September 12th, 2003



Got to bed at a reasonable hour last night (after watching Teachers and Samurai Jack with Ed). Intended to be up at 7am.

Plans thwarted by waking up with toothache at 2:45 and not getting back to sleep until 4:20.

Today may well involve booking dentist appointments...

Relationship nonsense

Chatting to Ed yesterday about relationships. I was saying that I was happy enough to start a relationship that didn't have much spark, physically speaking, if I got on well enough with the person, because I knew that attraction would come later and that experience had shown me that (within reason) it was possible to find attraction in pretty much anybody. Ed was taking the initial attraction as a starting point and couldn't understand why I'd be interested in a relationship with someone I didn't have a spark with. He said that it wouldn't be a relationship, it'd be like having a good friend that you slept with.

Leaving aside the fact that sex with a good friend wouldn't be something I'd tend to turn down, I thought about this for a while before coming to the conclusion that the difference was one of scarcity. I know a fair number of people I find attractive. The initial spark of "that person's pretty darn cute" occurs for me at least 5 times a day and far more than that if I'm lunching in Princes Street Gardens or wandering through somewhere that has a preponderance of females. On the other hand, people that I get on with socially well enough to want to spend a significant amount of time with I can number on one hand. Sure, there's a fair number that I enjoy visiting and spending an evening with or even a day hanging out with. But people I'd be comfortable spending long periods with are far fewer. Oh, and most of them are male (and straight - as I said to Ed yesterday, if one of my good male friends made a pass at me I'd be very tempted to give it a go, despite my current lack of attraction for men. You never know, I might find I enjoyed it - and it'd be worthwhile to have a partner I got on with that well).

I've also noticed that the initial attraction is frequently completely wrong. Like most of my instincts I trust it in a very limited way. When I get an instant signal upon meeting someone of "You want to spend lots of time with this person and treat them like the very special person they so obviously are." I do an internal translation to "You want to boink this person." and leave questions of specialness and compatibility to my long-term judgement. I've seen so many people fall instantly in love with someone they know nothing about, and then be incredibly surprised when it turns out that this person isn't actually a White Knight sent from Heaven to make their lives perfect, but is in fact just some random guy.

So, from my point of view, it makes no sense to try to take those people I have an attraction to and expend energy on each of them until I find one that I can get on with. It makes far more sense to take the people I can get on with and find the attraction in them. Long term, I believe the result is the same, and doing so requires an awful lot less time being spent in the company of people I don't feel comfortable around.

The Friday SF 5.

On the SF Bulletin Board at work there was a discussion of people's top 5 endings (of series or films). Mine are below the LJ-Cut, feel free to add your own (or link to tem if you prefer).

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It's inocnpmherislbe

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

More on economics

It is estimated that the dollar is currently overvalued by at least 40%, burdening the United States with a huge trade deficit. Conversely, the euro-zone does not run huge deficits, uses higher interest rates, and has an increasingly larger share of world trade. As the euro establishes its durability and comes into wider use, the dollar will no longer be the world’s only option. At that point, it would be easier for other nations to exercise financial leverage against the United States without damaging themselves or the global financial system as a whole.
Faced with waning international economic power, military superiority is the United States’ only tool for world domination. Although, the expense of this military control is unsustainable, says William Clark, "one of the dirty little secrets of today's international order is that the rest of the globe could topple the United States from its hegemonic status whenever they so choose with a concerted abandonment of the dollar standard. This is America's preeminent, inescapable Achilles Heel." If American power is ever perceived globally as a greater liability than the dangers of toppling the international order, the U.S. systems of control can be eliminated and collapsed. When acting against world opinion – as in Iraq – an international consensus could brand the United States as a “rogue nation.”

from here