Life as an Extreme Sport

Patient, Kind, Without Envy or Pride

Did your mother ever tell you, when you were upset and sulking, to just smile and everything would be alright? To “turn that frown upside down” – a sentiment that always seemed so silly and irritatingly cliche, guaranteed to make me snarl more than anything else. Yet, in another one for the “things Mom was right about” column, it really works. Not necessarily turning a frown upside down, but acting in ways that might seem counter-intuitive to how you feel changing your mood. It’s the physicality of affect; how our bodies react is tied to how we feel. Don’t believe me? The next time you’re angry with someone you care about, give them a good hug, and see how you feel – dollars to donuts your anger cracks and you smile and, while holding them, remember how much you care and dissipate out a lot of the negative feelings. It’s

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Intellectual Jacking Off

I’m at a loss for intelligent things to say this evening, largely because they’ve already been said. I spent what might just be the most productive two hours of this quarter bouncing around ideas with Adam, and have solidified key aspects of my thesis. While this is what I was hoping would come from a session like this, I’m still astonished at the productivity and accomplishment. After editing out side commentary, sarcasm, and secondary conversation, I still have five pages of notes to turn into a coherant document – and, in my not at all humble or detached opinion, it’s stellar stuff; a revisiting of what [societal] we know in separate intellectual spheres but haven’t pulled together into a cohesive whole. I cannot reiterate enough just how thankful I am to be working with Adam on this process. He surprises me; so often he acts like the dumb fratboy that

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Thesis Thoughts

I try to keep my thesis grounded in example, otherwise it becomes too meta and in the clouds. I’ve been thinking about using PVS, emergent issues, and mental illness as examples to illustrate points (as well as my beloved anemone – why ditch a solid example?), but today another one came to mind: vaccinations. The problem with autonomy when it comes to vaccinations is that you are basically relying on everyone else to NOT agree with your autonomous decision, and thus afford your child protection that way. This quickly breaks down, though, if everyone chooses not to vaccinate. Worth keeping in mind as an example of failure of thought.

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Erotic Morality and Affect

These are general thoughts from and spawned by the book Erotic Morality: The Role of Touch in Moral Agency by Linda Holler, and just get your mind out of the gutter right now, children. From the back cover, “Erotic Morality examines the role of the senses and emotions, especially touch, in moral reflection and agency. Moving from organic disorders such as autism to culturally induced feeling disorders found in dualistic philosophy, pornography, and some forms of sadomasochism, Linda Holler argues that reclaiming the sentient awareness necessary to our physical and moral well-being demands healing the places where we have become numb or hypersensitive to touch.” One of the things she says is “our understanding of love, like our understanding of morality, has been privatized and sexualized.” So, she’s moving the discussion away from sexual morality and the private arena towards discussing our capacity for intimacy and passion in the public

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