It would probably be easier if my brain thought in terms of static natures rather than dynamic natures. It's so easy to answer the question "Who am I?" when you have such an orientation ... relative to the difficulty in answering the question when you have a dynamic orientation.
Rationalism, or The Belief That People Behave for Reasons
I became reacquainted the other day with a notion I came up against as a kid, and put some effort toward challenging. Then, somehow along the line I got swept up in the notion. The other day, I felt the sweet taste of my childhood efforts.
In game theory, there is the belief that all players are rational. I intuited this notion from the beginning, then somehow lost my understanding of it, in a quest to find a "perfect" definition of it as if one existed in the text of von Neumann and Morgenstern. From what I can tell, it doesn't.
Generally speaking, it seemed that a rational player was one who only pursued positive outcomes, and of the positive outcomes, the best positive outcome--the outcome giving him the biggest payoff. Payoffs were measured in numbers, and numbers were like points, meaning the more points, the better the outcome.
But whatever. From what I can tell, more generally, rational players are those who have reasons for their actions. A player in a game (it is presumed) never acts without a reason. A player in a game never simply moves for the sake of moving, nor does he move in a way that would cause himself pain or harm (except in a short-term way). If he does, these moves are either construed as having reasons anyway, or seen as somehow benefitting the player.
This kind of thinking permeates a lot of life: We presume people have reasons for doing things. In holding this presumption, we try to find the reasons for their doing those things. We may construct whole paradigms to explain why a person did those things, but when it comes down to it, the person may have done it for no other reason than that he wanted to do it. If a kid walks into a college and shoots 32 people, you can search and search and search for reasons, but the one that may escape you (and be the most infathomable) is that he merely wanted to do it. Maybe he thought it would be fun. Maybe he didn't even think that.
You see, some reasons are not considered reasons. If I do something for the sake of doing something, though formulated as a reason, to many people that is not a reason. If I do something randomly, that action is not typically considered as having a reason. If I do something for fun, in some contexts that action is not considered as having a reason. If I do something without a point or without a way to get me money in the end, that action can be considered as having no reason.
In high school, I did random things. I liked triggering people to think, to get them to try to interpret why I did those things, to get them to come up with reasons for my doing them. When it came down to it, though, I just spun the Wheel of Fortune in my head and whatever it landed on (so to speak), I did--I had no reason and I knew I had no reason. I skipped through the halls of high school once saying, "I'm a squirrel! I'm a squirrel!" What was my reason? Someone might say "for attention." But the irony is that when I get attention, a lot of times I shirk it immediately and harshly. When it came down to it, I did it because I wanted to do it. Some would call that "for no reason." Okay. Good. That's my point.
Living a life in which you just see actions and stop asking why they do those actions can lead to having an amazingly refreshing and immediately new perspective on things. You don't really get too worked up about events. Someone shoots someone... It happened, so why try to isolate a reason? As if the reason will comfort you. Actually, I suppose some reasons do comfort: If I'm dying, I might like to know why I'm dying, and not having a reason can inspire fear and confusion. But perhaps almost any reason can be provided to quell the fear and confusion. "I'm dying because God is calling me now." "I'm dying because of lung cancer." "I'm dying because I smoked cigarettes for a long time." "I'm dying because everyone eventually dies." ...
Reasoning has a place. Rationalism has a place. I think I'm saying it's not all, nor is it absolutely important. Sometimes it can be problematic. "Why does he not want to date me????" He just doesn't. Stop trying to find reasons and move on to someone who does. That sorta thing.
Albert Ellis calls people "crazy." His point as I see it right now is to get people to wrap their minds around the notion that sometimes people do not act as rationally as we suppose they should. We expect lovers to act in our interests, but sometimes they don't, pissing us off. But our getting pissed off is reduced if we are more accommodating in our assumptions: If we start with the assumption they're crazy, when they do insane things, then they are acting consistently with our assumptions, and what surprise is there? The next question we ask ourselves, "Do I want to deal with this crazy person, or live the rest of my life without her?" It's not either-or, but I hope you get my ... point. (I have one here.)
BAGHDAD - Alert guards gunned down a black-clad woman at a police recruiting station Tuesday, a would-be suicide bomber who then exploded before their eyes. Other Iraqi killers struck more successfully [...]
It disturbs me more and more that it seems understood, as uttered by people I encounter "in the community," that the UCBT community is competitive.
The competitive nature is argued as because there are only so many spots on the UCBT stage, it's competitive.
I would argue that there is no reason for it to be competitive even if there are only so many spots on the UCBT stage.
In fact, I would suggest that having a competitive culture in some discipline that is cooperative by design is against the spirit of the discipline. That is, you aren't practicing long-form improv if you're competing with other people. Note that long-form improv--or specifically group improvisation, which UCBT philosophy essentially upholds--is a team-oriented discipline. It ain't about you. So, you give up selfishness and move toward a more group mindset.
A competitive culture leads groups to splinter into selves. A cooperative culture does the opposite: it leads groups to prosper as groups, to group with other groups. A competitive culture goes in the opposite direction, destroying groups.
It's an argument I'll make and make and make. Of course, you could get all Prisoner's Dilemma on me and say that through egoism cooperation can arise--true there. But cooperation is like a "resolved" Prisoner's Dilemma--and for as long as competition (defection) is an option for people, the Prisoner's Dilemma is "unresolved."
Point being, a great relationship offers a good time. When you spend time with x, you have a great time. That's the attractive part. You like good times, you want good times, and spending time with x lends you good times.
A good time may encompass anything, really. If your idea of a good time is sex, then a good time is that. If it's reading together in separate rooms, then there's your good time. If it's dining out, spitting on homeless people, going to a baseball game, or pooing clandestinely in the neighbor's garden, then there you have it. Good Times.
I'm thinking of changing my headline to "Looking For A Good Time," but it's kinda a moot point because I'm ending my subscription.
Let's suppose that for every function f(x), there is an ulterior function u(x). In most cases, f(x) does not equal u(x). In fact, the case in which f(x) = u(x) would be considered a special case.
You can thus say that perceived reality does not always match actual reality (or that reality does not always match actuality). For example, you might have as your function y = x^2 but for its ulterior function you might have y = 2x.
What you have in reality is a parabola, but in actuality is a straight line of slope 2.
What this means cognitively is this: Think of each line as the movement toward a particular objective. In reality, it may look as if someone is moving rapidly toward an objective, while in actuality, that person is moving at a comparatively slower pace. (To demonstrate this, when x = 6, reality suggests f(x) = 36 while u(x) = 12. That is, the person looks to be further along than he actually is.)
Ulterior motives can be described as objectives held but not avowed. They in essence are operating concurrently with overt objectives though they are not acknowledged. For example, your objective might be to do a good job for the company for which you work, but your ulterior motive may be to make a lot of money, or reach the top of the corporate ladder, or spy on someone's business activities, or some other undisclosed motive.
If ulterior motives almost always differ from objectives, then truth becomes unattainable except in special cases. It makes me want to invent the term "Euclidean truth." Non-Euclidean truth is thus a relative equality between f(x) and u(x), a matter of perception rather than definitive classification. If f(x) = x^2 and its u(x) = 2x, in most cases reality would probably be said to be untrue, and the person would be said to be misrepresenting herself. However, if f(x) = 1.75x, then that function more closely matches her ulterior motives, and the untruth of her claim may be questionable, meaning it might be deemed relatively true.
These are just beginning ideas. I like how they sound for now.
... and reading over it again, I really like how this sounds.
Given sadness. Two common options you have during sadness are feel bad about yourself and refuse to feel bad about yourself. It's probably common to feel bad about yourself when you get sad: this leads to depression. (I.e., depression is feeling bad about yourself when sad.) Less common but an option is to refuse to feel bad about yourself when you get sad: this leads to (hypo)mania. (I.e., (hypo)mania is refusing to feel bad about yourself when sad.)
What to address in bipolar (manic-depressive) people is not the depression or the mania, but the sadness. Or maybe it's the choices a person makes when sad. If they continually or constantly make the above choices, they arrive at the above conditions.
Now, is there a way to cure sadness? I'm not sure. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to, either. No, it's appropriate to address it--let's just say that's true (unless you're an anti-abortionist, because aborting sadness is JUST LIKE ABORTING A BABY ). Now, I suppose you treat extended periods of sadness that do not exhibit manic or depressive symptoms--aka "prolonged sadness without polarity," wherein "prolonged" has an associated general measure. And you probably only treat it when a person requests it, as not to interrupt the grieving process.
Or not. Actually, I don't know. It seems to me it mucks with the grieving process of people if you try to reduce sadness clinically. Perhaps we need to accept that some periods of sadness won't end after 1 month, or 2 months, but perhaps after a decade. My hypothesis? Medicines that address sadness eliminate manic and depressive symptoms in most patients, because they're not given the motivation that drives their polarity. For that's what sadness becomes: motivation. The person chooses to depress or to maniac because of sadness. When the person recognizes this is why she does it, she starts to address her sadness rather than her depression or her mania, which are resultant from the sadness.
About what are you sad, little bipolar person?
EDIT: You have objectives. They may differ from what you think are your objectives. When you satisfy an objective, you become happy. When you fail to satisfy an objective, you become sad. Given you want the love of your life. If you get the love of your life, you become happy. If you fail to get the love of your life, you become sad. From sadness, the polarity may emerge. I suppose it can emerge when happy, too, but that I'm guessing emerges because of a past sadness associated with happiness. For example, maybe you were shamed for feeling happy about finding the love of your life. So, when you feel happy, you associate happiness with sadness, and then promptly get sad...
Fluctuations in Self-Esteem When Liking Someone Else
When liking someone else, in a phase when true feelings are unclear and messages about liking aren't totally to be trusted, some people tend to say things like "She likes me" or "She doesn't like me."
The physiological reactions are interesting after each of these statements.
When he says "She likes me," he bucks up. He gets excited. He feels happy. He feels positive, even confident.
When he says "She doesn't like me," he bucks down. He gets depressed. He feels sad. He feels negative, even insecure.
The issue at hand is caring what someone else thinks of you over what you think of yourself.
Problem: What someone else thinks about you > What you think about you
Solution: What you think about you > What someone else thinks about you
That is, you shouldn't be worrying about what someone else thinks about you when you like someone else. Instead of saying "She doesn't like me," say "I like myself." The physiological reaction is, you will start to sing.
Now, it's possible that you don't like yourself, so when you move from saying "She doesn't like me" to saying "I like myself," you have a non-singing reaction. I wonder if that's true though. I have a feeling that you will feel MORE empowered when you care about what you think about yourself than what someone else thinks about you. The reason is, you have more control over what you think of yourself; what someone else thinks of you, you have almost no control. Having control over your value makes you happier than having no control--and the sonata begins.
When you say you like yourself, you value yourself. You put value in yourself. You assert your own value. You esteem yourself.
And vice versa: When you say you don't like yourself, you take value away from yourself. You subtract your value. You dispute your own value. You don't esteem yourself.
In order to avoid fluctuations in self-esteem when liking someone else--and ultimately, to avoid fluctuations in MOOD when liking someone else (mood is the dependent variable...)--instead of focusing on whether she likes you, focus on whether you like yourself, esp. on liking yourself.
Note: The choice to say "someone else" is intentional, and important; it asserts the difference between liking someone (which includes yourself) and liking someone else (which excludes yourself).
What I also meant to add in the above posting was that when you say "She doesn't like me," you tend to treat yourself badly. You take care of yourself less. When you say "She likes me," you tend to treat yourself well. You take care of yourself more.
But when you say "I like myself," you operate fairly unconditionally of someone else's feelings about you. You take care of yourself no matter what she thinks. You do your think, go about your business, and so on.