Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Friday, September 29, 2006


The Chastity thread got a bit sidetracked when someone came in and called everyone "sheep" without personal philosophy for both believing in God and believing that a human could bring the word of God. He then admitted to being "influenced" by people such as Nietzshce although believes his philosophy is his own. I was just skimming over the debate but cracked up when I read the following:
From "Joe" on Myspace:
If you want to believe that philosophy (especially existentialist and nihilist), and not science, is the ultimate method for human investigation, discovery and understanding, then that's fine, be my guest. Personally, I choose science... Science is given by God, it is the order of nature and it establishes as law that which is reasonable, objective and irrefutable. If you ever find anything in Nietzshce's work which is as beautiful, elegant, perfect and ordered as the quantum mechanical model of the electron, please let me know and I'll happy change sides. Until then...

I love nerds.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Marriage/Commitment/American Dream/Chastity

Why has the status of marriage sunk so low that we believe we can get by with on-the-job training rather than years of disciplined study and growth?

A friend of mine was talking to me recently when she said this:

"So anyways monogamous bliss isn't so blissful all the time"....."in fact it lacks a little spice".
So today I was on a Myspace group page with a bunch of Baha'is talking about chastity and I came across some interesting views and a cool analogy that reminded me of her words

Here are some excerpts from the discussion:
[sex has] become totally MATERIAL. People are viewing the material in a significant other before anything else, thus they idolize it....sex becomes another activity, a material activity like any other - one to explore and take lighter than these standards [the standards of chastity and upright behavior set by religion].

It's like food. If you visit cultures where they eat the same thing everyday, they are not discontent with that at all. They never say, "oh I wish I had a different food". Of course not, because they don't know of different food, they are comfortable with what they have. Likewise if you try to get them to eat something totally foreign, they would be compelled to eat what their diet is used to. However, if you or I were asked to eat the same thing every day, we couldn't take it. Why? Because we are so used to having something new all the time.
I don't know if it's just having something NEW, we're used to having sweet, and savory, and spicy. We try it all, and we can't imagine life without dessert. If and when there aren't limits (such as weight gain, cost, and societal norms) governing us we tend to overindulge and gorge ourselves on these things. (I know I would live on chocolate, cheesecake, dr.pepper, and fatty cheeses and sugary desserts forever if I could). But take a poor child in Africa and ask them the last time they "ordered" dessert, or gorged themselves on cheeses or chocolates. Perhaps it is not their CHOICE whether or not to eat these indulgent foods, but in their world they do not yearn for them either, or miss them the way I would if they were taken from me.

How different are the pleasures of "the flesh" from the pleasures, desires, and cravings of palette? Do our actions create our cravings?
It is the same is with our "romantic relationships" in the West. We are surrounded with it in this society. Not just in practice, but in how there is just an exaggerated emphasis put on it in society. It is very very very VERY difficult then, to go from having all of that [liberty, variety and sexual freedoms], to going to a stable monogamous relationship. People get discontent so fast with another, and no longer wish to stay in [the relationship], then go off and find something else.

There were days in this country where the focus from the beginning of a young person's life was to find a good partner and then marry them. That was the dream. What was the classic tale of the 50's? Marry your high school sweetheart.
Today it seems that dream has been contorted into something where most people believe it is normal, expected, and ideal to:
-have a sexually adventurous life while young and "free",
-become emotionally and financially independant, and
-get some great toys,
and then you will settle down and have kids when you find someone who complements you (sexually, financially, and socially).

If this truly is to end up in marriage and child rearing, this is not only an improbable dream, it is set up for failure, as the things one would need for the end result are not taught through the practices at the beginning and indeed, the opposite values and needs and desires would be nurtured and grown.

Would you expect to become a CFO by
-taking many short term jobs,
-dating a lot of people and
-shopping yourself into debt?

No... why not? Because in order to become a CFO you must not only prove yourself to the people that will hire you, but you must spend years to develop your skills. Those skills being nurtured by
-long-term employment and responsibility,
-relationship building and management skills, and
-financial planning skills.

THIS is why CFOs are more likely to have had longer term employment, be married or in a stable relationship, and be personally financially sound. Not because they became a CFO and then found these things, but because they became the sort of person that would have the qualities necessary for being a successful CFO and eventually became one.

So why would one think that

-having a sexually adventurous life,
-becoming emotionally and financially independant, and
-getting great toys

would prepare them to be a suitable spouse... Where

-shared finances and an emotionally co-depentant relationship, and
-a bit of sacrafice and restraint in your buying in order to save for children and future expenses

is going to be important.

Could you be a great CFO without the work experiences? Maybe. Could you be a great spouse without the experiences that help you develop skills for being a successful partner? Maybe. But do you really think the person who has been at many short-term, low-responsibility jobs will adjust easily to the pressures, hours, and responsibilities of a C-Level position? Do you really think what we (of the West) seem to consider "ideal" for a young person today is really best preparing them for a married life?

Why has marriage been alloted to the type of low-status ideal that has on-the-job training? Might lack of training, be why it also has 50% turnover rate?

Why do Americans spend millions of dollars reading self-help books to find out how to "make things work" and develop better timesaving, business, organizing, and managing skills and so little time or energy becoming more loving, more nurturing, more kind, more giving...becoming the kind of person who is READY for a loving relationship and that can raise intelligent, thoughtful, creative, and loving children?

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Change/External things=energy?

So I have been reading a book called "Life Types" which loosely reviews some of the principles of the Myers-Briggs personality tests.

What I've found especially interesting (please note I'm not even 1/2 through the book)was the idea that extroverts (ME, in EVERY aspect) don't just enjoy socializing with others and talking through our problems, we derive our ENERGY from these sources. That external focus means that just sitting around THINKING about a problem, although motivating for an introvert, does very little for an extrovert.

With that in mind I'm thinking I need to get more involved in more things, as I've always found I had plenty of energy while organizing for the Chicago Lindy Exchange, or trying to write a novel during NaNoWriMo, but that over the past 6 months or so I've had very little change, few new friends, and no real extra-curricular activities to spur me on and CREATE the energy I NEED!!!

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Friday, September 15, 2006

New Book

I'm reading a new book that I got through Bzzagent called "The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness" It's a new book, not actually being released until September 19th, but I was sent an advance copy.

I'm really enjoying this book and it is suprising how motivating I'm finding it. It has interesting statistics that are making me re-evaluate some of my relationships with customers and other employees. It's packed with stories, anecdotes and statistics illustrating all the points they're going over.

So the thing that made me jump up from my reading and want to blog was this:
"When therapist Ona Robinson begins working with couples, she often starts with a homework assignment: Name three reasons why cannibalism is good. She gets a lot of hilarious responses--"excellent source of protein," "not too much fat," "reduces world population," "all-natural ingredients".

The point of the exercise is not to defend cannibalism but to help people develop the habit of assuming goodwill. When you approach others with the assumption that they will have generous intentions, you'll find that your life becomes a much easier ride."

Not only hilarious, but an excellent exercise. You're training yourself to interpret the speaker's view as positive.

In "Blink" (which I had a full 3 posts on so you should know all about it by now) Malcolm Gladwell brought up the idea of "Negative Sentiment Override". It was the only thing that I immediately stopped reading and wrote down a note for. It is the reaction we have when someone says something that we automatically hear as a negative--whether it's your mom asking if you've found a job yet, or someone mentioning your wardrobe, it is the internal override that tells you their intent was negative...even when the statement is neutral. (Yes, I have this with most things my mother says to me)

So I'm thinking that this cannibalism thing is touching on some great "POSITIVE Sentiment Override" exercises. Let's begin:

Name three reasons why being late is good
-Never have too help set up
-Avoid the wasted time spent trying not to be too early
-Absence makes the heart grow stronger

Name three reasons why George W is a good president:
-Increasing national economy with Bushism dictionaries and paraphernalia
-Helping even Conservatives to start rooting for the environment
-Making the US less attractive to Immigrants

Name three reasons why being fatter is better
-It's like lifting weights all day long
-Fat helps "fill in" all those wrinkles
-Less likely to be eaten by health-conscious cannibals

Have any others you'd like to add?

No, but seriously, I'm a big believer in conscious behavior modification, and I think practicing hearing an "assumption of good" is a good start in the right direction (see last post for more on direction :) )

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Thursday, September 14, 2006


Without a REAL direction, it's hard to get yourself to start walking, when you're likely to just become even more lost.

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Sears Tower

Sears Tower 1
Originally uploaded by iamsalad.

I saw this on my way to the library, and somehow loved all the beautiful angles and the glow of the late afternoon sun.

Every now and then I remember the things I love about the urban landscape/cityscape and am really thankful to live in Chicago...Then I go sit in nasty weather and 2 hours of traffic and wonder why I do this to myself.

I've been re-re-reconsidering (as in I consider it for a month or more every year) the possibility of going back to school and all the implications it would have on where I would have to live. Maybe a change of scene would be good for me, but is it really worth the risk?

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