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The Black Hole

 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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26 August 2014 01:48
 

This OP jumped in rather abruptly, so I am editing and inserting this preface as an introduction and explanation of this thread’s origin.  A thread started by EN, “Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection” became inadvertently hijacked by posts of mine and replies to them, leading EN to post:

The black hole moves through the thread, preventing even the escape of light, sucking all dialogue into its massive, swirling vortex.

and:

We are actually talking about bb.  He’s now become the subject of this thread, interestingly enough.


So I posted this:

Not my intent.  The thread appears to be somewhat back on track, so I’m not going to answer the questions posed to me here; I don’t want to hijack the thread again.  I PM’d Nhoj, and he told me to proceed as I see fit, so I’ll answer those questions in the Black Hole.

It was not my intent to hijack EN’s thread, so I copied some of the posts from EN’s thread relevant to only my posts over to this thread, using EN’s remark for its name, and began posting my responses here.

I continue to use this thread from time to time as a vehicle through which to respond to and at the same time avoid hijacking the threads of others.  As of the date of this edit, this thread contains 498 posts, of which 38% (190) are mine.


—————The OP begins here——————————
   

envy me - 25 August 2014 09:46 AM

What about the reverse side of the coin, bbearren? How do you react to a compliment? If an engineer thanks you for solving a vexing and expensive difficulty and throws a smile your way, do you sparkle inside for even a brief moment, or does it never touch you other than informationally?

More often than not, it’s simply relief that the arguing is finally over.  Solving problems is what I do.  That I am capable is the culmination of many years of successes and failures, and the knowledge gained from both.  I’ve just been along for the ride, paying attention using the senses with which I was born.

jb8989 - 25 August 2014 09:50 AM
bbearren - 24 August 2014 10:59 PM

I am not without empathy or charity, but I am without pride or jealousy.  I can find no place for such to gain a foothold.  What I am, what I can accomplish, what I have, are simply the result of genetics and experience.  A small pebble rolling down a long hill being bounced and turned here and there by the terrain.

As I said above, I’m not without empathy or charity.  I’m not trying to aggrandize, but I don’t know how many hitchhikers I’ve picked up, how many tanks I’ve filled with gas, groceries I’ve bought or time I’ve volunteered; I don’t try to keep track, but I do try to meet the needs that come my way.

I understand that you’re different. I’m just looking for some clarification as to how different.

We’re all the result of genetics and experience. We’re all on some philosophical level dust and ashes that produced thinking, emoting, and behaving sentient beings. How is then that you’ve arrived at an emotional state where you empathize, but don’t feel jealousy or pride at all? Do you have an answer for why you feel empathy, but find other emotions to be irrational? What about love or joy? What about irritability and frustration? I believe that empathy is the cornerstone for human behavior and if experienced births many other positive emotions such as happiness, sympathy, love, joy, and excitement; and with those comes their emotional polar opposites such as sadness, anger, frustration, and fear. After all, you can’t know one without the other. How is it then that you feel an emotion so deep as empathy, which is essentially placing yourself in someone else’s emotional shoes, but you fail to comprehend what goes on in those shoes while wearing them?

It’s much more basic than that.  I’m not at some philosophical level.  What does a 5-year-old know of philosophy?  But that 5-year-old can recognize that his friend tripped and fell, and is having difficulty getting their feet back under them.  It’s no more than recognizing a need, and filling that need if one is able.  “Why did my friend fall?” is not the issue.  “I can help my friend get back up.” is the issue.

People of all types and varieties and levels of society fall upon hard times now and again.  The “why” is not as important as the “here, take this.”  Sharing what I can with someone who is in need seems reasonable.  What I have came to me through circumstance, and circumstance often puts me in proximity with someone who can use some of it.  It’s not that complicated.

NicLynn - 25 August 2014 10:46 AM

bb - I do not necessarily believe your claims, because you self-reference with “I” statements (regarding said claims) quite often. It’s back to the old rule of writing we all heard in 10th grade - show don’t tell. For example, if I now said “I am a psychologically enlightened being, and I say what I say because I am acting from a place of pure consciousness, and have transcending worldly pettiness”, this would probably read as disingenuous to you, because instead of reading about issues going on in the world and how I can help this morning, I clearly couldn’t resist the urge to comment on what you said and get all personal with “No, no, that’s not what I think…” despite being plagued by thoughts in the back of my mind that the Dalai Lama would have done things very differently. Actions generally speak louder than words, and you can usually tell a lot about the ‘place’ a person is acting from through actions.

Can you see me?  What shoes am I wearing?  “I” is all that any of us really have, isn’t it?  And yet not one of us had one iota of choice or influence in when that “I” was conceived, which single sperm cell won the race to the ovum that happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Throughout our formative years, we were not in control of where we would be, when we would be there, or how long we would remain.

NicLynn - 25 August 2014 10:46 AM

That said, I think I see the worldview you’re shooting for with what you’re saying - better living through philosophy, ‘right understanding’, knowledge, that sort of thing. I am quite enamored with those ideas myself, so I approve of the overall project. I say, just don’t get ahead of yourself.

I have no use for “philosophy”.  I’m no more than a pebble rolling down a long hill.  My “philosophy” was forged before I ever started school.  It remains unchanged; I’m a day older every morning.

saralynn - 25 August 2014 11:00 AM

My suspicion is that he is either enlightened or autistic. Maybe both.

Now I’m pretty good at ignoring personal insult.  Okay, that may be bullshit….but, I am sort of famous in my extended family for being unflappable. However, the claws emerge when I witness someone I care about being slandered.  I’m not bragging about this; I think it is a basic human quality that emergences out of tenderness or fellowship or tribalism.  I wonder if bb gets upset if someone disses his mom? 

Okay, I’ll ask…..hey, bb, do you get upset when someone you love is verbally abused or do you display the same lack of affect?  At what age did you stop reacting to such stimuli?  Is it when you reached the age of reason?  How do you think your friends and family view your detachment?  Do you imagine they say, “Wow, he is soooo superior to those of us who wail, flail and curse!”  Or do they think you are distant and remote and a trifle strange, but they don’t care because you are good-willed, kind and helpful?  Or…maybe you don’t know and/or don’t care what they think because you and they are stardust?

I would intervene if a loved one were attacked physically.  I don’t recall any of my family ever being verbally abused.  I feel quite certain that my children would be unphased, if not amused, by an attempt at verbal abuse.  And as I said above, I’ve been this way since before I started school.

I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker.  I’m told that my early childhood conversations nearly always started with “How…?” or “Why…?”; curious about how and why things worked.  I don’t imagine that my family and friends think of me as superior, maybe a bit odd from time to time.  But everyone has always professed to be glad to see me at family reunions.

SkepticX - 25 August 2014 11:17 AM

There’s also always the Interweb Persona schtick, in which some Interweb user/surfer type constructs a personality or even an accurate personal self-image, that doesn’t really have a whole hell of a lot to do with the RL personality behind it.

Just something to keep in mind while yous ponder and explore the psychosocial mysteries and vagaries of the BB/BM types. You may very well be more or less studying a fictional character.

I can’t speak for Mario, but this is me.

Mike78 - 25 August 2014 11:19 AM

The owl is pretending.  What possible meaning can a sing-songy “sticks and stones” lesson have for a person who does not “understand” insult?  What’s the content of the reference to slander, a cause of action for defamatory (i.e., insulting) statements, if the entire concept of insult is foreign and not understood?  At some point in his development, the owl decided he would act immune to insult.  That’s wonderful.  Who cares?  The pretend puzzlement over the concept, however, is complete bullshit.

Nope.

[ Edited: 06 June 2015 11:41 by bbearren]
 
 
burt
 
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26 August 2014 04:14
 
bbearren - 25 August 2014 11:48 PM

Can you see me?  What shoes am I wearing?  “I” is all that any of us really have, isn’t it?  And yet not one of us had one iota of choice or influence in when that “I” was conceived, which single sperm cell won the race to the ova that happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Throughout our formative years, we were not in control of where we would be, when we would be there, or how long we would remain.

“Misguided foes call me philosopher—
God knows that is one thing I am not.
I am even less: in such a nest of sorrows
I cannot tell you even who I am.”

bbearren - 25 August 2014 11:48 PM
saralynn - 25 August 2014 11:00 AM

My suspicion is that he is either enlightened or autistic. Maybe both.
Now I’m pretty good at ignoring personal insult.  Okay, that may be bullshit….but, I am sort of famous in my extended family for being unflappable. However, the claws emerge when I witness someone I care about being slandered.  I’m not bragging about this; I think it is a basic human quality that emergences out of tenderness or fellowship or tribalism.  I wonder if bb gets upset if someone disses his mom? 

Okay, I’ll ask…..hey, bb, do you get upset when someone you love is verbally abused or do you display the same lack of affect?  At what age did you stop reacting to such stimuli?  Is it when you reached the age of reason?  How do you think your friends and family view your detachment?  Do you imagine they say, “Wow, he is soooo superior to those of us who wail, flail and curse!”  Or do they think you are distant and remote and a trifle strange, but they don’t care because you are good-willed, kind and helpful?  Or…maybe you don’t know and/or don’t care what they think because you and they are stardust?

I would intervene if a loved one were attacked physically.  I don’t recall any of my family ever being verbally abused.  I feel quite certain that my children would be unphased, if not amused, by an attempt at verbal abuse.  And as I said above, I’ve been this way since before I started school.

I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker.  I’m told that my early childhood conversations nearly always started with “How…?” or “Why…?”; curious about how and why things worked.  I don’t imagine that my family and friends think of me as superior, maybe a bit odd from time to time.  But everyone has always professed to be glad to see me at family reunions.

I think the question Saralynn was asking could be phrased in this way: at family reunions are you glad to see other family members? Not just as an intellectual thing, but emotional gladness?

 
EN
 
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26 August 2014 17:46
 

Maybe we are dealing with an emotional asexual. I don’t understand how a man can be asexual. If you have a member and it works right, it’s gotta get up for something, it would seem.  But, asexuals do exist, and claim to have no sexual feelings whatsoever.  Hard for me to understand, but those folks do exist.  Maybe something comparable is there in the field of emotion. But that’s just me on bb.

 
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26 August 2014 18:21
 
bbearren - 25 August 2014 11:48 PM

It’s much more basic than that.  I’m not at some philosophical level.  What does a 5-year-old know of philosophy?  But that 5-year-old can recognize that his friend tripped and fell, and is having difficulty getting their feet back under them.  It’s no more than recognizing a need, and filling that need if one is able.  “Why did my friend fall?” is not the issue.  “I can help my friend get back up.” is the issue.

People of all types and varieties and levels of society fall upon hard times now and again.  The “why” is not as important as the “here, take this.”  Sharing what I can with someone who is in need seems reasonable.  What I have came to me through circumstance, and circumstance often puts me in proximity with someone who can use some of it.  It’s not that complicated.

It’s not complicated. But neither is it basic. What you call basic I call incurious. Knowing why something happened is one of the key ways to prevent and rectify an issue, any issue. Subsequent remedies often rely on asking why. In the past you’ve mentioned that you’re interested in “how stuff works.” How the hell can you know “how stuff works” without asking why? WHY establishes intent, determines purpose, helps assess and apply facts to rules, and so on and so forth. It just seems like you keep ramming your head into the wall in an attempt to hold onto this misguided online persona you for whatever reason seem attached to. You don’t have to do that. This crowd won’t bite! And I’m going to keep calling bullshit because that’s all I perceive when you post. Wanna prove me wrong?

If you want to describe yourself as basic that’s fine. Simple. Basic. Easy. Whatever, it’s your life. But let’s look at the facts. You’re brain biologically and objectively provides you with consciousness and self-awareness. Therefore, regardless of your perception, these neurological abilities provide you with the cognitive capacity beyond what can be found in dust and ash. One such capacity is emotional capacity. What people need, what they desire, what they wish, what they require, and what they want and yearn for all involves understanding how much of this is an emotional “need” (i.e. desire, wish, want, and yearn) and how much is an objective need (requirement, necessary for sustenance or physical well-being). So it would stand to reason that a man of your limited emotional intelligence should not be saying “here take this” to anyone, because you have the perceptual ability to comprehend only a portion of any given issue despite the fact that you’re genuinely interested in “how stuff works” in totality.

And contrary to EN, I don’t think you’re emotional anorexic. You’re probably just unpracticed.

[ Edited: 26 August 2014 19:47 by Jb8989]
 
 
nv
 
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26 August 2014 18:25
 
EN - 26 August 2014 03:46 PM

Maybe we are dealing with an emotional asexual. I don’t understand how a man can be asexual. If you have a member and it works right, it’s gotta get up for something, it would seem.  But, asexuals do exist, and claim to have no sexual feelings whatsoever.  Hard for me to understand, but those folks do exist.  Maybe something comparable is there in the field of emotion. But that’s just me on bb.

Maybe one of the shrinks around here have a name for this sort of personality trait. Bbearrens seems somewhat autistic, keeping in mind that autistic people can be extremely empathic, though that fact doesn’t necessarily comply with popular notions of autism. If I ran a company that at times needed out-of-the-box thinking, I’d see myself as fortunate to find job candidates who have Asperger’s. Bb seems to be able to ponder things in out-of-the-box ways.

 
 
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26 August 2014 19:07
 
bbearren - 25 August 2014 11:48 PM
NicLynn - 25 August 2014 10:46 AM

bb - I do not necessarily believe your claims, because you self-reference with “I” statements (regarding said claims) quite often. It’s back to the old rule of writing we all heard in 10th grade - show don’t tell. For example, if I now said “I am a psychologically enlightened being, and I say what I say because I am acting from a place of pure consciousness, and have transcending worldly pettiness”, this would probably read as disingenuous to you, because instead of reading about issues going on in the world and how I can help this morning, I clearly couldn’t resist the urge to comment on what you said and get all personal with “No, no, that’s not what I think…” despite being plagued by thoughts in the back of my mind that the Dalai Lama would have done things very differently. Actions generally speak louder than words, and you can usually tell a lot about the ‘place’ a person is acting from through actions.

Can you see me?  What shoes am I wearing?  “I” is all that any of us really have, isn’t it?  And yet not one of us had one iota of choice or influence in when that “I” was conceived, which single sperm cell won the race to the ova that happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Throughout our formative years, we were not in control of where we would be, when we would be there, or how long we would remain.

NicLynn - 25 August 2014 10:46 AM

That said, I think I see the worldview you’re shooting for with what you’re saying - better living through philosophy, ‘right understanding’, knowledge, that sort of thing. I am quite enamored with those ideas myself, so I approve of the overall project. I say, just don’t get ahead of yourself.

I have no use for “philosophy”.  I’m no more than a pebble rolling down a long hill.  My “philosophy” was forged before I ever started school.  It remains unchanged; I’m a day older every morning.


bb - You still strike me as someone playing a role or trying to ‘sound’ sort of enlightened. If I’m wrong and I would see it differently if I were a wiser person, so be it. I also disagree with your take on helping others - I’ve talked about this topic a great deal on this forum. I think that short-sighted ‘help’, without continually pushing ourselves to become more knowledgable of larger patterns and contexts, can sometimes do more harm than good. The road to hell and all that.


That said, if you are ‘playing a role’, I still think this might be a valuable thing to do, in some sense. In general this annoys me (although I no doubt do it myself, I think we all do, to a degree,) but very recently it occurred to me that while I tend to see ‘role playing’ as pretentious, it’s a sort of search for affirmation of the goodness of self. And probably the least helpful thing to do, in that situation, is to argue that point - I think we love and understand the world to the degree that we love and understand ourselves, after all. So… if this is really how you see things, good for you - the fact that I don’t see this is just an error in perception on my part and nothing for you to worry about. If you are sort of playing a role, now I must be all cheesy and tell you that you that in my case, you don’t have to do anything to impress me, I like you the way you are. When I say ‘like’, of course, I mean I will argue with you, occasionally lose my temper and sulk at you, and refuse to cede a single point ever if I’m in A Mood. It’s how I express my affection. wink

 
 
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26 August 2014 22:30
 

I’m not bustin’ out fresh with any of this; I’ve said much of it before.  Here are some pertinent quotes from Dust and ahses:

jb8989 - 10 December 2013 10:11 PM
bbearren - 10 December 2013 09:53 PM

The discovery borders on astounding (no, it isn’t quite unexpected, or actually astounding).  On a forum on “Project Reason ... a charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society ... founded by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris,” it seems unacceptable to confess that one has no illusions of self importance.

The statement, “I am only the dust and ashes of exploded stars”, is contested in its context in another thread.  That the entire planet and everything on it is composed of the dust and ashes of exploded stars is objective, scientific evidence distilled from an abundance of detailed, skillful studies by astrophysicists, with which most everyone seems in agreement.

That I am only dust and ashes is, for me, the most obvious and easily accessible foundation for the logical explanation for humility.  I had no input in my arrival on this planet in time, place, or circumstance.  I am simply here, experiencing this existence.

I am not without emotions, but I have no reason to entertain pride or jealousy.  I cannot be insulted, offended, or ridiculed, which makes for an uncomplicated life.  Yet here, this is doubted.  The only response I feel is curiosity.

I find this interesting.  The Science forum seems the most appropriate placement for this post.

Your feelings are your own. Other people feel deeply connected to their sense of self, however illusory, and reject the premise that they are (solely) dust and ashes. Many feel different than you. Some more special. Others not. But different nonetheless. Your stance likely invokes negative emotions in others (possibly fear or anger, maybe irritability), which causes people to respond assertively, possibly aggressively too. I can’t speak for others, but personally I feel like you have a very low self-worth, which causes you to purposely emotionally de-prioritize people who engage you in an otherwise cordial manner. Your passive aggressivity, though subtle, surfaced on the previous thread. Combined, you make people feel agitated. No biggie! I make people agitated all the time for different reasons! Just last week I had all the women here minus LadyJane ready to shove their tampons down my throat. HA! Regardless, I’m glad that you stayed, but if this truly is your authentic prosody then there is no way that you should be curious about people responding to you the way that they have been around here. You should be used to it.

bbearren - 10 December 2013 11:51 PM
jobyrne8989 - 10 December 2013 10:11 PM

Your feelings are your own. Other people feel deeply connected to their sense of self, however illusory, and reject the premise that they are (solely) dust and ashes. Many feel different than you. Some more special. Others not. But different nonetheless.

This isn’t news, doc.  Nor am I insensitive to such differences.

jobyrne8989 - 10 December 2013 10:11 PM

Your stance likely invokes negative emotions in others (possibly fear or anger, maybe irritability), which causes people to respond assertively, possibly aggressively too.

Face to face, extremely rare.  I can only recall two at the moment (far apart and long ago); and I’ve been around for quite a long time, and have worked closely with a whole lot of folks over the years.

jobyrne8989 - 10 December 2013 10:11 PM

I can’t speak for others, but personally I feel like you have a very low self-worth

Yes, none is pretty low.  I am merely a combination of genetics and experience.  My “passive aggressivity” may be what my friends refer to as my dry sense of humor.  But this is really me, and I don’t get such reactions face to face, so I do find this interesting, considering the venue.

bbearren - 12 December 2013 09:37 AM
Fool4Reason - 12 December 2013 06:35 AM
bbearren - 10 December 2013 09:53 PM

That I am only dust and ashes is, for me, the most obvious and easily accessible foundation for the logical explanation for humility.  I had no input in my arrival on this planet in time, place, or circumstance.  I am simply here, experiencing this existence.

You are correct. You did not have any input. It was your parents who made the requisite inputs and outputs into your arrival on this planet. And their parents before them, and so on and so on all the way back until the dust and ash of exploded stars was all there was here on earth (around 3.6 billion years ago) You can claim in all humility that you are only the dust and ashes of exploded stars. I prefer to think of you as much more than that.

Actually, scientific observation of these facts has been verified multiple times.  I have no reason to question them.  You are of course free to think of me in any terms you like; I think of myself just as I’ve stated—a combination of genetics and experience.

Fool4Reason - 12 December 2013 06:35 AM
bbearren - 10 December 2013 09:53 PM

I am not without emotions, but I have no reason to entertain pride or jealousy.  I cannot be insulted, offended, or ridiculed, which makes for an uncomplicated life.  Yet here, this is doubted.  The only response I feel is curiosity.

Well, I’d say that the reason it is doubted here,  is because it is simply not true, To admit you are not without emotion, means that you feel all the things you claim not to feel (pride and jealousy, hate and anger, love and tranquility etc.) and it also means that you can be insulted, offended, or ridiculed. The question is not can these things affect you. As an emotional human being they must affect you.

You’re putting your own interpretation onto what I posted.  Here it is again:

bbearren - 10 December 2013 09:53 PM

I am not without emotions, but I have no reason to entertain pride or jealousy.  I cannot be insulted, offended, or ridiculed, which makes for an uncomplicated life.  Yet here, this is doubted.  The only response I feel is curiosity.

While I can agree that hate and anger can be easily connected to pride and jealousy, I still have no reason to entertain pride or jealousy.  If every choice we make is a culmination of our experiences up to the point of exercising that choice, then we have no actual input into the choice; we’re already pre-loaded to make the choice we make.

In effect, each choice is founded upon previous choices, and we could backtrack all the way back to infancy, prior to our awareness of self, where the choices are, realistically, genetic.  I’m just a small stone rolling downhill, being bounced and turned by the topography of the hillside.  I’ve not been in control.  Wherein lies any reason for pride?  Wherein lies any reason for jealousy?  There’s simply no basis for either.

Fool4Reason - 12 December 2013 06:35 AM

The question is, to what degree do you let the emotions you feel affect you, and on that score, based upon the relatively little I know about you, I’d give you extremely high marks, bb. You don’t seem to be the type to let the negative emotions get under you skin, and you understand and embrace the positive emotions. This is certainly an admirable quality in a human being. If more of us could figure out how to put this into to practice, we would live on a better planet. I’m certain of it.

I don’t know when this awareness kicked in; I feel quite certain that it must have been at a very early age.  But I recall no conscious effort to initiate it, simply the impulse to continue along a path that has been successful as I look back on it.

jb8989 - 12 December 2013 10:57 PM
bbearren - 12 December 2013 07:04 PM
jobyrne8989 - 12 December 2013 12:48 PM

bb,

Are you a believer in free will?

Will you define “believer” and “free will” in the context you have used, please?

Hmm, ok. Let’s try this:

To what extent do you believe humans have the ability to behave free from biopsychosocial spiritual and cultural influence?

bbearren - 13 December 2013 12:31 AM
jobyrne8989 - 13 December 2013 12:04 AM
bbearren - 12 December 2013 11:51 PM
jobyrne8989 - 12 December 2013 12:48 PM
bbearren - 12 December 2013 09:37 AM

...If every choice we make is a culmination of our experiences up to the point of exercising that choice, then we have no actual input into the choice; we’re already pre-loaded to make the choice we make.

In effect, each choice is founded upon previous choices, and we could backtrack all the way back to infancy, prior to our awareness of self, where the choices are, realistically, genetic.  I’m just a small stone rolling downhill, being bounced and turned by the topography of the hillside.  I’ve not been in control.  Wherein lies any reason for pride?  Wherein lies any reason for jealousy?  There’s simply no basis for either.

<<<—>>>

I don’t know when this awareness kicked in; I feel quite certain that it must have been at a very early age.  But I recall no conscious effort to initiate it, simply the impulse to continue along a path that has been successful as I look back on it.

bb,

Are you a believer in free will?

What part of that did you not understand?

Nothing. I simply hadn’t read that.

That was my suspicion.  Seems to be a very common trait in members of forums.  It’s good that copy/paste is fairly simple—saves a lot of typing.

jobyrne8989 - 13 December 2013 12:04 AM

Also, you can believe in no free will AND delude yourself in order to feel pride, any emotion actually. Read a book, rookie wink

I haven’t stopped reading since I learned how.  I have no use for pride.

Hopefully that addresses a couple of your questions.  I seem to be re-plowing the same ground, but I’ll attempt to answer/elaborate on anything further, should anyone so desire.

 
 
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27 August 2014 20:22
 
jb8989 - 26 August 2014 04:21 PM

It’s not complicated. But neither is it basic. What you call basic I call incurious. Knowing why something happened is one of the key ways to prevent and rectify an issue, any issue. Subsequent remedies often rely on asking why.

But it is both uncomplicated and basic.  I’ll give you three examples (there are more, but we’ll start with these), all true (take it or leave it), and with as much detail as I can recall.

Leaving a retail store on a Sunday afternoon, I am approached in the parking lot by a young woman in clean but worn clothes.  She asks for money for gas to get back to the east coast.  Her husband’s cousin cajoled her husband into coming to central Florida on the promise of a better paying job.  The job did not materialize, the husband had not quit his old job on the east coast, and needed to be at work on Monday morning.  They were down to a little over $5, the tank of their vehicle was nearly empty, and they were both scouring the lot looking for help.

In those days, Polk County (my home) was the crank capital of the southeast, if not the country, so I never gave anyone cash.  People were always asking for cash for some dire emergency (stories similar to the one above), so I usually elected to fulfill the need of the dire emergency rather than give someone cash.  I asked the lady where her husband was, and where their vehicle was.  She pointed to a dilapidated little pickup truck as the vehicle, and after looking around, pointed out a young man talking to someone in the parking lot.

Near the store was a gas station.  I pointed to the gas station, told the lady if she would fetch her husband and meet me in their vehicle at the station, I would fill their tank, which would be more than enough gas to get to their east coast destination and get her husband to work the next morning.  She gave me a quizzical look, I told her I was being completely serious, and that I would get in my truck and drive directly to the station and wait for the two of them there.  I got in my truck and drove to the station.

I couldn’t keep track of where she went, and drive to the station at the same time, but I arrived at the station, parked out of the way, and waited.  In a few minutes, they drove up beside me.  The lady said that the man was her husband, and she had had a hard time convincing him that I wasn’t just trying to brush them off, and that’s what took them so long to get to the station; they had been watching me.  He offered his hand, and we shook.  I told him to pull up to a pump, and I would fill his tank.  He also gave me a quizzical look, but got in the truck and pulled over to a pump, and his wife stayed with me.

When he got to the pump, his wife and I met him there.  I put my debit card in the pump and punched in my pin, took the nozzle and put it in his tank.  He said, “I don’t really need but maybe 10 gallons to get us home.” which was true enough.  I told him that no doubt they had spent some money they could have used otherwise, chasing this job, and I would fill the tank as I had told his wife, and hopefully that would last him through the week until payday.  When the pumping was complete, he again shook my hand and thanked me, and his wife gave me a hug and thanked me.  I wished them a safe journey, and we went our separate ways.

What else did I need to know?  If they were telling me the truth, they lived over 90 miles away from me, and it is highly unlikely that I would ever encounter them again.  The wife had already given me all the background I needed to decide to help them, one of those “here, take this” kind of moments.

Another day I was in a city about 20 miles from home to get some lawn mower parts I needed (that was the only place I could find them) and after picking up the parts, something had reminded me that I needed to replace the air filter on my truck.  I stopped at an auto parts store, got a filter for my truck and changed it there in the parking lot.  When I walked to the curbside trash can to dispose of my old filter and the box the new filter had been in, there was a lady sitting there on the curb.  She had a convenience store fountain drink in her hand, and her purse.  She said, “Are you going to Lakeland?”  I wasn’t, but I said, “What do you need?”  She told me that she and a friend had gotten a ride the night before to come where we were, but her friend had left her stranded, and she didn’t know anyone in the town we were in.

I told her to get in my truck, and I would take her to Lakeland (about 25 miles from my home).  She was fairly quiet on the ride, just saying how foolish she felt for getting herself in such a fix, and promising herself that she wouldn’t let it happen to her again.  I didn’t ask her anything, as there was nothing that I felt a need to know beyond what she had already told me.  When we got to Lakeland, she told me where she wanted to be let out, and I took her there.  It was just around the corner from the Talbot House, a shelter for the poor and homeless, and she walked off in that direction.  That may or may not have been where she was going.  What else did I need to know?  She needed a ride.  I didn’t expect to see her again, and haven’t.

Last of the three.  I was in the drive-thru lane at the local McDonalds, waiting my turn for the first window, when there was a tapping on my passenger window.  I rolled the window down, and a young lady asked forgiveness for the interruption, and asked if I could give her a ride to the next town north (about 10 miles).  I unlocked the door and told her to get in.  I asked if she was hungry, and she said thanks, but no.  I picked up my order, and headed north.  She talked a bit on the way, told me she had two young children and a friend watching them for her waiting at home.

As we got close to the town, she said that she didn’t have anything at home for her kids’ breakfast, and asked if I had a couple of dollars, just for some cereal and milk.  I offered to take her to a store, and she agreed.  I parked out front, gave her about $10, and she came out with several bags.  She apologized for spending all the money, but she got some spagettios and some other canned goods as well as the cereal and milk.  I could see through the plastic bags, and foodstuffs was all I could see.  She gave me directions to her house, and when I stopped in front, she asked if she could hug my neck.  She leaned over and put her arm around my neck and her cheek next to mine and gave me a good squeeze, thanked me and went inside.  What else did I need to know?   

jb8989 - 26 August 2014 04:21 PM

In the past you’ve mentioned that you’re interested in “how stuff works.” How the hell can you know “how stuff works” without asking why? WHY establishes intent, determines purpose, helps assess and apply facts to rules, and so on and so forth.

In these instances I’ve described, circumstance has crossed the path of a person having a distinct need with another person having the ready ability to fulfill that need; basic and uncomplicated.

jb8989 - 26 August 2014 04:21 PM

It just seems like you keep ramming your head into the wall in an attempt to hold onto this misguided online persona you for whatever reason seem attached to. You don’t have to do that. This crowd won’t bite! And I’m going to keep calling bullshit because that’s all I perceive when you post. Wanna prove me wrong?

There is no persona, just me.  Believe me or don’t; it’s immaterial.

jb8989 - 26 August 2014 04:21 PM

And contrary to EN, I don’t think you’re emotional anorexic. You’re probably just unpracticed.

You’re both incorrect.

 
 
bbearren
 
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01 September 2014 15:03
 

This question -

Nhoj Morley - 01 September 2014 12:38 PM

What’s your point, Mr. b?

is evidently a response to this post in the “Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection (+BM)” thread.  I don’t want to take a chance on hijacking that thread again, so I’m here instead.  I’m much easier to ignore in my own threads than in the threads of others.

Mario is allowed access to that thread.  Mario needs no reason to be Mario.  The post to which I replied is similar to posts in The Dump by posters complaining about Mario’s posts in The Dump.  Mario is easy enough to ignore; stay away from (+BM).  Jump into a (+BM) thread and expect to be hammered by Mario.

 
 
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01 September 2014 15:38
 

Decades ago, patrons rode mechanical bulls. The principle remains the same. The machine will always have more torque than a human can bear. The thrill is in feeling the edge one’s endurance.

That’s my theory. I really have no idea why anyone posts more than twice in the dump.

 
 
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01 September 2014 15:43
 
Nhoj Morley - 01 September 2014 01:38 PM

That’s my theory. I really have no idea why anyone posts more than twice in the dump.

I don’t understand it either.

 
 
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01 September 2014 15:48
 
Nhoj Morley - 01 September 2014 01:38 PM

I really have no idea why anyone posts more than twice in the dump.

That’s basically the point directed to Jeff in my post.  I’ve posted a number of times in the dump, and started a +BM thread, but then I have an immunity (strongly questioned).  Mario’s gonna be Mario, come what may; man up or walk back out the swinging doors.

 
 
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28 September 2014 16:47
 

I watched an interesting movie last night via Amazon Prime, The Sunset Limited, HBO Films, with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, screenplay by Cormac McCarthy from his play of the same name.  The movie was entirely dialogue between only the two of them, on a single set.

There were a number of memorable lines, but this particular one (spoken by the unbelieving professor, Tommy Lee Jones) caught my attention.  “I loathe these discussions; the argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place.”

I didn’t think it worthy of a new thread, so I’ve posted it here, where it is easy enough to ignore.

 
 
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28 September 2014 17:20
 
bbearren - 28 September 2014 02:47 PM

“I loathe these discussions; the argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place.”

This quote demonstrates a sophomoric ignorance of the atheist position.  A common error that I attribute to the common habit of projecting motivations onto skeptics and atheists from a position of unfamiliarity and/or presumption of motive.

No biggie.  If you agree with the comment, you, also, may be falling into one of those categories.

The only real way to understand the motives of those who speak out is to make an effort to understand them, rather than to project straw-men onto them.

 
 
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28 September 2014 21:05
 
Jefe - 28 September 2014 03:20 PM
bbearren - 28 September 2014 02:47 PM

“I loathe these discussions; the argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place.”

This quote demonstrates a sophomoric ignorance of the atheist position.

BB’s still toiling over scripture and the dictionary under the guise of his most prideful personality. That likely makes him about a quarter of the way through his freshman year. Sophomore year he should be moving onto misunderstanding Partiff and Durkheim with a deliberate nonchalantness that’ll make all the ladies want to read his poetry while he critiques their philosophy on life. About 4 years from now he’ll realize that the reason his thighs are always wet when he puts his pants on is because he doesn’t want to touch his dick in order to dry is appropriately.

 
 
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28 September 2014 22:29
 

Woot!!

bbearren - 15 March 2014 09:57 PM

I feel it my duty to remind you that I cannot be insulted.  I am only the dust and ashes of exploded stars, the confluence of genetics and experience.

 
 
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