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Kitty Reflects on MoreLife

Go to Kitty Reflects Index10/5/06

A recent email discussion Paul had with Oli (Olafur Pall Olafsson, co-moderator with us at MoreLife Yahoo) included me, mostly because I'd added some information for Oli while reviewing Paul's reply (something we often do for each other). But the last few exchanges included specific reference to me, to something I had not done, Paul's thoughts on that and then Oli's too. I waited a few days before responding, partly to consider once again the implications of my non-action. Upon finishing my reply I decided that the exchange warranted being made public. Maybe some others will profit by the learning over many years I have gained about myself and the growing of close personal relationships ....

Hi Oli,

[I first related some of the items that had kept me busy, including a fall off a slippery wet moss covered rock, resulting in a few minor injuries.]

Now to your comments below... [inserting my comments inline to the earlier recieved email].



Oli wrote:
I checked out the full text but it did not make it very clear to what extent Iceland is more homogenous than other countries. I guess we will just go for a parental test to settle this. It doesn't cost much. Here's one I found during a quick search: It uses a cheek swab like Sciona, and ships the test to Iceland for a total of $245, which is about the same the Sciona gene tests costed. However they state this: "Note: International and express mailing requires a physical mailing address." I guess it means you have to order it through a doctor? Anyways that shouldn't be a problem.

Paul wrote:
No. It only means that "International and express mailing [actually they should have written 'delivery']" uses a courier and they cannot deliver to post office boxes, but only to physical addresses. It does not relate to needing a physician.

Oli wrote:
Ok, I was mixing the words physical and physician. Ordering this test would be no problem then. Perhaps we'll go for it.

Paul wrote:
I did not think of that connection. Partly because they are in such totally different categories in my mind and besides the first is an adjective and the second a noun. Kitty says that she did quickly see that connection, but unfortunately, she never mentioned it to me. She has a bad habit of thinking that I will have seen any connection that she does and therefore does not bother to tell me. This was a good example to once again raise with her this problem between us.

Oli wrote:
She must realise that because you have separate brains and you each have your own way of thinking it is not possible for you to see any connection Kitty sees. And Kitty, while Paul can probably see most of the connections you do he often will need to be pointed at the connections to see them as he will not be thinking exactly the same things you were when you read the text. A situation comes up in my mind where the two of you are driving in a car and enjoying the view. Then Kitty asks Paul if he saw an airplane in the sky a minute ago, he replies that he did not. Why? Not because he couldn't see it but because *he was looking in another direction*. What you are asking Paul to do Kitty is to always look in exactly the same direction as you do and that is not possible. Just because he *can* see the airplane doesn't mean he *will* as he can't look at all directions at the same time. That is why two heads always see better than one.

[In a response to Oli on other parts of the email, and copied to me, Paul wrote:
"I skipped the part concerning Kitty's sometimes not telling me about connections she has made. I expect that she will respond."]

I realize that Paul has a separate brain and also does not always focus his attention on what I may be perceiving at a particular time. What has not always been clear to Paul until there are certain types of "disturbance in the force" (our generally very understanding, supportive, stimulating living together) is that he would often become annoyed by me making some comment about what he had written - whether it was part of a philosophical piece or in an email didn't seem to matter. There have been different types of comments that I've made that elicit this type of reaction, one I find very uncomfortable since it comes from him. (If he wasn't so important to me it wouldn't matter nearly as much.) I still have difficulty knowing when it would be better to pursue a point with which I still am not in complete agreement so that I can more fully understand and when it would be better to just let it go until another time, maybe when I'm less mentally muddled from other activities. This more often is the case when reading/editing his NSC [Natural Social Contract] material. Paul's much better than he used to be in responding to my questions that may stem from failure to remember other points or earlier discussion (lack of intellectual integration). He used to get very exasperated sometimes and this has moderated considerably. He is definitely better now at constructing complex sentences that are understandable or getting his complex ideas into well flowing shorter sentences; there were times when he would become very upset when I suggested that a particular area would benefit greatly from such "reconstruction". I have gradually learned to let most of Paul's upset roll off me, since he is voicing his frustration with the world and not me. Though I do sometimes need to be reminded of this (which he now often says aloud to me), I less often take personally what he says at those times, which as I've said are far less often than even 2 years ago.
I understand that it can be frustrating for a person who is very proficient in an area having to spoon-feed novices and having no one for discussion who is near his level of understanding on the subject, especially one as foundational as philosophy. I remember certain professors having to bite their tongues when responding to certain students who, despite having read the lecture material, didn't really digest much of it at all. I myself reached a certain limit of comprehension in fluid dynamics after the first couple of months of the 2nd semester and just couldn't make the remainder of the semester "flow" like the preceding material had. I got a "C" but only with a great deal of effort. (Maybe if I were taking the subject now I'd do better...)

Specifically regarding the physician and physical on which you were initially confused, it never occurred to me that Paul didn't see the relationship of possible confusion by you. I just didn't think to mention it. But now after discussing it with him, I'll try to consciously think to note things to him that I do notice. Some of this keeping quiet is still a remnant of my past romantic relationships, one of which was with a husband who kept most of his thoughts to himself and a partner with whom it was difficult to discuss shortcomings of either of us (his philosophical ideas were similar but inconsistent).

Paul wrote:
She has this wrong idea that my perceptive and analytical abilities are superior to her in every way and that I will have always seen and understand whatever she does. I have repeatedly told her that this is a mistake, that "2 heads are always better than one" and that she can help much more by communicating her perceptions and understandings of things to me, since there will be little to no harm if I have already seen and understood, but if not then this will greatly help me.

Oli wrote:
Exactly. It seems to me that a lot of times you see the connection Kitty sees, often enough that she has started to decide beforehand that you must have seen it, and therefore she does not bother asking.

Paul wrote:
I always try to communicate my perceptions and understandings to her, which she has sometimes seen and sometimes not. This is also the purpose of having as many others as possible read and comment on the ideas and content of what I write. In that area Kitty does a generally good job, except that she is probably once again too accepting of my writing, first because she has heard it already and secondly because she gives me too much credit for being error free and optimally expressive.

Oli wrote:
One thing that might help you Kitty when reading Paul's writings is trying to imagine someone else wrote it. What if I wrote it f.ex? I bet you would read it with a more critical mind if you thought I or someone else other than Paul had written it. I bet you would also question the material more and find more errors in it if you did.

The personal relationship between the reader/questioner and the writer can also be a factor. It is probably much easier to take and give criticism, or even ask pointed questions, when the relationship is based only on the subject being reviewed/studied/performed. If I was reading something by someone with whom I had no direct connection, I would probably make comments or ask questions, if I were able to do so - however this is most often not the case since such a person would not be accessible to most readers.
There are (maybe more like, have been) times I think when Paul expects that I should understand something when in fact I still am somewhat hazy/confused/unsure. I have though absorbed a lot of his philosophical theory into the status of "obvious" just by having read and discussed it so often. It does make sense after one first lets go of the idea that governments are the only way to have a society without chaos. I know I'd never be able to logically defend many areas of Paul's writings to a dubious or cynical questioner, especially one with a background of philosophical study. I don't have a really strong background in philosophical reading even though I have read a fair amount of Objectivist and libertarian writers. I don't have an overall clear detailed picture of the fabric Paul's created even though I see the pattern (based in reality) many places and consider the entire effort to be invaluable in potential for society.

Paul wrote:
How do you and Egil operate this way? Do you try to help each other out so that the 2 together are better off than the sum of each separately?

Oli wrote:
We try to when we are working on something together. But the difference between me and Egill with respect to our analytical abilities in specific areas is probably much less than the difference between you and Kitty and although we have our strength and weaknesses there isn't any area I am aware of in which one of us is highly superior to the other one. And because we are so similar in most areas rather than one of us being highly superior, getting help from the other one is most often quite helpful.

How often and in what way do you each critique the work/actions (any type) of each other? Do you each take the criticism of the other very well, without any emotional discomfort? Are there ever times when one is offended, annoyed, hurt, or otherwise upset with the other by what has been said?

Paul and I are much better at discussing details about our own thoughts including those that occurred many years ago. Actually Paul has always been much more open than I have been. It has taken me several years to rid myself of the sensation of "outsider" that I had with Ed and somewhat with Greg. Paul had never had someone with whom he could be so mentally and emotionally intimate since he became more psychologically/socially mature (he was still socially immature in that sense when he was married to Dagny - his wife between 1960 and 1972) but had always retained a hope that he would find a person with whom he could be so. I, however, had thought I had found such a person with Ed, learned within 10 years that deep emotional intimacy was not something he could or really wanted to develop, and then I thought the addition of Greg would compensate (and maybe even improve that with Ed) despite his failure and often even refusal to integrate into his actions many of the philosophical ideas we supposedly held in common. I had become somewhat weary by the time I joined with Paul, so that my response was similar to what was present from Ed, who (I learned many years later) had consciously decided to emotionally isolate himself to a fair degree after his first girlfriend told him she didn't want to marry him. (He had told me about her but not the *entire* effect it had had on him - that would be letting me see more of himself than he wanted anyone to know.) Paul was never like that - he "wore his heart on his sleeve" (an expression that means a person voluntarily and even unconsciously and automatically shows all his emotions) from the beginning, and I liked (and still do) that idea and practice, but had difficulty myself being as easily open and communicative. Much of this I think was from just being in the habit of keeping much of myself to myself, which I have mostly now learned not to do.

This exchange with you has actually been a good one by giving me another opportunity to think and express ideas to Paul both verbally and in writing. You stimulated some of this and can gain, hopefully, from the experience of both me and Paul. Far too many people do not learn optimum personal interaction - if they ever do - until they are well past 40. Since the years of biological reproduction and child rearing are physically best (less likely to produce health problems) if initiated before 35, the need for social maturity in the 20s at least is therefore quite evident if a society of socially mature individuals is ever to exist .... And so the Self-Sovereign Individual Project, which will result in children being raised with its cooperative social interaction ideas and methods, will benefit all types of interpersonal relationships.

BTW, I am thinking of making this into an entry at "Kitty Reflects on MoreLife"; I haven't done one in over a year even though I started a couple on paper which I never finished.

In an email a few days ago, Oli included in regard to my ending comment, "If you find time to do so than I think that is a good idea." Maybe others will also.


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