biological, mechanical, ratio-emotional and affordances (environmental) causation ooh it led me to here. Neat. My research project (since Apr ’13) has been staying away from psychological explanations for things, focusing on biological, mechanical, ratio-emotional and affordances (environmental) causation instead, because sometimes psychological explanations are in the “that makes sense” category but sometimes lacking a foundation beyond explanation.

Maybe I’m ready now to tie what I’ve learned back to psychology, which was one of my first loves, and see where it gets me.


Answer to 1st question, yes it can. I challenge myself to dive in deep, challenging my mettle by going into groups of people online whose values/believes are opposite of mine so that I can understand them better.

In the process though, some of it *can* stick: it’s probably impossible to stay entirely removed when engaging with people… maybe it’s part of sympathy? I dunno.

So yeah, there’s definitely consequences. Once you can see something from someone else’s pov, it changes you. Keeping it sorted out can be tricky.


Thanks – yeah, I’ve tried to understand those areas that I’m empathetic and those that I’m not. I view myself as very empathetic and yet when I really probe into it, I can see how I’m able to “turn it off” when I need to in order to dispassionately figure something out.

I don’t like my emotions getting the best of me so I have all sorts of techniques for working with them. Yet, has working with these mental tools changed me? Probably. Permanently? I don’t think so. A bad enough situation can throw me back into emotional turmoil just like it can for anybody else but hopefully with a good enough toolset I can manage my way through without losing my sense of self, which is always a bit of a fear.

I’m always trying to understand other people. They confuse me. Baffle me. Perplex me. I confuse, baffle and perplex myself. But why? Shouldn’t things be logical, clear and make sense?

I can be empathetic to a piece of grass being mowed by a lawnmower or knowing about someone’s suffering far away. Yet if someone comes to me that’s suffering, I have to turn that empathy off and “be the mind” that sorts things out for them. Yet, underneath the ‘turning off’ of the empathy *is* the empathy.. if that makes any sense.


It really is. Like, I don’t always know what my values are. I know I have ranges of acceptability. But when do things reach the unacceptable? When it those limits, how do I react appropriately? Do I stretch the limits of acceptability? Retrain myself for novel situations? Or do I fight to bring things back into acceptable tolerance limits?



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