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Judgment - Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
October 3rd, 2004
12:11 am
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Judgment

Let's assume that there are multiple agents inside of me that tell me “hey, that might be a good idea” or “don't do that”. Let's further assume that one of these can be labeled “Reason” (corresponding to an almost totally unbiased—but also rote and uninsightful—analysis of the facts as presented to it by other parts of me) and that another can be labeled “Social Emotion” (corresponding to judgments of how other people might view certain actions and attitudes of mine).

I think my Social Emotion agent is incredibly buggy. This was manifested this evening, when I was sitting at home, alone and pretty bored. Even though I've been putting quite a bit of effort into making my space livable lately, and doing a passably good job of it, I really wanted to get out of the house. I wished Mark was online, so I could ask him if it was okay to come over to his place, but he wasn't. Then katieboyd posted to DPB asking if anyone was interested in coming over to watch a movie. I immediately sized up the situation: here was a clear opportunity for me to benefit, but as Katie said in her email, it was 6:20 on a Saturday, so it was unlikely that many people would see it. Reason said “hey dumbass, here's a chance to solve your problem”, but at the same time, Social Emotion said “you don't want to seem desperate, like you have nothing to do on a Saturday evening, do you?” Which is idiotic, because, I didn't have anything to do on a Saturday evening. I don't do much of anything most Saturday evenings, actually. Sometimes I'm okay with that, sometimes I'm not.

Anyway, I eventually got the best of myself and called Katie (I'm still kind of afraid of calling people I don't know that well; that was more than half the battle, actually), and even though I was right about the lack of other people, it was no big deal. I went over to her place and we talked for a bit, I had a beer, we walked over to an Indian restaurant and got takeout, then went back and watched Ghost in the Shell, and I drove home. We both had a good time.

Being too nervous to ask anyone to do anything—and, as a result, staying home, lonely and bored—is a pattern I've experienced many times before. It's possible that a high amount of experience not being rejected—and of being rejected and having that be no big deal, either—would train me out of this, but a little won't. I know this because if it would, it already would have. This problem is disturbing because, although I can always just ignore Social Emotion entirely, there is such a thing as being desperate or too demanding, and by ignoring it, I lose my ability to detect that.

Alcohol can sometimes actually make Social Emotion more prominent, but usually it gets shut off. See, the thing is that even though at a low level I believe that people will reject me, at an even lower level I believe that they would be idiots to do so. :-) Sometimes I can get into a flow, where everything is going fine and I'm not worried at all. Need to learn how to sustain that state. Need to learn to deal with problems without leaving it.

Oh, and the user icon for this post was made about an hour ago.

Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Ayumi Hamasaki

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From:papertygre
Date:October 3rd, 2004 08:44 am (UTC)
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I like your new pic. That one really looks like you.

This problem is disturbing because, although I can always just ignore Social Emotion entirely, there is such a thing as being desperate or too demanding, and by ignoring it, I lose my ability to detect that.

I know this feeling well.

It seems like you might be doing the right thing. Maybe your Social Emotion component is stiff, like a new hat. You need to break in the hat, and that can only happen by wearing it for a while and whacking it around until it gets supple. (This analogy comes courtesy of my new EFF hat, which just came yesterday.) Or maybe not, just thinking aloud.
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From:kenoubi
Date:October 3rd, 2004 09:07 pm (UTC)
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I like your new pic. That one really looks like you.

Thanks. :-)

It seems like you might be doing the right thing. Maybe your Social Emotion component is stiff, like a new hat. You need to break in the hat, and that can only happen by wearing it for a while and whacking it around until it gets supple. (This analogy comes courtesy of my new EFF hat, which just came yesterday.) Or maybe not, just thinking aloud.

I'd approach it from a slightly different perspective, but one that I think has pretty much the same result: if the thing is defective (and I think I have good enough evidence that it is) then the only reasonable thing to do is to ignore it, 'cause there isn't any specific action I can take to directly make it better. Then, maybe it will get better on its own while I'm ignoring it (it's supposed to be able to learn, right?) and maybe eventually I realize that hey, it's good enough to actually use now. Or maybe not—the point is, I have to deliberately ignore it now.

By the way, what I said about how people don't really get better at things was almost surely wrong. I do believe that there are fairly hard caps on how good a given person can get at a given skill, but there's a lot of room in there as long as you don't put a premium on being the best in the world. My shooting ability has noticeably improved with a pretty minimal investment. We should have a rematch in a year or something. :-)

From:ixiel
Date:October 4th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC)

Invite

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Hey dude, wanna come over this weekend? ;)
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From:kenoubi
Date:October 4th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Invite

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Hehe.

You know, I could. Ratha's coming the weekend after this, and my mom the weekend after that, but I've got no plans this weekend at all (other than by default going to the range on Sunday again).

I've done crazier shit before, but somehow I don't think I would enjoy that much driving right now...
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From:katieboyd
Date:October 4th, 2004 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I went through a bit of that too post to dpb that I had nothing to do on a Saturday night. And in calling Quack, even though I knew she wanted to see those movies.

Anyway, i'm glad you came over.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 18th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)

Just to clarify things

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I wished Mark was online, so I could ask him if it was okay to come over to his place, but he wasn't.

You pretty much have a blanket invitation, Kenn. Though I guess the question's getting pretty academic.

-- Mark
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