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replied to your post

“(This post is inspired by @industrialbruise‘s post here on pollution…”

I don’t get this

In fact, when I’ve touched something like poison ivy where I literally can’t touch my face until I’ve washed my hands, it’s really hard to remember not to touch anything


I don’t get the tingling in all cases. I think the main factor is whether the contamination is…I’m not sure what the right phrasing would be…exceptional? Like, if I’m in a grocery store, there’s a single flag in my brain for “have I touched *anything* public yet†”, and once I’ve done so touching additional stuff doesn’t affect me unless I have some reason to believe it’s *unusually* dirty. The tingling is usually if I’ve touched a *single* contaminated thing, especially if I wasn’t expecting in advance that I would be doing that. Poison ivy would *probably* qualify, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually encountered any myself.

Even when I don’t *feel* it like that, I’m usually pretty good at keeping track of “is this clean”. Not always: during Dad’s recent cold, at one point it didn’t occur to me until far too late that I was using the same leash to take the dog for a morning walk that he’d used to take the dog for an evening walk, and was turning on the light switch that he had turned off. I seem to slip up a lot less than most people, though (and in any case I got away with those particular incidents).

While I do consciously place a higher value than most people on keeping track of this stuff, it’s also just higher-salience to me. I once spotted the expiration date on a juice box at a *glance*, when Mom had deliberately searched for a date and couldn’t find it. To her it blended in with the cryptic production code right next to it, but to me it stood out. Almost like an Ishihara test.

(…now I’m thinking about Amentans testing a person’s pollution sensitivity with things like “how long does it take them to spot the red in a Where’s Waldo picture”.)

†This flag is checked when processing questions like “my nose is itchy; should I use a fingernail to scratch it, or rub my nose against the sleeve on my upper arm instead?” or “they gave me an Oreo as a free sample; should I pick it up with my bare hand, or use the paper cup it came in like a mitten?”


#injygo #Amenta #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #in which Brin has a food poisoning phobia #(and related issues) #replies #food mention #illness tw #@roleplayers: feel free to use me as inspiration when describing what getting polluted feels like #(especially if the character believes in a theory of pollution such that) #(”this specific patch of my skin is polluted but I can still keep it contained” is a coherent statement) #((does point-of-contact allow for that with *people* or just objects?)) #((there’s probably a schism over that somewhere))

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