0807: "Connected"

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby savanik » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

Mr. Burke wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:We are ALL DIFFERENT.

I'm not!

Sshhh!
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Monika » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

Callista wrote:And why in the world would I date someone who wasn't also asexual? We'd just be incompatible.

For the same reason lots of people date and even marry incompatible people. Falling in love and stuff like this. If your personal definition of asexuality means for you that you cannot fall in love, then interpret "stuff like this" with "really liking that person and wanting to be together with him or her".

Don't say it doesn't happen. It may not apply to you. Asexuality covers a wide spectrum. Some asexual people are married to sexual people and have sex with them for their benefit.
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Ghavrel » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

Monika wrote:Don't say it doesn't happen. It may not apply to you. Asexuality covers a wide spectrum. Some asexual people are married to sexual people and have sex with them for their benefit.


Instead of revealing my vast ignorance on the topic of asexuality with the following question, I'm just going to say now that I'm vastly ignorant on the topic of asexuality.

Unless someone who is asexual actively dislikes sex (instead of simply being "meh" [good term {oh lord brackets}] about it), why wouldn't it be possible for them to view it as similar to going to a silly movie that you aren't particularly interested in with your significant other?

Of course, two counterarguments are that

1) You don't go to silly movies that you aren't particularly interested in with your significant other several times a week (or even once a month), and
2) Sex in which one partner is rather less than passionate often is a negative factor in a relationship.
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Monika
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Monika » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

To reduce ignorance: http://www.asexuality.org/home/general.html.

Your question isn't covered, though. I think this simile might work: Would you go on a rollercoaster ride, repeatedly, even though you do not enjoy it, just because your friends tell you it's so cool and you have to? You aren't getting nauseous or anything, you just don't see the point. Everybody around you is \o/ and you are Image.
Maybe you would accompany your significant other on a rollercoaster, at least occasionally, if he or she asks you to. But if he or she asks you very often, you might get tired of it. Even once a month could be awefully much.

That said, some (or a lot, who knows) asexual people do get motion sickness on "rollercoasters", so twice in ten years for procreation might be the maximum number of rides to ask for.

To get back to the comic (or one possible interpretation thereof): If 90% of the songs on the radio and 99% of movies and TV series were about rollercoasters to some degree this could get pretty annoying if you simply happen not to be into rollercoasters.
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby furgle » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:36 pm UTC

ooh and on the sex topic, how does an asexual person feel about having sex for the purpose of having a child ? Assuming they are wanting and planning to have a child. As opposed to having sex because it feels good.

I found that my recent change in purpose has changed feeling I get from sex. The high I get seems to last longer and be unrelated to sexual pleasure.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Aurora Firestorm » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:03 am UTC

It seems like it would suck to do much of anything sexual with someone who plainly isn't enjoying it (even if he/she doesn't actively dislike it) and is just doing it for your benefit. Sexuality isn't just based on "touch the right locations"; there are also psychological factors. The people involved play emotions and sensations off each other to escalate the situation and generally enjoy themselves and bond. It seems like one person being totally bereft of that would really throw things off. At least, I know I couldn't be physically intimate with someone who didn't particularly care about being physically intimate with me, even if that just meant passive indifference.

Maybe other people are different -- likely there are some who wouldn't mind. I'm not sure I personally could work with that, though.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Ghavrel » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:09 am UTC

Monika wrote:I think this simile might work: Would you go on a rollercoaster ride, repeatedly, even though you do not enjoy it, just because your friends tell you it's so cool and you have to? You aren't getting nauseous or anything, you just don't see the point. Everybody around you is \o/ and you are Image.
Maybe you would accompany your significant other on a rollercoaster, at least occasionally, if he or she asks you to. But if he or she asks you very often, you might get tired of it. Even once a month could be awefully much.

This is probably not the best simile because I am absolutely terrified of rollercoasters. But assuming I were cured of said somewhat-rational terror, I don't think I'd have a problem with going decently frequently. Given that sexual activity can be fairly quick, and getting on a rollercoaster typically involves some planning, I think the analogy falls apart rather quickly. But yes, I do see the potential problems.

Monika wrote:To get back to the comic (or one possible interpretation thereof): If 90% of the songs on the radio and 99% of movies and TV series were about rollercoasters to some degree this could get pretty annoying if you simply happen not to be into rollercoasters.

But rollercoasters are AWESOME.
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Azbbb » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:12 am UTC

If sex is emotional intimacy + physical intimacy + lust, and the asexual enjoys all of the emotional intimacy and most of the physical intimacy, there is still hope. I may not enjoy rollercoasters very much, but if I enjoy randomly going crazy and \o/ with my friends, even for no reason, then I enjoy the rollercoaster ride not because it is a rollercoaster ride but because it is a catalyst for my friends.

The big danger is that the emotional intimacy may be seen as insincere, as a means to the end of sex. And perhaps the asexual thinks the sort of intimacy he or she craves do not play a big enough role in the relationship. Then the asexual does not feel loved. =( It helps if I really, really understand why my friends go \o/ in a rollercoaster. And if they understand why I'm going with them.

Or perhaps two people are just incompatible, and no amount of love they may have for each other can save them.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby furgle » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:19 am UTC

if you don't like roller coasters and your partner did, would you let your partner go on a roller coaster with another friend? or would you have a stranger sit next to them ?

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Callista » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:27 am UTC

furgle wrote:ooh and on the sex topic, how does an asexual person feel about having sex for the purpose of having a child ? Assuming they are wanting and planning to have a child. As opposed to having sex because it feels good.

I found that my recent change in purpose has changed feeling I get from sex. The high I get seems to last longer and be unrelated to sexual pleasure.
This particular asexual person wants to be a foster parent. It's a personal decision, though; quite a few do have kids. At this point, asexuality isn't all that well known, so there are a lot of asexuals in mixed marriages who do have sex for their partner's sake--they got married before they realized that having to pretend to like sex wasn't how everyone felt (women from traditional backgrounds, especially). In asexual/asexual marriages, adoption is common.

It seems like it would suck to do much of anything sexual with someone who plainly isn't enjoying it (even if he/she doesn't actively dislike it) and is just doing it for your benefit. Sexuality isn't just based on "touch the right locations"; there are also psychological factors. The people involved play emotions and sensations off each other to escalate the situation and generally enjoy themselves and bond. It seems like one person being totally bereft of that would really throw things off. At least, I know I couldn't be physically intimate with someone who didn't particularly care about being physically intimate with me, even if that just meant passive indifference.

Maybe other people are different -- likely there are some who wouldn't mind. I'm not sure I personally could work with that, though.
Exactly. If, for one partner, sex is very important, and for the other it's something that's boring, annoying, or even disgusting, it would be very difficult to make the marriage work. It's been done, though; not to say it can't be. Heck, even gay/straight marriages have worked, when the two people involved cared enough--maybe they had kids; maybe they were deeply emotionally attached despite their incompatible attractions--but it's nowhere near the ideal and it isn't something you should be getting into knowingly. Dealing with incompatible attractions like that is, as far as I can tell, extremely difficult but still possible. It's something people do when they're in a bad situation and either way--breaking up or staying together--is going to cause problems. This is one of those things that just doesn't have a perfect solution.

Realistically... well, asexual/non-asexual marriages tend to break up. You can't just get into a marriage like that and go, "Oh, I'll change them once we're wearing wedding rings. Twu Wuv solves everything!!" ...No. No, it doesn't.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby kanraga » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:19 am UTC

Azbbb wrote:If sex is emotional intimacy + physical intimacy + lust, and the asexual enjoys all of the emotional intimacy and most of the physical intimacy, there is still hope. I may not enjoy rollercoasters very much, but if I enjoy randomly going crazy and \o/ with my friends, even for no reason, then I enjoy the rollercoaster ride not because it is a rollercoaster ride but because it is a catalyst for my friends.

The big danger is that the emotional intimacy may be seen as insincere, as a means to the end of sex. And perhaps the asexual thinks the sort of intimacy he or she craves do not play a big enough role in the relationship. Then the asexual does not feel loved. ..


If you were to become violently sick upon riding a roller-coaster, would you still be just as happy about going on it for the sake of your friends' mutual enjoyment? More to the point, if your friends know that you're the type to become violently sick on roller-coasters, would they still be happy that you went on one just to please them? Good friends would understand that you have to bow out of certain activities in your friendship, and not feel that the friendship is doomed as a result; I don't see the difference between this and sex.

As for your second point, that should not be a problem in a functional, communicating relationship. An asexual person should not have to constantly lure zir partner away from thoughts of sex with emotional intimacy; the topic of sex should be - and is, in my case - discussed openly and frankly without need for such deception. I do agree that, in certain cases, the relationship between an asexual person and a sexual person will not work out due to entirely conflicting preferences towards sexual activity, but the only thing I can call "sad" about such a situation is that two incompatible partners spent so long trying to delay the apparently inevitable, not that one partner is somehow lacking in basic human desires. Please don't try to feel sad for us.

furgle wrote:if you don't like roller coasters and your partner did, would you let your partner go on a roller coaster with another friend? or would you have a stranger sit next to them ?


I have told my current s.o. several times that if he needs to relieve sexual urges, he is more than welcome to seek out other people more amenable to the idea of sexual activity than I am. I recognize that this is my personal preference in the current situation, and might not even hold for all of my relationships; however, I don't see sex as a big enough deal to be jealous of, since I know that my s.o.'s emotional connection is with me. Other asexuals may feel otherwise.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby savageorange » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:13 am UTC

weaselsmasher wrote:And this is the position the author advocates:

Code: Select all

>>> print type(TrueLove)
Traceback (most recent call last):
NameError: name 'TrueLove' is not defined
>>> TrueLove = emotion.state(person.gender("appropriate"))
>>> print type(TrueLove)
<type 'float'>

Love is not a constant, it's not something predefined, and it most certainly has nuances of strength and value.


.. I was expecting you to write:

Code: Select all

>>>  print type(TrueLove)
<type 'complex'>

;)

(FWIW I completely disbelieve in love in any kind of emotional sense)

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Cryopyre » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:41 am UTC

It's official. Randall is entering his cynical phase.
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby lazor » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:00 am UTC

Cryopyre wrote:It's official. Randall is entering his cynical phase.

so he's finally reached the emotional maturity of a 17 year old forum-goer?

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 am UTC

I'm looking for a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket.
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I do!

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Mjauti » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:11 am UTC

lazor wrote:
Cryopyre wrote:It's official. Randall is entering his cynical phase.

so he's finally reached the emotional maturity of a 17 year old forum-goer?

Turns out the forum-goer just turned 18.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Monika » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:40 am UTC

furgle wrote:if you don't like roller coasters and your partner did, would you let your partner go on a roller coaster with another friend? or would you have a stranger sit next to them ?

I would strictly prefer that he pay a professional rollercoaster rider to sit next to him. Least amount of emotional and relationship confusions involved.
One day stands - meeting a stranger just for the rollercoaster ride - would be acceptable, too ... if I can be certain that she is not going to call him to see him again.
Because I fear repeated meetings that were intended for rollercoaster riding only in the beginning can quickly end up in the two of them going to buy some cotton candy afterwards, and it goes down from there.
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Azbbb » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:59 pm UTC

kanraga wrote:If you were to become violently sick upon riding a roller-coaster, would you still be just as happy about going on it for the sake of your friends' mutual enjoyment?

No. However, if you were to become violently sick if you came close to anything sexual, I'd suspect more than just lack of sexual desire. I'd suspect some pretty heavy negative associations, perhaps negative experiences at a young age, perhaps negative associations from previous relationships with sexuals that didn't work out. Perhaps that negativity can be taken away and replaced with positivity, perhaps not.

More to the point, if your friends know that you're the type to become violently sick on roller-coasters, would they still be happy that you went on one just to please them?

If it's really a negative experience for you, no. And I would be unhappy in a relationship where going on rollercoasters is one of the most important things in my friend's life and I really hate it so much that I can't even stand it when my friend is thinking of rollercoasters. But if it's a mostly positive experience for you, that includes some things that you don't really care about, then that's completely acceptable for me.

Good friends would understand that you have to bow out of certain activities in your friendship, and not feel that the friendship is doomed as a result; I don't see the difference between this and sex.

There is a very important difference - most people have something that makes them feel loved and special. For many people, part of that is if their significant other shows sexual surrender ("I'm yours, completely, enjoy all of me!"), or if their significant other shows an urgent need for physical intimacy. If those things make you feel loved and special, and you're in a romantic relationship with somebody that NEVER does those things, you might become unhappy sooner or later. If I don't particularly care about football, and my significant other feels loved even if I never talk about football, then everything is fine.

As for your second point, that should not be a problem in a functional, communicating relationship. An asexual person should not have to constantly lure zir partner away from thoughts of sex with emotional intimacy; the topic of sex should be - and is, in my case - discussed openly and frankly without need for such deception.

It is not, of course, deception. When I see my significant other, I experience a cocktail of emotions, that include the desire for emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, affection, joy, feeling comfortable, safe, and not rarely lust. The fact that there is also lust does not invalidate any of the other things. But if you see lust in my eyes, you might worry that it dominates my thinking, and that all of those other things do not matter as much to me as they do to you. Then you might not feel loved by me.

It is absolutely crucial that if a relationship between an asexual and a sexual is going to work, both fully accept each other for who they are. The asexual is completely, 100% comfortable with their significant other having sexual desires towards them. He or she is open, spontaneous, does not censor his or her thoughts, and does not actively try to avoid physical intimacy because it may lead to sex. At the same time, the sexual is 100% comfortable with the fact their significant other not having sexual thoughts. Knows signals are not to be interpreted as being sexual signals, etc.

Then both can be themselves, and perhaps compromise is possible. For such a compromise to work, it has to be a positive experience with some elements that he or she doesn't care about for the asexual, not a negative experience on the net.

I do agree that, in certain cases, the relationship between an asexual person and a sexual person will not work out due to entirely conflicting preferences towards sexual activity, but the only thing I can call "sad" about such a situation is that two incompatible partners spent so long trying to delay the apparently inevitable, not that one partner is somehow lacking in basic human desires. Please don't try to feel sad for us.

What is sad is when two people love each other, but can't find their flow together. I'm feeling sad for both parties. And I really hope it's not because of misunderstandings between the two, that it doesn't work out. That would be extra sad.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby uncivlengr » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:11 pm UTC

Azbbb wrote:It is absolutely crucial that if a relationship between an asexual and a sexual any two people is going to work, both fully accept each other for who they are.
I don't know what to do for you

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

Rowadanr wrote:Now, as far as I can see, this comic is a throwaway joke about certain teenagers being shallow and not-very-self-aware and this making some of their "romantic declarations" incredibly comical to an outsider. Maybe you can splice some of the other transient factors in a lot of young relationships in there too, if you just can't help collecting meanings. The alt text was about the model of love that turns up in rubbish romance being somewhat inflexible and extreme when judged against the far more diverse and interesting scape of Real Life.

That's it.


That would be "it" if it weren't for the caption.

In fact, remove the caption entirely, and you'd have a halfway decent comic -- and which could even be making fun of all the "RANDALL GET OUT OF MY HEAD" morons who infest these threads. But the caption questions why people in general "romanticise" young love, implying that it should not be romanticised because it is stupid. Well, I guess that there must be a fair, understandable reason why people romanticise young love, and Randall is "unsure" of it either because he has no social life whatsoever (plausible) or because he's a proud, ignorant jerk who thinks he's being very cool for going against the tide (also plausible).

It would be the same thing if Randall were going "I'm not sure why people find it cute when a young kid 'falls in love' with his teacher". The same thing. The reaction is simple: hey, Randall, if you don't know it, maybe it's because you're too thick?

That's it.

A forest IS just a forest, after all.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby kanraga » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:20 pm UTC

Azbbb wrote:There is a very important difference - most people have something that makes them feel loved and special. For many people, part of that is if their significant other shows sexual surrender ("I'm yours, completely, enjoy all of me!"), or if their significant other shows an urgent need for physical intimacy. If those things make you feel loved and special, and you're in a romantic relationship with somebody that NEVER does those things, you might become unhappy sooner or later. If I don't particularly care about football, and my significant other feels loved even if I never talk about football, then everything is fine.


Azbbb wrote:It is absolutely crucial that if a relationship between an asexual and a sexual is going to work, both fully accept each other for who they are...Then both can be themselves, and perhaps compromise is possible. For such a compromise to work, it has to be a positive experience with some elements that he or she doesn't care about for the asexual, not a negative experience on the net.


I think we do actually agree in general that mutual understanding is necessary. What I beg to differ on, however, is any suggestion that the asexual partner should compromise "more" for the benefit of the sexual one than the other way around. Certain asexuals aren't completely unreceptive to sex; it's just low enough on their minds to be a non-issue when interacting romantically, and they would certainly be happy to indulge their partners in the way you outlined above. Others, however, on top of experiencing little sexual desire, also have strong antipathy towards sex, or even being thought of sexually - whatever the reason - and it would not be kosher to demand that they compromise something they hold so firmly, nor would it be the partner's place to figure out what's "wrong" with them and make them change.

As before, it depends on the people. If the sexual partner is equally meh, or one doesn't feel that the topic is important enough to resist compromise on, good. If both are hard-line about their own positions, however, then things just aren't going to work. This is, honestly, the sort of give-and-take that occurs with any relationship, whether inter-religious, inter-cultural, or just between two people who happen to root respectively for the Red Sox and Yankees. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't; that's life.

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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:36 am UTC

Meh.

Actually, last night was rather exciting for me. I opened a crate in TF2!
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Re: 0807: Connected

Postby Azbbb » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:04 am UTC

kanraga wrote:Others, however, on top of experiencing little sexual desire, also have strong antipathy towards sex, or even being thought of sexually - whatever the reason - and it would not be kosher to demand that they compromise something they hold so firmly, nor would it be the partner's place to figure out what's "wrong" with them and make them change.

If you frame it like the partner would think something is wrong with them, then it really sounds like the partner is not accepting the asexual for who he or she is. But if the asexual has strong antipathy towards being thought of sexually, then the asexual is not accepting who the sexual is. And in that case I think it's fair to try and figure out where the negative feelings come from.

The goal for the sexual of course is to be completely accepted, and that could be a "change", but that doesn't mean the asexual is now "wrong". The difference is subtle between this and changing because you are now wrong and you would then be normal, and it's crucial that the sexual partner understands it's something different. That difference is extremely important. It's the difference between being loved for who you are and being loved if only you'd change this little thing about you.

If the asexual partner cannot at least accept that the sexual partner has sexual desires towards them, and is also not willing to investigate the issue psychologically (not because the asexual is wrong, but because the sexual both wants to understand and wants to be loved) then I guess the two are incompatible.

One other point. Asexuals love in the way they know how. And it's wrong for anyone to try to change the way in which they love. At the same time, and I believe this very strongly, I think anybody deserves to be loved in the way they want to be loved. Many people cannot accept asexuals for who they are. So an asexual wants to be loved by someone that completely accepts them - and does not try to change them.

However if the asexual has so strong antipathy towards something that is so big to the sexual, then, assuming the two want to stay together, the asexual has to realize that trying to take those negative feelings away does not mean that the asexual is wrong. It just means the relationship will be more positive on the whole. It's trying to love someone in the way he or she wants to be loved. And trying to accept the way in which the other is loving you.

As before, it depends on the people. If the sexual partner is equally meh, or one doesn't feel that the topic is important enough to resist compromise on, good. If both are hard-line about their own positions, however, then things just aren't going to work. This is, honestly, the sort of give-and-take that occurs with any relationship, whether inter-religious, inter-cultural, or just between two people who happen to root respectively for the Red Sox and Yankees. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't; that's life.

Else they'll have to agree to be incompatible.

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Re: 0807: "Connected"

Postby azaethral » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

Here's an ontological explanation for the phenomenon in the comic, showing why it isn't as unusual as it seems:

love instance-of phenomenon
is-connected instance-of condition
idealistic instance-of experiential-descriptor

love exhibits-property idealistic (this doesn't mean that idealism is the end-all-be-all of love, it just means that when the phenomenon of love exists, then at any point, it can fully exhibit idealism and any of the implications thereof)
love predicated-on is-connected

The point of confusion is that is-connected is not a continuous condition, but a binary one. However, any instance of connectedness acts over a certain domain, and thus, the implied love that results only applies within a certain domain. For example, you can love a song, you can love your dog, you can love your SO, and you can love your country. And while these are all instances of love, which can each in its own way exhibit the idealism associated with love, each have their own scope.

Under certain circumstances, a trivial verification is all that is left to fulfill the condition of connectedness, and connectedness may be the only remaining condition necessary to satisfy the phenomenon of love. And given love, it is immediately possible to invoke the idealistic descriptions that we are familiar. Hence the highly counterintuitive phenomenon where under certain circumstances, a trivial exhibition of connectedness is sufficient to invoke complete and total idealistic love.

Ahem. There's probably a paper about this somewhere. Or if there isn't, someone could gain a degree of repute by publishing one. :)


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