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    Song Debunked: Breaking Up Actually Not So Hard To Do
    By News Staff | August 19th 2007 11:00 PM | 64 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Without the heartbreak of ended relationships, half of popular music would cease to exist. Everyone has had one but it turns out it probably wasn't so bad - especially if you thought it would be horrible.

    A new Northwestern University study shows that lovers, even those madly in love, do much better following a breakup than they imagined they would.

    In other words, participants who forecast how badly they would feel over a breakup with a partner actually felt much less distress than they had predicted in the days prior to the relationship’s demise.



    Though the love-crazed participants may have felt the ecstasy and anticipated the despair immortalized in “Romeo and Juliet,” their level of actual distress following their real-life breakups came nowhere close to the agony suffered by Shakespeare’s tragic young lovers.

    “Our research shows that a breakup is not nearly as bad as people imagine, and the more you are in love with your partner, the more wrong you are about how upset you are going to be when the dreaded loss actually occurs,” said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and co-author of the study.

    The people most in love did experience a little more distress over their breakups.

    “But the overestimates of the most-in-love participants, of how badly they would feel after a breakup, were much greater than the predictions of participants less in love,” said Paul Eastwick, the lead author of the study and a graduate student in psychology at Northwestern. “Their levels of distress were nowhere near their catastrophic predictions.”

    The study “Mispredicting Distress Following Romantic Breakup: Revealing the Time Course of the Affective Forecasting Error,” will be published online today (Aug. 20) in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Besides Eastwick and Finkel, the co-authors include Tamar Krishnamurti and George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University.

    The study adds to a growing body of literature that shows that people demonstrate remarkably poor insight when asked to predict the magnitude of their distress following emotional events.

    In anticipating a breakup, for example, people might not take account of the good outcomes that follow a breakup, such as the benefits of being single.

    Whether the discrepancies between people’s predicted and actual distress are caused by their inability to foresee positive life events on the horizon or their inaccurate theories about how quickly they can recuperate, a romantic breakup seems to be less upsetting than the average individual believes it will be, the study concludes.

    To qualify for the nine-month longitudinal study of dating behavior, each participant needed to be involved in a dating relationship of at least two months duration. Participants still involved with their partners from study entry completed a set of questionnaires every two weeks for 38 weeks, for a total of 20 online sessions, to measure predicted and actual stress. The study utilized the data of 26 people (10 female and 16 male) who broke up with their partners during the first six months of the study. The forecasted distress reported two weeks prior to the report of the breakup was compared with actual distress at four different time points covering the initial weeks and months following the breakup. The questionnaires also included a measure assessing how much participants were in love.

    “People tend to be pretty resilient, often more so than they realize,” Eastwick said. “No one is saying that breaking up is a good time. It's just that people bounce back sooner than they predict.”

    Source: “Mispredicting Distress Following Romantic Breakup: Revealing the Time Course of the Affective Forecasting Error,” Aug. 20 Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Eastwick and Finkel, Tamar Krishnamurti and George Loewenstein.

    Comments

    Well, maybe those participants who were "less in love" weren't really in love at all. At my breakup, I felt like I had my guts scooped out with a table fork. All of them.

    Same man, I have that feeling at the moment. How are you feeling right now? I would love to hear how log it takes to get better...

    Uh there was one where I knew if it ended I would have a very hard time. I knew it from the beginning. I just knew how important she was to me. When it ended after 3 years it took me a good 2 years to feel remotely normal like dating someone else. 4 years to quit having the feeling that I kept waking up into a bad dream in certain moments and yes it was real that it was over. 6 years to really feel able to commit in any meaningful way at all. It was as bad if not worse than I predicted and not because I thought myself into it. I just remember thinking 4 months after thinking dear god every breathe actually hurts in some way. It was awful. I'd really rather die than go through that again. And no 13 years later I have never loved like that again nor do I want to.

    How long did it take for the pain to go away ? I actually feel pain in my chest everytime a remember something about us I cant stand how much it hurts really hurts not just emotionally but physically too its like a rush of adrenaline is going through my chest.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but I don't see anything here having to do with "love".  Instead I see a great deal of obsessing over wanting someone else to behave to fulfill our individual fantasies about how we think relationships should go.

    There's no question that a break-up can be emotionally disruptive and painful, but to continue on after months and even years, isn't about the relationship any more.  It's simply dysfunctional obsession.

    If you think I'm being harsh, just ask yourself how you would feel if someone felt that obsessively about you and you didn't want to be in a relationship with that person. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    And sometimes, against all odds.. against all logic... We still hope.

    Gerhard Adam
    I understand wanting to put a positive spin on things, but that isn't "hope" when one is obsessing over an individual that isn't interested in reciprocating a relationship.  That's what leads to stalking.  While it may be cute in a movie, in real life, it's simply creepy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's what leads to stalking.
    I doubt that very much. It might lead to a couple of desperate and unappreciated gestures but stalking? Making someone's life a misery, so they're scared to go out or answer the phone?  No, that's obsession, period, not love. Thank goodness the law allows human beings to decide the difference.

    No matter what romantic gloss the movies put on it, what we are talking about here is pair-bonding. It is well-known that those animals from birds to chimps that do pair-bond go through extreme distress on the loss of a mate whether through death or any other reason. How is that adaptive in an evolutionary sense? It would be far better if they "moved on" immediately. But for whatever reason, the cost of pair-bonding is that the individual finding themselves alone is plunged into a state of acute distress and depression. If it happens to swans, why should you be so dismissive of stories that human beings tell of it happening to them?  

    Perhaps it's time to put some antifreeze in your veins, Gerhard :)

       
    Gerhard Adam
     If it happens to swans, why should you be so dismissive of stories that human beings tell of it happening to them?
    I'm not dismissive of it.  I fully acknowledge that it happens.  My comment was aimed at individuals that make no progress in "getting over it" after month and even years. 

    Humans can rationalize almost anything, and it becomes clear in many cases, that the individual is more upset over things that are actually tangential to the relationship they claim is at the heart of it.  They may feel betrayed by the other individual, or they may simply be in "love" with an idealized vision of the other individual.  As evidenced by many posts on the "Heartbreak" blog, in some cases, their comments indicate that they don't even actually like the other person any more, and they recognize that there is no way they ever would get "back together".  Given that state of affairs, then how can one argue that they are still "in love"? 


    Mundus vult decipi
    Humans can rationalize almost anything.
     
    Sure.  And I'd go further than that - our lower, emotional, functions are filtered by our massive fore-brains, so we are not quite so much at the mercy of built-in instinctive modes of behaviour as we often think. 
     
    Still, that doesn't mean that every time a hard-nosed science-minded chap like yourself writes about being in love they must stick quote marks around the phrase as if to say "they are what the hysterical and emotionally self-indulgent call in love but which every sensible person just calls fancying each other".

     

    Gerhard Adam
    I don't put quotes around it to denigrate it as some useless emotion.  I do it, because its such an ill-defined concept.  We use it for everything ranging from a particular food, book, or movie to someone that we're supposedly "pair-bonded" with.  We use it to describe all manner of human relationships (friendship, spouse, family, parents, children, etc.) and despite recognizing that they are all the same thing, but different we feel like we can use the term indiscriminately as if we all agree on what it means.

    Couple that with people that want to treat it as if it were capable of being quantified (i.e. I love you more than you love me, etc.), the entire discussion becomes silly.  Love is obviously capable of generating a significant emotional reaction in humans, and depending on the specific relationship in question, give rise to all manner of attitudes and reactions.  However, without being a bit more specific, I think too many people confuse "love" with other emotions they may feel (including their own neediness or "feel good" requirements).  In my view, the more emphatic someone is about love, the less inclined I am to believe them, since the most telling examples of love seem to be much deeper and less dramatic [which, in my opinion, is the prerequisite for longevity].

    Also, if someone wants to discuss love, as in a romantic relationship, and fails to take into account the degree of love someone feels between family members and how someone copes in those relationships, then I also don't feel they're talking about "real love".  They're just talking about what feels good, today. 

    Mundus vult decipi

    What better to end with a quote from J K Rowling?

    Hermione Granger: Don't you understand how she must be feeling? Well, obviously she's feeling sad about Cedric, and therefore confused about liking Harry, and guilty about kissing him. Conflicted because Umbridge is threatening to sack her mum from her job at the Ministry, and frightened about failing her O.W.L.s because she's so busy worrying about everything else.
    Ron Weasley: One person couldn't feel all that, they'd explode!
    Hermione Granger: Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have." said Hermione nastily.


    Gerhard Adam
    A teaspoon?
    Mundus vult decipi



    A teaspoon?
    A teaspoon! 

    Like this: 


    I see your education needs rounding out, Mr Adam.

    Read the Harry Potter books. Watch the Harry Potter films. Steal the Harry Potter BluRay set from your grandchildren.

    Don't miss out on Harry Potter! 
     


     
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm quite familiar with Harry Potter and enjoy it immensely.  However, that still doesn't explain what the emotional range of a teaspoon is ... :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Well, it would be that of a little stirrer :P
     
    Gerhard Adam
    I believe this is just a "tempest in a teapot"?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    You're right that it doesn't inevitably lead to stalking.  Instead I should qualify that comment by stating that to those that engage in stalking, this is precisely the way they rationalize their behavior.
    Mundus vult decipi
    @Gerhard - what I find ironic is your dramatisation of comments made. According to you these people who have expressed that the love they experienced took them years to get over once ended is 'obsessive' leads to 'stalking' is 'creepy' and 'dsyfunctional' I guess it makes you feel 'powerful' and 'together' to be able to use such wise words and labels, does it not? For others reading this you actually sound 'dramatic', as though your world view is very black and white and to throw a psychological label in there for good measure, like you're 'catastrophising'. Remaining in love with and feeling pained by a relationship that ended years prior does not inevitability lead to stalking nor is it necessarily dysfunctional, people heal on their own terms and time and it's dependent on how much they loved, the duration of the relationship, their personality and several other factors. One day when you've had more 'life experience' perhaps you'll step down off your high horse and eat humble pie if you're ever lucky enough to love, or be loved by someone in a manner that is deep and potentially ever lasting, till then you're just an annoying commentator who is I'll at ease without the labels and other peoples experiences.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but far too many comments tend to focus on phrases that begin with "I did" or "I was" ... which tells me exactly what these emotions are all about. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Sorry, but far too many comments tend to focus on phrases that begin with "I did" or "I was" ... which tells me exactly what these emotions are all about. "

    Which is that they're stuck in the past? That's no epiphany! To readers or the victims of love themselves...but what does that matter and how does that validate your position? It still does not make them unhinged.

    Yes, humans can rationalize almost anything, but rare are those that can rationalize away their feelings of intense love - of the heart-pounding, can-talk-because-I'm-stuttering type (even when it has leveled off to something more sane). Sure, you can call that 'lust' for the purpose of this thread for all I care as its criteria is subjective and people experience it differently...however, when 'in love' it is near impossible to be rational about a relationship of this nature ending!

    That's the whole ludicrous thing about love, you can't choose who you love. People always have and always will love unwisely. I disagree entirely that the tangential peripherals are at the heart of the inability to let go, the FEELINGS are! No-one would wish upon themselves the sheer emotional hell that being without the one they love can create.

    Feelings by virtue of nature are irrational, nonsensical and downright destructive at times. These are the layers that distinguish us from robots.

    And how does the rationale a stalker gives for their behaviour validate that this type of feeling/thought process makes one more inclined to turn into one? There's a correlation, but that's not cause and effect. There's probably also a correlation between those who commit murder and their expression of anger as justification but being angry does not normally mean one is any more likely to commit murder because of a felt emotion.

    Gerhard Adam
    First of all, let me reiterate that I'm not denying the intensity of such emotions.  I'm merely skeptical about people that claim they are in such a unique position that they can't get over it after an extended period of time (in one case I discussed, it was 26 years).

    I also posted the correction that stalking is not an inevitable outcome, so I didn't mean to suggest that one would be inclined to turn into one.  However, you bring up some interesting points as you continue.  It is also this type of rationalization that results in individuals that are controlling, and even abusive and it certainly gives rise to many that experience jealousy.

    The excuse is invariably given about how much they "love" the other person, but it is clear that it has nothing to do with love and everything to do with their own inability to cope with another individual as a trusted equal. 
    Feelings by virtue of nature are irrational, nonsensical and downright destructive at times.
    There's no question about it and that's not what's being disputed.  However, if you were to tell me that someone is in that state for months or years on end, then I'll tell you that they are dysfunctional.  An individual that was truly in such a state couldn't function at any level and yet they may have others that depend on them and other responsibilities that they have to fulfill.  Therefore, if they can control their emotions sufficiently to perform these other duties, then they can also control their emotions enough to work their way through it.  Some people choose not to, by perpetually reminding themselves of their problems and then it becomes self-indulgent.  It's the classic case of simply feeling sorry for oneself.

    Of course, the flip side is the individual that can't fulfill their other responsibilities in which case I would argue that they are truly dysfunctional (I'm not talking about the immediate period after an emotional trauma).
    That's the whole ludicrous thing about love, you can't choose who you love. People always have and always will love unwisely.
    I don't think you want to pursue that angle.
    No-one would wish upon themselves the sheer emotional hell that being without the one they love can create.
    I agree for the short-term case.  However, when someone persists in this, I have to disagree.  Many people love playing the victim. 

    Quite frankly I tend to go with advice my mother gave me:

    "Life is too short to spend time chasing after people that don't love you when so many others do."
    Mundus vult decipi
    26 years is a long time, agreed. And yes you're right with this:

    'Many people love playing the victim'

    But dependent on various factors - duration of relationship, intensity of feelings etc - feeling like this after years is not that abnormal nor unusual (though often not admitted to by others) or necessarily indicative of dysfunction.

    And no, its not unique, people making testament of these things in secret, when their guard is down is actually very common. (Though I realise your angle here is more of the 'other people have to deal with these issues and do, your love is not that different, you can get over this too').

    But how many people who actually feel like this play the victim versus suffering in silence? I think the latter is more the norm - and then they go on sites like these and express their true feelings with the hope that others will be able to relate, through your comments it seems as though you don't and this is what I can't compute and can only assume you haven't lived it - "walk a mile in someone else's shoes" and all that!

    It's hardly an angle, people do and have loved unwisely throughout the ages - and will continue to, no matter how enlightened we are. Fact. I'm sure you have friends, colleagues and perhaps maybe even yourself at some stage has loved unwisely. If it were as easy as picking who you want to love and having them reciprocate the world would be a far less complicated, messy place, but human nature is not simplistic and at times we're prone to doing things and being with people who are just no good for us.

    Life is too short and while I agree entirely with the sentiment I still think its much easier said than done.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...through your comments it seems as though you don't and this is what I can't compute and can only assume you haven't lived it...
    Oh, it isn't a matter of having lived it.  It's a matter of perspective.  I know people that have experienced emotional traumas that they will NEVER get over.  There are true catastrophes and situations where an individual can suffer indefinitely.  That's one reason why I don't have much patience with people that are largely in control of their own circumstances indulging themsleves over what is ultimately a relatively simple state of affairs.

    In short, they don't know what real tragedy is.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    It's hardly an angle, people do and have loved unwisely throughout the ages - and will continue to, no matter how enlightened we are.
    It is an angle.  I doubt that you'd be that understanding listening to a 15-year old girl profess her undying love for a 40-year old man.  It's highly likely you'd tell her to "get over it".  There are numerous cases of where "love" is used as an argument that are significantly worse than that scenario.

    Unfortunately too many people use the term "love" to actually describe their own selfish motives to obtain what they think they want.  The woman that stays in a physically abusive situation may have a myriad number of reasons why she stays and can rationalize her behavior, but I don't accept the idea that it's because she's in "love".  This is even more true when she stays in a relationship in which her children are abused.

    I understand that some people may not be emotionally strong and find dealing with such situations difficult.  No quarrel.  However, let's not excuse it by calling it "love".

    Let's face it.  Change is uncomfortable and difficult, so we tend to gravitate to what's familiar.  More often than not, people stay in relationships because it's a known quantity and even if it's not particularly good, it's more comfortable than venturing off into something new or even being alone.

    Once again, these may be legitimate reasons, but they are not "love".

    In my own personal view, I don't even believe love is possible until one has established a longer term relationship with an individual and begins to experience a bonding that supercedes simple things like "looks", "money" or "having a good time".  This is precisely why 50% of the people that are "in love" end up hating each other within a few years and divorcing.  It's a sobering statistic to look at divorces and recognize that every one of those individuals  also felt that they had met their "soul-mate" and were "in love".  I suspect that if you eliminated other factors such as convenience and familiarity, the divorce rate would be even higher.

    Many people are drawn to what they can't have, so it's not surprising that such attitudes are often rationalized as a byproduct of "love".


    Mundus vult decipi
    Well we could sit here for days with you saying 'it's an angle' while I retort 'no it's not' ...so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree; I believe this to be a truth and evidence of my position can be found throughout the ages, in different forms - music, literature, poetry, buildings, all in the name of love and many not considered wise choices. Your counter argument to my evidence of love despite the complexity of dynamic between the people involved is reduced it to 'since it was a silly decision, it wasn't 'real' love' and believe you hold the answers to the 'real' definition. My position is that love takes many forms, is subjective and no-one can tell anyone else that they didn't have 'real' love because it doesn't meet a criteria. You're a 'love elitist!'

    As for the 15 year old, just because it's inappropriate doesn't diminish her feelings and doesn't mean it's not 'love'. Love is not a recipe - take 2 eggs, mix with flour, I like the taste, you like the taste, we took 10 years to beat the four and eggs together therefore we now 'love' each other - while those other people who added butter are less understanding of the 'true nature' of love.

    What experience have you had with women in abusive situations? Again - 'walk a mile'. I was involved with someone who was emotionally abusive and I am not a cowardly, irrational, security-seeking, unaccomplished woman. I had no ulterior motives, I simply and truly loved him. Well, I loved what I thought he was/who I fell in love with until the facade fell and I was left very confused - I had feelings of intense love but I didn't like him. Having never been in that situation before let me just say that the internal conflict was extreme - in psychological circles it's known as 'cognitive dissonance' much like the drug addict who knows his/her habit is bad but continues, regardless. I left him once I realised that who I loved and what he was were not one and the same but my love for him continued despite not being in contact with him and despite my not wanting to be in love with him.

    I learned that love can be very cruel and love is not (which I had once believed, like yourself) always straightforward and linear. Love can be deceptive and it can trick even those who don't consider themselves vulnerable to it's dark side. But without living it I can hardly judge you for judging the experiences of women who are with abused men, that they love.

    Of course, I think it harmful to stay and do not support women continuing in these circumstances but I understand , now that you can love and not like, love and not understand why you love and love despite your attempts to thwart your own feelings. But when you love, in that intense, 'in love' way, it is impossible to control. But I can also understand that have you not experienced that yourself it seems like something that only people who are simplistic or unable to regulate their emotions would become entangled with. To validate my point there are several studies which illustrate that when people are in love, the chemical profile of their brain and regions of their brain that become more active are akin to those who suffer from OCD. http://www.world-science.net/othernews/060120_lovefrm.htm that is but one link, albeit dated but I have read several others and it's a very interesting area of understanding that scientists are coming to know more about. Thus, for anyone who's been in that intoxicating type of love can attest to - you cannot control how you feel, you can only control how you act on those feelings.

    I'd agree with you about the change element of many people staying in relationships, 'convenient' is a word that springs to mind. Familiarity, comfort, companionship...but that doesn't mean everyone in a harmful situation - or a situation where the love is not requited - is using the relationship as a crutch or isn't in love.

    I don't agree that everyone of those people (or even the majority) that divorce believed they'd found 'the one', 'were soul-mates' or necessarily anything of the like...but I'm sure they attested to that with a varying degree of believability to others (the ones who accept things at face value versus those astute observers). They were probably uncertain, scared, perhaps pressured and many probably believed that it is what they 'should' do because the relationship 'should' progress to the next stage and perhaps felt that once married they'd feel differently. But that doesn't mean that even if they did divorce that they didn't love.

    Yes, things that we perceive we cannot have do appear to have a higher value and for some people that is how they experience love but does that diminish their perception of love because it doesn't equate with yours?

    http://www.truthaboutdeception.com/relationship-issues/love-styles.html

    Gerhard Adam
    So, you're basically arguing that humans not only lack "free will" [which I agree with], but they also lack the freedom to make choices.  Effectively you've argued that people cannot have moral responsibility for their choices, because you're claiming that their behavior is determined by "uncontrollable" forces.

    However, if we follow this argument, then we have to extend it to other emotions as well.  Why should we consider "love" to be the only emotion that is "uncontrollable".  How about hate? 

    So, your argument is that we are simply the hapless victims of our brain chemistry and there's no choices or action we can take to alleviate that situation.  OK ...
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Gerhard, I think you being a bit harsh to Anonymous who explained beautifully her interpretation of the many different ways that people can feel or not feel love and stay together or not stay together in both abusive and non-abusive, loving and non-loving relationships. She is saying that there are many recipes for love, with many ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, butter and you seem to be still insisting on a recipe for just batter. For some people once a beautiful cake has been baked and tasted it seems that it can never be forgotten or longed for, others can forget or bake a new cake which may not taste quite so good or may be better or they might just make pancakes or Yorkshire puddings (also made from batter) or maybe even settle for takaway fish in batter with chips. Funny how you don't believe in free will and yet you can't understand this.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    No.  The problem is if you want to allow such a range for one emotion, then potentially you have to do with for most [or all] of them [including things like hate].  If that occurs, then you are simply making an argument that humans are nothing more than compulsive individuals that are solely manipulated by their brain chemistry.  Any notion of rationality and choices goes out the window.

    We can't have it both ways.  We either have the ability to make choices and assume "moral responsibility" for the choices we make, or we are simply operating uncontrolled based on these emotions.  Consider that if loving is uncontrollable then why is hatred not just as uncontrollable?  If we excuse behaviors because people are "in love", then don't we also have to excuse behaviors for those that hate?

    There are certainly emotional traumas that people may never overcome, because the memories of those events are so thoroughly ingrained.

    However, let's remember this fundamental point.  If the argument is that love is uncontrollable, then the point is that people that stay together have NO choice in the matter.  They are acting under compulsion.  If they are not acting under compulsion and do have a choice, then it can't be argued that it is uncontrollable.  Love is not an excuse.  We stay with people out of the choices we make and not because our brain chemistry prevents us from doing anything else.

    I doubt that people would be nearly this understanding when they fully have to consider this line of reasoning.  If such love is an uncontrollable compulsion produced by brain chemistry, then is that something people are willing to concede when it comes to pedophiles?  How about those that oppose gay relationships?  After all, why should these orientations all be choices, while heterosexual relationships are compulsive?

    In addition, if we do agree that we don't have a choice in such orientations, and that even pedophiles don't have a choice in their feelings, I suspect we would also consider that they do have a choice in their actions.  Otherwise we would have to excuse the behavior of child molesters.  So, once again ... do we have the ability to make choices or are we acting under compulsion? 

    Note that this is NOT an argument in favor of free will, since that is a different issue.  Instead, the point here is about compulsion and the freedom to choose.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Hang on a minute, this is going all over the place. You are saying that the analogy of a recipe for love might also apply to hate but who longs for something that didn't taste good, unless they somehow enjoyed eating it? I suppose there are some people who somehow enjoyed a bitter cake recipe or a cake that made them ill and they hate someone that they can never forgive and/or forget, maybe they simply enjoy hating and would feel empty without that emotion. OK I agree that love and hate recipes can be similar and can seem to be uncontrollable for some people but I don't agree with what you said regarding:-
    However, let's remember this fundamental point.  If the argument is that love is uncontrollable, then the point is that people that stay together have NO choice in the matter.  They are acting under compulsion.  If they are not acting under compulsion and do have a choice, then it can't be argued that it is uncontrollable.  
    People always still have the choice to stay together or part even if they love or hate the other person. There is no compulsion to stay together or part based on love and hate but for some people it seems to be impossible or at least very difficult for them to stop loving or hating someone.


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Good.  If there's no compulsion to stay in a bad relationship, then when someone does, it is entirely a freely made choice.  The fact that they may rationalize it by claiming to be in "love" is largely irrelevant.  They might just as well argue that it's about looks or money.  It's just a rationalizing argument then.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Yes, I agree, there should be no compulsion to stay in a bad relationship but people are often scared to leave or have no self-confidence or financial resources to make the break. However, regardless of whether they have parted or not, some people just can't stop loving or hating someone, even if they want to and noone can force them to. 

    Counselling can help these people to move on, forgive and forget and explore their strengths and weaknesses, new and past coping strategies and happier options. New bitter or better cakes and cake recipes can also eventuate and sometimes just time alone can heal or fade memories. Pancakes, Yorkshire puddings and even battered fish and chips can even start tasting pretty good.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    True enough, but hopefully you can see now that there are a lot of psychological issues going on here that cannot just be simplistically reduced to being in "love".

    So, you've made my point, especially by including counseling, that you do consider this kind of behavior dysfunctional (at least a bit) and that some help is in order.
    ...noone can force them to.
    Of course not.  Just as the alcoholic or drug addict faces a daily battle to keep their addiction under control, we recognize that these things are diseases that require therapy and work to keep them from slipping back into such destructive habits.

    Once again, this makes my point, that it isn't love when it is something that is destructive and uncontrollable.  It is dysfunctional and requires help ... not some romantic rationalization that makes it seem desirable.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    noone can force them to. 
    Of course not.  Just as the alcoholic or drug addict faces a daily battle to keep their addiction under control, we recognize that these things are diseases that require therapy and work to keep them from slipping back into such destructive habits.
    Actually, the alcoholic and the drug addict often face a daily battle just trying to get enough of the alcohol and drugs that they often love above anyone and anything else in their lives. As I said before, not all addicts, including love and even hate addicts want to be cured or even see their addiction as a problem and until they do they will continue with that behavior. Other people might judge them as dysfunctional and requiring therapy for destructive habits but who are they to judge how someone chooses to live, love and hate in their lives? 
    hopefully you can see now that there are a lot of psychological issues going on here that cannot just be simplistically reduced to being in "love". ...Once again, this makes my point, that it isn't love when it is something that is destructive and uncontrollable.  It is dysfunctional and requires help ... not some romantic rationalization that makes it seem desirable.

    Well aren't there a lot of psychological issues going on for people in all walks of their lives? As Anonymous said earlier, love has many different forms and recipes for many different people. Even a tainted love is still a form of love.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Other people might judge them as dysfunctional and requiring therapy for destructive habits but who are they to judge how someone chooses to live, love and hate in their lives?
    We're who we are.  Just like I don't need to put up with junkies in my life, I don't need to put up with people that behave irrationally for other emotional reasons, including love. 

    After all, those are feelings too. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    That's true for you Gerhard but let's face it, you don't really have the profile of a typical love addict. What you have to realise is that for some of these heartbroken people they can never get over having experienced and even gorged upon the most amazing, fantastic, mouth watering, nut, fudge, double chocolate gateau with maybe cherries, strawberries, blueberries, caramel, liquor and double cream and they now believe that they will never experience anything like it ever again. They would rather spend the rest of their lives remembering and pining for the amazing taste and texture of that chocolate gateau than eat the doughnut or pancake being offered on the plate in front of them. 

    I agree that these people may be rather difficult to please and that other people might quite understandably not want to put up with them but does that automatically make them irrational? Not necessarily if they have consciously or even subconsciously made that choice to remain heartbroken rather than accept something less.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    However, let's remember this fundamental point. If the argument is that love is uncontrollable, then the point is that people that stay together have NO choice in the matter. They are acting under compulsion. If they are not acting under compulsion and do have a choice, then it can't be argued that it is uncontrollable. Love is not an excuse. We stay with people out of the choices we make and not because our brain chemistry prevents us from doing anything else.

    Again, I can attest that I think love is uncontrollable but that actions and decisions are not. So their feelings are compulsive but not necessarily their behaviour...which proves my earlier point, if we were simply monkeys who had no control we'd all be the 'dysfunctional stalkers' you suggest those who suffer for love are, or will turn into.

    When it comes to pedophiles its dysfunction but they're probably unable to help how they FEEL and in addition maladjusted (and of course this is my opinion, pedophilia was/is possibly considered okay by some people in some cultures and throughout different times)...if you want to be reductionistic about my comments then take this meaning from it - 'reality' (yours and mine) are subjective not definitive and that was my issue with your comments from the start. For the sake of sane argument though, of course pedophiles aren't excused for their BEHAVIOUR because they have URGES but can we chastise them for their urges?

    Gerhard Adam
    Consider this:

    Why do we call uncontrollable and irrational fear a phobia that potentially requires treatment, but when the same occurs in "love" we call it "true love"?
    Mundus vult decipi
    rholley
    So this thread has come alive again.

    Science looks for explanations and answers, but sometimes poetry and music is the best help:

    O my heart, ask not, where is love?
    It was a castle from the imagination, and collapsed.

    يا فؤادي لا تسال اين الهوى
    كان صرحا من خيال فهوى







    Umm Kulthum, widely regarded as the greatest female singer in Arab music history.




     
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    So, I suppose that means we should consider any action, regardless of how extreme, defensible by the "impossible to control" argument? After all, if it's an irresistable impulse, then people can't be held accountable for their actions. So you've advanced one argument against "moral responsibility" in humans.

    No. Again, my position is that one cannot necessarilycontrol how one FEELS, action as a consequence of feelings are not one and the same. So the woman that leaves the abusive situation DESPITE her feelings surely is not irrational...though her FEELINGS might well be. There's a difference.

    Isn't that a contradiction to argue that it's "love" and then use inappropriate? Either it has legitimacy or it doesn't. If it's not legitimate, then you can't excuse the behavior of those that use that as a rationalization. If it is legitimate you must excuse the behavior and allow that there is no such thing as "inappropriate" love.

    No. I believe her feelings to feel real to her but I believe it is inappropriate for that relationship to manifest into anything, there's the distinction. Sure she will get over it, like most people do after time - (and by time I mean the time that they need, not the time-frame deemed acceptable by other people).

    Unfortunately, the real problem is that people don't bother to define love and then they think that some short-term "feel good" brain chemistry absolutely must be it. It's foolish, but that's the way most people feel. If they stopped to analyze it for a moment, they'd realize that an actual feeling of love is much, much deeper and not prone to such emotional silliness. The love one feels for their children or parents. Those are the components that make for a long-term commitment.

    People gravitate towards developing a relationship with someone that enabled them to feel that way because the occurrence of it (well, typically) is a rarity, that's why people deduce that it 'absolutely must be it'. I think the love you speak of (parent/child) is an attachment-style love and most people hope to/tend to navigate towards the attachment phase as a consequence of the initial phase. Without the initial phase to kick-start the process is it not just a friendship with benefits scenario that then evolves into a more enduring attachment? I think most people in that scenario would feel as though 'something' intangible was missing. People yearn to have their hearts pound, their legs turn to jelly, their minds fixated on their interest and not because they're emotionally silly but because it's euphoric and so rare.

    So, what was the basis for getting married? Are you saying they weren't really in love? Are you arguing that these people felt comfortable committing themselves in a ceremony and pledging themselves to each other ... as just a gesture because they didn't know what else to do?

    Security, comfort, the hope that the way they feel will change, their wanting to be in line with what society expects for them. Many varied reasons. Of course I am not speaking for every divorcee but to believe that everyone who marries (or nearly everyone) does so because they really believe deep down that they've found 'the one' I believe to be a fallacy. People are adept at lying, especially to themselves, because they want the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow: happiness.

    Well, that's where we disagree, because I happen to think that all "love" is real [as far as it goes], but it's the irrational attachment we place on it that makes it emotionally traumatic. Consequently, I do believe the 15 year old girl is "in love". I just don't care that she is, and my position is that she'll get over it. Why? Because contrary to the mythology, "love" is not an irresistable impulse, and humans are not simply slaves to their brain chemistry. Even without an argument for "free will", one can see that humans are responsible for the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs they place into their brains, and consequently, they can also control the parameters that define the choices they are capable of making.

    No we're not slaves in terms of actions but I think when faced with heart-pounding, jelly legs, inability to speak love we're often enslaved to our emotions caused by our brain chemistry.

    Well free will is another argument all together and it depends on what you believe here as to whether humans are responsible or its preordained. I personally believe in free will however neither of us can actually be certain of this despite feeling powerful pretending our conviction makes it so!

    Gerhard Adam
    OK, so you've separated feelings from actions.  I agree that feelings aren't necessarily easy to control, but then when you argue that someone stays with someone because they're in "love", then you're arguing that they have made the choice to stay and love is the rationalization.

    I don't have a problem with that, but you see, now it changes the dynamic.  In other words, if someone stays in a bad relationship, it is because they chose too.  Anything else, is simply a rationalizing argument.  Their feelings don't dictate their actions, so whatever they choose to do is of their own volition.
    I personally believe in free will...
    Well, I won't get into that, but you clearly don't.  To consider "free will", then you would have to conclude that all your feelings are also an act of will, and that contradicts what you've already expressed.  We cannot have "free will" and then claim that we aren't responsible for what we feel.  Under the "free will" argument, even sadness and depression are intentional acts, since the "freedom of will" argues that you are experiencing those feelings because of choice, since you have the freedom to choose otherwise.
    ...I think when faced with heart-pounding, jelly legs, inability to speak love we're often enslaved to our emotions caused by our brain chemistry.
    Yeah, I get that.  However, that's no different that the argument used by junkies as the reason they shoot up.  I recognize it as a human trait. 

    You did fail to address why love should be unique among emotions in how we consider it.  As I mentioned elsewhere, it seems that if you're willing to concede that love is so uncontrollable, then so must hate and all the others.

    I suppose it doesn't present much of a problem if you separate the feeling from the action.  But if you do that, then it doesn't mean much except argue that love is a purely psychological phenomenon which you can eventually get over, in the same way one might conquer a phobia.
    Mundus vult decipi
    For some reason when I'm using HTML it's not referencing your earlier contributions...

    Regardless...

    You're making a lot of assumptions and I think this is indicative of your seemingly reductionist approach to life i.e. this + that = Y...when you're just using cliched definitions of 'Y' rather than bothering to question whether I actually think Y.

    Le me illustrate:

    "When you argue that someone stays with someone because they're in "love", then you're arguing that they have made the choice to stay and love is the rationalization. In other words, if someone stays in a bad relationship, it is because they chose too. Anything else, is simply a rationalizing argument. Their feelings don't dictate their actions, so whatever they choose to do is of their own volition."

    Of course in REALITY they have a choice when it comes to their actions (though often they don't see it nor do they FEEL that way) my argument is centered on the fact that people OFTEN don't have a choice when it comes to how they FEEL/struggle to deal with the way they feel despite an analysis of their situation and consequently getting over a relationship can be incredibly difficult if not for some people, impossible. Is that dysfunctional? That is entirely dependent on perspective.

    So, for someone in love with someone who (for the sake of this argument) is bad for them and they stay, they're making the choice to stay because the love they feel for this person overrides their logical analysis of the situation. They are lead by their feelings which of course you can choose to label as 'irrational' though again that's dependent on whether you consider the choices people make based on feelings to be of less value than those made by logical analysis.

    Again, here I just think you're rolling with preconceived cliches and black and white constructs:

    "Well, I won't get into that, but you clearly don't. To consider "free will", then you would have to conclude that all your feelings are also an act of will, and that contradicts what you've already expressed. We cannot have "free will" and then claim that we aren't responsible for what we feel. Under the "free will" argument, even sadness and depression are intentional acts, since the "freedom of will" argues that you are experiencing those feelings because of choice, since you have the freedom to choose otherwise."

    Who says that you cannot have 'free will' when it comes to decision making but that chance and feelings still play a role in the outcome of your life and situations? That although the majority of the time conscious choices determine your fate, while on other occasions, outcomes are are not under your 'will' but rather random occurrences? I guess then to for the purpose of having to be concrete about my definition - for fear of you labeling my suggestions 'nebulous' (heaven forbid things aren't cut and dried!) - I guess I believe in free will 'kinda'.

    With regards to other emotions, again, this is your need for everything to be 'neat and tidy' and straightforward, why is it that if I consider love to be an exception this is not 'allowed' by your 'law'? The two can co-exist and let me explain my position so that you are more comfortable with my position.

    Procreation is the driving force of our species. To love is to start the process of what biology hopes will be the continuation of our kind. Other emotions can be difficult to regulate, sure and dependent on circumstances one can very well be at the mercy of an emotion like hate - people who are abused by their parents I'm sure suffer severe cognitive dissonance - "It's my mother/father and they've abused me...but yet I still love them". "I hate my father for x but I WISH I didn't". "I feel guilt for hating my sister for what she did to me but she was abusive towards me". I'm certain millions of people the world over do struggle with emotions of differing kinds they cannot regulate but needn't necessarily act on.

    And, furthermore, I never said one couldn't eventually get over, you jumped to that conclusion, my position from the outset was that I didn't necessarily believe that not getting over it in the time you deemed appropriate made people dysfunctional and nor did I think that those lovelorn souls would end up stalkers...all the rest are conclusions you've conjured up based on your dislike of my opposition to your hard and fast rules.

    Gerhard Adam
    I already mentioned previously that I corrected the point that stalking was an inevitable outcome.  I merely argued that it was rationalized by those that felt they were in "love", but not that all those that felt that way would end up as stalkers.

    As for "hard and fast" rules .... it seems that you don't have a problem with these "rules" just so long as they aren't applied to "love" which you seem to regard as a favored emotion.  If it were in any other emotion, you'd likely agree with my assessment.  As a result, what you view as being reductionistic, is merely the application of the same reasoning to "love".

    Mundus vult decipi
    Yes you did correct your initial post, I wasn't reiterating that this is what you thought (still) merely outlining that this is why we are embroiled in this discussion - because I disagreed with your labels.

    Well I do believe that love is different from other emotions because it has such a profound effect on our lives - individually and collectively. What other emotion increases the population? Causes people to do things they wouldn't normally do? Can render them unable to speak coherently? What other emotion makes people feel that alive, connected, important, special, vulnerable, euphoric?

    People kill for love, die for love, live for love, sacrifice for love, yearn for love....but of course it would be silly of me to suggest that these things are a result of 'love', rather as you suggest I should consider it pathological...heaven forbid that although we are RESPONSIBLE for our deeds and MOSTLY able to control our ACTIONS despite our FEELINGS, sometimes, our feelings do get the better of us and we act out accordingly. If I were to practice reductionism in-kind I could argue that your reasoning is akin to the suggestion that killing due to intense feelings of hatred for someone wasn't really 'hatred'!

    Theorising about love totally differs to experiencing it with all its joys and potential pitfalls and what it can do 'for' you and 'to' you emotionally.

    I thought these line particularly fitting, overall:

    "Emotional experiences are dynamic".

    "A rational person knows that under certain conditions it is better to follow emotional tendencies than to use more elaborate intellectual processes."

    Having both elements (emotion and logic) working in harmony is obviously the most beneficial outcome yet they don't always happen in tandem and to deny either - or place one above the other - suggests a void in understanding and I think the below sums this up nicely.

    "Our heart indeed has a mind of its own; we should listen to it, as it often expresses our profound attitudes, but we should not always follow it without regard for rational considerations, because the intellectual mind is equally important. If we can learn to integrate the two systems, we will have the best of both worlds."

    Here's some literature to broaden the horizons..

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201201/my-heart-has...

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200804/hating-the-o...

    Hank
    Here's some literature to broaden the horizons..
    Psychology Today is science 'literature'. huh? WOOOOT!
    Haha well, you could hardly say that the topic of discussion or post was particularly 'scientific' now could you!

    Furthermore hence the reason I suggested that the horizons were 'broadened'.. :)

    Hank
    Yep, that's what makes articles like these fun to discuss. Anyone can participate, since social psychology is mostly made up.
    Gerhard Adam
    If I were to practice reductionism in-kind I could argue that your reasoning is akin to the suggestion that killing due to intense feelings of hatred for someone wasn't really 'hatred'!
    Well, you have differentiated between feelings and actions, so I would say that people have killed just as readily for "love" as they have for "hate".
    ...Causes people to do things they wouldn't normally do? Can render them unable to speak coherently? What other emotion makes people feel that alive, connected, important, special, vulnerable, euphoric?
    I won't quibble about your increasing population statement, but for these others ... pick any emotion and in the extreme it will do all these things.  These elements could apply just as readily to hate or phobias.  However, your last statement about feeling "alive, connected, etc" is problematic, because the issue is the these positive elements are missing when a relationship ends.  Therefore, you can't clam that these are the result of "love", since it is the misery of the ended relationship that will dominate what an individual feels.

    I get that you think love is a positive emotion and produces positive results.  My point is that love is no different than any other emotion.  In the extreme they all tend to be dysfunctional and they invariably make you miserable.  That's how you can identify when it isn't normal.

    NOTE:  I do realize that all emotions also have a settling period where one has to come to terms with them, so I realize that there can be emotional trauma that takes some time to get over.  I also have mentioned that there could be traumas severe enough to where you can never get over them because some memories may be too difficult to forget and therefore render the accompanying emotions more difficult to control.
    -------------------------------
    Regarding the article about hate, I find that they have completely missed the point [at least the way I see it].  It isn't that hate and love for the same object are contradictory.  In fact, it strongly suggests that they are directed at too different objects. 

    Take this example from the article.  "
    A woman may say that she dearly loves her partner in general but hates him because he of his dishonesty."  My interpretation says that she is "in love" with the idealized mental image of her partner, and she "hates" the real individual that is her partner.  They are two separate objects and consequently can be the targets of two different emotions.  That's part of the problem I keep coming back to, because people tend to "love" their idealized image more than the real person.  This is what produces the difficulties in many people.
    ---------------------------------
    I found the other article segregating emotional from intellectual reasoning to be a bit convoluted.  One cannot separate emotion from intelligent reasoning, because that's precisely what makes us intelligent.  They aren't two separate tracks.  This is precisely why I am arguing that people that don't bring their emotions under control are indulging themselves.  It should be clear that people have other things in their lives besides "love" or even "hate".  They have other people to contend with and other responsibilities.  Therefore they can clearly control their emotions when it suits them or when its required.  After all, failure to do so would be recognized by everyone as a problem and likely dysfunctional.

    I fully understand that a severe emotional trauma can be difficult to deal with.  Memories may serve as a constant reminder and make it problematic to put something out of your mind.  However, the reverse is also true.  People can persist in focusing on those memories precisely because they don't want to let go.  They have made a choice to indulge themselves in their misery, because they truly don't want to face the reality that it is over.  After all, to "get over it", means acknowledging that the relationship can't be revived. 

    It isn't a matter of being "cold-hearted" or being "coldly logical".  It's of immense practical importance.  Just imagine instead of a breakup, you lost your partner due to death or accident?  Does anyone really think that it's a reasonable argument to claim that this individual's life is essentially over too?   Perhaps one can make that argument for older individuals, but I would expect that for someone that is relatively young, that would be viewed as an inappropriate choice.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Agreed and with that one must also conclude that the anecdotal experiences of people who consider themselves in 'love' and 'can't help it' needn't necessarily mean they're dysfunctional or have an underlying pathology but rather that their experiences are unique to them, subjective and as equally valid as someone whose experiences have differed.

    Gerhard is obsessed with this topic and has narcissistically made this whole conversation about Gerhard. Yet nothing Gerhard writes is interesting. Gerhard is boring.

    nothing Gerhard writes is interesting. Gerhard is boring.
    You think his comments here are boring? You should read him on other topics!

    Every time he wades into a thread I nip out and buy another tin of paint...

    Oh yes! Gerhard is boring. Very boring. BORING CITY. And you know why Gerhard is so mind-numbingly boring? Because he tries to inject a little common-sense into a topic! You know, like pointing out the obvious - the obvious that drives a 20 ton truck through the emotional wallowing and the mystical woo-woo. And he often resorts to facts. Facts are even more boring than common-sense and Gerhard is full of them.
     
    In fairness to Gerhard, sometimes he is a bit more interesting as he is not afraid to "go all over the place" in support of his arguments - I hope I am using your technical jargon correctly, Helen.  And he's positively entertaining when he's wrong. Do you remember the time he annoyed the biology community by coming up with a three-line proof of Fermat's Last theorem, based on some research about diazo-thiol polymerization rates, purely to defend his claim that maths is limited by human neurophysiology? Oh yes, Mr Adams will lead you on a merry caper if you let him. 
     
    Hmm... I'm just wondering whether I've mis-remembered the incident with Fermat and the diazo-thiols. That may have been me, not Gerhard. Never mind, he's still as dull as ditchwater when he's got something to say.
     
    Gerhard - no offence, mate, just try to keep facts and common-sense out of your posts and you'll do fine.
     
    Hank
    He's not boring, he awesome.  We even wrote a Science 2.0 song about him.

    "Gerhard is nimble and fast on his toes/
    Our re-SPECT for Gerhard continually grows."

    There's a dance too but, like the Jitterbug, it is hard to describe.

    Gerhard Adam
    LOL ... with you two as character "witnesses", undoubtedly the Science20 community will get a chance to witness some characters ... Well played and quite unexpected ... :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Well I don't think you are at all boring Gerhard, I don't know what they're talking about, you are always interesting to me, unless you start talking about rote learning being good for creativity, then you are just plain WRONG!
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    ...unless you start talking about rote learning being good for creativity...
    You had to bring it up.  Well instead of hijacking this thread, perhaps an article is in order.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    An article written by who, you or me?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    No need to wait for me.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I'm too busy researching female genital mutilation and colony collapse disorder in bees at present with what little spare time I have available between crisis counselling calls and cleaning houses (not the happiest life in the world) so you do it and I'll comment, unless you don't want me to in which case I won't :)
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Don't be such a wimp.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Attention seeking housewife maybe, a wimp which is 'a cowardly or unadventurous individual', I don't think so!
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    rholley
    I often wondered why Acorn Computers spoke of their system as a WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer).  Didn’t they know that would lower their street cred?
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Shame on you, St Gerhard! You can be decannonized you know.
    Gerhard Adam
    In less than 24 hours?  How quickly they forget.
    Mundus vult decipi
    rholley
    Things are not quite so simple, Derek.  As Heinz Erhardt observed:

    Das Schloß

    Papst Paul war gestorben vor vierhundert Jahren
    und ist dann, wie üblich, gen Himmel gefahren.
    Und als er dort oben gut angekommen,
    da hat er den güldenen Schlüssel genommen.
    Es ist ja bekannt, daß früher und itzt
    jeder Papst einen Schlüssel zum Himmel besitzt.
    Doch siehe, der Schlüssel, der wollte nicht passen.
    Der Petrus hat trotzdem ihn eintreten lassen
    und sprach (sein Antlitz war bartumrändert):
    „Der Luther hat nämlich das Schloß verändert...!“


    The Key

    Pope Paul (IV) died four hundred years ago
    and then, as usual, went to heaven.
    And when he was well up there,
    he took the golden key.
    It is well known in old times and now
    That every pope has a key to heaven.
    But see, the key did not fit.
    But Peter let him come in anyway
    and said (his face was beard-encircled):
    " Luther, namely, has changed the lock ...!"
     
     
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England