Do you think Dolores will build a new Teddy? One that she has complete control over?

Answered Jan 23, 2019

Thanks for the A2A.

First, Dolores (in the host-Hale disguise body), carries five control units (“pearls”) in her purse while escaping. I think one of those is for Teddy, because he is the love of her life.

However, she has already learned her lesson about him. In Wyatt mode, Dolores tried to control Teddy, and make him cruel and violent. Which was against his nature, since, as MIB said, he is here to be the loser. That was why Teddy shot himself in the head.

A main theme of WestWorld is about making individual choices. Even when someone else disagrees.

Dolores now knows that, she needs to allow/enable Teddy to make his own choices. And will try to set him free on the mainland.

Why do pathological liars lie?

Answered Jan 16, 2019

I’ve known some severe liars. People who were so bad that literally nothing that they said, about any subject, could be trusted.

Some reasons:

  • They want something from you (money, sex, drug-enabling, etc), and think that lying will manipulate you into complying. It may sound logical, but they often use obvious lies, without rational anticipation of the lie’s chances of working.
  • They want to avoid consequences for their bad behaviour, which was also pathological. Again, some of these lies are obvious.
  • Lying as a shortcut to social status. This can include the common boasting about money, accomplishments, etc. It can also include boasting about the cool things that they are “going to” do in the near future. They want that status and admiration immediately, without having to take the time and energy to do the work involved. I once had a neighbour who loudly boasted about how she was “going to” quit smoking and start up a healthy lifestyle, expecting immediate admiration. She almost forgot that she had a cigarette in her hand at the time. And no, she never quit or, exercised, or ate healthily.
  • A related point is trying to seem like a more interesting person. Out of fear that honesty will result in being perceived as a boring loser.
  • A related status issue is lying to a social clique or other group to push someone else down the hierarchy, as a way of reducing competition.
  • Constant fantasising. And saying things (sometimes quite casually) as if the fantasy were reality. Including things that are physically impossible.
  • Fear of the truth, with desperate attempts to avoid facing it. They lie partly in order to convince and comfort themselves.
  • Lying out of embarrassment over revealing what they really think. Such as holding bigoted attitudes, but refusing to admit it. Or having competition-based envy and hostility, but claiming that the hostility is due to the target being dysfunctional or bad.
  • Making up “rules” for how everyone else “has to” behave. Including in friendships, sexual relationships, workplaces, etc, etc. They don’t claim that it is their personal rules. They claim that, there are simply universal “rules” of all human interactions, which are coincidentally whatever they think serves them, practically or emotionally.
  • Minimisation. Claiming that their bad behaviour wasn’t really so bad, so you don’t have a position to object, or to impose consequences. Also, minimisation of the importance of other lies. Such as, “That was a white lie, so you don’t have any right to stop trusting me over it”.
  • Repetition. If they keep repeating it over and over, you will get tired of the conflict that you allegedly cause by refusing to believe them. And will be worn down into actually believing them.
  • Failure to anticipate any limits to your willingness to trust them and to continue interacting with them. No matter how many times you have caught them lying, they assume that you will stick around, and will desperately try to see them as trustworthy. They think that your desire to trust them is just as infinite as their inclination to lie. Including when they tell the same lie, yet again.
  • A related point is, “This time it’s different”. I once had someone repeat a previous lie, admitting that it had been a lie before, while insisting, “That was then, and this is a different time. So you have to trust that I am telling the truth this time, and don’t have the right to judge me for the previous time”.
  • A related mechanism is trying new angles. They will tell a lie, and you refuse to believe them. Then, they will immediately tell a different lie, which contradicts the first lie. They think that they can can just try a series of different lies, until they find the one that you are willing to believe.
  • Another related point is using your empathy or your desire to “help”them with their bad life situations (which are the result of their own bad behaviour). They assume that your empathy is endless, no matter how much they abuse it (and you). They try to use your empathy to keep you involved, while convincing you to buy into their definition of “help”, which is really enabling of their bad behaviour.
  • They are confident that you cannot prove that they are lying. Including when they lie about the content of previous conversations between the two of you. Or even things they said earlier in the same conversation.
  • They want to lash out. They will come up with anything to say that they expect will hurt you emotionally/psychologically. They may even admit this, to try to avoid consequences (e.g. you abandoning them).
  • Stimulant drugs. People using cocaine or amphetamine are notorious for compulsive lying. If they have been using for some time, they will compulsively lie even when they aren’t under the influence at the moment. Even other addicts (e.g. to sedating drugs) view these people as bad news.
  • Dominance games. If they lie, and you believe them, they have dominated you.
  • Desperation to pull you down into their loser mentality. I once had an acquaintance who insisted that, no employer will ever pay any employee more than minimum wage, so it is stupid to put forth any extra effort or skills. They claim they are trying to “help” you to avoid wasting effort, when they are really motivated by frightened envy/competition.
  • A related point is trying to minimise anything good in your life. They will lie to avoid the feeling that you may be winning some kind of competition. Including when you have zero interest in competing.
  • Covering up their ignorance. They don’t want to admit that they don’t know something, so they invent some convenient-sounding pseudo-information about it. This includes insisting that they know better than you (even if you have substantial relevant knowledge and experience).
  • Just world hypothesis. They are afraid of vulnerability, so they insist that, bad things only happen to those who deserve it. And look for ways to apply that to a given situation where someone else experiences adversity or victimisation.

What all of this comes down to is desperation for control. And desperate people do dysfunctional and often blatantly unworkable things.

Facing how things really are is like surrendering. Lying that things are some other way, is an attempt to control the situation.

Facing the fact that you won’t/don’t believe them is like surrendering to you. Lying with you believing them, means controlling you, even if there is nothing practical to be gained.

Since you renounced material goods, what have you missed the most?

Answered Jan 16, 2019

Thanks for the A2A.

The problem with this question is that, it approaches minimalism as deprivation, rather than freedom. It’s a very common problem.

I wouldn’t say that I have exactly “renounced” anything in any spiritual sense, or sudden epiphany. And it hasn’t been one of those scenarios of very rapidly going from high materialism (huge volumes of stuff), down to one suitcase.

I’ve been inclined towards minimalism since I was a teenager. Long before it was trendy.

At different points, the volume of possessions has increased or decreased. But never too extreme. There is an ongoing process, rather than one big event. And I have recently made progress in downsizing, even though I had already been down to a volume that could comfortably fit into a medium-sized car. Generally, the plan is to never again have any greater volume of possessions than right now, and likely somewhat less. Sure, I may buy a few things (e.g. clothing suitable for job interviews), but it will be very little.

The idea of “missing” possessions isn’t really the issue. If you were carrying around a backpack full of rocks all the time, it would be a burden. After you dump out the rocks, you won’t miss them at all.

If you are concerned about the risk of emotionally missing a possession, then set it aside. Perhaps in a box in the closet, or something like that. You will still own it, so no danger of regret. Then, see how long it stays in the box. I’ve had things sit in a box for many months, unused. I’ve set a rule that (aside from things like office supplies and computer backups) if I haven’t used something in a full year, I don’t really need that thing.

Sometimes, the idea of missing something is more in the anticipation. The fear of tossing a “just in case” item, and then having a situation where it would be useful. The fear of emotionally missing something. The anxiety of letting go of something familiar, and moving to the unfamiliar state of not having that thing around anymore. Sentimentality, and associating a non-useful item with events or time periods of the past.

But, after I have overcome that, and the thing is gone, then, well, it’s gone. A done deal. Missing it won’t bring it back. And the optimistic approach is to appreciate the increase in my freedom, (even a small increase). I’ve had moments when this was wonderfully liberating. When the attachment and fear disintegrated, leaving freedom.

I recall one moment of feeling rather odd, although not necessarily regretful. I had large stack of university study guides, lab manuals, etc. I’ve heard of people lugging boxes of that type of material around for years and years. There was the practical idea of possibly referring back to the information (I’ve probably forgotten a large portion of what I’ve learned). But there was also a sense of familiarity, and sentimentality for a transformative period of life. So, after scanning it all to PDF files, and dumping the paper, I felt a strange emptiness. But that didn’t last long, and I gained freedom. Especially since I’ve moved to different rooms numerous times in the past several years, and generally moved around over my whole life.

That’s another big point. Moving (even just a couple of blocks down the street) puts me in touch with the downside of material possessions. The hassle and expense (especially moving longer distances). Getting rid of something comes with the satisfaction that every future move will be easier/cheaper.

There are people who cannot even move across town, because of being attached to a huge pile of stuff. While I could toss a few excess or easily replaceable items (e.g. $30 printer/scanner, etc), and move to a new city, with only the amount of luggage that I could physically carry at once.

I’ve been attached to books, until I realised that, I didn’t refer to them for long periods, and can always access newer editions from the library. Also, while I prefer regular physical books, I can get many of the same ones in electronic format, so a heavy, bulky shelf-full becomes weightless and compressed to the volume of a tablet computer. Physical ones tossed without regret.

I’ve been attached to a few sentimental items of zero practical use. But let those go, too. In some cases, relating to letting go of past experiences or people (e.g. a relationship).

For practical items, it may sound wasteful, but I try to view everything as disposable, or like a consumable. It isn’t actually that wasteful, since the volume and costs are so low.

Of every possession that I let go of, what do I miss?


The one regret I’ve had in this area is about the times when I remained attached to material burdens, resulting in unnecessary hassle and dollar costs. The regret is about not having let go more, and sooner.

What do I do to make a guy in his early twenties understand consent?

Answered Jan 8, 2019

Here is one of the most important life lessons I’ve had.

If an adult, of any age, male or female, doesn’t understand or respect consent by the time I meet them, they are never going to do so. And there is absolutely nothing that I can say or do to teach them.

If an adult, of any age, male or female, doesn’t understand that, bad behaviour leads to bad consequences, by the time I meet them, they are never going to do so. And I cannot teach them, even by imposing those consequences.

I’ve also learned that, it doesn’t really matter whether the person can or cannot “understand” consent. What matters is that they don’t care.

In looking back on certain interactions, I would find myself saying things like:

  • Sometimes, you are going to want something, and my answer will be “no”, and you will just have to accept that.
  • I have the right to say “no”, and other people have the right to say “no” to you. I, and they, aren’t victimising you, just because you feel disappointed, hurt, or angry.
  • Sometimes, you are going to want something, and you will have to wait for it, rather than expecting immediate compliance.
  • Complying with a demand in the past is not a promise to comply with that same (or any other) demand in the future. Each time you want something, you will need to separately ask (not demand). With the understanding that, this particular request might be denied.
  • Different behaviours will lead to different consequences. Coercive and abusive behaviour will lead to consequences that you don’t like.
  • I have repeatedly, consistently, clearly, and firmly said “no” to this demand. Why are are treating me exactly as if I said “yes”?
  • I don’t see the situation the same as you see it. And I don’t view the “rules” of relationships/friendships the same as you view them.
  • Your belief that you “need” something, or the fact that you fantasized about me giving/doing/tolerating doesn’t create any kind of promise by me, or obligation.
  • My money, physical possessions, physical body, and time belong to me, not you.
  • The fact that you “can’t” control your behaviour, doesn’t require me to stick around and tolerate it. My rules, limits, and boundaries don’t magically disappear just because you “can’t” respect them.
  • Telling me that my boundaries are dysfunctional doesn’t constitute an entitlement to violate them.
  • My primary responsibility doesn’t revolve around complying with your demands. My primary responsibility is take care of my own needs, including my own financial self-support, and my own physical safety. That includes the responsibility to stay away from parasites and abusers. Because allowing some people into my life is like deliberately getting into a cage with a large, rabid animal.
  • The subject of this conversation is consent. And how you behave when I say “no” to you. This conversation is not about pestering or gaslighting me into saying “yes”.
  • You need to accept the limits and boundaries I set for what I will give/do/tolerate. And if you can’t or won’t, then the limits and boundaries will become even more restrictive, up to ceasing all contact. Accept what is offered, or you will get nothing at all from me.
  • I don’t have to be in this relationship/friendship. I have the right and the ability to abandon you at any time, for any reason. Such as if you don’t start respecting my boundaries. Or even just because I don’t feel like interacting with you anymore. This is a unilateral decision to be made by me, and doesn’t require your permission.

The fact that I was in a position to even say those things to a series of adults was a huge red flag. And none of it ever worked, or led to any of them understanding anything.

Sexual consent is a very high-stakes situation. Many, many people have been guilt-tripped, gaslighted, and coerced into sex acts that they didn’t want, in the context of a relationship. Many, many people have been violently raped in the context of a relationship. This guy is waving a huge red flag of an impending assault.

A related category of red flags is the general disrespect of you making your own decisions. Including things like micromanaging your appearance. That is an early sign of serious control issues that can gradually escalate to sexual coercion and violence. I want to emphasise that, you need to take all of his red flags, and all of his arrogance and entitlement and imaginary “rules” very, very seriously.

After he rapes you, there will be nothing that you can say or do to teach him that he did something wrong. And for you, it will already be too late, because it will already have happened. And no amount of arguing will erase the permanent impact upon you.

There are people sitting in prison for rape and other violence, who still refuse to comprehend, and who see themselves as innocent victims of the situation. They still believe that they were just exercising their “right” to do whatever they want, and have zero consideration for their victims.

When getting into a new relationship, or a new platonic friendship, it is vitally important to see how the person responds to being told “no”. You cannot confidently predict this until it happens. Things might seem to be proceeding OK for weeks, as long as you have been consistently saying “yes”. And then, you come to your first refusal (e.g. “No sex tonight, because it’s late and I’m physically too tired to do it”). Or they demand a new sex act that you don’t want. And that may be the turning point when you suddenly find out their attitude about consent.

But also look for a “no” situation that doesn’t involve sex. And do so before getting sexually involved.

People of all ages, and both men and women, can totally disrespect consent. I once knew a middle-aged female who believed that she was entitled to sex on demand from female partners. She sexually assaulted at least one, and probably more, and was completely unaware that she had done anything wrong. And couldn’t even imagine anyone dumping her to prevent a repeat.

She had two views about people saying “no” to her. One was that, the person had a “hangup”, and just wouldn’t admit to secretly wanting it. The other was that, people refused because they were too stupid to understand how much fun sex in general (or particular sex acts) would be. And that, pestering, gaslighting, arguing, and eventually using physical force was either giving them what they “really” wanted, or would be justified because they would learn that they enjoy the experience.

Nothing that anyone said or did ever got through to her. She burned through relationship after relationship after relationship (or really, more like a series of “booty-call” situations). With zero ability to learn from consequences, zero inclination to honestly examine her attitudes, and zero interest in changing her behaviour. She was convinced that, everyone who said “no”, or who set boundaries, or who dumped her, was dysfunctional. And that they refused to appreciate what a great partner she was.

Like your boyfriend, she believed that, anyone saying “no” to her was an act of abuse. And a violation of the rules and promises that supposedly come with entering a relationship. She believed that, if you don’t want to be assaulted, the burden is on you to say “yes” to literally any demand.

I disagree with the suggestions of game-playing (forcing him to eat, proposing the strap-on, etc). That makes it seem like some kind of negotiation, or mutual disrespect, or fight over the subject. He very likely is completely clear about his own right to say “no” and to enforce it. Because his wants and entitlements are central to his experience of the relationship, while viewing you as existing to serve him, and give him anything and everything he demands, without limits.

I also disagree with the comment about violence (i.e. stating the intent to kill them if they try to assault you). I’ve encountered people who will completely tune out that statement, and act like they didn’t even hear it.

Many, many people view sexual relationships, or platonic friendships as a one-way deal. They are here to take, and you are here to give.

Like your boyfriend, they are adamant that, relationships and friendships have universal, obvious “rules” that you have agreed to obey, simply by getting involved. Common relationship/friendship “rules” are that:

  • You never have the right to say “no” to them. About anything.
  • You don’t have the right to set any requirements, demands, or standards of your own.
  • You don’t have the right to impose any negative consequences for their abusive behaviour.
  • You don’t have the right to ever abandon them. Or even to have any restricted availability when they demand attention.

Naturally, those rules only apply to you, and not them.

Disrespect of consent applies to many things besides sex. That’s the problem with the “cup of tea” video, which I’ve seen before. I don’t believe for one second that that video (or similar approaches) will teach these people anything.

I have received severe disrespect of my right to say “no” to all of the following:

  • Being platonic “friends” with openly abusive individuals who contribute nothing but aggravation.
  • Buying into someone’s mindless grudge against a third party.
  • Handing over cash money, any time, any amount, for any purpose.
  • Allowing someone to live rent-free in my home.
  • Being people’s free, on-demand, personal limousine.
  • Alternately, being expected to accept “offers” of being given a ride home from a social situation, getting into a car with some creepy guy I don’t know.
  • Enabling and paying for other people’s drug habits. Including committing serious crimes.
  • Being guaranteed available any time they call and want attention or a favour.
  • Living in a geographic area that I don’t want to live in. Including being told that I was obligated to spent the rest of my life in an impoverished, small-minded small town in the middle of nowhere.
  • Moving to a “nice” low-crime neighbourhood that I couldn’t afford.
  • Having ongoing contact with my abusive mother. Including being told that I “have to” live in the same town as her, or even under the same roof. While also being bullied to go around lying about what a wonderful parent she was.
  • Quitting a job, merely because the other person wouldn’t be capable/willing to do it. Or otherwise behaving badly at a job (e.g. refusing to get work done), merely because the other person would do so.
  • Remaining stuck in a minimum wage, bottom-of-the-barrel job for the rest of my working life.
  • Being told how I can and cannot spend my money.
  • Disclosing private information, such as exact income and other financial details.
  • Disclosing my physical home address to people I just met.
  • Being treated like I should have dropped out of university, without finishing a degree, merely because the other person didn’t feel capable, and wouldn’t even attempt it.
  • Being told “you will continue to attend a low-quality, unprofessional, abusive institution that I call Low Rent Polytechnic, at which I had already had a very negative experience (described in another of my answers). Including signing up for remedial courses that I didn’t need, wouldn’t benefit from, surrounded by morons, while running up a huge loan. Just because said polytechnic was desperate for students who were actually capable of passing academically. (I headed straight to a far better institution).
  • Being told that I didn’t have the right to resist (or even complain about) open, physically threatening sexual harassment, which occurred at the aforementioned polytechnic.
  • Being told that I “have to” own and watch a television, merely because somebody else can’t think of any other leisure activities.
  • Having an acquaintance dictate what kind of clothing I am allowed to wear.
  • Personal space invasions, including physical touching without my consent, by people I barely know.
  • Generally being married or partnered, including claims that I “have to”do so, even if it isn’t with the person disrespecting my consent.
  • Having children that I don’t want, and cannot afford to support.
  • Being told to completely remove myself from society, merely because some acquaintance has a massive envy problem.
  • Being told to kill myself, merely because some acquaintance has a massive envy problem. And that wasn’t just one person who did that.
  • Having an acquaintance dictate what kind of medical care I may access, involving my body and my money.

Numerous people seriously expected me to slavishly comply with those bizarre, abusive demands. I’ve had people make demands that would have obviously had disastrous consequences if I had obeyed, with zero chance of benefit to anyone. Things that weren’t at all compatible with real-world adult functioning. All the way to things that were physically impossible. I’ve had people make some of those demands in the first conversation upon meeting.

Some people lock onto a demand, and just keep repeating it over and over and over. With escalating condescension, indignation, and agitation. Thinking that, they will wear you down, and exhaust your supply of “no”, until just cave in to get the argument to stop. Some will directly tell you that they intend to relentlessly pester you on and on until you comply.

Disrespect of consent can extend to every area of life, where you are making your own choices. Many, many people have absolutely no limit to their senses of entitlement to make demands and coerce others.

It isn’t just one type of person, or one type of demand, or one type of context. It’s absolutely pervasive. And they will never, ever learn to respect your boundaries or consent, regardless of what you say or do. Which is the problem with the “cup of tea” video, and similar approaches.

Have you ever heard the two big rules for training a dog not to do some bad behaviour? You need to impose the punishment the first time, and every time. The same principle applies to most humans. If you ever cave into a coercive event (e.g. continuing to demand sex after you have said “no”), he will learn that coercion works. And he will continue, and will escalate.

By remaining in the relationship, and arguing, and fantasising about helping him to “understand consent”, you are failing to impose any real consequences, or enforce any real boundaries. The more crap you tolerate, the more crap you will receive. He interprets you staying and engaging his crap as confirming that you can’t ever leave. He interprets each argument as making progress towards his goal. Or as you failing to face the inevitability of doing what he demands. And he thinks that, it is just a matter of time before you cave in, and lose the will, or even the ability, to ever say “no” to him again.

Black-and-white thinkers require black-and-white solutions. The only workable solution is to just physically get away from the person. Refuse all further contact. Any communication will revolve around trying to get you involved again, so he can abuse you some more, and repeat his demands.

The best case scenario with dumping him is a sense of great relief, and the perspective to see how bad he is, and the empowerment of asserting your right to boundaries and consent. The worst case scenario with dumping him is that you will be single while looking for a replacement who respects you, and who is already a decent adult without needing to be taught.

The best case scenario with staying is more conflict, arguments, and disrespect, until you get so sick and tired that you then dump him. The worst case scenario with staying is a devastating act of violence which will seriously harm you for the rest of your life. Many, many women have been raped, beaten, and/or killed by guys with this attitude. And neither you nor he are special or exempt from that possibility.

Why do doctors wait until chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or blood sugar become acute enough to cause damage before they will begin treatment? Why not start treatment with lower dose medications before damage begins?

Answered Jan 7, 2019

There are two angles here. Which relate to things other than blood pressure and blood glucose.

First, some patients are actually over-paranoid about minor symptoms or indications on tests. And some of them use “Dr. Google” to encourage that paranoia.

Also, some patients are negligent, and have behaviours which cause/encourage their medical damage.

Second, there are doctors (with actual legit medical degrees) who are cavalier, and even incompetent, to the point of compromising patient safety/health/lifespan.

I have personally witnessed a situation where a very informed/knowledgeable patient faced a dismissive and ignorant doctor.

The patient tried to explain major issues in her medical history, and the doctor didn’t seem to comprehend. And also failed to write down basic things like medication use, while denying the patient’s concerns about side-effects. Which are actually mentioned in the information sheet included with the prescription pills. And which the patient had studied by reading legitimate scientific journal articles (because she is actually a scientist).

That doctor failed to comprehend the timeframe of the symptoms, and ordered tests, which the patient (who has a degree in a relevant field) knew were irrelevant.

A different, actually-relevant set of blood tests came back with alarming numbers (with the patient’s eyes bugging out as she read it). And that doctor dismissed it as, “Some people are out of range, everything is just fine for them”. Without mentioning that, only 2.5 percent of the population is in that group. And getting a creepy tone when the patient said that she would compare the recent readings with some previous ones.

And, speaking of creepy, that doctor got a creepy tone when the patient requested further tests for a viral disease which may have been sexually transmitted (although she was later cleared on that).

That patient was also bullied by a nurse at the same clinic, trying to convince her that she is in menopause, when she knows otherwise.

The patient was told that, her physical symptoms aren’t real.

She wasn’t trying to scam sympathy or pain meds. She was trying to stop vomiting.

That patient is now awaiting evaluation for a potentially life-threatening (and actually rather common) condition. And won’t be seeing that doctor again, unless necessary to pick up results from a referral (N.B. this is the New Zealand public heath system). Delayed diagnosis and treatment increases the danger of an emergency arising.

There is an enormous culture of condescension towards patients, by medical professionals. They assume that you couldn’t possibly know anything about how the human body is put together, or how it works. They assume that you don’t know your own medical history, or your risk factors, or your symptoms.

Some of them simply don’t listen when you try to give them important information.

Also regarding the NZ public heath system, we have waiting lists here. This became a political issue 10 or 15 years ago, with excessive time frames. The government solved that by kicking people off of waiting lists for examinations and procedures. Just to make the lists look shorter and more efficient.

They have actually told people that they aren’t sick enough, and to reapply when their problem becomes worse. Which for some, will inevitably happen, increasing the chance of complications, emergencies, and fatalities.

How can all the complexities of creating a human being be encoded in just 2.3 gigabytes of DNA data?

Answered Jan 7, 2019

A few issues here.

The information in the human 46 chromosomes is fairly large. Some of this is recycled programming that has been selected for efficiency for billions of years. Basic things like bilateral symmetry body plans (Hox genes), or like glycolysis (a standard series of enzyme reactions), have been refined towards using the least possible resources. The least possible base pairs and protein machinery. Although some things are still obviously kludges and cobbled together.

Processes that were “invented” by bacteria, worms, and insects, going back three billion years ago, are still present in humans.

Some genes have more than one possible product. Their RNA transcripts have multiple possible combinations of exons, known as alternative splicing.

Each individual human also has Epigenetics. On a basic level, this is what tells your liver cells to be different to your skin cells. They all carry the same 46 chromosomes, but the different cell tissue types express the gene sets differently. This uses manipulation of DNA, and also manipulation of histone tail charges.

This starts with cell division, when some proteins have a higher concentration at one end. And that end divides off to become a differentiated type of cell.

A muscle cell and a liver cell and other cell types all contain your full genome. The difference is in which genes are actually expressed (turned on and triggering production of proteins).

Epigenetic changes can be completely normal and basic and necessary. But, sometimes can be hazardous, and caused by exposure to toxins or other things, including malnutrition and psychological stress.

In addition to epigenetics, there are also transcription factors, which look for certain types of genes that are needed at a given moment. They may be triggered by stimulus at the cell membrane, and then go to the nucleus to turn on production of some product that is needed to respond. This is an area of those cobbled-together kludges.

The most complex thing about humans is consciousness, including emotions. It seems unfathomably complex and mysterious. Like A, C, G, and T couldn’t possibly add up to that. But it’s really just an egotistical illusion based on molecules.

My guess is that, the question-asker (or other people who think of this type of issue) may be thinking of spiritual/religious ideas and direction. And I’ll admit to contemplating biology, and seeing it as magical. But it’s more important and realistic to admit that we are just really complicated machines.

What if a Quoran has a crush on you?

Answered Jan 6, 2019

I would tell them to take a number, and get in line.

I follow the subject of crushes, generally, here on Quora. So I know that, a crush can happen at any time, towards anyone.

Also, the person with the crush will interpret any attention (or even vague possibility of attention) as validating the crush.

She is a random neighbour/classmate/coworker/acquaintance/waitress, and she looked in your direction? Crush-Validation.

It’s that same way here on Quora.

That “Notifications” tab lights up, telling me that, another Quoran is now following me? They obviously have a crush on me.

Somebody posts a Comment to one of my answers here? They obviously have a crush on me.

Somebody posts a Comment to one of my answers here, and tells me that I am FOS, and don’t know what I am talking about? That is just them feeling confused, and rebelling against their crush.

Somebody Upvotes one of my posts? That indicates an obvious crush.

Somebody clicks through to my Quora profile, and then clicks through to my personal blog? There’s a crush right there.

So many, many Quorans have crushes on me.

Can I use “fairness”? And either select the best crusher, or just reject them all equally?

There are so, soooooo many Quorans with crushes on me. I feel rather guilty, like they think I am leading them on, with each one of my posts.

Like many thousands of others, my Quora crush is on Frances Meredith. And I know that someday, she will reciprocate. Because she once Upvoted a Comment that I made to one of her posts. Because that’s how crushes work.

Why do we teach our children not to bully and to report people hurting others, and then as adults we try to stay out of other people’s trouble rather than helping them?

Answered Jan 6, 2019

I don’t get any impression of anyone teaching their children about bullying.

The parents of bullies are likely to be bullies, themselves. And so are likely to view that behaviour as acceptable.

Other parents are bullies, and expect their own children to just cave in and tolerate bullying, from anyone and everyone.

Spoiled brats bullied their way through childhood, and go on to expect to bully their way through adulthood.

Many people bully their spouses or partners.

I’ve seen people bully their neighbours over incredibly petty grudges. Including that the target simply wouldn’t be the bully’s personal friend.

There is bullying in education, from primary school up to university.

I recently witnessed a health care “professional” bully a patient.

I have encountered people who will start openly bullying, in the first conversation upon meeting a new acquaintance. In situations that were supposed to be about light socialising.

In any situation with money involved, you can expect bullying.

An employer will bully employees.

Employees will bully their coworkers.

I’ve seen businesses try to bully prospective customers.

The problem here is in your question.

People do NOT teach their children not to bully. And do NOT teach their children to intervene when witnessing bullying, up to, and including violent crime.

Parents very often teach their child to either BE bullies, or to look the other way, or to engage in victim-blaming.

And it often escalates to worse than looking the other way to bullying. See somebody being physically assaulted on the street? Pull out your phone and take a video. Not to aid the police in apprehending the offender(s), but just because it’s exciting to witness violence.

Why are other people so curious about my lack of children and choosing to be childfree at 38?

Answered Jan 4, 2019

It’s two time-based issues.

First, the biological clock.

No, they aren’t worried that you might miss the window of opportunity to have the fun experience of parenting. Rather, they are worried that you might get away with shirking an alleged obligation to have kids.

They need you to eventually have kids in order to validate their own lives. To confirm that, literally everyone has kids, and nobody has a choice. Because many of them actually refuse to believe that they themselves had any choices. Including making poor choices that they regret. Via contraceptive negligence, with the unplanned child they believe just “happened”. Or by buying into the societal script of deliberately having kids, because it’s just what every real adult supposedly does.

If you were say, 25, and didn’t have kids, they would still hold out hope of it “happening” eventually. If you said at that age that you never want kids, they will be condescending, and treat you like you just aren’t old/mature enough to grasp the compulsory breeding that you “will” engage in when you become a “real” grownup, like maybe age 30.

When you get past 30, they start feeling entitled to an explanation or apology for what is “wrong” with you. Or a reassurance you are now accepting your fate, and practically ready to have unprotected sex with random street bums, just to produce the required 2-point-5 kids.

The second issue is more general. It’s called, “settling down”. It’s largely based on the idea that, everyone’s life trajectory includes getting married, having kids, being trapped, and then never doing anything new, or making any choices ever again. It also includes things like remaining within a very limited geographic area, being stuck in a job you hate, and never pursuing any more formal education.

“Settling down” means that your life story is now over. And they want to see this happen to you as soon as possible. They will try to convince you that you have fallen behind schedule, and are immature, unrealistic, irresponsible, unstable, etc. if you don’t have the handcuffs on (yet).

The people who “settled down” long before 38 may feel personally insulted, and entitled to socially retaliate.

Should I write a note to the cashier at a supermarket to tell her that she’s kind and sweet and that I hope to get a chance to get to know her?

Answered Jan 3, 2019

I’ve worked at jobs dealing with the public, and experienced various inappropriate behaviours and attitudes from people who ranged from stupid to dangerous.

And your idea would definitely fall under “inappropriate”. Or to be more direct, creepy.

I was nice and sometimes quite friendly, but my motivation for being there was to exchange labour for money, not to socialise.

I encountered:

  • People who expected me to stop doing the job in order to hang out and socialise with them, just because they were bored. This included situations where I was paid strictly on how much I got done, without any hourly wage. So hanging out with them would have reduced my earnings.
  • People wanting “free” products or services, and failing to understand why that was unrealistic, and that I wasn’t there to owe them personal favours.
  • People who failed to comprehend that, while they were having leisure time, I was there to work.
  • A random guy (a customer I only met once) who directly asked if I would call him if he gave me his phone number.
  • Creepy vibes and harassment from men (and the occasional woman) up to the level of direct sexual propositions. My favourite was the charmingly intoxicated gentleman who said, “Ah pay you wa lick mah bitch’s pussah”. (I declined that offer).
  • Highly threatening attitudes in situations where it was just me, the customer, and nobody else.

When very young, I actually did allow a few people into my personal life, after meeting them at work. It was always terrible idea. They ranged from time-wasters up to dangerous.

I did have a couple of friends whom I met as coworkers. But a lot of coworkers are just completely annoying, so I prefer clear separation.

If I received a note like you suggest, I wouldn’t contact the person. And would try to avoid them in the future.

Dealing with the public (or with business-to-business customers) is constant stress from their constant bad attitudes and behaviour. Including mass refusal to respect basic personal boundaries.

Being kind, sweet, friendly, attractive, smiling, etc is not an invitation. You might think she is nice, but she has no reason to trust you or feel comfortable getting personal with you. She doesn’t know if you’re a stalker or rapist, but she will very possibly perceive that you don’t respect the boundaries of the situation (which is a red flag).

If object of your attention is physically attractive, she might be extremely tired of getting this kind of approach from random guys, when she is just trying to earn a living. Customer-on-cashier sexual harassment has even resulted in an expensive court case and organised labour action:

Are Businesses Liable for Sexual Harassment by Customers?


Hastings Women’s Law Journal 2000