Member Questionnaire 1 (hotsaucey)What is beauty? What is love?
Well because I don't really have answers to either of these, I'll approach this from an entirely logical rather than metaphysical POV. Beauty is a subjective quality that individuals perceive, usually in tandem with qualities relating to vitality/youth whether that is in another person or in an object. Obviously, it is much more complex than that but I've yet to formulate much more than that. Love (to any degree) is often the reaction to perceiving something as beautiful, in that it is an emotion that inspires behavioural changes to protect and stay in the presence of said beautiful person/object.What are your most important values?
Probably being optimistic and straightforward, now despite my general conflict avoidant nature, I will much rather be upfront about serious issues and avoid greater conflict in the future but I would be likely to tell a white lie if I think it will not come to bite me in the ass later, in the interests of avoiding displeasure and awkwardness. Optimistic in the sense that I do tend to believe in the potential of humanity to create a better future in general than the present, some would call me naive but I find it somewhat contradictory to believe in a bleak future and then still have a will to go on.Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
Well this topic in particular is one (of many) areas where I've had doubts and flipflopped in my position several times. In general, I've been relatively relaxed in anny sort of religious practice/belief, being born into a (culturally) Islamic family, my religious belief is viewed through that lens entirely through my own will as my parents are largely non-practicing Muslims. I did have a 'phase' of sorts as a teen where I was atheistic, but I've largely reverted on that due to some personal events as well as the slow realisation that rationality but only a small component of the human condition - that faith, to some degree (and in anything larger than yourself), is somewhat necessary for the human psyche.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
War is a necessary evil, as long as bad actors exist then I believe it necessary to have certianly at least a defensive military to defend the rights and freedoms of citizens as well as those inherent to all human beings. Hence, I see the existence of NATO as a necessity and almost an objective good since Russia and China are certainly the greater of evils. In saying that, I am very much against interventionism as a geopolitical strategy for both moral and pragmatic reasons: morally I cannot say the human costs of war justify enforcing one way of life over another (I would only say war is justified to prevent mass deaths otherwise i.e. genocide) and practically, there has been no instance where democratic and liberal values were enforced on an unwilling/conservative group of people where those values have perservered into the long term. Look at Iran and Afghanistan for examples, and at Iraq for an example where it has only barely not been a complete failure.What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
In my eyes, power is in general having the ability to influence the actions of a group of people/companies/governments/parties to your benefit in a conditional or unconditional manner. That can be in the form of lobbying/corruption, armed force, political compromise, etc.
There's no way I can recall all the topics that I've had long conversations or debates about, but as a vague overview, they range from topics like industrialisation, space travel/extraterrestial life and religion to drug use, immigration and even the most bizzare conspiracy theories. In all honesty, my interests definitely wax and wane but are usually in the realm of past/present/future issues affecting humanity, mainly because my mind is trying to assort experiences and facts into a massive timeline so I can better understand and predict the future in store for us.Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
What do you think of daily chores?
I'm studying medicine as a matter of fact so I guess that counts for something
. I could be in significantly better shape but it's mostly a matter of a lack of willpower/motivation to see the hard work of delaying gratification through, though I am getting better at it slowly.
Daily chores are meh, I'm largely uninterested in them but I'll do them once it gets to the point where it would be more of an inconvenience to not do them (i.e. messy desk makes it inconvenient to study) than to just do it and be over with it. If it means anything, afterwards I often feel a sense of relief or contentment at doing a chore.Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
Documentaries, especially nature, science and crime are my usual favourites. I'm a pretty active reader, mostly of sci-fi (Dune was amazing for example) or fantasy (GoT and LotR) but I'm also a fan of more lighthearted stuff like Japanese light novels and mangas, mostly shounens (aimed at a young male audience, so action/adventure oriented with a clear progression). I'm not a huge movie buff though and the same with most TV series, though that's mostly a commitment issue on my part lol.What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
Very little, if anything really, makes me cry. I can barely remember the last time that I cried, and even then it wasn't very much in comparison to the emotional impact that event had on me. That is in complete contrast to myself as a kid, who used to cry at virtually every minor insult/injury (which I think was mostly attention-seeking) until I essentially decided to re-invent myself from the crybaby reputation. I think deep down I'm quite an emotional person, and many pieces of media had me sniffling but never to the point of tearing up. I think I wanted to prove to everyone back then that I could be useful and worthy of their respect so I ended up largely overcompensating into where I am now, as the happy and somewhat reserved guy (to most people). In terms of smiling, I'll smile at most things funnily enough and I'm pretty easy to crack up. When it comes to non-depressed/upset emotions, I have a terrible poker face and I'm definitely wide open in that respect to the people who know me well.Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
Probably in a smallish group of friends who are largely seen as the 'nerdy' bunch but are pretty goofy and chill once they get together and are out of sight of most people. I usually end up spending time alone otherwise and I'm unsure whether that's mostly because of a flat social battery or if it's because I can't be bothered to strike up a conversation (which really irks me at times).What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
It entirely depends on the degree of familiarity I have with the individual, for example, at a club a girl that I rarely talked to told me that I had spoken more to her that night while I was on ecstacy (LOL) than the rest of the two years I had known her. I was well aware of my passive/reserved nature towards people I'm not familiar with. However, when I am familiar with a person, the complaints used to be my argumentative and stubborn nature as I was growing up (though I am unsure if those apply so much anymore). I definitely don't like my reserved nature in general but especially my tendency to avoid conflict or discomfort. In a sense I am forced to admit that I'm too self-sacrificing, mostly because of the personal stuff that I've told people while drunk/high that I would never say while sober for fear of making people worry about me. I also think I have a very poor sense of identity/self, which is most of the reason why I'm even on here
. I tend to mirror the personality and mannerisms of whoever I'm socialising with, except when I'm with close friends where my inhibitions on what I say and do are more relaxed - but since your inhibitions also do make up a part of yourself, then I am quite unsure what to make of my own identity as a result.
People have said that I'm quite intelligent (and as much as I want to deny that I'm smart, it would be more insensitive to invalidate those comments so I begrudgingly accept the label) and relatively kind which I mostly associate with me being passive with most people. Somehow hard-working ends up being a descriptor for me, which is very weird since I usually either burn myself out after working on a project/idea relentlessly or I do the mininal level of effort to meet somewhere below my usual standards, but something in that organised chaos works apparently. Personally, I do think I am relatively cognisant of people's emotions or at least enough to be somewhat sensitive around that person although I am nowhere that knowledgeable of my own emotional state.In what areas of your life would you like help?
Mostly in trying to find my sense of self to be honest, and then hopefully that'll help me orient myself better in life and in both social and romantic situations.Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
Not really, with the exception of the inability to find who I truly am, I suppose. It's been a weakness I wasn't even aware I had until maybe around 3 years ago, which should give you some idea to how little self-awareness I used to have
. It's been something I've essentially ended up sweeping under the rug and treating it as a minor issue to avoid the oddly uncomfortable sense of being lost in life, but hopefully I can end up actually making progress on the path to self-discovery with this.
I appreciate open-mindedness and honesty most of all but as long as a person is not hostile towards me, I can at least co-exist with that person (though that's very different from getting along with them). Another quality I appreciate is probably openness, since otherwise it would be quite hard for me to be to able to get to know the person in the first place. If there's anything I can't tolerate it's deception or even more than that, unwarrranted pride. I generally get along best with other intuitives, but I have clicked with (usually) SPs before.How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
Since I'm quite passive naturally, romance is something that'll find me rather than vice versa. I don't feel strongly about romance or sex in general, at the moment it's more of a sense of curiosity more than anything else. It's something I would want to experience more of much like other pleasure/risk-taking experiences for me (e.g. I wouldn't mind going bungee jumping or skydiving). In a partner, I would appreciate someone who enjoys life first and foremost, and is more in touch with their inner self and emotions than I am
. I don't have much preferences beyond that, beyond the basics of honesty and not being too dependent.
The main thing for me is to not shield my child from benign to moderate risks and negative experiences, but rather mention the risks and what could happen as a result and if they can understand that much, then they can go through with that action. Of course, I'll always be there as the safety net for them to fall back on but my main concern is for my child to develop into a healthy and independent person. That, in my opinion, is done best when you progressively treat them more and more like an adult as you judge their ability to understand cause and effect as well as their responsibilities, which necessitates less pampering and more of an equal relationship founded on trust.A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
It does depend on how close I am to this friend, if it's a close friend then I'll most likely point out the errors in their logic and explain my own reasoning/belief in an informal and probably sarcastic manner. My outward reaction in other words, is akin to my inward reaction due to the lack of any fear that the person will take offense or take steps to cut off contact with me as a result of the argument. In the case that the person is not a close friend, depending on my mood I'll either just ignore their claim if I don't consider the pros to outweigh the cons or if I do decide to outwardly counter their claim, I'll do so privately and mostly passively, probing their logic/emotional basis for their claim. If it looks like the person is likely to close themselves off to me in one way or another, I'll stop trying to convince them and go on my way - the thought process is that I would rather not lose a friend or hurt my standing with others over an argument. My inward reaction is in stark contrast to my outward reaction in that sense, and I do not think that is necessarily a bad thing, but I am unsure if I do it to an healthy amount or not.Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
In general, I think that humanity is, in the long run, more good than bad for the reason that both emotion/ethics and logic are used in decision making. Even more so than that, I do believe in the potential of humanity to make a future better than the present, of course I acknowledge what may be existential threats to all of us but I still choose to hope that we have the potential to make it over all those hurdles. How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
My view of society is that it is ultimately, the aggregate of millions of individuals and their decisions, into a perceived bigger entity which doesn't actually exist, but is more of a general trend/mindset/culture that a certain group of people have a bias towards. In other words, society is indistinguishable from the individual and therefore, I view individualism and thus egalitarianism and liberty as the essence of a functional and desirable society. Since those values go hand in hand with democracy, I seek the preservation of democracy and its values, which is threatened most by political polarisation and radicalisation in modern society. The introduction and normalisation of violence, regardless of the agenda or political alignment of the actor, into the politics of a democracy is very much a fatal blow to its instutitions because democracies are inherently fragile and dependent on both trust in the systems and cooperation from the population (e.g. the Gracchus brothers being assassinated precipitated the fall of the Roman Republic decades later).
I don't really consciously choose my friends, but I usually end up entering the social circles of people who are somewhat similar to me although not too similar. For example, this often means there's one or two definite extroverted people in my friend group while the others are more ambiverted or introverted, there's usually some overlap of interests or outlooks on life and generally they're intuitives (an observation I only make after the fact and plays no consciously role in my choices in friends).How do you behave around strangers?
Around friends I'm a lot less inhibited and more expressive and generally happy-go-lucky in attitude. Teasing and delivering sarcastic bites at close friends comes quite naturally to me, although I still keep my personal emotions out of the equation, especially if it's in a serious context.
I'm pretty different but not entirely dissimilar around strangers compared to friends. When it comes to strangers, I do find it hard to inntroduce myself to them in the first place, mostly because I view the initial 'getting to know someone' stage as awkward and largely ceremonial (not the biggest fan of small talk). Honestly, I rarely if ever introduce myself to a stranger if we don't share a mutual friend or interest/hobby (i.e. we are both in a debating society or at a convention). I do warm up to people quite quickly if I feel like I can have fun or productive conversations with them, but if that's not the case then I usually end up as acquaintances with them.
I am quite subdued around strangers and tend to be more vigilant of my actions (especially where I'm stepping or going) and what I say as well, since it would be very uncomfortable to be silently judged by strangers for breaking some unspoken social rule or convention, or just messing something up. It's not all bad though, since I usually take the time to retreat into my head