Re: Memento

1

I need more detail--if it is inattention, then you ought to see patterns in her memory. There is something she is paying attention to, something she is interested in, and she will be remembering that.

If there is nothing she is paying attention to ever, I suppose that rises to the level of a neurological condition right there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:09 AM
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Sounds ideal! My wife remembers EVERYTHING.


Posted by: Opinionated 1950s Standup | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:11 AM
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1: Would that affect whether or not he should propose?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:16 AM
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Propose away. She won't remember anyway so he can always change his mind.

But seriously, if it rises to the level of having to see neurologists it's a serious problem whatever their findings and if he has to ask if it's going to drive him crazy, it probably already is.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:19 AM
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Wasn't this issue analyzed extensively in the Adam Sandler vehicle Fifty First Dates? Actually I can't really remember what that movie was about so something meta-joke what something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:22 AM
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Yes, it will drive him crazy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:24 AM
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7

Either it's a neurological issue, in which case it will require serious effort on his part to get used to - the kind of thing I used to see in my grandparents, when my grandfather's memory started to go.
Or she just isn't interested in what he's saying.

Either way, bit of a barrier, I would say.

Also, 4.1!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:31 AM
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4:1 is the obvious solution.

Is it a coastal vs central Texas cultural difference that makes me think that 1 year is not at all an obvious "propose or move on" time frame?

I guess it depends on the ages of the people involved.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:34 AM
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To what extent are people accurately able to predict what will drive them crazy once they're married? It seems like a subject ripe for revisionist history.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:35 AM
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8: They're on the coast, actually. I think it's more a function of them being in their mid-thirties, and cognizant of the biological constraints of child-bearing years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:36 AM
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||

I need to retire these pants, because all morning I've just been sitting here, out of breath and with my heart beating fast, and it's gotten really uncomfortable/old.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:38 AM
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Everyone: Pants off!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:40 AM
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I am frequently told I have an amazing memory and frequently told I have an astonishingly poor memory, because I pay a lot of attention to things like who sang what song and almost no attention to things like what direction I drove to get to a certain location or what my phone number is.

If woman is like me, the question for the boyfriend is whether he can sympathize with or tolerate her priorities. Of particular importance is whether she keeps forgetting things about him, their relationship, and their plans together.

If the issue is neurological, the question is how treatable it is, what goes into the treatment, or alternately, how good the boyfriend is at classifying things as "shit you can't do anythign about so don't stress over it."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:41 AM
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I wouldn't really sweat this problem, since people's memory just tends to get better and better as they age.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:42 AM
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if he has to ask if it's going to drive him crazy, it probably already is

This was my first thought.

Also, since it's enough of an acknowledged thing that she's had it checked out by doctors, is this something the two of them have discussed? Does it actively bother her? Does she have particular coping strategies to deal with it? Or is she just going blithely along forgetting things, and then the people around her have to deal with it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:42 AM
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11: Is that your pants, or are you going into labor?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:43 AM
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I've just been sitting here, out of breath and with my heart beating fast

Don't worry, heebie. I often have that effect on the young ladies. I'll try to turn down the sex appeal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:43 AM
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Another source of memory problems: forgetting uncomfortable facts. Some people are really good at this. Is that what she is doing? Is she uncomfortable with the same things he is?

In other news, I'm having trouble getting back into the swing of the working week.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:45 AM
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Hella pedantically, anterograde amnesia (the thing from Memento) isn't actually a problem with short term memory; it's a problem with integrating experiences (which are more or less stored in short-term memory) into episodic memory. A problem with remembering exclusively conversations sounds like something else weird; does she have trouble remembering other things, like events? Does she have trouble remembering conversations with other people? She might just not be paying that much attention to him, or maybe she doesn't hear very well, or maybe she's blackout drunk the whole time she's around him and just super good at hiding it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:48 AM
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Or maybe she does a ton of benzodiazepines.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:48 AM
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11: Is that your pants, or are you going into labor?

Worst pick-up line ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:49 AM
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If she really does have a problem integrating memories than she might be extra-susceptible to false memories, which could be useful for him. Maybe instead of proposing he should remind her that he already proposed and prompt her until she starts filling in details herself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:53 AM
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My ability to remember casual conversations, including with loved ones, is bad enough that my wife could write a description comparable to the OP with only mild hyperbole. On the other hand, I have comparatively good recall for passages from books I read years ago or obscure trivia. I don't experience this as differences in how "interested" I am, it's just how my memory works (and always has). For self-interested reasons, I'd resist describing it as a character flaw. I guess it could be something neurological.

Of course if the particular way that this woman fails to remember conversations is going to drive this man crazy then that's a compatibility issue, but I'm not sure it's an issue that can be addressed on the basis of objective criteria.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:55 AM
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If it's like Memento, he would get to spit into her drinks with impunity, so there's that. But yeah, it's going to drive him crazy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:56 AM
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25

It is unclear exactly what her problem is but most of the alternatives seem bad just in different ways.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:57 AM
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26

I guess it could be something neurological.

This is also totally pedantic, but of course it's neurological. It has to do with the operation of the brain, right? It's just a question of whether it's pathological or not.

Anyhow I as well am not very good at remembering conversations. And I'm terrible at remembering people's names.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:00 AM
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Of course if the particular way that this woman fails to remember conversations is going to drive this man crazy then that's a compatibility issue, but I'm not sure it's an issue that can be addressed on the basis of objective criteria.

None of the comment threads here ever have policy implications, for the record. We're all just making shit up about what'd we'd do in a situation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:01 AM
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I may have gotten things backwards in 22; she may be extra insusceptible to false memories. I forget. Anyhow, he should experiment on her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:02 AM
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29

I remember reading about a study about people susceptible to false memories, and the group they sampled were people claiming to have been abducted by aliens, which struck me as hilariously insulting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:03 AM
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To what extent are people accurately able to predict what will drive them crazy once they're married? It seems like a subject ripe for revisionist history.

"When I proposed to you, you were all about the slavery. Now it's states' rights this, states' rights that."



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:07 AM
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26: Fair enough. Now we just need a working definition of "pathological." Not my field, of course, but that one seems like it should be pretty easy to hash out, right?

27: Also fair enough.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:08 AM
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29: That study never happened.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:08 AM
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Actually, I want to stick with neurological, rather than pathetical, with the caveat that what I mean by "neurological" is "caused by something whose physical correlate we can characterize well with existing brain science." I'm not a Cartesian dualist, and I don't think this represents a metaphysical divide. I do think it is something we can characterize well enough relative to the current state of knowledge, though.

"Pathological" on the other hand, involves all sorts of value judgments that would just wind up begging the question here. In general use of the work "pathological" is often a value judgment masquerading as an empirical judgment.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:09 AM
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34

Either it's already driving him crazy, or he doesn't want to propose and he's seizing on something that sounds more reasonable than "I like her well enough but I don't want to propose." Either way, not rushing forward just because of a perceived timetable seems to be smart.

11: Sure it's the pants, and not a blood sugar crash, she says, having nearly passed out in her office after having a sugar cookie last week?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:10 AM
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||
29: Why this is a very loose tangent rather than a complete non sequitur will only be apparent to others who have read the book, but I just finished MiƩville's Embassytown, and oh man was I fascinated by that book.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:11 AM
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"caused by something whose physical correlate we can characterize well with existing brain science."

What would that physical correlate be, in this case? Like, it's neurological if she has a brain lesion?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:13 AM
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37

Why is somebody posting as my unborn child? I don't think my unborn child is reading newish sci-fi yet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:13 AM
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38

Oh hey I must have imagined that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:14 AM
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39

38" "Pathetical" or "neurological"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:15 AM
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" is the new:, neurologically speaking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:16 AM
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Anyhow, 36 continued: is the folk meaning of "neurological" "caused by known neuropathology"? I guess I could believe that's the case, but it really seems likely to confuse things. Could we say "neurological disorder" rather than just using "neurological"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:16 AM
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42

Memory problems, Tweety?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:17 AM
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43

I believe in giving challenging reading material to pretty young kids, but Mieville is totally not age-appropriate for a fetus.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:17 AM
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42: once as a little kid I was lost at the mall and Zardoz was there and then I hit it with my lightsaber and actually Zardoz was (half) me!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:18 AM
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45

Relevant and interesting work.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:19 AM
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46

Of course it will drive him insane, and may be a sign of a much bigger problem, an ease with arguing in bad faith, which will certainly make him hate life for awhile.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:19 AM
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Sure it's the pants, and not a blood sugar crash, she says, having nearly passed out in her office after having a sugar cookie last week?

There is actually a bowl of delicious old Valentine's candy by the coffee stand. I hadn't made that connection.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:20 AM
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48

What would that physical correlate be, in this case? Like, it's neurological if she has a brain lesion?

I was more thinking that it is neurological if the most promising route of treatment is mostly physical or chemical. Whereas it is psychological if the treatment is basically going to be some sort of CBT or maybe just family counseling.

These folk categories are generally pragmatic. They are about how to deal with things.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:20 AM
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49

But the pants do have a very tight elastic band at the top of the extend-o-panel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:25 AM
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50

Maternity pants suck.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:28 AM
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48: er but I think the likely most promising treatment if somebody had a stroke and lost most of their temporal lobe is going to be something similar to CBT. So that's a psychological problem?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:28 AM
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52

God do they ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:28 AM
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53

Whether the problem arises in arguments and is a source of debate as to who said what -- that is, whether she admits to the problem -- is probably a relevant consideration.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:34 AM
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Whether the problem arises in arguments and is a source of debate as to who said what -- that is, whether she admits to the problem -- is probably a relevant consideration.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:34 AM
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55

a thousand pardons for double penetration.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:34 AM
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56

maybe she's blackout drunk the whole time

Speaking of drunk, NMM to Mindy McCready's dog.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:43 AM
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57

Would drive me insane.

I am frequently told I have an amazing memory and frequently told I have an astonishingly poor memory, because I pay a lot of attention to things like who sang what song and almost no attention to things like what direction I drove to get to a certain location or what my phone number is.

That's basically me. I think it's basically a lot of people. Remembering stuff we find intrinsically interesting, or stuff we consciously attend to wel, and forgetting other stuff.

If I consciously attend to stuff, my memory is good. I tested it a while back as I was worrying I'd lost my edge after graduate school as I didn't seem to have a grasp on certain things the way I was used to. It was fine; way up in the thin part of the bell curve if the book I was reading was to be believed. The real explanation was probably trying to do to many things at once, many of which deep down I don't give a shit about, but other people pay me to give the appearance of giving a shit about.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:46 AM
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51: Hmm, I might have reached a dead end in my reasoning here.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:48 AM
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41: I think the fashion now in philosophy of mind is to use 'neurology' for the branch of medicine and 'neuroscience' for the branch of biology. This doesn't seem like ideal usage to me, partly because 'neuroscience' is a half-Latin half-Greek word. How's the terminology in your field?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:48 AM
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||
After kinda sorta ratifying and losing the paperwork in 1995, Mississippi has finally officially ratified the 13th.
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/mississippi-ratifies-slavery-ban-after-lincoln
|>


Posted by: Ham-Love | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:50 AM
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57 could be me as well. The McCready story is incredibly depressing.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:51 AM
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62

Just took some scissors and snipped the fucking waistband in a few spots. Whew.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:54 AM
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63

59 last. I'd answer that but I'm too busy watching television.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:58 AM
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The McCready story is incredibly depressing.

Yeah.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:59 AM
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59: yeah, that's about the usage with which I'm familiar. The distinction between psychopathology and neuropathology is less clear to me (and brief googling suggests it might not be that clear to anybody else) but might break down along lines somewhat similar to those rob suggests (where neuropathologies have specific, known etiologies and are treated by neurologists). But as far as I can tell cognitive neuroscience is in the process of eating experimental psychology so who knows how things will be in ten years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:04 AM
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Somehow, I'd never heard of McCready before this week. Or rather, I'd heard the name and vaguely knew she was some sort of celebrity, but not for what. Now that I've read an obituary, I can't quite figure out how somebody in the news that often flew under my radar altogether.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:07 AM
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60: Yay Mississippi! One step at a time! We knew you could do it!


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:10 AM
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Actually, I think the way the folk category "neurological" works is just that if you can tie a problem in some way to the physical--either by a physical cause or a physical or chemical course of treatment--that licenses medicalizing it. I want to hang on to this category for rough and ready purposes because there are plenty of things that resist medicalization precisely because we don't have a tie to the physical at either end. And for these problems we have to resort to the old language of praise-and-blame virtue thinking, harsh as it is.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:11 AM
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Something like 80% of marriages between deaf and hearing people end in divorce. Not that this guys situation is the same, but I am pretty sure that efforts made to communicate naturaly drop during marriage and his problem will only get worse.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:16 AM
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63: You sociopath!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:16 AM
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68: I really am not sure I understand where you're coming from. I mean, there are chemical courses of treatment that are wildly effective against sleepiness, but that doesn't mean that sleepiness is neurological and (say) inability to immediately grasp jokes about Wittgenstein is not.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:18 AM
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Somehow, I'd never heard of McCready before this week just now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:26 AM
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@68, 71

So are we approaching a consensus for frontal lobotomy?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:32 AM
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72. I woke up this morning and there she was, whoever she was, all over the British media. I'm still no clearer as to why.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:36 AM
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Put me down as another person who had never heard of McCready* before this thread. Who is he/she?

*Unless, of course, you're referring to Kurt Russel's character in The Thing.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:41 AM
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76

Why do people act as if they don't have access to search engineS?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:45 AM
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77

77: I don't know.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:47 AM
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78

77 is really deep.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:49 AM
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79

Apparently she's a country music singer. That probably explains why I never heard of her.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:52 AM
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71: Actually I'm happy with both those examples. Sleep issues are basically a brain thing in a way that understanding Wittgenstein jokes is not, given the current state of our understanding.

Although having articulated the distinction, I'm not sure how it helps us with this poor boy and his forgetful girlfriend.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:54 AM
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@76

My level of interest in this person is not high enough to bother with searching for information, but just barely high enough to read what an unfogged commenter has to say about him/her.

77 is probably a better answer.


Posted by: AcedemicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:54 AM
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Apparently she's a country music singer.

Who dated a baseball player and was on a reality TV show. If you don't follow at least one of those three, you just aren't American.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:55 AM
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83

Sleep issues are basically a brain thing in a way that understanding Wittgenstein jokes is not, given the current state of our understanding.

Dude, what does this mean?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:56 AM
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Also, is a "brain thing" like a "bean thing", and if so, how many does urple have in his refrigerator? Also also, where is urple lately?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:57 AM
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85

Who dated a baseball player

...and Superman. Also was in and out of hospitals and jails several times, so was apparently a tabloid staple.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:01 AM
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83: OK, you win, they are both physics things.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:07 AM
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87

I don't see a dealbreaker to the marriage here. The particular issue is not the issue. The generalized issue is, can I marry someone who I know has a flaw? Yes, of course you can. It's quite possible to marry someone whose flaws are not apparent until after the marriage, but not possible to marry someone who has no flaws.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:09 AM
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88

I don't understand how 87 is informative at all. Of course the person you marry will have flaws. If you don't realize that, you are a fucking idiot. That doesn't mean that all flaws are equal, in terms of things that will make the marriage work or not work.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:12 AM
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I went to the neurologist because I wasn't understanding Wittgenstein jokes, and he told that humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:19 AM
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90

Put me on team "I have no idea what you're getting at with a psychological/neurological distinction."

I do think "has a known treatment" is a reasonable class to separate out in a lot of situations, but in this one probably not really because the complaint isn't "she keeps going off her memory meds" or whatever.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:23 AM
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88: We aren't given sufficient informaiton to conclude that this particular flaw is sufficiently problematic to destroy a marriage, so we're only considering this flaw makes the marriage better or worse than one where the parties are not aware of any flaws in each other. My view is that the absence of perceived flaws is a bigger red flag than any particular known flaw.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:26 AM
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I'm inclined to say that, as a general rule, if someone is unsure about whether to propose and has a specific major reservation, that person should not propose. Using this particular case, he can't get married with the idea that once they are married they can figure out how to deal with the fact that she's a blackout drunk with heavy benzo use got short-term memory issues. Figure out how you are going to deal with that before making a major commitment.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:43 AM
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93

A more important factor than the fact that she has a lousy memory would be how she deals with having a lousy memory. Does she write important things down, knowing that she won't remember them otherwise, or have other comparable strategies for dealing with her memory issues? Or are her memory issues a constant source of frustration for her? Or does she take the attitude that "This is how I am. People should just learn to deal with it."?

Everybody has flaws. But not everybody is good at dealing with their own particular flaws, or those of their partners.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:48 AM
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94

I'm interested in the question from #9, as a more general discussion point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:53 AM
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95

On rereading the thread, I see that 93 was totally pwned by 15.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:58 AM
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93 (15): If he finds a photo of himself with "Don't believe his lies" written on it, probably don't get engaged.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:04 PM
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9/94: To what extent are people accurately able to predict what will drive them crazy once they're married? It seems like a subject ripe for revisionist history.

The challenge is that you'd have to ask yourself not only, "Will Behavior X drive me crazy over the next n years?" but also, "Which endearing quirks or behavioral traits which don't even register today will drive me crazy n years from now?"


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:29 PM
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98

Two old friends of mine (about my age) who are a couple are currently coping with a situation where one of them has developed short-term memory loss/anterograde amnesia over the last several years (I'm not actually sure of all the symptoms or its classification (not early onset Alzheimer's)--the manifestation I most notice* is the need for continual reminders of current task or objective). It is testable, repeatable and very noticeable to any observer paying attention. It is definitely a sad thing, and a huge thing. The non-impaired partner exhibits the patience of a saint, but sort of has to for things to even function at all.

*They live several states away, so only see them sporadically.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:31 PM
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99

But also: do people pick the entirely wrong traits to fret about? The things I was worried about with Jammies were false positives and have not panned out. (Different things annoy me, of course. Just not the ones I would have guessed.)

OTOH, I think Jammies anticipated entirely correctly which habits of mine would drive him nuts. I'm slowly improving.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:33 PM
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100

"Which endearing quirks or behavioral traits which don't even register today will drive me crazy n years from now?"

There exists an N such that for n>N the answer is "all of them".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:33 PM
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101

I'm curious how you go about developing an apparently serious relationship if one partner can't remember the couple's conversations. Is this something that developed after they'd been together for awhile?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:34 PM
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99.last: I'm slowly improving.

Next time you marry you'll totally nail which habits will annoy you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:35 PM
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98: I think I've mentioned here that my friend has a 50% chance of getting early onset Alzheimer's. I'm friendly with her parents, one of whom has it, and the situation is pretty significantly different than what the bulk of their marriage was like. (That kind of caretaker situation is obviously very different than entering into a marriage with the problem existing ahead of time.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:35 PM
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100 could be called "Emerson's Theorem." It would even satisfy Sti\g\l\er's Law of E\p\o\n\y\m\y.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:37 PM
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103.parenthetical: Yes, of course, did not mean to imply otherwise. And in this case there was no genetic or existing behavior at the time of marriage that would have even hinted at such a subsequent development.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:46 PM
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Next time you marry you'll totally nail which habits will annoy you.

I avoided the ones from my first marriage when I launched the second, but you (or I, anyhow) just find all new things to drive you crazy. Other people: they're goddamned insufferable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:57 PM
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No, yeah. The parenthetical wasn't supposed to be correcting you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 12:57 PM
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106: Don't you hate it when people think they can come up and talk to you just because ... you've entered into a long-term relationship with them?
</Judy Tenuta>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 1:11 PM
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101: I do think the description in the OP is likely hyperbole at least in part. I'd guess a better description would be "she forgets enough conversations to annoy him," and then of course all of the play is in whether the problem is severe enough that (taking into account whatever coping mechanisms she does or doesn't have) he finds it annoying enough that it is a fatal relationship flaw. I think the tone (as conveyed by HG) would be different if the subject under discussion were Alzheimer's or some comparable issue.

But I'm just guessing, of course.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 1:42 PM
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If the memory problems are serious enough that she's consulted neurologists about them, I doubt there's much hyperbole in the OP.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 1:47 PM
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If the memory problems are minor enough that the neurologists did not recommend any ongoing treatment, I bet there's plenty of hyperbole.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 1:55 PM
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I think there's absolutely no way to tell from the information in the post anything about what her condition is -- could be anything from ordinary ditziness of the sort I suffer from to the full Memento. But they shouldn't get married, because once you're asking the question "Is this person likely to be intolerable in the long run?" about someone, that's enough to make marrying them a bad idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 1:58 PM
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101, 11: Hyperbole fight! ... no, make that Hyperbole WAR!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:00 PM
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112 and all similar are right, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:00 PM
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I'm curious how you go about developing an apparently serious relationship if one partner can't remember the couple's conversations

Sorry, hon, did you say something?

I'm not sure what distinguishes neuropathology from just certain habits of mind--depends on the definition of normal, obvs--but I have had a not entirely dissimilar situation with my soon-to-be-ex. I'll refrain from describing it except to say that it manifests as a kind of Gracie Allen appearance of cluelessness despite her otherwise obvious intelligence. It's far from the only or most important factor in the demise of the marriage, but it did go from endearing to almost unendurable, and I regret to say that I haven't always reacted with the patience and understanding she deserves.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:05 PM
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They should definitely get married; they should definitely not get married; I have no relevant information on which to pontificate. Sometimes people forget conversations and it's annoying; sometimes people forget conversations and it's charming.

Is one of them an asshole? Are they both assholes?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:06 PM
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with which to pontificate? to provide a basis for my pontification. on which.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:09 PM
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If the memory problems are minor enough that the neurologists did not recommend any ongoing treatment, I bet there's plenty of hyperbole.

Because neurologists have plenty of safe, low-cost, and proven-effective ways of treating serious memory problems?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:15 PM
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because once you're asking If you haven't asked the question "Is this person likely to be intolerable in the long run?" about someone, that's enough to make marrying them a bad idea.

FTFY. Seriously, 112 is completely backwards.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:16 PM
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Jesus, I'm really sorry to hear about your soon-to-be-ex-dom. Hope everything resolves as painlessly as possible.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:20 PM
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Would you like the phrasing "Once the question 'Is this person likely to be intolerable in the long run?' is one that you're having genuine trouble answering..." better?

Obviously, you can't know on the front end what's going to drive you nuts in the long run. But if you've already identified a problem that gives rise to a substantial risk that you'll hate being around your prospective spouse, and you don't have a good reason to think that the problem's soluble, that's enough to not get into anything permanent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:23 PM
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118: Or, because doctors love to prescribe shit and keep making you come back. Mostly I was just trying to make the point that you could just as easily infer that it was not serious as that it was.

Honestly, if it really is serious, I am kind of bothered that the guy's reaction to it is "Is this going to annoy me too much to marry her?" rather than "Man, she has these memory problems that just aren't normal and I'm really worried about her. I wish we could figure out what's going on."

So, in conclusion, they shouldn't get married. /emerson


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:24 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something but I suspect that the theory in 121, if applied seriously, would produce like 3 marriages/year total worldwide.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:26 PM
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123: Maybe that's how many should truly occur!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:28 PM
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123: That sounds about right. For a happily married person, my general rules of thumb on relationships are pretty Emersonian. Heck, even in my own marriage, I'm fairly clear on how I manage to tolerate him longterm. How he tolerates me remains mysterious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:29 PM
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122.1: I do not think there is anything they could prescribe. Not much to be done about serious memory problems, at the current state of mental health care. Arguably the OP relates that they have asked her to keep coming back, if she has seen neurologists plural. In any case I do think it is plausible to assert that memory problems serious enough to inspire one to seriously entertain visiting a neurologist are non-trivial memory problems.

Perhaps there are commenters who have consulted with a neurologist who can weigh in?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 2:53 PM
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A year?! wow. That isnt long enough to find out about all the other stuff that is going to annoy the hell out of him.

I vote no on proposing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:02 PM
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What throws me about the original post (or, to put it another way, what makes me sure that I can't say anything at all about the situation) is that for neurologist-level memory problems, I'd think that the sort of relationship annoyance the post seems to be about wouldn't be high on the list of issues. Can she hold down a job? Does she get lost whenever she's anyplace unfamiliar? I know heebie doesn't have answers, but I can't imagine how to think about the situation without them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:02 PM
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127.2: Will selflessly votes against his own self-interest. Must have a backlog of work.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:07 PM
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120: Thanks, it's being going on for ages, so at the this point the resolution will be nothing but sunshine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:18 PM
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126:2. Glad you asked! The urologist was an asshat moron. Technically, the referral to see him was based on a structural anomaly that showed up on an MRI done in the ER in response to the worst headache in my life, but because I mentioned memory problems he decided I must be having microseizures which warranted Topamax which made the memory problems sooo much worse and eviscerated my ability to function. turns out, my fogginess was entirely explained by chronic insomnia/sleep deprivation that my primary refused to treat as anything other than depression until I finally snapped and insisted she try something other than increasingly insane doses of sleep medicine and she humored me and ran some blood tests that revealed serious hyperthyroidism which I then got fixed and lived happily ever after.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:25 PM
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The urologist

Eh now?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:27 PM
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um, neurologist, not urologist. The latter would have more excuse for not understanding the human brain...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:28 PM
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People are hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:30 PM
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but basically I am saying that seeing a neurologist doesn't necessarily mean you actually have a neurologist level of problem.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:34 PM
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135: no, of course not. But, you know, you presented with "the worst headache of [your] life", which will scare the crap out of ER doctors (even if they know you're drug seeking), and will probably lead to escalation regardless, so in that sense your experience (even though there was nothing serious going on) is an indication of the degree to which a trip to the neurologist is a response to the possibility of something serious going on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:38 PM
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That reminds me of when the urgent care doctor told me "Usually the worry here is that you have a brain tumor, but I don't think you do because..."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 3:49 PM
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I occasionally wonder how many healthcare resources could be saved if we just provided drug seekers opiate administration clinics.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 4:52 PM
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Seriously, 112 is completely backwards.

I continue to not understand where you're coming from, unimaginative. Sure, you shouldn't go into marriage thinking that you have foreseen everything about the other person that might end up driving you crazy. But I continue to think that there being an issue you are already actively worried about is a bigger red flag than the of-course-always-present possibility that there will be such issues in the future.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 5:44 PM
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My grandmother had serious short-term memory problems for the last 10-15 years of her life and she got tested every now and then but there wasn't any treatment. It's possible she had Alzheimer's, but her condition was different enough from most Alzheimer's cases that it was never clear and even testing her brain after she died doesn't seem to have been conclusive.

I have no experience with this other than with my grandmother so I don't know if they'd have recommended a different course of action for someone much younger. She was in her 70s when it became clear her memory was declining.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 6:18 PM
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I do happen to know that the woman is a successful lawyer, so make of that what you will.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 6:44 PM
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Oh boy it's worse than we thought.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 6:45 PM
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141: Hmm, will there be more reveals to this?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 6:49 PM
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Lee has bad enough short-term memory that she was denied long-term care insurance on those grounds, though I don't think any official neuologist ever took her on. The better part of a decade later, I refuse to accept any bet I know I'll win and I try to keep my mouth shut when I know we've had a conversation before. If there were actuallly a heaven, I'd be raking in pluses for it. Instead, I am doing better at only reminding her of what she'll remembe having said whenever I can manage that. She keeps copious notes and is also charming and encourages people she meets casuallly to remember how to tell her that they met and whatnot. Though tonight reiterated that she still remembers how she and I met and so I'm not responsible for the whole story there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 6:54 PM
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He should not propose, right now. The question I'd have (and have had) would be, "is this thing that's worrying me a core part of the person, or might it improve?" After 18 years of being married, with one very large unchanging issue between us, a friend asked, "how long are you prepared to stay married without this changing?" and I discovered the answer was "one year". We had an honest enough relationship that I could tell him I loved him, wanted to stay married, but I had about a year left in me. It was very hard for him of course, he took it as an ultimatum, was angry, of course, but after about 9 months was willing to look at it. At that point a whole bunch of information came out that brought about the end of the marriage, and I only wish someone had asked me that question sooner, how long are you willing to stay, with no change? I wouldn't advise Heebie's friend about anything IRL, but here I'd advise him to be direct and honest, he sees them having a future together, but for this one thing, (if that's the truth) and...oh you know, actually this is a terrible idea.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 7:14 PM
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141: Okay, if this is actually about me, he *definitely* should not propose.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 7:18 PM
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141: So, sleep deprivation, then.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 8:10 PM
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||

Damn Donald Knuth for inventing Computer Modern and thus setting off a chain of events that leads one of my collaborators to tell me we can't use Palatino as the typeface in our paper because it looks unprofessional. (No, not that collaborator. Another one.)

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:26 PM
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I assume all your subsequent papers will be single-author.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:28 PM
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That's very tempting. I had a discussion Friday where I was told I had to change a sentence because it used "the passive tense". It was in active voice. Today's font discussion involved being told that I was using Times New Roman ("actually, that's Palatino") and it's a bad font because of "those little things on the letters". I said "serifs? the default TeX font, Computer Modern, has those too" and was told that "no, Serif is a different font that doesn't have them", in a "don't you know anything?" kind of tone. Arrrrgh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:51 PM
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Arrrgh, indeed!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:56 PM
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I'm probably a pain to work with too, especially since I've gotten to be really picky about the way plots look in my papers, to the point of remaking all the plots my collaborators made in one recent paper to enforce a uniform color scheme and style throughout. (Which led to another of these arguments where the collaborator from 150 told me that the best contrasting colors for color-blind people to see are red and green so we should switch to that. Come to think of it, I should just leave a copy of the Dunning-Kruger paper on his desk sometime.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 9:56 PM
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150: geez that's terrible.

152: I managed to accidentally please a collaborator by asking what font he was using for plots, so I could match it. Are standards so low?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:01 PM
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especially since I've gotten to be really picky about the way plots look in my papers

essear should write a paper with An/d/r/e/w G/e/l/m/a/n.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:04 PM
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I associate Palatino with TeX-set papers that have an extra dash of class. It's not Arial, for God's sake.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:05 PM
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Which led to another of these arguments where the collaborator from 150 told me that the best contrasting colors for color-blind people to see are red and green so we should switch to that. Come to think of it, I should just leave a copy of the Dunning-Kruger paper on his desk sometime.

Why are you collaborating with this guy in the first place?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:07 PM
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I thought I was annoyed by how I have to do all this professional typesetting and formatting that 30 years ago either a real editor would have done, or nobody would have cared about. But at least I don't have to choose the TYPEFACE.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:15 PM
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156: I make all decisions based on whether they give me something to whine about here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:20 PM
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158: And we certainly appreciate it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 10:24 PM
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I switched to Cambria over the summer. It's been so long now since I've written something in a document format, though, that I can't even remember what it looks like. "At least it isn't Arial or Times New Roman" was my main goal.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:13 PM
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152 would have made me spit nails.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-18-13 11:37 PM
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Ooh, I like that Computer Modern.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 1:02 AM
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150 would have led to violence (verbal, anyway). And maybe some passive-aggressive emailing of evidence to back me up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 1:08 AM
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My world remains a Courier world. This is what change looks like.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 1:12 AM
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I went totally off Computer Modern after producing lots of LaTeX docs. I eventually went with Utopia for my thesis, which is still a serif face, but a bit more modern looking and less 'computery' than CM.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 1:19 AM
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I'm still cycling rapidly between amazement that you can use other fonts in TeX (isn't that always dictated by the journal?) and relief that I don't have to figure out how to set the damn font in TeX in addition to the million other fiddly things I can never remember how to set correctly.


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 2:47 AM
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re: 166

It's pretty much a single line, maybe two, in the preamble to the document.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 4:23 AM
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ALL MUST BOW BEFORE THE MIGHT OF GARAMOND.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 4:36 AM
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I'm going to see my neurologist tomorrow, I'll let y'all know how it goes.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 4:45 AM
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Don't forget.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 5:17 AM
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Alas for the couple in question, the story that immediately sprang to mind when I read the question was http://blogs.nonado.net/diamond/2010/08/11/shall-we-lets/


Posted by: Pineapple | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 5:52 AM
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Ooh, I like that Computer Modern.

If it's what almost everything you read is written it, it kind of gets old. And compared to alternatives it somehow makes things look kind of thin and insubstantial.

I eventually went with Utopia for my thesis

My default choices lately have been either Utopia or Bitstream Charter with the mathdesign fonts, which look great since the math symbols were designed to match the text. But these were rejected by a different collaborator who said they make "v" in math mode look too much like "nu" and that this would confuse our readers. So Palatino was my fallback.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 5:57 AM
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"written in". typing is hard.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 5:57 AM
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My TeX installation doesn't have Garamond, which I thought was due to some kind of licensing issue, but Google suggests otherwise. I should look into that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 6:04 AM
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And compared to alternatives it somehow makes things look kind of thin and insubstantial.

I concur. Also, I find its default kerning rather odd.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 7:49 AM
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ALL MUST BOW BEFORE THE MIGHT OF GARAMOND.

If you set a paper in Garamond as a Germanist you look like a wannabe, given that it's the Suhrkamp house font.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:16 AM
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I love that a place exists where an extended discussion of typography flows naturally from a discussion of whether a guy should propose.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:20 AM
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Was it really a "natural" transition? But, now that you mention it, if she writes things in Arial there must be an underlying neurological issue to worry about.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:22 AM
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It was a well-kerned transition.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:26 AM
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180

People believe what's written in Baskerville. (NYT link).


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:31 AM
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David Dunning shows up in the link in 180, too.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:33 AM
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I'm a Times New Roman man. If docoments come to me in another font, I change them to Tmes New Roman before reading them. Fonts don't get old for me. Consistency is important.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:45 AM
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I have no idea what font I use or what font I'm reading, and I'm always baffled when this topic comes up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:47 AM
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When I don't have page limit constraints, New Century Schoolbook, expanded by one point.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:49 AM
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Yeah, I have strong feelings about fonts only in the sense that if I'm going to be reading more than a couple of sentences, I want an ordinary-looking book font with serifs. As between Times New Roman, Garamond, Palatino, Baskerville, whatever, I don't care at all reading, and only care writing if I'm fussing with page limits. (In college I was fond of Palatino -- it looked less dense on the page. But I never cared much.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 8:51 AM
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Personally, I vary the fonts I use without much rhyme or reason, but I did have a boss who dictated that any document we thought would be read disproportionately by older people should use a sans-serif font.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:07 AM
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I use Chicago for everything, but I set it to bold to make it more important-seeming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:11 AM
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183 -- In a business where the product is written material, it makes sense to have a standard font. Obviously, any document has to have a single font, and using the same font from document to document makes sense because you can cut and paste without thinking about it. Especially where more than one person is involved in the production, it makes sense to have a single standard.

At my former job, it was TNR 12. My current outfit uses Garamond 14 for virtually everything.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:25 AM
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I still feel vaguely pleased with myself about having whined enough to wean a prior employer off Arial (maybe Helvetica? Something that documents shouldn't be in, anyway.), and back into the realm of sensible, serifed fonts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:28 AM
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183 gets it right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:28 AM
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191

I don't know if computers still come with ALGERIAN, but it is so much better than Impact for making poster headings and such.

That's my one font opinion. That and a hatred of "Mistral" combined with ambilance to Comic Sans.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:41 AM
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191 - ABC News typically uses Impact for on-screen text in news segments, and every goddamn time it pops up I expect a lolcat to appear.

Please people, don't attempt to use Impact for serious/non-ironic purposes. You just can't anymore. Sorry.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 9:50 AM
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I'll refrain from describing it except to say that it manifests as a kind of Gracie Allen appearance of cluelessness despite her otherwise obvious intelligence. It's far from the only or most important factor in the demise of the marriage, but it did go from endearing to almost unendurable

I am a person of reasonable intelligence who is sometimes Gracie Allenish (I think it's something of a defense) and I suspect it is the quality of mine that is most likely to drive my partner batty over time.


Posted by: Rutherford B. Hayes | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 10:45 AM
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Yep, same here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 10:47 AM
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Actually, come to think, I have other qualities that might be in the running for 'most likely to drive a partner crazy', but the ditziness is up there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-19-13 10:58 AM
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