Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seduction, Romance and Love

I was in federal court in norther new jersey and met some guy in the defendant's line. I am a prodigal nerd, and was reading a book called "the social life of information" by Durgid and some other guy i want to call 'steely dan'. It's a book that i hadn't been able to get my hands on since it came out (i don't think the FLOP has it -free library of philadelphia that is).

So this guy asked me "is that book about communications or sociology", i replied that it sat right between them. He replied that he taught a communications, i queried 'technical or rhetorical' and he replied 'rhetorical'. I would have left the conversation at that, then he said that he was creating a course called "seduction, romance and love". I was thoroughly interested by this soundbite. So i asked him to explain a little more.

Now, with people who have these grand ideas, they sometimes aren't tuned in how to refine and communicate them very well. Usually there is a bridge between the soundbite, the news story and the full story. With these people, they've only got soundbite and full story, and you have to ask them lots of questions to get the news story. I did just that. I asked him what he meant. He started telling me that he was going to use the 'classics' like machiavelli and plato. He thought my eyes were going to gloss over with the mention of 'classics', but i came back into the fray when he said 'machiavelli' . . . for the life of me i couldn't figure out how or why Machiavelli would be in the mix.

As the conversation moved on, so did we move toward the courtroom amongst a line of about 30 other offenders. And our conversation got even more intense. Instead of bogging you down with all the details of us trading book names and discussin' sci-fi books, i'll cut to the chase.

After badgering him and trying to fit what he was saying into my own mental-model of the world, i got that he makes a marked distinction between seduction, romance and love. I gathered that he thinks of seduction as a person manipulating someone else for their own gains (hence machiavelli), romance as someone throwing themselves into 'love', and love as an exchange between two people.

Well, an hour or two later, we found out from the prosecutor exactly what our traffic fines would be, and parted ways.
I had never though of that
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