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Better Things to Do

Yet here I am thinking and thinking and thinking about how to differentiate "normal" from "abnormal", or to be more specific "order" from "disorder". Dan and I had a rather lengthy discussion about it earlier, and I hit upon something which I feel answers the question well, but just thought of another example. Picture an escalator somewhere. It doesn't matter where, but imagine walking up to it one day, and seeing a sign in front that says "out of order". Initially, that would appear to be synonymous with "disorder", but my argument is that the two in the context of the escalator are not the same. A sign of the described variety would almost certainly be used to indicate that the escalator is not working, and to walk up or down it is either dangerous, or just the same as taking the stairs, whereas to say that the escalator is in a state of disorder would only mean something like that it's going up when it should be going down. However, the problem I have with that argument is how when considered literally, "out of order" means more or less the same thing as disorder - not functioning normally, either way, making the difference between the two only a matter of how the escalator was originally intended to operate. As for the example I gave in the conversation, it started with him telling me that he agreed with me saying that anything different than what is normal could be seen as a disorder, but that making that connection was like "saying green apples are green", which doesn't make a whole lot of sense now that I think about it (or maybe I'm just tired), but is something that I still agree with my responses to, as follows:

Imagine, once again, that you have 10 apples, 8 green, and 2 red. Without knowing anything about apples beforehand, and without tasting one or more of them, would you not assume that the green apples are normal because they comprise a majority of the total, and the red apples are abnormal, as there are only 2, compared to 8 green? I think that logic is sound, but I wasn't able to determine what Dan made of the analogy, because he seemed to be looking at it from the point of view that calling anything abnormal meant it was broken, and of no use to anybody. Too specific, in other words. Ultimately, although it feels like the easy way out, I find the best way of looking at, and trying to define abnormal vs. abnormal is to say that it's only possible if one specific group or condition is focused on at a time. Going back to the apples, and taking a step back, to focus on fruit in general, it would be wrong to say that there are normal and abnormal fruits, because that depends on one's opinion. For example, I would say fruits such as apples and peaches (among others) are normal, but would call cantaloupe and coconut abnormal, either because I don't like them (cantaloupe) or they don't fit into how I define fruit (both, but moreso coconut than cantaloupe). That is supported by his definition of normal ("The average behavioral and cognitive behavior of the group or individuals in the group varying between defined limits"), but given that, I'm not sure what most of our conversation was about. I did still find it interesting, but now I've moved onto being fixated on something else. This time, it's about not wanting to suggest ways either of the disorders I'm researching for my report could be cured (according to Wikipedia or other sources). Why? Because from my reading thus far, neither of those disorders is inherently life-threatening, so people affected by them should first learn to manage their symptoms, and be given the choice to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be cured. Having to do that wasn't mentioned in the assignment details, so I'm not going on for too long about it, but there's still a few lines on the matter, and should marks be taken off for not sticking to the assignment, so be it. I'd rather stick to what I agree with, because it'll be my name on the assignment when I hand it in on Monday. It is coming along fairly well otherwise though. The main thing I have left to do is largely up to me to answer on my own, instead of having to do research and give citations, then after that, there's standard proofreading, and streamlining things. It always goes that I'm never quite at the part I'm looking forward to, until it's too late to enjoy it.

Those things aside though, grocery shopping went quickly today, and I was able to confirm that Melissa approved my request for time off in May on the way out there, so as I told Dan, the next thing to do is decide which train ticket to get first. I know I said I would postpone making a decision about going to London until April, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a fun idea. I would go as soon as this coming Tuesday if I felt it was worthwhile, but it's not, yet. For now, it's looking like I'll use part of that day to properly file newly downloaded TV series for Brandon and George, then maybe use this gift certificate I have for Boston Pizza to order some special supper, since Adam comes home this weekend, and I would like to do something special for that. Unfortunately, of the ~$30 I spent on snacks today, I've eaten about half, plus two cans of orange pop and two hamburgers, so it would probably take me not eating until Tuesday to even that out. I do notice though that I seem to eat alot more food on the Thursdays I go grocery shopping than during the rest of the week, so maybe next time, I'll bring $20 cash, and limit myself to that. Not that it's little enough to keep me from overeating in the end, but I give it until Saturday, and I'll have eaten everything that I bought today, and still have all of this food that needs to be cooked first. Why must snacks be so convenient? Sure, at times like this where almost all of my spare time is going toward working on writing a report, not having to go down to the kitchen and wait ~20 minutes for a pot of noodles to cook, or half an hour for chicken pieces to be ready is preferred, but otherwise, that needs to not be the case. I am running out of time to discuss these things, however, because it's after 4am, and I would like to have the rough draft of my report completely finished by the time I go to bed, as well as needing to have a shower, so I'm going to work on those, and hope I don't get tired anytime soon. I feel it coming already though, so my first step will be to turn a light on~

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