't stop you from stoning anyone, so to be completely correct, the rule is: Anyone stoning any other group member to death will face consequences administered by Lo. If you had ever seen me angry, that would be enough. - Lo
Now I am confused. But also highly amused :D - Lo
Okay, looks like we have reached a stalemate between Dave and my "personal choice" versus Lo & Heather's "impulsive suicide." What say we look at things from a different angle? First I would like to define my idea of assisted suicide, I kept borrowing the idea of Final Exit but had since realized my fallacy. They were (now under investigation) only "assisting" terminal illness patients... more... - Lynn
Of course people who will kill themselves will kill themselves, Dave. It's not like you are going to throw a dead guy in jail. I am thinking more along the lines so we can have a legalized organization that will hold my hands while I do it (really, that's all I want)... and call the cops before my cats start eating my corpse or my poor neighbors having to call the cops due to "foul smell". =D - Lynn from email
Because I don't want to go alone, Dave. Isn't that obvious where I was heading with this line of conversation? =D Lifers get parole early, but IF they are going to bite the big one. I strongly suggest that they first meet up with organ and tissue donor banks. Why let perfectly good organs/tissues go to waste? =) Plus bargaining chips with God to maybe slide into Heaven. :) - Lynn from email
Don't you mean spaghetti, Dave? And that's not going to happen, criminals have arguably more rights than you and I in this country. - Lynn from email
From what I know (admittedly little) the appeals process of lifers takes years. I doubt they would opt for a death sentence any time soon, especially if they have a chance at parole. But that system does sound very reasonable Parsonii. I was disagreeing with you from, as usual, lack of information that I filled in myself. Er...assuming >.< Having a process is legit to me, I think it... more... - Heather
Oh yeah, just a sort of aside, there would be legal issues (very sticky ones) if a suicidal person called up and you told them to wait a few days for an appointment. I'd recommend immediate screening appointments. :P - Heather
Heather. The premise of this hypothetical place is still assisted *suicide*, not a suicide prevention. :D They can *strongly recommend* them to call a different number and seek help elsewhere. ;) But, woohoo! I got Heather's vote. Just need Lo's now. (Not that we all have to always agree on everything... damn near impossible on here. hahaha) - Lynn from email
Nothing. It'll stroke my ego. :P Gays and lesbians actually can't have biological children (not with their same sex partners anyway...). And your praying or not doesn't concern me. - Lynn from email
This is just getting good, but I'm about to go on a trip that may preclude FF. Just in case I go missing. Pretend I'm playing Devil's advocate from afar. Which is what I was doing earlier, by the way. Whenever you're dealing with something so final as death, at least temporarily playing DA is warranted, in my not-humble-enough opinion. - Lo
So on principle, Lo agrees with me from the get go then? =D - Lynn from email
I was trying to stay away from this discussion because I have a very personal struggle with the concept. First, let's make clear that the main reason against assisted suicide is (surprise surprise) religion. And with some powerful religions against it, its very difficult to regulate it. And if there is something that needs regulation that is assisted suicide.Going to my personal... more... - Sandra
I keep trying to post and I keep deleting. Just remember the victims in suicide are the ones left behind, who usually would have been the first to help had they known they were needed. - Heather
Any logophiles out there? I need some linguistic assistance, should be fun. Looking for a word that is peaceful or relaxing, both in meaning and particularly in sound, yet is very uncommonly used. Like "Goosefaba" from the movie Anger Management, but perhaps a bit prettier sounding?
I like "acquiescence," but it may not be obscure enough for you. I'll keep the wheels turning. - Brad Greer
It's good, but it has a negative connotation in my mind, which may or may not be justified. To me it implies submitting willingly to injustice or abuse... that may be useful for me at work, but I'm supposed to (personal growth homework) create a "trigger word" that will automatically induce relaxation. The idea is by thinking the word, then relaxing, and repeating this process, I will... more... - Lo
lol, that's a good one Dave. It's in the running along with acquiescence, which is growing on me. - Lo
Yeah, I'm considering it strictly *because* I have such a problem with it. Working to reconcile my desire to make peace (which it turns out, I can do!) with not exhausting my own personal resource is... well, it's keeping me busy. Good points, thanks. - Lo
I thought of that negative too, which is another reason I said I'd keep thinking. You're right in that it's not perfect. Consider also: "mollify." - Brad Greer
Oooh, that's a good one. Sheesh, Red, are you the biggest fellow word nerd I know? I don't know why that surprises me, but it does. Hmmmmmm. - Lo
I do love the words serenity and tranquility, but they're pretty common. In a quick look at I found halcyon and repose. - Heather
Oooh, Heather I like all those! Thanks :) ETA: well, maybe except repose, that makes me think of death. But then, that's not entirely bad. Hmmm... thanks again! - Lo
"philophronesis: the use of gentle speech or humble submission to calm someone who is angry" "soteria: possessions that give a sense of peace and security" (perhapse if you have a little stressball or something, i have a rock, that embodies your desired calm state) "insouciant (in-SOO-see-uhnt) adjective. Happily unconcerned; carefree; nonchalant." all from: - Heather
Wow, Heather. That was amazing. Now I want to have like five trigger words :) - Lo
Oh snap, like a mantra! I couldn't get into mantra meditation (recently took a class) b/c they were all religious bullshit or other languages. Thought about making my own... thanks, I love you guys, so helpful with almost any problem! - Lo
I use a couple of words (common ones) but kind of changing how I pronounce them in my mind... for example peace and please are more like pleeeeeeease (and peeeeeace). I do like please a lot because you can use it as a mantra... changing the rythm and the pronunciation. But I had to confess I also use some "bad words" to calm me down, there is something about them that can act as a... more... - Sandra
Have you considered the word that defined the last spelling bee contest, "Laodicean"? Considering its definition sounds an interesting one... lol (and sounds like "The Odyssy" in Spanish) - Sandra
Like the sound San, but after reading more into the meaning it's a bit too Bible-y. Of course I could just use the word and ignore the meaning, nobody else seems to know what it means (even the authors of articles about the spelling bee, lol) - Lo
Hey everyone, wanted to say thanks for joining my community despite its lack of defined purpose. I've still been figuring out what I think it's "for" but am starting to better define it. Could use some help articulating my thoughts, if anyone could spare a little time for e-mails, I would love a skeptical rational thinker to help me.
You know who you are... there are several Rational Superheroes in our midst... the ones I argue with off-list all the time :P - Lo
I thought the purpose is to have no specific purpose (anything goes). Kinda like Seinfeld -- it's a show about nothing. =D - Lynn
That's the thing, I don't believe Seinfeld is a show about nothing. If it were it couldn't be so popular. I never really watched it (hated it at the time), but now I am learning to see its genius. Still trying to figure what it's about, too, watching the occasional rerun :) - Lo
What's the point of discussing off-list? - Edward Zwart
Lo, your still trying to figure out what it is about supports the point that it is about nothing. I am not docking the show, they said so in one of the episodes. =D It really is just about a bunch of peeps going around in their everyday lives. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. ;) - Lynn
No, I'm not trying to figure out why I disagree with its stated purpose, who cares why. I'm trying to figure out what I actually think the show is "about," since I think it's something. It's a semantic point, but I'm arguing form, not intent. It's clear I'm overanalyzing, but it's not exactly keeping me up at night. Just something I think about while it's on, if it's on. - Lo
Well, if you must know, it's a bunch of everyday Joe (plus a couple standard clowns that they must throw in in every sitcom), going about their everyday lives and making fun of little things that we encounter everyday such as telemarketers (back in the days) and how we always have to punch in the account number when we call customer support and when they come online... more... - Lynn
As you might recall, George's pitch for the meta-show "Jerry" fell flat for that exact reason. *Saying* it's a show about nothing doesn't really make much sense. That line was really just born of the comparison to other sitcoms. There was no (obvious) singular wacky or zany premise that you could use to describe the show in a single sentence (i.e. "It's about 2 nerd roommates who live... more... - Brad Greer
I like the way that even when I ask a specific question, I never have any idea what is going to be discussed here. Life is predictable enough already. - Lo
If I don't know better, I almost think you are being sarcastic here.... - Lynn from email
Yeah, I should have used a smiley. I did actually mean that I do love the unpredictability, but it sounds less cheesy as sarcasm. If it turned out as expected, what was the point of making it? I guess I'm just so bored at work all day, I need mental stimulation of some kind to survive. - Lo
The point is: you asked a question because you wanted to know the answer for that question? O.o - Lynn from email
@Lo, that's how online communities work all over. It goes where it goes! The biggest value comes from when you not only request engagement, but you offer it too (ie, participate elsewhere than your own space). I think the more you do that, the more you'll see the value in the conversation straying this way and that. - Edward Zwart
Cancer patient first to use Washington's assisted suicide law - -
How interesting that we were just talking about this subject... :) - Lynn from Bookmarklet
I guess two states out of 50 is better than none at all. :) - Lynn
Low suicide is unintentional; it's the unfortunate side effect of poor habits and self-controls. - Lynn from email
IF we will ever see the light, definitely blue states before red, but it's a taboo even among the non-religious. - Lynn
Suicide by cop is suicide, you knew they are going to shoot you. The other scenarios are arguable. I may not want to die, I just can't resist that big Mac, or I'm just too lazy to get off the couch to exercise. And, we should also call into consideration the person's mind set (sort of like the temporary insanity argument), people who are doing drugs might not believe in their heart of... more... - Lynn from email
Find the date and I'll stand corrected. ;) - Lynn from email
Well then, Ole to them. - Lynn from email
I stand corrected. In my own defense, my husband was the one who told me it's ONLY harmful when you drink too much and not go... that's what you get for listening to one's husband... KNEW I should have done my own research... - Lynn
Does in denial count? People always argue that their lack of self-discipline is a "genetic disorder." If it's a genetic disorder, it can't be a suicidal tendency... unless they are genetically predisposed to commit self-destructing acts... - Lynn from email
About the group icon. I used this photo of Lincoln ( for typically complex & obscure reasons. Please look at the big version. Do you like it? Does it "fit" the group? If you have time, what do you think about the photo? Can you think of a better icon?
I will share my thoughts about the picture & my reasons for using it as our icon, but I want to hear what people think before I plant my ideas in your heads :) - Lo
How about George Bush? Works with the room's name, and the need for big ideas... - Edward Zwart
Oh EdZ, I love you. *wipes away tear* That was hilarious, and I needed a joke :) - Lo
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