Re: Wanting to Want (was: Uploads and betrayal)
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 13:36:31 EST

In a message dated 99-12-03 11:47:29 EST, Robin Hanson writes:

<< It seems to me that you are denying that the phenomena of limerence is
associated with any degree of fooling oneself about anything.>>

No, there may indeed be some degree, but I would say that it can vary wildly from 0% to 100%. My question to you is this; how do you determine whether someone is fooling themselves about being in love or actually is in love? I think a good way to tell when you are fooling yourself about being in love is when it takes more and more effort to summon that feeling. Another would be to ask yourself; if someone else told me they were in love for the reasons I'm in love, would I believe them? Just some thoughts.

<< More generally, you seem to deny my suggestion that people fool themselves
into thinking they are more thoughtful, creative, etc. than they are.>>

I was wondering if you would do that<g>. I ascribed to myself the attributes of thoughtfulness and creativity soon after you had finished saying that "we fool ourselves into thinking that our values are the ones others would approve of, and are not very aware of the degree to which our values are otherwise." So, am I deluding myself into believing I am thoughtful and creative? Maybe so. How would one check? I suppose two ways would be to look for internal inconsistencies in my life and use an external check of the opinions of others. I won't go through the first here, as depending on the level of my denial, I could be ignoring the inconsistencies. Now then, we can ask others if I am thoughtful and creative. You'll just have to take my word that, in the past, these two qualities have been attributed to me many times before by many different people. We can also ask those who have interacted with me here on the list if I have seemed thoughtful and creative in my postings (of course, maybe I've just been faking it really well and fooling everyone<g>). I will say this much...I am not perfectly thoughtful and creative. I have had moments when I have been heedless of another's feelings, and where my muse has deserted me. However, for the most part I think these are traits that I can subscribe to myself in general, and to claim otherwise would not be reporting my true feelings on the subject. That is one of the reasons why I mentioned those qualities, even though I thought it likely that you would respond to them as you did.

<<I'm not sure I can do much here to change your mind, other than to point you to the vast literatures on the topic. You might start wit the word "limerence".

Robin Hanson >>

Sure there is! I did preface my statements by saying, "I may be wrong." I try to admit the possibility of error, and am willing to challenge my own beliefs, even about myself. However, I take a lot to convince<g>. I'll have to start as you suggested, looking into the term "limerence". As for this vast literature on the topic, would you care to recommend some as a good starting point? Online sources would be easier as I do not have a lot of free time at present.

Now then, is there aught that I could do to change your mind?

Glen Finney

P.S. - By and large I find the "romantic ideal" as much as a harmful meme as helpful. I consider it an artificial construct that owes much to the Court of Eleanor of Acquitane<sp?>. However, as I said before, I do enjoy it, and have found it of use in my life, so I have kept it, but always realizing that it isn't an absolute.