The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Choices Are Dilemmas

Yesterday, I wrote about something called "Choice Theory." I am often misunderstood when I talk about choices. I figure it's my inability to clearly explain such things.

You see, I think we make two kinds of choices in our lives: Conscious and Involuntary. A conscious choice is pretty obvious; you evaluate evidence, you weigh that evidence, and you draw conclusions upon which you make a choice or decision. The involuntary choice is much more subtle; it involves peer pressure, social or familial or cultural conditioning, expectations, desires, urges, and will power (or the lack thereof), and probably much more.

Think about the times you made, in your parents' minds, the "wrong" decision. The times where you said "But Mom (or Dad), everyone does it." Or, "I thought it was a good idea at the time" (one of my personal favorites). In the Navy, I changed that last one to "No excuse, sir!" which seemed to work well enough much of the time. In the last couple of months of my enlistment, it became (to certain NCO's who outranked me, not to officers above Lieutenant JG), "Write me up." That was more dare than wish and no one ever took me up on it. Perhaps because they realized that I truly no longer cared.

The most important form of involuntary choice is one made because you assume it is what is expected. It's more reflex than considered. An example might be the behavior following losing one's virginity. Girls, especially, suffer this one. Nothing to protect anymore, what have I got to lose? But guys also run into this. If a teen boy is seen as a hoodlum, told he is "bad", and gets attention from that reputation, why are we surprised that his behavior not only continues along that line but escalates?

Think of the women you know who are in abusive relationships. The odds are that it isn't the first time they found themselves in one. Think of something called Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. Think of alcoholics, drug addicts, any obsession... they all start with some choice and rarely is such a choice a conscious one.

But maybe I am not being clear again.

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