When do people realize that their antidepressant medication is helping? What feels different? How does it feel?

Originally Answered:

After how long did you notice your antidepressant working?

Was supposed to be 2 weeks, it ended up being 4 for me. Zoloft. FWIW. Have since moved to Lexapro.

What is meant by projection problem in semantics?

Presupposition (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Simple clauses have presuppositions. For example, The current king of France is bald presupposes that there is a current king of France.

If you do various things to a clause, like negate it, question it, or say it’s unlikely, the claim of the clause is no longer affirmed. But the presupposition still remains intact. So I can negate The current king of France is bald, and say that The current king of France is not bald at all.

But the presupposition that there is a current king of France still survives. That’s called projection of the presupposition. If X +> Y (X presupposes Y), then Not X +> Y. You need to say something different to the clause, to say “that doesn’t make sense, there is no current king of France”.

Some combinations of clauses do not project: not all the presuppositions survive. Working out how and why is the projection problem. For example:

If there is a knave, then the knave stole the tarts.

There is a knave +> … There is a knave.

If there is a knave, then the knave stole the tarts +> There is a knave? Obviously not: the presupposition of a hypothesis can’t be projected, precisely because it is a hypothesis.

The conditions under which projection happens are messy, and it’s 11:15 pm, so you can go to the links to work out what the debate is about.

What are some great threats one can make?

NSFW, and rather instructive in attitudes towards anal sex as punishment.

There was a threat made by Georgios Karaiskakis, the foul mouthed general of the Greek War of Independence, that I’ve just discovered. It has a kind of magnificent menace to it.

For it to even be intelligible in English, I have to cite from Nick Nicholas’ answer to What are some weird expressions?

Θα μου κλάσεις τ’ αρχίδια. “You will fart on my balls.” The meaning of this is: your threats to me are meaningless, as I am in a position of complete dominance over you.

A particular positioning of bodies is presupposed by this adage, as an expression of traditional male dominance (stereotypically associated with Greeks by non-Greeks, and with Ottomans by Greeks themselves). In such a positioning of bodies, the phrase content would be a plausible if impotent expression of repudiation of such dominance.

That oblique enough for you?

Good. Because in this answer, I won’t be so oblique.

Karaiskakis sent once a message of defiance to the foe. His message of defiance can be paraphrased nobly and decorously, as something like, I don’t know,

“If I should live, then shall they fear my wrath.
If I should die, why should I care a whit?”

But Karaiskakis was not a decorous kind of guy.

What he actually demanded his scribe write down is:

Αν ζήσω, θα τους γαμήσω.
Αν πεθάνω, θα μου κλάσουν τον πούτσον.


Remember: this is the notion of anal sex among heterosexuals as punishment. As seen in prison stereotypes.

“If I live, I will fuck them [in the ass].
If I die, they can fart on my dick.”

The primary meaning of “they can fart on my dick” is “I don’t give a shit about them, they can’t do anything to hurt me anymore.”

But it is the “I don’t give a shit” of magnificent indifference, of someone who is already fucking you in the ass as punishment.


So the worst you can do to them is fart on their dick.

It’s repulsive. It’s homophobic. It’s brutal.

But you gotta admit. It has a certain crude effectiveness.

Is it normal for an educated, single, 50 year-old male to view every 18+ female he interacts with as a potential sex partner or mate?

Ah. How do I answer this without getting myself into massive trouble.

The Annika Schauer is wise. But let me elaborate on the scenario a bit, and let me answer about whether it is appropriate, and whether it is desirable for Anon to date any.

What are the rules for a heterosexual date-seeking male of any age to interact with any women in any context?

  • Be respectful
  • Do not harass people
  • Do not assume people are there for your entertainment
  • Do not assume people will be interested back
  • Do not make the space uncomfortable for your peers
  • Remember that they actually are your peer first, and your potential sex partner or mate second

To which one can add, in this particular context,

  • Be aware of power differentials
  • Be aware of your own feelings of entitlement
  • Be aware that what these 18+ females in your courses are after, even if they are interested in a relationship, and even if they are interested in a relationship with you, might be very different from what you’re after

Let us hypothetically, OP, assume you’re in a class with three women. Under the expert tutelage of the magisterial lecturer Nick Nicholas, expounding forth on the mysteries of Historical Linguistics. (Hey, why does OP get to be the only guy daydreaming?) Let us further, if dangerously, assume they are:

Let us yet further assume that all three of them will remain on speaking terms with me after the conclusion of this hypothetical. Which is not a given.

Now, OP, me old china, Dr Nick has no traffic with what his students get up to on their own time, so long as everyone’s keeping their hands above the desk, and is listening raptly to his dorky jokes and amazing accounts of random language changes.

Dr Nick is concerned that his students feel comfortable and safe in his class; and he really, really hopes that he doesn’t get called in to deal with any disruptions to that.

OP looks langurously around at Sierra and Sarah.

Mary is in fact maybe possibly looking for someone to have a good time with, when she’s not slaving away at the landscaping biz, or trying to make head or tail of the history of Tocharian. Mary is astonishingly awesome; she happens to be more age-appropriate for OP, as our culture sets it out; and Mary has a very good asshole detector, so Dr Nick (who, eh, knows Mary socially through Quora) would have no concerns that Mary would look after herself, and would not allow herself to feel unsafe.

OP, we’ll assume, is not even noticing Mary, because he’s fucking blind or something. A possibility Sierra rightly puts forward in her response. If OP is not even noticing Mary, what’s OP really after?

Sierra? Sierra wants to be regarded as a peer by her peers, and treated with respect. And deserves nothing less. Sierra would be nothing but creeped out by OP putting the moves on her, and knows that no meaningful relationship would develop out of it, because it would not be a relation of peers, or equals, or anything but sexual, and she’s not coming to Dr Nick’s amazing lectures to be leered at like a piece of meat, thank you very much. And seriously, what does OP think they’d have in common to talk about.

Dr Nick (who, eh, knows Sierra socially through Quora) would advise that OP not even try to go there.

Sarah? In this hypothetical, Sarah is not yet giddily engaged, and their fiancé is not about to come out and beat OP up. Sarah, no less than Sierra, wants to be regarded as a peer by their peers, and treated with respect. And deserves nothing less. Sarah in this hypothetical and stage in their life, as it happens, is in fact quite OK for OP to objectify them, and interact with them as a potential sex partner.

So long as they get to objectify him right back. Get prepared for some confronting conversations with them, OP. Sarah is not interested in someone who’s got ridiculous expectations about what’s actually likely to happen. Sarah is not interested in liars, cheaters, or assholes; and if you’re only interested in one thing with Sarah, well then, they get to be interested in only one thing with you, right back. And you’re not any more likely to be the guy that Sarah ends up with as her mate, than you are with Sierra—for what I think are ultimately the same reasons. You don’t have that much in common.

(Dr Nick is respecting Sarah’s pronoun preferences btw, because he, eh, knows Sarah socially through Quora; and if OP doesn’t respect Sarah’s pronoun preferences, he’s not getting far with them.)

So, OP. You can view anyone you like as a potential sex partner or mate. Not during Dr Nick’s class, of course, he’ll likely take a dim view of that. But still.

But. Are you prepared for the consequences?

How do linguists view programming languages?

Read Logan R. Kearsley’s answer to How do linguists view programming languages? Vote #1 Logan R. Kearsley.

What he said.


At very very most, a linguist programmer will see YACC rules specifying a programming language’s syntax, and think “Oh, how cute. Kinda like phrase structure rules, but ludicrously simpler.”

Or, look at the three flavours of semantics of computer languages, procedural, denotational and axiomatic, and find hilarity in their mismatch to human language semantics. It’s almost like the semantics of computer languages is modelling nothing more than the narrow concerns of a Turing machine’s universe.

Oh wait…

If a linguist gets to either YACC or axiomatic semantics, btw, he’s delving a lot deeper into actual Computer Science than any programmer under 40 that I’ve met.

Vote #1 Logan R. Kearsley.