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Debates Forum

  1. 16 May '14 22:34
    Given that many people here seem interested in discussing economic concepts
    in terms of simplified 'everyday' metaphors, here's what Tom Zoellner,
    an American professor of English, described in his 2014 book _Train_.

    Aboard a train to Edinburgh, Tom Zoellner (a single man) met an attractive
    young British woman and became smitten with her. But what to do with it?

    "To be sharing a train with a charming stranger is to be set free for a short
    time but also to be enchained by the realities of what lies outside the timetables.
    Which came all too soon....The...girl lived in a neighbourhood close to the
    Haymarket station but rode with me all the way into the main Waverley station.
    I had an impulse to ask her to dinner and miss the next train to Newcastle.
    But she had (my note: so she said) a boyfriend. And who knew what she
    was thinking, if anything, about this random traveler across from her? So
    I kept it to myself....After the banalities a smile (my note: from her) that
    lasted a few seconds longer than it should have. Then she was gone.
    'Maybe in another time, another life', I thought lamely, and silently wished
    her well."
    --Tom Zoellner (_Train_, pp. 8-9)

    According to his account, Tom Zoellner was drawn toward this woman, and
    she seemed to reciprocate his interest. Yet it led to nothing but his regret.

    'Brief Encounter' is a classic British film about an apparently unconsummated
    romance that begins with a chance meeting in a railway refreshment room.
    Before dutifully returning to life with her faithful yet boring husband, the
    heroine contemplates suicide (a la Anna Karenina) beneath the train's wheels.

    Your assignment is to analyze the decision-making in terms of market forces
    (how much perceived value would each person have in dating marketplace?),
    opportunity cost (how much value should be assigned to each branch of his
    decision tree?), and other factors (his fear of rejection = risk X impact ?).

    On a more general philosophical note, do people tend to have more regret
    about the tempting paths they never tried or the normal paths they have
    been expected to follow?
  2. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    16 May '14 23:01
    The station where Brief Encounter was filmed is now a pleasant heritage centre and a place to see occasional steam trains heading to the Lake District or the Dales. More often though you will just get the blur of an electric high speed train passing through without slowing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnforth_railway_station

    After a pleasant coffee there, the thing is to head up the hill a few hundred yards to the amazing secondhand bookshop, which is one of the very best that I know. This is what makes Carnforth worth a visit to my mind.

    http://www.carnforthbooks.co.uk/3.html
  3. 17 May '14 20:07
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/first-date-tory-shared-politics-relationship-okcomrade

    "Always ask on a first date: are you a Tory?"
    --Margaret Corvid (14 May 2016)

    'Research shows that spouses are more likely to share politics than personality
    traits, and that their views rarely change after marriage.'
    --Margaret Corvid

    Personally, I think it's important there not be a major political conflict (why
    add another one?) in an intimate relationship, yet I am not interested in
    discussing politics most of the time, so I could adjust to someone who
    preferred not to define oneself primarily through one's political identity.
  4. 17 May '14 20:49
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/first-date-tory-shared-politics-relationship-okcomrade

    "Always ask on a first date: are you a Tory?"
    --Margaret Corvid (14 May 2016)

    'Research shows that spouses are more likely to share politics than personality
    traits, and that their views rarely change after marriage.'
    --Margaret Corvid

    ...[text shortened]... ust to someone who
    preferred not to define oneself primarily through one's political identity.
    I agree with your notion of avoiding possible conflicts, yet we see marriages such as between Mary Matlin (right wing extremist) and James Carville (left wing extremist) which turn out pretty successful by all accounts.
  5. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    19 May '14 10:32
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/first-date-tory-shared-politics-relationship-okcomrade

    "Always ask on a first date: are you a Tory?"
    --Margaret Corvid (14 May 2016)

    'Research shows that spouses are more likely to share politics than personality
    traits, and that their views rarely change after marriage.'
    --Margaret Corvid

    ...[text shortened]... ust to someone who
    preferred not to define oneself primarily through one's political identity.
    As you appear to like reading the Guardian, you may have noticed the (gently) left wing columnist Lucy Mangan married a "Toryboy."
  6. 19 May '14 23:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I agree with your notion of avoiding possible conflicts, yet we see marriages such as between Mary Matlin (right wing extremist) and James Carville (left wing extremist) which turn out pretty successful by all accounts.
    Mainstream US politics has a narrow range by most Western standards, so
    the differences between 'liberal Democrats' and 'conservative Republicans'
    tend to be minor when compared to political differences in many other societies.

    Ehud ('Udi' ) Aviv and Sylvia Klingberg were both anti-Zionist Marxist Israeli Jews.
    They got married when he was in an Israeli prison (he had met PLO members
    in Syria). (Evidently, their marriage never was consummated.) Sylvia
    regularly visited Udi in prison and attempted to keep up his morale.
    After a few years of marriage, however, Udi surprised Sylvia on one visit:
    (This dialogue is an approximation of what has been reported in print.)

    Udi: I want a divorce.
    Sylvia: (stunned) Don't you still love me?
    Udi: Of course, I still love you.
    Sylvia: Then why do you want a divorce?
    Udi: Because, as my wife, you have to support me completely.
    Sylvia: Why do you feel that I have not been supporting you completely?
    Udi: That means politically. I have been making some political statements,
    and you have been making political statements that have some differences.
    Sylvia: Being your wife does not mean that I have to agree with you 100%
    about politics. Can't we just love each other and accept our differences?
    Udi: No, that can't work for me. I want a divorce.

    And so Udi Aviv and Sylvia Klingberg got divorced. Their political differences
    seem to have related to their interpretations of Marxist revolutionary theory.
  7. 20 May '14 12:25
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Mainstream US politics has a narrow range by most Western standards, so
    the differences between 'liberal Democrats' and 'conservative Republicans'
    tend to be minor when compared to political differences in many other societies.

    Ehud ('Udi' ) Aviv and Sylvia Klingberg were both anti-Zionist Marxist Israeli Jews.
    They got married when he was in an Isra ...[text shortened]... ical differences
    seem to have related to their interpretations of Marxist revolutionary theory.
    Sometimes romance can paper over differences, and sometimes it can't.