Sunday, December 21, 2008

Questions to ask upon Meeting a new acquaintance

Among the questions that might be helpful for a law-abiding and benevolent person to ask himself as he seeks to determine whether to become mutual-consent personal friends with a new acquaintance, are:

(1) Is that person honest and polite and law-abiding?

(2) Is that male person, for instance, gentlemanly?

(3) Does that person exhibit a high level of respect for your own (and others') Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of Association legal and human rights?

(3a) Does that person respect your privacy rights? Does he almost never subject you or anyone else to anonymous communications or noteworthy pranks, for instance?

(4) Does that person ever make any comments or pursue any actions indicating that he (or she) seeks to censor you or restrict you or change you or limit your own law-abiding options or opportunities in life in any way?

(5) Does that person exhibit a high level of respect toward your own legal and human right to set your own course in your life?

(6) Does that person exhibit a proven capacity to promptly honor verbalized rejections of himself by other individuals?

(7) Does that person attempt to punish other individuals who disagree with him or who choose to reject him in a law-abiding and civil manner on their part?

(8) Does that person ever subject you to any noteworthy illegal conduct, such as if he consumes marijuana in your presence inside his residence; if he exceeds the speed limit or drives recklessly while driving you somewhere in an automobile; or if he frequently verbally harasses another person in public in your presence while hurling obscene language at that victim?

(9) Does that person exhibit empathy toward others, and toward yourself?

(10) Does that person ever exhibit any self-critical aptitude, such as in a context when he might sincerely and convincingly acknowledge to yourself or to someone else in your presence that he had, in fact, made a mistake or wronged someone.

(11) Does that person give any indication that he himself has consumed any illicit drug at any time in the last 12-month period? Does that person give any indication that he is possibly addicted to any illicit drug, or to consumption of drinking alcohol?

(12) Does that person verbalize to you significant and thoughtful and insightful words of appreciation for yourself? Or do the "compliments" that he offers you strike you as being very perfunctory or insincere words of praise on his part?

(13) Does that person make frequent comments that undermine your own self-confidence and self-esteem? For instance, does he repeatedly cite "weaknesses" or "flaws" in yourself, while frequently by contrast citing his own "strengths"?

(14) Do you find that you feel calmer and more cheerful and more confident about yourself as a human being as a result of getting together with him or as a result of your acquaintanceship with him?

(15) Does he frequently accuse you of telling him a lie or of having wronged himself?

(16) Is that person generous in sharing with you practically useful and factual information that might be tangibly helpful to you?

(17) Does that person offer you a constructive vision of life from himself, or, rather, does he present his own life primarily in terms of a series of grievances that he is developing and adding to on a year-round basis?

(18) Does that person smile at you in a sincere and appreciative manner? Does he elicit a calm and appreciative smile from yourself as well?

(19) Does that person introduce you to new acquaintances he knows whom he believes you might enjoy meeting? Does that person invite you to parties that he himself hosts?

(20) Does that person occasionally on his own volition invite you to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with him?

(21) Does that person exhibit an openness to new ideas and an openness to new cultural traditions? If an Albanian-style restaurant opens up in your town, would that person be interested in finding out what the cuisine of Albania (a neighboring country of Greece) tastes like?

(22) Does that person reveal evidence of having a sense of humor that is generally philanthropic? Or, rather, does he appear to be either humorless or cynical and misanthropic in his worldview?

(23) Does that person exhibit an admirable devotion to helping to address the broader needs of his city, state, nation, and world? Does that person exhibit an interest in helping to address the various needs of children, young persons under age 30, and parents?

(24) Do you find that your in-person conversations with that person are true and mutually-respectful dialogues---or, to the contrary, do you find that he tends toward monologues and lectures and tirades, and exhibits an intolerance toward points of view that differ from his own?

(25) Do you find that when he talks with you about a famous person or institution or business that or whom he himself admires, you yourself also admire the individual or institution or business that or whom he cites?

(26) Does he refrain from ever verbalizing a death threat or threat of seeking to bodily harm yourself or anyone else?

(27) Does he use consistently clean language in his comments to you and in his letters and E-mail correspondence with you?

(28) Does he refrain from imposing restrictions on your own ability to contact him at any time, whether by a phone call or letter or E-mail letter, unless he states a very fair and verifiable reason for citing any such restriction upon your contacting him?

(29) Does he write and send you reply letters, whenever you write to himself via the E-mail or U.S. Postal Service?

(30) Do you find that you tend to wince or grimace from being aesthetically repulsed by his presence and countenance, or, to the contrary, do you find his personal appearance to be pleasant or very pleasant when he sits across from you at a dining table inside a restaurant?

(31) Does he exhibit a pleasant tone of voice and pleasant vocal intonation and very pleasant voice modulation?

(32) Does he have a strong sense of platonic purpose in life (as distinct from his cited romantic-life goals that he may also verbalize to you in regard to his favorite romantic or sexual fantasies)? For instance, does he emphasize to you that he would like to help American society achieve the goal of establishing a nationwide network of high-speed passenger-train service throughout this entire country?

(33) Is he creative in the comments he makes to you, or, rather, does he tend to make predictable comments that show a lack of freshness of thought and a lack of independent-mindedness on his part?

(34) Is he fair and politely receptive toward civilly-worded and lawfully-worded criticism that you yourself voice about any particular subculture or any particular civic group or religious group or atheist group or political group or business entity or individual in the United States?
Or, to the contrary, does he exhibit a censorious intolerance toward criticism verbalized by yourself toward one or more such entities or persons?

(35) Do you feel more optimistic and cheerful and energetic as a human being after getting together with this individual, or, to the contrary, does an in-person meeting with him leave you feeling depressed or pessimistic or emotionally drained?

(36) Does he offer you tangibly helpful ideas and information that might enable you to enhance your own career-related prospects or your overall financial position, or your own medical health, for that matter?

(37) Is he the sort of person about whom you would gladly serve as a character reference or for whom you would gladly write a personal letter of recommendation, or, to the contrary, is he someone whom you regard as being unsavory, dishonest, sadistic, slyly manipulative and unethical, decadent, and not someone whom you would be proud to refer to as an actual friend of yours;

(38) Is he the sort of person whom you are not yourself fully comfortable with, and whom you get together with on occasion partly because you sense that you need to know more about decadence and depravity in American life in order to write a novel exposing societal malaises in American society that that individual appears to embody.

(39) Is he the sort of person whom you are not proud to introduce friends of yours to if they happen to observe you having lunch with this person inside a restaurant?

(40) Is he the sort of person whose involvement in your own life you you sense you will someday have to explain to the news media, if you ever do run for President and the news media ask you to please explain why you have associated with the cited individual during a prior or current period of your life, in view of questions that have been raised about the level of morality and obedience of the law of the cited former or current "associate" of yours;

(41) If the individual in question invites you to lunch and you accept the invitation, and if you leave the dining table in the middle of your meal with him in order to use the restroom, do you secretly fear that he might attempt to put some poison into your glass of tea or some poison into your food lying on your plate, during the time period in which you are using the restroom?

(42) Has the individual been very honest and straightforward with you about his own medical history, and has he never once subjected you to any contagious disease that can be caught through casual and platonic contact with another person?

(43) Do you find the individual in question to be "thought-provoking" and "creatively inspirational," or, to the contrary, do you find yourself worrying about suffering from brain atrophy or intellectual deterioration and a sense of insipidness in your life during the time periods in which you have in-person meetings or exchanges of E-mail correspondence with himself.

(44) Does he impart in you a sense that you have actually helped to inspire him as a human being, and that you are someone tangibly helpful to him and intellectually stimulating to him as a human being?

(45) Does he appear to subscribe to the dreadful philosophy of biological determinism, along with an accompanying contempt for the capacity of each human being, regardless of his cited "intelligence quotient" from his earlier years, to achieve intellectual and creative vitality and to contribute toward the cultural life of his city, state, nation, and world.

(46) Does his involvement with you appear to relate primarily or in large part to a cited "V.I.P.," or "Very Important Person," perceived by him as having a major role in your own life, rather than to you yourself as a human being.

(47) Does he appear to divide all of humanity into the "V.I.P.'s" and the "Nobody's," with the latter group being persons toward whom he exhibits no interest and no empathy and no appreciation whatsoever.

(48) Does he appear to divide all of humanity into the "Winners" and the "Losers," or, to the contrary, does he exhibit the healthy awareness that any person can be a potential winner in some context, even if he gets labeled and dismissed as a "loser" by nine of every 10 people who encounter him.

(49) Does he appear to regard all of life as a competitive struggle, or, to the contrary, does he have a keen appreciation for the symbiotic potential of human relationships, and the accompanying manner in which human beings with shared goals or a shared sense of decency can, in fact, be helpful and cooperative toward one another.

(50) When you meet with this person, does it cross your mind that if you were to somehow faint or fall unconscious to the floor, he might not rush to a telephone and immediately dial 911 in order to ask for emergency medical help for yourself, and he might instead regard your plight as "someone else's problem," so to speak.

(51) When he describes to you his conversations and meetings with others, what percentage of those conversations and meetings that he describes to you reportedly (according to him) are marked by angry arguments and angry conflicts that he describes in painstaking detail.

(52) Pretend you were a psychologist, summing up what appears to primarily motivate or serve as a motive for human conduct by this new acquaintance of yours. Would his leading motives appear to be: "A Quest for Alcohol- or Drug-Induced Highs, A quest for financial wealth and financial and political power, a quest for fame, and a quest for year-round sexual and romantic titillation." Do you find yourself feeling delighted or exhilarated by his apparent leading motives as a human being, or, to the contrary, do you feel somewhat repulsed by the leading ambitions that appear to guide him in his life?

(53) Do you sense that the individual in question is the sort of person who laughs uproariously whenever someone slips on a banana peel in a Hollywood movie? Are you yourself uncomfortable with much of what elicits delighted amusement or laughter from himself?

(54) Do you sometimes sense that of all the Roman Emperors, he most reminds you of the Emperor Nero, so much so that you can almost imagine this individual fiddling as Rome burns.

(55) Do you find when the individual in question expresses antipathies and dislikes, that you feel comfortable with his point of view in regard to most or nearly all of his antipathies and dislikes? For instance, does he declare to you that he worries about what Las Vegas, Nevada, reveals about the state of American society today, and you find your nodding your head approvingly. Also, does he comment to you that he is very alarmed by the annihilation of and contempt toward the legal and human rights of individuals, including the legal and human right of law-abiding and civilly-worded dissent by any given individual, in Russian society?

(56) Do you find that his statements about himself --- possibly even in regard to his very name, with himself possibly citing two or three "names" or "nicknames" for himself that he has used, which may in fact be "aliases," as a police investigator might point out in very down-to-earth, no-nonsense terms --- and about his conduct as a human being are not consistent, so much so that if you were a law-enforcement agency investigator, you might identify this individual as a pathological liar and a con artist and a fraud.

(57) Does he comment approvingly about the legalization of sexual prostitution in several European nations, or, to the contrary, does he express a healthy concern about sexual trafficking of that type and its accompanying ruination of thousands of lives in Europe occurring in the guise of "liberal innovation."

(58) When he does criticize you, does his criticism of yourself strike you as being a very fair and reasonable concern to express, or, to the contrary, does it appear to convey a shocking failure to acknowledge that you yourself are consistently law-abiding and honest and conscientious and gentlemanly and platonically polite toward others.

(59) Is he courageously conscientious about himself reporting to a local law-enforcement agency, or, if applicable, a federal or state law-enforcement agency, some or many of the possible evidence of possibly illegal conduct that he himself ever observes in his everyday life.

(60) When he dines in a restaurant with you, is he politely respectful toward the waitress or male waitperson?

(61) Does he refrain from lifestyle conduct (sky diving, rock climbing, driving while intoxicated, exceeding the speed limit while driving a motor vehicle, participation in anonymous sex, attempted suicide, etc.) that you yourself regard as being significantly self-destructive?

(62) Does he ever state to you that your being an actual mutual-consent personal friend of his is strictly contingent on your withdrawing your own longstanding support for court-ordered capital punishment for the unconscionable and heinous crime of homicide or (through a proposed helpful revision of state law in Texas that the Legislature would have to first approve), proposed court-ordered capital punishment for the also-barbarous crime of attempted homicide?

(63) Does he appear to guide himself by a consistent moral code of any type, or, instead, does he appear to balk at the very idea of morality?

(64) Does he appear to take advantage of and exploit and possibly abuse persons who are either significantly younger than himself in age, or, alternatively, persons who are significantly older than himself in age.

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