papasquat's recent activity

  1. Comment on Sarco suicide capsule ‘passes legal review’ in Switzerland in ~life

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    This really, really bothers me. I don't think "making suicide more accessible" is a problem that particularly needs to be addressed. I have a really strong moral aversion to killing yourself in...

    This really, really bothers me. I don't think "making suicide more accessible" is a problem that particularly needs to be addressed. I have a really strong moral aversion to killing yourself in most cases to be honest. I know a lot of people see it as selfish, because most people have people around them that care about them. It is really, really horrible losing someone you love to suicide, and it's something that irrevocably changes you. However, that's not why I find it so distasteful. After all, people have the right to determine what happens with their own life.

    The reason it bothers me so much is because I have, at a few points in my life, wanted to die. I had a period over a decade ago where I had a really strong urge to end my life. I never went through with it or formed a plan, but having access to firearms, if it got to be that bad, it almost certainly would have been a successful attempt. I am so, so grateful that I didn't go through with it, and personally, I'm of the view that consciousness as we commonly perceive it is an illusion created by memories. You're quite literally a completely different person in different periods of time, and suicide means that all of those different people that would have existed in the future don't get to exist, because the person you are in that very moment thinks they can accurately predict what their life will be like far down the road. I've since made it more difficult for myself to end my life if the situation ever arose again, because that bit of difficulty may be enough to stop that process at some point.

    I worry that a lot of these advocates of wider and easier access to suicide see things in a very black and white way. The truth is that most people that contemplate or attempt suicide go on to be glad that they didn't go through with it. Life isn't all peachy and happy, but being able to flip a switch and painlessly end your life isn't something that I think would be a positive change. It makes the assumption that human beings are rational, patient beings that consider all the facts objectively before making the most permanent decision one can make, when almost the exact opposite is true.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Maybe a killer AI isn't that bad in ~talk

    papasquat
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    I don't see how it couldn't be possible, unless you reject the computational theory of mind, which would strongly suggest something unique to biological life that transcends their physical...

    I don't see how it couldn't be possible, unless you reject the computational theory of mind, which would strongly suggest something unique to biological life that transcends their physical structure; ie a soul.

    It definitely isn't desirable to my mind. The way I figure, for AGI to be useful, it would have to be highly unethical.

    Human beings produce tools in order to make their lives easier. If those tools are able to self reason and think at a level comparable to ourselves, using those tools for their intended purpose, that is, to make our lives easier is the exact same thing as slavery.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on My thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune in ~movies

    papasquat
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    Starship Troopers is definitely in the cult classic realm, definitely not widely regarded as a classic as much as the other two though. It was reviewed so poorly upon initial release because very...
    • Exemplary

    Starship Troopers is definitely in the cult classic realm, definitely not widely regarded as a classic as much as the other two though. It was reviewed so poorly upon initial release because very few critics actually realized what it was at the time. It was a scathing criticism of fascism disguised as a campy sci-fi action movie.

    Starship Troopers, the movie, is filmed as a piece of propaganda made by a fictional government.

    The entire theme of the movie on a surface level is all of the things that the book earnestly tries to be; a piece of fiction making a case for a strong central government where military service is the epitome of morality, where humanity is at its best and brightest when developing new weapons and fighting wars, and where the ideal man is one who follows orders competently and doesn't ask questions about why they were given.

    The movie, unlike the book however, intentionally lets the viewer peak past the cracks in that ideology. Humans are at war with a biological species that in all likelihood, hasn't even attacked them, and are just defending their territory.

    The war kicks off because an asteroid hits earth, which the government immediately blames on the bugs on the planet klandathu in a far away star system, however, the bugs were never even shown to be capable of space travel, let alone capable of accelerating an asteroid faster than the speed of light to hit a planet on the other side of the galaxy, meaning that the two most likely explanation is 1. it was just a random asteroid, or, more likely 2. it was a false flag perpetrated by the government to kick the war off.

    This war is an endless cycle of death and mayhem perpetuated merely to satisfy the military industrial complex of the government and has no real purpose. Children are raised to hate an enemy that they've never seen in preparation to feed them into the meat grinder next, and the entire society is just raised to be mindless drones for the endless killing machine.

    It's honestly one of the most perfectly executed pieces of satire to ever achieve mainstream film success. The story goes that Paul Verhoeven read a few chapters of the book, couldn't finish it, absolutely hated it and everything it stood for, and so decided to make his movie a not so subtle jab at all of the themes the book explored.

    18 votes
  4. Comment on My thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune in ~movies

    papasquat
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    That's good to hear. I still can't shake the feeling that a lot of the important themes of Dune aren't touched on in this adaptation just because there's so little explanation. There's really not...

    That's good to hear. I still can't shake the feeling that a lot of the important themes of Dune aren't touched on in this adaptation just because there's so little explanation. There's really not that much dialogue in general, preferring wide sweeping shots to set the context and tone rather than explicit exposition.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the backstory of dune really can't be told that way. You see a gigantic Heighliner and can probably figure out that it's an important ship, but the movie doesn't portray just how important the navigator's guild is in the politics of the setting. One of Dune's big themes is that societies settle into sort of a stable equilibrium; at the time the movie takes place, that equilibrium is a tripod with the legs being the empire, the Landsraad houses, and the navigators guild, with the bene gesserit flitting around the edges. Some of that is hinted at, with the emperor being scared of the growing power of the Atreides, but it's never really explored much.

    I remember talking to a friend about the scene in the tent where Paul starts seeing visions of his Jihad. My friend thought he was just kind of randomly tripping because of hallucinations from the spice, instead of accurate visions of an unchangeable future where Paul is directly responsible for a holy war which causes the death of billions, and Paul being horrified to realize that he'll eventually be responsible for more deaths than Ghengis Kahn and Hitler combined, and being powerless to stop it. I think that MAY have been addressed slightly in dialogue, but a lot of the dialog is vague, whispery, and mumbly anyway, so I wouldn't fault someone for not catching it.

    Another important theme of the book is the power of religion as a tool to control vast populations of people, which in the story so far manifests as the Fremen people having a prophecy of the Madhi being an offworlder that will lead them to paradise. In the book, it's very explicit that they have this belief because the Bene Gesserit Missionaria Protectiva planted it there centuries ago. They go to every shitty backwater planet and plant the seeds of a prophecy of an offworlder with abilities that match those of a Bene Gesserit being a messiah just in case one of them gets stranded on a planet and needs a ready and willing army at the flick of a wrist. Again, that's something that's sort of touched on in dialogue I believe, but not really explicitly, or explored much.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on My thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune in ~movies

    papasquat
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    It's funny, I'm someone who has the opposite opinion. I love Blade Runner and think it's one of the best films ever made. I don't like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? much though. A lot of...

    It's funny, I'm someone who has the opposite opinion. I love Blade Runner and think it's one of the best films ever made. I don't like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? much though.

    A lot of people tend to judge adaptations based on how faithful they are to the original story, which I think is a bit flawed. Blade Runner is not a faithful retelling of the book. The atmosphere is entirely different, the plot is entirely different, and the themes are entirely different. It's a fantastic piece of art on it's own though, and it stands completely well on its own two legs. Had the book never existed and the film was a wholly original story, it would still be great.

    There are many films like that. Starship Troopers is a film with the exact opposite theme as the book, but it's still a masterpiece. The Shining totally strays from the book in many ways, and Stephen King famously hated it, but it's still an amazing movie.

    I liked Dune, but even as a massive fan of the book (I think it's bar none the best sci fi novel ever written), this movie has the opposite problem. I went to see it with a few friends, some of whom read the book and saw the lynch movie, and some who hadn't. Almost universally, the ones who were exposed to the previous works liked it a lot more than the ones that didn't, because ultimately this movie doesn't stand on its own two feet. You don't really get a sense of what's going on at all. It's like a visual rendering of the book without a lot of the actual story, much of which is left as subtext and subtle hints. The orange catholic bible that Duncan was carrying is a great example of that. No one who hadn't read the books would have any idea of what that was or its significance. The entire idea of Paul's prescience, one of the absolutely most important elements of the book, and the entire series, is sort of just glossed over. Melange, its effects, its importance are all just barely touched on.

    Ultimately I think it's a fantastic companion and homage to the book, but that's not how we judge films. As a work of it's own, it just doesn't stand up for me.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Tour of 'The One', a $500m mansion in Bel-Air in ~design

    papasquat
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    My favorite rich person house tour I've seen is Cara Delevigne's. The house is big, sure, and it's probably very expensive, but it still manages to seem cozy, and it's filled with goofy, quirky,...

    My favorite rich person house tour I've seen is Cara Delevigne's. The house is big, sure, and it's probably very expensive, but it still manages to seem cozy, and it's filled with goofy, quirky, individualistic things that she enjoys. It has history and soul, there's a private oasis in the back that I have no doubt she actually spends a lot of time hanging out in.

    Compare that to the one, or any of the dozen rapper/youtuber/crypto bro houses in LA that are just white boxes with tons of glass and literally anyone could live there.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Tour of 'The One', a $500m mansion in Bel-Air in ~design

    papasquat
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    It doesn't' even look that nice. It looks like the half dozen luxury car dealerships in my town. If you showed me a picture of that building out of context, I'd probably think it was a BMW or Audi...

    It doesn't' even look that nice. It looks like the half dozen luxury car dealerships in my town. If you showed me a picture of that building out of context, I'd probably think it was a BMW or Audi dealership.

    It's not beautiful or captivating in any way. The only person I could see who would be willing to purchase this would be someone who just happened to find 4 billion dollars on the street, and who doesn't have even a modicum of taste.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on What's something about yourself that you had to face? in ~life

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    I'm horribly lazy. I've always been like this. I'll always do the absolute bare minimum to get by, I'll never apply a lot of effort to almost anything, I'll procrastinate responsibilities till the...

    I'm horribly lazy. I've always been like this. I'll always do the absolute bare minimum to get by, I'll never apply a lot of effort to almost anything, I'll procrastinate responsibilities till the absolute last minute, and sometimes just kind of ignore them and hope they'll go away. Despite this, somehow, I've been able to do decently well, so it's created sort of a feedback loop of "Well, I applied 15% effort in this situation and it was good enough and they said I did a good job, so how about I apply 10% instead". Obviously that won't end well.

    I think I have ADHD, and I'm on medication for it, but that's not really even the root of it I don't think. I just consciously avoid things that I don't want to do, despite how trivially easy many of them are. Folding my laundry, filling out paperwork for work, mailing off my taxes. For some reason, I don't have any trouble keeping up a gym routine, but that's like the only thing. I'm widely known as a pretty lazy guy by everyone I know. I'd like to change, but I don't really know how to be honest. I'm in my mid 30s and it's been like this my entire life.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on What is something you've changed your mind about recently? in ~talk

    papasquat
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    You can totally think something is worthy of mockery without actually mocking it. Tolerance is about actions, not internal feelings.

    You can totally think something is worthy of mockery without actually mocking it. Tolerance is about actions, not internal feelings.

    19 votes
  10. Comment on What is something you've changed your mind about recently? in ~talk

    papasquat
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    It doesn't sound that he's intolerant at all really. You can think that things are stupid/ridiculous while also being tolerant of them. I think that asking to be referred to as "batself" is...

    It doesn't sound that he's intolerant at all really. You can think that things are stupid/ridiculous while also being tolerant of them. I think that asking to be referred to as "batself" is ridiculous, but it's not like I think that they shouldn't be allowed to ask.

    18 votes
  11. Comment on TikTok overtakes YouTube for average watch time in US and UK in ~tech

    papasquat
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    Honestly, the level of alarmism my parents had about my videogame usage was warranted. I'm wary of automatically labeling any parental concern about new things as overblown satanic panic style...

    Honestly, the level of alarmism my parents had about my videogame usage was warranted.
    I'm wary of automatically labeling any parental concern about new things as overblown satanic panic style mania, because there are a lot of things that kids do that they are right to be concerned about.

    For me, it resulted in me barely passing highschool because I was completely dependent on and addicted to video games, something that I still struggle with to this day. Social media was just starting to become a thing when I was growing up, and concerns about the harmful effects of that were warranted in my mind as well. I think there are a ton of social dysfunctions that can be traced to (ab)use of technology by younger folks.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

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    I've been keeping up with my gym routine pretty regularly, I'm happy about that. It seemed like I was starting to slip a bit, but I've gotten back on the right track and redoubled my efforts. I've...

    I've been keeping up with my gym routine pretty regularly, I'm happy about that. It seemed like I was starting to slip a bit, but I've gotten back on the right track and redoubled my efforts. I've been doing crossfit for over four years now, and there are still many things that I'm not good at, but I've continued to make progress even after all this time.

    I'm 34 now, the age where men start to experience musculature decline, but because I've been lifting weights on and off for most of my life, and only in the past four years have I gotten really serious about it, I continue to see gains. That makes me happy!

    I went to the beach yesterday and surfed a bit (Still very bad at it, this is my second time surfing in probably 20 years). It was hard, but fun.

    On the other hand, my social life isn't quite where I want it to be. I have a LOT of friends, and all of them are very good people who I've known since high school, but I'd like to meet new people, especially people who are in a similar place professionally as me. Most of my friends work either dead end or okayish entry level white collar jobs. Most of them don't really care much about their careers, which is fine and I understand, but I'd like to continue to grow professionally and make friends with more of that work hard/play hard mentality.
    Most of my friends idea of a good time is cutting out early on a friday, smoking a few bowls and hanging out on the beach. I'd like to work hard on a friday to catch an afternoon flight to new york or miami for the weekend and check out cool new things. Not really sure where to start there though?

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Climate change won't stop while America hates trains and walking in ~enviro

    papasquat
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    It's strange to say people are addicted to their cars. You could say the same thing about any modern convenience. You could say that people are addicted to their refrigerators, air conditioning,...

    It's strange to say people are addicted to their cars. You could say the same thing about any modern convenience. You could say that people are addicted to their refrigerators, air conditioning, and modern medical services also.

    They use cars frequently because they're convenient and make their lives easier. Even if I lived in a place with robust public transport, it's easier to just walk to my driveway, get in my car, and be anywhere I want in my city within an hour, while listening to what I want, in a comfortable seat, without the possibility of random weirdos or drug addicts accosting me. If some alternative to cars that provided all of those conveniences sprang up, you might be able to convince people to adopt them. Fleets of self driving taxis perhaps?

    You're not going to convince many people who live in a nice, large suburban house with a lawn and backyard, and a comfortable late model car to move to a loud, crowded, city and ride the bus everywhere.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Let’s not pretend that the way we withdrew from Afghanistan was the problem in ~misc

    papasquat
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    Really? We had total control of the entire country a month ago. We could have taken our sweet time evacuating everyone that needed to be evacuated. We could have slowly withdrawn troops until we...

    As much as this withdrawal is a clusterfuck, I don't realistically see a better way for us to have done it.

    Really? We had total control of the entire country a month ago. We could have taken our sweet time evacuating everyone that needed to be evacuated.

    We could have slowly withdrawn troops until we left a small, continuing presence of advisors to assist the ANA. We could have bitten the bullet and realized that when we devoted ourselves to nation building, for better or worse, it was our responsibility to actually ensure the nation was built before we left.

    There are about a thousand ways we could have handled Afghanistan better, and a good chunk of those also would have allowed us to leave without throwing the people who have helped us over the last 20 years to the wolves.

    I agree that quickly leaving and ensuring that Afghanistan remains a free country with a secular government that respects human rights are mutually exclusive, but

    1. There were ways we could have pulled out that at least minimized damage, and
    2. I think that when you trot into a country and destabilize it in a bout of hopped up nationalistic revenge, you have a responsibility to at least ensure it’s not handed back to the enemy you aimed topple in the first place.

    MOST of the response to this has been highly partisan, which is understandable, but part of the problem with politics in the US is that people are so reluctant to criticize the leaders of “their side”, because it gives their political adversaries more ammo. It’s an understandable drive, but it’s also really immoral in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t say I’m exactly a Biden supporter, but I did vote for him, and I still think he’s by a HUGE margin a better alternative to trump. I can also say that this was a colossal fuck up, and that he owns virtually all of the responsibility for it regardless of what his predecessor did.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on What did you do this week? in ~talk

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    Gave up on online dating! I'd never done it before, having been married for the entire birth, phenomenon, and slow decline of "swipe apps". I was always kind of curious about what the experience...

    Gave up on online dating!

    I'd never done it before, having been married for the entire birth, phenomenon, and slow decline of "swipe apps". I was always kind of curious about what the experience was like from hearing my single friends talking about it, and seeing people online share their experiences. After being separated from my ex for a couple of months, I decided to give it a try. I used three apps, Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. My thoughts overall on it are varied and a little all over the place.
    One, I don't think these apps are the hopeless hellscape that most people make them out to be. I'm a reasonably successful, reasonably attractive, shortish man in his mid 30s. I got a fair number of matches, had a decent number of conversations, went on a fair bit of first dates, a handful of seconds, and a couple of thirds. Met mostly perfectly nice women, but ultimately nothing really went past maybe a month or so.
    Two, the thing I will say about the experience as a man is that it is work. Creating a good profile and taking good pictures takes a lot of thought and effort. Spending time every day swiping through profiles is work. Looking at your matches and coming up with something thoughtful and interesting to say is work.
    Keeping those conversations going enough to form some sort of connection and get a first date is work. Planning the date, putting it on a calendar, confirming that she is actually going to show up is work. Preparing for, and going on the date itself is work. Keeping up communication afterwards and getting the second date is work, et cetera. The thing about all of those steps is that for the vast majority of people, they are mostly failures. Most swipes don't get a match, most matches don't have a conversation, most conversations don't turn into first dates, most first dates don't turn into seconds. You have to not only put forth all of this effort many, many times, you also have to learn to be ok with failing at most of them. If you're actively using these apps, it becomes a significant timesink, as well as emotional and mental labor. Most of the time, it's not even enjoyable. Sometimes I have a particularly nice date, but the amount of effort to get there makes it almost not worth it to me.

    Lastly, I won't say the 4ish month experience has been a waste. I really did meet a lot of very nice, interesting women, who because of either something that didn't work out for me, or something that didn't work out for them, didn't proceed long term. I learned a lot about what I'm looking for in a partner, things that I have preferences about but am willing to tolerate, and absolute deal breakers. I also, counter intuitively, learned that I'm a lot more ok with being single than I initially thought I was.

    At the beginning of the week I did a cost benefit analysis and realized that I'm putting a lot more into this escapade than I'm getting out of it, and decided to deactivate all of my accounts. I was still going on dates and texting with a couple of women, but those have mostly fizzled out as well, which, as always, is disappointing, but I'm not really torn up about it.

    Maybe at some point I'll decide to get back in the saddle and give it another go, but that probably won't be for a while. For now, I'm content just hanging out with my friends, and doing my hobbies. Admittedly, most of my hobbies are heavily male dominated, and I most likely won't meet someone that I'm interested in doing them, but for the first time in a while, I don't really care. We'll see what the future holds for me, but the prospect of being single long term doesn't seem as utterly depressing as it once did to me.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on What are you naturally gifted at? Conversely, what is particularly difficult for you? in ~talk

    papasquat
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    Public speaking. I have no problem at all going up in front of a crowd of dozens or hundreds of people and talking about whatever. I don't really get nervous about it in the way other people do....

    Public speaking. I have no problem at all going up in front of a crowd of dozens or hundreds of people and talking about whatever. I don't really get nervous about it in the way other people do.

    It's kind of weird because I DO get nervous in lots of other social situations; flirting with women, first dates, making new friends. That stuff all terrifies me, but put hundreds of them together in a room and I can just bullshit about whatever for 20 minutes if need be.

    Hasn't really come in handy because I've never worked in any kind of job where I've needed to do it much, and I'm not particularly funny in front of a crowd, so it's not like I could do standup, so it hasn't really helped me out a ton.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on On Divorce in ~life

    papasquat
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    This is part of what scares me and makes me sad. I thought I HAD a great marriage. We basically never fought, both of our friends were always envious of how well we worked together. It was like a...

    Also, I don't want to make it sound like I have it all figured out. Finding a great partner is really hard. Dating is fun. Having a great marriage is really, really hard.

    This is part of what scares me and makes me sad. I thought I HAD a great marriage. We basically never fought, both of our friends were always envious of how well we worked together. It was like a fairy tale for much of it. It started wearing off towards the end, but I thought it was still very, very good. At least it was for me.

    I’m worried that it was sort of lightning in a bottle.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on On Divorce in ~life

    papasquat
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    Ah, so I did! Good catch.

    Ah, so I did! Good catch.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on On Divorce in ~life

    papasquat
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    Your story was a good read, thanks for sharing. For what it's worth, based on what you've described, you're beating yourself up a little too much for the things you did. Being expected to vet...

    Your story was a good read, thanks for sharing. For what it's worth, based on what you've described, you're beating yourself up a little too much for the things you did. Being expected to vet every song for lyrics that might trigger someone else is totally unreasonable, and just because something bad happened and she reacted negatively to it doesn't mean that it was your fault.

    You're right, infidelity messes with you in ways you can't really anticipate. While we were married, I sometimes ruminated on dark thoughts just as a sort of intellectual exercise; "How would I react if my wife died?" "How would I react if my wife killed someone and was arrested?" "How would I react if my wife started hitting me?" "How would I react if my wife cheated on me?". No basis in reality for any of it, but just things you idly think about after hearing about them from friends or the news.
    I always thought that it would be an easy decision, kick her out, move on. It would hurt for a little bit, but it would be her fault, and I'd get over it. I'd been left before.

    The reality is nothing like that. Even though intellectually, you can understand that it wasn't your fault, that she cheated and left because she was a coward who either wasn't able to speak up when she felt there were problems, or she didn't want to work on the problems, or she just plain got horny, started having sex with someone, and made up the problems after the fact, the brain still tries to find a way that it's your fault. I think it does this because it grants a modicum of control, ie; "if I just did this one thing differently, I wouldn't ever have to worry about getting betrayed". Being at fault for someone else cheating is somehow more palatable than the truth: that people are all flawed, and you can never really know someone's true character. You just need to take it on faith and hope you don't get burned again.

    As far as role models, or people that have succeeded in goals like mine in similar situations, I can't really say. I don't really keep up much about the personal lives of politicians/celebrities/other public figures so I'm not sure who I could cite that has lived through something similar and gone on to live a life I'd want to live.

    One person who I always did look up to though was Anthony Bourdain. Obviously, he struggled with a lot of deep seated issues around despair and depression, but he also absolutely lived life to the fullest. He was by all accounts a generous, charismatic, warm, and kind hearted man who everyone loved being around. If I could pick anyone that I wanted to be like, it would probably be him.

    7 votes
  20. Comment on On Divorce in ~life

    papasquat
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    Yes, true. Truth be told, I was more of the couch potato in the relationship. I loved when it was just us. I had other friends I saw, and we went out, but I cherished our one on one time so much....

    We get into ruts during a relationship. They are comfy. They are cosy. But the fun person you dated becomes the couch potato who just wants to order in.

    Yes, true. Truth be told, I was more of the couch potato in the relationship. I loved when it was just us. I had other friends I saw, and we went out, but I cherished our one on one time so much. There was nothing I absolutely loved more than curling up on the couch with her watching something. I felt like I belonged. Like I mattered to someone. Like everything was as it should be, all of the topsy-turvy turns my life has taken all happened exactly as they should have because it led me to that moment.

    I realize now, and really, back then, that that wasn't logically the case. I could have ended up with any number of women who would have been far better for me, but it's a tough feeling to shake!

    Yes, you are right of course. Doing the hard thing, exposing myself to fear and possible failure is the way to grow and ultimately how to find happiness, but truth be told, I've always been a "comfort zone" guy. It was something I was working on when I was single before, and something I intend to work on now that I'm single again.

    Thank you for reading, and thank you for your comment. I loved your story, and I wish you and your wife all the happiness in the world!

    3 votes