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Systematic Desensitization

Wallstreetatheist
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5/2/2013 1:32:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
...is a type of behavior therapy used in the field of psychology to help effectively overcome phobias and other anxiety disorders. The first step is the creation of an anxiety inducing stimulus hierarchy. The second step is the learning of relaxation or coping techniques. Once the individual has been taught these skills, he or she must use them in the third step to react towards and overcome situations in the established hierarchy of fears. The goal of this process is for the individual to learn how to cope with, and overcome the fear in each step of the hierarchy.

What do you fear the most? Public speaking, approaching girls, spiders? Type it in the comment section below.

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RyuuKyuzo
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5/2/2013 2:29:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I used to be terribly afraid of fighting.

I fought a lot as a kid, but then I went through a loooong period where I never got into a single fight, then when they started happening again, I found myself terrified of it, even though I've always been strong and good at it =/. Heck, I was the strongest guy in my high-school except for mayyyybe the football coach and the junior wrestling coach, and I was the best wrestler in the school save for the head wrestling coach (but gimmie a break, he was literally an Olympic wrestler =___=).

Despite this, guys who were much weaker and less combat-skilled, hell even guys significantly smaller than me, I'd be afraid to fight.

The resolution to this problem was a little strange. It turns out that I wasn't afraid of fighting, I just really suck at trash-talking. As soon as someone gets up in my face, my adrenaline goes through the roof and the more eloquent parts of my brain shut down almost immediately. I couldn't force myself to stay level-headed enough to return verbal blows, so I'd look like an idiot and it would just turn into a long, dragged out stand-off until one of us left.

Because of this, I thought I was afraid of fighting -- until one day I skipped the trash-talking and just went right to feeding the guy a mouthful of his own teeth. I hit him as hard as a could, which was bad because despite this guy's bravado, he was not tough by any means =/

I cried about it after. I felt awful for what I did to the guy, but from that I also figured out that I wasn't afraid of what I thought I was afraid of.

In any case, now I have a fear of hurting people. Whenever I get into bar fights I stick to grappling as much as possible. I just can't bring myself to strike someone else, at least not very hard... I only resort to it when the alternative grappling technique would cause more damage than a quick bop to the schnoz.

Anyway, I don't think this is a fear I ought to prioritize getting over =p It's probably for the best. The point is, sometimes what you think you're afraid of isn't what you're afraid of at all.
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Agent_Orange
Posts: 2,252
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5/2/2013 2:32:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Spiders. Spiders are the living embodiment of evil. I have no plans to overcome this fear because fvck spiders.
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R0b1Billion
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5/2/2013 8:28:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have avoidant paruresis. When I was 4 years old, I realized that I am terrified of urinating in the presence of other people. I'm not quite sure how/why I am, as the condition is purely psychological, but suffice to say that no matter how badly I need to urinate, I am completely unable to if there is someone nearby that might hear/see me do it. Restroom urinals are absolutely impossible for me if anyone else is in there, and even the stall can be extremely difficult if it is quiet enough to where I can't go without someone else noticing. Generally speaking, the more pressure that is on me to go (through the expectation that one should be able to hear or see me do it) added to the anxiety I have about having to go (measured by how badly I have to go and how little opportunity I might have to go later if I don't now) equals the difficulty in me urinating. Suffice to say it can be an extremely detrimental condition at times, particularly in situations where I don't have the ability to make a quick exit and relieve myself (long trips, in-between sets while I'm on-stage, etc.). I've researched it and there are no easy answers, possibly the OP offers a solution but I've had this condition for 28 years and in all that time it has been impenetrable. Things like alcohol can slightly loosen the effects by making me disoriented but then I just end up having to go many more times!
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Contra
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5/2/2013 2:28:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What do I fear the most? Probably heights.

Also, the few minutes just before a race. I'm perfectly fine once I start, but the few moments before are nerve-wrecking. It maybe is because of some bad experiences I've had with the beginning of races.
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Oryus
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5/2/2013 2:29:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Probably public speaking... I guess... I don't really have any crippling fears that I'm aware of.
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Noumena
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5/2/2013 2:34:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bugs. All types of all varieties. I don't think my specific aversion is natural but brought on by a decidedly not fun trip I had a few years ago. Haven't tried doing anything about it though. I just avoid bugs like anyone else.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Agent_Orange
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5/2/2013 7:45:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 8:28:20 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I have avoidant paruresis. When I was 4 years old, I realized that I am terrified of urinating in the presence of other people. I'm not quite sure how/why I am, as the condition is purely psychological, but suffice to say that no matter how badly I need to urinate, I am completely unable to if there is someone nearby that might hear/see me do it. Restroom urinals are absolutely impossible for me if anyone else is in there, and even the stall can be extremely difficult if it is quiet enough to where I can't go without someone else noticing. Generally speaking, the more pressure that is on me to go (through the expectation that one should be able to hear or see me do it) added to the anxiety I have about having to go (measured by how badly I have to go and how little opportunity I might have to go later if I don't now) equals the difficulty in me urinating. Suffice to say it can be an extremely detrimental condition at times, particularly in situations where I don't have the ability to make a quick exit and relieve myself (long trips, in-between sets while I'm on-stage, etc.). I've researched it and there are no easy answers, possibly the OP offers a solution but I've had this condition for 28 years and in all that time it has been impenetrable. Things like alcohol can slightly loosen the effects by making me disoriented but then I just end up having to go many more times!

My friend has the same thing. What he does is listen to an mp3 player when he goes to public restrooms and closes his eyes. Says it helps him.
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
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5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutter here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.
dylancatlow
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5/2/2013 9:19:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutter here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.

stutterer*
thett3
Posts: 14,378
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5/2/2013 9:21:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 2:32:41 AM, Agent_Orange wrote:
Spiders. Spiders are the living embodiment of evil. I have no plans to overcome this fear because fvck spiders.
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Skepsikyma
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5/2/2013 9:29:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:21:05 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 5/2/2013 2:32:41 AM, Agent_Orange wrote:
Spiders. Spiders are the living embodiment of evil. I have no plans to overcome this fear because fvck spiders.

Not even jumping spiders? They're soooo adorable!

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"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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5/2/2013 9:32:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:19:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutterer here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.

I have more of a problem with blocking than the typical stutter. It's a dreadful feeling.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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5/2/2013 9:36:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:32:41 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:19:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutterer here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.

I have more of a problem with blocking than the typical stutter. It's a dreadful feeling.

Me too. I think it's worse than the stereotypical looney tunes stammer, because people don't know what to make of it. I've literally hung up on people before because I couldn't make a sound.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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5/2/2013 9:40:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:36:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:32:41 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:19:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutterer here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.

I have more of a problem with blocking than the typical stutter. It's a dreadful feeling.

Me too. I think it's worse than the stereotypical looney tunes stammer, because people don't know what to make of it. I've literally hung up on people before because I couldn't make a sound.

And, as I'm sure you know, it comes and goes.
Skepsikyma
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5/2/2013 9:41:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:40:06 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:36:50 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:32:41 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:19:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:18:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

Fellow stutterer here. I have quite a minor one, and it really only manifests itself when I'm public speaking or talking on the phone, but it's more frustrating than people who are fluent can begin to understand.

I have more of a problem with blocking than the typical stutter. It's a dreadful feeling.

Me too. I think it's worse than the stereotypical looney tunes stammer, because people don't know what to make of it. I've literally hung up on people before because I couldn't make a sound.

And, as I'm sure you know, it comes and goes.

Mmmhmm. And makes telling jokes next to impossible.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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5/2/2013 9:44:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I also have a crippling phobia of maggots, and a moderate one of giraffes. The latter one is bizarre, and I have no idea where it came from.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Noumena
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5/2/2013 9:46:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

I feel the exact opposite. A few weeks ago my Philosophy professor asked me to speak for half an hour on my approach to the concept of God/religion. Pretty sure I got off on it.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Skepsikyma
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5/2/2013 9:58:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:46:13 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

I feel the exact opposite. A few weeks ago my Philosophy professor asked me to speak for half an hour on my approach to the concept of God/religion. Pretty sure I got off on it.

It is thrilling when I can pull it off. The only time that I was able to do so without a hitch was my seminar presentation, which involved hours upon hours of practicing in front of a mirror. But the worst is when I'm in some kind of group setting, and we all take turns standing up and making an impromptu presentation. By the time it gets to be my turn I'm a wreck and can barely get through four words before becoming essentially mute.

Do you have a speech impediment as well? If so, how have you managed it?
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Noumena
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5/2/2013 10:13:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 9:58:46 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 5/2/2013 9:46:13 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:27:50 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Public speaking. I have a pretty severe speech impediment which has largely been brought under control through therapy in everyday situations. But certain things can make it come back full force, two of them being public speaking, especially if I am unprepared, and talking on the phone. It makes me feel completely powerless, and I hate it very much.

I feel the exact opposite. A few weeks ago my Philosophy professor asked me to speak for half an hour on my approach to the concept of God/religion. Pretty sure I got off on it.

It is thrilling when I can pull it off. The only time that I was able to do so without a hitch was my seminar presentation, which involved hours upon hours of practicing in front of a mirror. But the worst is when I'm in some kind of group setting, and we all take turns standing up and making an impromptu presentation. By the time it gets to be my turn I'm a wreck and can barely get through four words before becoming essentially mute.

Do you have a speech impediment as well? If so, how have you managed it?

No, I've always liked speaking in public. But I think it's because I usually only talk about things that I have either an immense interest in or topics which I at least have a strong (relative to my audience) grasp over.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
1Devilsadvocate
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5/2/2013 11:07:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I used to be scared of spiders, bugs, public speaking, and driving.
Got over all of them through natural desensitization.
Spiders and bugs were pretty much cured after a month of living in a tent in the forest.
Public speaking was cured by doing it, and seeing that I could.
Same for driving.
Just have one left, approaching girls. Solution: blind dates.
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cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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5/2/2013 11:13:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have to crippling fears. silence and talking to girls. I hate silence and by silence I mean no one talking but there is other noise. I think I hate it because a lot of times there's constant conversation in tv shows. I had to start a conversation with a veitnamese woman at the haircutters because of the silence
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tulle
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5/2/2013 11:21:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm incredibly shy and used to dread talking in front of people, let alone a crowd. These tips helped me to become a really good public speaker and I hope it helps someone:

1) Remember your audience is just as nervous as you (especially if you're presenting in front of your class. If you think of the fact that everyone is nervous to get up there, it's not so threatening.)

2) KNOW YOUR SUBJECT. Anxiety is exacerbated when you don't know what you're talking about, or don't believe it.

3) Enunciate, speak clearly, think before you speak. If you trip up your words because you're not thinking or you're talking too fast, it's going to make you more anxious and you'll mess up more.

4) Remember that you're allowed to make mistakes. If you fumble on a word or lose your train of thought, nobody's going to crucify you. Smile, make a light joke, keep it moving.

I actually really enjoy public speaking now and will make any excuse to talk in class :p
yang.
R0b1Billion
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5/3/2013 10:10:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/2/2013 7:45:27 PM, Agent_Orange wrote:
At 5/2/2013 8:28:20 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I have avoidant paruresis. When I was 4 years old, I realized that I am terrified of urinating in the presence of other people. I'm not quite sure how/why I am, as the condition is purely psychological, but suffice to say that no matter how badly I need to urinate, I am completely unable to if there is someone nearby that might hear/see me do it. Restroom urinals are absolutely impossible for me if anyone else is in there, and even the stall can be extremely difficult if it is quiet enough to where I can't go without someone else noticing. Generally speaking, the more pressure that is on me to go (through the expectation that one should be able to hear or see me do it) added to the anxiety I have about having to go (measured by how badly I have to go and how little opportunity I might have to go later if I don't now) equals the difficulty in me urinating. Suffice to say it can be an extremely detrimental condition at times, particularly in situations where I don't have the ability to make a quick exit and relieve myself (long trips, in-between sets while I'm on-stage, etc.). I've researched it and there are no easy answers, possibly the OP offers a solution but I've had this condition for 28 years and in all that time it has been impenetrable. Things like alcohol can slightly loosen the effects by making me disoriented but then I just end up having to go many more times!

My friend has the same thing. What he does is listen to an mp3 player when he goes to public restrooms and closes his eyes. Says it helps him.

Mine is much more insidious; if I were to put an mp3 player on in an empty restroom, I probably would not be able to go JUST BECAUSE I can't verify that I'm alone. My paruresis is acute and probably will never go away.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.