Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 1st, 2013

Only six emotions? Anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise…

These are Big abstract emotions that require plenty of examples and qualifying conditions to make sense of.

Actually, our basic emotions are banal: They are intrinsically linked to our feeling of lack of capacity in our body and mental functions, functions we take for granted.

Do you think the feeling of having our ear wax-shut, seeing double, nose stuffed, feeling hungry, thirsty, back pain, finger smashed, elbow knocked on the edge of a door, leg injury… are all interpreted the same way by the brain?

What kinds of emotions are generated when you are unable to smell anything or taste anything?

What kinds of emotions do you feel when you realize that your memories are failing you?

All these emotions are not the same because of the interrelations among 4 factors:

1. The brain does not interpret the same pain and frustration for all injuries and handicapping problems

2. The duration of the handicap such as permanent, short-term or medium term plays a critical role on the wide gamut of emotions we try to untangle. The effects linger and the events cannot be forgotten

3. The community in which we live exerts particular judgment on each kind of handicap

4. Our standard level of traditional life-style is affected, and the required changes are harder the higher the standard level.

Banal emotions of failure in what we used to take for granted.

Whatever other emotional terms are concocted  are abstract combination of several basic banal emotions.

Is happiness an emotion? Do we really can recall how we felt when our body was sane and fully functional?

Is happiness synonymous with contentment, pleasure, joy…?

Emotions are the experience of a difference of what we took for granted and the current condition that does not match our expectation.

Is feeling satisfied represents matched expectation in habits and customs?

If only 3 basic tastes generated a complex and versatile industry as cooking, and using thousands of condiments to mix in order to satisfy 3 basic tastes, can you imagine the varieties of emotions that the interrelations of the brain, community and personal life style can generate?

Anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise? Are these the only major emotions we may experience?

Surprise? Happily surprised? sadly surprised? Angrily surprised?

Disgusted of what? the look, the taste, the smell…?

Fear of what? Death, injuries, failure, lack of money, lack of job opportunities?

Sad of what? Feeling lonely, unappreciated, cheated frequently, lack of companionship…?

How about we reduce the emotions to three?

Fear, anger and contentment?

The feeling of happiness, surprise, exalted instances and the Void are transient feelings: The next moment and the brain recaptures the 3 essential emotions that are lasing or permanent among mankind life.


For every emotion the computer will generate a range of sub-emotions related to the key one, kind of level grade of intensity and confusion…

I was inspired to develop on emotions after reading Seth Godin post “Millions of words and only six emotions”

Seth Godin posted on July 27, 2013

The intellectual part of the human mind can spin delightful or frightening stories, can compare features and benefits, can create narratives that compel us to take action.

But all of these words are merely costumes for the six emotions built deep in our primordial soup:

Anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.

Being angry at a driver who cuts you off in traffic is chemically similar to being angry to a relative who cuts you out of his will.

We tell ourselves different stories (the traffic story will probably not last nearly as long in the echoes of our consciousness as the bitterness of the bequest story, for example), but still, there are only six buttons being pressed.

Knowing that there are only a few keys on the keyboard doesn’t make it easier to write a pop hit or a great novel, but it’s a start.

In the case of someone with an idea to spread or a product to sell, knowing that you’ve only got six buttons might help focus your energy.

Note: Godin has been generous of providing only 6 key functions to push. Do think that reducing the emotions to three that the task is easier to handle? Try it.

I love to sleep. And I can’t sleep. And I live with my elder parents

Apparently, I might be looking as old as my dad. Strangers would politely ask me when I visit my father in the intensive care unit: “Are you his brother?”

About time to have my hair and my dangling mustaches dyed black. A small price to pay and effort to invest in, if it saves me from the obnoxious question “Are you his brother?”

And yet, I feel fine, not a single ounce of fat, don’t take medication, not even aspirin, and have no aches or pains in my body… and exercise, and work the garden, and walk… And I’m not in intensive care…

By 5 am, it is cooler this summer and I fall asleep. Only to be awakened at 6 am by the warning alarm of the oxygen machine, which dad uses, because the power went off: Time to go down and switch the interrupter to the private provider. This alarm goes off several times a day, and twice at night. Actually, I don’t go to bed until way after midnight, simply waiting for the schedule of switching off the interrupter.

I am exhausted from this long night, barely snoozing, due to dad’s frequent visits to the restroom because of a “small bladder“, and mother yawning loudly all night long for not being able to sleep, and myself visiting the restroom twice a night “Tel pere tel fils” in matter of bladder size.

Add to these frustrating situations the problem of controlling the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have always a way to enter my net, a net nicely tucked and thoroughly mended for holes as tiny as mosquitoes size…

I have no proofs of the conditions of the mosquitoes that I swapped with a small towel, trapped in the net: partially dead or simply stunned and ready for another round of buzzing activities…

It is after I wake up that I investigate the scene of the slaughter and carnage: disemboweled mosquitoes, drained of their blood, or plainly dead, cleanly…

I am exhausted and refuse to go down at 6 am: problems have ways to resolve themselves if you don’t wake up.

By 8:30 am, mother is making noises, on purpose, to wake me up “The day is almost over, and he is sleeping like babies...”

And mother complaining “What am I to cook for you guys today? I have nothing in the pantry or in the fridge…” She has in mind “How may I feed 11 persons with various tastes and constraints on onion, ail, salt, cholesterol…”

My 85 year old mother thinks that it is still her responsibilities to cater for her married children and her married grand kids, while taking care of my ailing dad who requires constant attention…

I have to keep an eye on mother, particularly as she undertake her multitasking in the kitchen: burning the cooking pots, and I making sure that all the gas burners are off, and shutting off the gas bonbone when not cooking, … Actually mother suffered 3rd degree burns on her arms a year ago, and she had to be treated for 6 months. Mother lacks the sense of “hot utensils” in her fingers.

I don’t mind doing the dishes, as long as mother promises not to sweep the courtyard and the garden and then complaining of back aches, dizziness, shoulder ache…

It is not a matter of promising me anything at all. If I do the dishes at night, you can bet that in the morning mother is concocting harder chores for me for the maintenance of the house. So, why do dishes? I have to do the dishes in the cold seasons: Mother’s fingers are numb and senseless, and the cold aggravate her arthritic condition…

Mother is the kind who has to keep working from 6 am till 8 pm, with a couple of hours for a deserved siesta, regardless of how much in pain she feels. And she works non-stop, and cannot take breaks, unless she is feeling dizzy. The worst condition for mother is Boredom: it is the plaque and the ultimate source of all sins…

The trouble is, when it is time to go to bed, mother cannot sleep: She has to recall all the departed relatives, forecast the harsh future for every member of the extended family… and because of the frequent visits of dad to the WC (about 100 times per day)

It is dad that I’m suppose to worry about, but it is this activity hysterics woman that Keeps me on my toes.

I started to love the winter season”

1. There are no mosquitoes

2. My parents spend their time in beds or sofas

3. I got to enjoy thoroughly my siesta. I can “nap” for two or three hours and dream. The best time of the day, and of the winter season…

The major drawback of winter is that dad refuses to get up from bed and venture to the restroom. And It is my disheartening job to keep dad clean.

We do have a central heating system. We cannot afford the mazout to heat up the system. If we could afford to heat a few main rooms for just an hour before going to bed… At least we could wash our faces in the morning with lukewarm water…

And I live with my elder parents.

I don’t have a money generating job: Lack of job openings? Lack of opportunities? Age discrimination? Hating a 8-hour jobs? Hate to drive two hours just to go to work in the worst driving conditions? Can no longer wake up with the chicken?

And most importantly, I lack skills, talents in any manual activities, artistic jobs… not a single skill to make any kinds of money, not even a dime… All these years of education and higher studies in universities, and no skills that may satisfy an employer...

And I tried all the minimum wage jobs: You name it, I did it. It is like my decisions are binary: either I focus on becoming a billionaire or living not a dollar in my pocket. I am still apprehensive of making too much money: I don’t know how handle money and all the rules and regulations that accompany people with plenty of money… and the lawsuits… and the inheritance… and the bugging of people wanting to borrow money…

I am same and different from this 28 year-old boy living in the basement of his parent’s and not finding any job opportunities… But this is another story, and another post.




August 2013

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