He who kills this thread shall be declared the winner

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Forum game. The person who makes the last comment in this thread before it dies wins.

If this thread gets locked by a mod or admin, that will not count as a win. Rather, everyone else on this forum will be declared a winner, and the mod will be the sole forum member who is the loser.

Good luck to you all, and god speed.
 

L

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I don't get it..
 

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You have to make a post so horrendously bad that no one will want to post here afterwards.
 
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Everyone that posts below me hopes their parents and siblings die in a most painful death; like falling through the ice you cold hearted bastards.
 
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Hmm.. NExt person who posts is a mother****ing *******, and likes ****ing men in public buses.
 

L

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I can do that, yet I'll get banned..
 
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Next person to post wants to see me naked and to do naughty things to myself...
 
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if you post again in this thread 1.3 will never be finished and after db live action there will be dbz and dbgt live action....
 

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Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to start the telling of a saga chronicled by our very own SGE Zeonix.
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BATTLE OF THE TITANS: THE SUPREME GOD EMPEROR VERSUS THEY WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED FOR FEAR OF RETRIBUTION FROM THE MODS

Rayne and Dogmanix! Man your battlestations! We will destroy the enemy that must not be named for fear of retribution from the mods! They believe themselves to be superior to us in every way, but that is a lie! We are the ones who are superior! We are the ones who will win this battle! The City of Nixium shall not fall to these animals.

Dogmanix, prepare the Imperial Guard and Imperial Legions. Send the Fighting 13th to the front gate and tell them to hold off the enemy as long as possible. Meanwhile, Rayne, you send our Death Squads to the tops of our walls and have them cartwheel their way 200 feet below to the enemy. They must attack from behind while the Fighting 13th keeps them busy!

Summon the Marauders 12. Equip them with personal shields and have them guard the Imperial Palace.

Oh dear god...they've summoned....the Mighty Silverbacks!

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To be continued.
 
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Well, you never said anything about deleting the thread, or moving it out of the public eye; neither of those is closing the thread.

And in my capacity as an administrator, anyone who adds those conditions as making the mod a "loser" will, him or herself, be declared the endemic loser.

Let the stalemate begin!
 

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Touche Maj, touche.
 
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It's a good thing you only posted a paragraph from my grand epic, because Maj hates scrolling down 400 times.
 
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Hey guys, i just figured out i can suck my own ****. So i guess i wont be visiting the forums anymore.. It was nice knowing you all...peace
 
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Boredom is an emotional state experienced during periods of lack of activities or when individuals are uninterested in the activities surrounding them.
The first record of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles ****ens, written in 1852[1], in which it appears six times, although the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of "to be tiresome or dull" since 1768[2].
Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity.”[3] M. R. Leary and others define boredom similarly, and somewhat more succinctly, as “an affective experience associated with cognitive attentional processes.”[4] These definitions make it clear that boredom arises not from a lack of things to do but from the inability to latch onto any specific activity. Nothing engages us, despite an often profound desire for engagement.
There appear to be three general types of boredom, all of which involve problems of engagement of attention. These include times when we are prevented from engaging in something, when we are forced to engage in some unwanted activity, or when we are simply unable, for no apparent reason, to maintain engagement in any activity or spectacle.[5] An important psychological construct is that of boredom proneness; a tendency to experience boredom of all types. This is typically assessed by the Boredom Proneness Scale.[6] Consistent with the definition provided above, recent research has found that boredom proneness is clearly and consistently associated with failures of attention.[7] Boredom and boredom proneness are both theoretically and empirically linked to depression and depressive symptoms.[8][9][10] Nonetheless, boredom proneness has been found to be as strongly correlated with attentional lapses as with depression.[11] Although boredom is often viewed as a trivial and mild irritant, proneness to boredom has been linked to a very diverse range of possible psychological, physical, educational, and social problems.Boredom is a condition characterized by perception of one's environment as dull, tedious, and lacking in stimulation. This can result from leisure and a lack of aesthetic interests. Labor, however, and even art may be alienated and passive, or immersed in tedium (see Marx's theory of alienation). There is an inherent anxiety in boredom; people will expend considerable effort to prevent or remedy it, yet in many circumstances, it is accepted as suffering to be endured. Common passive ways to escape boredom are to sleep or to think creative thoughts (daydream). Typical active solutions consist in an intentional activity of some sort, often something new, as familiarity and repetition lead to the tedious.
Boredom also plays a role in existentialist thought. In contexts where one is confined, spatially or otherwise, boredom may be met with various religious activities, not because religion would want to associate itself with tedium, but rather, partly because boredom may be taken as the essential human condition, to which God, wisdom, or morality are the ultimate answers. Boredom is in fact taken in this sense by virtually all existentialist philosophers as well as by Schopenhauer. Heidegger wrote about boredom in two texts available in English, in the 1929/30 semester lecture course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, and again in the essay What is Metaphysics? published in the same year. In the lecture, Heidegger included about 100 pages on boredom, probably the most extensive philosophical treatment ever of the subject. He focused on waiting at train stations in particular as a major context of boredom.[12] In Kierkegaard's remark in Either/Or, that "patience cannot be depicted" visually, there is a sense that any immediate moment of life may be fundamentally tedious.
Without stimulus or focus, the individual is confronted with nothingness, the meaninglessness of existence, and experiences existential anxiety. Heidegger states this idea nicely: "Profound boredom, drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence like a muffling fog, removes all things and men and oneself along with it into a remarkable indifference. This boredom reveals being as a whole."[13]
Arthur Schopenhauer used the existence of boredom in an attempt to prove the vanity of human existence, stating, "...for if life, in the desire for which our essence and existence consists, possessed in itself a positive value and real content, there would be no such thing as boredom: mere existence would fulfil and satisfy us."[14]
Erich Fromm and other similar thinkers of critical theory speak of bourgeois society in terms similar to boredom, and Fromm mentions sex and the automobile as fundamental outlets of postmodern boredom.
Above and beyond taste and character, the universal case of boredom consists in any instance of waiting, as Heidegger noted, such as in line, for someone else to arrive or finish a task, or while one is travelling.
Boredom, however, may also increase as travel becomes more convenient, as the vehicle may become more like the windowless monad in Leibniz's monadology. The automobile requires fast reflexes, making its operator busy and hence, perhaps for other reasons as well, making the ride more tedious despite being over sooner.England [ˈɪŋglənd] (help·info) is a country, which is part of the United Kingdom.[3][4] Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population,[5] whilst its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and elsewhere is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.[6]
England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world[7] being the place of origin of the English language, the Church of England and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of many countries around the world. In addition, England was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution[8] being the first country in the world to become industrialised.[9] It is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science. England is the world's oldest parliamentary democracy[10] and consequently many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.
The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued as a separate state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union, putting into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulted in political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain.[11]The various terms used to describe the different (and sometimes overlapping) geographical and political areas of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands are often a source of confusion, partly owing to the similarity between some of the actual words used, but also because they are often used loosely. The purpose of this article is to explain the meanings of and inter-relationships among those terms.
In brief, the main terms and their simple explanations are as follows.
Geographical terms
The British Isles is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands.
Great Britain, including England, Scotland, and Wales, sometimes simply called Britain, is the largest island of the archipelago[1][2][3] and lies directly north of France. (The term Britain is more commonly used as a political term: an alternative name for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[4])
Ireland is the second largest island of the archipelago and lies directly to the west of Great Britain.
The full list of islands in the British Isles includes some 6,000 islands, of which 51 have an area larger than 20 km².
Political terms
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sovereign state occupying the island of Great Britain, the small nearby islands (but not the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands), and the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland. Usually, it is shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain.[5]
Ireland is the sovereign state occupying the larger portion of the island of Ireland. The most common term used is simply Ireland and the country's constitution names the country Ireland. However, to distinguish Ireland (country) from Ireland (island), or to distinguish either of these from Northern Ireland, it is often called "the Republic of Ireland" or simply "the Republic". Occasionally, its Irish-language name, Éire, will be used in an English-language context to distinguish it from "Northern Ireland", even though the word "Éire" directly translates as "Ireland".
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom.
Great Britain means the countries of England, Wales and Scotland considered as a unit.[6][7] The term Great Britain is often used (incorrectly) as synonymous with the UK. However, the UK and Great Britain are not equivalent since the UK is a state formed from the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Britain is widely used as a political synonym for the United Kingdom.
British Islands consists of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These are the states within the British Isles that have the British monarch as head of state.
GB is the ISO 3166 code for the United Kingdom.
Linguistic terms
The United Kingdom and the (Republic of) Ireland are sometimes referred to as nations and countries in formal documents while England, Wales, Scotland and (to a lesser extent) Northern Ireland are also referred to as nations and countries. In everyday language the terms nation and country are used almost interchangeably.
British is an adjective pertaining to the United Kingdom; for example, a citizen of the UK is often described as a British citizen.
Wales is also known as the Principality; Northern Ireland can also be referred to, by those of a unionist persuasion, as the Province, in relation to its locality within the Province of Ulster.
Sport
The constituent countries of the United Kingdom often compete separately in international competition as nations (and are often described as "the home nations"). For example in association football, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England play as nations and are officially referred to as nations. An additional complication is that in some sports, such as rugby union, players from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland play as one team, Ireland, in international competitions.
Rugby players from both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom play for British and Irish Lions representing the four "Home Unions" of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Great Britain is often used to mean United Kingdom. Usually this is simply sloppy language, but it is sometimes used as an official shortening of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For example, at the Olympic Games, the team officially called "Great Britain" represents the political entity the United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland. The "Ireland" Olympic team represents the whole island of Ireland, a geographical entity. Athletes from Northern Ireland have the choice of participating in either the "Great Britain" team or the "Ireland" team [4].
In the majority of individual sports (e.g. tennis and athletics), at international level competitors are identified as GB if they are from Great Britain or Northern Ireland. A small number of sports (e.g. golf) identify participants as representing their constituent country. The Commonwealth Games is the only competition where all parts of the British Islands compete as separate nations. It should be noted that the Republic of Ireland does not participate in the Commonwealth Games as it is not part of the Commonwealth of Nations.Edgar I the Peaceful or the Peaceable (c. Aug 7, 943 – July 8, 975) was the younger son of Edmund I of England. His cognomen, "the Peaceable", was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by the seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother, Edwy, in 958. Edgar was held to be king north of the Thames by a conclave of his nobles, and the aspirational ruler set himself to succeed to the English throne. With Edwy's death in October 959, Edgar immediately recalled Dunstan (eventually canonised as St. Dunstan) from exile to have him made Bishop of Worcester (and the Bishop of London after, and finally the Archbishop of Canterbury). The allegation Dunstan at first refused to crown Edgar because of disapproval for his way of life is a discreet reference in popular histories to Edgar's mistress,[citation needed] Wulfthryth (later a nun at Wilton), who bore him a daughter Eadgyth. Dunstan remained Edgar's advisor throughout his reign.
Edgar's reign was a peaceful one, and it is probably fair to say that it saw the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England at its height. Although the political unity of England was the achievement of his predecessors, it was Edgar who saw to its consolidation. By the end of Edgar's reign there was practically no likelihood of any recession back to its state of rival kingships, and the division of its domains.
The Monastic Reform Movement that restored the Benedictine Rule to England's undisciplined monastic communities saw its height during the time of Dunstan, Aethelwold and Oswald. However, the extent and importance of the movement is still debated amongst academics.
Edgar was crowned at Bath, but not until 973, in an imperial ceremony planned not as the initiation, but as the culmination of his reign (a move that must have taken a great deal of preliminary diplomacy). This service, devised by Dunstan himself and celebrated with a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle forms the basis of the present-day British coronation ceremony. The symbolic coronation was an important step; other kings of Britain came and gave their allegiance to Edgar shortly afterwards at Chester. Six kings in Britain, including the kings of Scotland and of Strathclyde, pledged their faith that they would be the king's liege-men on sea and land. Later chroniclers made the kings into eight, all plying the oars of Edgar's state barge on the River Dee. Such embellishments may not be factual, but the main outlines of the "submission at Chester" appear true.
Edgar had several children. He died on July 8, 975 at Winchester, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey. He left two sons, the eldest named Edward, the son of his first wife Ethelfleda (not to be confused with Ethelfleda, Lady of the Mercians), and Ethelred, the youngest, the child of his second wife Ælfthryth. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward.
From Edgar’s death to the Norman Conquest there was not a single succession to the throne that was not contested. Although perhaps a simplification, Edgar’s death did seem to be the beginning of the end for Anglo-Saxon England that resulted in three successful 11th century conquests, two Danish and one Norman.In the years between the Sack of Lindesfarne in 793 and the Danish invasion of East Anglia in 865, Danish settlers founded the site of modern Dublin and fought as mercenaries in Irish tribal wars, liberally intermarrying with their Irish allies. A Danish fleet arrived and attacked the settlement with the Irish enemies of the Hiberno-Norse, but were repulsed. It is also said in Irish and northern English oral history that Ivar, and in some accounts also Ubbe Ragnarsson, died not in the Mercian campaign, but drowned fighting the Hiberno-Norse in the Irish sea.
The haste with which the Danes resumed their attack on Norse Dublin before consolidating their control of Saxon England indicates that the entire Danish invasion was not primarily aimed at the conquest of Saxon England, but to secure a North Sea base of operations to use as a springboard in the conflict with the Norwegians, who controlled an extensive trade network in the Orkneys, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, and Ireland, which exported goods from the British Isles south-east through Kievan Rus as far as Constantinople and Bagdad, following the Dniepr from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
When King Magnus I freed Norway from Cnut the Great, the terms of the peace treaty provided that the second of the two kings Magnus (Norway) and Harthacnut (Denmark) to die would inherit the dominion of the other. When Edward the Confessor ascended the throne of a united Dano-Saxon England, a Norse army was raised from every Norwegian colony in the British Isles and attacked Edward's England in support of Magnus', and after his death, his brother Harald Hardråde's, claim to the English throne. On the accession of Harold Godwinson after the death of Edward the Confessor, Hardraada invaded Northumbria with the support of Harold's brother Tostig Godwinson, and was defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge the week before William I's victory at the Battle of Hastings.
[edit]Timeline of the Danelaw
800 Waves of Danish assaults on the coastlines of the British Isles were gradually followed by a succession of settlers.
865 Danish raiders first began to settle in England. Led by brothers Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless, they wintered in East Anglia, where they demanded and received tribute in exchange for a temporary peace. From there they moved north and attacked Northumbria, which was in the midst of a civil war between the deposed king Osberht and a usurper Ælla. The Danes used the civil turmoil as an opportunity to capture York, which they sacked and burned.
867 Following the loss of York, Osberht and Ælla formed an alliance against the Danes. They launched a counterattack, but the Danes killed both Osberht and Ælla and set up a puppet king on Northumbrian throne. In response, King Æthelred of Wessex, along with his brother Alfred marched against the Danes, who were positioned behind fortifications in Nottingham, but were unable to draw them into battle. In order to establish peace, King Burhred of Mercia ceded Nottingham to the Danes in exchange for leaving the rest of Mercia undisturbed.
869 Ivar the Boneless returned and demanded tribute from King Edmund of East Anglia.
870 King Edmund refused, Ivar the Boneless defeated and captured him at Hoxne and brutally sacrificed his heart to Odin in a so-called “blood eagle ritual”, in the process adding East Anglia to the area controlled by the invading Danes. King Æthelred and Alfred attacked the Danes at Reading, but were repulsed with heavy losses. The Danes pursued them.
871 On January 7, they made their stand at Ashdown (in what is now East Sussex). Æthelred could not be found at the start of battle, as he was busy praying in his tent, so Alfred led the army into battle. Æthelred and Alfred defeated the Danes, who counted among their losses five jarls (nobles). The Danes retreated and set up fortifications at Basing in Hampshire, a mere 14 miles (23 km) from Reading. Æthelred attacked the Danish fortifications and was routed. Danes followed up victory with another victory in March at Meretum (now Marton, Wiltshire).
King Æthelred died on April 23, 871 and Alfred took the throne of Wessex, but not before he seriously considering abdicating the throne in light of the desperate circumstances, which were further worsened by the arrival in Reading of a second Danish army from Europe. For the rest of the year Alfred concentrated on attacking with small bands against isolated groups of Danes. He was moderately successful in this endeavor and was able to score minor victories against the Danes, but his army was on the verge of collapse. Alfred responded by paying off the Danes in order for a promise of peace. During the peace the Danes turned north and attacked Mercia, which they finished off in short order, and captured London in the process. King Burgred of Mercia fought in vain against the Ivar the Boneless and his Danish invaders for three years until 874, when he fled to Europe. During Ivar’s campaign against Mercia he died and was succeeded by Guthrum the Old as the main protagonist in the Danes’ drive to conquer England. Guthrum quickly defeated Burgred and placed a puppet on the throne of Mercia. The Danes now controlled East Anglia, Northumbria and Mercia, with only Wessex continuing to resist.
875 The Danes settled in Dorsetshire, well inside of Alfred’s Kingdom of Wessex, but Alfred quickly made peace with them.
876 The Danes broke the peace when they captured the fortress of Wareham, followed by a similar capture of Exeter in 877.
877 Alfred laid siege, while the Danes waited for reinforcements from Scandinavia. Unfortunately for the Danes, the fleet of reinforcements encountered a storm and lost more than 100 ships, and the Danes were forced to return to East Mercia in the north.
878 In January Guthrum led an attack against Wessex that sought to capture Alfred while he wintered in Chippenham. Another Danish army landed in south Wales and moved south with the intent of intercepting Alfred should he flee from Guthrum’s forces. However, they stopped during their march to capture a small fortress at Countisbury Hill, held by a Wessex ealdorman named Odda. The Saxons, led by Odda, attacked the Danes while they slept and defeated the superior Danish forces, saving Alfred from being trapped between the two armies. Alfred was forced to go into hiding for the rest of the winter and spring of 878 in the Somerset marshes in order to avoid the superior Danish forces. In the spring Alfred was able to gather an army and attacked the Guthrum and the Danes at Edington. The Danes were defeated and retreated to Chippenham, where the English pursued and laid siege to Guthrum’s forces. The Danes were unable to hold out without relief and soon surrendered. Alfred demanded as a term of the surrender that Guthrum become baptized as a Christian, which Guthrum agreed to do, with Alfred acting as his Godfather. Guthrum was true to his word and settled in East Anglia, at least for a while.
884 Guthrum attacked Kent, but was defeated by the English. This led to the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum, which established the boundaries of the Danelaw and allowed for Danish self-rule in the region.
902 Essex submits to Æthelwald.
903 Æthelwald incites the East Anglian Danes into breaking the peace. They ravage Mercia before winning a pyrrhic victory that saw the death of Æthelwald and the Danish King Eohric; this allows Edward the Elder to consolidate power.
911 The English defeat the Danes at the Battle of Tettenhall. The Northumbrians ravage Mercia but are trapped by Edward and forced to fight.
917 In return for peace and protection The Kingdoms of Essex and East Anglia accept Edward the Elder as their suzerain overlord.
Æthelflæd (also known as Ethelfleda) Lady of the Mercians, takes the borough of Derby.
918 The borough of Leicester submits peaceably to Æthelflæd's rule. The people of York promise to accept her as their overlord, but she dies before this could come to fruition. She is succeeded by her brother, the Kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex united in the person of King Edward.
919 Norwegian Vikings under King Rægnold (Ragnald son of Sygtrygg) of Dublin take York.
920 Edward is accepted as father and lord by the King of the Scots, by Rægnold, the sons of Eadulf, the English, Norse, Danes and others all of whom dwell in Northumbria, and the King and people of the Strathclyde Welsh.
954 Eric Bloodaxe driven out of Northumbria, his death marking the end of the prospect of a Northern Viking Kingdom stretching from York to Dublin and the Isles.Athelstan was the son of Edward the Elder, and grandson of Alfred the Great. His father succeeded, after some difficulty, to the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons formed by Alfred. His aunt, Edward's sister, Æthelflæd, ruled western Mercia on his behalf following the death of her husband, Ealdorman Æthelred. On Æthelflæd's death, Edward was quick to assume control of Mercia, and at the time of his death he directly ruled all the English kingdoms south of the Humber. Athelstan was fostered by his family as 'Half-King' in Mercia, perhaps as a method of encouraging Mercian loyalty to the West Saxon dynasty. On Edward's death, Athelstan immediately became King of Mercia, though it seems to have taken longer for him to be recognised in Wessex where his half-brothers Ælfweard and Edwin had support.
Political alliances seem to have been high on Athelstan's agenda. Only a year after his crowning he married one of his sisters to Sihtric Cáech, the Viking King of Jórvík at Tamworth,[3] who acknowledged Æthelstan as over-king, adopting Christianity. Within the year he may have abandoned his new faith and repudiated his wife, but before Æthelstan and he could fight, Sihtric died suddenly in 927. His kinsman, perhaps brother, Gofraid, who had remained as his deputy in Dublin, came from Ireland to take power in York, but failed. Æthelstan moved quickly, seizing much of Northumbria. This bold move brought the whole of England under one ruler for the first time, although this unity did not become permanent until 954. In less than a decade, the kingdom of the English had become by far the greatest power in the British Isles, perhaps stretching as far north as the Firth of Forth.[4]
Initially the other rulers in Great Britain seem to have submitted to Athelstan at Bamburgh: "first Hywel, King of the West Welsh, and Constantine II, King of Scots, and Owain, King of the people of Gwent, and Ealdred...of Bamburgh" records the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. William of Malmesbury adds that Owain of Strathclyde was also present.[5]
Similar events are recorded along the western marches of Athelstan's domain. According to William of Malmesbury, Athelstan had the kings of the North British (meaning the Welsh) submit to him at Hereford, where he exacted a heavy tribute from them. The reality of his influence in Wales is underlined by the Welsh poem Armes Prydein Fawr, and by the appearance of the Welsh kings as subreguli in the charters of 'Αthelstan A'. Similarly, he drove the West Welsh (meaning the Cornish) out of Exeter, and established the border of Cornwall along the River Tamar.
John of Worcester's chronicle suggests that Æthelstan faced opposition from Constantine, from Owain of Strathclyde, and from the Welsh kings. William of Malmesbury writes that Gofraid, together with Sihtric's young son Olaf Cuaran fled north and received refuge from Constantine, which led to war with Æthelstan. A meeting at Eamont Bridge on 12 July 927 was sealed by an agreement that Constantine, Eógan of Strathclyde, Hywel Dda, and Ealdred would "renounce all idolatry": that is, they would not ally with the Viking kings. William states that Æthelstan stood godfather to a son of Constantine, probably Indulf (Ildulb mac Constantín), during the conference.[6]
Æthelstan followed up his advances in the north by securing the recognition of the Welsh kings.[7] For the next seven years, the record of events in the north is blank. Æthelstan's court was attended by the Welsh kings, but not by Constantine or Eógan of Strathclyde. This absence of record means that Æthelstan's reasons for marching north against Constantine in 934 are unclear.[8]
Æthelstan's campaign is reported by in brief by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and later chroniclers such as John of Worcester, William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, and Symeon of Durham add detail to that bald account. Æthelstan's army began gathering at Winchester by 28 May 927, and reached Nottingham by 7 June. He was accompanied by many leaders, including the Welsh kings Hywel Dda, Idwal Foel, and Morgan ab Owain. From Mercia the army went north, stopping at Chester-le-Street, before resuming the march accompanied by a fleet of ships. Eógan of Strathclyde was defeated and Symeon states that the army went as far north as Dunnottar and Fortriu, while the fleet is said to have raided Caithness, by which a much larger area, including Sutherland, is probably intended. It is unlikely that Constantine's personal authority extended so far north, and while the attacks may have been directed at his allies, they may also have been simple looting expeditions.[9]
The Annals of Clonmacnoise state that "the Scottish men compelled [Æthelstan] to return without any great victory", while Henry of Huntingdon claims that the English faced no opposition. A negotiated settlement may have ended matters: according to John of Worcester, a son of Constantine was given as a hostage to Æthelstan and Constantín himself accompanied the English king on his return south.[3] He witnessed a charter with Æthelstan at Buckingham on 13 September 934 in which he is described as subregulus, that is a king acknowledging Æthelstan's overlordship.[10] The following year, Constantine was again in England at Æthelstan's court, this time at Cirencester where he appears as a witness, appearing as the first of several subject kings, followed by Eógan of Strathclyde and Hywel Dda, who subscribed to the diploma.[11] At Christmas of 935, Eógan of Strathclyde was once more at Æthelstan's court along with the Welsh kings, but Constantine was not. His return to England less than two years later would be in very different circumstances.[12]
[edit]Brunanburh and after
Following Constantine's disappearance from Æthelstan's court after 935, there is no further report of him until 937. In that year, together with Eógan of Strathclyde and Olaf Guthfrithson, King of Dublin, Constantine invaded England. The resulting battle of Brunanburh—Dún Brunde—is reported in the Annals of Ulster as follows:
a great battle, lamentable and terrible was cruelly fought...in which fell uncounted thousands of the Northmen. ... And on the other side, a multitude of Saxons fell; but Æthelstan, the king of the Saxons, obtained a great victory.[13]
The battle was remembered in England a generation later as "the Great Battle". When reporting the battle, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle abandons its usual terse style in favour of a heroic poem vaunting the great victory. In this the "hoary" Constantine, by now around 60 years of age, is said to have lost a son in the battle, a claim which the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba confirms. The Annals of Clonmacnoise give his name as Cellach. For all its fame, the site of the battle is uncertain and several sites have been advanced, with Bromborough on the Wirral the most favoured location.[14]
Brunanburh, for all that it had been a famous and bloody battle, settled nothing. On 27 October 939 Æthelstan, "pillar of the dignity of the western world" in the words of the Annals of Ulster, died at Malmesbury. He was succeeded by his brother Edmund the Elder, then aged 18. Æthelstan's empire, seemingly made safe by the victory of Brunanburh, collapsed in little more than a year from his death when Amlaíb returned from Ireland and seized Northumbria and the Mercian Danelaw. Edmund spent the remainder of Constantín's reign rebuilding the empire.[15]
Athelstan is generally regarded as the first king of England and his reign is seen as the first time that kingdoms of England, Wales and Scotland were united under one ruler as "King of all Britain".[2] He achieved considerable military successes over his rivals, including the vikings, and extended his rule to parts of Wales and Cornwall.The word “quantum” came from the Latin word which means "how great" or "how much." In quantum mechanics, it refers to a discrete unit that quantum theory assigns to certain physical quantities, such as the energy of an atom at rest (see Figure 1, at right). The discovery that waves have discrete energy packets (called quanta) that behave in a manner similar to particles led to the branch of physics that deals with atomic and subatomic systems which we today call quantum mechanics. It is the underlying mathematical framework of many fields of physics and chemistry, including condensed matter physics, solid-state physics, atomic physics, molecular physics, computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, particle physics, and nuclear physics. The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the twentieth century by Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Louis de Broglie, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Born, John von Neumann, Paul Dirac, Wolfgang Pauli and others. Some fundamental aspects of the theory are still actively studied.
Quantum mechanics is essential to understand the behavior of systems at atomic length scales and smaller. For example, if Newtonian mechanics governed the workings of an atom, electrons would rapidly travel towards and collide with the nucleus, making stable atoms impossible. However, in the natural world the electrons normally remain in an unknown orbital path around the nucleus, defying classical electromagnetism.
Quantum mechanics was initially developed to provide a better explanation of the atom, especially the spectra of light emitted by different atomic species. The quantum theory of the atom was developed as an explanation for the electron's staying in its orbital, which could not be explained by Newton's laws of motion and by Maxwell's laws of classical electromagnetism.
In the formalism of quantum mechanics, the state of a system at a given time is described by a complex wave function (sometimes referred to as orbitals in the case of atomic electrons), and more generally, elements of a complex vector space. This abstract mathematical object allows for the calculation of probabilities of outcomes of concrete experiments. For example, it allows one to compute the probability of finding an electron in a particular region around the nucleus at a particular time. Contrary to classical mechanics, one can never make simultaneous predictions of conjugate variables, such as position and momentum, with arbitrary accuracy. For instance, electrons may be considered to be located somewhere within a region of space, but with their exact positions being unknown. Contours of constant probability, often referred to as “clouds” may be drawn around the nucleus of an atom to conceptualize where the electron might be located with the most probability. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle quantifies the inability to precisely locate the particle.
The other exemplar that led to quantum mechanics was the study of electromagnetic waves such as light. When it was found in 1900 by Max Planck that the energy of waves could be described as consisting of small packets or quanta, Albert Einstein exploited this idea to show that an electromagnetic wave such as light could be described by a particle called the photon with a discrete energy dependent on its frequency. This led to a theory of unity between subatomic particles and electromagnetic waves called wave–particle duality in which particles and waves were neither one nor the other, but had certain properties of both. While quantum mechanics describes the world of the very small, it also is needed to explain certain “macroscopic quantum systems” such as superconductors and superfluids.
Broadly speaking, quantum mechanics incorporates four classes of phenomena that classical physics cannot account for: (i) the quantization (discretization) of certain physical quantities, (ii) wave-particle duality, (iii) the uncertainty principle, and (iv) quantum entanglement. Each of these phenomena is described in detail in subsequent sections.The modern world of physics is founded on two tested and demonstrably sound theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics —theories which appear to contradict one another. The defining postulates of both Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory are indisputably supported by rigorous and repeated empirical evidence. However, while they do not directly contradict each other theoretically (at least with regard to primary claims), they are resistant to being incorporated within one cohesive model.
Einstein himself is well known for rejecting some of the claims of quantum mechanics. While clearly inventive in this field, he did not accept the more philosophical consequences and interpretations of quantum mechanics, such as the lack of deterministic causality and the assertion that a single subatomic particle can occupy numerous areas of space at one time. He also was the first to notice some of the apparently exotic consequences of entanglement and used them to formulate the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, in the hope of showing that quantum mechanics has unacceptable implications. This was 1935, but in 1964 it was shown by John Bell (see Bell inequality) that Einstein's assumption that quantum mechanics is correct, but has to be completed by hidden variables, was based on wrong philosophical assumptions: according to the paper of J. Bell and the Copenhagen interpretation (the common interpretation of quantum mechanics by physicists for decades), and contrary to Einstein's ideas, quantum mechanics is
neither a "realistic" theory (since quantum measurements do not state pre-existing properties, but rather they prepare properties)
nor a local theory (essentially not, because the state vector determines simultaneously the probability amplitudes at all sites, ).
The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox shows in any case that there exist experiments by which one can measure the state of one particle and instantaneously change the state of its entangled partner, although the two particles can be an arbitrary distance apart; however, this effect does not violate causality, since no transfer of information happens. These experiments are the basis of some of the most topical applications of the theory, quantum cryptography, which works well, although at small distances of typically 1000 km, being on the market since 2004.
There do exist quantum theories which incorporate special relativity—for example, quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is currently the most accurately tested physical theory [1]—and these lie at the very heart of modern particle physics. Gravity is negligible in many areas of particle physics, so that unification between general relativity and quantum mechanics is not an urgent issue in those applications. However, the lack of a correct theory of quantum gravity is an important issue in cosmology.There are numerous mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics. One of the oldest and most commonly used formulations is the transformation theory proposed by Cambridge theoretical physicist Paul Dirac, which unifies and generalizes the two earliest formulations of quantum mechanics, matrix mechanics (invented by Werner Heisenberg)[2] and wave mechanics (invented by Erwin Schrödinger).
In this formulation, the instantaneous state of a quantum system encodes the probabilities of its measurable properties, or "observables". Examples of observables include energy, position, momentum, and angular momentum. Observables can be either continuous (e.g., the position of a particle) or discrete (e.g., the energy of an electron bound to a hydrogen atom).
Generally, quantum mechanics does not assign definite values to observables. Instead, it makes predictions about probability distributions; that is, the probability of obtaining each of the possible outcomes from measuring an observable. Naturally, these probabilities will depend on the quantum state at the instant of the measurement. There are, however, certain states that are associated with a definite value of a particular observable. These are known as "eigenstates" of the observable ("eigen" can be roughly translated from German as inherent or as a characteristic). In the everyday world, it is natural and intuitive to think of everything being in an eigenstate of every observable. Everything appears to have a definite position, a definite momentum, and a definite time of occurrence. However, quantum mechanics does not pinpoint the exact values for the position or momentum of a certain particle in a given space in a finite time; rather, it only provides a range of probabilities of where that particle might be. Therefore, it became necessary to use different words for (a) the state of something having an uncertainty relation and (b) a state that has a definite value. The latter is called the "eigenstate" of the property being measured.
For example, consider a free particle. In quantum mechanics, there is wave-particle duality so the properties of the particle can be described as a wave. Therefore, its quantum state can be represented as a wave, of arbitrary shape and extending over all of space, called a wave function. The position and momentum of the particle are observables. The Uncertainty Principle of quantum mechanics states that both the position and the momentum cannot simultaneously be known with infinite precision at the same time. However, one can measure just the position alone of a moving free particle creating an eigenstate of position with a wavefunction that is very large at a particular position x, and almost zero everywhere else. If one performs a position measurement on such a wavefunction, the result x will be obtained with almost 100% probability. In other words, the position of the free particle will almost be known. This is called an eigenstate of position (mathematically more precise: a generalized eigenstate (eigendistribution) ). If the particle is in an eigenstate of position then its momentum is completely unknown. An eigenstate of momentum, on the other hand, has the form of a plane wave. It can be shown that the wavelength is equal to h/p, where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the eigenstate. If the particle is in an eigenstate of momentum then its position is completely blurred out.
Usually, a system will not be in an eigenstate of whatever observable we are interested in. However, if one measures the observable, the wavefunction will instantaneously be an eigenstate (or generalized eigenstate) of that observable. This process is known as wavefunction collapse. It involves expanding the system under study to include the measurement device, so that a detailed quantum calculation would no longer be feasible and a classical description must be used. If one knows the corresponding wave function at the instant before the measurement, one will be able to compute the probability of collapsing into each of the possible eigenstates. For example, the free particle in the previous example will usually have a wavefunction that is a wave packet centered around some mean position x0, neither an eigenstate of position nor of momentum. When one measures the position of the particle, it is impossible to predict with certainty the result that we will obtain. It is probable, but not certain, that it will be near x0, where the amplitude of the wave function is large. After the measurement is performed, having obtained some result x, the wave function collapses into a position eigenstate centered at x.
Wave functions can change as time progresses. An equation known as the Schrödinger equation describes how wave functions change in time, a role similar to Newton's second law in classical mechanics. The Schrödinger equation, applied to the aforementioned example of the free particle, predicts that the center of a wave packet will move through space at a constant velocity, like a classical particle with no forces acting on it. However, the wave packet will also spread out as time progresses, which means that the position becomes more uncertain. This also has the effect of turning position eigenstates (which can be thought of as infinitely sharp wave packets) into broadened wave packets that are no longer position eigenstates.
Some wave functions produce probability distributions that are constant in time. Many systems that are treated dynamically in classical mechanics are described by such "static" wave functions. For example, a single electron in an unexcited atom is pictured classically as a particle moving in a circular trajectory around the atomic nucleus, whereas in quantum mechanics it is described by a static, spherically symmetric wavefunction surrounding the nucleus (Fig. 1). (Note that only the lowest angular momentum states, labeled s, are spherically symmetric).
The time evolution of wave functions is deterministic in the sense that, given a wavefunction at an initial time, it makes a definite prediction of what the wavefunction will be at any later time. During a measurement, the change of the wavefunction into another one is not deterministic, but rather unpredictable, i.e., random.
The probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics thus stems from the act of measurement. This is one of the most difficult aspects of quantum systems to understand. It was the central topic in the famous Bohr-Einstein debates, in which the two scientists attempted to clarify these fundamental principles by way of thought experiments. In the decades after the formulation of quantum mechanics, the question of what constitutes a "measurement" has been extensively studied. Interpretations of quantum mechanics have been formulated to do away with the concept of "wavefunction collapse"; see, for example, the relative state interpretation. The basic idea is that when a quantum system interacts with a measuring apparatus, their respective wavefunctions become entangled, so that the original quantum system ceases to exist as an independent entity. For details, see the article on measurement in quantum mechanics.
 
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Love represents a range of emotions and experiences related to the senses of affection and sexual attraction.[1] The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. This diversity of meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept love usually refers to a strong, ineffable feeling towards another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
Spiritual love, or longing for God, is highly valued and sought after by many religions of both Eastern and Western origin.
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Definitions


The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.


The English word love can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts which English relies mainly on love to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for "love". Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.[2] American psychologist Zick Rubin try to define love by the psychometrics. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring and intimacy.[3][4]
Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't "love". As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is commonly contrasted with friendship, though other definitions of the word love may be applied to close friendships in certain contexts. When discussed in the abstract, love usually refers to interpersonal love, an experience felt by a person for another person. Love often involves caring for or identifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism).
In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, though the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.[5] Because of the complex and abstract nature of love, discourse on love is commonly reduced to a thought-terminating cliché, and there are a number of common proverbs regarding love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to The Beatles' "All you need is love". Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of "absolute value", as opposed to relative value. Theologian Thomas Jay Oord said that to love is to "act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others, to promote overall well-being".[6]
A person can be said to love a country, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions. People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with that item. If sexual passion is also involved, this condition is called paraphilia.[7]

Interpersonal love


Grandmother and grandchild, Sri Lanka


Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love which are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

Scientific views

Main article: Love (scientific views)
Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the last century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding of the nature and function of love.

Chemistry

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[8] Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly-overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust exposes people to others, romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating, and attachment involves tolerating the spouse long enough to rear a child into infancy.
Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side-effects such as an increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.[9]
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding which promotes relationships that last for many years, and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin than short-term relationships have.[9] In 2005, Italian scientists at Pavia University found that a protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these levels return to as they were after one year. Specifically, four neurotrophin levels, i.e. NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4, of 58 subjects who had recently fallen in love were compared with levels in a control group who were either single or already engaged in a long-term relationship. The results showed that NGF levels were significantly higher in the subjects in love than as compared to either of the control groups.[10]

Psychology

Further information: Human bonding Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives. Intimacy is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last and most common form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components.
Following developments in electrical theories, such as Coulomb's law, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract". Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality; people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g. with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby which has the best of both worlds.[11] In recent years, various human bonding theories have been developed described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities.
Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose works in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another", and simple narcissism.[12] In combination, love is an activity, not simply a feeling.

Comparison of scientific models


Sacred Love Versus Profane Love (1602-1603) by Giovanni Baglione


Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst.[citation needed] Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views — certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love — sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.
Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, suggests that this reaction to love is so similar to that of drugs because without love, humanity would die out.

Cultural views


Persian

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth "you owe me".
Look what happens with a Love like that!
- It lights the whole Sky. (Hafiz)
Rumi, Hafez and Sa'di are icons of the passion and love that the Persian culture and language present. The Persian word for love is eshgh, deriving from the Arabic ishq. In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life. Over seven centuries ago, Sa'di wrote:
The children of Adam are limbs of each otherHaving been created of one essence.When the calamity of time afflicts one limbThe other limbs cannot remain at rest.If you have no sympathy for the troubles of othersYou are not worthy to be called by the name of "man".
Chinese and other Sinic cultures


The traditional Chinese character for love (愛) consists of a heart (middle) inside of "accept", "feel", or "perceive", which shows a graceful emotion.


In contemporary Chinese language and culture, several terms or root words are used for the concept of "love":

  • It was the Qing‘s emperor first word of name.

  • Ai (愛) is used as a verb (e.g. Wo ai ni, "I love you") or as a noun, especially in aiqing (愛情), "love" or "romance." In mainland China since 1949, airen (愛人, originally "lover," or more literally, "love person") is the dominant word for "spouse" (with separate terms for "wife" and "husband" originally being de-emphasized); the word once had a negative connotation, which it retains among many on Taiwan.

  • Lian (戀) is not generally used alone, but instead as part of such terms as "being in love" (談戀愛, tan lian'ai—also containing ai), "lover" (戀人, lianren) or "homosexuality" (同性戀, tongxinglian).

  • Qing (情), commonly meaning "feeling" or "emotion," often indicates "love" in several terms. It is contained in the word aiqing (愛情); qingren (情人) is a term for "lover".
In Confucianism, lian is a virtuous benevolent love. Lian should be pursued by all human beings, and reflects a moral life. The Chinese philosopher Mozi developed the concept of ai (愛) in reaction to Confucian lian. Ai, in Mohism, is universal love towards all beings, not just towards friends or family, without regard to reciprocation. Extravagance and offensive war are inimical to ai. Although Mozi's thought was influential, the Confucian lian is how most Chinese conceive of love.
Gănqíng (感情), the "feeling" of a relationship, vaguely similar to empathy. A person will express love by building good gănqíng, accomplished through helping or working for another and emotional attachment toward another person or anything.
Yuanfen (緣份) is a connection of bound destinies. A meaningful relationship is often conceived of as dependent strong yuanfen. It is very similar to serendipity. A similar conceptualization in English is, "They were made for each other," "fate," or "destiny".
Zaolian (Simplified: 早恋, Traditional: 早戀, pinyin: zǎoliàn), literally, "early love," is a contemporary term in frequent use for romantic feelings or attachments among children or adolescents. Zaolian describes both relationships among a teenaged boyfriend and girlfriend, as well as the "crushes" of early adolescence or childhood. The concept essentially indicates a prevalent belief in contemporary Chinese culture that due to the demands of their studies (especially true in the highly competitive educational system of China), youth should not form romantic attachments lest their jeopardize their chances for success in the future. Reports have appeared in Chinese newspapers and other media detailing the prevalence of the phenomenon and its perceived dangers to students and the fears of parents.

Japanese

In Japanese Buddhism, ai (愛) is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment.
Amae (甘え), a Japanese word meaning "indulgent dependence", is part of the child-rearing culture of Japan. Japanese mothers are expected to hug and indulge their children, and children are expected to reward their mothers by clinging and serving. Some sociologists have suggested that Japanese social interactions in later life are modeled on the mother-child amae.

Ancient Greek

Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word love is used. For example, Ancient Greek has the words philia, eros, agape, storge and xenia. However, with Greek as with many other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo being used with the same meaning as phileo.
Agape (ἀγάπη agápē) means love in modern day Greek. The term s'agapo means I love you in Greek. The word agapo is the verb I love. It generally refers to a "pure", ideal type of love rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. However, there are some examples of agape used to mean the same as eros. It has also been translated as "love of the soul".
Eros (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Greek word erota means in love. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. Some translations list it as "love of the body".
Philia (φιλία philía), a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. Can also mean "love of the mind".
Storge (στοργή storgē) is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.
Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and their guest, who could previously be strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was only expected to repay with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology, in particular Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

Turkish (Shaman & Islamic)

In Turkish the word "love" comes up with several meanings. A person can love the god, a person, the parents or the family. But that person can "love" just one person from the opposite sex which they call the word "ask". Ask is a feeling for to love, as it still is in Turkish today. The Turks used this word just for their romantic loves in a romantic or sexual sense. If a Turk says that he is in love (ask) with somebody, it is not a love that a person can feel for his or her parents; it is just for one person and it indicates a huge infatuation.

Ancient Roman (Latin)

The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word 'love'.
Amare is the basic word for to love, as it still is in Italian today. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense, as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans, a lover, amator, 'professional lover', often with the accessory notion of lechery, and amica, 'girlfriend' in the English sense, often as well being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor, which is also used in the plural form to indicate 'love affairs' or 'sexual adventures'. This same root also produces amicus, 'friend', and amicitia, 'friendship' (often based on mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to 'indebtedness' or 'influence'). Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship (de Amicitia) which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria (The Art of Lovers), which addresses in depth everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents.
Complicating the picture somewhat, Latin sometimes uses amare where English would simply say to like; this notion, however, is much more generally expressed in Latin by placere or delectare, which are used more colloquially, and the latter of which is used frequently in the love poetry of Catullus.
Diligere often has the notion 'to be affectionate for', 'to esteem', and rarely if ever is used of romantic love. This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia, however, has the meaning 'diligence' 'carefulness' and has little semantic overlap with the verb.
Observare is a synonym for 'diligere'; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun 'observantia' often denote 'esteem' or 'affection'.
Caritas is used in Latin translations of the Christian Bible to mean 'charitable love'. This meaning, however, is not found in Classical pagan Roman literature. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb.

Religious views


Christian

The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman, eros in Greek, and the unselfish love of others, agape, are often contrasted as 'ascending' and 'descending' love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing. [13]
There are several Greek words for Love that are regularly referred to in Christian circles.

  • Agape - In the New Testament, agapē is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It is parental love seen as creating goodness in the world, it is the way God is seen to love humanity, and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for one another.
  • Phileo - Also used in the New Testament, Phileo is a human response to something that is found to be delightful. Also known as "brotherly love".
  • Two other words for love in the Greek language, Eros (sexual love) and Storge (child-to-parent love) were never used in the New Testament.
Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah, according to Jesus - c.f. Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28-34). Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote "Love God, and do as thou wilt".
Paul the Apostle glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poem in 1 Corinthians he wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." - 1 Cor. 13:4-7 (NIV)
John the Apostle wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:16-18 (NIV)
John also wrote, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Saint Augustine says that one must be able to decipher the difference between love and lust. Lust, according to Saint Augustine, is an over indulgence, but to love and be loved is what he has sought for his entire life. He even says, “I was in love with love.” Finally, he does fall in love and is loved back, by God. Saint Augustine says the only one who can love you truly and fully is God, because love with a human only allows for flaws such as, “jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and contention.” According to Saint Augustine to love God is “to attain the peace which is yours.” (Saint Augustine Confessions)
Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves.
Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on God is love. He said that a human being, created in the image of God who is love, is able to practice love: to give himself to God and others (agape), by receiving and experiencing God's love in contemplation (eros). This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.[14]

Buddhist

In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish.
Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom, and is necessary for enlightenment.
Adveṣa and maitrī are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from the ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex, which rarely occur without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.
The Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world. The strongest motivation one has in order to take the path of the Bodhisattva is the idea of salvation within unselfish, altustic love for all sentient beings.

Indic and Hindu

In Hinduism kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva. For many Hindu schools it is the third end (artha) in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of sugarcane and an arrow of flowers: he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort Rati and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kaama and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chenna Keshava temple at Belur, in Karnataka, India. Maara is another name for kāma.
In contrast to kāma, prema or prem refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term meaning 'loving devotion to the supreme God'. A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of bhakti which can be found in the Bhagavatha-Purana and works by Tulsidas. The philosophical work Narada Bhakti Sutras written by an unknown author (presumed to be Narada) distinguishes eleven forms of love.

Arabic and Islamic views

In a sense, love does encompass the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood which applies to all who hold the faith. There are no direct references stating that God is love, but amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud or 'the Loving One', which is found in Surah 11:90 as well as Surah 85:14. It refers to God as being "full of loving kindness". All who hold the faith have God's love, but to what degree or effort he has pleased God depends on the individual itself.
Ishq, or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism. Sufis believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God "looks" at itself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of Love. God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through Love humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. The saints of Sufism are infamous for being "drunk" due to their Love of God hence the constant reference to wine in Sufi poetry and music.

Jewish

In Hebrew Ahava is the most commonly-used term for both interpersonal love and love of God. Other related but dissimilar terms are Chen (grace) and Hesed, which basically combines the meaning of "affection" and "compassion" and is sometimes rendered in English as "loving-kindness".
Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both between people and between man and the Deity. As for the former, the Torah states: "Love your neighbor like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). As for the latter, one is commanded to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5), taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all one's possessions and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs how this love can be developed, e.g. by contemplating Divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature.
As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The Biblical book Song of Songs is considered a romantically-phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading reads like a love song.
The 20th century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point-of-view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, vol. 1). Romantic love per se has few echoes in Jewish literature, although the Medieval Rabbi Judah Halevi wrote romantic poetry in Arabic in his younger years (he appears to have regretted this later).


 
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The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. The doctrine involved concepts diametrically opposed to the notion of Alfred Thayer Mahan about the significance of navies (he coined the term sea power) in world conflict. The Heartland theory hypothesized the possibility for a huge empire being brought into existence in the Heartland, which wouldn't need to use coastal or transoceanic transport to supply its military industrial complex but would instead use railways, and that this empire couldn't be defeated by all the rest of the world against it.The basic notions of Mackinder's doctrine involve considering the geography of the Earth as being divided into two sections, the World Island, comprising Eurasia and Africa; and the Periphery, including the Americas, the British Isles, and Oceania. Not only was the Periphery noticeably smaller than the World Island, it necessarily required much sea transport to function at the technological level of the World Island, which contained sufficient natural resources for a developed economy. Also, the industrial centers of the Periphery were necessarily located in widely separated locations. The World Island could send its navy to destroy each one of them in turn. It could locate its own industries in a region further inland than the Periphery could,so they would have a longer struggle reaching them, and would be facing a well-stocked industrial bastion. This region Mackinder termed the Heartland. It essentially comprised Ukraine, Western Russia, and Mitteleuropa. The Heartland contained the grain reserves of Ukraine, and many other natural resources. Mackinder's notion of geopolitics can be summed up in his saying "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island commands the World." His doctrine was influential during the World Wars and the Cold War, for Germany and later Russia each made territorial strides toward the Heartland.Mackinder's geopolitical theory has been criticised as being too sweeping, his interpretation of human history and geography too simple and mechanistic. In his analysis of the importance of mobility, and the move from sea to rail transport, he failed to predict the revolutionary impact of air power. Critically also he underestimated the importance of social organization in the development of power[1].I woke up this morning with a tune stuck in my head. It was just a few measures. I was trying to place it, while I lied there in bed, something about pleasures. Oooh look! I rhymed! Too bad it had nothing to do with pleasures. At first I thought it was a tune from Fable, but then I placed it at the climax of a movie. Now I can't remember which movie, so that bothers me a bit. I wanted to confirm the placement.I've not slept well in a while, including last night. For the past many years, I've dreamt virtually every night. These past couple weeks, though, every night has brought bad dreams. They weren't scary, but they were always stressful, and I've woken up well before I've wanted to. The first three nights it was at 5am, then 6am. This morning I woke up at 7am, but I think that had more to do with the kids playing outside my window. They wake up around 7:30, I'm guessing, every weekday morning, and now that it's Saturday, their day off, it's a good idea to sleep in until 7. Yeah, that makes sense.My cat just ruined my train of thought. Stupid bugger got on the table again, so I got up and he ran under my bed. I pulled him out and coldly soaked him with the squirt bottle. I wish they'd just learn not to get on the table. They've gotten better about it. They don't get up there innocently anymore. They know they're not supposed to. They seem to take turns being the good cat. Calloh has been good for about a week now, though they both still scratch up the inside of the couch. I wish we hadn't torn that lining off the bottom. I think that was done because a cat or ferret had started tearing at it.This past week, and really well back into half of the week before, I got no work done. Between sickness (no more strawberry cream cheese), the day I couldn't motivate myself no matter how many games of Minesweeper I played, and being blocked the rest of the time, there was just nothing I could really do. There were things I thought I could do. I'm an expert now on upgrading the backend bits, but each time I've tried (and it takes a few hours if it works -- a wasted few hours if it doesn't, and you have to restart), I've found another bug relating to my task, and have to wait another three days for the fix to be made, approved, and tested. It certainly could be worse, as my peer mentor pointed out. In some projects it used to take a month for a bug in one area to be propagated to areas where the bug fix was needed. All of this to say I made progress yesterday -- significant progress. In fact, after this latest bug is fixed (hopefully Monday), approved (hopefully Monday afternoon, though likely Tuesday), tested (Tuesday night -- hopefully without causing a failure), and downloaded to my machine, I'm confident that, if my part won't work already, I will finish it by end-of-day (eod) Wednesday. Hopefully that makes up for 10 days of progresslessness. Yes, I know it's not a word, but look at how many esses there are in it!Two weekends ago my church had a barbeque right after it. That was pretty fun. The community and fellowship there is great. One thing I'm starting to consider, though, is the worship. It's kind of selfish really, and Harper's former worship pastor had to deal with this issue a lot, but I'm not sure I like the style of worship. We don't play anything old. No hymns unless they've been remade (though even that is rare), no All In All, it seems like we learn a new song every week. Maybe it's just because I'm new that I don't know them, but I've seen people only mouthing the words, so I'm guessing they don't know them either. It's hard to get into worship if you don't really know the words you're singing. Also, though I'm sure it's just my old age catching up with me, I don't much care for the actual musical value of most songs produced today. There are certainly exceptions, but most of the song-value anymore is in lyrics, not in the music, and not in the poetic form. Suddenly worship is reduced to words on a page. What's weird is that wasn't my original impression of the church. Maybe I was just new and wanting to find a place quickly (which was the case), or maybe I've just been more critical these past couple weeks, or maybe the music just hasn't been my style these past couple weeks, and that's just how it was, temporary. Anyway, if it's not temporary, I'm deciding whether it's a big enough issue to change churches over. I feel so at home with the people, and while church is about the people, it's also about connecting with God on a deeper level than you can alone, in your daily life, and if that's not happening, then I'm not at the right church. Oh, but the barbeque was awesome. We played volleyball. I'm considering joining a rec league if I ever find the time. Maybe if things get patched up between my dad and me, he and I might join the same team.This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, I had a vet appointment for the cats' rabies shots. Kotenok might be having a reaction to them, because there's a pretty big knot where I'm guessing the needle went in. That night, Ashley and her friend came over for dinner, and so I could meet her new kitten, Tomtom. It was hard to believe my cats were his size when I got them. He was the scrawniest little thing, with more fur than my cats put together.I convinced them to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, though they were skeptical. I always thought my sister's sense of humor and my own were pretty similar. I guess I was wrong. She laughed a couple times, but I was dying the first time I saw it.On Monday, I went back to Port Orchard. I'd told my mom I was going, and she asked if I was serious about getting an iPhone, which I had been, but I was waiting for May to come around, so I could keep my phone number without it costing ridiculous amounts of money. She, however, has lost her phone, so on the way down, I bought my iPhone, and gave her my old KRZR.The primary reason I was going to Port Orchard, though, was to see Eowyn, and her new apartment. After the grand tour, neither of us had much to do, and we were hungry, so we got food at a local grill. It honestly wasn't great, and it wasn't cheap either. I guess when I said "medium rare," they thought I meant half medium, and half rare. I paid. Then she suggested we watch a movie together. She's not seen Stranger than Fiction, so we went and rented that. She and I have always been a little relaxed about physical touch when sitting next to each other, from orchestra concerts, to movies it turns out, and so we were comfortably squished together on the couch, just shy of cuddling. About 75 minutes into the movie, she fell asleep on my shoulder. It's weird, but I'm not at all romantically attracted to her anymore; that's something I never expected to go away, and am now glad has. Even so, having a girl fall asleep on your shoulder watching a movie is a nice experience. It means she feels safe next to you, and that is a pleasant thought. Tuesday was the day I played so much minesweeper and couldn't be motivated. I suspect Monday night had something to do with it.I've begun reading Lord of Chaos, book six in the series. I'm a little less than halfway through it, if the progress bar at the bottom of my screen can be trusted. It says about 700 pages in, but a page is about two thirds, maybe five sevenths, of a real paper page in the book. (For those who care where I am, Nynaeve just asked Birgitte to ready some horses and not talk to Uno about it. Rand was just bonded.) So far I'm enjoying it, even the female chapters. It's shaping up to be a good book, and while I've heard it's the pinnacle of the series, I hope my sources are wrong. I started testing out Google Chrome. It's in beta, of course, so I can't expect it to do everything, but so far I'm not all that impressed. It does seem faster, but I don't really like the color scheme, or what it does to about half the webpages. The rendering is a little off. Also, they don't have it ported to Mac yet, which I don't really understand, but oh well.Lolbot might be moving in with me in a couple months. He likes his job at Adobe for the most part -- he likes the people and the atmosphere -- but he's rather bored, so he sent me his resume, which I gave to one of the leads on my project. If all goes according to plan, we'll have more job openings in a month or two, and he'll be interviewed then. I'm pretty confident he'll be hired after he's interviewed. That kid is crazy good at programming and at working with others.I was thinking in the shower today. That half hour each morning is probably the most productive time of the day. Anyway, I'm watching The West Wing again, and that always gets me thinking politically, and with politics comes religion, whether it should or not. (I tend to believe it should. If the basis of your government is freedom of religious beliefs, it's a little hard not to govern regarding those beliefs in order to keep those freedoms.) I started considering whether the world is getting better or worse, more specifically whether America and its society are. (And 'society' doesn't follow the grammar rule. Let's all welcome 'society' to the Weird League, along with our other new member, 'caffeine.') I think it's getting both. I think it feels like it's getting worse because our standards are going up, and rightfully so, and I think those standards will slowly have a positive impact on society. People are slowly starting to realize that killing is bad. Revenge is bad. Poverty and hunger are bad. Inequality and favoritism are bad. In the few cases where I think society is getting worse, it's attempting to mauerade as better, and I sincerely hope people start to realize what is wrong before there is so much more hurt in the world. I don't think the world needs more hurt. Anyway, that's enough for now. As I told Alexander earlier today, I have a lot to do. I have to shower (already have), do laundry, and go grocery shopping. I'm a thinker though, and have realized that if I attempt to do all of these tasks in one day, I will have nothing for tomorrow. Always have to think ahead. Oh, also I'm angry about the deaths in Serenity.I may have spoken a little too soon when complaining about The Fires of Heaven (book 5 of the Wheel of Time). It turns out the battle I'd just finished reading through was not the epic end-of-the-book battle, which was quite a bit better. Still, I'd have liked to have known how the fight with Couladin went. The last time Mat got to fight with description was fighting against Galad and Gawyn in Caemlyn, if memory serves. Also, the scientist in me would like to know exactly how the time paradox issues of Baelfire are resolved, not just that a bunch of people saw a few people die, but those people don't remember dying. It's a little too vague for my tastes.My own book is coming along just fine. That is, if "fine" means fixing up the first and only chapter and running into writers' block as soon as I start another one. It'd really help if I had some plot ideas, you know? It seems the only plot I know enough about is my own. Unfortunately my own story is full of plot holes, so it's hard to garner any readers.I'd start talking about Travis right about now, but at the moment, I don't have any new stories about her.Shortly after I last posted, say about 10 hours later, I left for Bellingham with my kitties. They so enjoy car rides. Kotenok actually might. He just sits in the box quietly. Calloh cries every few seconds from point A to point B, unless the music is loud enough that she knows she won't be heard. Or maybe she's just not being heard. I listened to that Seabird disk on the way up. It played through twice. I've probably listened to each song now at least 20 times, and about half of them (the ones I really like) more than that. Probably my favorite song, musically, is called Cottonmouth (Jargon). It's kind of depressing though, sort of liberating but vengeful at the same time. It makes me feel good, but dark at the same time. Those two don't mix well inside of me.Speaking of dark, I just finished Fable a couple hours ago. Alexander loaned it to me on Tuesday after Eureka. On Wednesday I was feeling kind of off, to the point that my manager noticed, and commented a couple times that I was slower than normal (which I guess means I'm fast sometimes?), and I ended up going home early. I think that was a run-on sentence. That night I put in between 5 and 8 hours. On Thursday, yesterday, I was feeling worse, and called in sick. Honestly, it had nothing to do with the game, and I wasn't even all that hooked by Wednesday night. Video games are often restful, though, and I ended up playing another 13 hours or so. The good news is that I felt better today. When I got home I finished up the remaining 4 or 5 hours. It's a decent game, for sure. The gameplay during battles is fun, though it can get a little repetitive. I was light-side, as I always am in such games (I don't know what I'm going to do in the Force Unleashed), so I got the Tear of Avo, or whatever, which is either the second best or tied for the best weapon in the game. I wished there was more storyline behind it. The evil sword had quite a bit of history. Also, there's another legendary sword you can get that's not as good, but takes a ton of extra work to earn. It really should be better than the Tear of Avo, in my opinion. It doesn't have to best the evil sword, but.... Also, the story seemed too linear. I guess I'm used to Knights of the Old Republic, where there are nine different story lines intertwined into yours, and then the villains were interesting too. Jack of Blades was just sort of always out there. And then there was the final battle. It wasn't easy per se, but it certainly wasn't hard, for a game so epic. I expected the fight to be the first of many parts, though not as many as Twilight Princess had -- that bordered on ridiculous, even if it was fun. Having a wife wasn't particularly rewarding. By the time you can really afford to start buying houses, you don't need much money anymore (you rent out houses), and the only way to buy a shop is to kill the current shop owners. Also, I wanted your sister and Whisper to return. And last, but not least, it needed some HK-47.Bellingham, right. I took my vacation that week because Hime was going to be working two weeks from then, and this past week had too many people taking vacation as it was. It turns out, however, that Hime decided to volunteer these two weeks anyway. It's certainly not that I didn't enjoy visiting everyone else, but she was certainly a major reason I went up there. I didn't get a minute alone with her, and the only time that might have been possible, was during the day she was battling through on two and a half hours of sleep, and so wasn't in the best of moods. There were two opportunities for the two of us to talk alone for a little bit, three if you count dinner on Thursday, but those two she chose to talk with Rosa instead. I know they haven't gotten to talk in a long time, but I guess I was looking at how long it would be before we saw each other again, compared to the next time she and Rosa would be able to talk. That dinner I mentioned, I was under the impression the two of us alone, or possibly a few of us, would be going out to dinner. Rosa and the Maggie (aliased for no other reason than I'm listening to a song called Maggie Mahoney, by, you guessed it, Seabird) wanted to have a barbeque on Thursday. I texted Hime saying, "Hey, where did you want to go to dinner? We could go to the bbq tonight and have dinner tomorrow." She texted back, "I can't do dinner tomorrow, but I want to go to the barbeque." At the barbeque, she basically avoided talking to me at all. Again, on two and a half hours of sleep, I can't blame her for not wanting to talk very much. I guess really it comes down to my hopes or expectations being let down.There's always a need for balance. Do you hope and get hurt, which often leads to bitterness, or do you skip a step and go straight cynic? (Do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- which is about the price of my last vet bill.) How do we balance fairness, letting people keep the money they earned, and forcing people to give to those who need it through taxes? Sometimes I think it'd be easier had Jesus been a politician. Then there's balancing giving with making wise financial decisions with spending money on things you probably don't need practically, but realistically need in order to entertain yourself. Or others! -- I technically could probably get by without the internet, but then, how would you read my blog? And then what would you do with your life?I had a conversation with Donna today over facebook about net neutrality. She's a big Obama fan. I'm on the fence, but leaning toward Obama. I realized I'd seen and heard remarkably few Presidential campaign ads, considering it's election season. Evidently, I don't watch much network television anymore. I'm sure when Chuck, Heroes, and Life start again, I'll get my share. I'm all for net neutrality, as is Obama, whereas McCain said he fervently opposed it and wanted to hire Steve Ballmer. Something tells me Ballmer wouldn't take the job, seeing as how he's had his own for a couple months. Who knows, maybe he's more political than I think. Either way, it sounds like he just wanted to drop a big name, and Bill Gates got out of the business, plus I don't think anyone hires Bill, you know? There are just so many political issues, and neither candidate fits my views all too well. Obama's pro-choice and wants to take more of my money so that they can pay today's old people for a little while longer, and let Social Security go bankrupt around the time I'd need it. McCain supports No Child Left Standing and opposes net neutrality. At least I don't have to worry about immigration. According to cnn.com, they have identical views.My conversation about net neutrality with Donna led to a conversation on net neutrality with Fran. She didn't know anything about the issue or what it was, so it was fun to taint her view for her. We only hung out a couple times, but I do miss her. She always has a nice, positive outlook on things. I find it encouraging. It doesn't hurt that she has the cutest profile picture on facebook (regarding me missing her), but that's definitely after-the-fact.For the record, as much as the record can be for'd anyway, I'm not interested in her. I've finally got to the point that I'm not really interested in any girl right now. I've been wanting to get to this point for a couple months now, but sometimes that's difficult; sometimes a girl makes that difficult. Next step: contentment in this place. It's odd to say this, but I feel too tired to be content. I'm also too tired to want anything.On Friday night, in Bellingham, I went over to Bill's place with Rosa and the other girls in her house. Hime was working. There were about ten of us there, and then three "adults," Bill's parents and uncle. The plan was to watch Top Gun, but that quickly turned into a violent game of spoons. I left for Redmond around midnight.One thing I miss about Bellingham is the spiritual high of being around a lot of Christians. I visited Rufus while I was there. He's getting moved in with his bride at their new place. We had a good lunch and talked about our lives, ending up on the topic of money. He seems to know a lot about making good financial decisions. I guess if you pay little enough on taxes (so it looks to the government that you're fairly poor), they had this deal where the government would match up to 50% of whatever you put into some sort of investment account. He owed $500 in taxes, so he put $1000 into the investment, and didn't have to pay the government anything. It was basically free money. I don't know that it would have occurred to me to do something like that.I'm also not quite clear about how my mutual fund works. I was under the impression that I gave the company (Fidelity) money and told them how much, roughly, I wanted in different categories, and they did all the trading for me. The investments, though, all seem to be different companies, rather than a pot with which to buy stock. For example, one category was company stock (Microsoft), and I have so many (2 point something) shares of it. Will they buy and sell when they think it's a good time, or will it just sit there and do whatever the market is doing? Money always has a way of making you worry about it, even when you know you have more than enough. I remember vividly going to Toys 'R' Us with a family friend for one of my birthdays. I bought an N64 game, don't remember which, and I worried the whole way home that I overdrafted my checking account even though I knew I had at least $40 more than I spent. According to that friend (I'm too lazy to think up an alias right now), I inherited that from my mother.Before and after Eureka on Tuesday, at Swood's place, we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's spectacular, if you haven't seen it yet. Well worth the $5 on iTunes, though I'm sure you can watch it on Youtube for free. I guess it was to test the waters on this kind of comedy. I hope they make more eventually. Unfortunately, it may be too smart for network television, or maybe I'm not giving the American people enough credit.That's something I've noticed I'm really snobby about, is humor. If it's not brilliant, it's not funny, and anyone who laughs at such a plain, overdone, typical joke really has no appreciation for the art of comedy, and therefore is stupid. I need to work on that.It's only 12:30, but I think I've written enough for now. I'll probably go read some more WoT, or maybe start up Phoenix Wright again. I'm about halfway through the second one.I've still not figured out a good way to allow backward access to my posts. For now you can use the search bar at the top that blogger puts up there and search for "postxxxx" where "xxxx" is the post number, like "0012" for this post. Saying this here won't be too helpful in ten posts, when it gets pushed off the front page though. Hopefully I'll add buttons to the top by the time that happens.Right now I'm loving this band called Seabird. If you listen to Spirit, they sing Rescue, whose first catchy lines are "I'm pushing up daisies / I wish they were roses". The music just leaves you longing for something. It's rare that music these days can stir up that kind of emotion. The whole album ('Til We See The Dawn) is worth buying if you're an iTunes or Microsoft Marketplace fan. Also, iTunes right now is selling it in aac format for $.99 per, so no DRM, plus higher quality sound.Also lately I've been reading a lot of different things, particularly webcomics. I read all the way through Queen of Wands at least until it started over with commentary. The author quit writing them. As I understand it, she (Aerie) ended up marrying the author of Strip Tease, Chris Daily, and now they write Punch an' Pie together. I've (and am continuing to) read punchanpie, and have read most of Strip Tease now. (Note: 'read' in the previous sentence has multiple tenses.) They're alright. Like with most story line oriented web comics, most of them are a little funny, and then once a month or so they make you laugh out loud. (An example of a comic that makes me laugh out loud almost every time is xkcd which is not story line oriented.) Then there's qc, Wigu, Dinosaur Comics, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and SAMWAR.What else is interesting to me lately? I have two kitties now. My sister and mom each bought me one, though my mom wasn't there to help pick them out. Their names are indeed Kotenok and Calloh. They're both tabbies. Kotenok is short-haired, greyscale, and super affectionate. Calloh is long-haired, lynx-tufted eared, greyscale plus brown, and a bit more individualistic, though she likes to cuddle when she's sleepy. They're slowly becoming a bit more obedient with the help of Sheriff Squirt Bottle.Work's going decently. I'm actually on vacation right now; SQL Server 2008 was just released so everyone in the database side of MS gets a week off. I'd just like to point out that I feel I deserve this break. Countless hours of my life went into that release and I'd just like to take some of that credit while it's still fresh in people's minds.Today I saw The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater with Minnie, after watching Batman Begins at my apartment. Both movies gave me the same reaction, I think, though I enjoyed how demented the Joker was in the second movie. I don't like it when there are situations with no right choice. They make me irritated and feel hopeless. That said, I still recognize they were great movies, even if I didn't enjoy the themes. Anything more I say on this topic will just be spoilers.I've done a lot of driving lately, and I'm heading to Bellingham tomorrow for a couple nights, so there's another two hours there and two hours back, assuming moderate traffic.On Friday, I got off work two hours early, having expected to drive up to Bellingham to pick up Hime and head back down to Port Orchard. That day was stressful, perhaps the most stressful I've had. On top of doing the work I'd normally do in an eight hour day, I also had to leave a readme for whoever was going to pick up my slack this week, explaining everything I was working on and its current state. I have no idea whether I left enough information and it took me a night to calm down from that. Anyway, Hime ended up having to drive to her parents' house anyway, which turns out to be about 15 minutes north of my place. So, when I got home, I watched the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring. After she called me to tell me she'd gotten to the house, I left and got there as she wasgetting out of the shower. We left about ten minutes later, after she'd met my kitties.Traffic wasn't too bad, but we were still an hour and a half to my mom's house, where we dropped off our stuff and the got the kitties situated in my room. From there, Hime and I drove to El Sombrero, which was closed, and then to McDonald's. I must be growing up because McDonald's only disappoints me now. My McDonald's cravings cannot be fulfilled because their Big'n'Tasty now tastes Big'n'Nasty. The McChicken isn't like it used to be either. All that they have over me anymore is the Barq's rootbeer and their fries, the first of which I can get elsewhere, and the latter I don't crave. Anyway, we got to the farm where my mom's wedding rehearsal happened just as the last people were leaving. Hime was introduced to people I've known my whole life and people I didn't really even recognize at the same time with equal importance. It seems like introductions should have some weight to them, but I haven't figured out how that would work. I don't mean to say people that i've known forever are more important than people I hardly know, but my best friend was meeting a lot of the family and close friends that raised me, and somehow that felt important to me. I don't think she felt the same gravity.My aunt, whose not really my aunt -- she was my mom's foster-sister growing up -- and her daughter, Navi, were staying at our house, as well as my grandma, so we were short one bed. Hime took Ashley's, my aunt and Navi took my room, and my grandma slept with my mom; I gladly took the couch, despite the objections I predicted Hime would have.The next morning, my mom headed off to get her hair done up. The night prior, Hime had asked my mom for her hair straightener. Apparently, my mom handed it to Hime right in front of me, but somehow I missed it. When I woke up well before Hime did, and couldn't find the straightener in my mom's bathroom, I figured she'd packed it and left with it, so I called around, eventually borrowing Ashley's friend's sister's an hour or so before Hime got up. When Hime found out about that later, she thanked me for my effort.We left for Silverdale shortly after Hime woke. She had wanted to get my mom chocolates for a wedding gift. Anytime I'm around Macy's I always get a few boxes for my favorite women: my mom, my sister, and usually someone else if there's an obvious pick. My mom likes milk chocolate, while Jack likes dark, so we decided to get two boxes, and give the gift together. At the wedding, I, unfortunately, forgot to give Ashley her box, so it remains in my car. Hime and I finished off the box I bought for her of assorted dark chocolate mints within the day. Evidently I've had enough calories to last me the rest of the year, so I've started a 140-day fast. Should be interesting.The wedding itself was interesting to say the least. I think it was special. In fact, I'm glad that it rained. It seemed to be meaningful rain. The rain started when the ceremony started, and ended when the ceremony ended. Then it waited for us all to move down to the reception and started again until we all finished eating. I like the rain, and I think my mom does too. I don't know about Jack. My grandpa walked my mom down the aisle. He'd told my mom and me that he wasn't going to, because he didn't feel she was his to give away anymore. She was a grown woman, and this was her second wedding. So, I was surprised when he did. Both Jack and my mom pulled a prank on the other when presenting the rings. Jack pretended to have lost my mom's and had this entire skit play out. My mom pulled out this giant ring big enough to fit three fingers, with an enormous glass diamond on it.After the rain stopped the second time, a breeze started which didn't help Hime or me, as we were drenched to the bone, I in my full suit, and her in a sundress. So, we went back to the house, changed, and headed back just in time for the garter toss. Apparently the ones that he shot into the crowd were all the ones he'd gotten at weddings in the past. There were about eight. I did not participate in the catching. That would just be too awkward. After that, my sister and her friend (the one whose sister loaned me the hair straightener, but I don't want to think up an alias for her) fought over the bouquet. Ashley ended up with about three flowers, and her friend with the rest. Then Jack gave a short speech about a couple "batons" he wanted to pass on. The first one he started off by saying, "Is Jordan Hitch nearby?" I said, "nope," as I was walking up. There really ought to be a word for something between 'said' and 'yelled,' because that's more of what I did. My baton was a book called "A Man, A Can, and A Grill" which was a cookbook of sorts. Our handshake turned into a semi-hug which was a little awkward. I've never hugged a little person before. The second baton was to a friend of mine: bachelor 'til the rapture. I think that would have been embarrassing, but he seemed to take it in good humor.William basically fell in love with Hime as soon as he met her. He's usually my shadow, but he was anything but subtle about wanting to hang around her and not me during the wedding. I thought it was funny more than anything else. His sister had a crush on my sister's ex-boyfriend while they were dating. Tastes must run in the family. (That, of course, is not to imply that Hime and I are dating, or that I think we ever will -- even driving to the wedding she reinforced that we weren't going to go down that road.) Right before William and his family left, Hime and I played some sort of blob tag. It was fun, which I normally would not say about playing with children. It was out of my comfort zone, for sure, but it was fun.We stayed for a couple more hours, and helped clean up after the newlyweds left. Hime was feeling a bit ill and had medicine back at her parents' place, so she and I packed up at my house and left back for Redmond. She was cold the entire time despite the fact the heat was all the way up and I was sweating. I suspected she was sick on top of what she needed the medicine for. Her mom picked her up from my apartment.Just to finish the Hime-related material, I'll skip ahead a bit to Sunday night. I texted her: "Hey, if you're still here and you're not sick of me yet, would you want to go out to dinner?" She responded that she was already in Bellingham, and otherwise she would. So, I asked if she wanted to go out to dinner one of the nights I was in Bellingham. We're going on Thursday night. In the context of the moment, it seemed like we both were picturing just the two of us, and while I know her well, I don't know whether that's actually what she was picturing. Either one-on-one or with a bunch of our friends will be fun.Sunday morning I went to church. I've been visiting the one Solomon suggested I look into. It's an Assemblies of God church called Life at the Ridge. I gather it's about sixty people large, but during the summer somewhere between thirty and forty usually show up. I really feel at home there, and everyone seems alive and excited and genuinely loving. I met with the pastor last week over lunch. He and I had a long talk, basically giving him my life's story, hitting on everything from my becoming a Christian to Eowyn, to my parents' divorce, to Jamaica, to my mom's remarriage. We talked a bit about his history too, how he's lived in every state touching the pacific (save Hawaii), and knows a bit about programming, and so on. I really like him. He called me today while I was at the movie, just to say he should have remembered it was odd to see me on Sunday because I had told him I'd be at my mom's wedding still, and wanted to know how it went. Do most pastors do that? I guess I could see John at Harper doing that, but the church is too big to do that sort of thing for everyone.Lasteek after church, I went out to lunch with a few people from the church. Sadly, I don't remember any of their names. One guy led worship the first two weeks I was there. The other guy was visiting from the midwest, where he goes to college, and he works at Starbucks there. And the woman is a financial advisor type person in Seattle. Actually, come to think of it, I do remember her name now, but only after a friend of hers said it at church this week. Also, it won't do you any good that I remember it because I'd only alias her anyway. In fact, I could alias to the two guys whose names I don't know. How would you like that?!Man, I've had some funny thoughts lately. I wish I could remember them. They were just one-liners, typically ironic or oxymoronic. There was a line like that in Batman that no one laughed at, too. I chuckled. Then again, the movie was so loud there, that I don't think I would have been able to hear someone next to me laugh. The fire truck on fire was a nice touch.After church, I went down to Kent to go to IKEA with my grandma who was on her way back up from my mom's to Camano. She bought me two bookcases and some pictures and frames to go with them. The bookcases were heavy, too heavy for me to carry, anyway, and she's not as young as she used to be (as can be said of anyone). She asked me if I knew any of my neighbors yet. I don't, really, but I had a solution to get the boxes into my apartment by myself. See, I have a computer chair with wheels. All I had to do was put one end on the chair, and carry the other end. My grandma guided the chair, but really, I could have just gone in front and the weight of the box would have pulled the chair along. My grandma looked at me and said, "You're one in a million. Most intelligent people aren't smart." That made me feel really good.Yesterday, I didn't have anything planned, and an old friend from high school got online for the first time since January. We started talking and then she asked if I wanted to get coffee, which turned into mall pizza in Auburn. So that was another long drive, though entirely worth it. It was good to catch up with her. This isn't a bad thing, but it reminded me of the differences between Port Orchardites and people on this side of the water. Cultures are weird.In closing, I've finally almost finished the fifth Wheel of Time book. I didn't like this one as much as the past four. The climactic battle was pretty lame. It lacked description of the would-be cool scenes, and there was no real battle between Rand and one of the Forsaken, like in the last ones.

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Explanation

Main article: Problem of other minds
Denial of the materialist existence, in itself, is not enough to be a solipsist. Possibly the most controversial feature of the solipsistic world view is the denial of the existence of other minds. We can never directly know another's mental state. Qualia, or personal experience, are private and infallible. Another person's experience can be known only by analogy.
Philosophers try to build knowledge on more than an inference or analogy. The failure of Descartes's epistemological enterprise brought to popularity the idea that all certain knowledge may end at "I think therefore I am" (cogito ergo sum).[1]
The theory of solipsism also merits close examination because it relates to three widely held philosophical presuppositions, which are themselves fundamental and wide-ranging in importance. These are:

  1. That my most certain knowledge is the contents of my own mind — my thoughts, experiences, affects, etc.
  2. That there is no conceptual or logically necessary link between the mental and the physical — between, say, the occurrence of certain conscious experiences or mental states and the 'possession' and behavioral dispositions of a 'body' of a particular kind (see the Brain in a vat);
  3. That the experiences of a given person are necessarily private to that person.
Solipsism is not a single concept but instead refers to several world views whose common element is some form of denial of the existence of a universe independent from the mind of the agent.

[edit] History


[edit] Gorgias

Solipsism is first recorded with the Greek presocratic sophist, Gorgias (c. 483375 BC) who is quoted by the Roman skeptic Sextus Empiricus as having stated:

  1. Nothing exists;
  2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
  3. Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.

[edit] Descartes

The foundations of solipsism are in turn the foundations of the view that the individual's understanding of any and all psychological concepts (thinking, willing, perceiving, etc.) is accomplished by making analogy with his or her own mental states; i.e., by abstraction from inner experience. And this view, or some variant of it, has been influential in philosophy since Descartes elevated the search for incontrovertible certainty to the status of the primary goal of epistemology, whilst also elevating epistemology to "first philosophy". However, both these manoeuvres — methodological solipsism and the primacy of epistemology — have been called into question in modern times, with Richard Rorty making particularly pointed criticisms in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.

René Descartes. Portrait by Frans Hals, 1648.



[edit] Varieties


[edit] Metaphysical solipsism

Main article: Metaphysical solipsism
Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which maintains that the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher is the whole of reality and that the external world and other persons are representations of that self having no independent existence (Wood, 295).

[edit] Epistemological solipsism

Further information: Epistemological solipsism Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known. The existence of an external world is regarded as an unresolvable question, or an unnecessary hypothesis rather than actually false.

[edit] Methodological solipsism

Main article: Methodological solipsism
Methodological solipsism is the epistemological thesis that the individual self and its states are the sole possible or proper starting point for philosophical construction (Wood, 295). The methodological solipsist does not intend to conclude that one of the stronger forms of solipsism is true, but rather believes that all other truths must be founded on indisputable facts about his own consciousness. A skeptical turn along these lines is cartesian skepticism.

[edit] Psychology, and psychiatry


[edit] Philosophical solipsism as pathological

Solipsism is often introduced (for example "Philosophy made simple", by Popkin and Stroll) as a bankrupt philosophy, or at best bizarre and unlikely. Alternatively, the philosophy is introduced in the context of relating it to pathological psychological conditions. However, solipsists believe that the philosophy of solipsism is neither bankrupt, bizarre, nor pathological.

[edit] Solipsism syndrome

Solipsism syndrome is a dissociative mental state.[citation needed] It is only incidentally related to philosophical solipsism. Solipsists assert that the lack of ability to prove the existence of other minds does not, in itself, cause the psychiatric condition of detachment from reality. The feeling of detachment from reality is unaffected by the answer to the question of whether the common-sense universe exists or not.[citation needed]

[edit] Infant solipsism

Developmental psychologists commonly believe that infants are solipsist,[2] and that eventually children infer that others have experience much like theirs and reject solipsism (see Infant metaphysics). Solipsists assert that this rejection is not logically justified.

[edit] Questions


[edit] Consequences

To discuss consequences clearly, an alternative is required: solipsism as opposed to what? Solipsism is opposed to all forms of realism and many forms of idealism (insofar as they claim that there is something outside the idealist's mind, which is itself another mind, or mental in nature). Realism in a minimal sense, that there is an external universe is most likely not observationally distinct from solipsism. The objections to solipsism therefore have a theoretical rather than an empirical thrust.
One consequence that is inherent to solipsism is an atomic individualist view of the world and nature. If only I matter, then other people, animals, environments only matter insofar as they impact myself. This may be an anti-social philosophy. Language and other social media are taken for granted as self conceived and inherent. Maintenance of these social tools is not required, the individual need only exist, not interact with the world. Sincere solipsists are unlikely to be persuaded by such considerations; believing society to be non-existent, there is no question of being "anti social" for them.
The British philosopher Alan Watts wrote extensively about this subject.

[edit] Plausibility


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Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion. (January 2008) Solipsism is the position that only perception exists. The question of plausibility depends, of course, on the philosophical groundwork one chooses to use as a starting point. Historically, Western philosophical systems have been somewhat at odds with Eastern modes of thought, and solipsism as formulated in the context of many Eastern philosophies is not seen as problematic by its practitioners (see the section Eastern Philosophies, below).
A general (Western) discussion stemming from, for example, an objectivist philosophical groundwork, can be viewed as considering whether an idea stands up to common sense or arguments of reasonableness, and is free from obvious internal logical contradictions. Solipsism is suspect on at least two grounds, in this case.

  1. Can one's perception, within one's mind exist without an external something to exist in, such as a biological brain?
  2. Does one consider all of perceptual reality as part of one's faculty of being, such as high math, music composition and other creative work which one can not consciously re-produce?
  3. An objection could be termed a corollary to the two above. It asks a question about the functioning of one's personal perceptions. The solipsist cannot deny the fact that he thinks, thus going through reasoning processes about his perceptions. His consciousness is not just perceptions; it's also thinking about them. How is this possible without some mental machinery which can perform such thinking? But if such mental machinery exists independent and apart from his perceptions, this also contradicts the "perceptions only" premise. Otherwise a solipsist can define his consciousness to contain perception and thinking processes together.
Note, however, that there is a potential refutation to the thesis that 'perception' requires 'thinking.' If the solipsist were merely being created instantaneously from moment to moment with all memory intact and updated, he would only think he is 'thinking' — i.e., have a perception of thinking. In fact, no operation or activity has truly taken place from percept to percept (think of how the 'still' frames of a moving picture film strip blend into the appearance of motion) — only the passage of time. But such a refutation is very vulnerable to the objection based on language (e.g. the private language argument). A solipsist who declares that he is not really thinking cannot hold that he is really speaking.
A subjective argument for the implausibility of solipsism is that it goes against the commonly observed tendency for sane adult humans in the western world to interpret the world as external and existing independent of themselves. This attitude, not always held by children, is listed by developmental psychologists as one of the signs of the maturing mind. The principle is deeply held, and well integrated with human languages and other thought processes. However, that humans think this way, even if they must think this way, does not prove something true.

[edit] Neuroscience


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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008) Empirical studies of the human brain suggest that the human mind is subject to many strongly held miscomprehensions of what is held by consensus to be the external and objective world. This line of thought could be extended to the claim that even if the existence of an external world is assumed, the private mental world of each agent is logically that of the solipsist. A thought experiment emphasizes this point. Imagine you are in a fight to the death: If your opponent loses, will the sun rise tomorrow? Almost all people would say yes, but if you lose, will the sun rise tomorrow? The thought experiment suggests that it is not true for any agent that all minds are on an equal footing. The principle that they are is an abstraction that ignores a very important detail in the private mental life of the agent. This idea is expressed in more detail in What Is it Like to Be a Bat?, by Thomas Nagel (in, for example, The Mind's I by Douglas Hofstadter).
This argument exposes a misunderstanding which constantly recurs with regard to solipsism. If it borrows a conclusion drawn from the scientific investigation of the external world, only to pull the rug from under the scientific enterprise by declaring that there is no external world, then since the solipsist is at least uncertain that brains exist, how can he draw conclusions about his mind from them? Solipsists claim that the method is proof by contradiction. If the external world does not exist, it does not exist. On the other hand if it is assumed to exist, and studied with neuroscience, it is found that the causal chains involved in perception are indirect. Solipsists paraphrase "the external world is only known indirectly" as "the external world cannot be known at all", and thereby conclude that the external world is either nonexistent or unknowable. However, "the external world cannot be known at all" is not a corollary or implication of "the external world is only known indirectly", and no scientist would make that assumption. Almost everybody considers science as posited on the investigation of the external world.

[edit] Last surviving soul

Would the last person left alive after a nuclear holocaust be a solipsist? Not necessarily, because for the solipsist, it is not merely the case that they believe that their thoughts, experiences, and emotions are, as a matter of contingent fact, the only thoughts, experiences, and emotions that can be. Rather, the solipsist can attach no meaning to the supposition that there could be thoughts, experiences, and emotions other than their own — that events may occur or objects or people exist independently of the solipsist's own experiences. In short, the metaphysical solipsist understands the word "pain" [i.e., someone else's], for example, to mean "one's own pain" — but this word cannot accordingly be construed to apply in any sense other than this exclusively egocentric, non-empathetic one.

[edit] Relation to other ideas


[edit] Idealism and materialism

One of the most fundamental debates in philosophy concerns the "true" nature of the world — whether it is some ethereal plane of ideas, or a reality of atoms and energy. Materialism[3] posits a separate 'world out there' that can be touched and felt, with the separate individual's physical and mental experiences reducible to the collisions of atoms and the interactions of firing neurons. The only thing that dreams and hallucinations prove are that some neurons can misfire and malfunction, but there is no fundamental reality behind an idea except as a brain-state. Idealists,[4] on the other hand, believe that the mind and its thoughts are the only true things that exist. This doctrine is often called Platonism[5] after its most famous proponent. The material world is ephemeral, but a perfect triangle or "love" is eternal. Religious thinking tends to be some form of idealism, as God usually becomes the highest ideal (such as Neoplatonism)[6][7][8] On this scale, solipsism can be classed as idealism, specifically subjective idealism. Thoughts and concepts are all that exist, and furthermore, only 'my' thoughts and consciousness exist. The so-called "reality" is nothing more than an idea that the solipsist has (perhaps unconsciously) created.

[edit] Cartesian dualism

There is another option, of course: the belief that both ideals and "reality" exist. Dualists commonly argue that the distinction between the mind (or 'ideas') and matter can be proven by employing Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles. This states that two things are identical if, and only if, they share exactly the same qualities, that is, are indistinguishable. Dualists then attempt to identify attributes of mind that are lacked by matter (such as privacy or intentionality) or vice versa (such as having a certain temperature or electrical charge).[9][10] One notable application of the identity of indiscernibles was by René Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes concluded that he could not doubt the existence of himself (the famous cogito ergo sum argument), but that he could doubt the (separate) existence of his body. From this he inferred that the person Descartes must not be identical to the Descartes body, since one possessed a characteristic that the other did not: namely, it could be known to exist. Solipsism agrees with Descartes in this aspect, and goes further: only things that can be known to exist for sure should be considered to exist. The Descartes body could only exist as an idea in the mind of the person Descartes[11][12] Descartes and dualism aim to prove the actual existence of reality as opposed to a phantom existence (as well as the existence of God in Descartes's case), using the realm of ideas merely as a starting point, but solipsism usually finds those further arguments unconvincing. The solipsist instead proposes that their own unconscious is the author of all seemingly "external" events from "reality".

[edit] Radical empiricism

The idealist philosopher George Berkeley argued that so-called physical objects do not exist independently of the so-called mind that perceives them. An item truly exists only so long as it is observed; otherwise, it is not only meaningless, but simply nonexistent. The observer and the observed are one. Berkeley does attempt to show things can and do exist apart from the human mind and our perception, but only because there is an all-encompassing Mind in which all 'ideas' are perceived - in other words, God, who observes all. The solipsist appreciates the fact that nothing exists outside of perception, but would further point out that Berkeley falls prey to the egocentric predicament - he can only make his own observations, and can't be truly sure that this God or other people exist to observe "reality". The solipsist would say it is better to disregard the unreliable possible observations of alleged other people and rely upon the immediate certainty of one's own perceptions.[13][14]

[edit] Rationalism

Rationalism is the philosophical position that truth is best discovered by the use of reasoning and logic rather than by the use of the senses (see Plato's theory of Forms). Solipsism, which holds a similar distrust for sense-data, is thus related to rationalism, and in fact may be seen as a form of extreme rationalism.

[edit] Philosophical zombie

The theory of solipsism crosses over with the theory of the philosophical zombie in that all other seemingly conscious beings actually lack true consciousness, instead they only display traits of consciousness to the observer, who is the only conscious being there is.

[edit] Falsifiability

Falsifiability in the sense of Popper or Lakatos is not a simple principle. If an agent discovers a contradiction in their own terms within their own thoughts then there is an error, but exactly which component of the mind is at fault is not clear: if (A and B) is false, then is it A or B that is false? In practice we have in our minds many beliefs, some are held more strongly than others. When an error is found the less strongly held beliefs are considered for modification or deletion first; only if no reasonable change in these is found to fix the error do we look deeper.
A weak form of epistemological solipsism states that the agent has no proof of anything beyond the senses. This can be raw observation, at the level of "I see red", "I am not aware of a proof". A stronger form states "No proof exists", this is falsifiable in as far as anything is. In order to falsify it, a proof must be provided.
Falsificationism indicates that if the mind of the agent produces a self contradiction on its own terms, then (by definition) some error is being made. However, the error can only be located in the agent's mind as a whole. To demonstrate that one aspect (or axiom) of that mind is incorrect requires the assumption that another is correct. If the thesis is that "all entities are aspects of the mind of the agent", then to refute this it is typically required to assume the truth of an axiom that contains the effect of "there do exist things outside the mind of the agent".[citation needed]
According to one argument[citation needed], no experiment (by a given solipsist A) can be designed to disprove solipsism (to the satisfaction of that solipsist A). However, solipsism can still be refuted by showing it to be internally inconsistent.
The method of the typical scientist is materialist: assuming that the external world exists and can be known. But the scientific method, in the sense of a predict-observe-modify loop, does not require the assumption of an external world. In common terms, a person may perform psychological test on themselves, without any assumption of an external world. The solipsistic scientist performs experiments to determine the relation between observations, without any presumption that these observations come from a source outside the mind of the solipsist. However, this account needs to be extended to include the co-operative and communitarian nature of science.
Models involving an external world may be used, but will always be purely abstract: used for their ability to predict, but being given no special ontological status. There are, in fact, several distinct versions of Quantum Mechanics, each instrumentally equivalent to the other, but with different ontologies. In a solipsistic science there is no strong desire to determine which is ultimately true — in effect, none of them are, but they all have utility and intuitions to offer. However, non-solipsistic science can explain why anything is ever falsified at all, since a non-mental world does not have to bend to the expectations of science.

[edit] Minimalism

Solipsism is a form of logical minimalism. Many people are intuitively unconvinced of the non existence of the external world from the basic arguments of solipsism, but a solid proof of its existence is not available at present. The central assertion of solipsism rests on the non existence of such a proof, and strong solipsism (as opposed to weak solipsism) asserts that no such proof can be made. In this sense, solipsism is logically related to agnosticism in religion: the distinction between believing you do not know, and believing you could not have known.
However, minimality (or parsimony) is not the only logical virtue. A common misapprehension of Occam's Razor has it that the simpler theory is always the best. In fact, the principle is that the simpler of two theories of equal explanatory power is to be preferred. In other words: additional "entities" can pay their way with enhanced explanatory power. So the realist can claim that, while his world view is more complex, it is more satisfying as an explanation.

[edit] Pantheism

While solipsism is not generally compatible with traditional views of God, it is somewhat related to Pantheism, the belief that everything is God and part of God. The difference is usually a matter of focus. The pantheist would tend to identify him- or herself as being a part of everything in reality, which is actually all God beneath the surface. For instance, many ancient Indian philosophies advocate the notion that all matter (and thus humans) is subtly interconnected with not only one's immediate surroundings, but with everything in the universe and claim that all that one can perceive is a kind of vision, Samsara. The solipsist, however, would be more likely to put him- or herself in the center, as the only item of reality, with all other beings in reality illusions. It could be said to be another naming dispute; "The Universe" / "God" for the pantheist is "My Unconscious Mind" / "Me" for the solipsist.
Bishop Berkeley observed, "If I can't see you, you can't be you."

[edit] Eastern philosophies

Thoughts somewhat similar to solipsism are present in much of eastern philosophy. Taoism and several interpretations of Buddhism, especially Zen, teach that drawing a distinction between self and universe is nonsensical and arbitrary, and merely an artifact of language rather than an inherent truth.

[edit] Zen

Zen concentrates on direct experience rather than on rational creeds or revealed scriptures.

[edit] Hinduism


[edit] Advaita Vedanta

Advaita is one of the six best known Hindu philosophical systems, and literally means "non duality." Its first great consolidator was Adi Shankaracharya (788-820[citation needed]), who continued the line of thought of some of the Upanishadic teachers, and that of his teacher's teacher Gaudapada. By analysing the three states of experience—–waking, dreaming, and deep sleep—–he established the singular reality of Brahman, in which the Atman (soul) and Brahman are one and the same.
In the Hindu model, the ultimate reality, Brahman, plays a game of hide and seek with itself. In this game, called Lila, Brahman plays individual people, birds, rocks, forests, etc. all separately and together, while completely forgetting that the game is being played. At the end of each Kalpa, Brahman ceases the game, wakes up, applauds himself, and resumes it. So one of the main points in "waking up" and being enlightened, is knowing one is simply playing a game, currently acting as a human being, having an illusion of being locked within a bag of skin and separated from the whole of the cosmos.
"One who sees everything as nothing but the Self, and the Self in everything one sees, such a seer withdraws from nothing."
"For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self, so how could any suffering or delusion continue for those who know this oneness?" Isha Upanishad; sloka 6, 7
The philosophy of Vedanta which says "Aham Brahmasmi", roughly translated as "I am the Absolute Truth", indicates solipsism in one of its primitive senses. The "real" world is but an illusion in the mind of the observer. When the solipsist understands Maya (illusion of world), then that individual transcends the mundane and reaches the state of everlasting bliss, realizing the Self, as the whole universe.

[edit] Yoga

Yogic practices are sometimes seen to align closely with the Sankhya philosophy, which is an Eastern dualistic system (somewhat distinct from Western dualism) postulating only the existence of mind, and of matter. However, one sometimes sees it explained that, while matter exists for us in the world of Maya (illusion), it is ultimately a product of mind (viz, of Brahman), and is encompassed thereby.

[edit] Buddhism

The Buddha stated : "Within this fathom long body is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world and the path leading to the cessation of the world." Whilst not rejecting the occurrence of external phenomena, the Buddha focused on the illusion of reality that is created within the mind of the perceiver by the process of ascribing permanence to impermanent phenomena, satisfaction to unsatisfying experiences, and a sense of reality to things that were effectively insubstantial.
Some later representatives of one Yogacara subschool (Prajnakaragupta, Ratnakirti) were proponents of extreme illusionism and solipsism (as well as of solipsism of this moment). The best example of such extreme ideas was the treatise of Ratnakirti (XI century) "Refutation of the existence of other minds" (Santanantara dusana).
[It is important to note that all mentioned Yogacara trends are not purely philosophical but religious–philosophical. All Yogacara discourse takes place within the religious and doctrinal dimension of Buddhism. It is also determined by the fundamental Buddhist problem, that is living being and its liberation from the bondage of Samsara.]

[edit] Responses

The following are some common critiques and responses about solipsism:

  • People die
But the solipsist himself or herself is not dead. If somebody else dies, the supposed being who has supposedly "died" is only a phantom of the solipsist's imagination anyway, and the elimination of that phantom proves nothing. A critic would point out that many (self-proclaimed) solipsists have died in the history of the world, and solipsism hasn't disappeared yet. However, the solipsist would respond that he or she has not died, and therefore his or her solipsism is not yet disproved. He or she never believed in the existence of those other solipsists in the first place.
  • Applicability of the past
The fact that an individual may find a statement such as "I think, therefore I am" applicable to them, yet not originating in their mind indicates that others have had a comparable degree of insight into their own mental processes, and that these are similar enough to the subject's. Further, existence in complete unity with reality means that learning is impossible -- one would have to have awareness of all things. The metaphysical solipsist would respond that, much like other people are products of his own mind, so, too, is "the past" and its attendant information. Thus, "I think, therefore I am" would indeed have originated in their mind.
  • Life is imperfect
Why would a solipsist create things such as pain and loss for himself or herself? More generally, it might be asked "If the world is completely in my head, how come I don't live the most fantastic life imaginable?" One response would be to simply plead ignorance and note that there may be some reason which was forgotten on purpose. Another response is that categories such as 'pain' are perceptions assumed with all of the other socio-cultural human values that the solipsist has created for himself — a package deal, so to speak. More creatively, perhaps this is all out of a desire to avoid being bored, or perhaps even that the solipsist is in fact living the most perfect life he or she could imagine. This issue is somewhat related to theodicy, the "problem of evil", except that the solipsist himself is the all-powerful God who has somehow allowed imperfection into his world. A solipsist may also counter that since he never made himself he never had a choice in the way his mind operates and appears to have only limited control over how his experiences evolve. He could also conclude that the world of his own mind's creation is the exact total of all his desires, conscious and otherwise and that each moment is always perfect in the sense that it would not be other than as his own mind in total had made.[15] The imperfection of life can also be explained through the beliefs of the pseudo-philosophy lachrymology, i.e. that only through pain, both physical and emotional, can one move to a higher state of existence. Thus, it could be theorized that the imperfect present for a solipsist is the direct result of his subconscious compulsion to experience perfection. The claim that the solipsist's mind is the only thing with certain existence for him (epistemological solipsism) does not inherently address the question of control over the content of that mind. Outside solipsism, a person may know that a phobia is all in the mind but be completely unable to prevent it ruining their life. (Conversely, it is not illogical for a powerful being—a god, for example—to have complete control over the universe, despite it being external to said powerful being.) Solipsism asserts that the mind of the agent is the only thing with assured existence; it need not assert any specific structure to that mind—any more or less than materialism—in and of itself, and requires a specific cosmology. However, any convincing philosophy needs to cohere with what is observed, and metaphysical solipsism needs to credit certain mental contents with the same stubborn indifference to human wishes that material objects display in other philosophies. In a psychological, rather than philosophical, mode, the delusion that the agent is in complete control of the universe and chooses to have bad things happen is equally compatible with a solipsistic as with a materialistic mindset.
  • Other people's skills
If the solipsist created a famous poet in his mind, why doesn't the solipsist have the capacity to imitate their skill? If the solipsist created the poet's poems for them, why can't the solipsist create equally talented poems for themselves? Answer, if he created the poet, he created the poem. But you can argue that a solipsist does not have the same skills personally as a professional guitarist does. In theory, he should be able to write equally as talented music because he created it, but that is where the problem arises, because the solipsist is not good at guitar.
  • Solipsism undercuts morality
If solipsism is true, then practically all standards for moral behavior would seem to be meaningless, according to this argument. There is no God, so that basis for morality is gone, but even secular humanism becomes meaningless since there are no such things as other humans. Everything and everyone else is just a figment of imagination, so there's no particular reason not to make these figments disappear by, say, mass annihilation. The problem with this argument is that it falls prey to the Appeal to Consequences Fallacy; if solipsism is true, then it doesn't matter that it has unfortunate implications. This can possibly be countered by people who believe that (a non-solipsist) morality is an inherent part of the universe that can be proven to exist. A solipsist may also understand that everything being a part of himself would also mean that harming anything would be harming himself with associated negative consequences such as pain (although the solipsist must be harming himself already, since "life is imperfect"). Or an exponent of a weak form of solipsism might say that harming others is imprudent because the solipsist can only be uncertain of their real existence rather than certain of their non-existence. Another expression of this point is in noting the strong feelings that a human can have for a non-existent character in a movie, or for a car or boat which is admitted to be completely non sentient. There is no logical or psychological reason to prevent a solipsist caring for observed people, even if the solipsist is completely convinced of their non-existence.
  • The practical solipsist needs a language to formulate his or her thoughts about solipsism
Language is an essential tool to communicate with other minds. Why does a solipsist universe need a language? Indeed, one might even say, solipsism is necessarily incoherent, a self-refuting idea, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would implicitly have to affirm the very thing in which he or she purportedly refuses to believe: the 'reality' of intersubjectively valid criteria, and/or of a public, extra-mental world.[16] A possible response would be that to keep from becoming bored, perhaps the solipsist imagines "other" minds, which would actually be only elements of his own mind. He or she has chosen to forget control of these minds for the time being, and the elaborate languages required for interaction with these more isolated segments of his mind are merely part of the creation of "reality." As for the rules of logic, they are probably merely an artifact of the peculiar psychology of the solipsist and only appear to exist in the "real" world. (However, to argue this way is to admit that solipsism needs to be buttressed with additional, ad-hoc hypotheses). Greg Egan addressed this issue in his story "Dust" and the subsequent novel based on the story Permutation City by demonstrating that the solipsist can choose to develop his own self-consistent logical system apart from "reality". A more telling question might be, why does the solipsist need to invent so many and such a variety of languages? There is of course E-prime which strives to speak from the personal point of view and seems ideally suited for solipsism. One famous argument along these lines is the private language argument of Wittgenstein. In brief, this states that since language is for communication, and communication requires two participants, the existence of language in the mind of the thinker means the existence of another mind to communicate with. There is a direct fallacy in this: either, language is for communication between two agents, in which case it is still to be proved that what is in the head of the agent is a language, or what is in the head of the agent is language, in which case it is yet to be proved that language is for communication between two minds. To complicate the situation, the language in the mind of the agent may be for communication between the agent at this time, and the agent at a future time. However, this is no objection to the original argument, which explicitly mentions a kind of "diary" and therefore communication across time.
  • Solipsism amounts to realism
An objection, raised by David Deutsch,[17] among others, is that since the solipsist has no control over the "universe" he is creating for himself, there must be some unconscious part of his mind creating it. If the solipsist makes his unconscious mind the object of scientific study (e.g., by conducting experiments), he will find that it behaves with the same complexity as the universe offered by realism; therefore, the distinction between realism and solipsism collapses. What realism calls "the universe", solipsism calls "one's unconscious mind." But these are just different names for the same thing. Both are massively complex processes other than the solipsist's conscious mind, and the cause of all the solipsist's experiences — possibly merely a labeling distinction. Application of Occam's Razor might then suggest that postulating the existence of 'reality' may be a simpler solution than a massive unconscious mind; alternatively the smaller number of entities required to exist for solipsism suggests solipsism is the better choice. In practice, Occam's Razor suffers from a problem in the definition of simplicity. The solipsist would claim that the apparent independence of real world events just shows how good his unconscious mind is at maintaining the illusion. The realist's world may be every bit as complex as the solipsist's unconscious, but when the solipsist dies, the entire universe will cease to exist. (See also, Le Guin, Ursula K. The Lathe of Heaven)
  • Philosophical poverty
Some philosophers hold the viewpoint that solipsism is entirely empty and without content. Like a 'faith' argument, it seems sterile, i.e., allows no further argument, nor can it be falsified.[18][19] The world remains absolutely the same — so where could a solipsist go from there? Viewed in this way, solipsism seems only to have found a facile way to avoid the more difficult task of a critical analysis of what is 'real' and what isn't, and what 'reality' means. Some might say Solipsism is not impoverished because it helps philosophers operate from a principle of doubt because their difficult task can only determine the probability of what is real and what isn't. The solipsist would hold that further argument is meaningless and there are limits to what can be known about 'reality.'
  • Workability
Another argument against solipsism is that it has no goal and no way to be applied. The question used in such an argument is, can it be applied? Does it lead to a better or a happier life, in the viewpoint of the solipsist, or anyone else? In other words, if the solipsist believes that nothing is real and there are no goals, what can he spend his time doing and why not just die?
[edit] Culture

In Greg Egan's book Permutation City, Egan explores the meaning of solipsism through the concept of the "Solipsist Nation" that is developed by a "Copy" (a self-aware computer simulated human). Since every "Copy" is aware that they are a simulation in a virtual reality, the philosophical ideas from this sub-plot present an unusual and fascinating twist on the concept.
In Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger," the character Satan makes the following statement of solipsism at the end of the novella, "In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever--for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!...You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks - in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream - a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought - a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"
Author Robert A. Heinlein often toyed with themes of a solipsistic "multiverse" in various stories and novels. A good example is his short story "All You Zombies".
In Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, the man who rules the universe is a hermit who practices solipsism, to the extent that he is unaware that he rules the universe or even, in fact, that the universe exists.
George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 features a climactic metaphysical debate: the central character, Winston, argues against "the belief that nothing exists outside your own mind," or the "fallacy" of solipsism; O'Brien, his inquisitor, explains that "collective solipsism" would be a better name for the totalitarian scheme, but would also be nearly the opposite of solipsism in theory. Winston ultimately loses this debate, and learns that truth is defined by power and not the human mind. (Chapter 3, Section III)
In the Nine Inch Nails song "Right Where It Belongs" from the album With Teeth, the lead singer Trent Reznor sings on the matter of solipsism.
In Iain M. Banks' sci-fi novel Against a Dark Background, the female protagonist Sharrow meets The Solipsists, a gang of pirate mercenaries on a hovercraft, who hold very unusual philosophical beliefs.
In The Chronicles of Amber, the fantasy series by Roger Zelazny, the protagonist, Corwin, travels through different worlds simply by imagining them in detail and willing himself there. He comments specifically on the solipsistic nature of this 'travel', speculating that he creates these worlds rather than 'finding' them, but he rejects the idea of solipsism in general.
In John Gardner's novel Grendel, Grendel battles a bull and, since the bull cannot change his way of attacking, and because Grendel discovers he can avoid the blows, Grendel concludes that he alone exists.
Solipsist sentiment can be seen to a limited extent in the premise behind The Matrix movies.
The Planescape Dungeons & Dragons setting features a faction called the Sign of One that represents a generally solipsist perspective.
The Fiona Apple song "Paper Bag" hints at solipsism in the lines "He said 'It's all in your head,' and I said, 'So's everything' But he didn't get it." [1]
In the popular anime series, Deathnote, a song called "Low of Solipsism" is used when the main character is having episodes of extreme thought and appears to have formulated a plan to solve his problems, perhaps alluding that his reasoning is only perfect in his head.
In John Carpenter's film Dark Star (film), Lt. Doolittle tries to teach an intelligent bomb phenomenology, but accidentally convinces it to become Solipsist, with disastrous results.
In Stephen King's novel, It, character Patrick Hockstetter suffers from Solipsism Syndrome.[citation needed]
In an August 2008 episode of WWE Raw, Chris Jericho refered to Shawn Michaels as being Solipsistic due the latter's egotistical and self centred actions throughout his professional wrestling career.
 
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Hey guys, i was just watching porn and did my thing with the wang.

That is all.
 
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The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. The doctrine involved concepts diametrically opposed to the notion of Alfred Thayer Mahan about the significance of navies (he coined the term sea power) in world conflict. The Heartland theory hypothesized the possibility for a huge empire being brought into existence in the Heartland, which wouldn't need to use coastal or transoceanic transport to supply its military industrial complex but would instead use railways, and that this empire couldn't be defeated by all the rest of the world against it.The basic notions of Mackinder's doctrine involve considering the geography of the Earth as being divided into two sections, the World Island, comprising Eurasia and Africa; and the Periphery, including the Americas, the British Isles, and Oceania. Not only was the Periphery noticeably smaller than the World Island, it necessarily required much sea transport to function at the technological level of the World Island, which contained sufficient natural resources for a developed economy. Also, the industrial centers of the Periphery were necessarily located in widely separated locations. The World Island could send its navy to destroy each one of them in turn. It could locate its own industries in a region further inland than the Periphery could,so they would have a longer struggle reaching them, and would be facing a well-stocked industrial bastion. This region Mackinder termed the Heartland. It essentially comprised Ukraine, Western Russia, and Mitteleuropa. The Heartland contained the grain reserves of Ukraine, and many other natural resources. Mackinder's notion of geopolitics can be summed up in his saying "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island commands the World." His doctrine was influential during the World Wars and the Cold War, for Germany and later Russia each made territorial strides toward the Heartland.Mackinder's geopolitical theory has been criticised as being too sweeping, his interpretation of human history and geography too simple and mechanistic. In his analysis of the importance of mobility, and the move from sea to rail transport, he failed to predict the revolutionary impact of air power. Critically also he underestimated the importance of social organization in the development of power[1].I woke up this morning with a tune stuck in my head. It was just a few measures. I was trying to place it, while I lied there in bed, something about pleasures. Oooh look! I rhymed! Too bad it had nothing to do with pleasures. At first I thought it was a tune from Fable, but then I placed it at the climax of a movie. Now I can't remember which movie, so that bothers me a bit. I wanted to confirm the placement.I've not slept well in a while, including last night. For the past many years, I've dreamt virtually every night. These past couple weeks, though, every night has brought bad dreams. They weren't scary, but they were always stressful, and I've woken up well before I've wanted to. The first three nights it was at 5am, then 6am. This morning I woke up at 7am, but I think that had more to do with the kids playing outside my window. They wake up around 7:30, I'm guessing, every weekday morning, and now that it's Saturday, their day off, it's a good idea to sleep in until 7. Yeah, that makes sense.My cat just ruined my train of thought. Stupid bugger got on the table again, so I got up and he ran under my bed. I pulled him out and coldly soaked him with the squirt bottle. I wish they'd just learn not to get on the table. They've gotten better about it. They don't get up there innocently anymore. They know they're not supposed to. They seem to take turns being the good cat. Calloh has been good for about a week now, though they both still scratch up the inside of the couch. I wish we hadn't torn that lining off the bottom. I think that was done because a cat or ferret had started tearing at it.This past week, and really well back into half of the week before, I got no work done. Between sickness (no more strawberry cream cheese), the day I couldn't motivate myself no matter how many games of Minesweeper I played, and being blocked the rest of the time, there was just nothing I could really do. There were things I thought I could do. I'm an expert now on upgrading the backend bits, but each time I've tried (and it takes a few hours if it works -- a wasted few hours if it doesn't, and you have to restart), I've found another bug relating to my task, and have to wait another three days for the fix to be made, approved, and tested. It certainly could be worse, as my peer mentor pointed out. In some projects it used to take a month for a bug in one area to be propagated to areas where the bug fix was needed. All of this to say I made progress yesterday -- significant progress. In fact, after this latest bug is fixed (hopefully Monday), approved (hopefully Monday afternoon, though likely Tuesday), tested (Tuesday night -- hopefully without causing a failure), and downloaded to my machine, I'm confident that, if my part won't work already, I will finish it by end-of-day (eod) Wednesday. Hopefully that makes up for 10 days of progresslessness. Yes, I know it's not a word, but look at how many esses there are in it!Two weekends ago my church had a barbeque right after it. That was pretty fun. The community and fellowship there is great. One thing I'm starting to consider, though, is the worship. It's kind of selfish really, and Harper's former worship pastor had to deal with this issue a lot, but I'm not sure I like the style of worship. We don't play anything old. No hymns unless they've been remade (though even that is rare), no All In All, it seems like we learn a new song every week. Maybe it's just because I'm new that I don't know them, but I've seen people only mouthing the words, so I'm guessing they don't know them either. It's hard to get into worship if you don't really know the words you're singing. Also, though I'm sure it's just my old age catching up with me, I don't much care for the actual musical value of most songs produced today. There are certainly exceptions, but most of the song-value anymore is in lyrics, not in the music, and not in the poetic form. Suddenly worship is reduced to words on a page. What's weird is that wasn't my original impression of the church. Maybe I was just new and wanting to find a place quickly (which was the case), or maybe I've just been more critical these past couple weeks, or maybe the music just hasn't been my style these past couple weeks, and that's just how it was, temporary. Anyway, if it's not temporary, I'm deciding whether it's a big enough issue to change churches over. I feel so at home with the people, and while church is about the people, it's also about connecting with God on a deeper level than you can alone, in your daily life, and if that's not happening, then I'm not at the right church. Oh, but the barbeque was awesome. We played volleyball. I'm considering joining a rec league if I ever find the time. Maybe if things get patched up between my dad and me, he and I might join the same team.This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, I had a vet appointment for the cats' rabies shots. Kotenok might be having a reaction to them, because there's a pretty big knot where I'm guessing the needle went in. That night, Ashley and her friend came over for dinner, and so I could meet her new kitten, Tomtom. It was hard to believe my cats were his size when I got them. He was the scrawniest little thing, with more fur than my cats put together.I convinced them to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, though they were skeptical. I always thought my sister's sense of humor and my own were pretty similar. I guess I was wrong. She laughed a couple times, but I was dying the first time I saw it.On Monday, I went back to Port Orchard. I'd told my mom I was going, and she asked if I was serious about getting an iPhone, which I had been, but I was waiting for May to come around, so I could keep my phone number without it costing ridiculous amounts of money. She, however, has lost her phone, so on the way down, I bought my iPhone, and gave her my old KRZR.The primary reason I was going to Port Orchard, though, was to see Eowyn, and her new apartment. After the grand tour, neither of us had much to do, and we were hungry, so we got food at a local grill. It honestly wasn't great, and it wasn't cheap either. I guess when I said "medium rare," they thought I meant half medium, and half rare. I paid. Then she suggested we watch a movie together. She's not seen Stranger than Fiction, so we went and rented that. She and I have always been a little relaxed about physical touch when sitting next to each other, from orchestra concerts, to movies it turns out, and so we were comfortably squished together on the couch, just shy of cuddling. About 75 minutes into the movie, she fell asleep on my shoulder. It's weird, but I'm not at all romantically attracted to her anymore; that's something I never expected to go away, and am now glad has. Even so, having a girl fall asleep on your shoulder watching a movie is a nice experience. It means she feels safe next to you, and that is a pleasant thought. Tuesday was the day I played so much minesweeper and couldn't be motivated. I suspect Monday night had something to do with it.I've begun reading Lord of Chaos, book six in the series. I'm a little less than halfway through it, if the progress bar at the bottom of my screen can be trusted. It says about 700 pages in, but a page is about two thirds, maybe five sevenths, of a real paper page in the book. (For those who care where I am, Nynaeve just asked Birgitte to ready some horses and not talk to Uno about it. Rand was just bonded.) So far I'm enjoying it, even the female chapters. It's shaping up to be a good book, and while I've heard it's the pinnacle of the series, I hope my sources are wrong. I started testing out Google Chrome. It's in beta, of course, so I can't expect it to do everything, but so far I'm not all that impressed. It does seem faster, but I don't really like the color scheme, or what it does to about half the webpages. The rendering is a little off. Also, they don't have it ported to Mac yet, which I don't really understand, but oh well.Lolbot might be moving in with me in a couple months. He likes his job at Adobe for the most part -- he likes the people and the atmosphere -- but he's rather bored, so he sent me his resume, which I gave to one of the leads on my project. If all goes according to plan, we'll have more job openings in a month or two, and he'll be interviewed then. I'm pretty confident he'll be hired after he's interviewed. That kid is crazy good at programming and at working with others.I was thinking in the shower today. That half hour each morning is probably the most productive time of the day. Anyway, I'm watching The West Wing again, and that always gets me thinking politically, and with politics comes religion, whether it should or not. (I tend to believe it should. If the basis of your government is freedom of religious beliefs, it's a little hard not to govern regarding those beliefs in order to keep those freedoms.) I started considering whether the world is getting better or worse, more specifically whether America and its society are. (And 'society' doesn't follow the grammar rule. Let's all welcome 'society' to the Weird League, along with our other new member, 'caffeine.') I think it's getting both. I think it feels like it's getting worse because our standards are going up, and rightfully so, and I think those standards will slowly have a positive impact on society. People are slowly starting to realize that killing is bad. Revenge is bad. Poverty and hunger are bad. Inequality and favoritism are bad. In the few cases where I think society is getting worse, it's attempting to mauerade as better, and I sincerely hope people start to realize what is wrong before there is so much more hurt in the world. I don't think the world needs more hurt. Anyway, that's enough for now. As I told Alexander earlier today, I have a lot to do. I have to shower (already have), do laundry, and go grocery shopping. I'm a thinker though, and have realized that if I attempt to do all of these tasks in one day, I will have nothing for tomorrow. Always have to think ahead. Oh, also I'm angry about the deaths in Serenity.I may have spoken a little too soon when complaining about The Fires of Heaven (book 5 of the Wheel of Time). It turns out the battle I'd just finished reading through was not the epic end-of-the-book battle, which was quite a bit better. Still, I'd have liked to have known how the fight with Couladin went. The last time Mat got to fight with description was fighting against Galad and Gawyn in Caemlyn, if memory serves. Also, the scientist in me would like to know exactly how the time paradox issues of Baelfire are resolved, not just that a bunch of people saw a few people die, but those people don't remember dying. It's a little too vague for my tastes.My own book is coming along just fine. That is, if "fine" means fixing up the first and only chapter and running into writers' block as soon as I start another one. It'd really help if I had some plot ideas, you know? It seems the only plot I know enough about is my own. Unfortunately my own story is full of plot holes, so it's hard to garner any readers.I'd start talking about Travis right about now, but at the moment, I don't have any new stories about her.Shortly after I last posted, say about 10 hours later, I left for Bellingham with my kitties. They so enjoy car rides. Kotenok actually might. He just sits in the box quietly. Calloh cries every few seconds from point A to point B, unless the music is loud enough that she knows she won't be heard. Or maybe she's just not being heard. I listened to that Seabird disk on the way up. It played through twice. I've probably listened to each song now at least 20 times, and about half of them (the ones I really like) more than that. Probably my favorite song, musically, is called Cottonmouth (Jargon). It's kind of depressing though, sort of liberating but vengeful at the same time. It makes me feel good, but dark at the same time. Those two don't mix well inside of me.Speaking of dark, I just finished Fable a couple hours ago. Alexander loaned it to me on Tuesday after Eureka. On Wednesday I was feeling kind of off, to the point that my manager noticed, and commented a couple times that I was slower than normal (which I guess means I'm fast sometimes?), and I ended up going home early. I think that was a run-on sentence. That night I put in between 5 and 8 hours. On Thursday, yesterday, I was feeling worse, and called in sick. Honestly, it had nothing to do with the game, and I wasn't even all that hooked by Wednesday night. Video games are often restful, though, and I ended up playing another 13 hours or so. The good news is that I felt better today. When I got home I finished up the remaining 4 or 5 hours. It's a decent game, for sure. The gameplay during battles is fun, though it can get a little repetitive. I was light-side, as I always am in such games (I don't know what I'm going to do in the Force Unleashed), so I got the Tear of Avo, or whatever, which is either the second best or tied for the best weapon in the game. I wished there was more storyline behind it. The evil sword had quite a bit of history. Also, there's another legendary sword you can get that's not as good, but takes a ton of extra work to earn. It really should be better than the Tear of Avo, in my opinion. It doesn't have to best the evil sword, but.... Also, the story seemed too linear. I guess I'm used to Knights of the Old Republic, where there are nine different story lines intertwined into yours, and then the villains were interesting too. Jack of Blades was just sort of always out there. And then there was the final battle. It wasn't easy per se, but it certainly wasn't hard, for a game so epic. I expected the fight to be the first of many parts, though not as many as Twilight Princess had -- that bordered on ridiculous, even if it was fun. Having a wife wasn't particularly rewarding. By the time you can really afford to start buying houses, you don't need much money anymore (you rent out houses), and the only way to buy a shop is to kill the current shop owners. Also, I wanted your sister and Whisper to return. And last, but not least, it needed some HK-47.Bellingham, right. I took my vacation that week because Hime was going to be working two weeks from then, and this past week had too many people taking vacation as it was. It turns out, however, that Hime decided to volunteer these two weeks anyway. It's certainly not that I didn't enjoy visiting everyone else, but she was certainly a major reason I went up there. I didn't get a minute alone with her, and the only time that might have been possible, was during the day she was battling through on two and a half hours of sleep, and so wasn't in the best of moods. There were two opportunities for the two of us to talk alone for a little bit, three if you count dinner on Thursday, but those two she chose to talk with Rosa instead. I know they haven't gotten to talk in a long time, but I guess I was looking at how long it would be before we saw each other again, compared to the next time she and Rosa would be able to talk. That dinner I mentioned, I was under the impression the two of us alone, or possibly a few of us, would be going out to dinner. Rosa and the Maggie (aliased for no other reason than I'm listening to a song called Maggie Mahoney, by, you guessed it, Seabird) wanted to have a barbeque on Thursday. I texted Hime saying, "Hey, where did you want to go to dinner? We could go to the bbq tonight and have dinner tomorrow." She texted back, "I can't do dinner tomorrow, but I want to go to the barbeque." At the barbeque, she basically avoided talking to me at all. Again, on two and a half hours of sleep, I can't blame her for not wanting to talk very much. I guess really it comes down to my hopes or expectations being let down.There's always a need for balance. Do you hope and get hurt, which often leads to bitterness, or do you skip a step and go straight cynic? (Do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- which is about the price of my last vet bill.) How do we balance fairness, letting people keep the money they earned, and forcing people to give to those who need it through taxes? Sometimes I think it'd be easier had Jesus been a politician. Then there's balancing giving with making wise financial decisions with spending money on things you probably don't need practically, but realistically need in order to entertain yourself. Or others! -- I technically could probably get by without the internet, but then, how would you read my blog? And then what would you do with your life?I had a conversation with Donna today over facebook about net neutrality. She's a big Obama fan. I'm on the fence, but leaning toward Obama. I realized I'd seen and heard remarkably few Presidential campaign ads, considering it's election season. Evidently, I don't watch much network television anymore. I'm sure when Chuck, Heroes, and Life start again, I'll get my share. I'm all for net neutrality, as is Obama, whereas McCain said he fervently opposed it and wanted to hire Steve Ballmer. Something tells me Ballmer wouldn't take the job, seeing as how he's had his own for a couple months. Who knows, maybe he's more political than I think. Either way, it sounds like he just wanted to drop a big name, and Bill Gates got out of the business, plus I don't think anyone hires Bill, you know? There are just so many political issues, and neither candidate fits my views all too well. Obama's pro-choice and wants to take more of my money so that they can pay today's old people for a little while longer, and let Social Security go bankrupt around the time I'd need it. McCain supports No Child Left Standing and opposes net neutrality. At least I don't have to worry about immigration. According to cnn.com, they have identical views.My conversation about net neutrality with Donna led to a conversation on net neutrality with Fran. She didn't know anything about the issue or what it was, so it was fun to taint her view for her. We only hung out a couple times, but I do miss her. She always has a nice, positive outlook on things. I find it encouraging. It doesn't hurt that she has the cutest profile picture on facebook (regarding me missing her), but that's definitely after-the-fact.For the record, as much as the record can be for'd anyway, I'm not interested in her. I've finally got to the point that I'm not really interested in any girl right now. I've been wanting to get to this point for a couple months now, but sometimes that's difficult; sometimes a girl makes that difficult. Next step: contentment in this place. It's odd to say this, but I feel too tired to be content. I'm also too tired to want anything.On Friday night, in Bellingham, I went over to Bill's place with Rosa and the other girls in her house. Hime was working. There were about ten of us there, and then three "adults," Bill's parents and uncle. The plan was to watch Top Gun, but that quickly turned into a violent game of spoons. I left for Redmond around midnight.One thing I miss about Bellingham is the spiritual high of being around a lot of Christians. I visited Rufus while I was there. He's getting moved in with his bride at their new place. We had a good lunch and talked about our lives, ending up on the topic of money. He seems to know a lot about making good financial decisions. I guess if you pay little enough on taxes (so it looks to the government that you're fairly poor), they had this deal where the government would match up to 50% of whatever you put into some sort of investment account. He owed $500 in taxes, so he put $1000 into the investment, and didn't have to pay the government anything. It was basically free money. I don't know that it would have occurred to me to do something like that.I'm also not quite clear about how my mutual fund works. I was under the impression that I gave the company (Fidelity) money and told them how much, roughly, I wanted in different categories, and they did all the trading for me. The investments, though, all seem to be different companies, rather than a pot with which to buy stock. For example, one category was company stock (Microsoft), and I have so many (2 point something) shares of it. Will they buy and sell when they think it's a good time, or will it just sit there and do whatever the market is doing? Money always has a way of making you worry about it, even when you know you have more than enough. I remember vividly going to Toys 'R' Us with a family friend for one of my birthdays. I bought an N64 game, don't remember which, and I worried the whole way home that I overdrafted my checking account even though I knew I had at least $40 more than I spent. According to that friend (I'm too lazy to think up an alias right now), I inherited that from my mother.Before and after Eureka on Tuesday, at Swood's place, we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's spectacular, if you haven't seen it yet. Well worth the $5 on iTunes, though I'm sure you can watch it on Youtube for free. I guess it was to test the waters on this kind of comedy. I hope they make more eventually. Unfortunately, it may be too smart for network television, or maybe I'm not giving the American people enough credit.That's something I've noticed I'm really snobby about, is humor. If it's not brilliant, it's not funny, and anyone who laughs at such a plain, overdone, typical joke really has no appreciation for the art of comedy, and therefore is stupid. I need to work on that.It's only 12:30, but I think I've written enough for now. I'll probably go read some more WoT, or maybe start up Phoenix Wright again. I'm about halfway through the second one.I've still not figured out a good way to allow backward access to my posts. For now you can use the search bar at the top that blogger puts up there and search for "postxxxx" where "xxxx" is the post number, like "0012" for this post. Saying this here won't be too helpful in ten posts, when it gets pushed off the front page though. Hopefully I'll add buttons to the top by the time that happens.Right now I'm loving this band called Seabird. If you listen to Spirit, they sing Rescue, whose first catchy lines are "I'm pushing up daisies / I wish they were roses". The music just leaves you longing for something. It's rare that music these days can stir up that kind of emotion. The whole album ('Til We See The Dawn) is worth buying if you're an iTunes or Microsoft Marketplace fan. Also, iTunes right now is selling it in aac format for $.99 per, so no DRM, plus higher quality sound.Also lately I've been reading a lot of different things, particularly webcomics. I read all the way through Queen of Wands at least until it started over with commentary. The author quit writing them. As I understand it, she (Aerie) ended up marrying the author of Strip Tease, Chris Daily, and now they write Punch an' Pie together. I've (and am continuing to) read punchanpie, and have read most of Strip Tease now. (Note: 'read' in the previous sentence has multiple tenses.) They're alright. Like with most story line oriented web comics, most of them are a little funny, and then once a month or so they make you laugh out loud. (An example of a comic that makes me laugh out loud almost every time is xkcd which is not story line oriented.) Then there's qc, Wigu, Dinosaur Comics, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and SAMWAR.What else is interesting to me lately? I have two kitties now. My sister and mom each bought me one, though my mom wasn't there to help pick them out. Their names are indeed Kotenok and Calloh. They're both tabbies. Kotenok is short-haired, greyscale, and super affectionate. Calloh is long-haired, lynx-tufted eared, greyscale plus brown, and a bit more individualistic, though she likes to cuddle when she's sleepy. They're slowly becoming a bit more obedient with the help of Sheriff Squirt Bottle.Work's going decently. I'm actually on vacation right now; SQL Server 2008 was just released so everyone in the database side of MS gets a week off. I'd just like to point out that I feel I deserve this break. Countless hours of my life went into that release and I'd just like to take some of that credit while it's still fresh in people's minds.Today I saw The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater with Minnie, after watching Batman Begins at my apartment. Both movies gave me the same reaction, I think, though I enjoyed how demented the Joker was in the second movie. I don't like it when there are situations with no right choice. They make me irritated and feel hopeless. That said, I still recognize they were great movies, even if I didn't enjoy the themes. Anything more I say on this topic will just be spoilers.I've done a lot of driving lately, and I'm heading to Bellingham tomorrow for a couple nights, so there's another two hours there and two hours back, assuming moderate traffic.On Friday, I got off work two hours early, having expected to drive up to Bellingham to pick up Hime and head back down to Port Orchard. That day was stressful, perhaps the most stressful I've had. On top of doing the work I'd normally do in an eight hour day, I also had to leave a readme for whoever was going to pick up my slack this week, explaining everything I was working on and its current state. I have no idea whether I left enough information and it took me a night to calm down from that. Anyway, Hime ended up having to drive to her parents' house anyway, which turns out to be about 15 minutes north of my place. So, when I got home, I watched the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring. After she called me to tell me she'd gotten to the house, I left and got there as she wasgetting out of the shower. We left about ten minutes later, after she'd met my kitties.Traffic wasn't too bad, but we were still an hour and a half to my mom's house, where we dropped off our stuff and the got the kitties situated in my room. From there, Hime and I drove to El Sombrero, which was closed, and then to McDonald's. I must be growing up because McDonald's only disappoints me now. My McDonald's cravings cannot be fulfilled because their Big'n'Tasty now tastes Big'n'Nasty. The McChicken isn't like it used to be either. All that they have over me anymore is the Barq's rootbeer and their fries, the first of which I can get elsewhere, and the latter I don't crave. Anyway, we got to the farm where my mom's wedding rehearsal happened just as the last people were leaving. Hime was introduced to people I've known my whole life and people I didn't really even recognize at the same time with equal importance. It seems like introductions should have some weight to them, but I haven't figured out how that would work. I don't mean to say people that i've known forever are more important than people I hardly know, but my best friend was meeting a lot of the family and close friends that raised me, and somehow that felt important to me. I don't think she felt the same gravity.My aunt, whose not really my aunt -- she was my mom's foster-sister growing up -- and her daughter, Navi, were staying at our house, as well as my grandma, so we were short one bed. Hime took Ashley's, my aunt and Navi took my room, and my grandma slept with my mom; I gladly took the couch, despite the objections I predicted Hime would have.The next morning, my mom headed off to get her hair done up. The night prior, Hime had asked my mom for her hair straightener. Apparently, my mom handed it to Hime right in front of me, but somehow I missed it. When I woke up well before Hime did, and couldn't find the straightener in my mom's bathroom, I figured she'd packed it and left with it, so I called around, eventually borrowing Ashley's friend's sister's an hour or so before Hime got up. When Hime found out about that later, she thanked me for my effort.We left for Silverdale shortly after Hime woke. She had wanted to get my mom chocolates for a wedding gift. Anytime I'm around Macy's I always get a few boxes for my favorite women: my mom, my sister, and usually someone else if there's an obvious pick. My mom likes milk chocolate, while Jack likes dark, so we decided to get two boxes, and give the gift together. At the wedding, I, unfortunately, forgot to give Ashley her box, so it remains in my car. Hime and I finished off the box I bought for her of assorted dark chocolate mints within the day. Evidently I've had enough calories to last me the rest of the year, so I've started a 140-day fast. Should be interesting.The wedding itself was interesting to say the least. I think it was special. In fact, I'm glad that it rained. It seemed to be meaningful rain. The rain started when the ceremony started, and ended when the ceremony ended. Then it waited for us all to move down to the reception and started again until we all finished eating. I like the rain, and I think my mom does too. I don't know about Jack. My grandpa walked my mom down the aisle. He'd told my mom and me that he wasn't going to, because he didn't feel she was his to give away anymore. She was a grown woman, and this was her second wedding. So, I was surprised when he did. Both Jack and my mom pulled a prank on the other when presenting the rings. Jack pretended to have lost my mom's and had this entire skit play out. My mom pulled out this giant ring big enough to fit three fingers, with an enormous glass diamond on it.After the rain stopped the second time, a breeze started which didn't help Hime or me, as we were drenched to the bone, I in my full suit, and her in a sundress. So, we went back to the house, changed, and headed back just in time for the garter toss. Apparently the ones that he shot into the crowd were all the ones he'd gotten at weddings in the past. There were about eight. I did not participate in the catching. That would just be too awkward. After that, my sister and her friend (the one whose sister loaned me the hair straightener, but I don't want to think up an alias for her) fought over the bouquet. Ashley ended up with about three flowers, and her friend with the rest. Then Jack gave a short speech about a couple "batons" he wanted to pass on. The first one he started off by saying, "Is Jordan Hitch nearby?" I said, "nope," as I was walking up. There really ought to be a word for something between 'said' and 'yelled,' because that's more of what I did. My baton was a book called "A Man, A Can, and A Grill" which was a cookbook of sorts. Our handshake turned into a semi-hug which was a little awkward. I've never hugged a little person before. The second baton was to a friend of mine: bachelor 'til the rapture. I think that would have been embarrassing, but he seemed to take it in good humor.William basically fell in love with Hime as soon as he met her. He's usually my shadow, but he was anything but subtle about wanting to hang around her and not me during the wedding. I thought it was funny more than anything else. His sister had a crush on my sister's ex-boyfriend while they were dating. Tastes must run in the family. (That, of course, is not to imply that Hime and I are dating, or that I think we ever will -- even driving to the wedding she reinforced that we weren't going to go down that road.) Right before William and his family left, Hime and I played some sort of blob tag. It was fun, which I normally would not say about playing with children. It was out of my comfort zone, for sure, but it was fun.We stayed for a couple more hours, and helped clean up after the newlyweds left. Hime was feeling a bit ill and had medicine back at her parents' place, so she and I packed up at my house and left back for Redmond. She was cold the entire time despite the fact the heat was all the way up and I was sweating. I suspected she was sick on top of what she needed the medicine for. Her mom picked her up from my apartment.Just to finish the Hime-related material, I'll skip ahead a bit to Sunday night. I texted her: "Hey, if you're still here and you're not sick of me yet, would you want to go out to dinner?" She responded that she was already in Bellingham, and otherwise she would. So, I asked if she wanted to go out to dinner one of the nights I was in Bellingham. We're going on Thursday night. In the context of the moment, it seemed like we both were picturing just the two of us, and while I know her well, I don't know whether that's actually what she was picturing. Either one-on-one or with a bunch of our friends will be fun.Sunday morning I went to church. I've been visiting the one Solomon suggested I look into. It's an Assemblies of God church called Life at the Ridge. I gather it's about sixty people large, but during the summer somewhere between thirty and forty usually show up. I really feel at home there, and everyone seems alive and excited and genuinely loving. I met with the pastor last week over lunch. He and I had a long talk, basically giving him my life's story, hitting on everything from my becoming a Christian to Eowyn, to my parents' divorce, to Jamaica, to my mom's remarriage. We talked a bit about his history too, how he's lived in every state touching the pacific (save Hawaii), and knows a bit about programming, and so on. I really like him. He called me today while I was at the movie, just to say he should have remembered it was odd to see me on Sunday because I had told him I'd be at my mom's wedding still, and wanted to know how it went. Do most pastors do that? I guess I could see John at Harper doing that, but the church is too big to do that sort of thing for everyone.Lasteek after church, I went out to lunch with a few people from the church. Sadly, I don't remember any of their names. One guy led worship the first two weeks I was there. The other guy was visiting from the midwest, where he goes to college, and he works at Starbucks there. And the woman is a financial advisor type person in Seattle. Actually, come to think of it, I do remember her name now, but only after a friend of hers said it at church this week. Also, it won't do you any good that I remember it because I'd only alias her anyway. In fact, I could alias to the two guys whose names I don't know. How would you like that?!Man, I've had some funny thoughts lately. I wish I could remember them. They were just one-liners, typically ironic or oxymoronic. There was a line like that in Batman that no one laughed at, too. I chuckled. Then again, the movie was so loud there, that I don't think I would have been able to hear someone next to me laugh. The fire truck on fire was a nice touch.After church, I went down to Kent to go to IKEA with my grandma who was on her way back up from my mom's to Camano. She bought me two bookcases and some pictures and frames to go with them. The bookcases were heavy, too heavy for me to carry, anyway, and she's not as young as she used to be (as can be said of anyone). She asked me if I knew any of my neighbors yet. I don't, really, but I had a solution to get the boxes into my apartment by myself. See, I have a computer chair with wheels. All I had to do was put one end on the chair, and carry the other end. My grandma guided the chair, but really, I could have just gone in front and the weight of the box would have pulled the chair along. My grandma looked at me and said, "You're one in a million. Most intelligent people aren't smart." That made me feel really good.Yesterday, I didn't have anything planned, and an old friend from high school got online for the first time since January. We started talking and then she asked if I wanted to get coffee, which turned into mall pizza in Auburn. So that was another long drive, though entirely worth it. It was good to catch up with her. This isn't a bad thing, but it reminded me of the differences between Port Orchardites and people on this side of the water. Cultures are weird.In closing, I've finally almost finished the fifth Wheel of Time book. I didn't like this one as much as the past four. The climactic battle was pretty lame. It lacked description of the would-be cool scenes, and there was no real battle between Rand and one of the Forsaken, like in the last ones.

touche, mr. jefferson
 

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Boredom is an emotional state experienced during periods of lack of activities or when individuals are uninterested in the activities surrounding them.
The first record of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles ****ens, written in 1852[1], in which it appears six times, although the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of "to be tiresome or dull" since 1768[2].
Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity.”[3] M. R. Leary and others define boredom similarly, and somewhat more succinctly, as “an affective experience associated with cognitive attentional processes.”[4] These definitions make it clear that boredom arises not from a lack of things to do but from the inability to latch onto any specific activity. Nothing engages us, despite an often profound desire for engagement.
There appear to be three general types of boredom, all of which involve problems of engagement of attention. These include times when we are prevented from engaging in something, when we are forced to engage in some unwanted activity, or when we are simply unable, for no apparent reason, to maintain engagement in any activity or spectacle.[5] An important psychological construct is that of boredom proneness; a tendency to experience boredom of all types. This is typically assessed by the Boredom Proneness Scale.[6] Consistent with the definition provided above, recent research has found that boredom proneness is clearly and consistently associated with failures of attention.[7] Boredom and boredom proneness are both theoretically and empirically linked to depression and depressive symptoms.[8][9][10] Nonetheless, boredom proneness has been found to be as strongly correlated with attentional lapses as with depression.[11] Although boredom is often viewed as a trivial and mild irritant, proneness to boredom has been linked to a very diverse range of possible psychological, physical, educational, and social problems.Boredom is a condition characterized by perception of one's environment as dull, tedious, and lacking in stimulation. This can result from leisure and a lack of aesthetic interests. Labor, however, and even art may be alienated and passive, or immersed in tedium (see Marx's theory of alienation). There is an inherent anxiety in boredom; people will expend considerable effort to prevent or remedy it, yet in many circumstances, it is accepted as suffering to be endured. Common passive ways to escape boredom are to sleep or to think creative thoughts (daydream). Typical active solutions consist in an intentional activity of some sort, often something new, as familiarity and repetition lead to the tedious.
Boredom also plays a role in existentialist thought. In contexts where one is confined, spatially or otherwise, boredom may be met with various religious activities, not because religion would want to associate itself with tedium, but rather, partly because boredom may be taken as the essential human condition, to which God, wisdom, or morality are the ultimate answers. Boredom is in fact taken in this sense by virtually all existentialist philosophers as well as by Schopenhauer. Heidegger wrote about boredom in two texts available in English, in the 1929/30 semester lecture course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, and again in the essay What is Metaphysics? published in the same year. In the lecture, Heidegger included about 100 pages on boredom, probably the most extensive philosophical treatment ever of the subject. He focused on waiting at train stations in particular as a major context of boredom.[12] In Kierkegaard's remark in Either/Or, that "patience cannot be depicted" visually, there is a sense that any immediate moment of life may be fundamentally tedious.
Without stimulus or focus, the individual is confronted with nothingness, the meaninglessness of existence, and experiences existential anxiety. Heidegger states this idea nicely: "Profound boredom, drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence like a muffling fog, removes all things and men and oneself along with it into a remarkable indifference. This boredom reveals being as a whole."[13]
Arthur Schopenhauer used the existence of boredom in an attempt to prove the vanity of human existence, stating, "...for if life, in the desire for which our essence and existence consists, possessed in itself a positive value and real content, there would be no such thing as boredom: mere existence would fulfil and satisfy us."[14]
Erich Fromm and other similar thinkers of critical theory speak of bourgeois society in terms similar to boredom, and Fromm mentions sex and the automobile as fundamental outlets of postmodern boredom.
Above and beyond taste and character, the universal case of boredom consists in any instance of waiting, as Heidegger noted, such as in line, for someone else to arrive or finish a task, or while one is travelling.
Boredom, however, may also increase as travel becomes more convenient, as the vehicle may become more like the windowless monad in Leibniz's monadology. The automobile requires fast reflexes, making its operator busy and hence, perhaps for other reasons as well, making the ride more tedious despite being over sooner.England [ˈɪŋglənd] (help·info) is a country, which is part of the United Kingdom.[3][4] Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population,[5] whilst its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and elsewhere is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.[6]
England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world[7] being the place of origin of the English language, the Church of England and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of many countries around the world. In addition, England was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution[8] being the first country in the world to become industrialised.[9] It is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science. England is the world's oldest parliamentary democracy[10] and consequently many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.
The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued as a separate state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union, putting into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulted in political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain.[11]The various terms used to describe the different (and sometimes overlapping) geographical and political areas of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands are often a source of confusion, partly owing to the similarity between some of the actual words used, but also because they are often used loosely. The purpose of this article is to explain the meanings of and inter-relationships among those terms.
In brief, the main terms and their simple explanations are as follows.
Geographical terms
The British Isles is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands.
Great Britain, including England, Scotland, and Wales, sometimes simply called Britain, is the largest island of the archipelago[1][2][3] and lies directly north of France. (The term Britain is more commonly used as a political term: an alternative name for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[4])
Ireland is the second largest island of the archipelago and lies directly to the west of Great Britain.
The full list of islands in the British Isles includes some 6,000 islands, of which 51 have an area larger than 20 km².
Political terms
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sovereign state occupying the island of Great Britain, the small nearby islands (but not the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands), and the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland. Usually, it is shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain.[5]
Ireland is the sovereign state occupying the larger portion of the island of Ireland. The most common term used is simply Ireland and the country's constitution names the country Ireland. However, to distinguish Ireland (country) from Ireland (island), or to distinguish either of these from Northern Ireland, it is often called "the Republic of Ireland" or simply "the Republic". Occasionally, its Irish-language name, Éire, will be used in an English-language context to distinguish it from "Northern Ireland", even though the word "Éire" directly translates as "Ireland".
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom.
Great Britain means the countries of England, Wales and Scotland considered as a unit.[6][7] The term Great Britain is often used (incorrectly) as synonymous with the UK. However, the UK and Great Britain are not equivalent since the UK is a state formed from the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Britain is widely used as a political synonym for the United Kingdom.
British Islands consists of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These are the states within the British Isles that have the British monarch as head of state.
GB is the ISO 3166 code for the United Kingdom.
Linguistic terms
The United Kingdom and the (Republic of) Ireland are sometimes referred to as nations and countries in formal documents while England, Wales, Scotland and (to a lesser extent) Northern Ireland are also referred to as nations and countries. In everyday language the terms nation and country are used almost interchangeably.
British is an adjective pertaining to the United Kingdom; for example, a citizen of the UK is often described as a British citizen.
Wales is also known as the Principality; Northern Ireland can also be referred to, by those of a unionist persuasion, as the Province, in relation to its locality within the Province of Ulster.
Sport
The constituent countries of the United Kingdom often compete separately in international competition as nations (and are often described as "the home nations"). For example in association football, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England play as nations and are officially referred to as nations. An additional complication is that in some sports, such as rugby union, players from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland play as one team, Ireland, in international competitions.
Rugby players from both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom play for British and Irish Lions representing the four "Home Unions" of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Great Britain is often used to mean United Kingdom. Usually this is simply sloppy language, but it is sometimes used as an official shortening of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For example, at the Olympic Games, the team officially called "Great Britain" represents the political entity the United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland. The "Ireland" Olympic team represents the whole island of Ireland, a geographical entity. Athletes from Northern Ireland have the choice of participating in either the "Great Britain" team or the "Ireland" team [4].
In the majority of individual sports (e.g. tennis and athletics), at international level competitors are identified as GB if they are from Great Britain or Northern Ireland. A small number of sports (e.g. golf) identify participants as representing their constituent country. The Commonwealth Games is the only competition where all parts of the British Islands compete as separate nations. It should be noted that the Republic of Ireland does not participate in the Commonwealth Games as it is not part of the Commonwealth of Nations.Edgar I the Peaceful or the Peaceable (c. Aug 7, 943 – July 8, 975) was the younger son of Edmund I of England. His cognomen, "the Peaceable", was not necessarily a comment on the deeds of his life, for he was a strong leader, shown by the seizure of the Northumbrian and Mercian kingdoms from his older brother, Edwy, in 958. Edgar was held to be king north of the Thames by a conclave of his nobles, and the aspirational ruler set himself to succeed to the English throne. With Edwy's death in October 959, Edgar immediately recalled Dunstan (eventually canonised as St. Dunstan) from exile to have him made Bishop of Worcester (and the Bishop of London after, and finally the Archbishop of Canterbury). The allegation Dunstan at first refused to crown Edgar because of disapproval for his way of life is a discreet reference in popular histories to Edgar's mistress,[citation needed] Wulfthryth (later a nun at Wilton), who bore him a daughter Eadgyth. Dunstan remained Edgar's advisor throughout his reign.
Edgar's reign was a peaceful one, and it is probably fair to say that it saw the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England at its height. Although the political unity of England was the achievement of his predecessors, it was Edgar who saw to its consolidation. By the end of Edgar's reign there was practically no likelihood of any recession back to its state of rival kingships, and the division of its domains.
The Monastic Reform Movement that restored the Benedictine Rule to England's undisciplined monastic communities saw its height during the time of Dunstan, Aethelwold and Oswald. However, the extent and importance of the movement is still debated amongst academics.
Edgar was crowned at Bath, but not until 973, in an imperial ceremony planned not as the initiation, but as the culmination of his reign (a move that must have taken a great deal of preliminary diplomacy). This service, devised by Dunstan himself and celebrated with a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle forms the basis of the present-day British coronation ceremony. The symbolic coronation was an important step; other kings of Britain came and gave their allegiance to Edgar shortly afterwards at Chester. Six kings in Britain, including the kings of Scotland and of Strathclyde, pledged their faith that they would be the king's liege-men on sea and land. Later chroniclers made the kings into eight, all plying the oars of Edgar's state barge on the River Dee. Such embellishments may not be factual, but the main outlines of the "submission at Chester" appear true.
Edgar had several children. He died on July 8, 975 at Winchester, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey. He left two sons, the eldest named Edward, the son of his first wife Ethelfleda (not to be confused with Ethelfleda, Lady of the Mercians), and Ethelred, the youngest, the child of his second wife Ælfthryth. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward.
From Edgar’s death to the Norman Conquest there was not a single succession to the throne that was not contested. Although perhaps a simplification, Edgar’s death did seem to be the beginning of the end for Anglo-Saxon England that resulted in three successful 11th century conquests, two Danish and one Norman.In the years between the Sack of Lindesfarne in 793 and the Danish invasion of East Anglia in 865, Danish settlers founded the site of modern Dublin and fought as mercenaries in Irish tribal wars, liberally intermarrying with their Irish allies. A Danish fleet arrived and attacked the settlement with the Irish enemies of the Hiberno-Norse, but were repulsed. It is also said in Irish and northern English oral history that Ivar, and in some accounts also Ubbe Ragnarsson, died not in the Mercian campaign, but drowned fighting the Hiberno-Norse in the Irish sea.
The haste with which the Danes resumed their attack on Norse Dublin before consolidating their control of Saxon England indicates that the entire Danish invasion was not primarily aimed at the conquest of Saxon England, but to secure a North Sea base of operations to use as a springboard in the conflict with the Norwegians, who controlled an extensive trade network in the Orkneys, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, and Ireland, which exported goods from the British Isles south-east through Kievan Rus as far as Constantinople and Bagdad, following the Dniepr from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
When King Magnus I freed Norway from Cnut the Great, the terms of the peace treaty provided that the second of the two kings Magnus (Norway) and Harthacnut (Denmark) to die would inherit the dominion of the other. When Edward the Confessor ascended the throne of a united Dano-Saxon England, a Norse army was raised from every Norwegian colony in the British Isles and attacked Edward's England in support of Magnus', and after his death, his brother Harald Hardråde's, claim to the English throne. On the accession of Harold Godwinson after the death of Edward the Confessor, Hardraada invaded Northumbria with the support of Harold's brother Tostig Godwinson, and was defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge the week before William I's victory at the Battle of Hastings.
[edit]Timeline of the Danelaw
800 Waves of Danish assaults on the coastlines of the British Isles were gradually followed by a succession of settlers.
865 Danish raiders first began to settle in England. Led by brothers Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless, they wintered in East Anglia, where they demanded and received tribute in exchange for a temporary peace. From there they moved north and attacked Northumbria, which was in the midst of a civil war between the deposed king Osberht and a usurper Ælla. The Danes used the civil turmoil as an opportunity to capture York, which they sacked and burned.
867 Following the loss of York, Osberht and Ælla formed an alliance against the Danes. They launched a counterattack, but the Danes killed both Osberht and Ælla and set up a puppet king on Northumbrian throne. In response, King Æthelred of Wessex, along with his brother Alfred marched against the Danes, who were positioned behind fortifications in Nottingham, but were unable to draw them into battle. In order to establish peace, King Burhred of Mercia ceded Nottingham to the Danes in exchange for leaving the rest of Mercia undisturbed.
869 Ivar the Boneless returned and demanded tribute from King Edmund of East Anglia.
870 King Edmund refused, Ivar the Boneless defeated and captured him at Hoxne and brutally sacrificed his heart to Odin in a so-called “blood eagle ritual”, in the process adding East Anglia to the area controlled by the invading Danes. King Æthelred and Alfred attacked the Danes at Reading, but were repulsed with heavy losses. The Danes pursued them.
871 On January 7, they made their stand at Ashdown (in what is now East Sussex). Æthelred could not be found at the start of battle, as he was busy praying in his tent, so Alfred led the army into battle. Æthelred and Alfred defeated the Danes, who counted among their losses five jarls (nobles). The Danes retreated and set up fortifications at Basing in Hampshire, a mere 14 miles (23 km) from Reading. Æthelred attacked the Danish fortifications and was routed. Danes followed up victory with another victory in March at Meretum (now Marton, Wiltshire).
King Æthelred died on April 23, 871 and Alfred took the throne of Wessex, but not before he seriously considering abdicating the throne in light of the desperate circumstances, which were further worsened by the arrival in Reading of a second Danish army from Europe. For the rest of the year Alfred concentrated on attacking with small bands against isolated groups of Danes. He was moderately successful in this endeavor and was able to score minor victories against the Danes, but his army was on the verge of collapse. Alfred responded by paying off the Danes in order for a promise of peace. During the peace the Danes turned north and attacked Mercia, which they finished off in short order, and captured London in the process. King Burgred of Mercia fought in vain against the Ivar the Boneless and his Danish invaders for three years until 874, when he fled to Europe. During Ivar’s campaign against Mercia he died and was succeeded by Guthrum the Old as the main protagonist in the Danes’ drive to conquer England. Guthrum quickly defeated Burgred and placed a puppet on the throne of Mercia. The Danes now controlled East Anglia, Northumbria and Mercia, with only Wessex continuing to resist.
875 The Danes settled in Dorsetshire, well inside of Alfred’s Kingdom of Wessex, but Alfred quickly made peace with them.
876 The Danes broke the peace when they captured the fortress of Wareham, followed by a similar capture of Exeter in 877.
877 Alfred laid siege, while the Danes waited for reinforcements from Scandinavia. Unfortunately for the Danes, the fleet of reinforcements encountered a storm and lost more than 100 ships, and the Danes were forced to return to East Mercia in the north.
878 In January Guthrum led an attack against Wessex that sought to capture Alfred while he wintered in Chippenham. Another Danish army landed in south Wales and moved south with the intent of intercepting Alfred should he flee from Guthrum’s forces. However, they stopped during their march to capture a small fortress at Countisbury Hill, held by a Wessex ealdorman named Odda. The Saxons, led by Odda, attacked the Danes while they slept and defeated the superior Danish forces, saving Alfred from being trapped between the two armies. Alfred was forced to go into hiding for the rest of the winter and spring of 878 in the Somerset marshes in order to avoid the superior Danish forces. In the spring Alfred was able to gather an army and attacked the Guthrum and the Danes at Edington. The Danes were defeated and retreated to Chippenham, where the English pursued and laid siege to Guthrum’s forces. The Danes were unable to hold out without relief and soon surrendered. Alfred demanded as a term of the surrender that Guthrum become baptized as a Christian, which Guthrum agreed to do, with Alfred acting as his Godfather. Guthrum was true to his word and settled in East Anglia, at least for a while.
884 Guthrum attacked Kent, but was defeated by the English. This led to the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum, which established the boundaries of the Danelaw and allowed for Danish self-rule in the region.
902 Essex submits to Æthelwald.
903 Æthelwald incites the East Anglian Danes into breaking the peace. They ravage Mercia before winning a pyrrhic victory that saw the death of Æthelwald and the Danish King Eohric; this allows Edward the Elder to consolidate power.
911 The English defeat the Danes at the Battle of Tettenhall. The Northumbrians ravage Mercia but are trapped by Edward and forced to fight.
917 In return for peace and protection The Kingdoms of Essex and East Anglia accept Edward the Elder as their suzerain overlord.
Æthelflæd (also known as Ethelfleda) Lady of the Mercians, takes the borough of Derby.
918 The borough of Leicester submits peaceably to Æthelflæd's rule. The people of York promise to accept her as their overlord, but she dies before this could come to fruition. She is succeeded by her brother, the Kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex united in the person of King Edward.
919 Norwegian Vikings under King Rægnold (Ragnald son of Sygtrygg) of Dublin take York.
920 Edward is accepted as father and lord by the King of the Scots, by Rægnold, the sons of Eadulf, the English, Norse, Danes and others all of whom dwell in Northumbria, and the King and people of the Strathclyde Welsh.
954 Eric Bloodaxe driven out of Northumbria, his death marking the end of the prospect of a Northern Viking Kingdom stretching from York to Dublin and the Isles.Athelstan was the son of Edward the Elder, and grandson of Alfred the Great. His father succeeded, after some difficulty, to the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons formed by Alfred. His aunt, Edward's sister, Æthelflæd, ruled western Mercia on his behalf following the death of her husband, Ealdorman Æthelred. On Æthelflæd's death, Edward was quick to assume control of Mercia, and at the time of his death he directly ruled all the English kingdoms south of the Humber. Athelstan was fostered by his family as 'Half-King' in Mercia, perhaps as a method of encouraging Mercian loyalty to the West Saxon dynasty. On Edward's death, Athelstan immediately became King of Mercia, though it seems to have taken longer for him to be recognised in Wessex where his half-brothers Ælfweard and Edwin had support.
Political alliances seem to have been high on Athelstan's agenda. Only a year after his crowning he married one of his sisters to Sihtric Cáech, the Viking King of Jórvík at Tamworth,[3] who acknowledged Æthelstan as over-king, adopting Christianity. Within the year he may have abandoned his new faith and repudiated his wife, but before Æthelstan and he could fight, Sihtric died suddenly in 927. His kinsman, perhaps brother, Gofraid, who had remained as his deputy in Dublin, came from Ireland to take power in York, but failed. Æthelstan moved quickly, seizing much of Northumbria. This bold move brought the whole of England under one ruler for the first time, although this unity did not become permanent until 954. In less than a decade, the kingdom of the English had become by far the greatest power in the British Isles, perhaps stretching as far north as the Firth of Forth.[4]
Initially the other rulers in Great Britain seem to have submitted to Athelstan at Bamburgh: "first Hywel, King of the West Welsh, and Constantine II, King of Scots, and Owain, King of the people of Gwent, and Ealdred...of Bamburgh" records the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. William of Malmesbury adds that Owain of Strathclyde was also present.[5]
Similar events are recorded along the western marches of Athelstan's domain. According to William of Malmesbury, Athelstan had the kings of the North British (meaning the Welsh) submit to him at Hereford, where he exacted a heavy tribute from them. The reality of his influence in Wales is underlined by the Welsh poem Armes Prydein Fawr, and by the appearance of the Welsh kings as subreguli in the charters of 'Αthelstan A'. Similarly, he drove the West Welsh (meaning the Cornish) out of Exeter, and established the border of Cornwall along the River Tamar.
John of Worcester's chronicle suggests that Æthelstan faced opposition from Constantine, from Owain of Strathclyde, and from the Welsh kings. William of Malmesbury writes that Gofraid, together with Sihtric's young son Olaf Cuaran fled north and received refuge from Constantine, which led to war with Æthelstan. A meeting at Eamont Bridge on 12 July 927 was sealed by an agreement that Constantine, Eógan of Strathclyde, Hywel Dda, and Ealdred would "renounce all idolatry": that is, they would not ally with the Viking kings. William states that Æthelstan stood godfather to a son of Constantine, probably Indulf (Ildulb mac Constantín), during the conference.[6]
Æthelstan followed up his advances in the north by securing the recognition of the Welsh kings.[7] For the next seven years, the record of events in the north is blank. Æthelstan's court was attended by the Welsh kings, but not by Constantine or Eógan of Strathclyde. This absence of record means that Æthelstan's reasons for marching north against Constantine in 934 are unclear.[8]
Æthelstan's campaign is reported by in brief by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and later chroniclers such as John of Worcester, William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, and Symeon of Durham add detail to that bald account. Æthelstan's army began gathering at Winchester by 28 May 927, and reached Nottingham by 7 June. He was accompanied by many leaders, including the Welsh kings Hywel Dda, Idwal Foel, and Morgan ab Owain. From Mercia the army went north, stopping at Chester-le-Street, before resuming the march accompanied by a fleet of ships. Eógan of Strathclyde was defeated and Symeon states that the army went as far north as Dunnottar and Fortriu, while the fleet is said to have raided Caithness, by which a much larger area, including Sutherland, is probably intended. It is unlikely that Constantine's personal authority extended so far north, and while the attacks may have been directed at his allies, they may also have been simple looting expeditions.[9]
The Annals of Clonmacnoise state that "the Scottish men compelled [Æthelstan] to return without any great victory", while Henry of Huntingdon claims that the English faced no opposition. A negotiated settlement may have ended matters: according to John of Worcester, a son of Constantine was given as a hostage to Æthelstan and Constantín himself accompanied the English king on his return south.[3] He witnessed a charter with Æthelstan at Buckingham on 13 September 934 in which he is described as subregulus, that is a king acknowledging Æthelstan's overlordship.[10] The following year, Constantine was again in England at Æthelstan's court, this time at Cirencester where he appears as a witness, appearing as the first of several subject kings, followed by Eógan of Strathclyde and Hywel Dda, who subscribed to the diploma.[11] At Christmas of 935, Eógan of Strathclyde was once more at Æthelstan's court along with the Welsh kings, but Constantine was not. His return to England less than two years later would be in very different circumstances.[12]
[edit]Brunanburh and after
Following Constantine's disappearance from Æthelstan's court after 935, there is no further report of him until 937. In that year, together with Eógan of Strathclyde and Olaf Guthfrithson, King of Dublin, Constantine invaded England. The resulting battle of Brunanburh—Dún Brunde—is reported in the Annals of Ulster as follows:
a great battle, lamentable and terrible was cruelly fought...in which fell uncounted thousands of the Northmen. ... And on the other side, a multitude of Saxons fell; but Æthelstan, the king of the Saxons, obtained a great victory.[13]
The battle was remembered in England a generation later as "the Great Battle". When reporting the battle, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle abandons its usual terse style in favour of a heroic poem vaunting the great victory. In this the "hoary" Constantine, by now around 60 years of age, is said to have lost a son in the battle, a claim which the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba confirms. The Annals of Clonmacnoise give his name as Cellach. For all its fame, the site of the battle is uncertain and several sites have been advanced, with Bromborough on the Wirral the most favoured location.[14]
Brunanburh, for all that it had been a famous and bloody battle, settled nothing. On 27 October 939 Æthelstan, "pillar of the dignity of the western world" in the words of the Annals of Ulster, died at Malmesbury. He was succeeded by his brother Edmund the Elder, then aged 18. Æthelstan's empire, seemingly made safe by the victory of Brunanburh, collapsed in little more than a year from his death when Amlaíb returned from Ireland and seized Northumbria and the Mercian Danelaw. Edmund spent the remainder of Constantín's reign rebuilding the empire.[15]
Athelstan is generally regarded as the first king of England and his reign is seen as the first time that kingdoms of England, Wales and Scotland were united under one ruler as "King of all Britain".[2] He achieved considerable military successes over his rivals, including the vikings, and extended his rule to parts of Wales and Cornwall.The word “quantum” came from the Latin word which means "how great" or "how much." In quantum mechanics, it refers to a discrete unit that quantum theory assigns to certain physical quantities, such as the energy of an atom at rest (see Figure 1, at right). The discovery that waves have discrete energy packets (called quanta) that behave in a manner similar to particles led to the branch of physics that deals with atomic and subatomic systems which we today call quantum mechanics. It is the underlying mathematical framework of many fields of physics and chemistry, including condensed matter physics, solid-state physics, atomic physics, molecular physics, computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, particle physics, and nuclear physics. The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the twentieth century by Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Louis de Broglie, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Born, John von Neumann, Paul Dirac, Wolfgang Pauli and others. Some fundamental aspects of the theory are still actively studied.
Quantum mechanics is essential to understand the behavior of systems at atomic length scales and smaller. For example, if Newtonian mechanics governed the workings of an atom, electrons would rapidly travel towards and collide with the nucleus, making stable atoms impossible. However, in the natural world the electrons normally remain in an unknown orbital path around the nucleus, defying classical electromagnetism.
Quantum mechanics was initially developed to provide a better explanation of the atom, especially the spectra of light emitted by different atomic species. The quantum theory of the atom was developed as an explanation for the electron's staying in its orbital, which could not be explained by Newton's laws of motion and by Maxwell's laws of classical electromagnetism.
In the formalism of quantum mechanics, the state of a system at a given time is described by a complex wave function (sometimes referred to as orbitals in the case of atomic electrons), and more generally, elements of a complex vector space. This abstract mathematical object allows for the calculation of probabilities of outcomes of concrete experiments. For example, it allows one to compute the probability of finding an electron in a particular region around the nucleus at a particular time. Contrary to classical mechanics, one can never make simultaneous predictions of conjugate variables, such as position and momentum, with arbitrary accuracy. For instance, electrons may be considered to be located somewhere within a region of space, but with their exact positions being unknown. Contours of constant probability, often referred to as “clouds” may be drawn around the nucleus of an atom to conceptualize where the electron might be located with the most probability. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle quantifies the inability to precisely locate the particle.
The other exemplar that led to quantum mechanics was the study of electromagnetic waves such as light. When it was found in 1900 by Max Planck that the energy of waves could be described as consisting of small packets or quanta, Albert Einstein exploited this idea to show that an electromagnetic wave such as light could be described by a particle called the photon with a discrete energy dependent on its frequency. This led to a theory of unity between subatomic particles and electromagnetic waves called wave–particle duality in which particles and waves were neither one nor the other, but had certain properties of both. While quantum mechanics describes the world of the very small, it also is needed to explain certain “macroscopic quantum systems” such as superconductors and superfluids.
Broadly speaking, quantum mechanics incorporates four classes of phenomena that classical physics cannot account for: (i) the quantization (discretization) of certain physical quantities, (ii) wave-particle duality, (iii) the uncertainty principle, and (iv) quantum entanglement. Each of these phenomena is described in detail in subsequent sections.The modern world of physics is founded on two tested and demonstrably sound theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics —theories which appear to contradict one another. The defining postulates of both Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum theory are indisputably supported by rigorous and repeated empirical evidence. However, while they do not directly contradict each other theoretically (at least with regard to primary claims), they are resistant to being incorporated within one cohesive model.
Einstein himself is well known for rejecting some of the claims of quantum mechanics. While clearly inventive in this field, he did not accept the more philosophical consequences and interpretations of quantum mechanics, such as the lack of deterministic causality and the assertion that a single subatomic particle can occupy numerous areas of space at one time. He also was the first to notice some of the apparently exotic consequences of entanglement and used them to formulate the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, in the hope of showing that quantum mechanics has unacceptable implications. This was 1935, but in 1964 it was shown by John Bell (see Bell inequality) that Einstein's assumption that quantum mechanics is correct, but has to be completed by hidden variables, was based on wrong philosophical assumptions: according to the paper of J. Bell and the Copenhagen interpretation (the common interpretation of quantum mechanics by physicists for decades), and contrary to Einstein's ideas, quantum mechanics is
neither a "realistic" theory (since quantum measurements do not state pre-existing properties, but rather they prepare properties)
nor a local theory (essentially not, because the state vector determines simultaneously the probability amplitudes at all sites, ).
The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox shows in any case that there exist experiments by which one can measure the state of one particle and instantaneously change the state of its entangled partner, although the two particles can be an arbitrary distance apart; however, this effect does not violate causality, since no transfer of information happens. These experiments are the basis of some of the most topical applications of the theory, quantum cryptography, which works well, although at small distances of typically 1000 km, being on the market since 2004.
There do exist quantum theories which incorporate special relativity—for example, quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is currently the most accurately tested physical theory [1]—and these lie at the very heart of modern particle physics. Gravity is negligible in many areas of particle physics, so that unification between general relativity and quantum mechanics is not an urgent issue in those applications. However, the lack of a correct theory of quantum gravity is an important issue in cosmology.There are numerous mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics. One of the oldest and most commonly used formulations is the transformation theory proposed by Cambridge theoretical physicist Paul Dirac, which unifies and generalizes the two earliest formulations of quantum mechanics, matrix mechanics (invented by Werner Heisenberg)[2] and wave mechanics (invented by Erwin Schrödinger).
In this formulation, the instantaneous state of a quantum system encodes the probabilities of its measurable properties, or "observables". Examples of observables include energy, position, momentum, and angular momentum. Observables can be either continuous (e.g., the position of a particle) or discrete (e.g., the energy of an electron bound to a hydrogen atom).
Generally, quantum mechanics does not assign definite values to observables. Instead, it makes predictions about probability distributions; that is, the probability of obtaining each of the possible outcomes from measuring an observable. Naturally, these probabilities will depend on the quantum state at the instant of the measurement. There are, however, certain states that are associated with a definite value of a particular observable. These are known as "eigenstates" of the observable ("eigen" can be roughly translated from German as inherent or as a characteristic). In the everyday world, it is natural and intuitive to think of everything being in an eigenstate of every observable. Everything appears to have a definite position, a definite momentum, and a definite time of occurrence. However, quantum mechanics does not pinpoint the exact values for the position or momentum of a certain particle in a given space in a finite time; rather, it only provides a range of probabilities of where that particle might be. Therefore, it became necessary to use different words for (a) the state of something having an uncertainty relation and (b) a state that has a definite value. The latter is called the "eigenstate" of the property being measured.
For example, consider a free particle. In quantum mechanics, there is wave-particle duality so the properties of the particle can be described as a wave. Therefore, its quantum state can be represented as a wave, of arbitrary shape and extending over all of space, called a wave function. The position and momentum of the particle are observables. The Uncertainty Principle of quantum mechanics states that both the position and the momentum cannot simultaneously be known with infinite precision at the same time. However, one can measure just the position alone of a moving free particle creating an eigenstate of position with a wavefunction that is very large at a particular position x, and almost zero everywhere else. If one performs a position measurement on such a wavefunction, the result x will be obtained with almost 100% probability. In other words, the position of the free particle will almost be known. This is called an eigenstate of position (mathematically more precise: a generalized eigenstate (eigendistribution) ). If the particle is in an eigenstate of position then its momentum is completely unknown. An eigenstate of momentum, on the other hand, has the form of a plane wave. It can be shown that the wavelength is equal to h/p, where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the eigenstate. If the particle is in an eigenstate of momentum then its position is completely blurred out.
Usually, a system will not be in an eigenstate of whatever observable we are interested in. However, if one measures the observable, the wavefunction will instantaneously be an eigenstate (or generalized eigenstate) of that observable. This process is known as wavefunction collapse. It involves expanding the system under study to include the measurement device, so that a detailed quantum calculation would no longer be feasible and a classical description must be used. If one knows the corresponding wave function at the instant before the measurement, one will be able to compute the probability of collapsing into each of the possible eigenstates. For example, the free particle in the previous example will usually have a wavefunction that is a wave packet centered around some mean position x0, neither an eigenstate of position nor of momentum. When one measures the position of the particle, it is impossible to predict with certainty the result that we will obtain. It is probable, but not certain, that it will be near x0, where the amplitude of the wave function is large. After the measurement is performed, having obtained some result x, the wave function collapses into a position eigenstate centered at x.
Wave functions can change as time progresses. An equation known as the Schrödinger equation describes how wave functions change in time, a role similar to Newton's second law in classical mechanics. The Schrödinger equation, applied to the aforementioned example of the free particle, predicts that the center of a wave packet will move through space at a constant velocity, like a classical particle with no forces acting on it. However, the wave packet will also spread out as time progresses, which means that the position becomes more uncertain. This also has the effect of turning position eigenstates (which can be thought of as infinitely sharp wave packets) into broadened wave packets that are no longer position eigenstates.
Some wave functions produce probability distributions that are constant in time. Many systems that are treated dynamically in classical mechanics are described by such "static" wave functions. For example, a single electron in an unexcited atom is pictured classically as a particle moving in a circular trajectory around the atomic nucleus, whereas in quantum mechanics it is described by a static, spherically symmetric wavefunction surrounding the nucleus (Fig. 1). (Note that only the lowest angular momentum states, labeled s, are spherically symmetric).
The time evolution of wave functions is deterministic in the sense that, given a wavefunction at an initial time, it makes a definite prediction of what the wavefunction will be at any later time. During a measurement, the change of the wavefunction into another one is not deterministic, but rather unpredictable, i.e., random.
The probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics thus stems from the act of measurement. This is one of the most difficult aspects of quantum systems to understand. It was the central topic in the famous Bohr-Einstein debates, in which the two scientists attempted to clarify these fundamental principles by way of thought experiments. In the decades after the formulation of quantum mechanics, the question of what constitutes a "measurement" has been extensively studied. Interpretations of quantum mechanics have been formulated to do away with the concept of "wavefunction collapse"; see, for example, the relative state interpretation. The basic idea is that when a quantum system interacts with a measuring apparatus, their respective wavefunctions become entangled, so that the original quantum system ceases to exist as an independent entity. For details, see the article on measurement in quantum mechanics.
You make a good argument.

Love represents a range of emotions and experiences related to the senses of affection and sexual attraction.[1] The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. This diversity of meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept love usually refers to a strong, ineffable feeling towards another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
Spiritual love, or longing for God, is highly valued and sought after by many religions of both Eastern and Western origin.
Contents

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Definitions


The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.


The English word love can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts which English relies mainly on love to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for "love". Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.[2] American psychologist Zick Rubin try to define love by the psychometrics. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring and intimacy.[3][4]
Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't "love". As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is commonly contrasted with friendship, though other definitions of the word love may be applied to close friendships in certain contexts. When discussed in the abstract, love usually refers to interpersonal love, an experience felt by a person for another person. Love often involves caring for or identifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism).
In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, though the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.[5] Because of the complex and abstract nature of love, discourse on love is commonly reduced to a thought-terminating cliché, and there are a number of common proverbs regarding love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to The Beatles' "All you need is love". Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of "absolute value", as opposed to relative value. Theologian Thomas Jay Oord said that to love is to "act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others, to promote overall well-being".[6]
A person can be said to love a country, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions. People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with that item. If sexual passion is also involved, this condition is called paraphilia.[7]

Interpersonal love


Grandmother and grandchild, Sri Lanka


Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love which are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

Scientific views

Main article: Love (scientific views)
Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the last century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding of the nature and function of love.

Chemistry

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[8] Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly-overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust exposes people to others, romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating, and attachment involves tolerating the spouse long enough to rear a child into infancy.
Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side-effects such as an increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.[9]
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding which promotes relationships that last for many years, and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin than short-term relationships have.[9] In 2005, Italian scientists at Pavia University found that a protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these levels return to as they were after one year. Specifically, four neurotrophin levels, i.e. NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4, of 58 subjects who had recently fallen in love were compared with levels in a control group who were either single or already engaged in a long-term relationship. The results showed that NGF levels were significantly higher in the subjects in love than as compared to either of the control groups.[10]

Psychology

Further information: Human bonding Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives. Intimacy is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last and most common form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components.
Following developments in electrical theories, such as Coulomb's law, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as "opposites attract". Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality; people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g. with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby which has the best of both worlds.[11] In recent years, various human bonding theories have been developed described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities.
Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose works in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the "concern for the spiritual growth of another", and simple narcissism.[12] In combination, love is an activity, not simply a feeling.

Comparison of scientific models


Sacred Love Versus Profane Love (1602-1603) by Giovanni Baglione


Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst.[citation needed] Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views — certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love — sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.
Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain that hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity in. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments. Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, suggests that this reaction to love is so similar to that of drugs because without love, humanity would die out.

Cultural views


Persian

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth "you owe me".
Look what happens with a Love like that!
- It lights the whole Sky. (Hafiz)
Rumi, Hafez and Sa'di are icons of the passion and love that the Persian culture and language present. The Persian word for love is eshgh, deriving from the Arabic ishq. In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life. Over seven centuries ago, Sa'di wrote:
The children of Adam are limbs of each otherHaving been created of one essence.When the calamity of time afflicts one limbThe other limbs cannot remain at rest.If you have no sympathy for the troubles of othersYou are not worthy to be called by the name of "man".
Chinese and other Sinic cultures


The traditional Chinese character for love (愛) consists of a heart (middle) inside of "accept", "feel", or "perceive", which shows a graceful emotion.


In contemporary Chinese language and culture, several terms or root words are used for the concept of "love":

  • It was the Qing‘s emperor first word of name.

  • Ai (愛) is used as a verb (e.g. Wo ai ni, "I love you") or as a noun, especially in aiqing (愛情), "love" or "romance." In mainland China since 1949, airen (愛人, originally "lover," or more literally, "love person") is the dominant word for "spouse" (with separate terms for "wife" and "husband" originally being de-emphasized); the word once had a negative connotation, which it retains among many on Taiwan.

  • Lian (戀) is not generally used alone, but instead as part of such terms as "being in love" (談戀愛, tan lian'ai—also containing ai), "lover" (戀人, lianren) or "homosexuality" (同性戀, tongxinglian).

  • Qing (情), commonly meaning "feeling" or "emotion," often indicates "love" in several terms. It is contained in the word aiqing (愛情); qingren (情人) is a term for "lover".
In Confucianism, lian is a virtuous benevolent love. Lian should be pursued by all human beings, and reflects a moral life. The Chinese philosopher Mozi developed the concept of ai (愛) in reaction to Confucian lian. Ai, in Mohism, is universal love towards all beings, not just towards friends or family, without regard to reciprocation. Extravagance and offensive war are inimical to ai. Although Mozi's thought was influential, the Confucian lian is how most Chinese conceive of love.
Gănqíng (感情), the "feeling" of a relationship, vaguely similar to empathy. A person will express love by building good gănqíng, accomplished through helping or working for another and emotional attachment toward another person or anything.
Yuanfen (緣份) is a connection of bound destinies. A meaningful relationship is often conceived of as dependent strong yuanfen. It is very similar to serendipity. A similar conceptualization in English is, "They were made for each other," "fate," or "destiny".
Zaolian (Simplified: 早恋, Traditional: 早戀, pinyin: zǎoliàn), literally, "early love," is a contemporary term in frequent use for romantic feelings or attachments among children or adolescents. Zaolian describes both relationships among a teenaged boyfriend and girlfriend, as well as the "crushes" of early adolescence or childhood. The concept essentially indicates a prevalent belief in contemporary Chinese culture that due to the demands of their studies (especially true in the highly competitive educational system of China), youth should not form romantic attachments lest their jeopardize their chances for success in the future. Reports have appeared in Chinese newspapers and other media detailing the prevalence of the phenomenon and its perceived dangers to students and the fears of parents.

Japanese

In Japanese Buddhism, ai (愛) is passionate caring love, and a fundamental desire. It can develop towards either selfishness or selflessness and enlightenment.
Amae (甘え), a Japanese word meaning "indulgent dependence", is part of the child-rearing culture of Japan. Japanese mothers are expected to hug and indulge their children, and children are expected to reward their mothers by clinging and serving. Some sociologists have suggested that Japanese social interactions in later life are modeled on the mother-child amae.

Ancient Greek

Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word love is used. For example, Ancient Greek has the words philia, eros, agape, storge and xenia. However, with Greek as with many other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo being used with the same meaning as phileo.
Agape (ἀγάπη agápē) means love in modern day Greek. The term s'agapo means I love you in Greek. The word agapo is the verb I love. It generally refers to a "pure", ideal type of love rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. However, there are some examples of agape used to mean the same as eros. It has also been translated as "love of the soul".
Eros (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Greek word erota means in love. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. Some translations list it as "love of the body".
Philia (φιλία philía), a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. Can also mean "love of the mind".
Storge (στοργή storgē) is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.
Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and their guest, who could previously be strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was only expected to repay with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology, in particular Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

Turkish (Shaman & Islamic)

In Turkish the word "love" comes up with several meanings. A person can love the god, a person, the parents or the family. But that person can "love" just one person from the opposite sex which they call the word "ask". Ask is a feeling for to love, as it still is in Turkish today. The Turks used this word just for their romantic loves in a romantic or sexual sense. If a Turk says that he is in love (ask) with somebody, it is not a love that a person can feel for his or her parents; it is just for one person and it indicates a huge infatuation.

Ancient Roman (Latin)

The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word 'love'.
Amare is the basic word for to love, as it still is in Italian today. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense, as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans, a lover, amator, 'professional lover', often with the accessory notion of lechery, and amica, 'girlfriend' in the English sense, often as well being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor, which is also used in the plural form to indicate 'love affairs' or 'sexual adventures'. This same root also produces amicus, 'friend', and amicitia, 'friendship' (often based on mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to 'indebtedness' or 'influence'). Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship (de Amicitia) which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria (The Art of Lovers), which addresses in depth everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents.
Complicating the picture somewhat, Latin sometimes uses amare where English would simply say to like; this notion, however, is much more generally expressed in Latin by placere or delectare, which are used more colloquially, and the latter of which is used frequently in the love poetry of Catullus.
Diligere often has the notion 'to be affectionate for', 'to esteem', and rarely if ever is used of romantic love. This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia, however, has the meaning 'diligence' 'carefulness' and has little semantic overlap with the verb.
Observare is a synonym for 'diligere'; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun 'observantia' often denote 'esteem' or 'affection'.
Caritas is used in Latin translations of the Christian Bible to mean 'charitable love'. This meaning, however, is not found in Classical pagan Roman literature. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb.

Religious views


Christian

The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman, eros in Greek, and the unselfish love of others, agape, are often contrasted as 'ascending' and 'descending' love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing. [13]
There are several Greek words for Love that are regularly referred to in Christian circles.

  • Agape - In the New Testament, agapē is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It is parental love seen as creating goodness in the world, it is the way God is seen to love humanity, and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for one another.
  • Phileo - Also used in the New Testament, Phileo is a human response to something that is found to be delightful. Also known as "brotherly love".
  • Two other words for love in the Greek language, Eros (sexual love) and Storge (child-to-parent love) were never used in the New Testament.
Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah, according to Jesus - c.f. Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28-34). Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote "Love God, and do as thou wilt".
Paul the Apostle glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poem in 1 Corinthians he wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." - 1 Cor. 13:4-7 (NIV)
John the Apostle wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:16-18 (NIV)
John also wrote, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Saint Augustine says that one must be able to decipher the difference between love and lust. Lust, according to Saint Augustine, is an over indulgence, but to love and be loved is what he has sought for his entire life. He even says, “I was in love with love.” Finally, he does fall in love and is loved back, by God. Saint Augustine says the only one who can love you truly and fully is God, because love with a human only allows for flaws such as, “jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and contention.” According to Saint Augustine to love God is “to attain the peace which is yours.” (Saint Augustine Confessions)
Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves.
Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on God is love. He said that a human being, created in the image of God who is love, is able to practice love: to give himself to God and others (agape), by receiving and experiencing God's love in contemplation (eros). This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.[14]

Buddhist

In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish.
Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom, and is necessary for enlightenment.
Adveṣa and maitrī are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from the ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex, which rarely occur without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.
The Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world. The strongest motivation one has in order to take the path of the Bodhisattva is the idea of salvation within unselfish, altustic love for all sentient beings.

Indic and Hindu

In Hinduism kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva. For many Hindu schools it is the third end (artha) in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of sugarcane and an arrow of flowers: he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort Rati and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kaama and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chenna Keshava temple at Belur, in Karnataka, India. Maara is another name for kāma.
In contrast to kāma, prema or prem refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term meaning 'loving devotion to the supreme God'. A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of bhakti which can be found in the Bhagavatha-Purana and works by Tulsidas. The philosophical work Narada Bhakti Sutras written by an unknown author (presumed to be Narada) distinguishes eleven forms of love.

Arabic and Islamic views

In a sense, love does encompass the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood which applies to all who hold the faith. There are no direct references stating that God is love, but amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud or 'the Loving One', which is found in Surah 11:90 as well as Surah 85:14. It refers to God as being "full of loving kindness". All who hold the faith have God's love, but to what degree or effort he has pleased God depends on the individual itself.
Ishq, or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism. Sufis believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God "looks" at itself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of Love. God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through Love humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. The saints of Sufism are infamous for being "drunk" due to their Love of God hence the constant reference to wine in Sufi poetry and music.

Jewish

In Hebrew Ahava is the most commonly-used term for both interpersonal love and love of God. Other related but dissimilar terms are Chen (grace) and Hesed, which basically combines the meaning of "affection" and "compassion" and is sometimes rendered in English as "loving-kindness".
Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both between people and between man and the Deity. As for the former, the Torah states: "Love your neighbor like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). As for the latter, one is commanded to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5), taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all one's possessions and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs how this love can be developed, e.g. by contemplating Divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature.
As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The Biblical book Song of Songs is considered a romantically-phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading reads like a love song.
The 20th century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point-of-view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, vol. 1). Romantic love per se has few echoes in Jewish literature, although the Medieval Rabbi Judah Halevi wrote romantic poetry in Arabic in his younger years (he appears to have regretted this later).


You, too, make a good argument.

The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. The doctrine involved concepts diametrically opposed to the notion of Alfred Thayer Mahan about the significance of navies (he coined the term sea power) in world conflict. The Heartland theory hypothesized the possibility for a huge empire being brought into existence in the Heartland, which wouldn't need to use coastal or transoceanic transport to supply its military industrial complex but would instead use railways, and that this empire couldn't be defeated by all the rest of the world against it.The basic notions of Mackinder's doctrine involve considering the geography of the Earth as being divided into two sections, the World Island, comprising Eurasia and Africa; and the Periphery, including the Americas, the British Isles, and Oceania. Not only was the Periphery noticeably smaller than the World Island, it necessarily required much sea transport to function at the technological level of the World Island, which contained sufficient natural resources for a developed economy. Also, the industrial centers of the Periphery were necessarily located in widely separated locations. The World Island could send its navy to destroy each one of them in turn. It could locate its own industries in a region further inland than the Periphery could,so they would have a longer struggle reaching them, and would be facing a well-stocked industrial bastion. This region Mackinder termed the Heartland. It essentially comprised Ukraine, Western Russia, and Mitteleuropa. The Heartland contained the grain reserves of Ukraine, and many other natural resources. Mackinder's notion of geopolitics can be summed up in his saying "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island commands the World." His doctrine was influential during the World Wars and the Cold War, for Germany and later Russia each made territorial strides toward the Heartland.Mackinder's geopolitical theory has been criticised as being too sweeping, his interpretation of human history and geography too simple and mechanistic. In his analysis of the importance of mobility, and the move from sea to rail transport, he failed to predict the revolutionary impact of air power. Critically also he underestimated the importance of social organization in the development of power[1].I woke up this morning with a tune stuck in my head. It was just a few measures. I was trying to place it, while I lied there in bed, something about pleasures. Oooh look! I rhymed! Too bad it had nothing to do with pleasures. At first I thought it was a tune from Fable, but then I placed it at the climax of a movie. Now I can't remember which movie, so that bothers me a bit. I wanted to confirm the placement.I've not slept well in a while, including last night. For the past many years, I've dreamt virtually every night. These past couple weeks, though, every night has brought bad dreams. They weren't scary, but they were always stressful, and I've woken up well before I've wanted to. The first three nights it was at 5am, then 6am. This morning I woke up at 7am, but I think that had more to do with the kids playing outside my window. They wake up around 7:30, I'm guessing, every weekday morning, and now that it's Saturday, their day off, it's a good idea to sleep in until 7. Yeah, that makes sense.My cat just ruined my train of thought. Stupid bugger got on the table again, so I got up and he ran under my bed. I pulled him out and coldly soaked him with the squirt bottle. I wish they'd just learn not to get on the table. They've gotten better about it. They don't get up there innocently anymore. They know they're not supposed to. They seem to take turns being the good cat. Calloh has been good for about a week now, though they both still scratch up the inside of the couch. I wish we hadn't torn that lining off the bottom. I think that was done because a cat or ferret had started tearing at it.This past week, and really well back into half of the week before, I got no work done. Between sickness (no more strawberry cream cheese), the day I couldn't motivate myself no matter how many games of Minesweeper I played, and being blocked the rest of the time, there was just nothing I could really do. There were things I thought I could do. I'm an expert now on upgrading the backend bits, but each time I've tried (and it takes a few hours if it works -- a wasted few hours if it doesn't, and you have to restart), I've found another bug relating to my task, and have to wait another three days for the fix to be made, approved, and tested. It certainly could be worse, as my peer mentor pointed out. In some projects it used to take a month for a bug in one area to be propagated to areas where the bug fix was needed. All of this to say I made progress yesterday -- significant progress. In fact, after this latest bug is fixed (hopefully Monday), approved (hopefully Monday afternoon, though likely Tuesday), tested (Tuesday night -- hopefully without causing a failure), and downloaded to my machine, I'm confident that, if my part won't work already, I will finish it by end-of-day (eod) Wednesday. Hopefully that makes up for 10 days of progresslessness. Yes, I know it's not a word, but look at how many esses there are in it!Two weekends ago my church had a barbeque right after it. That was pretty fun. The community and fellowship there is great. One thing I'm starting to consider, though, is the worship. It's kind of selfish really, and Harper's former worship pastor had to deal with this issue a lot, but I'm not sure I like the style of worship. We don't play anything old. No hymns unless they've been remade (though even that is rare), no All In All, it seems like we learn a new song every week. Maybe it's just because I'm new that I don't know them, but I've seen people only mouthing the words, so I'm guessing they don't know them either. It's hard to get into worship if you don't really know the words you're singing. Also, though I'm sure it's just my old age catching up with me, I don't much care for the actual musical value of most songs produced today. There are certainly exceptions, but most of the song-value anymore is in lyrics, not in the music, and not in the poetic form. Suddenly worship is reduced to words on a page. What's weird is that wasn't my original impression of the church. Maybe I was just new and wanting to find a place quickly (which was the case), or maybe I've just been more critical these past couple weeks, or maybe the music just hasn't been my style these past couple weeks, and that's just how it was, temporary. Anyway, if it's not temporary, I'm deciding whether it's a big enough issue to change churches over. I feel so at home with the people, and while church is about the people, it's also about connecting with God on a deeper level than you can alone, in your daily life, and if that's not happening, then I'm not at the right church. Oh, but the barbeque was awesome. We played volleyball. I'm considering joining a rec league if I ever find the time. Maybe if things get patched up between my dad and me, he and I might join the same team.This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, I had a vet appointment for the cats' rabies shots. Kotenok might be having a reaction to them, because there's a pretty big knot where I'm guessing the needle went in. That night, Ashley and her friend came over for dinner, and so I could meet her new kitten, Tomtom. It was hard to believe my cats were his size when I got them. He was the scrawniest little thing, with more fur than my cats put together.I convinced them to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, though they were skeptical. I always thought my sister's sense of humor and my own were pretty similar. I guess I was wrong. She laughed a couple times, but I was dying the first time I saw it.On Monday, I went back to Port Orchard. I'd told my mom I was going, and she asked if I was serious about getting an iPhone, which I had been, but I was waiting for May to come around, so I could keep my phone number without it costing ridiculous amounts of money. She, however, has lost her phone, so on the way down, I bought my iPhone, and gave her my old KRZR.The primary reason I was going to Port Orchard, though, was to see Eowyn, and her new apartment. After the grand tour, neither of us had much to do, and we were hungry, so we got food at a local grill. It honestly wasn't great, and it wasn't cheap either. I guess when I said "medium rare," they thought I meant half medium, and half rare. I paid. Then she suggested we watch a movie together. She's not seen Stranger than Fiction, so we went and rented that. She and I have always been a little relaxed about physical touch when sitting next to each other, from orchestra concerts, to movies it turns out, and so we were comfortably squished together on the couch, just shy of cuddling. About 75 minutes into the movie, she fell asleep on my shoulder. It's weird, but I'm not at all romantically attracted to her anymore; that's something I never expected to go away, and am now glad has. Even so, having a girl fall asleep on your shoulder watching a movie is a nice experience. It means she feels safe next to you, and that is a pleasant thought. Tuesday was the day I played so much minesweeper and couldn't be motivated. I suspect Monday night had something to do with it.I've begun reading Lord of Chaos, book six in the series. I'm a little less than halfway through it, if the progress bar at the bottom of my screen can be trusted. It says about 700 pages in, but a page is about two thirds, maybe five sevenths, of a real paper page in the book. (For those who care where I am, Nynaeve just asked Birgitte to ready some horses and not talk to Uno about it. Rand was just bonded.) So far I'm enjoying it, even the female chapters. It's shaping up to be a good book, and while I've heard it's the pinnacle of the series, I hope my sources are wrong. I started testing out Google Chrome. It's in beta, of course, so I can't expect it to do everything, but so far I'm not all that impressed. It does seem faster, but I don't really like the color scheme, or what it does to about half the webpages. The rendering is a little off. Also, they don't have it ported to Mac yet, which I don't really understand, but oh well.Lolbot might be moving in with me in a couple months. He likes his job at Adobe for the most part -- he likes the people and the atmosphere -- but he's rather bored, so he sent me his resume, which I gave to one of the leads on my project. If all goes according to plan, we'll have more job openings in a month or two, and he'll be interviewed then. I'm pretty confident he'll be hired after he's interviewed. That kid is crazy good at programming and at working with others.I was thinking in the shower today. That half hour each morning is probably the most productive time of the day. Anyway, I'm watching The West Wing again, and that always gets me thinking politically, and with politics comes religion, whether it should or not. (I tend to believe it should. If the basis of your government is freedom of religious beliefs, it's a little hard not to govern regarding those beliefs in order to keep those freedoms.) I started considering whether the world is getting better or worse, more specifically whether America and its society are. (And 'society' doesn't follow the grammar rule. Let's all welcome 'society' to the Weird League, along with our other new member, 'caffeine.') I think it's getting both. I think it feels like it's getting worse because our standards are going up, and rightfully so, and I think those standards will slowly have a positive impact on society. People are slowly starting to realize that killing is bad. Revenge is bad. Poverty and hunger are bad. Inequality and favoritism are bad. In the few cases where I think society is getting worse, it's attempting to mauerade as better, and I sincerely hope people start to realize what is wrong before there is so much more hurt in the world. I don't think the world needs more hurt. Anyway, that's enough for now. As I told Alexander earlier today, I have a lot to do. I have to shower (already have), do laundry, and go grocery shopping. I'm a thinker though, and have realized that if I attempt to do all of these tasks in one day, I will have nothing for tomorrow. Always have to think ahead. Oh, also I'm angry about the deaths in Serenity.I may have spoken a little too soon when complaining about The Fires of Heaven (book 5 of the Wheel of Time). It turns out the battle I'd just finished reading through was not the epic end-of-the-book battle, which was quite a bit better. Still, I'd have liked to have known how the fight with Couladin went. The last time Mat got to fight with description was fighting against Galad and Gawyn in Caemlyn, if memory serves. Also, the scientist in me would like to know exactly how the time paradox issues of Baelfire are resolved, not just that a bunch of people saw a few people die, but those people don't remember dying. It's a little too vague for my tastes.My own book is coming along just fine. That is, if "fine" means fixing up the first and only chapter and running into writers' block as soon as I start another one. It'd really help if I had some plot ideas, you know? It seems the only plot I know enough about is my own. Unfortunately my own story is full of plot holes, so it's hard to garner any readers.I'd start talking about Travis right about now, but at the moment, I don't have any new stories about her.Shortly after I last posted, say about 10 hours later, I left for Bellingham with my kitties. They so enjoy car rides. Kotenok actually might. He just sits in the box quietly. Calloh cries every few seconds from point A to point B, unless the music is loud enough that she knows she won't be heard. Or maybe she's just not being heard. I listened to that Seabird disk on the way up. It played through twice. I've probably listened to each song now at least 20 times, and about half of them (the ones I really like) more than that. Probably my favorite song, musically, is called Cottonmouth (Jargon). It's kind of depressing though, sort of liberating but vengeful at the same time. It makes me feel good, but dark at the same time. Those two don't mix well inside of me.Speaking of dark, I just finished Fable a couple hours ago. Alexander loaned it to me on Tuesday after Eureka. On Wednesday I was feeling kind of off, to the point that my manager noticed, and commented a couple times that I was slower than normal (which I guess means I'm fast sometimes?), and I ended up going home early. I think that was a run-on sentence. That night I put in between 5 and 8 hours. On Thursday, yesterday, I was feeling worse, and called in sick. Honestly, it had nothing to do with the game, and I wasn't even all that hooked by Wednesday night. Video games are often restful, though, and I ended up playing another 13 hours or so. The good news is that I felt better today. When I got home I finished up the remaining 4 or 5 hours. It's a decent game, for sure. The gameplay during battles is fun, though it can get a little repetitive. I was light-side, as I always am in such games (I don't know what I'm going to do in the Force Unleashed), so I got the Tear of Avo, or whatever, which is either the second best or tied for the best weapon in the game. I wished there was more storyline behind it. The evil sword had quite a bit of history. Also, there's another legendary sword you can get that's not as good, but takes a ton of extra work to earn. It really should be better than the Tear of Avo, in my opinion. It doesn't have to best the evil sword, but.... Also, the story seemed too linear. I guess I'm used to Knights of the Old Republic, where there are nine different story lines intertwined into yours, and then the villains were interesting too. Jack of Blades was just sort of always out there. And then there was the final battle. It wasn't easy per se, but it certainly wasn't hard, for a game so epic. I expected the fight to be the first of many parts, though not as many as Twilight Princess had -- that bordered on ridiculous, even if it was fun. Having a wife wasn't particularly rewarding. By the time you can really afford to start buying houses, you don't need much money anymore (you rent out houses), and the only way to buy a shop is to kill the current shop owners. Also, I wanted your sister and Whisper to return. And last, but not least, it needed some HK-47.Bellingham, right. I took my vacation that week because Hime was going to be working two weeks from then, and this past week had too many people taking vacation as it was. It turns out, however, that Hime decided to volunteer these two weeks anyway. It's certainly not that I didn't enjoy visiting everyone else, but she was certainly a major reason I went up there. I didn't get a minute alone with her, and the only time that might have been possible, was during the day she was battling through on two and a half hours of sleep, and so wasn't in the best of moods. There were two opportunities for the two of us to talk alone for a little bit, three if you count dinner on Thursday, but those two she chose to talk with Rosa instead. I know they haven't gotten to talk in a long time, but I guess I was looking at how long it would be before we saw each other again, compared to the next time she and Rosa would be able to talk. That dinner I mentioned, I was under the impression the two of us alone, or possibly a few of us, would be going out to dinner. Rosa and the Maggie (aliased for no other reason than I'm listening to a song called Maggie Mahoney, by, you guessed it, Seabird) wanted to have a barbeque on Thursday. I texted Hime saying, "Hey, where did you want to go to dinner? We could go to the bbq tonight and have dinner tomorrow." She texted back, "I can't do dinner tomorrow, but I want to go to the barbeque." At the barbeque, she basically avoided talking to me at all. Again, on two and a half hours of sleep, I can't blame her for not wanting to talk very much. I guess really it comes down to my hopes or expectations being let down.There's always a need for balance. Do you hope and get hurt, which often leads to bitterness, or do you skip a step and go straight cynic? (Do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- which is about the price of my last vet bill.) How do we balance fairness, letting people keep the money they earned, and forcing people to give to those who need it through taxes? Sometimes I think it'd be easier had Jesus been a politician. Then there's balancing giving with making wise financial decisions with spending money on things you probably don't need practically, but realistically need in order to entertain yourself. Or others! -- I technically could probably get by without the internet, but then, how would you read my blog? And then what would you do with your life?I had a conversation with Donna today over facebook about net neutrality. She's a big Obama fan. I'm on the fence, but leaning toward Obama. I realized I'd seen and heard remarkably few Presidential campaign ads, considering it's election season. Evidently, I don't watch much network television anymore. I'm sure when Chuck, Heroes, and Life start again, I'll get my share. I'm all for net neutrality, as is Obama, whereas McCain said he fervently opposed it and wanted to hire Steve Ballmer. Something tells me Ballmer wouldn't take the job, seeing as how he's had his own for a couple months. Who knows, maybe he's more political than I think. Either way, it sounds like he just wanted to drop a big name, and Bill Gates got out of the business, plus I don't think anyone hires Bill, you know? There are just so many political issues, and neither candidate fits my views all too well. Obama's pro-choice and wants to take more of my money so that they can pay today's old people for a little while longer, and let Social Security go bankrupt around the time I'd need it. McCain supports No Child Left Standing and opposes net neutrality. At least I don't have to worry about immigration. According to cnn.com, they have identical views.My conversation about net neutrality with Donna led to a conversation on net neutrality with Fran. She didn't know anything about the issue or what it was, so it was fun to taint her view for her. We only hung out a couple times, but I do miss her. She always has a nice, positive outlook on things. I find it encouraging. It doesn't hurt that she has the cutest profile picture on facebook (regarding me missing her), but that's definitely after-the-fact.For the record, as much as the record can be for'd anyway, I'm not interested in her. I've finally got to the point that I'm not really interested in any girl right now. I've been wanting to get to this point for a couple months now, but sometimes that's difficult; sometimes a girl makes that difficult. Next step: contentment in this place. It's odd to say this, but I feel too tired to be content. I'm also too tired to want anything.On Friday night, in Bellingham, I went over to Bill's place with Rosa and the other girls in her house. Hime was working. There were about ten of us there, and then three "adults," Bill's parents and uncle. The plan was to watch Top Gun, but that quickly turned into a violent game of spoons. I left for Redmond around midnight.One thing I miss about Bellingham is the spiritual high of being around a lot of Christians. I visited Rufus while I was there. He's getting moved in with his bride at their new place. We had a good lunch and talked about our lives, ending up on the topic of money. He seems to know a lot about making good financial decisions. I guess if you pay little enough on taxes (so it looks to the government that you're fairly poor), they had this deal where the government would match up to 50% of whatever you put into some sort of investment account. He owed $500 in taxes, so he put $1000 into the investment, and didn't have to pay the government anything. It was basically free money. I don't know that it would have occurred to me to do something like that.I'm also not quite clear about how my mutual fund works. I was under the impression that I gave the company (Fidelity) money and told them how much, roughly, I wanted in different categories, and they did all the trading for me. The investments, though, all seem to be different companies, rather than a pot with which to buy stock. For example, one category was company stock (Microsoft), and I have so many (2 point something) shares of it. Will they buy and sell when they think it's a good time, or will it just sit there and do whatever the market is doing? Money always has a way of making you worry about it, even when you know you have more than enough. I remember vividly going to Toys 'R' Us with a family friend for one of my birthdays. I bought an N64 game, don't remember which, and I worried the whole way home that I overdrafted my checking account even though I knew I had at least $40 more than I spent. According to that friend (I'm too lazy to think up an alias right now), I inherited that from my mother.Before and after Eureka on Tuesday, at Swood's place, we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's spectacular, if you haven't seen it yet. Well worth the $5 on iTunes, though I'm sure you can watch it on Youtube for free. I guess it was to test the waters on this kind of comedy. I hope they make more eventually. Unfortunately, it may be too smart for network television, or maybe I'm not giving the American people enough credit.That's something I've noticed I'm really snobby about, is humor. If it's not brilliant, it's not funny, and anyone who laughs at such a plain, overdone, typical joke really has no appreciation for the art of comedy, and therefore is stupid. I need to work on that.It's only 12:30, but I think I've written enough for now. I'll probably go read some more WoT, or maybe start up Phoenix Wright again. I'm about halfway through the second one.I've still not figured out a good way to allow backward access to my posts. For now you can use the search bar at the top that blogger puts up there and search for "postxxxx" where "xxxx" is the post number, like "0012" for this post. Saying this here won't be too helpful in ten posts, when it gets pushed off the front page though. Hopefully I'll add buttons to the top by the time that happens.Right now I'm loving this band called Seabird. If you listen to Spirit, they sing Rescue, whose first catchy lines are "I'm pushing up daisies / I wish they were roses". The music just leaves you longing for something. It's rare that music these days can stir up that kind of emotion. The whole album ('Til We See The Dawn) is worth buying if you're an iTunes or Microsoft Marketplace fan. Also, iTunes right now is selling it in aac format for $.99 per, so no DRM, plus higher quality sound.Also lately I've been reading a lot of different things, particularly webcomics. I read all the way through Queen of Wands at least until it started over with commentary. The author quit writing them. As I understand it, she (Aerie) ended up marrying the author of Strip Tease, Chris Daily, and now they write Punch an' Pie together. I've (and am continuing to) read punchanpie, and have read most of Strip Tease now. (Note: 'read' in the previous sentence has multiple tenses.) They're alright. Like with most story line oriented web comics, most of them are a little funny, and then once a month or so they make you laugh out loud. (An example of a comic that makes me laugh out loud almost every time is xkcd which is not story line oriented.) Then there's qc, Wigu, Dinosaur Comics, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and SAMWAR.What else is interesting to me lately? I have two kitties now. My sister and mom each bought me one, though my mom wasn't there to help pick them out. Their names are indeed Kotenok and Calloh. They're both tabbies. Kotenok is short-haired, greyscale, and super affectionate. Calloh is long-haired, lynx-tufted eared, greyscale plus brown, and a bit more individualistic, though she likes to cuddle when she's sleepy. They're slowly becoming a bit more obedient with the help of Sheriff Squirt Bottle.Work's going decently. I'm actually on vacation right now; SQL Server 2008 was just released so everyone in the database side of MS gets a week off. I'd just like to point out that I feel I deserve this break. Countless hours of my life went into that release and I'd just like to take some of that credit while it's still fresh in people's minds.Today I saw The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater with Minnie, after watching Batman Begins at my apartment. Both movies gave me the same reaction, I think, though I enjoyed how demented the Joker was in the second movie. I don't like it when there are situations with no right choice. They make me irritated and feel hopeless. That said, I still recognize they were great movies, even if I didn't enjoy the themes. Anything more I say on this topic will just be spoilers.I've done a lot of driving lately, and I'm heading to Bellingham tomorrow for a couple nights, so there's another two hours there and two hours back, assuming moderate traffic.On Friday, I got off work two hours early, having expected to drive up to Bellingham to pick up Hime and head back down to Port Orchard. That day was stressful, perhaps the most stressful I've had. On top of doing the work I'd normally do in an eight hour day, I also had to leave a readme for whoever was going to pick up my slack this week, explaining everything I was working on and its current state. I have no idea whether I left enough information and it took me a night to calm down from that. Anyway, Hime ended up having to drive to her parents' house anyway, which turns out to be about 15 minutes north of my place. So, when I got home, I watched the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring. After she called me to tell me she'd gotten to the house, I left and got there as she wasgetting out of the shower. We left about ten minutes later, after she'd met my kitties.Traffic wasn't too bad, but we were still an hour and a half to my mom's house, where we dropped off our stuff and the got the kitties situated in my room. From there, Hime and I drove to El Sombrero, which was closed, and then to McDonald's. I must be growing up because McDonald's only disappoints me now. My McDonald's cravings cannot be fulfilled because their Big'n'Tasty now tastes Big'n'Nasty. The McChicken isn't like it used to be either. All that they have over me anymore is the Barq's rootbeer and their fries, the first of which I can get elsewhere, and the latter I don't crave. Anyway, we got to the farm where my mom's wedding rehearsal happened just as the last people were leaving. Hime was introduced to people I've known my whole life and people I didn't really even recognize at the same time with equal importance. It seems like introductions should have some weight to them, but I haven't figured out how that would work. I don't mean to say people that i've known forever are more important than people I hardly know, but my best friend was meeting a lot of the family and close friends that raised me, and somehow that felt important to me. I don't think she felt the same gravity.My aunt, whose not really my aunt -- she was my mom's foster-sister growing up -- and her daughter, Navi, were staying at our house, as well as my grandma, so we were short one bed. Hime took Ashley's, my aunt and Navi took my room, and my grandma slept with my mom; I gladly took the couch, despite the objections I predicted Hime would have.The next morning, my mom headed off to get her hair done up. The night prior, Hime had asked my mom for her hair straightener. Apparently, my mom handed it to Hime right in front of me, but somehow I missed it. When I woke up well before Hime did, and couldn't find the straightener in my mom's bathroom, I figured she'd packed it and left with it, so I called around, eventually borrowing Ashley's friend's sister's an hour or so before Hime got up. When Hime found out about that later, she thanked me for my effort.We left for Silverdale shortly after Hime woke. She had wanted to get my mom chocolates for a wedding gift. Anytime I'm around Macy's I always get a few boxes for my favorite women: my mom, my sister, and usually someone else if there's an obvious pick. My mom likes milk chocolate, while Jack likes dark, so we decided to get two boxes, and give the gift together. At the wedding, I, unfortunately, forgot to give Ashley her box, so it remains in my car. Hime and I finished off the box I bought for her of assorted dark chocolate mints within the day. Evidently I've had enough calories to last me the rest of the year, so I've started a 140-day fast. Should be interesting.The wedding itself was interesting to say the least. I think it was special. In fact, I'm glad that it rained. It seemed to be meaningful rain. The rain started when the ceremony started, and ended when the ceremony ended. Then it waited for us all to move down to the reception and started again until we all finished eating. I like the rain, and I think my mom does too. I don't know about Jack. My grandpa walked my mom down the aisle. He'd told my mom and me that he wasn't going to, because he didn't feel she was his to give away anymore. She was a grown woman, and this was her second wedding. So, I was surprised when he did. Both Jack and my mom pulled a prank on the other when presenting the rings. Jack pretended to have lost my mom's and had this entire skit play out. My mom pulled out this giant ring big enough to fit three fingers, with an enormous glass diamond on it.After the rain stopped the second time, a breeze started which didn't help Hime or me, as we were drenched to the bone, I in my full suit, and her in a sundress. So, we went back to the house, changed, and headed back just in time for the garter toss. Apparently the ones that he shot into the crowd were all the ones he'd gotten at weddings in the past. There were about eight. I did not participate in the catching. That would just be too awkward. After that, my sister and her friend (the one whose sister loaned me the hair straightener, but I don't want to think up an alias for her) fought over the bouquet. Ashley ended up with about three flowers, and her friend with the rest. Then Jack gave a short speech about a couple "batons" he wanted to pass on. The first one he started off by saying, "Is Jordan Hitch nearby?" I said, "nope," as I was walking up. There really ought to be a word for something between 'said' and 'yelled,' because that's more of what I did. My baton was a book called "A Man, A Can, and A Grill" which was a cookbook of sorts. Our handshake turned into a semi-hug which was a little awkward. I've never hugged a little person before. The second baton was to a friend of mine: bachelor 'til the rapture. I think that would have been embarrassing, but he seemed to take it in good humor.William basically fell in love with Hime as soon as he met her. He's usually my shadow, but he was anything but subtle about wanting to hang around her and not me during the wedding. I thought it was funny more than anything else. His sister had a crush on my sister's ex-boyfriend while they were dating. Tastes must run in the family. (That, of course, is not to imply that Hime and I are dating, or that I think we ever will -- even driving to the wedding she reinforced that we weren't going to go down that road.) Right before William and his family left, Hime and I played some sort of blob tag. It was fun, which I normally would not say about playing with children. It was out of my comfort zone, for sure, but it was fun.We stayed for a couple more hours, and helped clean up after the newlyweds left. Hime was feeling a bit ill and had medicine back at her parents' place, so she and I packed up at my house and left back for Redmond. She was cold the entire time despite the fact the heat was all the way up and I was sweating. I suspected she was sick on top of what she needed the medicine for. Her mom picked her up from my apartment.Just to finish the Hime-related material, I'll skip ahead a bit to Sunday night. I texted her: "Hey, if you're still here and you're not sick of me yet, would you want to go out to dinner?" She responded that she was already in Bellingham, and otherwise she would. So, I asked if she wanted to go out to dinner one of the nights I was in Bellingham. We're going on Thursday night. In the context of the moment, it seemed like we both were picturing just the two of us, and while I know her well, I don't know whether that's actually what she was picturing. Either one-on-one or with a bunch of our friends will be fun.Sunday morning I went to church. I've been visiting the one Solomon suggested I look into. It's an Assemblies of God church called Life at the Ridge. I gather it's about sixty people large, but during the summer somewhere between thirty and forty usually show up. I really feel at home there, and everyone seems alive and excited and genuinely loving. I met with the pastor last week over lunch. He and I had a long talk, basically giving him my life's story, hitting on everything from my becoming a Christian to Eowyn, to my parents' divorce, to Jamaica, to my mom's remarriage. We talked a bit about his history too, how he's lived in every state touching the pacific (save Hawaii), and knows a bit about programming, and so on. I really like him. He called me today while I was at the movie, just to say he should have remembered it was odd to see me on Sunday because I had told him I'd be at my mom's wedding still, and wanted to know how it went. Do most pastors do that? I guess I could see John at Harper doing that, but the church is too big to do that sort of thing for everyone.Lasteek after church, I went out to lunch with a few people from the church. Sadly, I don't remember any of their names. One guy led worship the first two weeks I was there. The other guy was visiting from the midwest, where he goes to college, and he works at Starbucks there. And the woman is a financial advisor type person in Seattle. Actually, come to think of it, I do remember her name now, but only after a friend of hers said it at church this week. Also, it won't do you any good that I remember it because I'd only alias her anyway. In fact, I could alias to the two guys whose names I don't know. How would you like that?!Man, I've had some funny thoughts lately. I wish I could remember them. They were just one-liners, typically ironic or oxymoronic. There was a line like that in Batman that no one laughed at, too. I chuckled. Then again, the movie was so loud there, that I don't think I would have been able to hear someone next to me laugh. The fire truck on fire was a nice touch.After church, I went down to Kent to go to IKEA with my grandma who was on her way back up from my mom's to Camano. She bought me two bookcases and some pictures and frames to go with them. The bookcases were heavy, too heavy for me to carry, anyway, and she's not as young as she used to be (as can be said of anyone). She asked me if I knew any of my neighbors yet. I don't, really, but I had a solution to get the boxes into my apartment by myself. See, I have a computer chair with wheels. All I had to do was put one end on the chair, and carry the other end. My grandma guided the chair, but really, I could have just gone in front and the weight of the box would have pulled the chair along. My grandma looked at me and said, "You're one in a million. Most intelligent people aren't smart." That made me feel really good.Yesterday, I didn't have anything planned, and an old friend from high school got online for the first time since January. We started talking and then she asked if I wanted to get coffee, which turned into mall pizza in Auburn. So that was another long drive, though entirely worth it. It was good to catch up with her. This isn't a bad thing, but it reminded me of the differences between Port Orchardites and people on this side of the water. Cultures are weird.In closing, I've finally almost finished the fifth Wheel of Time book. I didn't like this one as much as the past four. The climactic battle was pretty lame. It lacked description of the would-be cool scenes, and there was no real battle between Rand and one of the Forsaken, like in the last ones.

tl;dr mr jefferson
Yet again, we have another excellent argument.

Explanation

Main article: Problem of other minds
Denial of the materialist existence, in itself, is not enough to be a solipsist. Possibly the most controversial feature of the solipsistic world view is the denial of the existence of other minds. We can never directly know another's mental state. Qualia, or personal experience, are private and infallible. Another person's experience can be known only by analogy.
Philosophers try to build knowledge on more than an inference or analogy. The failure of Descartes's epistemological enterprise brought to popularity the idea that all certain knowledge may end at "I think therefore I am" (cogito ergo sum).[1]
The theory of solipsism also merits close examination because it relates to three widely held philosophical presuppositions, which are themselves fundamental and wide-ranging in importance. These are:

  1. That my most certain knowledge is the contents of my own mind — my thoughts, experiences, affects, etc.
  2. That there is no conceptual or logically necessary link between the mental and the physical — between, say, the occurrence of certain conscious experiences or mental states and the 'possession' and behavioral dispositions of a 'body' of a particular kind (see the Brain in a vat);
  3. That the experiences of a given person are necessarily private to that person.
Solipsism is not a single concept but instead refers to several world views whose common element is some form of denial of the existence of a universe independent from the mind of the agent.

[edit] History


[edit] Gorgias

Solipsism is first recorded with the Greek presocratic sophist, Gorgias (c. 483–375 BC) who is quoted by the Roman skeptic Sextus Empiricus as having stated:

  1. Nothing exists;
  2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
  3. Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.

[edit] Descartes

The foundations of solipsism are in turn the foundations of the view that the individual's understanding of any and all psychological concepts (thinking, willing, perceiving, etc.) is accomplished by making analogy with his or her own mental states; i.e., by abstraction from inner experience. And this view, or some variant of it, has been influential in philosophy since Descartes elevated the search for incontrovertible certainty to the status of the primary goal of epistemology, whilst also elevating epistemology to "first philosophy". However, both these manoeuvres — methodological solipsism and the primacy of epistemology — have been called into question in modern times, with Richard Rorty making particularly pointed criticisms in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.

René Descartes. Portrait by Frans Hals, 1648.



[edit] Varieties


[edit] Metaphysical solipsism

Main article: Metaphysical solipsism
Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which maintains that the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher is the whole of reality and that the external world and other persons are representations of that self having no independent existence (Wood, 295).

[edit] Epistemological solipsism

Further information: Epistemological solipsism Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known. The existence of an external world is regarded as an unresolvable question, or an unnecessary hypothesis rather than actually false.

[edit] Methodological solipsism

Main article: Methodological solipsism
Methodological solipsism is the epistemological thesis that the individual self and its states are the sole possible or proper starting point for philosophical construction (Wood, 295). The methodological solipsist does not intend to conclude that one of the stronger forms of solipsism is true, but rather believes that all other truths must be founded on indisputable facts about his own consciousness. A skeptical turn along these lines is cartesian skepticism.

[edit] Psychology, and psychiatry


[edit] Philosophical solipsism as pathological

Solipsism is often introduced (for example "Philosophy made simple", by Popkin and Stroll) as a bankrupt philosophy, or at best bizarre and unlikely. Alternatively, the philosophy is introduced in the context of relating it to pathological psychological conditions. However, solipsists believe that the philosophy of solipsism is neither bankrupt, bizarre, nor pathological.

[edit] Solipsism syndrome

Solipsism syndrome is a dissociative mental state.[citation needed] It is only incidentally related to philosophical solipsism. Solipsists assert that the lack of ability to prove the existence of other minds does not, in itself, cause the psychiatric condition of detachment from reality. The feeling of detachment from reality is unaffected by the answer to the question of whether the common-sense universe exists or not.[citation needed]

[edit] Infant solipsism

Developmental psychologists commonly believe that infants are solipsist,[2] and that eventually children infer that others have experience much like theirs and reject solipsism (see Infant metaphysics). Solipsists assert that this rejection is not logically justified.

[edit] Questions


[edit] Consequences

To discuss consequences clearly, an alternative is required: solipsism as opposed to what? Solipsism is opposed to all forms of realism and many forms of idealism (insofar as they claim that there is something outside the idealist's mind, which is itself another mind, or mental in nature). Realism in a minimal sense, that there is an external universe is most likely not observationally distinct from solipsism. The objections to solipsism therefore have a theoretical rather than an empirical thrust.
One consequence that is inherent to solipsism is an atomic individualist view of the world and nature. If only I matter, then other people, animals, environments only matter insofar as they impact myself. This may be an anti-social philosophy. Language and other social media are taken for granted as self conceived and inherent. Maintenance of these social tools is not required, the individual need only exist, not interact with the world. Sincere solipsists are unlikely to be persuaded by such considerations; believing society to be non-existent, there is no question of being "anti social" for them.
The British philosopher Alan Watts wrote extensively about this subject.

[edit] Plausibility


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Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion. (January 2008) Solipsism is the position that only perception exists. The question of plausibility depends, of course, on the philosophical groundwork one chooses to use as a starting point. Historically, Western philosophical systems have been somewhat at odds with Eastern modes of thought, and solipsism as formulated in the context of many Eastern philosophies is not seen as problematic by its practitioners (see the section Eastern Philosophies, below).
A general (Western) discussion stemming from, for example, an objectivist philosophical groundwork, can be viewed as considering whether an idea stands up to common sense or arguments of reasonableness, and is free from obvious internal logical contradictions. Solipsism is suspect on at least two grounds, in this case.

  1. Can one's perception, within one's mind exist without an external something to exist in, such as a biological brain?
  2. Does one consider all of perceptual reality as part of one's faculty of being, such as high math, music composition and other creative work which one can not consciously re-produce?
  3. An objection could be termed a corollary to the two above. It asks a question about the functioning of one's personal perceptions. The solipsist cannot deny the fact that he thinks, thus going through reasoning processes about his perceptions. His consciousness is not just perceptions; it's also thinking about them. How is this possible without some mental machinery which can perform such thinking? But if such mental machinery exists independent and apart from his perceptions, this also contradicts the "perceptions only" premise. Otherwise a solipsist can define his consciousness to contain perception and thinking processes together.
Note, however, that there is a potential refutation to the thesis that 'perception' requires 'thinking.' If the solipsist were merely being created instantaneously from moment to moment with all memory intact and updated, he would only think he is 'thinking' — i.e., have a perception of thinking. In fact, no operation or activity has truly taken place from percept to percept (think of how the 'still' frames of a moving picture film strip blend into the appearance of motion) — only the passage of time. But such a refutation is very vulnerable to the objection based on language (e.g. the private language argument). A solipsist who declares that he is not really thinking cannot hold that he is really speaking.
A subjective argument for the implausibility of solipsism is that it goes against the commonly observed tendency for sane adult humans in the western world to interpret the world as external and existing independent of themselves. This attitude, not always held by children, is listed by developmental psychologists as one of the signs of the maturing mind. The principle is deeply held, and well integrated with human languages and other thought processes. However, that humans think this way, even if they must think this way, does not prove something true.

[edit] Neuroscience


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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008) Empirical studies of the human brain suggest that the human mind is subject to many strongly held miscomprehensions of what is held by consensus to be the external and objective world. This line of thought could be extended to the claim that even if the existence of an external world is assumed, the private mental world of each agent is logically that of the solipsist. A thought experiment emphasizes this point. Imagine you are in a fight to the death: If your opponent loses, will the sun rise tomorrow? Almost all people would say yes, but if you lose, will the sun rise tomorrow? The thought experiment suggests that it is not true for any agent that all minds are on an equal footing. The principle that they are is an abstraction that ignores a very important detail in the private mental life of the agent. This idea is expressed in more detail in What Is it Like to Be a Bat?, by Thomas Nagel (in, for example, The Mind's I by Douglas Hofstadter).
This argument exposes a misunderstanding which constantly recurs with regard to solipsism. If it borrows a conclusion drawn from the scientific investigation of the external world, only to pull the rug from under the scientific enterprise by declaring that there is no external world, then since the solipsist is at least uncertain that brains exist, how can he draw conclusions about his mind from them? Solipsists claim that the method is proof by contradiction. If the external world does not exist, it does not exist. On the other hand if it is assumed to exist, and studied with neuroscience, it is found that the causal chains involved in perception are indirect. Solipsists paraphrase "the external world is only known indirectly" as "the external world cannot be known at all", and thereby conclude that the external world is either nonexistent or unknowable. However, "the external world cannot be known at all" is not a corollary or implication of "the external world is only known indirectly", and no scientist would make that assumption. Almost everybody considers science as posited on the investigation of the external world.

[edit] Last surviving soul

Would the last person left alive after a nuclear holocaust be a solipsist? Not necessarily, because for the solipsist, it is not merely the case that they believe that their thoughts, experiences, and emotions are, as a matter of contingent fact, the only thoughts, experiences, and emotions that can be. Rather, the solipsist can attach no meaning to the supposition that there could be thoughts, experiences, and emotions other than their own — that events may occur or objects or people exist independently of the solipsist's own experiences. In short, the metaphysical solipsist understands the word "pain" [i.e., someone else's], for example, to mean "one's own pain" — but this word cannot accordingly be construed to apply in any sense other than this exclusively egocentric, non-empathetic one.

[edit] Relation to other ideas


[edit] Idealism and materialism

One of the most fundamental debates in philosophy concerns the "true" nature of the world — whether it is some ethereal plane of ideas, or a reality of atoms and energy. Materialism[3] posits a separate 'world out there' that can be touched and felt, with the separate individual's physical and mental experiences reducible to the collisions of atoms and the interactions of firing neurons. The only thing that dreams and hallucinations prove are that some neurons can misfire and malfunction, but there is no fundamental reality behind an idea except as a brain-state. Idealists,[4] on the other hand, believe that the mind and its thoughts are the only true things that exist. This doctrine is often called Platonism[5] after its most famous proponent. The material world is ephemeral, but a perfect triangle or "love" is eternal. Religious thinking tends to be some form of idealism, as God usually becomes the highest ideal (such as Neoplatonism)[6][7][8] On this scale, solipsism can be classed as idealism, specifically subjective idealism. Thoughts and concepts are all that exist, and furthermore, only 'my' thoughts and consciousness exist. The so-called "reality" is nothing more than an idea that the solipsist has (perhaps unconsciously) created.

[edit] Cartesian dualism

There is another option, of course: the belief that both ideals and "reality" exist. Dualists commonly argue that the distinction between the mind (or 'ideas') and matter can be proven by employing Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles. This states that two things are identical if, and only if, they share exactly the same qualities, that is, are indistinguishable. Dualists then attempt to identify attributes of mind that are lacked by matter (such as privacy or intentionality) or vice versa (such as having a certain temperature or electrical charge).[9][10] One notable application of the identity of indiscernibles was by René Descartes in his Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes concluded that he could not doubt the existence of himself (the famous cogito ergo sum argument), but that he could doubt the (separate) existence of his body. From this he inferred that the person Descartes must not be identical to the Descartes body, since one possessed a characteristic that the other did not: namely, it could be known to exist. Solipsism agrees with Descartes in this aspect, and goes further: only things that can be known to exist for sure should be considered to exist. The Descartes body could only exist as an idea in the mind of the person Descartes[11][12] Descartes and dualism aim to prove the actual existence of reality as opposed to a phantom existence (as well as the existence of God in Descartes's case), using the realm of ideas merely as a starting point, but solipsism usually finds those further arguments unconvincing. The solipsist instead proposes that their own unconscious is the author of all seemingly "external" events from "reality".

[edit] Radical empiricism

The idealist philosopher George Berkeley argued that so-called physical objects do not exist independently of the so-called mind that perceives them. An item truly exists only so long as it is observed; otherwise, it is not only meaningless, but simply nonexistent. The observer and the observed are one. Berkeley does attempt to show things can and do exist apart from the human mind and our perception, but only because there is an all-encompassing Mind in which all 'ideas' are perceived - in other words, God, who observes all. The solipsist appreciates the fact that nothing exists outside of perception, but would further point out that Berkeley falls prey to the egocentric predicament - he can only make his own observations, and can't be truly sure that this God or other people exist to observe "reality". The solipsist would say it is better to disregard the unreliable possible observations of alleged other people and rely upon the immediate certainty of one's own perceptions.[13][14]

[edit] Rationalism

Rationalism is the philosophical position that truth is best discovered by the use of reasoning and logic rather than by the use of the senses (see Plato's theory of Forms). Solipsism, which holds a similar distrust for sense-data, is thus related to rationalism, and in fact may be seen as a form of extreme rationalism.

[edit] Philosophical zombie

The theory of solipsism crosses over with the theory of the philosophical zombie in that all other seemingly conscious beings actually lack true consciousness, instead they only display traits of consciousness to the observer, who is the only conscious being there is.

[edit] Falsifiability

Falsifiability in the sense of Popper or Lakatos is not a simple principle. If an agent discovers a contradiction in their own terms within their own thoughts then there is an error, but exactly which component of the mind is at fault is not clear: if (A and B) is false, then is it A or B that is false? In practice we have in our minds many beliefs, some are held more strongly than others. When an error is found the less strongly held beliefs are considered for modification or deletion first; only if no reasonable change in these is found to fix the error do we look deeper.
A weak form of epistemological solipsism states that the agent has no proof of anything beyond the senses. This can be raw observation, at the level of "I see red", "I am not aware of a proof". A stronger form states "No proof exists", this is falsifiable in as far as anything is. In order to falsify it, a proof must be provided.
Falsificationism indicates that if the mind of the agent produces a self contradiction on its own terms, then (by definition) some error is being made. However, the error can only be located in the agent's mind as a whole. To demonstrate that one aspect (or axiom) of that mind is incorrect requires the assumption that another is correct. If the thesis is that "all entities are aspects of the mind of the agent", then to refute this it is typically required to assume the truth of an axiom that contains the effect of "there do exist things outside the mind of the agent".[citation needed]
According to one argument[citation needed], no experiment (by a given solipsist A) can be designed to disprove solipsism (to the satisfaction of that solipsist A). However, solipsism can still be refuted by showing it to be internally inconsistent.
The method of the typical scientist is materialist: assuming that the external world exists and can be known. But the scientific method, in the sense of a predict-observe-modify loop, does not require the assumption of an external world. In common terms, a person may perform psychological test on themselves, without any assumption of an external world. The solipsistic scientist performs experiments to determine the relation between observations, without any presumption that these observations come from a source outside the mind of the solipsist. However, this account needs to be extended to include the co-operative and communitarian nature of science.
Models involving an external world may be used, but will always be purely abstract: used for their ability to predict, but being given no special ontological status. There are, in fact, several distinct versions of Quantum Mechanics, each instrumentally equivalent to the other, but with different ontologies. In a solipsistic science there is no strong desire to determine which is ultimately true — in effect, none of them are, but they all have utility and intuitions to offer. However, non-solipsistic science can explain why anything is ever falsified at all, since a non-mental world does not have to bend to the expectations of science.

[edit] Minimalism

Solipsism is a form of logical minimalism. Many people are intuitively unconvinced of the non existence of the external world from the basic arguments of solipsism, but a solid proof of its existence is not available at present. The central assertion of solipsism rests on the non existence of such a proof, and strong solipsism (as opposed to weak solipsism) asserts that no such proof can be made. In this sense, solipsism is logically related to agnosticism in religion: the distinction between believing you do not know, and believing you could not have known.
However, minimality (or parsimony) is not the only logical virtue. A common misapprehension of Occam's Razor has it that the simpler theory is always the best. In fact, the principle is that the simpler of two theories of equal explanatory power is to be preferred. In other words: additional "entities" can pay their way with enhanced explanatory power. So the realist can claim that, while his world view is more complex, it is more satisfying as an explanation.

[edit] Pantheism

While solipsism is not generally compatible with traditional views of God, it is somewhat related to Pantheism, the belief that everything is God and part of God. The difference is usually a matter of focus. The pantheist would tend to identify him- or herself as being a part of everything in reality, which is actually all God beneath the surface. For instance, many ancient Indian philosophies advocate the notion that all matter (and thus humans) is subtly interconnected with not only one's immediate surroundings, but with everything in the universe and claim that all that one can perceive is a kind of vision, Samsara. The solipsist, however, would be more likely to put him- or herself in the center, as the only item of reality, with all other beings in reality illusions. It could be said to be another naming dispute; "The Universe" / "God" for the pantheist is "My Unconscious Mind" / "Me" for the solipsist.
Bishop Berkeley observed, "If I can't see you, you can't be you."

[edit] Eastern philosophies

Thoughts somewhat similar to solipsism are present in much of eastern philosophy. Taoism and several interpretations of Buddhism, especially Zen, teach that drawing a distinction between self and universe is nonsensical and arbitrary, and merely an artifact of language rather than an inherent truth.

[edit] Zen

Zen concentrates on direct experience rather than on rational creeds or revealed scriptures.

[edit] Hinduism


[edit] Advaita Vedanta

Advaita is one of the six best known Hindu philosophical systems, and literally means "non duality." Its first great consolidator was Adi Shankaracharya (788-820[citation needed]), who continued the line of thought of some of the Upanishadic teachers, and that of his teacher's teacher Gaudapada. By analysing the three states of experience—–waking, dreaming, and deep sleep—–he established the singular reality of Brahman, in which the Atman (soul) and Brahman are one and the same.
In the Hindu model, the ultimate reality, Brahman, plays a game of hide and seek with itself. In this game, called Lila, Brahman plays individual people, birds, rocks, forests, etc. all separately and together, while completely forgetting that the game is being played. At the end of each Kalpa, Brahman ceases the game, wakes up, applauds himself, and resumes it. So one of the main points in "waking up" and being enlightened, is knowing one is simply playing a game, currently acting as a human being, having an illusion of being locked within a bag of skin and separated from the whole of the cosmos.
"One who sees everything as nothing but the Self, and the Self in everything one sees, such a seer withdraws from nothing."
"For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self, so how could any suffering or delusion continue for those who know this oneness?" Isha Upanishad; sloka 6, 7
The philosophy of Vedanta which says "Aham Brahmasmi", roughly translated as "I am the Absolute Truth", indicates solipsism in one of its primitive senses. The "real" world is but an illusion in the mind of the observer. When the solipsist understands Maya (illusion of world), then that individual transcends the mundane and reaches the state of everlasting bliss, realizing the Self, as the whole universe.

[edit] Yoga

Yogic practices are sometimes seen to align closely with the Sankhya philosophy, which is an Eastern dualistic system (somewhat distinct from Western dualism) postulating only the existence of mind, and of matter. However, one sometimes sees it explained that, while matter exists for us in the world of Maya (illusion), it is ultimately a product of mind (viz, of Brahman), and is encompassed thereby.

[edit] Buddhism

The Buddha stated : "Within this fathom long body is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world and the path leading to the cessation of the world." Whilst not rejecting the occurrence of external phenomena, the Buddha focused on the illusion of reality that is created within the mind of the perceiver by the process of ascribing permanence to impermanent phenomena, satisfaction to unsatisfying experiences, and a sense of reality to things that were effectively insubstantial.
Some later representatives of one Yogacara subschool (Prajnakaragupta, Ratnakirti) were proponents of extreme illusionism and solipsism (as well as of solipsism of this moment). The best example of such extreme ideas was the treatise of Ratnakirti (XI century) "Refutation of the existence of other minds" (Santanantara dusana).
[It is important to note that all mentioned Yogacara trends are not purely philosophical but religious–philosophical. All Yogacara discourse takes place within the religious and doctrinal dimension of Buddhism. It is also determined by the fundamental Buddhist problem, that is living being and its liberation from the bondage of Samsara.]

[edit] Responses

The following are some common critiques and responses about solipsism:

  • People die
But the solipsist himself or herself is not dead. If somebody else dies, the supposed being who has supposedly "died" is only a phantom of the solipsist's imagination anyway, and the elimination of that phantom proves nothing. A critic would point out that many (self-proclaimed) solipsists have died in the history of the world, and solipsism hasn't disappeared yet. However, the solipsist would respond that he or she has not died, and therefore his or her solipsism is not yet disproved. He or she never believed in the existence of those other solipsists in the first place.
  • Applicability of the past
The fact that an individual may find a statement such as "I think, therefore I am" applicable to them, yet not originating in their mind indicates that others have had a comparable degree of insight into their own mental processes, and that these are similar enough to the subject's. Further, existence in complete unity with reality means that learning is impossible -- one would have to have awareness of all things. The metaphysical solipsist would respond that, much like other people are products of his own mind, so, too, is "the past" and its attendant information. Thus, "I think, therefore I am" would indeed have originated in their mind.
  • Life is imperfect
Why would a solipsist create things such as pain and loss for himself or herself? More generally, it might be asked "If the world is completely in my head, how come I don't live the most fantastic life imaginable?" One response would be to simply plead ignorance and note that there may be some reason which was forgotten on purpose. Another response is that categories such as 'pain' are perceptions assumed with all of the other socio-cultural human values that the solipsist has created for himself — a package deal, so to speak. More creatively, perhaps this is all out of a desire to avoid being bored, or perhaps even that the solipsist is in fact living the most perfect life he or she could imagine. This issue is somewhat related to theodicy, the "problem of evil", except that the solipsist himself is the all-powerful God who has somehow allowed imperfection into his world. A solipsist may also counter that since he never made himself he never had a choice in the way his mind operates and appears to have only limited control over how his experiences evolve. He could also conclude that the world of his own mind's creation is the exact total of all his desires, conscious and otherwise and that each moment is always perfect in the sense that it would not be other than as his own mind in total had made.[15] The imperfection of life can also be explained through the beliefs of the pseudo-philosophy lachrymology, i.e. that only through pain, both physical and emotional, can one move to a higher state of existence. Thus, it could be theorized that the imperfect present for a solipsist is the direct result of his subconscious compulsion to experience perfection. The claim that the solipsist's mind is the only thing with certain existence for him (epistemological solipsism) does not inherently address the question of control over the content of that mind. Outside solipsism, a person may know that a phobia is all in the mind but be completely unable to prevent it ruining their life. (Conversely, it is not illogical for a powerful being—a god, for example—to have complete control over the universe, despite it being external to said powerful being.) Solipsism asserts that the mind of the agent is the only thing with assured existence; it need not assert any specific structure to that mind—any more or less than materialism—in and of itself, and requires a specific cosmology. However, any convincing philosophy needs to cohere with what is observed, and metaphysical solipsism needs to credit certain mental contents with the same stubborn indifference to human wishes that material objects display in other philosophies. In a psychological, rather than philosophical, mode, the delusion that the agent is in complete control of the universe and chooses to have bad things happen is equally compatible with a solipsistic as with a materialistic mindset.
  • Other people's skills
If the solipsist created a famous poet in his mind, why doesn't the solipsist have the capacity to imitate their skill? If the solipsist created the poet's poems for them, why can't the solipsist create equally talented poems for themselves? Answer, if he created the poet, he created the poem. But you can argue that a solipsist does not have the same skills personally as a professional guitarist does. In theory, he should be able to write equally as talented music because he created it, but that is where the problem arises, because the solipsist is not good at guitar.
  • Solipsism undercuts morality
If solipsism is true, then practically all standards for moral behavior would seem to be meaningless, according to this argument. There is no God, so that basis for morality is gone, but even secular humanism becomes meaningless since there are no such things as other humans. Everything and everyone else is just a figment of imagination, so there's no particular reason not to make these figments disappear by, say, mass annihilation. The problem with this argument is that it falls prey to the Appeal to Consequences Fallacy; if solipsism is true, then it doesn't matter that it has unfortunate implications. This can possibly be countered by people who believe that (a non-solipsist) morality is an inherent part of the universe that can be proven to exist. A solipsist may also understand that everything being a part of himself would also mean that harming anything would be harming himself with associated negative consequences such as pain (although the solipsist must be harming himself already, since "life is imperfect"). Or an exponent of a weak form of solipsism might say that harming others is imprudent because the solipsist can only be uncertain of their real existence rather than certain of their non-existence. Another expression of this point is in noting the strong feelings that a human can have for a non-existent character in a movie, or for a car or boat which is admitted to be completely non sentient. There is no logical or psychological reason to prevent a solipsist caring for observed people, even if the solipsist is completely convinced of their non-existence.
  • The practical solipsist needs a language to formulate his or her thoughts about solipsism
Language is an essential tool to communicate with other minds. Why does a solipsist universe need a language? Indeed, one might even say, solipsism is necessarily incoherent, a self-refuting idea, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would implicitly have to affirm the very thing in which he or she purportedly refuses to believe: the 'reality' of intersubjectively valid criteria, and/or of a public, extra-mental world.[16] A possible response would be that to keep from becoming bored, perhaps the solipsist imagines "other" minds, which would actually be only elements of his own mind. He or she has chosen to forget control of these minds for the time being, and the elaborate languages required for interaction with these more isolated segments of his mind are merely part of the creation of "reality." As for the rules of logic, they are probably merely an artifact of the peculiar psychology of the solipsist and only appear to exist in the "real" world. (However, to argue this way is to admit that solipsism needs to be buttressed with additional, ad-hoc hypotheses). Greg Egan addressed this issue in his story "Dust" and the subsequent novel based on the story Permutation City by demonstrating that the solipsist can choose to develop his own self-consistent logical system apart from "reality". A more telling question might be, why does the solipsist need to invent so many and such a variety of languages? There is of course E-prime which strives to speak from the personal point of view and seems ideally suited for solipsism. One famous argument along these lines is the private language argument of Wittgenstein. In brief, this states that since language is for communication, and communication requires two participants, the existence of language in the mind of the thinker means the existence of another mind to communicate with. There is a direct fallacy in this: either, language is for communication between two agents, in which case it is still to be proved that what is in the head of the agent is a language, or what is in the head of the agent is language, in which case it is yet to be proved that language is for communication between two minds. To complicate the situation, the language in the mind of the agent may be for communication between the agent at this time, and the agent at a future time. However, this is no objection to the original argument, which explicitly mentions a kind of "diary" and therefore communication across time.
  • Solipsism amounts to realism
An objection, raised by David Deutsch,[17] among others, is that since the solipsist has no control over the "universe" he is creating for himself, there must be some unconscious part of his mind creating it. If the solipsist makes his unconscious mind the object of scientific study (e.g., by conducting experiments), he will find that it behaves with the same complexity as the universe offered by realism; therefore, the distinction between realism and solipsism collapses. What realism calls "the universe", solipsism calls "one's unconscious mind." But these are just different names for the same thing. Both are massively complex processes other than the solipsist's conscious mind, and the cause of all the solipsist's experiences — possibly merely a labeling distinction. Application of Occam's Razor might then suggest that postulating the existence of 'reality' may be a simpler solution than a massive unconscious mind; alternatively the smaller number of entities required to exist for solipsism suggests solipsism is the better choice. In practice, Occam's Razor suffers from a problem in the definition of simplicity. The solipsist would claim that the apparent independence of real world events just shows how good his unconscious mind is at maintaining the illusion. The realist's world may be every bit as complex as the solipsist's unconscious, but when the solipsist dies, the entire universe will cease to exist. (See also, Le Guin, Ursula K. The Lathe of Heaven)
  • Philosophical poverty
Some philosophers hold the viewpoint that solipsism is entirely empty and without content. Like a 'faith' argument, it seems sterile, i.e., allows no further argument, nor can it be falsified.[18][19] The world remains absolutely the same — so where could a solipsist go from there? Viewed in this way, solipsism seems only to have found a facile way to avoid the more difficult task of a critical analysis of what is 'real' and what isn't, and what 'reality' means. Some might say Solipsism is not impoverished because it helps philosophers operate from a principle of doubt because their difficult task can only determine the probability of what is real and what isn't. The solipsist would hold that further argument is meaningless and there are limits to what can be known about 'reality.'
  • Workability
Another argument against solipsism is that it has no goal and no way to be applied. The question used in such an argument is, can it be applied? Does it lead to a better or a happier life, in the viewpoint of the solipsist, or anyone else? In other words, if the solipsist believes that nothing is real and there are no goals, what can he spend his time doing and why not just die?
[edit] Culture

In Greg Egan's book Permutation City, Egan explores the meaning of solipsism through the concept of the "Solipsist Nation" that is developed by a "Copy" (a self-aware computer simulated human). Since every "Copy" is aware that they are a simulation in a virtual reality, the philosophical ideas from this sub-plot present an unusual and fascinating twist on the concept.
In Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger," the character Satan makes the following statement of solipsism at the end of the novella, "In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever--for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!...You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks - in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream - a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought - a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"
Author Robert A. Heinlein often toyed with themes of a solipsistic "multiverse" in various stories and novels. A good example is his short story "All You Zombies".
In Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, the man who rules the universe is a hermit who practices solipsism, to the extent that he is unaware that he rules the universe or even, in fact, that the universe exists.
George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 features a climactic metaphysical debate: the central character, Winston, argues against "the belief that nothing exists outside your own mind," or the "fallacy" of solipsism; O'Brien, his inquisitor, explains that "collective solipsism" would be a better name for the totalitarian scheme, but would also be nearly the opposite of solipsism in theory. Winston ultimately loses this debate, and learns that truth is defined by power and not the human mind. (Chapter 3, Section III)
In the Nine Inch Nails song "Right Where It Belongs" from the album With Teeth, the lead singer Trent Reznor sings on the matter of solipsism.
In Iain M. Banks' sci-fi novel Against a Dark Background, the female protagonist Sharrow meets The Solipsists, a gang of pirate mercenaries on a hovercraft, who hold very unusual philosophical beliefs.
In The Chronicles of Amber, the fantasy series by Roger Zelazny, the protagonist, Corwin, travels through different worlds simply by imagining them in detail and willing himself there. He comments specifically on the solipsistic nature of this 'travel', speculating that he creates these worlds rather than 'finding' them, but he rejects the idea of solipsism in general.
In John Gardner's novel Grendel, Grendel battles a bull and, since the bull cannot change his way of attacking, and because Grendel discovers he can avoid the blows, Grendel concludes that he alone exists.
Solipsist sentiment can be seen to a limited extent in the premise behind The Matrix movies.
The Planescape Dungeons & Dragons setting features a faction called the Sign of One that represents a generally solipsist perspective.
The Fiona Apple song "Paper Bag" hints at solipsism in the lines "He said 'It's all in your head,' and I said, 'So's everything' But he didn't get it." [1]
In the popular anime series, Deathnote, a song called "Low of Solipsism" is used when the main character is having episodes of extreme thought and appears to have formulated a plan to solve his problems, perhaps alluding that his reasoning is only perfect in his head.
In John Carpenter's film Dark Star (film), Lt. Doolittle tries to teach an intelligent bomb phenomenology, but accidentally convinces it to become Solipsist, with disastrous results.
In Stephen King's novel, It, character Patrick Hockstetter suffers from Solipsism Syndrome.[citation needed]
In an August 2008 episode of WWE Raw, Chris Jericho refered to Shawn Michaels as being Solipsistic due the latter's egotistical and self centred actions throughout his professional wrestling career.
This is amazing, another excellent argument.

The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. The doctrine involved concepts diametrically opposed to the notion of Alfred Thayer Mahan about the significance of navies (he coined the term sea power) in world conflict. The Heartland theory hypothesized the possibility for a huge empire being brought into existence in the Heartland, which wouldn't need to use coastal or transoceanic transport to supply its military industrial complex but would instead use railways, and that this empire couldn't be defeated by all the rest of the world against it.The basic notions of Mackinder's doctrine involve considering the geography of the Earth as being divided into two sections, the World Island, comprising Eurasia and Africa; and the Periphery, including the Americas, the British Isles, and Oceania. Not only was the Periphery noticeably smaller than the World Island, it necessarily required much sea transport to function at the technological level of the World Island, which contained sufficient natural resources for a developed economy. Also, the industrial centers of the Periphery were necessarily located in widely separated locations. The World Island could send its navy to destroy each one of them in turn. It could locate its own industries in a region further inland than the Periphery could,so they would have a longer struggle reaching them, and would be facing a well-stocked industrial bastion. This region Mackinder termed the Heartland. It essentially comprised Ukraine, Western Russia, and Mitteleuropa. The Heartland contained the grain reserves of Ukraine, and many other natural resources. Mackinder's notion of geopolitics can be summed up in his saying "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland. Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island. Who rules the World-Island commands the World." His doctrine was influential during the World Wars and the Cold War, for Germany and later Russia each made territorial strides toward the Heartland.Mackinder's geopolitical theory has been criticised as being too sweeping, his interpretation of human history and geography too simple and mechanistic. In his analysis of the importance of mobility, and the move from sea to rail transport, he failed to predict the revolutionary impact of air power. Critically also he underestimated the importance of social organization in the development of power[1].I woke up this morning with a tune stuck in my head. It was just a few measures. I was trying to place it, while I lied there in bed, something about pleasures. Oooh look! I rhymed! Too bad it had nothing to do with pleasures. At first I thought it was a tune from Fable, but then I placed it at the climax of a movie. Now I can't remember which movie, so that bothers me a bit. I wanted to confirm the placement.I've not slept well in a while, including last night. For the past many years, I've dreamt virtually every night. These past couple weeks, though, every night has brought bad dreams. They weren't scary, but they were always stressful, and I've woken up well before I've wanted to. The first three nights it was at 5am, then 6am. This morning I woke up at 7am, but I think that had more to do with the kids playing outside my window. They wake up around 7:30, I'm guessing, every weekday morning, and now that it's Saturday, their day off, it's a good idea to sleep in until 7. Yeah, that makes sense.My cat just ruined my train of thought. Stupid bugger got on the table again, so I got up and he ran under my bed. I pulled him out and coldly soaked him with the squirt bottle. I wish they'd just learn not to get on the table. They've gotten better about it. They don't get up there innocently anymore. They know they're not supposed to. They seem to take turns being the good cat. Calloh has been good for about a week now, though they both still scratch up the inside of the couch. I wish we hadn't torn that lining off the bottom. I think that was done because a cat or ferret had started tearing at it.This past week, and really well back into half of the week before, I got no work done. Between sickness (no more strawberry cream cheese), the day I couldn't motivate myself no matter how many games of Minesweeper I played, and being blocked the rest of the time, there was just nothing I could really do. There were things I thought I could do. I'm an expert now on upgrading the backend bits, but each time I've tried (and it takes a few hours if it works -- a wasted few hours if it doesn't, and you have to restart), I've found another bug relating to my task, and have to wait another three days for the fix to be made, approved, and tested. It certainly could be worse, as my peer mentor pointed out. In some projects it used to take a month for a bug in one area to be propagated to areas where the bug fix was needed. All of this to say I made progress yesterday -- significant progress. In fact, after this latest bug is fixed (hopefully Monday), approved (hopefully Monday afternoon, though likely Tuesday), tested (Tuesday night -- hopefully without causing a failure), and downloaded to my machine, I'm confident that, if my part won't work already, I will finish it by end-of-day (eod) Wednesday. Hopefully that makes up for 10 days of progresslessness. Yes, I know it's not a word, but look at how many esses there are in it!Two weekends ago my church had a barbeque right after it. That was pretty fun. The community and fellowship there is great. One thing I'm starting to consider, though, is the worship. It's kind of selfish really, and Harper's former worship pastor had to deal with this issue a lot, but I'm not sure I like the style of worship. We don't play anything old. No hymns unless they've been remade (though even that is rare), no All In All, it seems like we learn a new song every week. Maybe it's just because I'm new that I don't know them, but I've seen people only mouthing the words, so I'm guessing they don't know them either. It's hard to get into worship if you don't really know the words you're singing. Also, though I'm sure it's just my old age catching up with me, I don't much care for the actual musical value of most songs produced today. There are certainly exceptions, but most of the song-value anymore is in lyrics, not in the music, and not in the poetic form. Suddenly worship is reduced to words on a page. What's weird is that wasn't my original impression of the church. Maybe I was just new and wanting to find a place quickly (which was the case), or maybe I've just been more critical these past couple weeks, or maybe the music just hasn't been my style these past couple weeks, and that's just how it was, temporary. Anyway, if it's not temporary, I'm deciding whether it's a big enough issue to change churches over. I feel so at home with the people, and while church is about the people, it's also about connecting with God on a deeper level than you can alone, in your daily life, and if that's not happening, then I'm not at the right church. Oh, but the barbeque was awesome. We played volleyball. I'm considering joining a rec league if I ever find the time. Maybe if things get patched up between my dad and me, he and I might join the same team.This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, I had a vet appointment for the cats' rabies shots. Kotenok might be having a reaction to them, because there's a pretty big knot where I'm guessing the needle went in. That night, Ashley and her friend came over for dinner, and so I could meet her new kitten, Tomtom. It was hard to believe my cats were his size when I got them. He was the scrawniest little thing, with more fur than my cats put together.I convinced them to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, though they were skeptical. I always thought my sister's sense of humor and my own were pretty similar. I guess I was wrong. She laughed a couple times, but I was dying the first time I saw it.On Monday, I went back to Port Orchard. I'd told my mom I was going, and she asked if I was serious about getting an iPhone, which I had been, but I was waiting for May to come around, so I could keep my phone number without it costing ridiculous amounts of money. She, however, has lost her phone, so on the way down, I bought my iPhone, and gave her my old KRZR.The primary reason I was going to Port Orchard, though, was to see Eowyn, and her new apartment. After the grand tour, neither of us had much to do, and we were hungry, so we got food at a local grill. It honestly wasn't great, and it wasn't cheap either. I guess when I said "medium rare," they thought I meant half medium, and half rare. I paid. Then she suggested we watch a movie together. She's not seen Stranger than Fiction, so we went and rented that. She and I have always been a little relaxed about physical touch when sitting next to each other, from orchestra concerts, to movies it turns out, and so we were comfortably squished together on the couch, just shy of cuddling. About 75 minutes into the movie, she fell asleep on my shoulder. It's weird, but I'm not at all romantically attracted to her anymore; that's something I never expected to go away, and am now glad has. Even so, having a girl fall asleep on your shoulder watching a movie is a nice experience. It means she feels safe next to you, and that is a pleasant thought. Tuesday was the day I played so much minesweeper and couldn't be motivated. I suspect Monday night had something to do with it.I've begun reading Lord of Chaos, book six in the series. I'm a little less than halfway through it, if the progress bar at the bottom of my screen can be trusted. It says about 700 pages in, but a page is about two thirds, maybe five sevenths, of a real paper page in the book. (For those who care where I am, Nynaeve just asked Birgitte to ready some horses and not talk to Uno about it. Rand was just bonded.) So far I'm enjoying it, even the female chapters. It's shaping up to be a good book, and while I've heard it's the pinnacle of the series, I hope my sources are wrong. I started testing out Google Chrome. It's in beta, of course, so I can't expect it to do everything, but so far I'm not all that impressed. It does seem faster, but I don't really like the color scheme, or what it does to about half the webpages. The rendering is a little off. Also, they don't have it ported to Mac yet, which I don't really understand, but oh well.Lolbot might be moving in with me in a couple months. He likes his job at Adobe for the most part -- he likes the people and the atmosphere -- but he's rather bored, so he sent me his resume, which I gave to one of the leads on my project. If all goes according to plan, we'll have more job openings in a month or two, and he'll be interviewed then. I'm pretty confident he'll be hired after he's interviewed. That kid is crazy good at programming and at working with others.I was thinking in the shower today. That half hour each morning is probably the most productive time of the day. Anyway, I'm watching The West Wing again, and that always gets me thinking politically, and with politics comes religion, whether it should or not. (I tend to believe it should. If the basis of your government is freedom of religious beliefs, it's a little hard not to govern regarding those beliefs in order to keep those freedoms.) I started considering whether the world is getting better or worse, more specifically whether America and its society are. (And 'society' doesn't follow the grammar rule. Let's all welcome 'society' to the Weird League, along with our other new member, 'caffeine.') I think it's getting both. I think it feels like it's getting worse because our standards are going up, and rightfully so, and I think those standards will slowly have a positive impact on society. People are slowly starting to realize that killing is bad. Revenge is bad. Poverty and hunger are bad. Inequality and favoritism are bad. In the few cases where I think society is getting worse, it's attempting to mauerade as better, and I sincerely hope people start to realize what is wrong before there is so much more hurt in the world. I don't think the world needs more hurt. Anyway, that's enough for now. As I told Alexander earlier today, I have a lot to do. I have to shower (already have), do laundry, and go grocery shopping. I'm a thinker though, and have realized that if I attempt to do all of these tasks in one day, I will have nothing for tomorrow. Always have to think ahead. Oh, also I'm angry about the deaths in Serenity.I may have spoken a little too soon when complaining about The Fires of Heaven (book 5 of the Wheel of Time). It turns out the battle I'd just finished reading through was not the epic end-of-the-book battle, which was quite a bit better. Still, I'd have liked to have known how the fight with Couladin went. The last time Mat got to fight with description was fighting against Galad and Gawyn in Caemlyn, if memory serves. Also, the scientist in me would like to know exactly how the time paradox issues of Baelfire are resolved, not just that a bunch of people saw a few people die, but those people don't remember dying. It's a little too vague for my tastes.My own book is coming along just fine. That is, if "fine" means fixing up the first and only chapter and running into writers' block as soon as I start another one. It'd really help if I had some plot ideas, you know? It seems the only plot I know enough about is my own. Unfortunately my own story is full of plot holes, so it's hard to garner any readers.I'd start talking about Travis right about now, but at the moment, I don't have any new stories about her.Shortly after I last posted, say about 10 hours later, I left for Bellingham with my kitties. They so enjoy car rides. Kotenok actually might. He just sits in the box quietly. Calloh cries every few seconds from point A to point B, unless the music is loud enough that she knows she won't be heard. Or maybe she's just not being heard. I listened to that Seabird disk on the way up. It played through twice. I've probably listened to each song now at least 20 times, and about half of them (the ones I really like) more than that. Probably my favorite song, musically, is called Cottonmouth (Jargon). It's kind of depressing though, sort of liberating but vengeful at the same time. It makes me feel good, but dark at the same time. Those two don't mix well inside of me.Speaking of dark, I just finished Fable a couple hours ago. Alexander loaned it to me on Tuesday after Eureka. On Wednesday I was feeling kind of off, to the point that my manager noticed, and commented a couple times that I was slower than normal (which I guess means I'm fast sometimes?), and I ended up going home early. I think that was a run-on sentence. That night I put in between 5 and 8 hours. On Thursday, yesterday, I was feeling worse, and called in sick. Honestly, it had nothing to do with the game, and I wasn't even all that hooked by Wednesday night. Video games are often restful, though, and I ended up playing another 13 hours or so. The good news is that I felt better today. When I got home I finished up the remaining 4 or 5 hours. It's a decent game, for sure. The gameplay during battles is fun, though it can get a little repetitive. I was light-side, as I always am in such games (I don't know what I'm going to do in the Force Unleashed), so I got the Tear of Avo, or whatever, which is either the second best or tied for the best weapon in the game. I wished there was more storyline behind it. The evil sword had quite a bit of history. Also, there's another legendary sword you can get that's not as good, but takes a ton of extra work to earn. It really should be better than the Tear of Avo, in my opinion. It doesn't have to best the evil sword, but.... Also, the story seemed too linear. I guess I'm used to Knights of the Old Republic, where there are nine different story lines intertwined into yours, and then the villains were interesting too. Jack of Blades was just sort of always out there. And then there was the final battle. It wasn't easy per se, but it certainly wasn't hard, for a game so epic. I expected the fight to be the first of many parts, though not as many as Twilight Princess had -- that bordered on ridiculous, even if it was fun. Having a wife wasn't particularly rewarding. By the time you can really afford to start buying houses, you don't need much money anymore (you rent out houses), and the only way to buy a shop is to kill the current shop owners. Also, I wanted your sister and Whisper to return. And last, but not least, it needed some HK-47.Bellingham, right. I took my vacation that week because Hime was going to be working two weeks from then, and this past week had too many people taking vacation as it was. It turns out, however, that Hime decided to volunteer these two weeks anyway. It's certainly not that I didn't enjoy visiting everyone else, but she was certainly a major reason I went up there. I didn't get a minute alone with her, and the only time that might have been possible, was during the day she was battling through on two and a half hours of sleep, and so wasn't in the best of moods. There were two opportunities for the two of us to talk alone for a little bit, three if you count dinner on Thursday, but those two she chose to talk with Rosa instead. I know they haven't gotten to talk in a long time, but I guess I was looking at how long it would be before we saw each other again, compared to the next time she and Rosa would be able to talk. That dinner I mentioned, I was under the impression the two of us alone, or possibly a few of us, would be going out to dinner. Rosa and the Maggie (aliased for no other reason than I'm listening to a song called Maggie Mahoney, by, you guessed it, Seabird) wanted to have a barbeque on Thursday. I texted Hime saying, "Hey, where did you want to go to dinner? We could go to the bbq tonight and have dinner tomorrow." She texted back, "I can't do dinner tomorrow, but I want to go to the barbeque." At the barbeque, she basically avoided talking to me at all. Again, on two and a half hours of sleep, I can't blame her for not wanting to talk very much. I guess really it comes down to my hopes or expectations being let down.There's always a need for balance. Do you hope and get hurt, which often leads to bitterness, or do you skip a step and go straight cynic? (Do not pass go, do not collect $200 -- which is about the price of my last vet bill.) How do we balance fairness, letting people keep the money they earned, and forcing people to give to those who need it through taxes? Sometimes I think it'd be easier had Jesus been a politician. Then there's balancing giving with making wise financial decisions with spending money on things you probably don't need practically, but realistically need in order to entertain yourself. Or others! -- I technically could probably get by without the internet, but then, how would you read my blog? And then what would you do with your life?I had a conversation with Donna today over facebook about net neutrality. She's a big Obama fan. I'm on the fence, but leaning toward Obama. I realized I'd seen and heard remarkably few Presidential campaign ads, considering it's election season. Evidently, I don't watch much network television anymore. I'm sure when Chuck, Heroes, and Life start again, I'll get my share. I'm all for net neutrality, as is Obama, whereas McCain said he fervently opposed it and wanted to hire Steve Ballmer. Something tells me Ballmer wouldn't take the job, seeing as how he's had his own for a couple months. Who knows, maybe he's more political than I think. Either way, it sounds like he just wanted to drop a big name, and Bill Gates got out of the business, plus I don't think anyone hires Bill, you know? There are just so many political issues, and neither candidate fits my views all too well. Obama's pro-choice and wants to take more of my money so that they can pay today's old people for a little while longer, and let Social Security go bankrupt around the time I'd need it. McCain supports No Child Left Standing and opposes net neutrality. At least I don't have to worry about immigration. According to cnn.com, they have identical views.My conversation about net neutrality with Donna led to a conversation on net neutrality with Fran. She didn't know anything about the issue or what it was, so it was fun to taint her view for her. We only hung out a couple times, but I do miss her. She always has a nice, positive outlook on things. I find it encouraging. It doesn't hurt that she has the cutest profile picture on facebook (regarding me missing her), but that's definitely after-the-fact.For the record, as much as the record can be for'd anyway, I'm not interested in her. I've finally got to the point that I'm not really interested in any girl right now. I've been wanting to get to this point for a couple months now, but sometimes that's difficult; sometimes a girl makes that difficult. Next step: contentment in this place. It's odd to say this, but I feel too tired to be content. I'm also too tired to want anything.On Friday night, in Bellingham, I went over to Bill's place with Rosa and the other girls in her house. Hime was working. There were about ten of us there, and then three "adults," Bill's parents and uncle. The plan was to watch Top Gun, but that quickly turned into a violent game of spoons. I left for Redmond around midnight.One thing I miss about Bellingham is the spiritual high of being around a lot of Christians. I visited Rufus while I was there. He's getting moved in with his bride at their new place. We had a good lunch and talked about our lives, ending up on the topic of money. He seems to know a lot about making good financial decisions. I guess if you pay little enough on taxes (so it looks to the government that you're fairly poor), they had this deal where the government would match up to 50% of whatever you put into some sort of investment account. He owed $500 in taxes, so he put $1000 into the investment, and didn't have to pay the government anything. It was basically free money. I don't know that it would have occurred to me to do something like that.I'm also not quite clear about how my mutual fund works. I was under the impression that I gave the company (Fidelity) money and told them how much, roughly, I wanted in different categories, and they did all the trading for me. The investments, though, all seem to be different companies, rather than a pot with which to buy stock. For example, one category was company stock (Microsoft), and I have so many (2 point something) shares of it. Will they buy and sell when they think it's a good time, or will it just sit there and do whatever the market is doing? Money always has a way of making you worry about it, even when you know you have more than enough. I remember vividly going to Toys 'R' Us with a family friend for one of my birthdays. I bought an N64 game, don't remember which, and I worried the whole way home that I overdrafted my checking account even though I knew I had at least $40 more than I spent. According to that friend (I'm too lazy to think up an alias right now), I inherited that from my mother.Before and after Eureka on Tuesday, at Swood's place, we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's spectacular, if you haven't seen it yet. Well worth the $5 on iTunes, though I'm sure you can watch it on Youtube for free. I guess it was to test the waters on this kind of comedy. I hope they make more eventually. Unfortunately, it may be too smart for network television, or maybe I'm not giving the American people enough credit.That's something I've noticed I'm really snobby about, is humor. If it's not brilliant, it's not funny, and anyone who laughs at such a plain, overdone, typical joke really has no appreciation for the art of comedy, and therefore is stupid. I need to work on that.It's only 12:30, but I think I've written enough for now. I'll probably go read some more WoT, or maybe start up Phoenix Wright again. I'm about halfway through the second one.I've still not figured out a good way to allow backward access to my posts. For now you can use the search bar at the top that blogger puts up there and search for "postxxxx" where "xxxx" is the post number, like "0012" for this post. Saying this here won't be too helpful in ten posts, when it gets pushed off the front page though. Hopefully I'll add buttons to the top by the time that happens.Right now I'm loving this band called Seabird. If you listen to Spirit, they sing Rescue, whose first catchy lines are "I'm pushing up daisies / I wish they were roses". The music just leaves you longing for something. It's rare that music these days can stir up that kind of emotion. The whole album ('Til We See The Dawn) is worth buying if you're an iTunes or Microsoft Marketplace fan. Also, iTunes right now is selling it in aac format for $.99 per, so no DRM, plus higher quality sound.Also lately I've been reading a lot of different things, particularly webcomics. I read all the way through Queen of Wands at least until it started over with commentary. The author quit writing them. As I understand it, she (Aerie) ended up marrying the author of Strip Tease, Chris Daily, and now they write Punch an' Pie together. I've (and am continuing to) read punchanpie, and have read most of Strip Tease now. (Note: 'read' in the previous sentence has multiple tenses.) They're alright. Like with most story line oriented web comics, most of them are a little funny, and then once a month or so they make you laugh out loud. (An example of a comic that makes me laugh out loud almost every time is xkcd which is not story line oriented.) Then there's qc, Wigu, Dinosaur Comics, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and SAMWAR.What else is interesting to me lately? I have two kitties now. My sister and mom each bought me one, though my mom wasn't there to help pick them out. Their names are indeed Kotenok and Calloh. They're both tabbies. Kotenok is short-haired, greyscale, and super affectionate. Calloh is long-haired, lynx-tufted eared, greyscale plus brown, and a bit more individualistic, though she likes to cuddle when she's sleepy. They're slowly becoming a bit more obedient with the help of Sheriff Squirt Bottle.Work's going decently. I'm actually on vacation right now; SQL Server 2008 was just released so everyone in the database side of MS gets a week off. I'd just like to point out that I feel I deserve this break. Countless hours of my life went into that release and I'd just like to take some of that credit while it's still fresh in people's minds.Today I saw The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater with Minnie, after watching Batman Begins at my apartment. Both movies gave me the same reaction, I think, though I enjoyed how demented the Joker was in the second movie. I don't like it when there are situations with no right choice. They make me irritated and feel hopeless. That said, I still recognize they were great movies, even if I didn't enjoy the themes. Anything more I say on this topic will just be spoilers.I've done a lot of driving lately, and I'm heading to Bellingham tomorrow for a couple nights, so there's another two hours there and two hours back, assuming moderate traffic.On Friday, I got off work two hours early, having expected to drive up to Bellingham to pick up Hime and head back down to Port Orchard. That day was stressful, perhaps the most stressful I've had. On top of doing the work I'd normally do in an eight hour day, I also had to leave a readme for whoever was going to pick up my slack this week, explaining everything I was working on and its current state. I have no idea whether I left enough information and it took me a night to calm down from that. Anyway, Hime ended up having to drive to her parents' house anyway, which turns out to be about 15 minutes north of my place. So, when I got home, I watched the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring. After she called me to tell me she'd gotten to the house, I left and got there as she wasgetting out of the shower. We left about ten minutes later, after she'd met my kitties.Traffic wasn't too bad, but we were still an hour and a half to my mom's house, where we dropped off our stuff and the got the kitties situated in my room. From there, Hime and I drove to El Sombrero, which was closed, and then to McDonald's. I must be growing up because McDonald's only disappoints me now. My McDonald's cravings cannot be fulfilled because their Big'n'Tasty now tastes Big'n'Nasty. The McChicken isn't like it used to be either. All that they have over me anymore is the Barq's rootbeer and their fries, the first of which I can get elsewhere, and the latter I don't crave. Anyway, we got to the farm where my mom's wedding rehearsal happened just as the last people were leaving. Hime was introduced to people I've known my whole life and people I didn't really even recognize at the same time with equal importance. It seems like introductions should have some weight to them, but I haven't figured out how that would work. I don't mean to say people that i've known forever are more important than people I hardly know, but my best friend was meeting a lot of the family and close friends that raised me, and somehow that felt important to me. I don't think she felt the same gravity.My aunt, whose not really my aunt -- she was my mom's foster-sister growing up -- and her daughter, Navi, were staying at our house, as well as my grandma, so we were short one bed. Hime took Ashley's, my aunt and Navi took my room, and my grandma slept with my mom; I gladly took the couch, despite the objections I predicted Hime would have.The next morning, my mom headed off to get her hair done up. The night prior, Hime had asked my mom for her hair straightener. Apparently, my mom handed it to Hime right in front of me, but somehow I missed it. When I woke up well before Hime did, and couldn't find the straightener in my mom's bathroom, I figured she'd packed it and left with it, so I called around, eventually borrowing Ashley's friend's sister's an hour or so before Hime got up. When Hime found out about that later, she thanked me for my effort.We left for Silverdale shortly after Hime woke. She had wanted to get my mom chocolates for a wedding gift. Anytime I'm around Macy's I always get a few boxes for my favorite women: my mom, my sister, and usually someone else if there's an obvious pick. My mom likes milk chocolate, while Jack likes dark, so we decided to get two boxes, and give the gift together. At the wedding, I, unfortunately, forgot to give Ashley her box, so it remains in my car. Hime and I finished off the box I bought for her of assorted dark chocolate mints within the day. Evidently I've had enough calories to last me the rest of the year, so I've started a 140-day fast. Should be interesting.The wedding itself was interesting to say the least. I think it was special. In fact, I'm glad that it rained. It seemed to be meaningful rain. The rain started when the ceremony started, and ended when the ceremony ended. Then it waited for us all to move down to the reception and started again until we all finished eating. I like the rain, and I think my mom does too. I don't know about Jack. My grandpa walked my mom down the aisle. He'd told my mom and me that he wasn't going to, because he didn't feel she was his to give away anymore. She was a grown woman, and this was her second wedding. So, I was surprised when he did. Both Jack and my mom pulled a prank on the other when presenting the rings. Jack pretended to have lost my mom's and had this entire skit play out. My mom pulled out this giant ring big enough to fit three fingers, with an enormous glass diamond on it.After the rain stopped the second time, a breeze started which didn't help Hime or me, as we were drenched to the bone, I in my full suit, and her in a sundress. So, we went back to the house, changed, and headed back just in time for the garter toss. Apparently the ones that he shot into the crowd were all the ones he'd gotten at weddings in the past. There were about eight. I did not participate in the catching. That would just be too awkward. After that, my sister and her friend (the one whose sister loaned me the hair straightener, but I don't want to think up an alias for her) fought over the bouquet. Ashley ended up with about three flowers, and her friend with the rest. Then Jack gave a short speech about a couple "batons" he wanted to pass on. The first one he started off by saying, "Is Jordan Hitch nearby?" I said, "nope," as I was walking up. There really ought to be a word for something between 'said' and 'yelled,' because that's more of what I did. My baton was a book called "A Man, A Can, and A Grill" which was a cookbook of sorts. Our handshake turned into a semi-hug which was a little awkward. I've never hugged a little person before. The second baton was to a friend of mine: bachelor 'til the rapture. I think that would have been embarrassing, but he seemed to take it in good humor.William basically fell in love with Hime as soon as he met her. He's usually my shadow, but he was anything but subtle about wanting to hang around her and not me during the wedding. I thought it was funny more than anything else. His sister had a crush on my sister's ex-boyfriend while they were dating. Tastes must run in the family. (That, of course, is not to imply that Hime and I are dating, or that I think we ever will -- even driving to the wedding she reinforced that we weren't going to go down that road.) Right before William and his family left, Hime and I played some sort of blob tag. It was fun, which I normally would not say about playing with children. It was out of my comfort zone, for sure, but it was fun.We stayed for a couple more hours, and helped clean up after the newlyweds left. Hime was feeling a bit ill and had medicine back at her parents' place, so she and I packed up at my house and left back for Redmond. She was cold the entire time despite the fact the heat was all the way up and I was sweating. I suspected she was sick on top of what she needed the medicine for. Her mom picked her up from my apartment.Just to finish the Hime-related material, I'll skip ahead a bit to Sunday night. I texted her: "Hey, if you're still here and you're not sick of me yet, would you want to go out to dinner?" She responded that she was already in Bellingham, and otherwise she would. So, I asked if she wanted to go out to dinner one of the nights I was in Bellingham. We're going on Thursday night. In the context of the moment, it seemed like we both were picturing just the two of us, and while I know her well, I don't know whether that's actually what she was picturing. Either one-on-one or with a bunch of our friends will be fun.Sunday morning I went to church. I've been visiting the one Solomon suggested I look into. It's an Assemblies of God church called Life at the Ridge. I gather it's about sixty people large, but during the summer somewhere between thirty and forty usually show up. I really feel at home there, and everyone seems alive and excited and genuinely loving. I met with the pastor last week over lunch. He and I had a long talk, basically giving him my life's story, hitting on everything from my becoming a Christian to Eowyn, to my parents' divorce, to Jamaica, to my mom's remarriage. We talked a bit about his history too, how he's lived in every state touching the pacific (save Hawaii), and knows a bit about programming, and so on. I really like him. He called me today while I was at the movie, just to say he should have remembered it was odd to see me on Sunday because I had told him I'd be at my mom's wedding still, and wanted to know how it went. Do most pastors do that? I guess I could see John at Harper doing that, but the church is too big to do that sort of thing for everyone.Lasteek after church, I went out to lunch with a few people from the church. Sadly, I don't remember any of their names. One guy led worship the first two weeks I was there. The other guy was visiting from the midwest, where he goes to college, and he works at Starbucks there. And the woman is a financial advisor type person in Seattle. Actually, come to think of it, I do remember her name now, but only after a friend of hers said it at church this week. Also, it won't do you any good that I remember it because I'd only alias her anyway. In fact, I could alias to the two guys whose names I don't know. How would you like that?!Man, I've had some funny thoughts lately. I wish I could remember them. They were just one-liners, typically ironic or oxymoronic. There was a line like that in Batman that no one laughed at, too. I chuckled. Then again, the movie was so loud there, that I don't think I would have been able to hear someone next to me laugh. The fire truck on fire was a nice touch.After church, I went down to Kent to go to IKEA with my grandma who was on her way back up from my mom's to Camano. She bought me two bookcases and some pictures and frames to go with them. The bookcases were heavy, too heavy for me to carry, anyway, and she's not as young as she used to be (as can be said of anyone). She asked me if I knew any of my neighbors yet. I don't, really, but I had a solution to get the boxes into my apartment by myself. See, I have a computer chair with wheels. All I had to do was put one end on the chair, and carry the other end. My grandma guided the chair, but really, I could have just gone in front and the weight of the box would have pulled the chair along. My grandma looked at me and said, "You're one in a million. Most intelligent people aren't smart." That made me feel really good.Yesterday, I didn't have anything planned, and an old friend from high school got online for the first time since January. We started talking and then she asked if I wanted to get coffee, which turned into mall pizza in Auburn. So that was another long drive, though entirely worth it. It was good to catch up with her. This isn't a bad thing, but it reminded me of the differences between Port Orchardites and people on this side of the water. Cultures are weird.In closing, I've finally almost finished the fifth Wheel of Time book. I didn't like this one as much as the past four. The climactic battle was pretty lame. It lacked description of the would-be cool scenes, and there was no real battle between Rand and one of the Forsaken, like in the last ones.

touche, mr. jefferson
Interesting. What is your response, Mr. Jerfferson?
 
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