‘F’ me! ‘F’ me! ‘F’ me!
is this… is this…
“Choice overload” etc.
— The cognitive process in which people have a difficult time making a decision when faced with too many options. These terms and the underlying concept were introduced by Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book, Future Shock.
In the book, Toffler wrote:
The illiterate of the 21st c. will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
The concept of ‘future shock’ — recall that this book was written half a century ago — is described as the shattering stress and disorientation that technological change induces to individuals and society at large by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time. To underscore, this was written at the end of the 1960 — the era before Google, iPhones, Tinder and Snapchat — with 5G, uber, the zero hour gig economy and the AI revolution now upon us, these changes are occurring more frequently, far more frequently, than they were a quarter of a century ago let alone 50 years ago. As Future Shock basically states, while humankind’s technological powers increase, the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.
Change is not merely necessary to life — it is life.
Prophetically Toffler wrote that, one of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we’ll need a new definition. I’d say soon became now when Trump et al. introduced fake news and alternative facts. Think: Deepfake. Read: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Too much choice is a curse.
O. J. ( as in, “Oh, Jay!” )
This book really and truly fascinated me:
The examples and illustrations are mind opening and mind blowing, respectively.
Richard Dawkins (see full profile here) is an English evolutionary biologist, author and professor at Oxford University. His seminal work The Selfish Gene (1976), popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. Here are a few extracts from The Magic of Reality that I feel it is okay to share as editable .pdf files:
After ending my affair with a married person I’m overwhelmed with grief
— Trish Murphy (2016, November 4th) The Irish Tines
I have just ended an affair with a married man that has been going on for the last number of years. It started out as a flirt and then a fling and for the sex, but we soon fell deeply in love. He is quite simply the love of my life. I am married myself but very unhappy with my husband. My lover is not unhappy in his marriage and loves his wife and family. But I know that he loves or at least he did love me, by the way he has shown that love to me, respected me and treated me like a woman but at the same time his equal. No one else has ever treated me this way, least of all my husband. We both agreed that we would not break up our marriages to be together.
It ended badly and I am largely to blame. I was very resentful of his wife and almost to punish him for being happy with her I picked fights and put distance between us when my heart and body wanted more than anything to be in his arms. In the end he ran out of patience with me. When it came to a head a lot of very unkind things were said by both of us. We have had rows before but it’s different this time because he has not tried to smooth things over as he normally would and I’m ashamed to say that even when I was in the wrong I used to let him be the one to make the running.
I know that this was wrong from the very start and should never have happened. I’m not writing to ask for absolution or seek advice as to whether or not to continue. I am writing because my heart is breaking and I am struggling not to pick up the phone to him if even just to hear his voice. The only other person I could have spoken to about this is him. He really was my soul mate. I have hurt him badly, and him me, but I know him and if I did call he would be kind and gentle and probably forgiving.
I can make myself cold and close his memory out, but not all day and not every day and when I let myself think of him and how wonderfully he treated me, I am just overwhelmed. I have never had a close bereavement but this feeling must be what grief is like. My biggest fear is that he will go through the rest of his life not knowing exactly how I feel for him, even if we are finally over.
You sound as though you are deeply in grief and the difficulty is that the lost person is not gone and you still have the opportunity of contacting him. This keeps you caught up in that possibility and perhaps the acceptance phase of the grief is eluding you.
You say your biggest fear is that your lover will not know how you feel about him but if you open up communication again, you are doing so at a lot of risk to yourself, your ex-lover and his family, and your own family. That is a huge responsibility when you know you could not handle the small part of his life that he offered you and you are likely to again demand that he choose you over his wife and children.
You sound surprised at the level of respect and dignity that you received at the behest of your lover and this begs the question of what kind of relationship you are in now. Does your own marriage need attention and decision-making and what affect is your affair and heartbreak having on your husband?
Even though you were treated well in the affair, there was never the option that you would be number one in the life of your lover and this might be something you should set as a bottom line in your current or future relationships.
To go back to your lover would be to assume a secondary role and, as you found out previously, this ultimately is not acceptable to you and unhappiness and fighting is the result. From your letter it seems that you do not feel number one in your husband’s life and he is definitely not top of your list of love.
This situation sounds intolerable and it is likely that you are causing emotional damage to each other and instead of addressing this situation you are investing in an impossible love affair. Facing into and tackling your marriage difficulties would be the first step in dealing with reality and then perhaps you might begin to create a new reality in which you can construct a relationship worth fighting for.
1. The Pratfall Effect – your likability will increase if you aren’t perfect.
2. The Pygmalion Effect – greater expectations drive greater performance.
3. The Paradox of Choice – the more choice we have, the less likely we are to be content with our decision.
4. The Bystander Effect – the more people who see someone in need, the less likely that person is to receive help.
5. The Spotlight Effect – your mistakes are not noticed as much as you think.
6. The Focusing Effect – people place too much important on one aspect of an event and fail to recognise other factors.
“To define is to limit.” ― Oscar Wilde
nightmares are made of these
Alice Robb argues that where your brain goes when you’re asleep helps you when you’re awake. In other words, dreams/nightmares can help us deal with life’s problems and difficulties. She writes:
By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have accepted the conventional wisdom: We shouldn’t dwell on our dreams. Even though research suggests that REM sleep — when most dreaming takes place — is crucial for mental and physical health, we think of dreams as silly little stories, the dandruff of the brain. We’re taught that talking about our dreams is juvenile, self-indulgent, and that we should shake off their traces and get on with our day.
Because dreams rarely make literal sense, it can be easier to dismiss them than to try to interpret them. Some argue they’re an accident of biology and mean nothing at all. But a growing body of scientific work indicates that it’s likely to be worth the effort. Dreams might help us consolidate new memories and prune extraneous pieces of information. They might be a breeding ground for ideas — a time for the brain to experiment in a wider network of associations.
Here is a link to the article in full: Why Do You Keep Dreaming You Forgot Your Pants? It’s Science
Reading, Task & Answer-key:
Robb, A. (2018) Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.