2008.09.18 19:00 - Chocolate Love

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    Pia Iger was guardian and prepared the log.

    Disclaimer: this log does not involve the 'famous' Chocolate Disco dance. Instead, we talked about our troubles with chocolate, love, etc.

    Pia Iger: Hi, Syl, 3D,
    Threedee Shepherd: hi
    stevenaia Michinaga is Online
    Pia Iger: Nostrum, welcome, have you been here before?
    Nostrum Forder: Yes, a few times.
    Pia Iger: ok. so I don't need give introduction:)
    stevenaia Michinaga: evening Pia, Sylectra, nice to see you again, Nos
    Threedee Shepherd: hi steve
    Sylectra Darwin: Good evening!
    Nostrum Forder: Hi, Steve.

    After a short silence,

    Pia Iger: I can start with my little observation.
    Pia Iger: there are two things I always feel good after doing them,
    Pia Iger: physical workout and meditation
    Pia Iger: but the same time, I feel the most resistance to do them.
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmm, these are a few of your favorite things?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yoga is like the two combined

    Good point, Steve. It reminds me to try out more yoga.

    Adelene Dawner sneaks quietly in ^.^
    Pia Iger: I just wonder about the contradiction. Good things to do, but unwilling to actually do it.
    Nostrum Forder giggles, remembering seminary. "The good that I would do, I do not do. And that which I would not do, I find myself doing. What a wretch I am!"
    Pia Iger: sounds familiar, Nostrum. I guess this is quite common.
    Nostrum Forder: (St Paul, Romans, chapter 7)
    Pia Iger: ah.
    Sylectra Darwin: nods

    I am impressed that Nostrum quickly pulled out such a pertinent quote. As shown later, she gave quite colorful contributions to our conversation.

    Threedee Shepherd: non-human primates to not go out of their way to "exercise" they get enuf just living, and rest to conserve energy when they can. Exercise is a peculiarly human perversion :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: explain your resistance, Pia
    Nostrum Forder: Humans are "civilized" in ways that insulate us from the reality of the struggle of existance.
    Pia Iger: Steve, I mean I often don't feel like doing it, or really need resolve to do it.
    Nostrum Forder: But that describes your resistance. It doesn't explain it.
    stevenaia Michinaga: an interesting conundrum, but I assume the resistance only lasts untiul you begin
    Nostrum Forder: Why do we not want to do things that are demonstrably good for us?
    Pia Iger: another example, would be eating. We seem enjoying more of unhealthy food, chocolate, fried food, instead of vegetables
    Nostrum Forder: (I speak as a fellow sufferer along those lines)
    Nostrum Forder: Yes. Everything bad for you tastes good. :)
    Pia Iger: :)
    Pia Iger: bad things are easier to do, somehow than good things.
    stevenaia Michinaga: bad things for you, not bad things
    Nostrum Forder: Maybe because the "bad" things are in tune with entropy.
    Pia Iger: yes, Steve
    Threedee Shepherd: I'll be biologist again. The foods we enjoy such as sweets are rare in nature. Thus, primate brains actually are tuned to liking and eating them on the rare occasions that these high calorie foods are found in nature.
    Nostrum Forder: So, threedee, it's a natural, healthy urge to go for those foods...
    stevenaia Michinaga: just not all the time?
    Nostrum Forder: but again, civilization messes up the scarcity model and turns it on its ear for us.
    Threedee Shepherd: well, we left the garden and it's been uphill ever since :)
    Nostrum Forder: Right. If high-calorie foods were as scarce in our lives as they are in nature, it would be OK to have the chocolate cake, because you might only get one slice a year.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, that chocolate cake El Dorado that we seek on our pre-civilizd past
    Nostrum Forder: The Fondue of Youth.
    Sylectra Darwin: LOL!

    how will civilization play out in SL?

    stevenaia Michinaga: I belive these places can exist in SL
    Nostrum Forder: yes, but they work in SL because of deliberate design decision to shield AVs from the consequences of indulgence.
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, and you can eat all the chocolate cake you want in SL with no consequences :D
    Pia Iger: I need to try that one out!
    Nostrum Forder: Imagine what SL would be like if your AV would get flabby if you didn't exercise regularly.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suppose it can
    Pia Iger: it is so easy to edit appereance in SL. Just click the slider, you will lose weight.
    Nostrum Forder: Right
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was thinking of gaining weight
    Nostrum Forder: but also, there's no way to script those appearance changes.
    Nostrum Forder: If you eat the cake I make, I can attach prims to you and have your emote statements about feeling lethargic, but I can't make your torso settings expand.
    Nostrum Forder: (speaking as a scripter)
    Pia Iger: thanks for the explanation, Nostrum. I have no idea how the script works.
    Nostrum Forder: Interestingly, the BDSM community in SL had a similar problem, and they solved it with a custom "Restrained Life" client that allows one to ceed control over one's AV to another person.
    Nostrum Forder notices her thighs are a bit thicker after all those Jong Beers.
    Pia Iger: wow, the evolution of SL will be quite complicated.
    Sylectra Darwin: haha
    Pia Iger: so go back to what 3D said, seems we are still so deeply wired by evolution, even we rationally know what is good for us, it is hard to fight with the instincts.
    Sylectra Darwin: It's fascinating how we interpret SL
    Sylectra Darwin: I have often thought it would be neat to have sort of a karmic system in SL.
    Nostrum Forder: It's interesting that 3D's comment parallels something I read in Tolkiens Silmarillion.
    Sylectra Darwin: I imagined that if people were bad to each other in SL, their ratings would go down and their avatars would get uglier.
    Threedee Shepherd: what's that?
    Pia Iger: good one, Syl
    Nostrum Forder: I recall in one of the creation myths, the statement is made that evil cannot create anything new; it can only corrupt good things to its own purposes.
    Nostrum Forder: I see a parallel in that the instinct that draws me to the chocolate is, at its root, a healthy adaptation, but it gets twisted by the way humn culture alters the scarcity model.
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, I suggest, as we have discussed often, things just ARE. Good and bad are imposed later by our inclinations

    Adelene pointed to some lights.

    Adelene Dawner: If/when society falls apart, for example, that instinct could be quite useful.
    Nostrum Forder: yes.
    Nostrum Forder: and in the meantime, until it happens, I'll horde Snickers.
    Pia Iger: LoL!
    Pia Iger: but in the context of our specific life style, it is safe to say exercise, meditation, and eat healthy is good.
    Threedee Shepherd: yup
    Sylectra Darwin: Well Snickers can be very Zen, if you know how to fully enjoy them.
    Threedee Shepherd: Contemplate the wrapper?
    Pia Iger: :-)
    Nostrum Forder: oh, this is rich. My daughter just IM'd me a link:
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, contemplate the wrapper. Like I do when I am really bored and can't get to anything more interesting.
    Nostrum Forder: http://blackrimglasses.com/archives/2008/09/18/161-days-without-diet-coke/
    Pia Iger: Mmm, not good news for coke company.
    Threedee Shepherd: I note tonite is definitely PLAYasbeing :D
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must go... dessert is calling

    Nobody could follow Steve offline unfortunately.

    Pia Iger: why? 3D?
    stevenaia Michinaga is Offline
    Threedee Shepherd: lighthearted chat
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: I love play. it stimulates the mind.
    Threedee Shepherd: a few weeks back we talked about the question, what is play?
    Pia Iger: I also doubt the question here can be the base of our modern epidemic issues. -- health issues, at least.
    Nostrum Forder grins. "Play is that which, if my boss knew I was doing, he would fire me for."
    Pia Iger: hard to dispute that definition, Nostrum:-)
    Threedee Shepherd: so why is that more "fun" than work, both are just mental activity?
    Pia Iger: I guess Play is freer; work has patterns, and rigid.
    Threedee Shepherd: Playing a defined game has strict patterns and rules.
    Nostrum Forder: When my work is stimulating and engaging, it's just as much fun as any play.
    Threedee Shepherd: ahh, so what makes something "stimulating" (at work that is :)
    Threedee Shepherd: why are some thoughts and actions stimulating and others boring. The Zen master often taught the proper washing of a teacup.

    I know from my little readings that buddhists see 'boring' differently. But I was not able to put them into words then.
    What came to my mind instead, is the fact that traditionally monks do engage more physical activities (chop wood, carry water, martial arts), definitely lot of meditation,  and eat vegetables...

    Nostrum Forder: I don't know that I actually make a distinction between work and play along those lines. To me, something is stimulating if it holds my interests.
    Threedee Shepherd: I will keep trying: why do some things hold our interest more than others.
    Nostrum Forder: As person with attention issues, those are things I see.
    Pia Iger: and 3D, also for different people, interests are different.
    Nostrum Forder: I think there are a lot of reasons that add up. If something captures interest, sticking with it becomes easier, and there is a certain reward from closure when you are "done."
    Sylectra Darwin: Maybe that is the adult definition of play.
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, different. I'm trying to explore the concept of "interests" that hold attention
    Nostrum Forder: (interestingly, when I find things that engage me in that regard, I often also find that I resist "completing" them, in an effort to delay the sense of loss I feel when the activity is over and done and I must move on to the next thing.)
    Pia Iger: that rings a bell.
    Pia Iger: hard to answer 3D's question, we can describe how things hold our interest, but hard to explain why.
    Threedee Shepherd: btw, I am not saying I can answer my own questions ;)

    Nostrum tried another angle:

    Nostrum Forder: Kind of like asking why you fell in love with someone. You can catalog their qualities, but you can find those qualities in others as well. So why did you fall in love with HIM? :)
    Pia Iger: mysteries...
    Threedee Shepherd: pattern completion
    Pia Iger: do you want to say more, 3D, about pattern completion?
    Sylectra Darwin: pattern completion, Threedee?
    Threedee Shepherd: Things we love mesh with and help complete patterns of habits and living we aleready have in our brain-body.
    Nostrum Forder: hmmm
    Pia Iger: I heard of this theory, somewhere.
    Nostrum Forder: well, Syl and I each had the experience of having our pragmatic decisions to not "fall in love" come crashing down in the face of a powerful emotional connection.
    Threedee Shepherd: brb
    Pia Iger: probably the issue is most times we don't know what our patterns are.
    Sylectra Darwin: nods
    Nostrum Forder: 3D's description has an interesting bearing on a book I read once. I can't remember the author, but the title was "getting the love you want"
    Sylectra Darwin: hmmm
    Nostrum Forder: His contention was that we seek out life partners who embody the traits of our parents, so that we can work out unresolved issues from the parent-child relationships with our life partner.
    Pia Iger: I heard about that theory, too.
    Sylectra Darwin: My mom was a proponent of that theory. She was in counseling.
    Nostrum Forder: (and by the way, I was *not* complaining about having my pragmatism overruled by my heart. Syl can speak for herself in that regard. :) )
    Threedee Shepherd: back. Yes seeking out others to try to work out the deficits in old relationships is a well described phenomenon.
    Sylectra Darwin: I can confirm I did that in an earlier relationship where my boyfriend was judgmental. My father was the same way and in the same year I learned to stand up to both of them.
    Nostrum Forder: I had a similar experience, picking a mate who resembled the parent I struggled with the most. It was disasterous, and it's going to take a long time to heal from it.

    Pattern completion could be one of valid analysis of these phenomena. But I have not found it an applicable tool to copy with real issues before hand.
    Nonetheless, it seems our conversation did get somewhere at the end.

    Pia Iger: from exercise, food to love, there are biological reasons. but we can also learn to go beyond instincts.
    Sylectra Darwin: yes, Pia
    Pia Iger: and I try to find how ;-)
    Nostrum Forder: hmmm
    Threedee Shepherd: Pia, for me, that is what the 9-sec is all about
    Pia Iger: I agree, 3D! I see the potential.
    Nostrum Forder: we might also ask why it is that for some of us, discussing the phenomenon is nearly as engaging as eating the cake, or lying in a lover's arms.
    Threedee Shepherd: Because in discussion, there is internal replay of the same parts of the brain that are engaged in the actual situation.
    Nostrum Forder smiles.
    Pia Iger: 9 sec may cut off the invisible control of habituals, instincts.
    Pia Iger: "cut off" may not be right word.
    Nostrum Forder: yes, and also, I think, there is a sense of pleasure that some derive from "mastering" something in a way that makes it explainable - and perhaps even controllable and safe.
    Threedee Shepherd: Folks, thanks for the discussion. I need to go now :)
    Pia Iger: bye, 3D.
    Nostrum Forder: nite, 3D
    Pia Iger: well, can I propose to continue this discussion next time?
    Threedee Shepherd: nite all :)
    Sylectra Darwin: really good points, you guys!
    Pia Iger: I agree, we seem to wind up to some points.
    Sylectra Darwin: That's a great plan.
    Sylectra Darwin: Very interesting :)
    Pia Iger: no sure if Adelene is still here. good night, all.
    Adelene Dawner: 'night Pia
    Nostrum Forder: 'nite, Pia. Thanks for a pleasant discussion.

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