Do you consider manipulative behavior necessary? Is there any situation when manipulation is acceptable? Why / why not?

I consider manipulative behavior a poor excuse for lack of a better argument in most, if not all circumstances in which a person is making a case. Manipulation implies an unequal power brokerage in which one party intends to gain more and the other less. I do not believe society need work like that, nor do I believe it's worked very well on that model for a long time.

I love unusual music and the often abstract, visually dense videos that accompany. It's hard to find the truly odd and unusual because it's generally not something widely shared. Is there anything you could link to that might appeal on that basis? What's the strangest song/music video you know? Eden Penketh

Listen to any and all of the videos here. I found this group in college and could never stop listening. Prepare to go to another place:

In psychology, they teach that people are afraid of offending others merely because they fear being offended themselves. How would you explain that?

I would see some merit in that principle. Social protocol exists merely as a mutual contract between individuals and society as a whole. There is no shame in that should a person's motives be based in a general good, which includes theirs as well.

When a celebrity who has ostensibly made great art dies, is it the duty of their fans to own the bad as well as the good? Does a one sided representation do the deceased party any justice? Do you think it dangerous to deify such people, as many do, when reacting to their death? Eden Penketh

I don't believe that it should be anyone's moral duty to maintain balance in carrying on a person's legacy – it's merely truth. Good and bad should not be qualities that should so easily quantify a person's life so much as purpose in which they lived. Who their life mattered to and whose lives they affected are what matters in the end. After all, funerals are only for the living.

I believe that an inherent risk follows the deification of any person, especially a person's whose power already exceeded the living. Remembrance and immortality are inexplicably linked – the two are intertwined with the elusive artifact of memory. I could not tell anyone how to mourn the dead nor would I. If the dead deserve a golden pedestal, then no more than the living who should be with them.

How would you deal with a situation in which someone you cared for deeply continually to lied to you?

I wouldn't know if they continually lied to me well enough. Assuming that I discovered their lie, I can only imagine that I would do what anyone would reasonably do and confront them about it. Either their motive would win me over or it would not and I would move on. Trust is a currency too rare to be doled out lightly and it takes hard work to earn it.

You can ask me any questions you have in mind. I am bored to tears at home. Thanks! Lucas

Find some tissues.

What movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing this year? Witty Rabbit

In on particular order:*

•Hail, Caesar! (saw it, not bad)
•Doctor Strange
•Assassins Creed
• Ratchet & Clank (*fingers crossed*)
• Deadpool (about to see it)
• Captain America: Civil War
•The Girl on the Train
• Midnight Special
•Finding Dory (???)
•X-Men: Apocalypse
• Snowden (???)
• Knight of Cups
• Star Wars: Rogue One (????????????)

Movies that can go @!#$ themselves*

•Star Trek Beyond
•Angry Birds
• The Boss
•The Gods of Egypt
• The Brothers Grimsby
• Adam Sandler's _______ Netflix Movie
• London Has Fallen
• Zoolander No. 2

*List is a work in progress

How much do you need to know about a topic before you form an opinion about it? Witty Rabbit

If I could have a PhD in everything, I would. Wikipedia links are the best I can do for the time being.

Are you cool with remaining on my list of people to periodically send questions out to, or would you rather I remove you? No hard feelings either way, I'm just trying to sort things out. Allison Campbell

Cooler than the cucumber gif that I cannot presently find.

What's the longest you've gone without sleep and why? Eden Penketh

I don't think I've ever gone more than 24-30 hours without sleep if not only because of caffeine-induced insomnia for a test or the dreadful heat waves that kept me awake when I used to live in central California. Even at the ripe old age of twenty-two, sixteen hours is my preferred max.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe many things, but that a simple glance could register an emotional connection that would demand a long-term commitment is beyond them.

What's your most intimidating trait? Eden Penketh

I can win a staring contest faster than the blink of an eye.

Who will ask me questions? Just ask me anything that crosses your mind! Lucas

Why me?

Ask me questions, please! Thank you! I'l be more than hapy to answer your questions. Lucas

Do you not have anyone else to ask questions?

Do you agree with the quote "He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither"? Why?

That statement would assume an individual cannot be coerced, intimidated, or otherwise tricked into relinquishing their freedom against their will for fear of their well-being or misplaced naiveté. I believe every person has a right to their life and, by extension, their personal safety so long as it does not infringe on others'. Whoever wishes to take freedom from others is no friend of mine.

Now is the time to ask me anything. You know that you can ask me anything. You can ask me anything you want! Thanks a lot! Question: Are you a Beyoncé fan? What did you think of her performance of her new song “Formation ? What do you think of Beyoncé in general? This song? Lucas

Let me understand something: Am I supposed to ask you anything or are you? I only have so much time for games –besides The Witcher II, anyway.

What, in your opinion, makes people stay in abusive relationships and why? Diana

The same reason why any of us could stay in an unhealthy state of mind and being. A need for security, a sense of structure and belonging. That you should give up your freedom for any of them is not and should never be right, but for most in such a situation, it's more than often a learned behavior or the result of there being few options available to them.

Abuse knows no boundaries and has no single language, race, and creed. A victim owes nothing to their abuser. They owe themselves the right to their freedom. Unfortunately, that is not always possible on their own and their stories are unheard or unbelieved. That society should facilitate their condition with indifference is the worse offense. It's why I will always hear the victim first.

Can a person manipulate someone unknowingly? (E.g., without being aware that their own behavior is manipulative.) Elaborate, please. Diana

I'm afraid that I couldn't elaborate from prior experience, but unwitting manipulation would seem rather contradictory by definition. Manipulation, as "the skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone," is the premeditated means of subterfuge and coercion. If there is a difference between natural charmers and con artists, then the former don't ask for anything.

Why do you think some individuals proceed lying even after the truth has been discovered? Is it because they're desperate? Diana

Without a state motive, I cannot say. I can say, however, that few, if any liar has ever believed they can ever retract a lie, much less on the internet. What they often – and quite pointlessly – try to recover is their sense of self-respect, which they ironically lose further in another lie.

That a lie should be followed by the embarrassment and shame that accompanies it is enough to make most want to run and hide even when someone's already turned on the floodlights. Humans are illogical creatures, as I've been told.

What scientific fact do you love?

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." – Sir Isaac Newton. Karma in a nutshell? I like to think so, anyway.

I find that I'm a little sad that the era of the advertisement jingle is fading away as we change how we market products to consumers. What are your favorite ad jingles from the past or present? Allison Campbell

That virtually no jingle comes to my mind probably speaks to why it's dying out, but I can fondly remember the voiceover that accompanied the end of every Lego commercial chanting, "Lego! Lego!" every other afternoon. That would explain all the brick bins sitting out on my patio.

@theannaclendening asks, "What is your most embarrassing moment?”

That time with that person way back then.

How to Talk About FOOD Like a Native English Speaker? Any expressions for me for my future trip to New York City? List them! Lucas

"PIZZA! IN MY MOUTH! NOW! (point to mouth) FASTER, FASTER!"

I've known people to say that pretension is a negative trait. Do you agree? Why or why not? Eden Penketh

If we're to define pretension as "a claim or the assertion of a claim to something," or "the use of affectation to impress; ostentatiousness," as my online dictionary tells me, then not necessarily. It's the mark of a good actor or performer. And it certainly can make for a smart worker.

It does make for something of a barrier in intimacy, however. I've never heard the word "pretentious" preceding the description of a good friend or lover.

If you have or had grandparents, what did you call them? Do any of your relatives have family pet names for you, or you for them? (my youngest nephew calls me Aiya, which I think is adorable) Allison Campbell

I have had and still do have grandparents, as a matter of fact. I could never stand the idea of a "pet name" as a human being, but I've never had the pleasure of being called a "nickname," much less by my grandparents.

The closest to such might have been, "kiddo," or "bud," but I don't imagine those would count as common as they are. I don't recall calling my grandparents by anything other than "grandma" and grandpa," but I can remember my grandfather's older circle of golfing friends jokingly calling him "junior." He's eighty-six now, if that's any indication.


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About Tim Gruver:

Writer of sorts, player of games. Former scribe at @leviathyn, and editor at @BagoGames. Words at @Filmoria, @Gameranx, & @Gamesradar. @UW student. Observer of life & its oddities.

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