When I ask myself, as I sometimes do, what an astral wizard, alien spirit, or young AGI would do if it found itself in possession of my own body and mind, it’s obvious that one of the first things it would do is start lifting and getting swole. For it is well known to this world’s mindken that human bio-souls work much more consistently when housed in a phylactery that is totally ripped. Truly, any entity entering this world in such a way that wished to mitigate the limited willpower of their new form would immediately work to get fucking jacked.


#(for any of you who remember that cyber-lich post‚ this is the same guy) #I started working out about three weeks ago #–(having already taken up jogging in 2018)– #and I keep thinking about this post #I’ve still got a ways to go‚ but I *am* starting to see improvement #although at this level‚ the mental-health benefits of being in better shape are very difficult to untangle from #the mental-health benefits of renewed hope #someday‚ not so long from now‚ I will be able to say yes to potential employers who ask me if I can carry 50lb objects #(as a large fraction of potential employers around here do) #less vital but still meaningful‚ someday soon I’m going to carry my *own* softener-salt bags instead of having to ask my brother to do it #(at my pre-workout strength I could‚ just barely‚ move 40lb salt bags from the grocery-store display into my cart) #(but I could *not* carry them into the house and down the basement stairs and pour them into the tank) #((P.S. I waited until after finishing the comment roundup to post this)) #((and I think I overdid it a couple days ago)) #((my neck does seem to be recovering well though)) #((it’s a learning process)) #tag rambles #exercise #that one post with the thing #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what



go to this random coordinates generator and say in the tags how you would fare if you were dropped where it generates without warning. i’ll go first i’d be dropped in the middle of the fucking south atlantic ocean and perish

I got one of those dinky little islands near the Canada-Alaska border! Total crapshoot whether I freeze to death before I find a human who’ll let me hitchhike somewhere.


#latitude 33.54180 longitude -167.46516 #middle of goddamn nowhere roughly a thousand kilometres north of some tiny Hawaiian island #on my fifth attempt I hit land‚ in a field fifteen metres from a highway in Vietnam #(12.015250 108.135528) #I can probably work with that one #especially if I get dropped with my utility belt #(oh wow‚ WolframAlpha gives lots of neat fun facts about a coordinate point if you search for it) #(did you know that‚ while it’s merely 28C in temperature‚ the current UV index there is *13*?) #(I didn’t even know the UV index *went* that high) #(WolframAlpha helpfully informs me that very pale people such as myself should not be outside for more than 10 minutes) #(I still think I can probably make it work overall but it looks like I’m in for a nasty sunburn) #((at least on whatever parts I wasn’t able to cover up: I think I do have a *little* tube of sunscreen in my bag)) #((…wait‚ hang on‚ the weather station they’re pulling this from is *208km* away from and *640* metres below the actual point?)) #((honestly at that point they should just give up and admit that they have no idea what the weather is like there)) #also‚ congrats to the person in the notes who ended up in fucking London #(”LONDON???? I’LL LIVE BUT AT WHAT COST????”) #tag rambles #memes #maps #death tw?








I’d give my dearly departed vibrator of 10 years a viking funeral, but I don’t think the ducks at Piney Lakes Reserve will understand why an itty bitty boat with burning plastic is floating around. This will have to do.


#honestly kind of related to…okay not my last two posts anymore #the first two posts of today #fucking AI horses and music streams instead of just having an object that is yours and you do what you want with it #there’s still loopholes‚ still alternatives‚ but it’s getting harder to jump through the hoops #to obtain something that truly belongs to *you* #also my respirator sprung a leak yesterday and I am very grateful to be able to just #go to an industrial-supply website and buy an identical model for three hours’ wages #Godspeed to you‚ first respirator‚ it’s been amazing #(admittedly I *would* like something with a speech diaphragm) #(but I gather those are expensive right now) #(and honestly I think it’s worth having one of these older models around regardless‚ to be able to make use of a wider variety of filters) #also also my glasses were discontinued in 2012 #the oblivious people *around* me can’t even fucking tell whether I’m wearing them or my backup pair #but *I* put the backup pair on and I’m like #”…is this what dysphoria feels like” #”I think this might be what dysphoria feels like” #”oh god” #anyway this has been your regular reminder to fuck cloud dependence‚ no not like that #tag rambles #comics #art #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #disappointed permanent resident of The Future #transhumanism #nsfw text

{{note: AI horses and music streams}}


My new favorite thing: People making their reusable elastomeric respirators beautiful! (Usually the Dentec P100 or the Dentec N95, which are NIOSH-certified and reusable.)


(Above is the artist @nickelpin)

I’ve been collecting as many of these customizations as I can find, and I think they fall into a few categories:

  1. The first is the colorful distraction, where it seems like the aim is to make the mask colorful and cheerful — less scary — which distracts from the apocalyptic / gas mask vibes, while still being simple enough for everyday wear.

2. The second is make it fashion, where the aim is to just make something that looks so incredibly cool that you feel beautiful wearing it, and it feels like a stylish accessory. These use lots of shiny elements and swirling patterns (all of the below by @nickelpin)


3. And the third is punk where the mask customization embraces and enhances its non-conforming / resistance undertones. My favorite in this category is by @andrewshumate, who installed a CO2 monitor and set it up so the filters change color based on the CO2 levels in the space.





Talking about materials: @nickelpin has mentioned that she uses Angelus 2-Hard or Angelus leather paint.

A lot of others are using Posca paint markers.


I have been daydreaming a lot about designs for a customized Dentec P100 or N95!

(my daily masks are either my Dentec P100 or the comfy 3M Aura N95, and I’d like to have a reusable respirator that looks less intimidating for everyday walks etc.)

First, some cheerful patterns. I actually like the cloud one a lot, I might do it. I think the high-contrast sunflower design is super effective at distracting the eye from the respirator shape.


I’m also really into this night sky version. Feels more beautiful / mysterious / subtle.


These are not my style, but I’m reeeeeally into the idea of bootleg Louis Vuitton designer masks. (This is like, the opposite of punk, lol)



Just thinking about how wearing a respirator (like KN95, N95, or the pictured elastomeric N95s and P100s) is very cool and my personal experience is that everyone thinks you’re cool and attractive when you do it.

Project N95 is a nonprofit that sells these and other respirators for relatively cheap, you can find them here: link .


I got a question about reusable masks that look less apocalyptic but still work.

I’m not a mask nerd (just a normie who wants to stay alive another week + live in solidarity with disabled people), so first I want to recommend The People’s CDC as a resource. Their latest info on masking is here, and they also have a weekly COVID weather report newsletter that I love here.

So: If that’s you, I’d recommend the Flo mask. It’s not NIOSH-certified yet, but it does seem to work like an N95 from what we can see (results here and here). It also has kids’ sizes!

And you can do cool mods like adding spikes or decals. (Artist and designer Nickelpin has an online shop where she sells Flo mask decal stickers like the sparkly star below — that’s here.)



#I’m not much into decorating things in general #and to the extent that I have an aesthetic‚ ”post-apocalyptic chic” actually fits it very well #but I’m glad this exists #(also‚ while we here at Brinens and Things do *not* endorse passive-aggressively strapping a CO2 monitor to your face) #((except maybe at DefCon: seems like in that social context it actually might not backfire)) #(we have to admit that’s a hell of a thing) #clothing #illness tw #transhumanism #proud citizen of The Future #((getting an elastomeric is‚ in all sincerity‚ one of the best things that has ever happened to me)) #((warts and all)) #((I said back in the day that I might stop masking in summer‚ or with some vaccines in me)) #((but in the end‚ I thought: why go back? why settle for less?)) #((I’ve had a taste of a better world‚ and I’m not going to turn around and walk away)) #((The Future has open borders: to live there‚ one need only choose)) #tag rambles


you are offered a choice:

  1. You get to open a video-game style character creation screen and customise your body at will, to anything within range of human variation (no cat ears, sorry). This includes letting you set a new biological age, get rid of any physical health issues, and so on. Your new appearance seems unremarkable to anyone who knows you, all government databases with your picture are adjusted, etc.
  2. You get 150 000 USD every year for the rest of your life without having to do anything for it. You don’t pay taxes on this money, it adjusts with inflation automatically, it appears entirely legitimate to any authorities, etc.

what do you choose, and also, are you trans or cis (if you’re tempted to answer ‘it’s complicated’, round off to trans)?



My tag ramble was so long that Tumblr cut it off (apparently the current limit is 30 tags), so I’m dumping it into the main post body:

#I’ve been wavering on whether to reblog this for ages

#I felt kind of bad about piling on to Sofi’s notespam like that

#but it being context for the next post has pushed me over into “yes”

#I didn’t realise until after voting that the character creation is one-time-only rather than ongoing access

#which makes the correct answer less *obvious*

#but I stand by my vote of cis | character creation

#(as it happens I *am* considering doing a second puberty through this‚ but they’d both be estrogenic)

#(honestly I’d barely even need the magic ID updating)

#(29-year-old me in 12-year-old me’s body could pass for 29 about as well as I could in 29-year-old body)

#(the two mes look pretty much the same: it’s all a matter of how you act)

#((well‚ 12-year-old me was a little smaller‚ but within the adult range and her face was already more or less stable))

#(((ooh‚ I bet I could tweak it so that I *stay* five-foot-one this time around)))

#(((during my first puberty my body map never updated for my final growth spurt‚ and

#I’m not *dysphoric* about being two inches too tall‚ but it does get a bit disorienting sometimes)))

#anyway my point there is that…a lot of people in the notes are going “money can be exchanged for goods and services”

#but I think in this case that’s actually backwards

#while money and health do both feed into each other

#health can be exchanged for money to a much greater degree than money can be exchanged for health

#money can *maybe* buy you the *appearance* of 9 – 17

#–(depending on how much puberty I can get away with doing again without fucking up my brain)–

#more years of youth‚ but it won’t buy you the lifespan nor the functionality of it

#money can buy you the ability to *breathe* your homeworld’s atmosphere even during pollen season

#and enough of it can buy you the ability to *talk* while breathing it

#but it can’t really buy you the ability to eat and drink while breathing it‚ and that’s a significant handicap in itself

#(not to mention the street harassment you get wearing a prosthetic immune system (to keep your built-in immune system from freaking out))

#likewise‚ money can buy disease *prevention*‚ but not the ability to shrug it off once you’ve caught it

#the ability of money to buy more robust bones is extremely limited

#(have I ever broken a bone? no! but why settle for merely *adequate* bone strength when I can have *optimal* bone strength?)

#((…god‚ why is anyone who is not *actively dying* for want of resources taking the money over the health))

#((I was so very aware‚ that time last year that a ventilation floor grate broke beneath me‚ that if I’d been 80 I would have *died*))

#((but I was 28‚ and I got away without even a broken bone))

#((why would you give that up any more than you have to))

#the list goes on

#meanwhile‚ health can buy you a nice steady low-non-physical-barrier-to-entry job as a farmhand or dockworker

#(not *as* steady as magic income‚ yes‚ and I *do* care a great deal about that‚ but I care about health *more*)

#and I’m not altruistic enough to take more money than I need so that I can give the rest away‚ not given what else is on offer


#reply via reblog #tag rambles #surveys #transhumanism #gender #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #adventures in human capitalism #aging cw #death tw #poison cw? #injury cw #illness tw?

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i got different answers when i asked my vegetarian sister, my vegetarian mom, and my vegan partner so.

if lab grown meat became widely available and easily affordable, would you eat it?


if you want to tag why please go right ahead, (i.e. you wouldn’t consider it to follow religious dietary rules and restrictions). i’m very curious because i’ve talked about this a lot with people.


#I eat meat about once or twice a week and I am so hyped† for cultured meat #why‚ you ask? well‚ read my previous post #(do cultured mink fur next so those little bastards can stop breeding new variants of every goddamn epidemic that comes along) #((I suspect doing fur would be harder‚ but like‚ that is *the sort of line* along which we ought to be thinking)) #((*even if* one ignores the matter of animal welfare‚ I firmly believe we should wean ourselves off factory farming for our *own* safety)) #speaking as someone who makes less than the global average income‚ I would be willing to pay up to double to have my meat be cultured #†I continue to not be good at excitement qualia‚ but like‚ intellectually hyped #food #animal abuse cw? #illness tw? #surveys #proud citizen of The Future #(((P.S. also I suspect future-me will care more about animal welfare #and *I* care about *her* and do not want her to regret having been me #so that’s also a factor in why I eat so little meat))) #(((I think Ozy Brennan put it very well when they said #”when [people] can look up and think about something other than staying alive‚ the first luxury they buy is compassion” #I can’t look up right now #but maybe someday I’ll be able to))) #tag rambles


PEOPLE WITH NORMAL SEXUAL INTERESTS: Surrounded by an endless sea of hyperstimulus pornography human brains aren’t equipped to handle, doomed to become porn addicts, unable to sustain arousal in the presence of other human beings

PEOPLE WITH INCREDIBLY NICHE FETISHES: Encounter porn they like roughly as often as a child growing up in the 80s might stumble upon an adult’s Playboy stash, maintain normal brain chemistry, belong to welcoming communities where they can find partners with shared interests


#the author of ”Give These People a Break” came out with a second bonus chapter and‚ not unrelatedly‚ I am thinking about this post again #I always did pity the people (presumably out there) who are actually into the kind of women they use in sex-sells commercials #must be awful to have everybody and their brother trying to hijack your salience mechanisms #but it’s more than just a matter of salience‚ isn’t it? #until recently† I had never read porn that was actually well-suited to my tastes #(and not for lack of trying) #(everything was cousin conditions and approximations and picking my way carefully through minefields of squick) #but now I have #don’t get me wrong‚ I’m genuinely very glad to have that experience #I absolutely endorse that #I would all three of want/like/approve having *some* more works like it #…but I think I begin to see how it could pose a problem‚ if there were *thousands* #overall I do still believe I will probably do okay in #the rapidly approaching future where you can get competently written incredibly niche porn made to order out of a vending machine #(I’ve handled access to superstimuli decently well in the past) #(not perfectly‚ but like‚ a solid B+) #but in August I was casually confident that of *course* it would be okay‚ and that’s not the case anymore #[†I originally wrote here ”when I first read OP”‚ but then I actually dug up the post I was thinking of and I saw it eleven days *later* #(maybe etirabys’s reblog wasn’t the first one I saw: OP *is* actually years old (2019-12-16) and it *feels* like it’s been around for years #but etirabys’s was the one that came to mind)] ↩ #tag rambles #that one post with the thing #sexuality and lack thereof #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #disappointed permanent resident of The Future #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what #apocalypse cw? #drugs cw?


Me telling housemates about radon risks: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!
Me being asked to split radon detector costs: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.


#… #*reads a couple of governments’ websites on home radon exposure* #…man‚ the shit people don’t tell you about‚ huh #*sighs* #*adds a radon testing unit to the List at position 17* #(the test itself is only 50 CAD but the renovations to deal with a failure result are like $4k) #(and there seems little point in testing if I can’t afford to do anything with the result) #((also one of the things one does for this is sealing cracks in one’s basement)) #((which‚ uh‚ half our basement floor is crumbling concrete and the other half is crumbling brick)) #((there are multiple areas of the basement where you can see straight down into the soil below)) #((presumably this is Bad)) #(anyway‚ point being‚ I have placed it just below ”replace basement floor”) #PSA #poison cw #domesticity #adventures in human capitalism #tag rambles #(P.S. okay wait hang on apparently there is a subsidy program for low-income households) #((again I ask why the fuck this did not come up on any of my previous searches for low-income home-repair subsidies)) #(…aaaand we are once again disqualified because everyone thinks Brother ought to be contributing his entire income) #(and not reserving any to save up for a home of his own one day) #(well‚ I’ll make a note‚ maybe he’ll move out before we make it to 17 or something)

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Back when I was a teenager who’d just learned how to generalize the concept of Trying To Optimize Things, I found the concept of holidays somewhat silly. Surely, I thought, if a celebratory activity is fun or otherwise valuable enough to be worth doing at all, it’s worth doing always, rather than constraining it to one day a year. Surely, I thought, if a celebratory activity isn’t fun or otherwise valuable enough to be worth doing normally, it’s not worth doing during specialized holidays, either. And surely, I thought, even for those activities which are expensive enough or low-demand enough that it does make sense to do them relatively infrequently—expensive fireworks shows, for instance, or elections—it’s better to do them whenever it makes sense given the specific logistics of the limits they’re under, rather than pinning them to the calendar in any sort of strict fashion.

There’s a sense in which I still partially agree with my past self. There are many holiday activities, like wearing costumes on Halloween, that I’d find it valuable to disperse more widely throughout the year. (And, indeed, I struggle somewhat with finding costumes to wear for Halloween, nowadays, because I wear Whatever I Want all year round now and thus lack the “wear something I want to wear but couldn’t usually bring myself to for expected-social-disapproval reasons” angle of costume-selection which makes it easy for many others.) And there are many other holiday activities, like fasting on the various Jewish fast days I grew up with, which I find valueless enough that I don’t bother with them even during the holidays where they’re the Official Means Of Celebration.

But, looking back, my past self was looking at things through the wrong frame. The value of holidays isn’t specifically in doing things which are fun or otherwise valuable, but rather in doing things which shake oneself out of one’s usual life-pattern temporarily. Breaking from one’s standard daily routines, and thus getting the chance to notice flaws in those routines or opportunities for improvement, in a way which would be actively impeded were the celebratory activities to be made common enough for people’s standard routines to start factoring them in. The fun is just the hook to get people willing to take breaks from their usual patterns in order to participate in those routine-breaks.

Because there’s a large class of traps one can fall into wherein one has routines, these routines are bad (or at least less-good-than-available-alternatives) for achieving one’s goals, but the nature of the routines is such that it’s hard to notice the availability of whatever less-bad alternatives might exist. Having a dedicated day for “go do something weird and off-routine”, then, serves as a way to ensure that one has the chance to step out of whatever tunnel-vision one’s normal routines might inflict. A chance to rest and relax, if otherwise in a state of permanent exhaustion, or to do something intense-and-tiring, if otherwise not doing much; a chance to spend time hanging out with crowds, or with small groups of people, or alone, if one usually doesn’t get the chance for one or more of those activities; a chance to spend time outdoors, if usually inside, or to spend time inside, if usually outdoors; et cetera.

(These are, to be clear, not intended as an example of routine-breaking things that it would make sense to compress together into a single holiday, but rather as examples of things that would make sense to try to cover within the space of a properly-diverse collection of holidays.)

More specifically, then: a well-designed holiday should involve activities which are fun or otherwise fulfilling and worthwhile-feeling for most people—in order to drive people to participate—but which are not part of most people’s normal routines and not easy to integrate into said routines, in order to help give people the sort of out-of-routine experiences that might help them catch potential improvements to their routines. And then there should be sufficiently many different well-designed holidays that, even taking into account that any given person is likely to find some of the holidays unfun-and-thus-skippable and to find some of the holidays’ activities to fall within their normal routines, most people will still end up getting a nonzero number of properly-routine-breaking holiday experiences per year.

Not all holidays are well-designed, by this standard. America has several interchangeable holidays whose primary means of celebration is “do a barbecue”, for instance, and several more which don’t really have any standard celebrations at all beyond “take the day off work” and/or “do some sort of party maybe”, which would benefit a lot from more differentiation than they’ve currently got. But many holidays are well-designed, by this standard. So I no longer dismiss the value of holidays so much, nowadays. They’ve got room for improvement, sure—some holidays would benefit from the addition of more distinctive and/or more enjoyable celebration-patterns, and some days which currently aren’t holidays would probably benefit from being turned into holidays—but the general idea is sound, nonetheless.


#yes this #but also‚ dedicated routine-breaking days serve as a *meta*-routine #a way to give rhythm to the passage of time #I’ve had to skip or reschedule so many holidays these past few years because of resource constraints and it’s awful to be so unmoored #(originally I was going to reblog this on Boxing Day) #(during the time I would normally have spent exploring the mall together with my mom but which we could not afford this year) #(but I was not really feeling up to talking) #(however‚ this week we celebrated my mother’s birthday late because everyone else was working that day) #(so this seems like another fitting time to bring it out) #((*could* we have arranged to take the day off? yes. but loss of wages is its own punishment.)) #time #tag rambles #adventures in human capitalism #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see

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#hmm #I like the aesthetic‚ but…it’s hard to settle this out into words… #…it’s not safe to go straight there‚ even if you could #the single best argument in favour of technological progress is that if we do not‚ we will die in mere decades #I don’t mean the species; I’m not talking about extinction #I mean each of us‚ individually‚ is mortal #that’s a problem #it is the ur-problem #and while I wish we could have the best of both worlds #and I do think we should strive to make this the best of both worlds #when I think about life as a hobbit vs the life I have… #…at least this way I have a chance #seven percent of all the people who have ever lived‚ it is not too late to save #oh‚ I hedge‚ as hard as I can afford to #I do want to buy the mes who are *forced* to adopt non-industrial lifestyles time #every day is valuable (well‚ except the days with colds) #but in the long run‚ to take up that life by *choice* would be to condemn myself to death #tag rambles #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #death tw #apocalypse cw #aging cw #disappointed permanent resident of The Future