Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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A Tale of Two Invitations

I once heard someone say something that sounded ridiculous about gender differences - that because women are more socially oriented, the hormones and pleasure that men get from sex are equivalently bonding for them that a good conversation is for a woman. I've never accepted assertions of that sort - they've always seemed really unscientific to me -- even if one were to grant that the gist of it is true, which I don't, how would one quantify pleasure in such a way? I've also known a number of gals over the years, who had a great amount of variance in how much they liked sex (goes beyond the people who I've had sex with, who are probably fairly small in number for my age and cultural circles). I'm not sure what the statement would mean, given such a wide variance (presumably also present in males). I might try to "rescue" the statement by turning it into something about average results based on MRI research (the Dutch have actually done some research about sex, with the sex happening inside of MRIs) comparing women-in-sex and women-in-conversation, but that changes the nature of the assertion a bit. This is an issue I have with a lot of "folk" wisdom/assertions that people make all the time -- sometimes they don't seem to have any internal consistency, much less the ability to be formalised/tested -- they fall apart on the way to the microscope. I often have made people angry by shooting down these assertions every time I hear them, because a lot of people say this kind of stuff pretty often and I'd be doing that for almost half of what they say. I don't know if quietly thinking less of their rational abilities is a good solution either.

I recently had a long conversation with a friend about suicide (not anyone in particular or any upcoming event, but rather the philosophy of suicide). I assert that the ability to say "No" to life is the most sacred element of autonomy that one can exercise, and that no other concerns overrule it in my value system - if someone wants to die, from my perspective allowing them to do so, regardless of why or when or who else it might bring emotional pain to, is more important than any concerns that might cause one to intervene. For a good friend, if they wanted to die, I probably would help them if they asked, or sit with them as they ended, or protect the act from interference by others, even if I did not like the reasons they were doing it. To me, at least not interfering with enaction of such decisions is the highest imperative in my value system. The friend's value system is quite different on this regard, and I don't know if the aesthetics of my value system were at all appealing to them, but I felt I explained my feelings on the matter as well as I could.

This reminds me of a recent comment on a livejournal poll I left recently regarding immortality - I interpreted it as the choice between living forever (no choice/means of death) or mortality. There's a certain noir attraction to eternal, unending life (because I believe such a thing would be miserable in a majestic way), but what I said is pretty accurate: "I get somewhat more tired of life, day-by-day. Eventually I'll want out. Not yet, but eventually." I've internalised a lot more Buddhist philosophy based on a moderately brief exposure than I ever thought I would - I identify this with that influence.

Also recently, I get an invitation from a friend to come visit them sometime over winter break. I like the idea. It'd be a bit of a trip, but as the trip to Ankara is now extremely unlikely, I have the time and I would like to travel. It's also nice in that one of the ways I grow to feel comfortable considering someone a friend is that we exchange invitations and arrange to do things. Sometimes busyness prevents this (and sometimes I'm not that good about keeping in touch with people either), but it means a lot to me when it happens.

In an unrelated invitation, there's a rave this weekend. This is pretty tempting, although there's also Rocky Horror - choosing between the two won't be easy.

Today, when I got home I was full of inexplicable gushy love for my cats, so I gave them some wet food, and treated myself to some vanilla ice cream.

Tomorrow at lunch, I hope to explain the similarities and differences between Socialism and Communism (understand that both are overloaded terms, socialism having more meanings than communism) to some interesting people I had lunch with on monday.

There are few angers more pure (albeit brief) than that at poury things that, whenever used, also dispense a good amount of liquid on the floor.


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