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couchpillow




Laid back and easygoing. Grew up in the Northeast. Moved to the West Coast. Now I'm in the Southeast. Some things I enjoy are music, food, the outdoors and trying to stay fit as I get older and eat a half crap diet (not sure if that last one qualifies as an enjoyable thing really). Though I do really need to learn how to stay fit as I get older WITHOUT continually injuring myself.


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Yeah I was doing a little searching around yesterday for info. It seems that there are at least some others that notice similar changes as they get older and many seem to attribute it to having children. I don't know. I guess I just wonder if it's really completely normal and naturally occurring or if it could be the result of some external influence. Like a medication or dietary change or something like that. I've never been one to get overly excited, and that hasn't changed. There have been times where I had felt what I believed to be, probably a fairly mild, depression -but that was long ago. Generally, daily, I am a happy and content person. But it just seems my empathy type response is in hyperdrive most of the time. That's the one thing that seems to have changed. And the one emotion that feels somewhat over the top to me. And confuses me. Maybe I have control issues as I feel I've always tried to reign in and control my emotions. And I've always been pretty good at that. Maybe that's not necessarily the best way to be. To control your emotions. And I'm now feeling like I can't control this emotional response.

Well, really we ALL need to compromise. Nobody ever gets everything they want.

I've just started taking in the Green Party platform, so I'm still digesting and pondering and to be honest, I really like the idea and philosophy of most of it. I REALLY like the fact that it's NOT the democratic party. And to a small extent, I agree with you on your stance regarding experience that we were discussing elsewhere here, but I still have some reservations about that.

All in all, I kind of feel like I could become a real Green Party supporter - but at the same time - I'm not convinced that pushing too hard for the presidency right now is the right thing to do. Honestly, out of all of the candidates - Jill may very well be the best, even considering the fact that she doesn't have public office experience. But, does anyone really believe that she could potentially get enough votes to outright win and not wind up giving the election to Trump? I could easily vote for Jill, but it wouldn't matter - because I unfortunately live in a state that is more than likely going to go to Trump. But if we had what happened with Gore and Nader, and we hand it to Trump.... then we're stuck with Trump. I'd much rather have Clinton with her flaws and status quo than Trump. And I HATE saying that. I hate that things are as they are and everyone can't just vote for who they feel best represents them, without having to consider the bigger picture and vote for someone else just to prevent another. It's ridiculous. And it sucks. But unfortunately, I think that's still the case yet. And it probably will be the case until we get a third party that is pervasive enough throughout the lower government positions that a larger majority of the general population is familiar with them and willing to vote for them. I agree that the Green Party doesn't just show up every 4 years and they have been doing the work to build the base, but I also don't think they have quite a broad enough base YET, to try and truly win the presidency outright.

So, outside of the presidential election, I would gladly and happily support Green Party candidates at this time. I may even see if I can get involved in my local area, because that party and it's message is far more inspirational than the democratic party. And sure, I could potentially even vote for Jill in this election - but I'm certain she doesn't have a chance in hell in taking SC. So my vote wouldn't matter other than saying hey, somebody here voted for the Green Party.

And holy shit does that depress me. That I live in a state that is more than likely going to go for Trump. Fortunately on a more local level, I live in one of the better areas that isn't quite so steeped in the GOP and is a bit more diverse, but it's still SC. And it's still more than likely going to go for Trump. :(

Fair point, but I think I have to question anybody's ability to think critically if they claim to be a proponent of something that really seems quite ridiculous. It's not a comparison of Homeopathy vs racism and war. It's a question of judgement really.

And just because I may not be a fervent supporter of the green party or I question the whole platform because they may support something as ridiculous as homeopathy, does not mean that I am a fervent supporter of the other party candidates either. I'm not exactly thrilled or happy with any of them. And in reality, I would LOVE to be all excited and supportive of a third party and their candidate, like Jill. I'm just not quite there yet.

Is the green party truly pro-homeopathy? I mean, homeopathy is the practice of taking a sample and basically diluting it down ad infinitum and believing that it somehow retains some type of healing property... more or less. Isn't it?

To me, homeopathy always seemed to be harmless at best and dangerous at it's worst. Kind of like trying to pray away the disease instead of going to the dr. I think I would have a hard time backing a platform that supported or pushed homeopathy to any degree really. I generally don't like to make anything about a single issue, but unless I'm really mistaken about something here, supporting something like Homeopathy seems too irrational to me that it would make it difficult for me to overlook that.

I didn't get a chance to watch the videos just yet. But I'm interested in giving my current perspective on experience and hear your (and others) potentially differing opinion.

Generally, I feel I am all for 'political outsiders' to enter into politics. This would/should bring in fresh perspectives and new ideas and what not, not to mention that often, the longer someone is IN politics and 'playing the game' they probably more often than not, become more susceptible to corruption and various agendas that wind up being more about self preservation than truly doing your job for the people.

BUT.. I would say that when it comes to the US Presidency, I'm not sure that I feel it's correct/good/better/ok to put someone in that particular position that has never held any public office before at all. Not to say that it doesn't/hasn't happened. Reagan never held office prior to becoming elected right? I'm sure there are others. But my reasoning for this is, the US President, the Commander in Chief, is arguable the most prominent and powerful position on the planet. It seems to me, that the person elected to that position ought to already have some genuine experience in somewhat similar type roles, of serving the people, of steering and coordinating something rather large and unwieldy.

Sure, an intelligent person could easily step in and start learning my job tomorrow. And in some period of time, they could be reasonable decent and effective. But, there is no way for someone to quickly acquire my 20+ years of experience doing this job. Which means that regardless of their intelligence, for a long period of time I would most like be far more effective and efficient due to the long period of time I have been doing this work and all the little details I've learned over that time.

Now, maybe public office is a bit of a different animal. But I'm certain that there is a whole lot that goes on that many lay people like myself are not aware of. The details of truly 'getting things done'. How all that behind the scenes works.

I'm not saying that I don't think she COULD do it or she isn't intelligent enough to do it. And I really don't want to find out at all if Trump could do it. But I guess I just feel that it makes a lot of sense for someone vying for the Presidency, to have a certain amount of experience and knowledge about really what that position would be like. Damn near every other job listing has at least a desired if not required experience level. And the idea of anyone being able to run and be elected president is great and all, I just don't know if that's the right place to start - at the top. Seems a little bit like something that should be worked up to, at least to a certain extent.

Anyhow, that's kind of how I view it. Curious to hear other opinions.

Hey did you click the link to the response by Dan Savage to that green party response? Now, I'm not saying who is right or wrong here, I honestly don't know much about Dan Savage or the green party, but Dan's response seemed well reasoned too. Assuming that the numbers he threw out were legitimate, it does appear that the green party really needs to amp up their game in more states and many more local districts. Even if he was off a considerable amount, it seems the green party has well under a half a percent of total public offices available. That APPEARS to be pitifully small, as he put it. BUT - on the other hand, unless more of us seriously start considering 3rd parties in general - that will never change. And I don't think most of us DO consider 3rd parties because we get all caught up in that shitty catch 22 where we think we're throwing our vote away cause no 3rd party candidate can never win and of course they can't because we think that way.

Ideally, if we all simply voted for the one we most aligned with and not for the lesser of the 2 evils, we might be able to change that. But it's hard to imagine that happening. I'm just as much a part of the problem as everyone else I guess.

This - goobster is correct.

The whole GMO thing isn't about whether or not it's safe to eat. It's much more about shitty business practices by companies like Monsanto and the stranglehold they may develop on the seed/food market. I'm all for labeling, for the sake of knowing who you are giving your money to ultimately and what kinds of business practices you are supporting. But we really need to get everyone on the same page and stop mis-information about GMO being unsafe to consume.

Very true. I will take a look at these this evening. It is true though that she has never held public office before though if I'm not mistaken, which was really why I had initially disregarded her. I mean I'm all for getting more 'political outsiders' involved to a certain extent. But I don't know that putting someone in the presidential seat with zero public office experience of any sort really makes a lot of good sense.

You know, I never really knew anything about the green party but I was curious because when I take the isidewith.com questionarre, she somehow winds up at the top of my list. Right where Bernie used to be. But based on what ya'll are saying below, it doesn't seem I would really agree with her/her platforms policies. Makes me wonder a bit about isidewith.com now.. I thought that was fairly legit.

My biggest problem (not having really known very much about the green party platform) was that I didn't really consider her a big contender because I didn't think she really had any sufficient experience for the role. I never really bothered to look much up about her and the platform in general even after isidewith.com said she would be the best to represent my views.

I'd love to see other parties really get into the fray here, but based on what I'm learning now, I don't think the green party is really it. Not to derail you original topic, but I'm curious now - do any of you see any other parties out there that are not well known that could be considered centrist at all? A party that tries to maybe marry some of the better points of the two main parties into one? Is it possible to have smart and sensible social programs and government regulation alongside reasonable fiscal conservatism? It seems the two main parties would say that isn't possible. But I feel there are a lot of people out there like me that believe there ought to be a way to accomplish something like that.

Fame always seems to come with a certain amount of privacy expense. Whether that's youtube/internet fame, movies/television fame, political fame... etc.

But in my opinion, regardless of who you are and how famous you are - there are certainly still lines that SHOULDN'T be crossed. My opinion is that anyone showing up invited at anyone's house and unwelcomingly invading someone's personal and private space is in the wrong.

Well known or not, I think every person has the right to draw a line and delineate what they desire to be their publicly accessible self and their private self. Just because I put certain pieces of myself out there for others to see and scrutinize as they wish, does not mean I am obligated to put any other pieces of myself out there if I do not wish. Famous people don't 'owe' anything to any fan or critic. They are still a person, just like anyone else, and I think yes, they absolutely should expect a certain amount of privacy and respect regarding that. I personally don't get at all the obsessed fanatical fans that will go absolutely bat shit crazy to see or meet a well known individual. It boggles my mind. Sure, there are authors and musicians and even actors /actresses, etc., that I would love to meet and have a beer and a chat with because I think they seem to be an interesting person. But would I got to any sort of extreme length to get that opportunity or jump up and down and cry at the site of them? Absofuckinglutely not. That behaviour is just bizarre to me. Foreign to me. Showing up uninvited to a celebrity's house seems, extreme, to me. I wouldn't want someone doing that to me regardless of how famous I was. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of your status. And I mean really.. wouldn't you think someone would have better things to do with their time than obsess over celebrities? This is an area I just don't understand about a large portion of my fellow humans.

But that's not, unfortunately, how many other people seem to see it. They feel it's their absolute right to know anything and everything they want about a person, simply because they are famous or well known. I disagree with that.

I see. Yes, I didn't like when I saw that Mother Theresa was the example they threw out as an extreme altruist. I don't hold her in very high regard for precisely what you mention.

I completely get what you're saying though for sure. I feel that I am a fairly altruistic person, but there is really no objective proof of that, which you could see, to prove that. Even in the case of, as stated in the article, a firefighter risking his life - in the face of true mortal danger - to save someone he doesn't even know, one could debate and say that is it true altruism, or is the person more interested in hero status?

Does true and absolute altruism need to be completely devoid of any benefit, or be a detriment, to the individual performing the act? When I have little money and I use it to take some family or friends out to dinner - is that altruistic of me? Or am I attempting to get something (love? returned favors?) in return? I would tell you that when I do something like that, I do not (at least consciously) want or expect anything in return. But, subconsciously, is it a desire and want to be a good person? Does wanting to be a good person negate any altruistic action as being altruistic? Could there really be true altruism then?

Alright, now that it seems that I've gone completely off the track of the original discussion on psychopathy vs altruism regarding empathy (which I don't think I've really addressed at all here), I'll just shush and see myself out. Haha.

But wait, maybe I do have more. Haha. Reading back through your statements, in the realm of psychology, is there ever definitive proof? I get that we often seem to have brain scans nowadays that seem to confirm, or maybe just correlate, different areas of the brain with different activities and emotions and what not. But isn't psychology at it's base the study of human behaviour? But then, you are arguing that the reason for the behaviour may not be empathy, because you don't have definitive proof. Hmm. Maybe I am trying to hard to make an argument for something that I really don't know enough about. And it's also not like I completely disagree with you either, which makes it more difficult. I guess the empathy aspect being put forth seems to make sense to me, but I would have to agree that without something more concrete as proof - it's hard to say and argue whether or not that's the true basis for these personality traits or not. Rather, it probably is far more complex than simple the ability to feel empathy or not.

Oh well. Nice chatting anyhow. :)

I am certainly not someone well versed in the area of psychology, as I have only a lay understanding of many if not most aspects of it. But when you say there is no proof of empathy being the source of altruism and the lack thereof being psychopathy, is that your interpretation, or more of a fact? I only ask to understand because, having not studied it really at all myself, psychopathy, in my mind, has always carried that basic definition- that it was someone who lacked empathy, amongst other indicators. At some point I do recall reading something about psychopaths that indicated that they were able to 'act' as if they had empathy in order to gain something, but that, in reality, they did not 'feel' empathy. I don't recall where I had read that as it was a long time ago so I have no idea if it was a reliable or factual source at this point.

I would agree that yes, in many cases, externally perceived altruistic behaviours may not in fact be altruistic for as you said they me be self-righteous or have some type of ulterior motive - which kind of seems to lend to how a psychopath may use 'acting' altruistic right?

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