There were some days, like today, when David wondered about things, asked questions like why? Most days, he didn't care, or at least, did an excellent impression of not caring. However, there were days, days like today, when sometimes asked, why? When he looked at the bigger picture and mostly agreed that despite humanities many bad points, there were perhaps just enough good ones that it might be considered a fair balance.
In college, when he'd still been trying to figure out exactly what he wanted to do, he'd studied a lot of just about everything, Heider's theory of balance had captured him, simply because at the time, David was young enough, idealistic enough and hopelessly lost enough, to want to understand and recreate balance.
Of course, it didn't work then, because David got caught up by the far more interested study of the hard sciences and he'd rarely looked back, pretty much just accepting his life for what it was.
In recent years, he thought about it though, because he wasn't lost now, could even say, he was *happy* rather than indifferent with his life and the world around him.
Las Vegas had changed his life and the people in it had changed his heart, had given him the balance he'd so craved, back when he was still young enough to care and think about it.
Today, David considered it.
Heider was interested in those constancies that could be found in the ways people view their relations with other people and with the environment. The experiments David had read about... which his roommate of the time had jokingly called the Alphabet jumble, since nothing was really identified, except by letters. P - O - X - L - U and negatives there off. Actually David would admit, it did give him a headache trying to make sense of it all the first few times he'd read it, but after a while, it had started to make a strange kind of sense.
Heider said, a balanced state exists if all three relations are positive in all respects, or if two are negative and one positive. If P liked O, P liked X and O liked X, they were balanced. If P liked O, P liked X and O didn't like X, they were not balanced. It wasn't that complicated, well, maybe a little, but it worked, sort of.
There were issues in the theory, like there were in any theory, which was the problem with theory, it rarely applied in practice and he'd come to learn it certainly didn't apply to him.
Newcomb had come along and confused matters more with his three psychological states: balance, imbalance, and nonbalance and over the years more people had come along to point out flaws in both.
Insko with his proverbs that seem to contradict balance theory, "Opposite attract"; for example; but Heider was even kind enough to explain that dissimilarity can result in liking if the characteristics of the two people involved complement each other. It was the one part of the theory; David still liked to thank him for because it reminded him a lot of his own life.
Whether they were even still in use as theories today, David had no idea, it didn't really matter anyway, it wasn't like David still needed them, because David had found his balance quite well without Heider or Newcomb or anyone else and their alphabet jumbles.
David's life had found its balance, in Las Vegas.
In a place so unbalanced, it was actually almost comical. With people so unbalanced, it was a wonder they weren't all in straight jackets. With a man who kept David so unbalanced, it was a wonder *he* wasn't in a straight jacket. And wasn't that just the kicker? David's balance, his happiness, contentment, peace of mind and body... was found in being unbalanced.
And as fascinating as Heider was, as intriguing as the idea of balance was, David really thought it was over rated, because David wasn't balanced.
His life, was not balanced. His friends were not balanced. And to Nick the idea of balance was taking turns to defrost whatever could be tossed in the microwave with the last trouble.
Most days he'd have to say, his life was a jumble. Juggling work, friends, Nick and occasionally attempting to fit in some sleep. It was messy, unbalanced and mostly unmanageable. Filled with love and laughter, the smiles of friends, the quiet nights where he and Nick spent hours just making love.
David could never be accused of being balanced. But he was happy