The Interface: Initial questions

It seems to me our entire relationship since the beginning has been characterized by your making leading statements that you then abandon (or, I suppose, that I fail to follow up).

It is a technique, a strategy. It allows for the rapid sketching-in of information with the promise or potential of greater in-depth exploration at another time. Many times it would bring us to a complete halt if we had to get you to a place where we could explain things you weren’t quite ready for. That was an advantage of having Rita as the propulsive force, and will be – or anyway may be, could be, with Dirk. Someone dynamic enough, intellectual enough, accustomed to live in the abstract world but determined to have specific clarity wherever possible. This does not come along every day. Add emotionally trusted and trustworthy and trusting. Emotional safety is key.

6:45 a.m. As I had hoped, Dirk provides a series of questions and context for the questions, enough to keep us busy. I trust you guys can answer all this in 10 words or less.

In practice the three of us, you, Dirk and us counted as one, will alternate between going down a list of questions and following various aspects of the questions that will appear to be side trails. Spontaneity is being in the moment, with the moment’s unique opportunities because of where you and the times are. But syllabus assures or enhances comprehensiveness of outline. So, a little of each, always subject to review in different context.

Initial questions

[Dirk began the series with a long email to me on Aug. 29, 2020. An excerpt:]

[Dirk to Frank:]

I spent a good deal of time today digging into emotion and feeling. That led me to find that the researchers in psychology don’t even agree on the basics: What are the emotions? How do they work? How many fundamental emotions are there? What are they in particular?

Mostly the researchers agree that emotions have to do with the immediate physiological reaction to sensory input. These are very primal. They mostly agree that there are five, six, eight or ten primary emotions. But they do not even agree on those. E.g. Anger, Fear, Happiness, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Interest, Shame. Embarrassment, Excitement. Some equate or substitute joy with happiness.

Robert Plutchik 40 years ago defined a wheel of emotions with eight primary emotions (anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness and disgust) With each having three degrees of expression, plus eight secondary emotions resulting from the combination of adjacent pairs.

That makes for a nice symmetric arrangement that likely has no actual basis.

None of the listings that I found include lust as a primary emotion. It clearly is. Likewise, none identify pair bonding as a primary emotion (or state?). It clearly is as well. And at least with it we know that the hormone oxytocin plays a huge role. For lust, testosterone and estrogen play huge roles. Grief – bone crushing, soul wrenching grief is also clearly a primary emotion. Yet it isn’t on the lists. Anxiety seems also to be primary or nearly so. Yet it too is not on the list.

[At this point Dirk listed a dozen questions we could ask the guys. I won’t cite them here, as the guys went off in their own direction, as tomorrow’s entry will begin to show.]

One thought on “The Interface: Initial questions

  1. I like this new direction. It reminds me why emotions are primary, because they beget the reaction that is the motivator for choice. I remember reading some time ago that the only thing faster than a thought is a feeling (this had been measured by tracing neuro system response).

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