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Love vs. thinking

  1. Dec 27, 2004 #1


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    first of all, i'm only fairly confident that i've chosen the appropriate forum for this.

    anyway --

    loving and thinking, for me, have always been two different, distinct, indulgances. however, i've noticed that if i partake one, i ignore the other. to wit, bein' a lover is grand but thinking is sexy, but i wanna be both. is there a way of filling both voids and having that whole existance? or to adequately persue one .. must one adequately ignore the other?

    perhaps my failure to walk and chew bubble gum, as they say, is my personal vice and not a vice shared by the masses of others. anyone?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2004 #2


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    Do you mean romantic love, personal relationships, etc.?
  4. Dec 29, 2004 #3


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    yes .. i feel i've written a messy explaination for what i mean to say, which is, however, that while both learning and [romantic] love are two my great passions, one eclipses the other, to wit, their duality is an unlikely state.
    my theory is equally messy, that love somehow hijacks my critical mind .. or something?

    maybe it's just a me thing, but ..

    i wonder if any great discoveries were made while one was preoccupied by love's euphoria. i wonder if brilliant minds are genetically suited for less than brilliant bodies so that they're less likely to love, and as a result, more likely to think.
    i wonder if this is BS and if it's too late and if i should go to bed. :uhh:
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2004
  5. Dec 29, 2004 #4


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    Perhaps the root of this is in identifying different "levels of happiness", "types of pleasures", or such.
    The distinction between physical and intellectual pleasures is common, mostly in ethics, especially when talking about happiness. (BTW, ethics is dealt with in the "Value Theory" subforum.) For instance, someone may come to view physical pleasures as less valuable, in some way, than intellectual pleasures, and that is usually- but not always- the way I have seen them ranked. Of course, there are different reasons for assigning different values to different kinds of pleasures, and those reasons can be philosophical, psychological (including genetics), or both.

    But even if you do make the distinction between physical and intellectual, you don't have to rank them. And even if you do rank them, you don't have to deny yourself the enjoyment of either. You could easily adopt views summed-up in mottos like "moderation is best" or "variety is the spice of life".
    There are even ways you can combine them. You can turn most any physical pleasure into an intellectual endeavor. Taste becomes culinary art, vision becomes visual art, hearing becomes music, smell becomes perfumery, touch becomes massage, just to name a few. Gardening, for instance, combines several physical pleasures and can attain the "status" of an art form or craft. You can even incorporate scientific knowledge and investigation into your gardening (for just one example, think of Mendel). You can incorporate math and philosophy as well. Adopt gardening as your profession, grow some flowers for your romantic partner(s) and violà! :smile:
    Does that help?
  6. Dec 29, 2004 #5


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    To tie that in with your original ideas...
    If you find that love overwhelms your judgement, and you want to change it, just practice. Work on developing some self-discipline in that area. Start with something small that you love to do and tends to mess with your judgement. For instance, I could spend all day just listening to music and not get anything "constructive" done. So I could allow myself a certain amount of time for just listening to music and the rest for doing work (moderation). I could also play music while I'm working (combination). And once I developed discipline in my music listening, I could move on to more challenging areas.

    Certainly, if you count great discoveries or creations in art. Or if you count all kinds of love- scientists and philosophers can certainly love their work intensely. Think especially of love as inspiration.

    Well, either I don't understand or you would have to put that differently. Where is the reproductive advantage or disadvantage?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2004
  7. Dec 29, 2004 #6


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    i appreciate your reply, and your gardening suggestion. sounds fun, so i'll look into that for sure. i've actually wanted some definitation of an artistic hobby for a while .. guess i'll wait 'till summer.

    to your question, by love i meant, specifically, romantic love, that is, withstanding the love for ones' work, and directed towards a partner. my thinking was that good looking people are more likely to engage love and reproduce and stay with the kids as a result. while the big thinkings are generally not good looking, and i postulat(ed) that the genetic advantage for that is that they're more likely to love their work and not another person. this is to say that they'll spend their energy creating science and not wooing a mate. however, both are necessary and both further humankind.

    these are general trends i've noticed and i just wondered if it's possible that genetics may have fathered these trends. right or wrong, the intellectual masturbation was amusing. ;p
  8. Dec 29, 2004 #7

    Les Sleeth

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    I think your question is pretty funny, but I can't give an informed answer either about the natural selection aspect. However . . .

    Have you ever seen the show "What not to Wear"? In it they take people who aren't paying much attention to their looks (or who have bizarre tastes) and teach them the "rules." It's pretty amazing what kind of transformations can take place when someone starts caring about their looks, and learns the rules behind being stylish and attractive.

    I remember when I was in school some of the people others classified as "nerds," and I do recall they seemed a bit unconcerned about style. Of course, having one's face bashed up from slamming into doors because of walking around lost in thought doesn't help either. :tongue2: I remember this girl in high school who was like this. I saw her at my 20 year class reunion and WOW! :surprised She'd learned a thing or two.

    Then, romantic love tends to do a number on everybody, no matter how smart one is. Geniuses become idiots overnight. I've been in love many times :!!), and now I think it is hormones. After you spend enough time with your love object, the intensity fades. Some people are addicted to that initial hormonal high, and so look for it all the time. As for me, I’ve learned how to enjoy love without the hormonal boost, and actually like it better. It’s more like deep friendship (with special benefits) than blinding, passionate love, but it also frees one from the painful lows that lies waiting on the other side intense passion.

    So I don't know if it is really true intelligent people are less attractive than the general population. But if we are going to be generous about looks, then we might also consider the possibility that there are more kinds of intelligence than the intelligence which excels at science and math.

    Math is Hard (a member here) and I were talking about Harvard psychology professor Howard Gardner. Back in 1983 he wrote a book called “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” I find his views interesting, even though his ideas are sometimes dismissed by researchers (probably math/science types :uhh:).

    Here’s some excerpts from an article about him:

    When Michael Jordan performs an inexplicable maneuver in the air above a basketball court or Luciano Pavarotti extracts another shimmering high C from the gristle of his vocal chords, we don't necessarily think of either of these men as being intelligent. They might be, but we assume these talents to be peripheral to intelligence rather than proof of it.

    Howard Gardner, a Harvard University professor of education and author, disagrees. When Jordan lifts off or Pavarotti opens wide, Gardner sees intelligence-something called bodily kinesthetic intelligence in the case of Jordan and musical intelligence in that of the big tenor. Gardner doesn't limit smarts to the traditional realms of logical reasoning and the ability to manipulate words and numbers. He says we are all endowed with eight distinct forms of intelligence that are genetically determined but can be enhanced through practice and learning.

    Besides the physical and musical varieties, Gardner has identified six other types of intelligences: spatial (visual), interpersonal (the ability to understand others), intrapersonal (the ability to understand oneself), naturalist (the ability to recognize fine distinctions and patterns in the natural world) and, finally-the ones we worked so hard on in school-logical and linguistic.

    Though Gardner's theory . . . has caught fire among educators, especially at the grade-school level. According to Gardner, children who don't excel in the "traditional" intelligences may not get the support they need. Kids who can brilliantly divine the feelings and motives of their sandbox mates, for example, won't really have an officially sanctioned chance to shine until they take a sales job or stumble into a college psychology class.

    Anyway, my point is that neither beauty nor intelligence may be limited to any class of people. It might just be that our appreciation of ourselves and our fellow humans is in need of evolving a bit.
  9. Dec 29, 2004 #8


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    Well, gardening was just the first thing that came to mind. Many other things would work just as well.
    Okay, but I think that is a gross oversimplification. To be clear, it doesn't sound like you're talking about any kind of selection being at work. You are saying that people are genetically predisposed to entering or being successful in certain professions or hobbies. That is, you aren't talking about advantage, you're talking about predisposition. Genetic predispositions are mostly studied as they relate to diseases and disorders. If you're just talking about physical attractiveness, or looks, I think you can leave genetics out of it.
    Second, a person's looks may contribute to their choice and success in certain professions, but even so, it would be only one of many contributing factors. I don't even think it makes the biggest contribution.
    Third, even considering looks is complicated. There are many reasons why people do or don't spend a lot of time wooing mates; Again, looks is only one of many factors. In fact, developing other attractive qualities, like intellectual brilliance or accomplishments, could in itself be a way of wooing mates. What qualities are considered physically attractive also varies widely, especially in humans.
    I don't mean to discourage you nor suggest I'm an expert in psychology or evolution- I'm not. I'm just saying it's an interesting idea but is a long way from a theory. These things are already studied, of course, so you could look into what work has already been done. Your idea seems to have two parts, 1) the initial interest in or choice of a profession/hobby and 2) the long-term success in that profession/hobby. You could start by posting your ideas in the Social Sciences forum.

    Great, now I have to admit I watch "What Not to Wear". The transformations are amazing, but I could eat for two years on $5000!!
  10. Jan 22, 2005 #9
    Love and thinking, I'm still confused as to how you can't do both. I love to think. I've only had a quick glance over everyone's post because to be honest, they're long and personally I think they're overcomplicated.

    If you find the right person, who also loves to think but loves you too, then you're problem would appear to be solved. You would both be able to think together and love each other at the same time.

    Maybe this isn't quite the intellectual answer you were looking for but I'm seventeen and as I'm seventeen, I have a simple and idealistic look on the world.
  11. Jan 22, 2005 #10
    I wonder what that means for us sixteen-year-olds :surprised.

    The truth is (IMO) that love is something you work at. "Love at first sight" is, as Les put it, "just hormones". If you have real love, it's because you've worked toward it, and let it mature with time and experience. In that case, it shouldn't cloud thinking at all.

    If, however, you are talking about the hormonal/sexual surge that comes from seeing someone that is (to your mind) the most gorgeous you've ever laid eyes on (or, at least, since the last time it happened), then all I can say is: Schrodinger was having an affair in the mountains when he came up with his brilliant wave mechanics, and Napoleon Bonaparte lost his Empire and his life because of his intense love for a certain woman...so, it probably depends on the person.
  12. Jan 24, 2005 #11
    Neurologists describe the right and left brain functions quite well. We are similar, and yet different cultures use different parts of the brain to process the same material. I had read that we hear a baby cry with the right side of our brains. It is a more non linear, emotional experience for us, in the western world. The Japanese hear a baby cry with the left side of their brains, it is more informational.

    Recently neuro scientists, posted far and wide, that the "In Love" stages of a relationship, happen in the planning, and strategy part of the brain. That makes great sense for survival. "Planning and strategy", schemes, and releases a rip tide of neuro endorphans, that causes us to break all kinds of privacy, and personal safety cautions, to make new, intimate relations. So clever is the planning and strategy part of the brain, that we are left with the feeling that something wonderful happened, we literally fell, fell in love, we were our of our minds etc. Apparently we are never more in our minds, than when we are newly in love, because that dual rip tide of emotion, lets down defensive posturing on both sides, and leaves the "lover" wide open, to view the beloved. While drunk on love, planning and strategy is going through their "wallet", so to speak; their inventory of attributes. If the attributes hold up, then the delirium continues, when the neuro chemistry falls apart, it is because "Planning and Strategy", has detected faults, great enough to divert the "lover", to another candidate.
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