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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:05 PM   #1
LIVEFRMNYC
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The Norm vs The Average.

Me and some friends were having a discussion about whether the average should be considered normal. It got pretty intense, mainly because the two groups of people we were talking about were the overweight and gays. Now the discussion started off by someone saying that "Being fat is normal in America". Someone else said "Being fat could never be normal, average yes, but never normal". The discussion soon turned about gays also with the same premise.

My take on it was ..... Being overweight is not normal. Being normal should not include a higher risk for diabetes, joint problems, and putting a strain on your organs such as the heart. So even if 95% of the population was overweight, it's still not normal but can be considered the average or above. Our bodies might be tough and resistant to extra weight, but depending on the amount of weight, it takes a toll and there is a limit.

Being gay is not a choice, attaction itself is not a choice. But is it normal to be gay? I say no. Doesn't make anyone more or less of a person and I have the upmost respect for anyone of any sexual prefrence, but biology wise, I would say it's going agaisnt the grain of what your physically created for.(for lack of better description). Does not being normal change anything? I don't see why it would. One of my friends in the discussion we were having is gay, and refused to accept or even have an open mind to whether he is considered normal or not. Can you be totally unbiased and/or respectful towards gays while still considering them not normal? Are some gays wrong about trying to convince others they are normal? Now, I'm not talking about the opinion of right or wrong. Purely just whether something is normal or not.

The discussion we had even went on to whether the air we breath is normal, whether the food most of us eat should be considered normal, and etc.

So what you do guys think? I personally think people in general use the word normal as a synomom for average or are too PC to say any differ.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIVEFRMNYC View Post
Me and some friends were having a discussion about whether the average should be considered normal. It got pretty intense, mainly because the two groups of people we were talking about were the overweight and gays. Now the discussion started off by someone saying that "Being fat is normal in America". Someone else said "Being fat could never be normal, average yes, but never normal". The discussion soon turned about gays also with the same premise.

My take on it was ..... Being overweight is not normal. Being normal should not include a higher risk for diabetes, joint problems, and putting a strain on your organs such as the heart. So even if 95% of the population was overweight, it's still not normal but can be considered the average or above. Our bodies might be tough and resistant to extra weight, but depending on the amount of weight, it takes a toll and there is a limit.

Being gay is not a choice, attaction itself is not a choice. But is it normal to be gay? I say no. Doesn't make anyone more or less of a person and I have the upmost respect for anyone of any sexual prefrence, but biology wise, I would say it's going agaisnt the grain of what your physically created for.(for lack of better description). Does not being normal change anything? I don't see why it would. One of my friends in the discussion we were having is gay, and refused to accept or even have an open mind to whether he is considered normal or not. Can you be totally unbiased and/or respectful towards gays while still considering them not normal? Are some gays wrong about trying to convince others they are normal? Now, I'm not talking about the opinion of right or wrong. Purely just whether something is normal or not.

The discussion we had even went on to whether the air we breath is normal, whether the food most of us eat should be considered normal, and etc.

So what you do guys think? I personally think people in general use the word normal as a synomom for average or are too PC to say any differ.
the average is a arithmetic mean, where normal is a subjective and terribly boring and overrated man-made concept, but apart from that;

i pretty much agree with you on everything you said

as long as your not being 'normal' doesn't harm anyone else it doesn't change a thing

makes one more intriguing if anything

now being average, on the other hand, that's pretty terrible

Last edited by copykris; Dec 28, 2013 at 01:07 PM.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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I think word you're looking for isn't normal or average, but rather common. Since you can't define what's "normal" for ever changing ideals in an ever changing society, all you can do is define what's most common at a certain point in time. What's normal for people today isn't necessarily what will be normal for people tomorrow, but what's most common is pretty easy to define.

Also, if you want to get real fancy, I'm sure you could find a way to throw medians in there somehow.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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Just about anything can become "normal" with sufficient force behind it, but does it become "okay" is a better question.

You look at 1984. Big Brother state is normal, but is it okay?

Brave New World has an especially twisted view of sexuality, which is normal in that universe, but not okay.

This all boils down to Tyler Durden wisdom: "Sticking feathers up your but does not make you a chicken"...even if a lot of people do it, and have a great PR campaign.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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We often use the L2 norm, but there are plenty to choose from.

Which are you referring to?
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LIVEFRMNYC View Post
So what you do guys think? I personally think people in general use the word normal as a synomom for average or are too PC to say any differ.
Without a guide for the normal usage for the word "normal", you can't really argue about the normality of something, can you?
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
Without a guide for the normal usage for the word "normal", you can't really argue about the normality of something, can you?
Well one can argue normal equals pieces of the puzzle that fit. Biologically a man and a women have those two pieces that fit and for a purpose. Would putting AA batteries inside a remote the opposite way serve a purpose, besides the desire to do so?

One can also argue normal equates to fact. It's a known fact that being overweight puts someone in more of a health risk. How can that be a normal thing?



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Originally Posted by copykris View Post
the average is a arithmetic mean,
That's the meaning I had used it as.

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Originally Posted by copykris View Post
where normal is a subjective and terribly boring and overrated man-made concept, but apart from that;
I didn't mean normal in the subjective sense.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LIVEFRMNYC View Post

Well one can argue normal equals pieces of the puzzle that fit. Biologically a man and a women have those two pieces that fit and for a purpose. Would putting AA batteries inside a remote the opposite way serve a purpose, besides the desire to do so?

One can also argue normal equates to fact. It's a known fact that being overweight puts someone in more of a health risk. How can that be a normal thing?
So, since you want to be serious about it, the actual dictionary definition assumes implicitly that "normal" is OK:

Quote:
conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

synonyms: usual, standard, ordinary, customary, conventional, habitual, accustomed, expected
The problem is, it is "normal" for humans, when allowed access to unlimited quantities of sugar, to become morbidly obese, and therefore not normal. But, in a famine, the obese person stands a better chance of survival. The word "normal" is not very useful in a situation like this.

There are actually lots of situations like this. What one ethnic group thinks of as "criminal behavior" may be "normal" to a another ethnic group.

Normal often implies nothing more than conformity or conventionality, which is very dependent on circumstances.

Biologically, you may define a "normal" range for, for example, the healthiest waste to hip ratio, or, waste to height ratio. But, even that implies some circumstances, such as a modern society where you expect tuberculosis to be rare. So, I just think that "normal" is always a vague word for casual conversation, and is never a useful word when you have to be exact.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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Either take the red pill and embrace the painful truth of normalcy or take the blue one and enjoy the blissful ignorance of illusion.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
So, since you want to be serious about it, the actual dictionary definition assumes implicitly that "normal" is OK:
There is actually a range of meaning. But the ones I'm referring to which I thought I made obvious is ......

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/normal
Quote:
according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Normal
Quote:
Biology Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies.

The usual or expected state, form, amount, or degree.










Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
The problem is, it is "normal" for humans, when allowed access to unlimited quantities of sugar, to become morbidly obese, and therefore not normal. But, in a famine, the obese person stands a better chance of survival. The word "normal" is not very useful in a situation like this.
Yes, cause normal doesn't really exist if it's only one extreme to the next.


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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
There are actually lots of situations like this. What one ethnic group thinks of as "criminal behavior" may be "normal" to a another ethnic group.

Normal often implies nothing more than conformity or conventionality, which is very dependent on circumstances.
Your touching on something completely different. There are things in life we know were designed for specific purposes. Our biology being the main example, which fits in with the discussion of being overweight or gay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
Biologically, you may define a "normal" range for, for example, the healthiest waste to hip ratio, or, waste to height ratio. But, even that implies some circumstances, such as a modern society where you expect tuberculosis to be rare. So, I just think that "normal" is always a vague word for casual conversation, and is never a useful word when you have to be exact.
Can you provide a better word? Cause I can't. Like I said, I think my explanation of biology gives enough reason to understand what definition of normal I'm speaking off.

----------

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Originally Posted by localoid View Post
Either take the red pill and embrace the painful truth of normalcy or take the blue one and enjoy the blissful ignorance of illusion.
Can I take both?
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Sexual orientation. Not sexual preference. Hard to have a respectful conversation with someone you consider not normal when you're using terminology decades out of date.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LIVEFRMNYC View Post
Your touching on something completely different. There are things in life we know were designed for specific purposes. Our biology being the main example, which fits in with the discussion of being overweight or gay.

Can you provide a better word? Cause I can't. Like I said, I think my explanation of biology gives enough reason to understand what definition of normal I'm speaking off.
It is precisely in the case of a discussion of something like being overweight or gay that I think it best to use the most precise, scientific description that the conversation will allow, because "normal" isn't that useful.

Speaking of biology, your optimal weight really does depend on your circumstances. What, exactly, is "overweight"? If you assume people from OECD countries today, and you want to live to 80 instead of 70, that is something different than it was 150 years ago when people over 70 were very unusual, and, your "goal" might be to live to 50. You might very well want to be fatter when the next epidemic hit, and, the standard of beauty then reflected that view of what "healthy" looked like. If you are talking about "overweight", I really don't know how to discuss the behavior of fat cells as being "designed for specific purposes". I believe that the fat cells are doing exactly as they were "designed" to do; it just happens to be suboptimal in a world that has successfully suppressed cholera, and, is awash in cheap sugar.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:49 PM   #13
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Sexual orientation. Not sexual preference. Hard to have a respectful conversation with someone you consider not normal when you're using terminology decades out of date.
And it's hard to dance around all this political correctness. Sorry, I wasn't handed any guide book on reference to gays. By your logic, I shouldn't have any discussion about race when being referred to as African American. Jeez, soon I wouldn't be able to say the word "gay".



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It is precisely in the case of a discussion of something like being overweight or gay that I think it best to use the most precise, scientific description that the conversation will allow, because "normal" isn't that useful.
What is that word though? Every time I visit the doctor, I'm told my my stats(as in blood work, weight, and other tests) are normal. Meaning void of abnormalities.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:58 PM   #14
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well nature seems to caused homosexuality since over 1500 different species of animal practice it. Human sexuality if everyone would explore it would be so diverse it would not be funny.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:13 PM   #15
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well nature seems to caused homosexuality since over 1500 different species of animal practice it. Human sexuality if everyone would explore it would be so diverse it would not be funny.
That's a good point and one I haven't heard yet. But do all animals try to procreate regardless of homosexuality? Would it be not the norm, for any species that doesn't put themselves in a position they are made for?

Do animals have differ intentions/purpose according to the sex of the partner? I know male Lions mate for bonding, while they mate with a female for procreating, which is why they would kill any female's offspring that already exist from other males.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:18 PM   #16
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Sexual orientation. Not sexual preference. Hard to have a respectful conversation with someone you consider not normal when you're using terminology decades out of date.
This is Orwellian logic, where language is modified and controlled to eventually control thought and imagination itself; where a dissenting opinion is inconceivable because there is no language to convey it.

Every person has an absolute obligation to reject political correctness which is nothing more than a ham-handed attempt at Newspeak.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:24 PM   #17
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Every person has an absolute obligation to reject political correctness which is nothing more than a ham-handed attempt at Newspeak.
"Politiical Correctness" is just a jerk's term for not being a jerk.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:25 PM   #18
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Do animals have differ intentions/purpose according to the sex of the partner? I know male Lions mate for bonding, while they mate with a female for procreating, which is why they would kill any female's offspring that already exist from other males.
Sounds like the old Arab proverb: "Women for breeding, boys for pleasure, but melons for sheer delight."
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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And it's hard to dance around all this political correctness. Sorry, I wasn't handed any guide book on reference to gays. By your logic, I shouldn't have any discussion about race when being referred to as African American. Jeez, soon I wouldn't be able to say the word "gay".
You brought the topic up. It's incumbent on you to do the research - especially when your whole premise is so patently offensive.

And I don't believe for a minute the word "gay" is REALLY the one you want to use anyway.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:29 PM   #20
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"Politiical Correctness" is just a jerk's term for not being a jerk.
Actually it's a term Socialists used against Communists who were all about language and thought manipulation to tow the party line to ensure loyalty to the Communist Party.

Like...1984...
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:37 PM   #21
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Do animals have differ intentions/purpose according to the sex of the partner? I know male Lions mate for bonding, while they mate with a female for procreating, which is why they would kill any female's offspring that already exist from other males.
Hard to know for sure. male giraffes have full homosexual intercourse with each other more often then with females. animals can and do even masturbate. Sex is such a complex thing it can't be defined as peg p going into slot v and that's it.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 08:49 PM   #22
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You brought the topic up. It's incumbent on you to do the research - especially when your whole premise is so patently offensive.
Tell me how to research something that's unknown. This is the first time I ever heard of the term "sexual preference" being insulting.

Maybe if you would have just politely filled me in without the attitude, I would have change the term in the OP. But you just zoom in on "sexual preference" with a disregard for the rest of the sentence. "Doesn't make anyone more or less of a person and I have the upmost respect for anyone of any sexual prefrence"


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And I don't believe for a minute the word "gay" is REALLY the one you want to use anyway.
Let me guess .... Your one of those people who always thinks there is reason someone took a glance at you.



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Hard to know for sure. male giraffes have full homosexual intercourse with each other more often then with females. animals can and do even masturbate. Sex is such a complex thing it can't be defined as peg p going into slot v and that's it.
Thing is, my male gay friends and even my gay cousin tell me they have absolutely no attraction to females at all. My female gay friends state the same about men. So I just wonder, is it normal that they were biologically built for reproduction, while being 100% gay will never give them the chance to reproduce? Gay men still ejaculate and gay women still have cycles.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 11:48 AM   #23
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You brought the topic up. It's incumbent on you to do the research - especially when your whole premise is so patently offensive.
I don't think the OP set out to be offensive, why did you choose to be offended
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 12:54 PM   #24
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Hard to know for sure. male giraffes have full homosexual intercourse with each other more often then with females. animals can and do even masturbate. Sex is such a complex thing it can't be defined as peg p going into slot v and that's it.
No they don't. Giraffes aren't people.

There is a reason people meant to exist in the Roman era (latin speakers) don't say homosexual giraffes in this scene, because it wouldn't make sense because giraffes aren't people.

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Old Dec 29, 2013, 01:30 PM   #25
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No they don't. Giraffes aren't people.

There is a reason people meant to exist in the Roman era (latin speakers) don't say homosexual giraffes in this scene, because it wouldn't make sense because giraffes aren't people.
I'm not sure "Gladiator" is an especially good source for how the Romans spoke to each other or how to use a Greek and Latin hybrid in modern speech.

The Romans didn't have a direct translation of the word homosexual (which is a modern hybrid of Latin and Greek), but instead had a flurry of words and phrases that connoted specific meanings to relationships defined by status and notions of manliness.

In this case, same sex relations or homosexual relations would make far more sense in usage than gay and the problem with queer is it defines the relationships as odd or spoiled, which seems inaccurate for a zoologist's usage.
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