Thursday, July 15, 2010

Random Thoughts -- Seriously

Yesterday I received Matrix on Blu-Ray from Netflix.  I had intended to do my 50 push ups, 100 sit ups, then sit down for a cozy evening in front of my fireplace, which has been converted into a 7.1 surround sound entertainment center, with a pint of ale.

That didn't happen.

Someone called me at 6:15 and said, "Hey, get your [explicative] over to the Ozona on Greenville."  Faced with such demands, I was, of course, pressured to acquiesce.

The Ozona Bar & Grill in Dallas is kind of a neat place.  It's full of lovely people to look at.and I spent a lot of time ogling the various eye candies.  Furthermore they have Franziskaner on tap which is one of my favorite brewskies.  And, if that weren't enough, the stuff is on sale for $2/glass.  It's almost cheaper than drinking at home!

The people I was to meet there were already a bit tipsy by the time I arrived.  There is nothing quite as entertaining as intellectual drunk people trying to have stimulating conversation on a patio full of eye candy.  I listened and I watched.

Eventually, my instigating personality got the better of my good judgment and I decided to try and come up with a debate topic that was nearly completely illogical, but filled with enough angst for intellectual drunk people to argue about it.

It happened when someone asked if I'd be willing to kill someone for a billion dollars (strange but true).  This, of course, led to the topic of everyone's price.  In a chain reaction kind of way, this got me to thinking of my 6 months, or was it 3 months, of visiting a psychologist.  I remember my psychologist telling me that I need to do a better job of enforcing my boundaries.

If you are still with me, then I am impressed.  In the "everyone has their price" argument, someone brought up the idea of limits.  I think her limit was that she couldn't take the wings off a butterfly for a free trip to anywhere in the world (random, but true).  The belief that if you have limits then you don't have a price.

If you combine the two schools of thought, it struck me that my psychologist could have been telling me that I have no limits which sounds cool.  If you tell someone you have no boundaries, that sounds like a bad thing.  If you tell someone they have no limits, then it's a good thing.  But, isn't boundary just a limited synonym of limit?  Or should I say a synonym of limit with boundaries?

And, my debate topic was born: Are limits and boundaries the same thing?


  1. Of course they are different. Boundaries are limited to being a noun, but limits are less limited. A limit can be a noun, verb or an adjective. A boundary would be a synonymous subset or aggregate of limit.

  2. If that is the case, then boundary is a useless word. Can someone find an example where you can use the word boundary and not use limit in its place?

  3. Boundary is a limit but a limit might not be a boundary. One's boundary is always moving. Think about it; you might be willing to do something in your 20s, does not mean you will be willing to do the same thing in your 50s.
    However a limit might not move.

  4. I don't think they're the same at all. The word boundary connotes something that circumscribes or separates two or more things. Boundaries can be more or less well-defined (e.g. boundaries between atmospheric layers), arbitrary (boundaries between social classes such as poverty level) or porous (boundaries between states). In the case of personal or social boundaries, they are fairly flexible, convenient heuristics for what is and is not acceptable behavior and they may change with context or circumstances.

    Limits are much firmer. Going beyond a limit implies that you've truly entered a new regime. In math, it's the point that you may approach but can never go beyond. In engineering, limits are edge conditions beyond which things no longer work as prescribed. In personal or social terms, limits imply a hard space that once you've transgressed has more serious consequences.

    My Rs2.

  5. Ghost, you raise an interesting point. There are things I did when I was in my 30's that I never would have done in my 20's. Wait, that was backwards.

    See, now if you can imagine Ed being drunk and trying to say that out loud. It's really funny. Especially, if, midway through the logic, you spout out something like, "What about the Outer Limits?"

    Actually the "boundary between" is what I was looking for... Now if I could just go back to 2 days ago...