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Mentat and I

  1. Apr 7, 2003 #1
    This is something I've been thinking about for a long time (slightly influenced by having read Jorge Louis Borges' (sp?) Jorge Louis Borges and me).

    When people see that Mentat has posted in a thread, they have a certain pre-supposed opinion of the kind of response I probably made. They have become accustomed to my nature of posting, and to my limits of understanding. However, these pre-suppositions do not exist in the minds of all of the people who see me walk out of the library (without a coat, no matter how low the temperature) every day, down the street to my home (all the while, staring at the ground, and not much appearing to care about anything). Even the people who have met me, they categorize me as either a "Smarty-pants show-off", or (at best) a "whiz kid".

    The difference lies in the fact that I feel so much freer on the PFs. I can talk about Science or Philosophy, without losing everyone immediately. I can speak to people that I know are my intellectual superiors (as most of you are), and I can learn from them.

    This is what I appreciate most about the PFs, and it is why I am on every day, for at least an hour, with (at least) four windows open to the PFs.

    Does anyone else feel this way? How close to your typical persona is your PF persona?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2003 #2
    I think you have become narcistic, and most probably you are addicted to PF. Watch out and consult your shrink!
  4. Apr 7, 2003 #3
    lol, ya Mentat i know exactly what you are talking about; i have suffered the same thing most of my life. best i can tell, the problem is that most people don't like to be wrong to the point that they refuse to discuss anything they do not feel they completely understand. hence, such people will generally refuse to discuss things with people who they think might know more than them. i am not really sure how such a counterproductive mentality became popular in our society, but thankfully we have havens like this one to retreat to. back in the late '80s when i was your age, all i had was two friends and my stepmother who were really open to intellectual conversation, everyone else i knew were basically just social creatures and fun to hang out with but not really good to help one figure something out.
  5. Apr 7, 2003 #4
    Not very close at all in some respects. Taoism stresses noncontention and in my everyday life I almost never argue with people, nor do I talk nearly as much. My usual online persona among Taoists has some similarities, but again is much less contentious.

    This forum with its focus on logic and science encourages arguments and a confrontational style. It even incorporates a number of classic western philosophical expressions like "next you'll be arguing that pigs have wings." It reminds me of my first job washing dishes in a restaurant. The owners yelled all the time, but after a week I realized they were really sweathearts who treated their employees like family. Yelling was just their family thing, a way of say "Hey! This is important!"

    Actually, I don't feel this way at all. I feel straightjacketed in a number of ways I don't in my everyday life. Normally I don't expect people to be quite so contentious for example. But then, normally whatever I say doesn't get heard by a thousand people. It's too easy to find contentious people in a crowd like that. I'm not big on crowds.

    Many here are quite intelligent and know a great deal about things I don't know, but from my point of view they usually don't understand much about some of the most basic things like the paradox of existence. I've had to invent an entirely new vocabulary and express Asian thought in terms of formal western philosophy. It's been like learning a new language by hit and miss.

    The results have been good though and once in a while people give me some very good tips. I've sent some of my writing on the subject to other Taoists and philosophers who've given me help and encouragment. Some have already asked to publish some of my work. :0)
  6. Apr 7, 2003 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Greetings !

    Mentat, I'm not sure posting this was such
    a great idea - some people might not actually
    feel that well when you "stick it in their
    faces" like that...
    Aah... the sweet-talker... you can just see him

    Live long and prosper.
  7. Apr 7, 2003 #6
    oh ya, i forgot about the persona part. i mean literally, i forgot about it; it has been over a decade sense i decided such things are not really worth spending time on. sure i am human and i slip into persona building on occasion, but i make a conscious effort to correct myself when i do; i find life much more enjoyable this way.
  8. Apr 7, 2003 #7
    This is pretty much me. The reason I come here is for the conversation and mental stimulation. Lots of people know things here that I don't. Well most actually, but I like having wierd conversations about life, the universe and everything. Much of my real life conversation is on a different level. I don't go searching for people to have wierd converations with and I just don't come across them in every day life. If I tried talking to people I know about stuff I go on about here they would think I was mad. Out the back of where I work there is a day program for the elderly. I was outside having a smoke and one of the old guys came up and asked what the animal was that layed eggs and gave it's babies milk. I went into stuff about monotremes and other stuff and when he walked away, I turned back to my collegue who was staring at me with a perplexed look. Most people, well alot anyway, just aren't interested in anything that doesn't affect them from day to day. Thinking about it more, people who really know me probably know me the way you know me, but think I'm a bit wierd. Acquaintances probably just know me as a resaonably nice and simple fella.

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2003
  9. Apr 7, 2003 #8
    I know the feeling. I have things the same way.I came to share theorys and ideas. But now I know how much more I cn learn.
  10. Apr 8, 2003 #9
    I cannot tell which one of us is writing this page

    i love borges!!!
  11. Apr 8, 2003 #10
    PF personna close to my real personna, don't have a clue, as it is in the eyes of others that my PF personna would exist.

    As for being called names, it continues on in life, no matter how old you are, so perhaps you should find better coping mechanisms for it.

    Myself I have come up with at least two different explainations (proofs) of why I cannot/do not know everything.

    You should hear some of the people that have had some time to get to know me (a little) when they asked me a question that I told them, in simple honesty, that I didn't know the answer, WOW! they ever jump all over that one! (picture a young man, running all over a three story Bar, telling everyone that he had stumped me, bragging/boasting, oye!)

    That is how I came to know about several things that I probably never would have looked for otherwise, finding answers for people to lazy/inept to find it themselves.

    Don't worry about it though, it is, in the end, really their loss, not yours, not mine.

    BTW I have no 'presupposed' ideas about your postings, I simply enjoy learning, and sharing what I know, with 'others'.
  12. Apr 8, 2003 #11
    i agree with you raavin, the same thing also happen to me. sometimes when i was going out for a drink (cafe,stall or non-archoholic drink) with my friend, i always hope and think we all will sit there and talk about idea, opinion, about the world, about life, etc. but after sitting for a while they will ask where to go next, bar, disco, snooker center, or where can we see pretty girls, etc (i really don't like this place much). people just think i'm crazy or useless just talking about this. they always ask me to live in reality. is talking thing like this not a reality?

    i don't know how about people from another country, but here in malaysia in one of its state, i just met two people who just talk things like this with me after living for 19 years. that's why i like PF. here i can share my idea and my feeling with you all although sometimes i'm say something that's boring to you all.

    wuliheron, i see that you practice tao. i have some problem please give me some advice, i do not know who am i really. what i mean here is when i look at my name and picture i cannot see and feel it's me. i just to see him as another people and hate to see him. now i'm on a journey of self-discovery.
  13. Apr 9, 2003 #12
    Re: Re: Mentat and I

    I am addicted to the PF, but how is this in any way narcissistic?
  14. Apr 9, 2003 #13
    Well, I know that I have at least some presupposition about the nature of someone's post, when I see that they have posted, on any thread. I could name names, but (while my comments would be in no way negative) I don't want to offend anyone.
  15. Apr 9, 2003 #14
    If there is humor implied in this post, I have missed it (as always (it's so hard to catch when it's not verbal, IMO)).

    If you are serious, then expound please.
  16. Apr 9, 2003 #15
    Well, not everyone (does anyone?) shares your presupposition, that existence is paradoxical. The fact that we question it shouldn't be considered as ignorance on our part, but as a chance for you to better explain/understand it.
  17. Apr 9, 2003 #16
    Re: Re: Re: Mentat and I

    The tread is named "Mentat and I", but it wasn't meant serious :)
  18. Apr 9, 2003 #17
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mentat and I

    Pfft. And I here I was worried, that I had said something egotistical. I re-read my original post repeatedly...
  19. Apr 11, 2003 #18
    Another point is that I adopt this "Mentat" persona, whenever I get on the PFs. If someone pulls me away from the computer, while I'm still in "the zone" (or stuck in the "Mentat" persona, so to speak), I find myself talking to people as if they were members of the PFs. But the fact is that the people on the PFs are (for the most part) rather exceptional people.

    I also start playing Devil's Advocate a lot (when I'm stuck in the "Mentat" persona), even over the dumbest (by other people's standards) topics.
  20. Apr 12, 2003 #19
    i think this is a bad tendency for the youth
    fortunaly you escape this trap
    good luck
  21. Apr 29, 2003 #20
    Why is everyone highlighting the linking verbs and prepositions?
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