Archive for December, 1998

blast from the past

Ahh, misty water-colored memories. =) I was needing a list of versions of the golden rule that I remembered typing in sometime my freshman year as part of an e-mail discussion with a friend of mine at UTK. Again for my damnable ethics paper which is now 7 pages with a 22 page appendix of resources needed to contextualize what I am talking about. =)

Anyhow I found the quotes and the way that I had them put in was a neat reminder of where I have come from. (I used to do the one solid paragraph going on for 10 pages thing, aren’t you glad that I learned how to use paragraph breaks.) =)

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bg: from Peck on ego boundaries and falling in love

This is another quote that I am using as a part of my ethics paper. I bet that I’m the only person in the class who will discuss orgasms as part of ethical theory. =) Alot of this stuff is things that you have heard before in mentor discussions more than likely. I did not realize the influence of Peck’s work on the system until I read the book.

Again, it is probably a good idea to shunt this off until after finals if you are busy, it is about 2500 words and though it is not hard reading it will take a little bit of time.

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question to m on living with D

This is a question that I sent to M and I was wondering if either of you had an opinion on it. I’m open to input. I do not want to be ruled by selfishness, but I also don’t want some delusion of martyrdom equating to selfishness drive me to make a mess that I can’t handle.

This problem of how far to suffer so as to help other people, especially when it doesn’t look like my suffering is going to make all that big of a difference anyway is exactly what I was going through with J.

I was semi-open with N though about the reasons that I was considering moving in with D. When I first told him the focus was completely on the monetary aspect of it and I did not talk about my not wanting to live with him and V. Tonight I talked about what it has been like living here over the last month as E has slowly bled to death all over the place and how that was very painful for me and how I did not want to be a part of that again.

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bq: zmm excerpt

I am working on a long ethics paper and last night I typed in this excert from Zen and the Art as a part of that. If you’re as busy as me ignore this until after exams. =)

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sj: on a conversation with N last night

Last night about 12:30 when I was going to bed N came down to talk to me for a while about stuff that was going on in the house.

I want to write some about those things, but I would like to keep these things confidential please. I do not know if giving a version of N filtered through me (given my current frustration with him) will come out well, but I am going to try. Be aware of the fact that I am not feeling very stable about my relationship with N and though I don’t think that is skewing my perspective it probably is.

Probably the first big thing that happened was N came in and he was worried about the thought of E kicking him out of the house. He came to me to ask me if he got kicked out if I would be willing to move out as well and move in with him.

I did not outright say no to him. I waffled around for a bit and switched the subject to how realistic it was that E was going to kick him out. All that I had heard about it was in the copies of E’s e-mails that I had gotten and I did not know how serious it was.

He talked some about E’s e-mail which I am thinking that I have seen most of and his perspective was fairly different from mine. He used terms like “blow-up” and “bitching” alot which I had not really seen. It was there moderately, but N was seeing it alot of places where I had not.

He asked me if I had talked to E and I told him that I had. He asked about statements that E made saying that he had talked to L and I and that we were annoyed as well. He asked me if I had been annoyed and I told him that the dishes thing had not been all that bad, but that it had bothered me alot about the keys thing.

I talked some about my reasons why it bothered me.

This is where I get into part of the cognitive way that I perceive N as operating out of and I do not understand it…

He said that it had not been all that big a deal to him. He said that really what had been bugging him was the fact that V disturbed him in his bath. He said that the idea of lending keys to people didn’t really bother him all that much.

I am angry now. I really put myself through the wringer because I wanted to respect N’ position and try to see things from his perspective. He didn’t even really mean it. And he didn’t even apologize for lying to me. He doesn’t know that what he did was wrong and I don’t think that he knows that what he did hurt me.

The general pattern that I am seeing has something to do with his willingness to be controlled by his issues.

It came up again later. I was talking to him later and I was asking him what bothered him about having people in the house. I asked him why it was any different having V in the house than it was having me in the house. I asked if V was less trustworthy than me, and he said no. I asked him why it mattered, and he said that he had been raised not to trust people. I said going around not trusting anyone sounded like a pretty unfulfilling way to live and I asked him if it was for him and he said yes. I asked him why he did it and he said that it was just how he was.

I have gotten this answer from V sometimes too when I will challenge him to a point, it is just a general fiat; this is how I am and this is how I will be even if I do not like it. I have a similar statement that I make sometimes like with L, I can say that it would be nice not to get pulled around by her, but realistically that does not happen.

The main difference for me though is that it is not ok for me to impose my problems on other people. If I have an issue with something then that is ok. Having the freedom to be whatever I need to be is important to me, it is not ok though to do whatever I want to do just because I want to to so.

I asked N what reasons I had or not letting people into the house assuming that they were trustworthy and that they had a good reason. First he went to the legal aspect of the lease and whatever it might say there, but that really doesn’t matter all that much to me. If there is a good reason behind the law then that is cool, but just the fact that the law is there is not good enough. If I had signed the lease I think that I would feel differently because I would have given my word to someone, but I haven’t done so yet, and I don’t think that I would give my word to something that I did not believe in, maybe, I dunno what I would do given the right circumstances. Regardless, I said that the lease did not concern me much and could he give me something non-legal to back up his desire.

This one was better and it is respecting the desires of my roommates. I agree with this one a helluva lot more than with any issues of legality. I asked him though the question that I have been struggling with, does it matter from where my roommates are motivated? I think that it does; I do not respect all motivations equally. (That’s a Perry statement.) =) Or rather it is not so much a matter of respecting them or not respecting them it is a matter of believing them to be true and being willing to be motivated out of them.

If I have a friend who is a racist and I am living with them and they say that they do not want to have any black people in the house, then if I tell my black friends that they can’t come over because I am wanting to respect my roommates desires, then not only am I respecting where he is coming from, but I am giving my approval to his racism and to racism in general.

To the same extent if N is wanting something for a reason based out of fear or ignorance then if I choose how to act based out of his desires then I am giving my approval to his way of thinking.

I am not saying that things should go according to how I want them to all the time. As Perry said, there are times when reasonable people will reasonably disagree. There are things that will happen in any kind of relationship, be it roommate, friendship, romantic, or whatever that will require compromise, but just because something bugs N is not a good enough reason to not do it. His motivations matter to me.

I asked if it mattered what was motivating a person and I didn’t get much of an answer. We went back to the law. N was trying to explain to me why he was wanting to use the law as his morality. He had several reasons. One was that he was trusting the makers of the laws to have had more experience than he had and to have made good laws for good reasons. Another was that he is planning on being a lawyer and that being legalistic was a good trait for him to have. Next was that laws are necessary in order to provide a functioning society, though his emphasis here was that laws are necessary to keep the bad people in line otherwise they would make a mess.

I agree with one and three I agree with to some extent, two I don’t agree with at all. I am not going to go into that though.

The last thing that we talked about is why E is annoyed with him. In N’ mind it is completely a matter of personality. He thinks that he has been equally as a good a roommate as L or I and that the problems that E have with him are based completely out of personality conflict. I asked him what it was that E was wanting and he said that he really didn’t know, but that he wasn’t going to be bullied into it whatever it was. (He didn’t understand why I thought this was funny.) =) I asked him what it was that he was doing that was bugging E and again he didn’t know, though he did say that he thinks a fundamental lack of respect on the part of both parties is a part of it.

One final thing, I asked him about conflict with other people and how often he perceived that as happening and he said almost never. I know of several people who are annoyed or have been annoyed at him in the last little bit and he is unaware of it. This though is as much a product of the fact that people tend to hide their frustration rather than express it.

I’m off now. Any thoughts? -Will

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letter to E on N

This is a letter that I sent to E yesterday asking him some questions about how he was dealing with N. It talks some about how I am dealing with being frustrated with N.

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kudos to me

I am a minor C programming diety. =) I just wanted to make that bit of information public. I know that in general we minor gods tend to try to maintain our anonymity, but just this once I’m gonna let it out, you know why? Because I got this line to work:

if((*(table.entry + i)).col == current_col + current_row &&
   (*(table.entry + i)).type == PRIMITIVE_ITEM &&
   (*(table.entry + i)).entry.primitive ==
    *((*(rule + ((*(table.entry + table.foot)).entry.phrase.rule_number - 1))).goes_to +
     (*(table.entry + table.foot)).entry.phrase.dot_index))

Impressive, eh?


(Yes I know that I could have used the table[i].col == current_col notation, but I was using those arrays as pointers sometimes and as arrays othertimes and it was a mess trying to use both styles, so I stopped.) =)

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letter on key lending

This is a letter that I wrote this morning to L and E about lending my key to people in the aftermath of a drama that occurred last night after I lent V my key so that he could get into my house to cook brownies for his Honors 101 class’ final meeting.

I’m sending it out to all of you for a couple of reasons, one is that what I am talking about with social responsibility is something that is kinda new for me, at least experientially. I’ve had the general ideas expressed to me alot and I’ve mulled them over before, but I’ve just in the last little bit had my intrinsic moral sense really fall in line with it. I dunno, I felt it before, but not in the same way; it has gotten deeper.

The other thing is I wouldn’t mind opinions on this if anyone has any. I was very uncomfortable last night because N came to talk to me about V getting into the house and in my opinion the right course of action would have been to tell N that I think that he is wrong and that I am not willing to alter my behavior to please him in this case.

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