April 6, 2008

"I think the stress people feel... comes from the unattended-to knowledge that what they are doing doesn't make sense."

I say that at the end of the update to this post from yesterday.


rhhardin said...

I have no topic to bring up to nobody in particular ; but lots of comments to make on most things that come up.

That makes as much sense, but is entirely stress-free.

JSF said...

To be filled with ideas and not heard from....

To have studied Power and be Powerless....

That, for me, is the begining of stress.

John K. said...

Amen to that sister. I was most happy in my life when I was consumed with doing something I believed in and that made sense to me, even though the external circumstances appeared superficially stressful. Nowadays, unfortunately, the passage of time weighs heavily on my meaningless activities. Lately, though, I've been reading Emerson on the "Over-soul," and that helps put things in perspective.

John K. said...

But I think the point of your post was that people should attend to what they're doing and why they're doing it, and if what they're doing doesn't make sense they should do something else that does make sense. I'm working on that, but I do think that in this crazy mixed up world doing something that actually makes sense isn't quite as easy as it sounds.

Ron said...

Maybe there's some kind of career in getting people lined up properly...not merely about work or personal matters, but the coordination of both to your greatest happiness...something like 'life aligner', something like that...

SMGalbraith said...

I recall the response by Michael Oakeshott when Andrew Sullivan told him that he (Sullivan) was going into journalism (paraphrasing).

"Oh dear, doing that [writing about daily events] all the time seems to me a type of nervous condition."

(There, I put it on the tee for the Sullivan critics.)

Kirby Olson said...

I would think you would blog about Tibet.

Or about the three murders in Madison.

But I would love to hear what your crowd thinks of the debacle in Tibet.

It's a perfect chance to denounce the Maoism of Tel Quel and of the 70s Legal Studies crowd, too.

Even Simone de Beauvoir was a Maoist -- who wrote a massive book on the Chinese Revolution which is a kind of blueprint for the whole feminist operation. Even Julia Kristeva wrote a positive book called Chinese Women, which ended with a glorification of Mao's Cultural Revolution.

Isn't this why you have turned a bit more conservative since you are sickened by the PC elements of the CCP?

Hello, Dalai!

ricpic said...

There is no stress
In being great --
My pearls before the swine.
It's their loss
If they fail the test
Of kenning the sublime.

AllenS said...

I'm listening to the Brewers on the radio, and even though they are up 2-0, it is very stressful, so I'm going to drink some beer.

MadisonMan said...

The "problem" is that the senseless thing they do is all they do, because it's all-consuming. If you don't have a nice balance of other things to do in your life, your job will consume you.

What's the old line -- No one ever said on their death-bed I wish I'd spent more time at work. The modern version is that no one on their death bed is going to say I wish I'd spent more time blogging.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry, I wish I had started blogging earlier.

tituszenmasterextra said...

Abstinence really?

That sounds kind of judgey.

blake said...

And it's not really true about working either: Some people love their work and derive great pleasure from their achievements.

In fact, if you're in a situation where you wouldn't regret not spending more time working, you probably need a new job.

Anyway, Althouse nails it: It's blogging because you have to, just like any other enjoyable activity can be made a chore by taking the sense of freedom away from it.

Ann Althouse said...

tituszenmasterextra said..."Abstinence really? That sounds kind of judgey."

Actually, it was intended to be hedonistic. Your endeavors don't seem aimed at happiness, yet you have to put so much time and effort into them. Why bother?

blake said..."Anyway, Althouse nails it: It's blogging because you have to, just like any other enjoyable activity can be made a chore by taking the sense of freedom away from it."

Yeah, like I was just saying to Titus...

blake said...

Watch out there, Ann, you come very close to suggesting that some (homo)sexual behavior might be compulsive in nature.

Chaos Tamer said...

"...and go on to become
doctors, lawyers, writers,
investment bankers and even
commodities traders."
Now we know where the chaos in those professions originated... philosophy majors!!

Ann Althouse said...

blake said..."Watch out there, Ann, you come very close to suggesting that some (homo)sexual behavior might be compulsive in nature."

I think much sexual behavior is compulsive. Everyone knows that. I'm simply saying that people should pay attention to what they are doing, understand why, and believe that it makes sense. If you are having sex that you don't really want, you are mistreating yourself -- I would say raping yourself.

blake said...

I'm not disagreeing.

Say, does that mean if you're blogging when you don't really want to, you're blog-raping yourself?

titusbette davis eyes said...

Somewhat perceptive by Althouse but not altogether accurate.

I generally don't put much time or energy in meeting most people. I wasn't really "looking" last night just having a good time with friends and this all happened very quickly.

I generally don't go "searching" for sex but am always aware of my surroundings and know that may be an option. It never gets in the way of me doing something. We are surrounded by sex and options. I just tend to grab them when presented.

This particular person I met as I was leaving the bar and we jumped into a cab together within 2 minutes.

I was dancing with a big black guy most of the night that my friends said was 1 foot taller than me and twice as wide (in a good way). But somehow I ditched him and ran into a cab with this other one.

I had two martinis and as a result my judgment was a little skewed.

titusbette davis eyes said...

My friends said that the black guy and I were arm wrestling the entire time on the dance floor and he would throw my arm behind my back and bend me over.

And every now and then I would kiss him but in order to kiss him I would actually have to jump up because has so tall.

Isn't that sweet.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I wish I could see a videotape of me on nights like last night.

I would probably be mortified.

Chet said...

Anybody can make "sense" of anything.

We all know people who can rationalize the absurd.

Sometimes it's best to be led by intuition and the joy of spontaneity.

Ann Althouse said...

I am not talking about rationalization, since I'm talking about "the stress people feel" from "unattended-to knowledge," which is, essentially intuition. I'm saying pay attention to how you really feel about what you are doing, that it is a sign that what you are doing doesn't really make sense to you. The fact that you can rationalize it when you start to think about it doesn't mean it really makes sense to you.

For example, when called on it, Titus will try to explain his behavior. Whether it actually makes sense to him is something else altogether.

titusbette davis eyes said...

My behavior does not make sense to me. I understand I have issues regarding intimacy. Probably for the fleeting moment of sex I know someone wants me, desires me, wants to be me-that's the easy part. The difficult part is someone being with me longer than 30 minutes. That's when it gets difficult. Then they can judge me, find my faults, and finally reject me-that's when I would fall apart. The thought of rejection is powerful and devastating. Then I question everything about me.

A fleeting sexual experience allows me the opportunity to not be rejected and is safe.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I meant to say wants to be with me not wants to be me-that would be weird.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Also, the thought of putting myself in a situation where someone gets to know me longer than 30 minutes and reject me is stressful.

titusbette davis eyes said...

And finally I think that someone probably wouldn't like me if they knew me more than 30 minutes. I don't think I would like me if I had to be with me more than 30 minutes.

How sad.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Titus: In this and its previous thread, Althouse has extended you a great kindness with her advice. I sincerely hope you heed it.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I appreciate Althouse's advice Ruth.

The difficult part is heeding it.

But it does give me something to think about and acknowledge about my own character.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Self-mastery is the beginning of true freedom.

Paco Wové said...

Titus: In this and its previous thread, Althouse has extended you a great kindness with her advice.

Advice that could be applied to many areas of life, as well; such as blog-commenting.

Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Archy said...

To Profeſſor Althouſe.


The Similarity between Modern Internet Writings, ſuch as this, your Theatre of Topicks (as I call it), and many of the Papers or Periodicals of my Century, has been much remark'd upon.  They both often have been the Productions of a ſingle Individual, writing in his Pyjamas, as 'tis ſaid of the Modern Internet Author; or lock'd in a Garret, common in my Age.

As the Ghoſt of a Perſon dead these 250 Years and more, I have ſeen many a Scribbler ſtarve in a Garret. That Modern Knights-Errant of the Internet, riding up & down the Computer Keyboard, would ſtarve in their Pyjamas should cause no Surpriſe; for ‘tis in the Nature of Writers to lie & ſtarve.  Hunger may no longer haunt the pamper'd Modern News-Writer; Lying, in its turn, continues unabated.

The News-Writers Couſin, the Writer on Politicks & of Short Pieces ſtarves yet, unless ſhelter'd under Publiſher's Bowers; for He is moſtly conſign'd to giving away his Writing on the Internet, in vain Hopes ſome paltry Advertiſements should pay Him a few Pennies.  In may Day, many a Writer ſtarted a Paper to attract the Publick to his Poems & Books, which would ſupport him better, and to Flatter some Perſon of Quality, or tell Lies for a Faction, whose Generoſity or Preferment the Author would expect.

Some Few made an entire Living from the Paper. Thus, Mr. Addiſon ſays, in the Tenth Number of the Spectator, there were three thouſand Copies distribut'd every Day.  If the Author receives an Ha'penny per Copy for his Trouble, and writes ſix Times a Week, He may expect a Profit of £6/5, or £325 per annum, certainly enough to keep the Author from Starvation; and that in an Age when £50 a Year were enough to keep entire Families above the Fear of Want.  Mr. Addiſon ſhared the Production of his Paper with Mr. Steele and occasional Others; but Mr. Addiſon wrote above two-thirds of them, and their Sale sometimes reached 17,000 Copies, so You may see that Mr. Addiſon and his Friends were Scribblers long since come down from Garrets.

'Tis leſs clear that any Modern Keyboard Pounder ſhould cast off his Pyjamas so profitably.  Thoſs of Us your Admirers, Madam, await any Intelligence with which You may favour Us, upon Methods to increaſe the Revenue of this, your Theatre of Topicks; or whether We would expect that only Fame & Satisfaction should accrue to the impreſſaria of such a Venture.  I aſk not a disinterest'd Queſtion, Madam, for I must tell You that I have given ſome Thought to opening my own Theatre.

With ev'ry beſt Wish that both your Fame & Fortune should increaſe, I remain,


Your Humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy