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Post 0

Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 8:33amSanction this postReply
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The good thing about fuzz balls is that they're so easy to blow off.

However, I wouldn't have bothered to encourage anyone who wouldn't leave a voice message with an email I found by searching the phone number.  This whole following you around the Internet thing is a little stalkish and creepy.  Please be careful, Luke.


Post 1

Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
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There is a whole story behind that one person, Teresa.  He is an accomplished scientist who posts regularly on my list.  But I have noticed that scientists can sometimes be the most painfully compartmentalized irrationalists imaginable.  Anyway, he had posted a while and then tried to reach me on chat but kept missing me, so I guess he wanted to call me instead.  That was how I tied the incoming call back to him.  I already knew his e-mail address so I dropped him a line ... or two ...

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 5/31, 9:26am)


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Post 2

Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 11:19pmSanction this postReply
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Teresa, you might want to reword Post number 0, unless you intended that double entendre.

Just sayin'. ;)


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Post 3

Sunday, June 1, 2008 - 11:17amSanction this postReply
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Luke, you have my sympathies (whether you like it or not).

I've had a lot of experience with Fuzz Balls. ... note: That sentence doesn't sound right. ... Anyway, I've had a lot of experience with toxic, draining 'value-parasites.' I used to work at a health food store. Folks dug me. My co-worker called me a nutrition Rock-Star (because of my 'fan club'). It got to be so bad that some of the outliers 'fired' their doctors and worked with me, solely, as their ad-hoc health care professional (that's illegal, by the way).

But these outliers don't hold a candle to the truly-deranged who had signed up for a monthly or even weekly innoculation of Ed in their lives. I had this one gal who would call the store and ask for me. She'd start out talking nutrition (that was the bait and the bite). She'd move the conversation to something else ... anything else on her mind (then I'd struggle on the line). And, when she noticed that I was communicating to her that I was needed at the store for health issues, she'd bring it back to nutrition (that was the reel-in). This cycle would repeat. Like a skillful fisherman, she played me like that. She'd also come in and do it, too.

It got so bad that my manager told her to limit her visits to 45 minutes (she wasn't allowed to be in the store more than that). This just increased the phone calls. I handled the situation with her poorly, and I started to learn about the toxic, draining 'value-parasite'.

The next TD'VP' was a fellow who reminded me of Mel Gibson in the movie, Conspiracy Theory. He'd talk your ear all the way off. After a visit by him at our store, my coworkers and I joked that the U.S. should use him as a secret weapon. We had just invaded Afghanistan. If we just dropped him from a plane into the country and waited a few days ... we could march right in there with earplugs, isolate him in a sound-proof booth, and all the Afghani's would be dead on the ground, bleeding from the ears.

One day he called to talk at me. He would do that, you know -- talk at you, not with you. It was slow in the store and I was steeped into one of my books, and I heard the dreadful ring of the phone. It was Talk-meister, himself. Realizing that these folks have "boundary" issues, and that those who are truly evil only listen to one language -- force -- I interrupted him with a statement that could be characterized as being more than merely assertive:

"I'm reading my books and my books are more important to me than you are."

There was silence on the other end of the line. The kind of silence that coincides with someone picking themselves up off of the floor after you had pulled the rug out from under them -- or the kind of silence necessary for the mental gymnastics of re-interpretting something in an unjust manner so that it sits with your psyche and doesn't produce the cognitive dissonance that a literal translation would. Unfortunately, he was performing the latter feat, as evidenced by his initial studder and subsequent acceleration of diversionary talk!

/sigh

At least it felt good to see him for what he is and to treat him (even if failingly) accordingly.

;-)

Ed


p.s. oh, and this really, really resonated with me, too (Amen, Brother!):

But I have noticed that scientists can sometimes be the most painfully compartmentalized irrationalists imaginable.
 


Post 4

Sunday, June 1, 2008 - 6:30pmSanction this postReply
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"Worker of the world, RELAX!"
- Luke

LOL!

And C. Jeffery Small wondered why I don't post my own current photo as my avatar!

(Edited by Ted Keer on 6/01, 6:41pm)


Post 5

Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 8:49amSanction this postReply
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Well, well, well. I seem to have been played yet again. A young lady on Facebook with whom I had periodically consulted in her pursuit of an engineering degree at Brigham Young University in Idaho (BYUI) has evidently demonstrated herself a compulsive liar and manipulator. I was not heavily invested but it would have been nice to have gotten the straight dope and not a long list of evasions about her actual circumstances.

After she left BYUI under questionable circumstances (fear or expulsion?), she moved back to West Virginia and became sexually involved with a friend of her brother's. Now she is seven months pregnant and has conspired with her family to disappear and cut the boyfriend from the situation entirely and put the baby for adoption. Poor boyfriend and his family evidently want the baby and are scrambling to locate her and convince her to let them adopt it themselves.

Evidently her story she told me about the women in her family opposing college education was a fabrication along with numerous other tall tales she conveyed to me.

I hate being played. Seriously. I really hate it.

I need to quit caring about other people and trusting them so much.

Post 6

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 10:11amSanction this postReply
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Luke,
I hate being played. Seriously. I really hate it.

I need to quit caring about other people and trusting them so much.
Perhaps it's too soon for you to hear this, but please don't be so down on people. You have my sympathies, but to be honest, even hearing about this kind of a thing once every 5 years is too heart-breaking. Something must be done. Getting burned -- even if it is only once every 5 years -- is too much. I am not being facetious. I'm serious. I mean it.

Everyone is on a continuum of systemizing vs. empathizing, and excellent systemizers aren't excellent empathizers and vice versa. I consider myself to be systemize-dominant but not so much as to be deficient in empathy. This means that when I hear about troubles I think of schemes to fix them (traditional "male" response), rather than only "being there" to listen and remain visibly in nonspecific support of those who have been wronged and want to talk to someone about it (traditional "female" response).

So ... what have we got? We've got a bunch of people living together in relative peace, some of them interrelating with one another. There's a lot of potential good and a lot of potential bad from situations such as that. What can one do? My answer is to examine the constraints of reality. For example, could I being everyone's best friend? No. That's impossible. Could I be a really good friend to more than 100 people? No, that is impossible. Human friendship is something that has higher requirements than that.

People who attempt to have more than 100 really good friends are going to get burned -- as you cannot develop the necessary foundation of trust with that many people in your life. In order to attempt to have more than 100 really good friends, you will have to be using some kind of a heuristic that takes the place of actual trust-building. For instance, game theorists talk about the 'green beard' phenomenon, where interacting players automatically trust other players who display a certain token or symbol (such as a 'green beard').

What I'm getting at is that it is my contention that your heuristic failed. The signs, symbols, and tokens you accepted in place of earned trust were counterfeit. Instead of giving up on people, please consider either questioning and switching-out your previous heuristics, or resigning yourself to having only a handful of people -- perhaps only 3 or 4 people -- that you consider to be really, really good, true, and loving friends.

Ed


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Post 7

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 12:35pmSanction this postReply
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...or resigning yourself to having only a handful of people -- perhaps only 3 or 4 people -- that you consider to be really, really good, true, and loving friends.
Like us.

 


Post 8

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 12:52pmSanction this postReply
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My "heuristic" is people who demonstrate intelligence and ambition and have strong educational goals toward living productively.

What I am learning from these experiences is that more people need to learn what Anthony Robbins learned from Jim Rohn: "Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. Affirmation with discipline creates miracles."

This whole "big talk and no walk" nonsense needs to end immediately. This latest incident was my biggest disappointment to date. Sex "fucks" with people in more ways than one. Celibacy as a chosen discipline delivers objective value. It radically reduces risks associated with sex and leaves resources available to focus on achieving goals that deliver much bigger long range payoffs. I consider it a shame that our culture has devolved to such a low level of mindless hedonism that this fact seems so non-obvious.

Bah, I say.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/29, 12:55pm)


Post 9

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 2:56pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,
Celibacy as a chosen discipline delivers objective value. It radically reduces risks associated with sex and leaves resources available to focus on achieving goals that deliver much bigger long range payoffs. I consider it a shame that our culture has devolved to such a low level of mindless hedonism that this fact seems so non-obvious.
Whoa! First, the choice isn't between celibacy and hedonism. That's clearly not a set of exclusive alternatives. And, the risks are pretty minor and easy to manage for a responsible adult. Next, if we can't enjoy sex in an appropriate context, in an appropriate form, without losing track of our goals then we need to look at what psychological dynamic we have adopted that is doing that to us - it isn't built-in to human nature - and it strikes me as a defensive approach designed to avoid emotional hurt.

There should be no conflict between a healthy sex life and achieving our goals. What resources are consumed by a healthy sexual life are restored - and then some - by the increase in psychological energy and a sense of well-being - to say nothing of the sheer joy as a reward in itself.

No one has to live their life as a sexual being, but I think you've given celibacy an affirmation it doesn't deserve.

Post 10

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 4:37pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, I have encountered too many college age people who lack the maturity to date, much less mate. This young lady had an abortion at age 19 late last year because she and her 27 year old boyfriend got drunk and neglected to use a condom. It was all very terrifying for them both and the post-operation medication aggravated her Crohn's disease and made her bleed from every orifice. She swore she would never let that happen again. I gave her a long talk about contraception and she swore she would implement it.

Sure enough, a few months later, according to her boyfriend, she deliberately refused to use contraception. Evidently he was so sex-whipped that he caved to her demands rather than exercise some manly judgment and snap her from her confused state of mind. Now she has apparently decided to disappear completely and cut him and his whole family from the equation and put the baby for adoption. I have not talked to her since she vanished last week with her conniving grandmother so I am only hearing his side of the story at this point.

The thing is, she was raised Mormon and left the church and evidently scrapped the good stuff along with the bad stuff. Abandoning faith does not mean abandoning reason. The law of causality waits for no man and no woman. What in the world she was thinking I have no idea. I think she was just very confused about her entire belief system.

No amount of sex in the world is worth this much drama. People who evade and refuse to acknowledge reality and causality have no business engaging in intercourse. There are other ways of knowing oneself that involve far less risk and drama.

Bah, I say.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/29, 4:44pm)


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Post 11

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 5:10pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,
No amount of sex in the world is worth this much drama. People who evade and refuse to acknowledge reality and causality have no business engaging in intercourse. There are other ways of knowing oneself that involve far less risk and drama.
This kind of drama can arise for people in every area of their life: career, family relations, friendships, finance, choosing goals, exercising discipline, etc., if they choose evasion and don't recognize reality.

When people have so little maturity as to have sex without contraception (when they don't want children), there is little in their life that will be safe from chaos and drama. The blame should NOT be on sex, but on a pattern of irrationality.

When people regularly fail at something as simple as contraception then I'd suspect them as having a strong subconscious drive to fail. Think about that. How can anyone attempt to help a person, and expect to succeed, when the person has wired themselves to fail no matter what.

And anyone that is having sex as a way of "knowing oneself" is badly confused - the problem isn't sex, it is their confusion.

Also, there are people who let themselves stay stuck in needless drama - they feel at home with drama and do what it takes to generate it. They choose partners and make decisions that inevitably take them into drama. It is their story, the misery they feel is 'right' for them, and the state that they feel is inevitable for life in this world.

Post 12

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 5:31pmSanction this postReply
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This definitely applies here:

Also, there are people who let themselves stay stuck in needless drama - they feel at home with drama and do what it takes to generate it. They choose partners and make decisions that inevitably take them into drama. It is their story, the misery they feel is 'right' for them, and the state that they feel is inevitable for life in this world.

Can we at least agree that people who have so little psychological stability should stick to low risk lifestyles until they get their heads straight?

Hitting the books and getting a worthy degree ... in total celibacy ... sounds like much less risk than the converse.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/29, 5:50pm)


Post 13

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 6:25pmSanction this postReply
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People who have so little psychological stability should focus on getting over their psychological problems. Until they do, they are likely to make a mess of choosing a degree to pursue, and are likely to fail in being able to exercise the discipline needed to graduate, and are going to continue to be driven by their drama needs.

Sex isn't the problem, it is the psychological problems. We don't have a system in our culture that provides a check on psychological competence in these mild to moderate neurotic behaviors. And the field of psychotherapy is a mixture of a very, very few competent therapists and a great many, well-meaning, but incompetent therapists.

Our culture is still blind to the psychological side of things, and ignorant of the principles of psychology.

Post 14

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

Mostly, I think what I want to say is that it would be much easier, and more likely to succeed, to teach safe sex to young adults than try to convince them to be celibate.

Post 15

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 6:51pmSanction this postReply
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They know all about contraception. The lack of knowledge is not the problem. The lack of wisdom is. People who lack the wisdom to use contraception effectively have no business engaging in intercourse. Foolish people.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/29, 6:56pm)


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Post 16

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 9:02pmSanction this postReply
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Easier to stuff a wet noodle up a wildcat's ass then push wisdom into a fool.

We've probably both spent more time debating this than they will in pursuing celibacy or working at being wise.

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Post 17

Monday, September 30, 2013 - 5:47pmSanction this postReply
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I understand Luke's statement of the problem, and I agree with Steve that the root of the problem is internal to the people with it.  See the posts about Buddhism in the current "Atheist Virtues" quotation discussion.  Consider, especially, the prisoners. Islam works the same way among them. They learn to pray five times a day. That quiet time for internal focus was always missing. That is why they got in trouble and it is also why Luke's fuzzballs fail at life.  Both sets lack self control because they first need selves to control. 


Post 18

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 4:27amSanction this postReply
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I think my encounters with these types of people come as part of the package of interacting with many people both live and online. I just need to learn a more skeptical mindset with less trust and more verification. As Michael just noted, the most important aspect of improving one's condition is first to have a Self to improve! That down time alone for reflection is indispensable, too. This is nutritious food for thought to carry to feed future encounters.

Post 19

Friday, October 18, 2013 - 6:51pmSanction this postReply
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Per my old article on alcohol it helps a great deal if the Self in question remains stone cold sober!

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