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Laid Back Lounge / Re: What's on your mind today?
« Last post by hermes2015 on Today at 08:26:14 AM »
Had some slightly worrying symptoms earlier. Waiting for ambulance. Don't worry if you hear nothing for a day or two,  may be going in for observation. Internet a variable thing in our hospital.

I only saw this now. If you can access the internet, please keep us updated on what's going on. Best of luck, Dave.
Laid Back Lounge / Re: What's on your mind today?
« Last post by Dave on Today at 06:46:47 AM »
Had some slightly worrying symptoms earlier. Waiting for ambulance. Don't worry if you hear nothing for a day or two,  may be going in for observation. Internet a variable thing in our hospital.
After my sister was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for depression and substance abuse problems, she became more difficult to deal with. Now she's living off my mother. What enrages me is how she treats my mother like a punching bag but still expects to have all her expenses paid for.

I've read some interviews with psychopaths/sociopaths (not many, but some) and they confirm what you've written -- esp. in how much contempt they have for their victims.  They openly despise their victims for either not seeing thru them, or for letting them get away with it.  They have no compunction about abusing their victims as long as they can since as far as they were concerned anybody who lets themselves be used as a punching bag isn't worth any more than that.  And of course they'd think that since the concepts of pity, compassion, tenderness and guilt are entirely outside their mental scope.

I don't mean to be so deterministic, just throwing some thoughts out there.

If a sociopath cannot control their impulses because the thinking part of their brain which plays a huge role in controlling impulses is faulty, or they are incapable of feeling empathy for others, then shouldn't it be a form of legal insanity? Just how accountable are they? 

Consider the following:

1)Children and adolescents. Their brain is still maturing. The frontal region of their brains are the last to mature (matures at around 23-27-ish and takes longer in men, which explains a lot, heh) so they also have difficulty controlling their impulses. Adolescents can have problems with emotional regulation, recklessness and impulse control as well, but it's completely normal given the maturational stages their brains are in. It's for this reason that antisocial personality disorder is not diagnosed in people under 18. Should children and adolescents ever be tried as adults?

2)Crimes of passion, in which there is a failure to control violent impulses, is another case in which the thinking part of the brain which inhibits impulses has failed. Should such crimes be tried in the same way as a coldly premeditated crime is? (I don't think they are, but I don't know. Maybe if Bruce reads this he can answer whether this is the case in the US).

So, tl;dr: Just how responsible are people for actions they have no control over?

In the case of children, I know that's why kids are treated differently in trial, conviction and imprisonment than adults, and have their slates wiped clean at legal adulthood.  Altho, if what we've been finding out about how long it take the brain to truly mature, it seems the age of legal adulthood should probably be raised to mid-20s, at least.  Something guaranteed to please no one.  Altho it might be better than the trend, popular with conservatives, of trying children accused of "adult crimes" as adults. 

As for people who experience temporary insanity in a crime of passion, I always feel a squint coming on since I'm not sure how well we can tell, from one individual to the next, whether it was truly "couldn't control myself" or just "didn't bother to control myself".  Would a slight change of circumstances have made a difference in how much control the passionate criminal had?  In the classic scenerio, for instance:  man comes home and finds his wife in bed with another man.  Would the man who couldn't control himself with a rival his own size who was taken completely by surprise have been able to exert self-control if the rival was much bigger than him, or prepared for his entrance (possibly with a gun), or was someone with a lot of power over him in another area of his life?

And with people who truly can't control themselves because their minds don't work right, people who aren't guilty by reason of insanity but are too dangerous to others to allow them to run loose, that's what hospitals for the criminally insane are for, tho Google tells me those are now called forensic institutes or hospitals.  From what I've read so far, they're the same snake pits they always were and crazy people might well be better off in regular prisons (tho not sure if the other prisoners or staff would be).
Miscellaneous / Re: Art and design, how does it work?
« Last post by hermes2015 on Today at 05:28:35 AM »
In our pride, even hubris, we humans used to differentiate ourselves from other species by describing ourselves as "tool users," until we saw that birds and sea-otters - as well as chimps - also use tools. So we became "tool makers," until . . .

But there does seem to be something very fundamental in humans that attracts them to create tools, and in essence 'tools' here includes cars, microwave cookers, mathematical tables, mnenomics, possibly even clothes etc, etc etc. They are artifacts created, or modified (in form or application), to achieve something beyound our natural 'built-in' abilities. Though one might argue about mnemonics, mental constructs, there.

After a long time of watching Youtube videos, and considering my own behaviour, I have come to the conclusion that there is a human subculture where obtaining, collecting or using tools, is a strong trait. But, far more important than actually using those tools to make everyday, or even artistic, objects is using them in the creation of new tools!  These are then used to create . . . Yeah, even more tools.

To those with this infliction the wooden handle of an old saw can have as much grace and beauty as a Michaelangelo or Rodin piece. The sound of a perfectly sharpened plane cutting a long shaving from the wood as evocative as the wind in the trees. The ergodynamics and ergonomics involved, if good, satisfy the 'soul'. If bad they stimulate the analytical centres and the desire to improve things.

Tools have their own aesthetics.

Well said, Dave. My feelings exactly.
Miscellaneous / Re: Some of My Arts and Crafts
« Last post by hermes2015 on Today at 05:22:39 AM »

The patina on both pieces is very nice, especially this one. I see the lacquer did not affect it too much. I like that pale green, powdery effect.

Wow, congrats on the photo. Now I am jealous. What a beautiful shot. I think the out of focus moon actually works well in this case.

I hope you're going to submit some good photos in the next challenge that will be announced soon.
Miscellaneous / Re: Art and design, how does it work?
« Last post by Dave on Today at 05:12:28 AM »

It strikes me there are missing dimensions in the sbove - what of observation of need, analysis, inspiration and just sitting and staring, waiting for the work to 'say' something, suggest its own solutions (seemingly)?
Miscellaneous / Re: Name calling and blaming. Atheism v theism.
« Last post by hermes2015 on Today at 05:01:59 AM »
Oh, snap. I thought I had found a new source of invective. I am disappoint! J/K, the people who make claims about Stalin and Pol Pot are just mushy thinkers who are most likely just vomiting up what they've already swallowed from their "godly leader's" rhetoric. Personally, I can't see how someone can stand to go on diatribes that vilify so many people. It makes me sick just to hear some of it.

Of course, we never indulge in diatribes  :)

Well, in a responsive rather than attacking mode in most cases. Though there are some pretty good attack mode vilifiers amongst atheists on Youtube.

One of the aspects of this place that I enjoy is the lack of vitriol. Then again, I don't really spend a lot of time in the "religious" sections. My life is too short to sit here going 'round and 'round with people and their beliefs. I've done it in the past, and consider it right up there with teaching a pig to sing- a complete waste of time. I applaud people who care enough to argue with the religious ad infinitum. Maybe something will come of it. I'm not expecting much, though.

That about sums up my position as well. I read those debates with interest, but restrict my interactions with HAF to those topics that deal with my quite narrow range of interests.
Forgiveness is a tricky subject.  In my view, it's more for the forgiver than the forgiven. It's basically saying "you are not going to control my life by your evil deed - I'm wiping the slate clean and moving on with my life. I'm not demanding anything. It's as though it never happened."   The justice system can do what it does, but forgiveness means that the bad actor and the bad act are not going to be the focus of my life.

For me, moving on and forgiving someone are two very different things.  And acting as if something never happened is not something I have enough imagination to do.  With me it's more like "It was done, it can't be undone and I can't forgive it or forget it.  Because of that I can't have you in my life anymore.  I'm going to move on and learn how to live without you.  You do whatever you want, if you can do that forgetting thing then forget me entirely.  Goodbye." 

One interesting thing I've noticed when reading other articles about forgiveness is that there seems to be a general assumption that if one doesn't forgive that means one is obsessed with the desire for revenge.  That's not necessarily true.  I've never wanted revenge on anyone for anything because revenge has always seemed to me a particularly useless and even self-defeating behavior.  My overwhelming desire when someone's done something to me that can't be worked out is to put as much distance, both physical and psychological, as possible between us.  Revenge would make that impossible.  Because I feel that way I've assumed it was a common enough reaction, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Miscellaneous / Re: Some of My Arts and Crafts
« Last post by Dave on Today at 04:27:19 AM »

I am impressed!

That dodecahedron was a real sweetheart to solder together, sitting on the stove in the efficiency apartment I was renting at the time. I was in Florida, and if the summer heat and humidity weren't bad enough, I had to heat ALL the copper to solder the pieces together. Copper is such a good conductor that the thing had to be supported the whole time at each joint, since each new solder joint required enough heat to melt the previously soldered joints. Got a couple of burns before I finally settled on wooden clothespins to hold the previous joints together. Then the clothespins started smoking!  :???: Originally, I was going to bury the thing in beach sand that was saturated with sea salt to start the corrosion process, but carrying a couple of cubic feet of water-saturated sand the 1/4 mile back to my place just wasn't going to happen. I did hang it in the screened-in porch for a couple of weeks, which did get some greenish corrosion started, but then I had to move to new digs, so I just gave up and bought a plastic tote. The patination process took about a week for the bleach, and overnight for the ammonia. NB- if you are using strong ammonia, don't stand directly over a large container that has liquid all the way across the bottom! I nearly fainted from the smell when I opened the tote to inspect the thing. What an ignominious fate that would have been, death by ammonia gas inhalation. I used to work in the HAZMAT business, and if one walks into a strong ammonia atmosphere from a large leak, the ammonia will kill you by robbing the water out of your lungs, and will leave a wizened corpse. yeesh.

I know your struggles all too well, DL! I bought a bag of stainless steel, one piece bent wire, clothes vlips for similat jobs, ocidised iron "lockingbwire" can be useful as well.

I like the idea of natural substances being used to add some quality to the work. Hmm, since copper is, in essence, a 'natural substance" what of using beeswax to mask, clay to insulate and  other natural substances or processes to modify areas in different ways, patinate or etch. Then polish and protect with linseed oil or similar? A cast piese, using charcoal to melt it and a stone mold, would be nice.

In silver work the deliberate heat oxidation of areas, creating a light grey, slightly matt, layer is a decorative process. I used it once to get the darker top surface for a shallow relief dolphin brooch. Had to cast a rough shape first, lots and lots of silver trimmings and filings were generated even so!
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