Saturday, February 26, 2005

Patrick's Saturday Six The Late Edition from Last Week

Now on to this week's questions!  Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Place [see Other Journals] or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit!  If you don't have an AOL journal, you can still play, but of course you'll at least need an AOL screen name, which you can get for free with AOL Instant Messenger, to be able to leave a comment here.  (And if you're playing for the first time, please be sure to say so in the comment!)  Enjoy!

1. Other than Earth, what planet intrigues you the most and why?

Of all the planets in our sun's orbit, only the earth has any fascination for me, especially when viewed from space.  However it's out of the equation.

The rest of our planets, while beautiful in photos, are merely lifeless, mysterious rocks to me.  The questions of time travel, extraterrestrials, and the many other incomprehensibles beyond our galaxy are more fascinating.

Peter Jennings just hosted a special on UFO's and one astrophysicist pointed out that when we consider life beyond our planet we should realize that we may be dealing with beings that are millions of years beyond our comprehension.  He also explained what wormholes are and how they foreshorten time and space. He did it in a way that even I could understand for the first time.

For me the enormity of space seems beyond all comprehension.

I would be happy if someone would just send me up in a rocket with a year's food supply and let me spend the rest of my life looking at the cosmos out a window.

2. What is the last business issue you wrote a letter or called to complain about?  What's the last thing you complemented a business on?

Years ago I got a form letter from a senior vice president at Mutual of New York, informing me that one of their insurance agents would be contacting me shortly.  I wrote back saying that I was not interested in talking with anyone unless he was tall, dark, handsome and not married.

I got a telegram back from the senior vice president, declaring -- "We are scouring our company for a man of your description."

However, the guy that called described himself as short, blond and married.  And I told him, "You know, I wasn't kidding."

The last business I complimented wasmy auto insurance for their help and efficiency.  I try to compliment as I go.  Especially over the phone, since most of those conversations are recorded.

3. When was the last time you had your picture taken?  Did you like the way thepicture turned out?

Yesterday I had my picture taken. Yucko!!  But I got a couple of acceptable ones on a good hair day a couple of weeks ago. If I can figure out how to upload photos on this new MAC I'll post it.

I tried to copy and paste it from above, but my MAC wouldn't let me.  $(#(*%)$%)$%*. Neither would a PC for that matter.  Hmmm.

My camera goes everywhere. You never know when there may be cute baby moment or a stupid human trick that screams for proof.

4. What was the last program you watched a rerun of on television?

I watch Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Law and Order, West Wing and Will and Grace in re-runs.  I have no idea when these shows are really scheduled unless I catch them accidentally.  Local programming runs them here during the news.  I watch them instead.

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #47 from Carly:  The land has been referred to, by more than one person, as a community or a neighborhood. What would you call the metaphorical name of the street you reside on here in the land and who are your closest neighbors?

My street's name is White Bread Road.  My house is on Cottage Cheese Lane.  My neighbors are Mr. and Mrs. Tom Dick and Harry who have 2.3 children and drive SUVs.  Boy, I gotta think about moving and finding some new friends.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #48 from Braxton:  If you had to write an essay that pertained to 'human life', what opinion or topic about mankind would you choose to write about? (exp. relationships, struggles, accomplishments, etc) And briefly explain why you chose said topic...

Do we really have free will?  Have our choices been pre-determined, not by a supreme being, but as a consequence of our life experiences?

One of the side effects of growing up in the household of a psychoanalyst father and a mother who was analyzed, is that If you tell me about your life now, I pretty much know what has happened to you in the past.

If you have the freedom to choose, BUT I can predict the choices you are going to make, does that mean you lack free will?

A friend from childhood reconnected with me a few years ago.  He said something in passing that to most people would have been innocuous.  But to me it was a red flag. It made me wonder whether he'd been molested as a child.  A year later, he told me about the popular cub scout leader who had been inappropriate with him and a number of other boys on camping trips. What struck me most was his comment, "But I was lucky; it didn't affect me."  This from a person who spent his twenties in a drug induced haze as a band roadie. And wandered in India for two years trying to find himself. 

Hearing about what the cub scout leader did also helped to explain the inordinate number of suicides among teenaged boys in my town.

When I realized that human behavior could be predicted, it made me realize that for a significant population, there is no free will.  Think what this means in a court of law, where free choice is at the heart of our legal system. But the choices made by people on trial were very likely predictable.

If a person's life experiences have been traumatic enough, future behavior can be predicted with frightening accuracy.  Without counseling at the very least, these behaviours are usually emotionally paralyzing, self-destructive or felonious.

Working with battered women made this abundantly clear.  No where is it easier to predict what people will do than when there is a relationship with an abusive partner.

Every decision we make is never made in a vacuum. The good and bad consequences of our future are inextricably related to the experiences of our pasts.

Yes, we must take responsibility for the decisions we make.  

But, without intervention, those who have suffered childhood trauma are doomed to follow a path of unwise choices, no matter how freely those decisions seem to be made. 

Emotional Darwinism you could call it I guess. Although Darwin's been taking a hit lately.


vrashus said...

Hafta to say .. that is a bit too "futilistic" for me .. but then .. I always knew it couldn't be my fault that I'm fat.  (it's my mom's fault, and MacDonalds, and besides, society shouldn't judge me anyway .. which is the real core problem as I see it)

Nothing we choose is chosen in a vacuum, but everything we choose bears consequences. Someone has to take responsibility for the consequences; better that I take the responsibility than foist it off on some guilty ancestor or ghost from the past who cannot change the past, and cannot improve my life in the present.

My ancestors gave me a "fat" gene, (i'm sure of it .. ha) and absolutely horrendous eating habits, but thankyou vry much .. they don't choose what goes in my mouth .. I do.

I don't mean to be simplistic .. though I know I am being just that .. I just can't live my life forever feeling at the mercy of circumstances, not even the horrific ones that you mention.

jevanslink said...

Yes we have to live with the consequences of our choices.  However, I do not believe that genes alone are ever the cause of weight or emotional problems.  Environmental stress is the catalyst.  

Without being fatalistic, I can maintain that our choices are affected by our emotional history.  And if it is primarily negative and untreated, we cannot choose the best for ourselves. We have control of pur history to the extent that we participate in self examination and growth. So we always have the ability to get closer to achieving free will.

You may think you are making a choice about what you eat based on knowledge of food, nutrition, etc., but i argue that inappropriate choices, particularly with that knowledge, are based on past emotional experiences.  Ones that haven't been dealt with. And the more negative they were, and the less aware you are of them, the more they impact your decisions.

Thanks for your commnet, it was a good one.

bosoxblue6993w said...

We always assume that extraterrestials will be somehow 'superior' beings.
 The chances are:  they are likely to be mocrobic, single-celled bacteriun or something