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a funny thing happened on the way to the wishlist - Ambar
February 19th, 2002
04:51 pm

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a funny thing happened on the way to the wishlist
"When are you your own worst enemy?" she asked. "When I don't let myself know what I want," I responded.

Hence the homework. We all know the story. If a genie, a fairy godmother, a genuine magician turned up and offered you (any number of, because we also understand recursion) wishes, what would you wish for?

I'm finding my fantasy channel to be distressingly stuck. No, my erotic fantasies are intact, thank you for asking. And I have no more trouble wanting than any other soul living in the consumerist Western world. But wishing...

"Be careful what you ask for. You may get it." The lesson of all those stories: wishing can be dangerous, especially when done carelessly.

I remember, too, when I deliberately stopped imagining what the people on the other side of the computer screen looked like. Meeting them in real life became a delight, rather than an inevitable disappointment. That bit of projection is something I'm not sorry I shut off.

But wishing? And I know this has to be genuine, something which is both worthwhile ("The first three things on my shopping list" won't cut it) and not cliched. There are enough people visualizing whirled peas, not to mention world peace.

What would I wish for?

Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Music: the hum of the ACE train going through a tunnel

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:figmo
Date:February 20th, 2002 01:30 am (UTC)
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You could wish for a massively winning SuperLotto Plus ticket like the one that other "self-employed engineer" won this weekend. It cracks me up that he said he plans to "fire [himself]."

When I read about the guy being a "self-employed engineer" I immediately thought about you and your visit to the bank.
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From:lilisonna
Date:February 20th, 2002 06:09 am (UTC)

Hmm

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Right at this very moment, I know exactly what I would wish for. However, that's because there's a personal situation going on in my life that could use a wish to settle.

Aside from that, however, I'm not sure what it is I would want. I'll have to think on it as well.
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From:bumblepudding
Date:February 20th, 2002 08:24 am (UTC)
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Before I add my half-pence, I'd like to say a few words in defence of the humble want. Wanting has acquired the connotation of selfish indulgence, but the word has its root in the idea of deficiency; what one wants is, at base, what one suffers for not having, that which would bring one's personal condition into a state of equity. By comparison the wish is more of a speculative indulgence. We in America may wish for world peace; a person in a war-torn country would, properly speaking, want it. Which is not, of course, to say that one's sense of personal equity might not be warped to the point where one feels a suffering for the lack of frivolities; it is the function of the advertising industry to generate just this feeling.

That said, *I* would wish to be gainfully employed in a field that does not make a thorough mockery of the past ten years of my life. And yes, as things stand, my desire fully warrants the pipe-dreamy implications of the wish.
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From:spenceraloysius
Date:February 20th, 2002 08:33 am (UTC)

Wishing

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I don't know what you ought to wish for. My suggestion for myself and all other members of the female sex is fertility without menstruation. Face it, bleeding like stuck cow once a month, pain, bloat, lack of coordination, various levels of being ill and PMS stinks. Nobody likes it, not us nor men (who get to suffer because we are suffering). Someone needs to go back and redesign the human race.
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From:ambar
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:22 am (UTC)

Re: Wishing

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Me, a few weeks ago, to elflet as we peel the cover off his futon in order to wash it: "There are some facts about female human biology that just piss me off."

I'm right there with ya. (Especially since the cover shrank, and can no longer be zipped. :-P )
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From:lilisonna
Date:February 20th, 2002 01:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Wishing

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Here here!

I'm hoping modern medicine will figure this particular problem out soon and I'll be done, done I say, with periods. Hate 'em.
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From:silkblade
Date:February 20th, 2002 02:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Wishing

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Get on monocyclic birth control pills and take them continuously. A period every once in a while is recommended but you don't have to do it. A news report I saw on this a year or so ago said that some company is working on getting a birth control pill approved by the FDA that is set up to only force a menstrual period quarterly. You can also get really low hormone content with monocyclics so if you have adverse reactions to birth control pills it's possible you could find a monocyclic you can live with.
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From:chrysoula
Date:February 20th, 2002 09:12 am (UTC)

Show Me

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Oddly enough, I've sometimes contemplated that having a genie who could grant wishes would be the answer to a wish itself-- because it would represent, for me, a fundamental and happy change in the nature of the universe.

Other than that, and the wish for money, I dunno. I'd wish for a magical animal companion, or magic powers, or make wishes to ease my path to fame and glory, or wish for pleasant ET contact, or...
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From:space_parasite
Date:February 20th, 2002 09:21 am (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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Oddly enough, I've sometimes contemplated that having a genie who could grant wishes would be the answer to a wish itself-- because it would represent, for me, a fundamental and happy change in the nature of the universe.


I think this is the fundamental difference between my worldview and that of um just about everyone else with creative aspirations.
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From:ambar
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:18 am (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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In other words, you think a universe that incorporated what we now think of as magic would be a less happy place than the one we have now?
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From:space_parasite
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:36 am (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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Since no limit on what could be wished for was ever specified I presumed it was the "anything you can say" sort of wish, which means that nothing is fixed about the universe. "I wish everyone's innermost dreams would come true", "I wish Elijah Wood were madly in love with me", "I wish pi=3", ... You would never be able to figure out anything and hope to have it be useful. There wouldn't be any point in being sapient. And I like my brain.
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From:ambar
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:48 am (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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You know, I think you have the seeds of a nicely dented satiric fantasy novel in that complaint. Go for it.

(I've always thought the ethics of wishing to change other people were questionable, to say the least. Which, hmm, may be part of my problem here.)
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From:space_parasite
Date:February 20th, 2002 01:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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I'm not sure there's more than a short story in it. And the last line must be


"I wish none of this had ever happened!"
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From:ambar
Date:February 20th, 2002 01:24 pm (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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I'm not sure there's more than a short story in it.

You won't know until you start writing it. :-)
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From:space_parasite
Date:February 20th, 2002 01:42 pm (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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That makes it about 293562981659th on my list of things I should be writing but amn't. :(
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From:elflet
Date:February 20th, 2002 05:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Show Me

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This sounds vaguely like "The Ultimate Egoist".
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From:eilonwey
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:29 am (UTC)

Immortality, sort of.

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I play in a live roleplaying game run by my SO called From Light to Darkness. It's set in an alternate world called Komaru. In Komaru, high magic users stop aging when they start using high magic, but die when they are 128 years old. In other words, they live to a ripe old age in full possession of their mental faculties and youth but don't have to deal with many of the drawbacks of being truly immortal. (i.e. boredom, watching everyone else around you die, etc.)

If I could make a wish, I might wish for something like this. Particularly if I could make sure that the people close to me and my descendants had the same access to this power. The idea of living for a long time appeals to me, but not the process of aging.

My other standard wish is to be able to go to any magical universe that I choose, and take a companion along with me on each visit.
From:ex_lucianus799
Date:February 20th, 2002 11:59 am (UTC)

The rest is academic

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"I wish I knew how wishes worked."
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From:kynn
Date:February 20th, 2002 10:10 pm (UTC)
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I remember, too, when I deliberately stopped imagining what the people on the other side of the computer screen looked like. Meeting them in real life became a delight, rather than an inevitable disappointment.

I wasn't that awful to meet, was I? :)

--Kynn
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From:ambar
Date:February 21st, 2002 07:14 am (UTC)
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I figured someone would try to take that personally. :-) No, the awful meetings happened my freshman year at MIT.
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