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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sexual Agendas In History

We often feel nostalgia for past times when things were a lot more pleasant and uncomplicated. To some extent, this estimate is true, since past generations did not have such a wide array of choices as we do today in terms of life style, material possessions, and educational opportunities. In the past, there were a lot more important things to think about, like simple survival; and even the most basic romantic notions had to take second place to more fundamental needs. Times were simpler then, but they were more threatening too, and society values were very practical responses to these perilous circumstances. Being conventional then wasn’t the result of a whimsical choice, it was simple practicality, and nostalgia was ill placed if we didn’t understand the cold reasons for the quaint behavior of the past. In the comparisons to follow, we’ll note the swings in social values of medieval, post World War II, and contemporary times. ‘Tis a shame that we live in unquaint times.

A Night Out on the Town
Medieval Village: "Let’s pop over to Calais, I hear Charles the Bold is battering its walls down."
Post War: "Let’s take your hot rod to the sock hop for some jitterbugging."
Yup-Generation: "Let’s travel this evening to Pluto to visit the 3rd Galactic Conference. Just take this green pill here, and snort this white stuff, and soon you’ll see the Venusians landing in my back yard to pick us up."

The Bachelor Pad
Medieval Village: A straw bed, wooden stool, three cackling chickens, and twelve other members of his immediate family huddled in a corner.
Post War: A Hi-Fi system, framed Norman Rockwell print, plaid couch, and a rack of Tommy Dorsey records.
Yup Generation: Yupamichi Trinonix CD system with super woofers, some white plastic modular furniture, a Lay-z-Boy with complete instrumentation and tachometer, a modular TV, cable ready VCR, internet access, and a satellite dish capable of receiving daily transmission from Voyager 9.

Medieval Village: "I’ll give you three cows and two sheep for Brunhilde."
Post War: "Oh Jane! I love you! Let’s get married and build a family!"
Yup-Generation: "Let’s live together for a year or so before we get married, but first lets sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Of course, if we divorce, you can have the kid."

Sex Appeal
Medieval Village: "That Brunhilde’s a real fox. She’s 14 years old and she still has all her teeth! And she’s fat too! That must mean she’s wealthy enough to afford food.
Post War: "Doesn’t Carol look nice in her evening gown? She’s the highlight of the Navy dance."
Yup-Generation: "Bambi looks real yummie in her spray on edible dress, purple blouse, green eyelashes, and pink hair!"

Birth Control
Medieval Village: By sacrificing this calf to the God Wotan, he will intercede, and limit our family to just 15 kids.
Post War: "Well, Carol, since the rhythm method is unreliable, I think we should abstain from relations for the time being."
Yup-Generation: "I think I’ll stay on the pill for a couple more years, and utilize the local sperm bank or cloning center for our first child."

Medieval Village: "Well, Mathilde, I’m off to petition the Pope for an annulment. I figure that by fast mule, I’ll be back in just three years.
Post War: "Honey, we’ve got to stay together for the next five years until the children are fully grown."
Yup-Generation: "Your honor! I gave this man three whole months of my life, and I believe it only fair that you decide in my favor in this palimony suit, and give me a modest share of Charlie’s property, like 90 percent."

Sexual Dysfunction
Medieval Village: "What! Another girl child! I should have never married a lady so physically incapable of having boys!"
Post War: "Well Carol, I think as your family doctor that your depression is a delayed effect of menopause."
Yup-Generation: "Like man, I really don’t worry about catching any of those weird social diseases. I’m immune! By the way, is that my ear in your soup?

Chaslov's Antidotes

The love of Chaslov’s life and the source of his ultimate downfall, was the Countess Marianna Gandsky, who was later to become the wife of Prince Georgi Borosh. Of noble lineage, the Countess was the granddaughter of Ivan the Timid. Ivan was the first cousin of Ivan the Terrible, half brother of Ivan the Awful, and pen pap of Ivan the Really Nasty. Because Ivan had to survive in, to say the least, some very impolite surroundings, he became a master of lying low in the Moscow countryside while his kinfolk tortured, pillaged, and massacred each other, all in good masculine form of course. The lessons he learned were not lost on his descendents, who would often gather around the family hearth to listen to the old man sing the virtues of being very, very cautious.

The young Marianna was impressed by her grandfather, and soon she developed those cautionary traits that enabled her to elude the hard charging bull which most men either embodied, or were full of. In her later years, she codified the lessons of her spirited youth in her book, ‘Little Men’. Several of these lessons she used to great effect on the ever scheming Anton Chaslov, whose rather inflated view of himself allowed him to unknowingly drift about, blimp like, yet prone to guidance by the prevailing breeze of her feminine wiles. These lessons, known today as Chaslov’s antidotes, became a guide to those fair and meek maidens who wanted a strong, independent, courageous, and tender love whose every move they could subtly control.
In a sad chapter of a glittering and romantic life, Marianna’s antidotes worked all too well, and proved to be the undoing of Count Anton Chaslov. Longing for a final, ultimate romantic challenge, Chaslov broke even his own rules, and decided to pull out all the stops in a mad courtship of the Countess, even through he realized that she was happily married at the time Irritated to the breaking point by having to receive constant deliveries of flowers, perfume, and candygrams, her husband soon had enough, and challenged the Count to a duel. Anton had the grave misfortune to receive a superficial wound to the groin. Mistakenly believing that his career was truly over, the very shock of that realization caused him to expire on the spot. Thus ended a glittering and successful career, but the legend had scarcely begun.


  2. Marianna loved the company of men, yet in true feminine fashion, she knew that an prospective love would never be truly dedicated to her until he had mountains to climb, rivers to cross, deserts to travel, and assorted other minor inconveniences to fend off like starvation, thirst, and marauding Mongolian tribesman. So Marianna would entertain her prospective suitors in the drawing room of her Moscow estate, and took pains to encourage the amorous and sentimental fantasies of each one. To seal the emotional bond, she made wondrous romantic plans with each suitor, and after driving them to a romantic frenzy, she then moved with tender and tearful regrets to her summer cottage beyond the Urals near the Mongolian border. Faced with such a daunting challenge for what amounted to just a Friday night date, most of her suitors either wavered at the challenge, or else set out bravely, and fell off some obscure precipice, of fell into a raging river, glacial crevasse, or pot hole. Not to matter though, since for most, it was a glorious oblivion; after all this was the romantic age.
    Like Marianna, a woman must be tough minded about judging her prospective suitors. She has to be that way in order to tell exactly what a suitor really had on his mind.. If a man had the very realizable hope of a lasting and intimate relationship, just the hope would suffice to dissolve any ambivalence towards pursuing a committed relationship. Thus, a man’s true ambivalence towards pursuing a relationship is determined by simply observing not how strongly he pursues in the short term, but in the long term.
    For a woman whose heart is set on a more than transient relationship, intimacy should only be withheld for the amount of time it takes to determine whether a man’s intentions are serious. The temporary withholding of intimacy is not only a good way of gauging that interest, but is also an excellent means of raising his opinion of her. These aims are also well served if a man makes the time to see a lady that he truly cares for. The ‘climb every mountain’ test of courage and desire that romantic heroines subject their men to is an extreme case, but the concept is basically valid. A truly committed man will make the time to see his beloved, and a woman should set in his way at least enough survivable obstacles so as to reaffirm the depth of his commitment. However, it is absolutely crucial that those obstacles never bar the way of a very real relationship. Love always borders tenuously on hatred, particularly when a person’s courtship behaviors are directed to other selfish ends. Hence, the promise of a budding relationship should be valid and crystal clear, otherwise a lady may find a man abruptly and resentfully bowing out of the relationship.
    For both men and women, relationships are not ambivalent because one party or the other is confused, but primarily because one or both parties want certain things from a relationship that they cannot outwardly concede, or because they are still discovering and weighing in their minds the particular characteristics of the other person that will shape their ultimate posture towards the relationship. Since almost all men know pretty soon whether or not a budding relationship is the ‘real thing’; any ambivalence beyond the relationship’s initial stages will usually mean that the man wants the relationship to take a form that woman would never approve.
    Many men enter into a series of relationships that are cozy, sexual, and very transient, yet when they invariably tire of them, they find it not as painless to leave them as they were to begin. Because there is no easy and painless way out of their predicament, it is a natural that they either become confused, or feign confusion. Either way, an expressed confusion about the relationship is a safe way to soften the impact of what is very clearly a rejection. A woman must understand that a man’s ambivalence is rarely that, but rather a crude form of communication whose intent is almost always unfavorable to her best interests. Hence, a lady should give a gentleman all the time he needs to work out his difficulties, alone. In the meantime, she can very unambivalently pursue other interests, and other men, who are not so afraid to truthfully follow their best interests.
  4. Marianna was a radiant presence at Czar Alexander’s court, and her easy sociability made her a favorite among the Czar’s retinue, and it was rumored a favorite of the Czar himself. In actuality, Alex and Marianna did double date once or twice, but outside of sending out for pizza, there was nothing else that the couple shared. Nonetheless, Marianna displayed a calculated silence about the whole affair. Her silence set the court all a quiver about her ‘real’ activities, and soon rumor had it that she was the source of the unrequited passion of not only the Czar, but half the nobility, the imperial guard, and the palace gardener. These wild rumors soon reached the ear of Anton Chaslov, who decided, if only for pride’s sake to storm the citadel that guarded her heart. In translation, this means to arrange a hot date. He found his chance at the annual Grand Ball and wiener roast held in honor of the Czar. Mariana and Chaslov were introduced to each other by the Czarina, who knew from their plumage that here was a perfect match. After studiously ignoring each other while flaunting an invincible air of superiority, they both knew it was love at first slight.
    Alas, their relationship was doomed from the start, since both had the misfortune of figuring out each other’s motives. When Marianna asked Chaslov to cross mountains for her, Chaslov took the train, and when Chaslov gave her half his time, Marianna gave him in turn half of hers. Give that multiplier effect, soon Chaslov became no more than a fond memory to Marianna, which in her opinion was just as well.
    Whereas a man finds it necessary and useful to broadcast his attributes, a woman’s assets are usually much more subtly displayed, and can be no better highlighted than when she refuses to compromise her principles. A woman displays weakness when she acts a part that exaggerated or is contrary to her nature to secure the commitment of another man. Whether this be reflected in an easy sexual availability or through fawning over a man, a man can usually recognize this very quickly. This behavior hardly affirms the individual character and virtues of the man who receives it, since it obviously denotes a desperation for the company of any man, and thus a man is more likely to be insulated rather than complemented.
    On the other hand, a woman displays her strengths through her demonstration that she can exist and thrive independently of a man, and that she has emotional needs for a man who is a whole lot more than just a pretty face. As with men, a woman’s feminine needs must not be confused with feminine weaknesses. A woman should only act as dependent or ‘needy’ as is required for the man to recognize that his attentions are wanted and appreciated. Furthermore, her needs must be focused on the encouragement of the attentions of the ‘right’ man, or at the very least, to encourage a man to behave rightly. By tailoring her ‘weaknesses’ in just such a way to encourage to man’s equal posturing as a strong partner, she assumes a very necessary degree of control over her personal relationships with men that few man may fault.
Unlike Chaslov, Marianna was under no illusions about her own greatness. She too subscribed to the Chaslovian rule that absences often speak louder than words. However, as a very practical lass, she believed that while it was important to encourage men to build mental monuments to her through her calculated absence, it was nice to encourage them to build real monuments as well. To those brave suitors who proved their dedication to her by surviving a trek through the Siberian wilderness, she set them upon a variety of household tasks that would have done Tom Sawyer proud. Besides painting the fence, her suitors gleefully volunteered to wall paper her Moscow estate, add a sewing room, and lay the foundation for the Jacuzzi she had always wanted. These labors were of course a pleasure to them, since every now and then Marianna would offer them a glass of tea and an encouraging word to sustain the romantic fantasies which spurred them on.
In spite of the great strides women have made towards equality, its still very much a man’s world, and this means that men are still expected to shoulder the burden not only of supporting a wife, but also of raising a family. It thus becomes important to discover how seriously a man does indeed view his responsibilities beyond sustaining the mere romantic gloss of a newborn relationship. A woman must necessarily demand much from a prospective suitor because she has much more to lose. If she can direct his courtship behavior to display those psychological attributes that she demands, she informs herself of the ultimate and longstanding value of a prospective relationship, and informs him of the responsibilities he must assume to make a relationship work. Sometimes a true test of character is indeed a willingness to paint the fence.

The Chaslovian laws and antidotes summarize those manners that may spur or dampen romantic fantasy. The romantic imagination has often been called an interesting artifact of a bygone age, yet men and women continually emulate, if not the trappings, then certainly the spirit of the romantic hero and heroine. This is because romance depends upon the creation of a special mystique and allure that is meant to stimulate warm and affectionate fantasies, primarily of a sexual nature, that produce emotions and behaviors that rise far above those associated with the sexual act. The act of falling in love however represents no mere knee jerk response to , say, any pretty face, but is the culmination of a series of conscious appraisals, and is signaled by personal choice. Although sexual attraction is in many respects an involuntary act, the emotion of love builds on this response, and romance acts to trigger that emotion through the cognitive embellishment of a special person.

The decision to be romantic and to respond emotionally to romance is a personal choice that is determined by the appearance as well as the reality of the attributes of another person. Since people often find it hard enough to understand themselves, let alone other people, the ability to maintain and develop appearances, and to recognize what is mere appearance, is crucial to romantic success.

In the effort to attain romantic success, knowing when to reject romance is a far more important skill than knowing how to stimulate it. People behave most absurdly and painfully when they prematurely make the decision to fall in love, for love can literally be a powerful addiction that makes us blind to reason and our best interests. Much of the contemporary obsession with psychoanalyzing the opposite sex is due to the fact that many of us simply can’t let go of relationships gone sour because of this emotional attachment. Hence we grasp at straws, hoping that this analysis will suggest a change in some minute aspect of our behavior that can, like the invocation of an obscure clause in a legal agreement, restore a relationship to some ideal form. Unfortunately, it just isn’t so.

The initial stages of a relationship are when both individuals should be on their best behavior. If you don’t perceive that the other person is acting his best, then he shouldn’t be of interest to you, and most likely isn’t interested in you. Beyond this very crucial determination of those behaviors that in effect mark an individual’s relative ambivalence towards a committed relationship, one should provide every encouragement to the latent romantic fantasies of those individuals he or she finds of interest. Romance stems from the appraisal that the loved one is better than what he or she as an individual could ever hope to be, and a Chaslovian strutting, posturing, and elusiveness are the necessary foundation for this happy fantasy, that is hoped, precedes the reality of love.

Chaslov's Laws

On a fair morning on the 18th of October, 1821, Count Anton Chaslov met a tragic and untimely end. It was a duel to the death between himself and Prince Georgi Borosh, heir to the office of tax assessor of all of Moscovy. Egged on by a repentant, and some say, unfulfilled wife, the prince challenged Anton to the fateful duel. As he lay dying the Count muttered the cryptic words, "I guess I should have called", and then expired.
Even though death claimed him at the tender age of 35, Chaslov has established a reputation as a Slavic Don Juan, and he became a role model for many a roving Hussar, and many other lustful men of quality. Yet Chaslov was to achieve immortality with his pen, not his deeds. With the further development of law and order in the 19th century, a gentleman couldn’t rely on periodic bouts of ravaging and ravishing to keep his impulses in line. He needed a new code of conduct that, it not permissive of him physically absconding with the fair sex, at least allowed him to make his conquests symbolically, with a minimum of fuss. Count Chaslov was well aware of the growing plight of his fellow noblemen, and in 1812, while serving with the armies of the Czar against Napoleon, he penned the work which made his legacy and lasting fame. He call his little book ‘War and Piece’. In his book, Chaslov traced his amorous exploits across the steppes of Russia, the plains of Poland, the highlands of Scotland, and the on-ramp of the Appian Way. The lessons of his adventures were transformed into a summary code of geometric laws that assured his book a revered place next to such matchless works of philosophy as Plato’s ‘Republic’, Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’, and Richard Simmon’s ‘Lets Get Metaphysical’.
Chaslov did not concern himself with questions regarding the meaning and purpose of life, he south a higher goal. He wanted to discover the laws of dating, and his compilation of rules, known today as Chaslov’s laws, have proven a godsend to those men who seek success in the dating game of life. Although Chaslovs laws were originally meant for a male audience, women have also much to learn from this systematic exercise in male gamesmanship and overall conniving. An awareness by both sexes of theses eternal constants can improve dating skills markedly, and heaven knows that is an improvement the social world sorely needs.

The Laws

  2. Early on in his career, Chaslov discovered that his probability of success with a lady is a sharply declining function of the number of dates that end with a hug or handshake, or which are broken or postponed. That is, if you part company on a second or their date with nothing to show but a tender hand clasp, you had soon be thinking or greener pastures. Mathematics was one of Chaslov’s many talents, and through artful calculation, he discovered that teach good night handshake reduces the likelihood for future romantic success by a factor equal to (xn), whereas x equals the original probability of success, and n the number of dates that ended with a hearty handshake. Thus an early estimate of say, a 70% change of romantic intimacy decreases to 49% with the first handshake, and fades to 34% with the next good night hug.
    The mark of an ambivalent woman is her tepid attempt to keep her admirers in tow. It is surprising that many men buy this weak acceptance, and hand around for months and even years with nothing to show save a lot of bland compliments that would normally impress only a thirteen year old. Men don’t enter dating relationships to make good pals, amiability just doesn’t warrant the time and expense. The reward of course is hope, that nagging probability that an asexual and considerate posture towards a woman is just the thing to win her over.
    IT ISN"T
    If good intentions won hearts, than Alan Alda would be nudging out Casnova as the quintessential ladies man. Fat chance. It’s the ‘scoundrels’ that win the girl, yet it is hardly villainy to refuse to suppress one’s sexuality in return to vacant hopes, or view courtship as a day in court, where presenting and appealing your case wins in time the favorable verdict. It is indeed a valid masculine option.
    In the final analysis, asexual courtship will fail because it signals to a woman that a man is willing to compromise his sexual desires to be near her. This is a big compromise indeed, and casts him in a submissive and powerless light. To give up one’s power is to concede the game, since submissiveness is just about the only thing that such a courtship conveys. It is an illusion to think that men and women don’t pretty much have a good idea as to how each other is like after a few dates. After a short time, there is nothing more to say, nothing more persuasive save repeating yourself again and again in a sterile dance of courtship. The best step therefore is for a man to serve judgement on a woman’s ambivalence for her, and beg out of this de-facto rejection as soon as possible.
  4. A woman’s heart is not won through negotiation, it is stormed and taken by force. The proper allusion is not the courtroom, but the battlefield. The battlefield is glorious, particularly when you are not there, and are simply dreaming about it. Now if you get the ladies thinking about all that glory, with you in the forefront of a thunderous cavalry charge, oblivious to danger and hungry for victory, then your social battle is half won.
    It was in this battle that Chaslov was undisputed master of the field. His chest bestrewn with ribbons and medals (a remnant of his Czarist boy scout days), Chaslov would strut about the salons and ballrooms of Moscow like a peacock. Of course, the show was meant to stimulate female fantasies of a courageous and chivalrous warrior, or at the very least of an accomplished Russian eagle scout. A curious irony was that as the ladies realized the Chaslov needed nothing, they began to fantasize that a Chaslov needed them. Of course, Chaslov feigned a momentary loneliness and insecurity after meeting a lady he had designs upon. After all, it was hard to be both savior of Russian and responsible for your laundry at the same time. If Chaslov had any weaknesses, it was his devotion to Mother Russia, and a convenient devotion it was. Thus, after tiring of his latest romantic conquest, Chaslov would tearfully tear himself away from his beloved to answer a non-existed summons from the Czar, leaving her with sad yet fond memories and two washer loads of his laundry.
    As Chaslov knew, nothing stirs the romantic imagination of women more than manly competence and virtue, or at least the appearance thereof. The key to accomplishing this aim was not so much in the possession of these attributes, but in their advertisement. You don’t have to wear the symbols of your accomplishments on your chest, however a confident bearing and demeanor is always necessary, it at least to suggest that you are accomplished.
    Nothing is more damaging to a man’s romantic success than the reality or even suggestion of weakness. Every man of course has weaknesses, yet in the initial stages of a relationship his behavior should never reveal or even suggest them. It is important to understand that masculine weakness should not be confused with masculine needs, as feminine affections are stirred by needs that are the natural by-product of a man’s strengths. Thus a woman would expect to provide relief to the loneliness, insecurity, or boredom that are often attendant to a man’s success, and a man would be foolish if he ardently tried to cover up these needs. She would not expect, and would likely avoid those male problems that she could not administer to, or which would render him incapable of fulfilling her needs. A woman would therefore shy away from a man who was effeminate, overly shy, unkempt, or without financial resources or job skills. The hard choices that perennially face males stem from the fact that women can be harsh judges of a man’s competence. Female fantasies demand success, and success can often be as illusive for the male as beauty can be for the female. A man’s desirable attributes are acquired while a woman’s are inherited; such is the double standard that still influences much of our behavior. Thus, while a woman enhances her looks through the application of makeup, a man just as often enhances his psychological makeup by presenting at least the appearance of strength. The application of that psychological makeup is the lesson of Chaslov.
Chaslov always thought that he had the making to be one of Russia’s greatest heroes. In his fantasies he certainly had the illusion of greatness. And his fantastic estimate of himself grew and grew as he wisely distanced himself from the severe test and probable deflation of character that was, politics, and commerce would have provided. He discovered that just strutting about with an invincible demeanor will convince nearly everyone that he had the world on a leash, when in fact he himself was the show poodle. This lesson was not lost on the ladies, who lived for those same silly romantic fantasies that Chaslov loved so well. Chaslov knew that reality never matches the splendor of fantasy, so why not give a lady the leisure to fantasize, preferably about you? He figured that if you give enough attention to a woman to keep her attraction to you fresh, she will build upon that attraction in your absence, and long for the imaginary creature that you quite conveniently resemble, at least physically. Following the premise that absences speak louder than words, Chaslov found that a woman should be given half the time she deserves, with the balance of time left to her so she could begin to build her mental monument which modeled her idealized memory of him.
In the initial stages of a relationship, it is often a bad idea to overstay your welcome, particularly when your welcome is a partial function of a lady’s anticipation of what your personality and attributes are really like. Since that anticipation rarely matches the reality, it is often advisable to give a lady only half the time she truly deserves. This will allow you to ensure that the time you give to her is quality time, and reflects you at your best. Moreover, it will put her on notice that you in effect can live without her, hence reducing the chance that she will become complacent in the relationship, and will give you anything less than her own quality time. Finally, through your selective avoidance of her company, she may think that your standards for a mate are much higher, and it will affirm her own sense of accomplishment and self worth if you gradually come around to a more complete commitment to her. It is all really like a psychological sleight of hand. By making your presence known and felt even when you are not there, you in effect make a favorable impression out of thin air.

dumb carburetor repair

dumb carburetor repair
Amazingly, Women are slightly more complex
If your car suffers from premature ignition, needs frequent jump starts, and is always passed by on the road, your car probably has carburetor problems. To fix your carburetor, follow these simple instructions. Open the hood of your car, locate the wadget screw under the anterior capstan, and turn counterclockwise using a no. 7 sprochet wrench. Remove the fleem bolt gently while holding in place the cam shaft clamp. Gently caress the twin cams as you remove the outer cam cups. These cups come in various sizes, with sportier models usually having the largest ones. Moving down from the cams to the manifold, hoist the manifold so that the posterior protrudes upward. Immediately grasp the cam shaft and insert into the manifold. Make sure that there is enough lubricant in the shaft so that the gears may not be stripped. Finally, remove the shaft, wipe clean, and tuck safely away.

After this procedure, don't be disturbed in your car smokes a bit upon starting. This is not unusual and is relatively harmless. If your car fails to start, repeat the entire procedure. If after repeated tries it remains unresponsive, your car may be incapable of internal combustion. In this case, take your car to a qualified mechanic, and if worse comes to worse, trade the bucket of bolts in for a new model.

Stuff I didn't write, but wished I had

A Software Problem
Dear Sir:
Las year I upgraded Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 and noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure. In addition, wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs and launches during system initialization where it monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Pokernight 10.3 and Beerbash 2.5 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I cannot seem to purge Wife 1.0 from the system. I am thinking of going back to Girlfriend 1.0 but un-install does not work on this system.
Can you help me?
Dear Sir:
This is a very common problem men complain about but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "Utilities and Entertainment" program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its creator to run everything. It is impossible to un-install, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed. You cannot go back to Girlfrield 1.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this. Some have tried to install Girlfriend 2.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under Warning-Alimony/Child Support. I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and just deal with the situation. Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPF’s). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action will be to push apologize button then reset button as soon as lockup occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for GPG’s. Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance.

Woman - A Chemical Analysis

Element: Woman
Symbol: Wo
Discoverer: Adam
Atomic Mass: Accepted at 53.6 kb, but known to vary from 40-200kg
Occurrences: Copious quantities in all urban areas.
Physical Properties:
  1. Surface usually covered in painted film
  2. Boils at nothing; freezes without known reason
  3. Melts if given special treatment.
  4. Bitter is incorrectly used.
  5. Found in various states from virgin metal to common ore.
  6. Yields if pressure applied in correct places.
Chemical Properties:
  1. Has great affinity for gold, silver, and a range of precious stones.
  2. Absorbs great quantities of expensive substances.
  3. May explode spontaneously without prior warning and for no known reason.
  4. Insoluble in liquids, but activity increase greatly by saturation in alcohol.
  5. Most powerful money reducing agent known to man.
Common Uses:
  1. Highly Ornamental, especially in sports cars.
  2. Can be a great aid to relaxation.
  3. Very effective cleaning agent.
  1. Pure specimen turns rosy pink when discovered in the natural state.
  2. Turns green when placed beside a better specimen.
  1. Highy dangerous except in experienced hands.
  2. Illegal to possess more than one, although several can be maintained at different locations as long as specimens do not come into direct contact with each other.
  3. Should you experience itching, burning or rash, discontinue use immediately and seek medical treatment.
  4. Chemical Analysis of Man

    Symbol:Ah (short for a**h***, a common French root used to identify the element)
    Atomic Mass:Accepted at 7 inches, wavy brown hair, 6' 0" in length, though some isotopes can be as short as 4 inches yet weigh 200+ Kg
    Occurrences:Found following dual element Wo, often in high concentration near a perfectWo specimen. (Experimental evidence: any beach on any coast)


    Physical properties:

    Obnoxious when mixed with C*H*-OH (any alcohol) Tends to fall into very low energy state dirrectly after reaction with Wo (Snore ... zzzzz) Gains considerable mass as specimen ages, loses reactive nature. Rarely found in pure form after 14th year. Often damaged as a direct result of unlucky reaction with poluted form of the Wo common ore.


    Chemical properties:

    All forms desire reaction with Wo, even when no further reaction is possible. May react with several Wo isotopes in short period under extremely favorable conditions. Usually willing to react with what ever is available. Reaction Rates range from aborted/non- existant to Pre-interaction effects (which tend to turn the specimen bright red and send it to react with Sa, the sex analyst) Reaction styles vary from extremely slow, calm and wet to violent/bloody.


    Best results apparently near 18 for high reaction rate, 25-35 for favourable reaction style.


    Heavy boxes, top shelves, long walks late at night, free dinners for Wo...


    Pure specimen will rarely reveal purity, while reacted specimens broadcast information on many wavelengths.


    Tends to react extremely violently when other Man interferes with reaction to a particular Wo specimen. Otherwise very malleable under correct conditions.

    Public Believes Scientists

    The public usually believes anything, no matter how foolish, that a scientist tells it, according to recent research performed by Les Marsden of the J.T. Spaulding Institute.
    Marsden conduced a series of tests with members of the general population. The subjects believed that they were answering an opinion survey about "recent scientific discoveries." Actually, they were responding to blatantly nonsensical "facts" that Marsden had concocted.
    Among Marsden's findings: 78% of the subjects believed that "Venus orbits around Jupiter" after being told that "there is scientific proof." Before being told about this "scientific proof," 42% of the subjects believed this. 84% of the subjects believed that "reading books causes cancer" after they were told that "there is scientific proof." Before being told about this "scientific proof," only 5% of the subjects believed this. 63% of the subjects believed that "Apes have evolved from trees" after they were told that "there is scientific proof." Before being told about the "scientific proof," some 9% of the subjects believed this.
    Why God never received a PhD:
    1. He had only one major publication.
      2. It was in Hebrew.
      3. It had no references.
      4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
      5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.
      6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
      7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
      8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
      9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.
      10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.
      11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
      12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
      13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
      14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
      15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.
      16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.
      17. No record of working well with colleagues.
The following list of phrases and their definitions might help you understand the mysterious language of science (including psychology) and medicine. These special phrases are also applicable to anyone reading a PhD dissertation or academic paper.
"IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN"... I didn't look up the original reference.
"A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT"... These data are practically meaningless.
"WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS"... An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.
"THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY"... The other results didn't make any sense.
"TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN"... This is the prettiest graph.
"THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT"... I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.
"IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT"... A couple of others think so, too.
"A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF OBTAINABLE DATA"... Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.
"AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES"... They don't understand it either.
"A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AREA FOR EXPLORATORY STUDY"... A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Tyranny of Choice and the One Track Mind

Epidemiology is to biology what social epidemiology (or social psychology) is to neuroscience. But each discipline requires the other to provide true explanations for behavior. Thus, to know how a disease spreads and impacts a population, it’s critically important to inform that knowledge with a rudimentary or metaphorical understanding of how diseases work. For example, in the 19th century, the epidemiology of malaria was well known, but because the spread of the disease was attributed to ‘bad air’ rather than mosquito, epidemiological knowledge could only suggest a partial remedy, if at all. For social psychology however this connection is missing, as the behavior of people in social settings is generally not informed by neuroscience, but rather by the folk psychology of every day motives or desire. This disconnect means that social observations can result in prescriptions that are only partially effective because they miss the real reasons for behavior.

How social epidemiology goes astray is illustrated by Barry Schwartz’s recent and quite important book ‘The Tyranny of Choice’. Schwartz noted from an abundance of sociological evidence that the increase in choices marked by the post industrial world is directly correlated with a rise in unhappiness. An abundance of choices means that we are more likely to suffer an opportunity loss for alternatives foregone, and that our adaptation to choices we make lead to the uncomfortable perception that the grass is always greener next door. So what is Schwartz’s prescription? It is to simply limit choice. The problem with this remedy is that neurologically, people (and indeed most living things) are neurologically wired to be aroused or find pleasure in the apprehension of choice, or in other words, looking forward to things. The apprehension of future choices, or ‘wanting’, is core to modern neuroscientific explanations of motivation, thus rendering Schwartz’s contrarian argument as neurologically unrealistic. Rather, it is in the execution and not in the apprehension of choice that unhappiness looms, and it may be argued that it is not choices per se that make us miserable, but the present ability to make choices at any time. For example, in 1955 we could check our mail, our stocks, see our favorite TV show, or even chat on the phone only at specified times and places. Nowadays, we can do all of these things at any place and any time. The result is a world that not only multiplies hopes (or choices), but multiplies distractions. In the past, distractions were limited, now they are everywhere, and the modern problem becomes not what to choose, but when to choose. So not limiting but delaying choice is perhaps a better remedy for the tyranny of choice. But this simple and obvious solution eludes Schwartz because he fails to recognize that the apprehension of choices is not just a rational but an affective thing, and that the prospect of infinite choice (or freedom) is as innate and important to us as taking a breathe.

(For more on the neurology of choice, I recommend the website of the neuroscientist Kent Berridge, who has included and admirable set of articles on the neuroscience of incentive motivation, or how we make choices.)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Human Packrat

In the good, or perhaps bad old days, mankind had very little to choose from, and that was an unfortunate thing. For Americans in the 1950's, these were lean times. Families had a home with four rooms, a library with ten books, three television channels, six sets of clothes, and a photo album with at most one hundred pictures. Nowadays, we have homes with ten rooms (of which we use four), a library with hundreds of books (of which we read ten), a hundred sets of clothes (of which we wear six), and a digital photo album with thousands of pictures (of which we see a hundred.) The modern world has allowed us to accumulated tons of ‘stuff’, but the moments we have to enjoy that stuff is just as limited, and limiting, as 1955. Oddly, we are today even more manic about collecting stuff, and thus multiplying choice, and anticipate an eternal growth in wealth, or GDP, to help husband our progress to a world of infinite alternatives, infinite possessions, and infinite happiness. We have become in other words, a race of human pack rats. The problem is, a growth in choice and the possessions choice entails has paralleled a decrease in human happiness and an increase in frustration, depression, and stress. That a world of abundance correlates and perhaps causes misery is an argument that seems to have no logic, yet a strong argument may be made that beyond global warming, terrorism, or inflation, it is choice itself that is the prime instigator in our dissatisfactions.

This argument was made by the psychologist Barry Schwartz in his recent book ‘ The Tyranny of Choice’. Citing a host of studies from the literature of social psychology, Schwartz noted that when confronted with too many choices, each alternative cannot be fully appraised, and it is more likely that an opportunity loss is realized in hindsight as we appraise alternatives foregone. Moreover, a choice made may fade in importance as we become acquainted or ‘habituated’ to it, as we may regret a marital affair, eating a fatty food, passing time playing a video game, etc., thus reflecting how the emotional or ‘affective’ reasons can be forgotten or dismissed when we appraise the value of our day’s choices.

So what’s the solution? Well, it helps a bit to first to observe that choice can be different things. When we choose something, we can model or anticipate that choice in our minds as well as the positive yet uncertain benefits that may accrue to that virtual choice, or we can make a real choice and be stuck with consequences that are real and not imagined. For example, perusing a wine list permits us to model the separate pleasures of each vintage, choosing a wine enables us to actually sample the wine, but also comes with the cognitive baggage of lost opportunities.

Virtual choice entails no opportunity loss, and looking forward to infinite opportunities has no emotional cost, but is pleasurable and arousing in itself. We can afford to arrange unlimited opportunities or an infinite catalog, as long as we don’t have to really choose. Think of looking forward to Christmas or to a summer vacation for example. When we apprehend choice, we are never conflicted, never have remorse, and never recognize loss because the slate of possibilities can at any moment be wiped clean. Like being granted 3 wishes that are never used, just imagining the possibilities is all that one should really wish for, and that wish is free! So apprehending choice is a source of never ending joy, but making a choice is an invitation to eventual sorrow.

So given this little fact, what’s a surefire recipe for happiness, at least of hedonistic kind? Simple, just make choices that serve apprehension, and avoid choices that serve regret. This strategy of course is informed by folk wisdom or common sense, and is employed when we commonly postpone decision and savor choice. So we end up in pleasurable apprehension of piles of clothes, trophies, books, videos, cash, and houses in the country, transfiguring materialism into the idealism of prospective desire.

So there we have it, our bountiful world is just set for our everlasting happiness. But as with all good things, there’s a catch. The modern prospect of infinite choices comes in tandem with the infinite availability of choice, as we can do anything at anytime. We can make phone calls, receive mail, watch TV, and in general partake of any pleasure, at any time. But the problem becomes not what to decide, but when to decide. The world is in other words full of distractions, and we don’t know when it is wise to consume, and when it is wise to merely looking forward to consume. So indecision rules, anxiety rises, and like the ass in Aesop’s fable, we starve to death while choosing between two equal bales of hay. Thus ironically, anxiety becomes prevalent in a world of plenty.

So what’s the solution? Well, just ask Ward Cleaver. As the paterfamilias of the Cleaver clan in the 1950's TV show ‘Leave it to Beaver’, Ward just counciled his kids to wait out all pleasures until they finished the chores, did their homework, and washed their faces. And for Beaver and Wally, it was an easy thing to do, because they couldn’t enjoy their pleasures anyway until the evening. For the modern dilemmas of our times, Ward’s advice is just as wise. Thus, put off all unnecessary decisions until an evening hour (and that means no TV, email, phone calls, internet, etc.), and life suddenly becomes less distracting, less conflicting, and much more relaxing. In the meantime, we can look to the future, as we always have hope.