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Old 03-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #61
Montrovant
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To be blunt Ellis, most people couldn't care less about your desire for uniqueness and offering something visionary. People have different things they consider worth living for.

I also think your distinction between people and the result of their self interest is flawed and simply a matter of your own bias. You seem to hold the 'starving artist' stereotype up as some sort of model for living. You also don't seem willing to accept that your valuable work/way of seeing the world argument can be distilled further down to that same happiness for everyone else.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:55 PM   #62
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most people couldn't care less about your desire for uniqueness and offering something visionary.
Never claimed that anyone could.

Yeah, I tried to stay away from making it a sterotype and instead tryed to focus on what it sets out to do... I know what you're saying.

Again, I just don't see an argument for the other way, but, as you said, no one really cares.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:35 PM   #63
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I think we're moving along well here Rob. I'm going to stay strictly within the confines of our interaction to make the conversation run in a more efficient manner.

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Then I wouldn't look at him that way, but I tried to make the point that he doesn't.
You made this point in regards to the man working at Sheetz. I just don't understand how you know who is devoting themselves and who isn't. Simply picking a man who works at a Sheetz seemed arbitrary and rather odd IMO. And I also don't understand how you can rationalize the greatness of people who held back their work due to external factors such as Church and state. You never did get specific on that one so I guess I'm asking you to do so. You have thousands of examples to chose from.

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Just listen to his music-- who else was the world that way before him?
But why the fascination with being the "first"? How do we know someone else didn't compose as he did but was never recognized due to other factors? I suppose the specific example of Beethoven could have some merit in this "race to first" agenda because music is a soft science even if some of his talent was innate or at least influenced (perhaps by Mozart or another external factor we are unaware of).

But what about hard sciences such as astronomy? Take Copernicus for example. He is noted as the first person to give a scientifically pallatable response to the geocentric theory of the universe with his heliocentric theory. Nevermind the fact that there is evidence the Chinese (an inferior race in western society) had their hands on this theory centuries earlier...that isn't the point (but should be noted). The point should be...really? The earth is not the center of the universe? And it took that long to figure it out? And someone else wouldn't have figured it out? Hard to imagine.

Actually, the most extreme example of this "inevitable discovery" theory I could give would be your Logic buddy Aristotle. He's noted as the first (and who really knows) to say the earth was spherical, not flat or even round. How did the genius figure it out? He observed a lunar eclipse and noticed the spherical shape in the shadowing of the moon. You're telling me someone else couldn't have figured that out? In fact, that one is just too easy Rob. I'm deducting it from his resume. No way someone else didn't notice that before.

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Hypocritical statement? More paradoxical
Hypocritical implies a social contract of sorts...I suppose...so I guess paradoxial is more apt here. On a personal note, how do you feel about paradoxes Rob? Are they inevitable?

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No. I was simply making the point that it's not done for "happiness."
But didn't Beethoven go deeper into his work when he found out he was going deaf? Perhaps that isn't for happiness but maybe just a distraction...at the very least?

In any event, that's all arbitray and circumstantial anyway. I don't think either of us can comment on the state of mind of a particular individual on any given day or in their lifetime with a great deal of confidence.

I see your point on this but want to continue on with suicide. Do you think that these suicidal tendencies are a natural phenomenon with people who approach life in this manner due to the conflict of their agenda with the physical world? And if so, shouldn't suicide be considered as a viable option? And if it is, do you plan on considering killing yourself and finally...are you looking forward to that if it's the case?
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:18 PM   #64
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You made this point in regards to the man working at Sheetz. I just don't understand how you know who is devoting themselves and who isn't. Simply picking a man who works at a Sheetz seemed arbitrary and rather odd IMO. And I also don't understand how you can rationalize the greatness of people who held back their work due to external factors such as Church and state. You never did get specific on that one so I guess I'm asking you to do so. You have thousands of examples to chose from.
As I said, if he goes back home and spends all of his time devoting himself to something, then he no longer gets classified in that category. And it's not about greatness-- it's just in trying to put your life towards something unique and not banal or trifling.
I think most of the people I am talking about-- although, again, I am only trying to stereotype for clarification--would ideally be apolitical or areligious, unless their topic of interest/devotion was religion or politics.

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But why the fascination with being the "first"? How do we know someone else didn't compose as he did but was never recognized due to other factors? I suppose the specific example of Beethoven could have some merit in this "race to first" agenda because music is a soft science even if some of his talent was innate or at least influenced (perhaps by Mozart or another external factor we are unaware of).
It has nothing to do with being the first or the best. It's just about being unique and different-- being something that offers something to the world.

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But what about hard sciences such as astronomy? Take Copernicus for example. He is noted as the first person to give a scientifically pallatable response to the geocentric theory of the universe with his heliocentric theory. Nevermind the fact that there is evidence the Chinese (an inferior race in western society) had their hands on this theory centuries earlier...that isn't the point (but should be noted). The point should be...really? The earth is not the center of the universe? And it took that long to figure it out? And someone else wouldn't have figured it out? Hard to imagine.

Actually, the most extreme example of this "inevitable discovery" theory I could give would be your Logic buddy Aristotle. He's noted as the first (and who really knows) to say the earth was spherical, not flat or even round. How did the genius figure it out? He observed a lunar eclipse and noticed the spherical shape in the shadowing of the moon. You're telling me someone else couldn't have figured that out? In fact, that one is just too easy Rob. I'm deducting it from his resume. No way someone else didn't notice that before.
Again, it doesn't matter if he was the first to discover this or if it was inevitable that someone would discover it. What matters is that he dedicated his life to the field of astronomy-- that is, if he did, I am not too familiar with him.

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On a personal note, how do you feel about paradoxes Rob? Are they inevitable?
Yes

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But didn't Beethoven go deeper into his work when he found out he was going deaf? Perhaps that isn't for happiness but maybe just a distraction...at the very least?
Happiness is the distraction.

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In any event, that's all arbitray and circumstantial anyway. I don't think either of us can comment on the state of mind of a particular individual on any given day or in their lifetime with a great deal of confidence.
Agreed.

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I see your point on this but want to continue on with suicide. Do you think that these suicidal tendencies are a natural phenomenon with people who approach life in this manner due to the conflict of their agenda with the physical world? And if so, shouldn't suicide be considered as a viable option? And if it is, do you plan on considering killing yourself and finally...are you looking forward to that if it's the case?
I really don't like talking about myself because I don't want to give the impression that I feel I can compare myself to some of the people we mentioned or that I am narcissistic. The end isn't being a genius, the will of trying to see the world in a new way and being a unique person with something to contribute to the world is the end in itself.

Sure, I think sometimes seeing the world in a unique way can make you want to commit suicide-- so suicide could be the end result of it, but it doesn't have to be.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:18 PM   #65
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As I said, if he goes back home and spends all of his time devoting himself to something, then he no longer gets classified in that category. And it's not about greatness-- it's just in trying to put your life towards something unique and not banal or trifling.
I think most of the people I am talking about-- although, again, I am only trying to stereotype for clarification--would ideally be apolitical or areligious, unless their topic of interest/devotion was religion or politics.
Again though Rob, what constitutes "devotion" and how do external factors play a role in the level of devotion one is willing to take? This is where your argument...or part of it anyway...falls apart IMO. So many "devoted" people have done less in the physical world...or comprimised their work in some fashion...due to external factors that it seems to me their devotion was at least somewhat contingent upon the whims of the banal and/or trifling lives of those around them. Do we let it slide? Who decides? You? And if you, on what authority?

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It has nothing to do with being the first or the best. It's just about being unique and different-- being something that offers something to the world.
But why does one have to offer "something" to the world? If everyone follows this path, won't that pretty much kill the unique nature of their work?

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Again, it doesn't matter if he was the first to discover this or if it was inevitable that someone would discover it. What matters is that he dedicated his life to the field of astronomy-- that is, if he did, I am not too familiar with him.
Ok, but every discipline seemingly has political/social undertones in its study. At the very least, humanity will appear...and that in itself is enough to sully the true pursuit of the discipline. Every astronomer, philosopher, musician, janitor and college professor adapts their work to suit certain structures of society of the day. If not, that person would be physically dead due to a conflict with day to day living. Point being - every person who you believe is/has followed your system built their studies on flawed work. I know you say devotion is the key but what good is seeing the world in a unique way if you are following improper/incorrect information?

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Happiness is the distraction.
For you or Beethoven? Did he sink himself deeper in his work to achieve nirvana or did his deafness prevent him from seeing the world in a different light that could have achieved nirvana?

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I really don't like talking about myself because I don't want to give the impression that I feel I can compare myself to some of the people we mentioned or that I am narcissistic.
I wouldn't sweat it Rob. You live, therefore you are narcissistic.

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The end isn't being a genius, the will of trying to see the world in a new way and being a unique person with something to contribute to the world is the end in itself.

Sure, I think sometimes seeing the world in a unique way can make you want to commit suicide-- so suicide could be the end result of it, but it doesn't have to be.
If you believe in paragraph one, I just don't understand how you reconcile the issues I've brought up (conflict with the physical world, how one judges such things - and the fact that judging implies social contracts - and the importance of contribution).

To me, some of your stances sound arbitrary absent embracing/rebelling against social constructs...which would imply stances based on life experience...which you've shunned.

I keep bringing up the issue of suicide because it seems to me that it should be a more prominent option in this approach you speak of. Many people cut from the cloth you embrace have done so but at times I can't help but think they've cheated their own process by doing so. Just a personal point.

At some point, if I can grasp this process better, I'd like to know what discipline you've decided to embrace and what approach you are taking.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #66
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Again though Rob, what constitutes "devotion" and how do external factors play a role in the level of devotion one is willing to take?
Umm... again, I think I can only show you what devotion is. Do external factors play a role? Sure, they play some rule; it would be impossible for them not to, but I don't see them as that significant.

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This is where your argument...or part of it anyway...falls apart IMO. So many "devoted" people have done less in the physical world...or compromised their work in some fashion...due to external factors that it seems to me their devotion was at least somewhat contingent upon the whims of the banal and/or trifling lives of those around them. Do we let it slide? Who decides? You? And if you, on what authority?
No, you don't let it slide. No one is the authority.

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But why does one have to offer "something" to the world? If everyone follows this path, won't that pretty much kill the unique nature of their work?
Agreed and that's what makes this argument paridoxical... If everyone followed this, it couldn't exist. But, again, I just don't see an argument for living any other way.

You keep asking me to support this whole idea, but I'd like you to support living a banal life, offering nothing to the world.


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Ok, but every discipline seemingly has political/social undertones in its study. At the very least, humanity will appear...and that in itself is enough to sully the true pursuit of the discipline. Every astronomer, philosopher, musician, janitor and college professor adapts their work to suit certain structures of society of the day. If not, that person would be physically dead due to a conflict with day to day living. Point being - every person who you believe is/has followed your system built their studies on flawed work. I know you say devotion is the key but what good is seeing the world in a unique way if you are following improper/incorrect information?

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For you or Beethoven? Did he sink himself deeper in his work to achieve nirvana or did his deafness prevent him from seeing the world in a different light that could have achieved nirvana?
Nirvana isn't the end result of this.

Suicide: sure, it this could drive you to suicide, but I don't see it as that important.

Maybe I'll eventually build up the willingness to talk about myself when it comes to this stuff, but, again, I fear that it will look like I am putting myself in the same category as some of the people I've mentioned and that really wouldn't be the intent.

Again, the whole rebelling thing-- you're missing the entire point. The point is simply dedicating yourself to something to something so that you can see the world in a unique way. You say that my points may be lacking substance, but I haven't seen any good arguments for living any other way.

And my point is that ideally the person would be so cut off from other fields that he would be come apolitical, areligious, etc. Sure, maybe this person would have to pretend to go with day's standards if he's forced to, but that doesn't mean he has to compromise.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #67
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Umm... again, I think I can only show you what devotion is. Do external factors play a role? Sure, they play some rule; it would be impossible for them not to, but I don't see them as that significant.
You don't see them as "that significant"? Based on what?

You'd have to "show me"? Wouldn't that be an example of me experiencing it? I thought that was a no-no?

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No, you don't let it slide. No one is the authority.
Ah, but now you've negated structure because authority isn't just a person but a rule of law in disciplines...the same ones you are touting. Could be a paradox though...I would think.

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Agreed and that's what makes this argument paridoxical... If everyone followed this, it couldn't exist. But, again, I just don't see an argument for living any other way.
So basically either way is now meaningless...right? Probably another one of your paradoxes.

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You keep asking me to support this whole idea, but I'd like you to support living a banal life, offering nothing to the world.
First off, you've already skunked me by assuming the counter-argument is a banal life, offering nothing to the world. That isn't true as I see it.

Secondly, you still haven't answered why anyone has to offer anything to the world.

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Maybe I'll eventually build up the willingness to talk about myself when it comes to this stuff, but, again, I fear that it will look like I am putting myself in the same category as some of the people I've mentioned and that really wouldn't be the intent.
Why would it matter? Why would I care? Isn't perception of how someone appears to be something done by those living a banal life? I mean...I can't understand why you wouldn't want to talk about this as it relates directly to you. Since when is FEAR an excuse in the face of devotion? Sounds cowardly to me.

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Again, the whole rebelling thing-- you're missing the entire point. The point is simply dedicating yourself to something to something so that you can see the world in a unique way. You say that my points may be lacking substance, but I haven't seen any good arguments for living any other way.
Just because the arguments aren't there doesn't mean they don't exist. And that is assuming you have a clue what you're talking about.

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And my point is that ideally the person would be so cut off from other fields that he would be come apolitical, areligious, etc. Sure, maybe this person would have to pretend to go with day's standards if he's forced to, but that doesn't mean he has to compromise.
You are talking out of both sides of your mouth Rob and frankly it's frustrating. You again assign what compromise means but have no concrete evidence to back it up. I'm not saying such evidence exists but without having the benefit of "taking your word" or simply saying "based on experience" you are pretty much just judging issues as you see fit out of the blue.

We'll probably have to get to you questioning me here in a bit. This has been a huge disappointment. You've backtracked, changed meanings and assigned values out of the blue too much in this explanation. I honestly thought you could have done a better job at this but it's been a pretty bad attempt IMO. I don't know...just expect more out of you.

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Old 03-25-2009, 11:51 PM   #68
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You don't see them as "that significant"? Based on what?
Sure, external factors are always going to play a part in someone's life-- but I don't see it as that relevant.

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You'd have to "show me"? Wouldn't that be an example of me experiencing it?
No

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First off, you've already skunked me by assuming the counter-argument is a banal life, offering nothing to the world. That isn't true as I see it.
We've already seen some counter-arguments and they are all in favor-- or at least in defense of-- what I'd call banal life. But, the phrase is a bit misleading, as I would still consider someone who travels or has an exciting job/life as someone who has a banal life. But I think you understand the concept I'm talking about; don't let the wording put you off.

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Secondly, you still haven't answered why anyone has to offer anything to the world.
I'm not claiming anyone has to; I'm saying that I don't see a reason to live if you don't-- or at least try to.

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Why would it matter? Why would I care? Isn't perception of how someone appears to be something done by those living a banal life? I mean...I can't understand why you wouldn't want to talk about this as it relates directly to you. Since when is FEAR an excuse in the face of devotion? Sounds cowardly to me.
Well if I don't feel my devotion is to you, I don't feel any obligation to share.

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You again assign what compromise means but have no concrete evidence to back it up. I'm not saying such evidence exists but without having the benefit of "taking your word" or simply saying "based on experience" you are pretty much just judging issues as you see fit out of the blue.

We'll probably have to get to you questioning me here in a bit. This has been a huge disappointment. You've backtracked, changed meanings and assigned values out of the blue too much in this explanation. I honestly thought you could have done a better job at this but it's been a pretty bad attempt IMO. I don't know...just expect more out of you.
I think it would be better if you offered counter-arguments. I see that you are trying to expose holes in what I'm saying, but the holes are simply part of the body I'm talking about, but I'm having trouble making you see that.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:29 PM   #69
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This whole conversation has been pretty much you on the defensive so I guess we should open it up to your questions or whatever if you want to continue.

I still say I "get" what you're saying but I'm having trouble understanding why you don't feel more anger/frustration/whatever over the apparent contradictions (or paradoxes in your mind) in your approach.

But like I said, you've basically been grilled for the last few pages so let's move it in another direction if you want.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:42 PM   #70
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This whole conversation has been pretty much you on the defensive so I guess we should open it up to your questions or whatever if you want to continue.

I still say I "get" what you're saying but I'm having trouble understanding why you don't feel more anger/frustration/whatever over the apparent contradictions (or paradoxes in your mind) in your approach.

But like I said, you've basically been grilled for the last few pages so let's move it in another direction if you want.
I'm not sure how much further the thread can go. It's just about run its course.

I thought you get what I'm saying, or at least to some extent. As far as contradictions, they don't bother me because they don't undermine (at least to me) the concept as a whole. Here's something that may clear it up: Is the person who devotes himself to fishing and knows everything about fishing and sees fishing in a new way in this category?

Yes. Why? Because he sees the sport in a way that no one else does.

And maybe that's been the biggest inconsistency I've had in this thread; Do you have to see the world in a different way or one field in a different way?

I think they both go hand in hand; seeing a field in a new way is seeing the world in a new way.

If someone dedicates his entire focus to fishing and sees it like no one else does (even if fishing does seem like a waste of all that energy,) that would fit under the definition.

Again, what's the point in seeing something in a unique way? It's not necessarily that there's a point, it's just that there's no justification for doing anything any other way.
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It's too bad this site has been slow the last week. This thread had some really interesting discussion going, even if it was everyone going against me
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:57 PM   #71
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I'm not sure how much further the thread can go. It's just about run its course.

I thought you get what I'm saying, or at least to some extent. As far as contradictions, they don't bother me because they don't undermine (at least to me) the concept as a whole. Here's something that may clear it up: Is the person who devotes himself to fishing and knows everything about fishing and sees fishing in a new way in this category?

Yes. Why? Because he sees the sport in a way that no one else does.

And maybe that's been the biggest inconsistency I've had in this thread; Do you have to see the world in a different way or one field in a different way?

I think they both go hand in hand; seeing a field in a new way is seeing the world in a new way.

If someone dedicates his entire focus to fishing and sees it like no one else does (even if fishing does seem like a waste of all that energy,) that would fit under the definition.

Again, what's the point in seeing something in a unique way? It's not necessarily that there's a point, it's just that there's no justification for doing anything any other way.
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It's too bad this site has been slow the last week. This thread had some really interesting discussion going, even if it was everyone going against me
I wasn't against you Rob. I agree with some of your concepts and see where you are coming from. You aren't the first person to see things this way. And you aren't the first person to be influenced by what you are currently reading (I'm sure Wittgenstein would be proud of you ).

As for your last point/post - I couldn't agree more. The difference between you and me on that is I think...make that I KNOW...people are currently doing that in different fields all over the world right now. I just don't think you have the experience - - or ability to recognize it right now.

But that isn't to dismiss the fact that many people...maybe most if you're feeling really despondent...think the opposite and are too lazy/cowardly to do what they know is right. And if you're asking me if most people are in the latter...I would agree with you.

If I could be so bold and offer some advice...which all young people (esp. in here) get pissy with me over...don't focus so much on the rules of your approach or else you'll lose the focus on what they stand for or why they're important in the first place. And absent a forum where actions directly result in true results it may be hard for you to see that. College isn't going to provide it...that's for damn sure.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 03-30-2009, 08:15 PM   #72
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I wasn't against you Rob. I agree with some of your concepts and see where you are coming from. You aren't the first person to see things this way. And you aren't the first person to be influenced by what you are currently reading (I'm sure Wittgenstein would be proud of you ).

As for your last point/post - I couldn't agree more. The difference between you and me on that is I think...make that I KNOW...people are currently doing that in different fields all over the world right now. I just don't think you have the experience - - or ability to recognize it right now.

But that isn't to dismiss the fact that many people...maybe most if you're feeling really despondent...think the opposite and are too lazy/cowardly to do what they know is right. And if you're asking me if most people are in the latter...I would agree with you.

If I could be so bold and offer some advice...which all young people (esp. in here) get pissy with me over...don't focus so much on the rules of your approach or else you'll lose the focus on what they stand for or why they're important in the first place. And absent a forum where actions directly result in true results it may be hard for you to see that. College isn't going to provide it...that's for damn sure.

Just my 2 cents.

Yeah, I wasn't saying that there aren't other people who think like this; It just bothers me that most people don't think like this. I know that there are people in probably every field who fall under this category, if you want to call it that.

And I agree... putting rules on this seemed odd to begin with, but I was just trying to make what I was trying to say clearer.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:37 PM   #73
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Yeah, I wasn't saying that there aren't other people who think like this; It just bothers me that most people don't think like this. I know that there are people in probably every field who fall under this category, if you want to call it that.
If you'll continue to indulge me as I speak from life experience , I'd probably venture to say that some people do think this...well...kids your age anyway. Maybe more than you think. Grant it, very few do but the majority of those are too scared to even apply it to their lives.

It's up to you to continue on with it though cuz that's the only way you'll find it who's in it for real and who's just playing the game. And even those who you find to be trying sometimes get too caught up in their own b.s and quit. F'in cowards. Don't dwell on it too much though. It's already tough enough walking that campus and looking at all the kids and feeling that disdain in your belly...

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Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
And I agree... putting rules on this seemed odd to begin with, but I was just trying to make what I was trying to say clearer.
The rules are necessary cuz it's a discipline...an approach. Otherwise, how do you know which rules are good and which are bad? And how do you figure out how to deal with the necessary rules that beat the s-hit out of you?
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