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The sexologist Joan Nelson had a similar experience with her mother's reaction to learning of an incestuous relationship she was involved in when she was eight. "When I was a child I experienced an ongoing incestuous relationship that seemed to me to be caring and beneficial in nature. There were love and healthy self-actualization in what I perceived to be a safe environment. I remember it as perhaps the happiest period of my life. Suddenly one day I discerned from playground talk at school that what I was doing might be 'bad.' Fearing that I might, indeed, be a 'bad' person, I went to my mother for reassurance. The ensuing traumatic incidents of that day inaugurated a 30-year period of psychological and emotional dysfunction that reduced family communication to mere utilitarian process and established severe limits on my subsequent developmental journey." She related this by way of full disclosure in the introduction to her paper "The Impact of Incest: Factors in Self-Evaluation."

Not only do people very often feel it wasn't that bad, not infrequently they remember it as a positive thing if it was mutually willing. I read a paper last year, titled "The Impact of Online Grooming and Sexual Abuse" IIRC, reporting a qualitative study based on interviews with eight British youths (six girls and two boys) to whom the researchers had been referred by police. Not one of them had a bad thing to say about what they'd experienced during the relationship, and at least one (a girl) remained resentful toward police for having interfered. Every single item the authors enumerated as a "negative impact of abuse" was plainly a consequence of negative social reactions to the relationship -- e.g., bullying by schoolmates or embarrassment that the parents found out -- rather than a consequence of the relationship itself. One of the most telling things was that, in the authors' words, "the harms of online abuse are not less than those of offline abuse," a backasswards way of saying that no greater harm was associated with actual sexual contact than with merely sharing words or pictures. This sort of inelasticity of sequelae in relation to their purported cause is typically a telltale sign of harms caused by stigma rather than by the thing stigmatized.

Unless you're on a really short deadline, why even regard this as a problem? Maybe your brain does some things best while your conscious attention is elsewhere.

"What many people refer to as common sense is nothing more than a collection of prejudices accumulated before the age of eighteen." -- Einstein (first quote I ever memorized, at age nine)

Kinship, or more accurately the lack of it, is likewise in the mind. That's why it always annoys me to see the parenthetical phrase "no relation" in a newspaper or magazine article.

This question never sounded like a meaningful one to me. By the time I first heard it, I was familiar with the understanding of sound as vibrations in the air, so the obvious answer was "yes."

I can recall at least one occasion on which I momentarily doubted I was awake, simply because I saw something that seemed improbable.

There's a very good reason not to consider longitude vs. latitude as a degree of freedom. Latitude is measured from the Equator, which is objectively defined by the motion of the Earth. But longitude is measured from the Greenwich meridian, which was defined by nothing more than where the creators of the coordinate system were located.

It may be a particular incident or person in EY's head, but it's not a unique one. It was very reminiscent of a crank interviewed for a segment of This American Life, who evidently wasn't unique judging from the way physicists reacted to his communications. It's also reminiscent of at least one conversation I've had.

The Christian in your example isn't projecting ter mind into the atheist's mind. Te is, OTOH, if te says, "You must hate God," or "Why are you so pessimistic?"

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