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Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 5/15/12 questions and discussion

From: Andrusela
Sent on: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:07 AM
The irony is that the same job that is killing me is the job that pays
my health insurance. I have chronic conditions that will not just stop
even were I to quit my job, so I am kind of stuck in a Catch 22. This
is the reality. I would love to be able to live a nearly "egoless"
life, but then I would be a burden to others.

On 5/28/12, Dick <[address removed]> wrote:
> 👍😊
>
> Sent from my iPhone 4S.
>
>
> On May 28, 2012, at 9:18 AM, Jim <[address removed]> wrote:
>
>> Replying to Jon's comment on happiness:
>>
>> I have come to accept happiness as necessarily episodic. For example, if I
>> sail on Lake Calhoun on a perfect 80 degree day with light to moderate
>> breeze, in a 22 foot sloop with 9 other people and we are in spiritual
>> harmony without a care in the world singing sailing songs, that's a happy
>> blip on the timeline of life. Memorable. But if I did that daily it would
>> downgrade to an ordinary routine, no longer standing out as superlative.
>> So to me happiness has to be relative and an unusual peak psychological
>> experience. Contra dancing to an amazing blue grass type string band with
>> fellow revelers is another example. Two or three times a month is good.
>> More often it becomes too ordinary.
>>
>> For me, the high ordinary goal is to feel fulfilled. Happiness and
>> overcoming adversity certainly contribute to that' but it's the overall
>> life experience which some might define as having "nothing left in the
>> bucket" and when reflecting on having accomplished what was in there as
>> really substantive then, for me, fulfillment is the higher state of
>> satisfaction and the highest goal of life.
>>
>> Jim Baker
>>
>> On May 23, 2012, at 7:09 AM, Jon Anderson wrote:
>>
>>> This is interesting. My other philosophy group is reading books by
>>> Jonathan Haidt and in The Happiness Hypothesis he convincingly argues
>>> that human evolution has led us to value success over happiness. We still
>>> like being happy but when happiness might be sacrificed in order to
>>> succeed (however we may define it) our natures would have us choose
>>> success over happiness. I agree with Amr as well; it comes down to how we
>>> collectively define success. Imagine how things might be if we decided
>>> success = happiness!
>>>
>>> Jon
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On May 23, 2012, at 4:10, Andrusela <[address removed]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I'm finding this discussion on stress more interesting than the
>>>> original question. I have practiced meditation, etc. to reduce stress,
>>>> but it works best in a "retreat" environment. Back in the real world
>>>> where I work in tech support and customer service I am abused by both
>>>> the customers and my supervisors and the tortuous boredom of the job
>>>> iself. No matter how much I try to not let it bother me and "go to my
>>>> happy place," I still have high blood pressure and other stress
>>>> related illnesses, like Jon's wife does. So though I see the value in
>>>> trying to reduce stress by positive thinking and whatever other method
>>>> you can name I must say I agree more with Amr that only a bigger
>>>> lifestyle overhaul would yield any significant or lasting results.
>>>>
>>>> On 5/21/12, Jim <[address removed]> wrote:
>>>>>­ I both agree and disagree. I'm a testament to what I've asserted. And
>>>>>­ in fact there are numerous studies that contradict Amr's pessimistic
>>>>>­ views. Sad for you that you are stuck in that belief.
>>>>>­ Jim Baker
>>>>>­
>>>>>­
>>>>>­ On May 21, 2012, at 1:06 AM, Amr Barrada wrote:
>>>>>­
>>>>>­> Actually the idea of controlling stress is very popular and widely
>>>>>­> practiced throughout the country and elsewhere. That's why there
>>>>>­> are so many stress management groups. It has become a virtual
>>>>>­> industry.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> There's so much research out there that, contrary to what Jim is
>>>>>­> saying, shows very robustly that stress, and other processes such
>>>>>­> as thoughts and feelings, are not at all amenable to control. In
>>>>>­> fact a very robust finding is that trying to control or "eliminate"
>>>>>­> these processes only results in what one psychologist calls a
>>>>>­> "rebound effect". In this case the more you try to control stress
>>>>>­> the more stressful you get, and you end up getting chronically
>>>>>­> stressed.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> We live in a culture that finds natural negative processes
>>>>>­> repulsive. The idea that Jim suggests that we "train" children
>>>>>­> early in their lives how to control stress, or even "manage" it, is
>>>>>­> part of this persistent obsession with being positive and free of
>>>>>­> natural thoughts and emotions. It's such a hideous suggestion. We
>>>>>­> would do a lot better if we were able to model a lifestyle, not
>>>>>­> only to children but to adults as well, that is not conducive to
>>>>>­> the fast-paced frenetic lives people seem to prefer.
>>>>>­> Amr
>>>>>­> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>­> From: Jim <[address removed]>
>>>>>­> To: The-Burnsville-Socra­tes-Cafe-list <The-Burnsville-S­ocrates-Cafe-
>>>>>­> [address removed]>
>>>>>­> Sent: Sun, May 20,[masked]:55 am
>>>>>­> Subject: Re: [The-Burnsville-Socr­ates-Cafe] 5/15/12 questions and
>>>>>­> discussion
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> I'm glad to see that someone finally included the impacts of stress
>>>>>­> in the discussion. This is a favorite topic in my field of study b/
>>>>>­> c it cuts across all aspects of human experience in inverse
>>>>>­> relationship to quality of life—which, in turn, translates to
>>>>>­> effects on others quality of life. It's all related.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> I see the big problem here, not as how many resources to spend on
>>>>>­> the sick, but as the relative paucity of resources spent on
>>>>>­> prevention—the most cost effective  intervention being stress
>>>>>­> management training. Stress is a mental phenomenon — i.e., a
>>>>>­> consequence of "thoughts we choose" in response to events. The
>>>>>­> untrained mind easily runs negative thinking, which increases
>>>>>­> stress hormones. In the worst case situations, where people feel
>>>>>­> unjustly treated, trapped in unemployment, abused by another, etc.,
>>>>>­> the negative thinking reaches "toxic" levels and hangs there,
>>>>>­> wreaking havoc on the body, mind and often anyone who is around the
>>>>>­> person suffering in toxic stress. Our health care system mainly
>>>>>­> treats the symptoms of toxic stress. Some progressive health
>>>>>­> centers, such as Boston's Mind Body Miedical Clinic (originally at
>>>>>­> Harvard Med School), still led by Herbert Benson, famous for his
>>>>>­> book, The Relaxation Response.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> In Benson's introduction, he recalls being branded somewhat of a
>>>>>­> heretic and I recall the original report that he was threatened
>>>>>­> with banishment from HMS if continued researching how people could
>>>>>­> manipulate their autonomic nervous systems, which was then (in the
>>>>>­> 1960's) still believed impossible in Western medicine. His book is
>>>>>­> an interesting read, but sadly its message is still largely absent
>>>>>­> from primary care, or as a key component of disease treatment.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> Stress mgt training is not a panacea that fix everything that is
>>>>>­> wrong, but if everyone were trained as children about stress and
>>>>>­> how to manage it, then prompted to do so as part of their daily
>>>>>­> schooling and primary health care, there would be far less disease,
>>>>>­> far less social dysfunction, far higher quality of life in general
>>>>>­> for the vast majority. Effects on brain function that directly
>>>>>­> impact learning, would also be reduced, making a significant
>>>>>­> contribution to reducing the achievement gap, a scientifically
>>>>>­> defensible assertion that I am building into a model to put on line.
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> So, what's the real problem here? And why is there so much
>>>>>­> resistance to directly intervening on it?
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> Jim Baker
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> On May 20, 2012, at 9:12 AM, Jon Anderson wrote:
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>> 5/15/12 questions and discussion
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> assuming success trumps happiness, what purpose(s) does happiness
>>>>>­>> have?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> ====================­===
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> if we continue to care for the sick, will our species survive?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Phillip: allowing some to die for lack of investment in health
>>>>>­>> care for all may mean losing  descendants who could save us from
>>>>>­>> future problems. Would it mean losing minds like Stephen
>>>>>­>> Hawking's? One wonders when people with genetic ills produce more
>>>>>­>> kids with the same genetic ills. We don't wanna be like Hitler
>>>>>­>> was, deciding who will live, who will die.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jon: the inverse being something like the Terry Schievo (sp?) case.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Lynn: didn't someone come out of an 18 year coma . . .?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jm; exactly. So what are the preconditions for a successful
>>>>>­>> species? We can't just look at intelligence. If we had a
>>>>>­>> subspecies with Hawking's intelligence, and wanted to isolate/
>>>>>­>> magnify that, would that be a net benefit? But that way we can not
>>>>>­>> meet the genetic variability demanded for future survival. Yet how
>>>>>­>> much does variability cost? If we were smart enough to engineer a
>>>>>­>> perfect human that human would be too vulnerable because the
>>>>>­>> future is unpredictable. We're not that smart.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Lynn: we wouldn't agree on what an ideal genetic package is!
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Phillip: don't allow anyone who is sick to die.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jim: is that a moral idea? A practical one? If it's moral, we end
>>>>>­>> up with lots of sick people taking up more of our resources,
>>>>>­>> affecting the rest of our society.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Lynn: we presently overtly control the populations of other
>>>>>­>> species: deer, for example (wolves too?). We also do controlled
>>>>>­>> forest fires to maintain the health of forests.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jon: how much do political conservatives care about the suffering
>>>>>­>> of others?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jim; the real dichotomy is the implications of government
>>>>>­>> assistance. What's clear to me is as government scope expands the
>>>>>­>> human sense helplessness/needine­ss becomes a self-fuliflling
>>>>>­>> prophecy. We conservatives want to help. We don't want to help our
>>>>>­>> government take care of us.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jon: how might conservatives be selective in their compassion?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jim: I have an anecdote! I was once in jail in Texas for jumping a
>>>>>­>> freight train to Mexico. I defied a cop who intended to arrest us.
>>>>>­>> He cuffed us, manhandled me. I spun free, got on top of him, ready
>>>>>­>> to hit hi,m then stopped myself. Then he kicked the crap out of
>>>>>­>> me. They had me in jail for aggravated assault. My mother knew a
>>>>>­>> judge and got me out if I pled guilty. My son got into trouble
>>>>>­>> too. He did a dumb thing but I said to myself "this'll be a good
>>>>>­>> lesson for him. But do I trust the system?" We conservatives have
>>>>>­>> a conflict; there are 7 billion people, at some point we have to
>>>>>­>> ask how much is too much? Freedom is at risk as that number grows.
>>>>>­>> Productivity can solve it. But are we willing to make the
>>>>>­>> sacrifices necessary for that level of productivity?
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jon: as the result of 2008's economics my wife's department was
>>>>>­>> reduced from 3 to one person. She is now doing the work of 3 people.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jim: both her employer and she have figured out how to be more
>>>>>­>> productive.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jon: but she's made miserable by the added stress of doing 3
>>>>>­>> people's jobs. She has stress related illnesses.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> Jim: if someone said the role of  government is to help someone
>>>>>­>> find a job I would have no beef. But I see too much focus on
>>>>>­>> housing and health care.
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>> --
>>>>>­>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to
>>>>>­>> everyone on this mailing list (The-Burnsville-Socr­ates-Cafe-
>>>>>­>> [address removed])
>>>>>­>> http://www.meetup...­
>>>>>­>> This message was sent by Jon Anderson ([address removed]) from
>>>>>­>> The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
>>>>>­>> To learn more about Jon Anderson, visit his/her member profile:
>>>>>­>> http://www.meetup...­
>>>>>­>> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
>>>>>­>> [address removed]
>>>>>­>>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> --
>>>>>­> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to
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>>>>>­> This message was sent by Jim ([address removed]) from The
>>>>>­> Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
>>>>>­> To learn more about Jim, visit his/her member profile
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>>>>>­> email | Don't send me mailing list messages
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
>>>>>­> [address removed]
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> --
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>>>>>­> This message was sent by Amr Barrada ([address removed]) from The
>>>>>­> Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
>>>>>­> To learn more about Amr Barrada, visit his/her member profile
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>>>>>­>
>>>>>­> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
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>>>>>­
>>>>>­
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>> This message was sent by Andrusela ([address removed]) from
>>>> The Burnsville Socrates Cafe.
>>>> To learn more about Andrusela, visit his/her member profile:
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>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>>
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>> This message was sent by Jim ([address removed]) from The Burnsville
>> Socrates Cafe.
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>> As they are sent
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>> In one daily email
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>
>
>
> --
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> this mailing list ([address removed])
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> This message was sent by Dick ([address removed]) from The Burnsville Socrates
> Cafe.
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> http://www.meetup...­
> Set my mailing list to email me
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> As they are sent
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> In one daily email
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> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
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