Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Five Mature Adaptations

link (it's not going to take you very far)
So, returning to the last blog post, one needs five or six of the Seven Pillars of Happiness at age 50 to be 'happy well' at age 80 according to George Vaillant's analysis of Grant Study data. I don't know what happens to people with Seven, but it's probably not good. Anyway, my current plan is to go for all seven with the expectation that one (or two!) will be unattainable.

The First Pillar is 'mature adaptations,' altruism, humor, sublimation, anticipation and suppression. I believe the idea is, you have to walk around ready to use one of these five adaptations in any (otherwise) anxiety-producing arena. So, we have to remember what they are. One problem is, they make a sucky mnemonic acronym, first because there are no end stopped first letters -- one of the two consonants is 'H' and the other is 'S' -- but because the five words start with only three letters. If you went with 'assha[t]', for instance, you right off get confused with whether your talking about altruims or anticipation first, and you've got to make something up for 't.' Maybe 'tidiness'? The planets (my very educated mother just served us nine... oh, sorry. Um, jumped straight upon Neville?) or g-clef (every good boy deserves fudge) have little mnemonic sentences, which fails on the one hand for the same reason, and on the other because there's no intrinsic ordering for adaptations. We can be expected to keep Mercury and Mars straight, so the two Ms in the first sentence don't really create a problem.

In these cases, I don't think we have a lot of options other than digging down a level into the semantics, and making a rhyme based on the meaning. Something you can crochet and hang in the nursery. Something like

Do for others when you can,
when you can't, laugh at 'em;
plan for miseries to come
and when they come, postpone 'em;
Follow your base prim'tive drives,
in a way that none can see

Clearly, that's not going to catch on. But, submissions are welcome.

1 comment:

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

Oh, yes. There was another mnemonic I used a lot in college, for the resistor color bands -- it's simply mapping colors onto decimal digits, actually telling what it means is another step. "Bad Boys Ravish Out Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly." It's easier to get an computer job with an academic degree in something that required electronics, and to get through electronics, you have to know that mnemonic. This might go some way to explaining why there are few women in computer fields. Also, it sucks because black, brown and blue all start with 'b'. So, if you want to fix that one instead, you're welcome.