Once on IMDB I saw a “goof” which was that during a scene set in India(?), the light flicker was at the wrong frequency (in hertz). I wish I knew what movie it was to show you guys, I want to say it was some Marvel shit.

I always wondered how this person knew that. Was there an amazing Indian electrician who just instinctively felt the flicker rate was off? Did they go frame by frame and count the flickers per second?


I wanna say that was Tenet?


It was The Bourne Supremacy @garbage-empress



holy fuck




*punching propane tank in a video game*

“no way! I fill these for a living.”




nostalgebraist said: look at this tumblr sjw saying there are more than 5 emotions

there have to be exactly seven, by the same logic that there are seven planets, seven apertures in the head, etc. etc.



eternalfarnham said: joy, sadness, fear, rage, disgust, proprioception and umami

at least one seventh of your brain is dedicated to processing beef noodle soup


#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #the wondrous variety of sapient life #(I guess) #food?




As much fun as you can have looking at obscure and weird Wikipedia pages, what’s really fun about Wikipedia is looking at the pages for completely mundane, everyday things.

There’s something amusing about having a concept explained to you that is so familiar it would never occur to you to look it up, but it’s also fascinating because even though you use a towel every day, you really do not know anything about towels. I could not tell you the history of towels or the types of towels or even come up with an accurate and exhaustive definition of “towel” twenty minutes ago. Almost everything, including things that are part of every day of our lives, is mostly unknown to us.

I feel like this is a form of art. The objective tone and factuality of Wikipedia should be what separates it from the “artistic,” but this kind of systematic definition, description, exploration and exemplification…

…when applied to something like a “hug,” it’s…something else. I am being shown the world and the nature of humans, and it’s beautiful.

The Wikipedia article for Humans is really something else. It’s just back to back sentences that sound like they could have been written by an alien and sentences that could definitely only have been written by us.


#Wikipedia #the wondrous variety of sapient life #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what



also there’s an important analogy I think needs to be made about clinical diagnoses of mental illness

Does everybody remember that post that was talking about how manatees were removed from the endangered species list, and then it was added that this wasn’t actually because their populations were increasing, it was just that their protections as an endangered species were removed?

It’s like that. Mental illness labels are like endangered species labels. They are both made up, they both describe something real to an extent, but the lines defining them can be very arbitrary. And they conceivably wouldn’t be necessary in a perfect world.

But just like the answer to manatees’ decline isn’t to take them off the endangered species list, the answer to mental health problems isn’t to do away with labels. Because—just like if manatees aren’t endangered anymore, we won’t be closely tracking all their populations and setting up wildlife refuges in important habitats and spending lots of money on educating boaters on how to avoid manatees—if we don’t have some way of “labeling” conditions, people won’t be able to easily access information that might help them and ask for the accommodations they need and connect with other people on the basis of shared experiences.

This goes for neurodivergencies too. It especially goes for them.

I know “autism” is a made up label, and to an extent arbitrary. But—do y’all seriously think the only benefit it’s given me is some kind of “identity” related thing?

Before I started reading online about autism, I did not know what sensory issues were. I had them, but I could not identify them. I knew that I would often be very exhausted after social events and would often become very upset and cry. I knew that sometimes eating was very hard for me, and my nutrition was bad. I knew that I hated going to certain things, but I couldn’t articulate why.

Without the “label,” I could not have described or even found out what was happening to me. As a kid I couldn’t tell you “I don’t like events that are loud” or “I don’t like certain kinds of touch” because I didn’t know that. I just knew that the world was scary and sometimes I felt awful and overwhelmed and there were some patterns but I couldn’t interpret them.

My parents didn’t seek out a diagnosis because of anything related to sensory issues either. I thought things were like this for everyone! I just didn’t know why I had to cry so much and be so irritable.

Like, shit, I’ve had a completely debilitating fear and hatred of doctors and medical procedures my entire life and I could never identify why, and I hurt and traumatized myself further not knowing it was an Autism Thing because I couldn’t communicate my needs or concerns because I genuinely didn’t know what they were. I thought everyone felt like I did! I thought when people joked about going to the doctor being unpleasant, they were referring to things like having recurring nightmares about it and shaking uncontrollably from being in a doctor’s office and feeling panicky from having a nurse move in their peripheral vision.

I hate when people talk about how excessively labeling neurodivergency is somehow stifling or oppressive. I need more words, not fewer. I don’t even necessarily believe that characterizing something as a ‘disorder’ is always bad. “That hurts” is a label and a characterization of something as wrong, and when I’m in pain I don’t want people to create a society for me where it’s okay to be in pain, I want someone to help. Things will still hurt in a world where everyone’s needs and feelings are okay! Sometimes they will hurt in non-normative ways! It’s not possible to completely eliminate the ideas of a “normative” way to experience distress!

Like, I think people have this idea that in a Perfect World, autistic people will be able to be like “yeah, I need quiet environments because I’m very sensitive to noise” and have that accommodated without a “pathologizing” label for it.

But when I was diagnosed and began to do research about my condition, I was able to buy clothes based on my sensory issues. I was able to start wearing earplugs to noisy environments. I was able to plan my activities around what would drain my processing energy and give myself adequate time to recover. I couldn’t have done anything like this before because I didn’t know what was causing me to suffer.

I still feel obviously, painfully Other to most people in social environments. I don’t know if that will ever go away. You can theoretically create a society where accomodations are freely available to everyone without “pathologizing” them, but how do you create a society where no one is Other even if their physical perceptions and entire experience of the world is different? How do you talk about sensory differences without labeling some experiences as different? How do you create a world where it’s okay to be autistic if “autistic” can’t be meaningfully differentiated from anything else?

Defining disability and mental illness based purely on accommodating people without labeling them assumes that people can articulate how they are suffering and what they need without “labeling” vocabulary for it. And I just don’t think that would work as well as people think it would.

Sensory overload doesn’t feel like sensory overload until you know what sensory overload is and how it might apply to you. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. It feels like coming home from a party and crying and feeling angry, or snapping at people when they try to ask you things, or just feeling nauseated and like your skin wants to crawl off when you’re sitting at the dinner table. Even if you know what sensory overload is, if you’ve never been able to directly and obviously associate your reactions with stimuli, you might not feel it applies.

I’ve struggled so much with my own experience of my body and world and how it’s different from other peoples’ experience and how to explain and identify things I feel and experience. But if I wasn’t able to label myself as autistic, I would not have recognized my suffering as suffering or fully understood that it was “suffering.” I would have just been anxious and exhausted in such a vague, unclear way that it would limit my life, and I feel sick at the thought of a society that would reassure me that it was “okay” to not want to pursue anything outside of my house without giving me words to describe why that was happening.

Sometimes you can’t tell you’re suffering because you’ve never felt anything better. It’s as if people assume there’s this level of feeling okay that everyone will successfully identify as how they could be feeling, and it’s just not true. Sometimes you can’t tell you’re suffering because youre so out of tune with your senses and emotions that you can’t identify something you’re feeling as worse or better than something else, or at least not outside of the immediate moment. Sometimes when you learn about a “label,” that’s the first time you realize, “Wait. Things can be different?”

Idk. I can’t vibe with the ‘labels r bad’ side of mental illness conversation. Labels are always going to be incomplete but they are also always going to be necessary, and they facilitate the process of asking for accommodations. The idea of eliminating “normal” and “abnormal” as categories of experience is appealing until you spend most of your life not knowing “abnormal” existed and just thought “normal” felt bad and difficult.


I truly believe that a decent chunk of the movable ground in what it’s like to experience being autistic (or otherwise ND) – in what could be improved about life for us – lies in the fact that we currently lack the language and concepts to describe and understand our experiences, which is necessary for e.g. developing coping methods and acquiring accommodations. Nobody is meaningfully helping us with this – ‘treatment’ for autistic adults barely exists, and ‘treatment’ for children is often worse than the ‘disease’. We need our language, however imperfect, to be unrestrained so we can begin to build ourselves functional enough to maybe one day come up with better language. In the meantime, whether or not they meaningfully and precisely carve up reality, our diagnoses are important for beginning to seek our own understanding, and necessary for getting the help we need.


#autism #the wondrous variety of sapient life #yes this #there have been so many things where having the language to describe my experience #and the awareness that *some* but not *all* people feel this way #has been incredibly important #long post



i know an engineer-type dude who said fiction bored him, because fiction is mostly-formulaic and tropey, and you can generally guess what’s gonna happen next, and yada yada

so his solution for this problem was… to solely read serial web novels in languages that (1) he did not speak, and (2) for which there was no actual translation, fan or otherwise

apparently, the combined forces of “trying to figure out WTF is going on via the power of Google Translate” + “cultural differences in storytelling conventions” + “the inherent randomness of where the hell amateur authors are gonna take their plots”—those all mashed up to make stories that were unpredictable enough to keep him guessing all the time

then he described to me this totally batshit-sounding Hungarian story he’d been obsessively reading once a week for years

and god i think about him all the time.  like.  that is the most wild way to process fiction that i have ever heard of, but also, i’ve gotta admire the sheer chaos energy of it

like i tried to tell him suspense isn’t about having no fucking clue what’s going on, it’s about having expectations subverted in novel and interesting ways that nonetheless accord with one’s understanding of the story’s universe, etc

and he’s just like “no.  suspense is when i cannot guess what is happening next, full stop.  quantum physics is a suspense novel”


#the wondrous variety of sapient life




open a new window somewhere in the world. 

i love this because it’s such a simple concept but it answers things i didn’t even know how to ask

Looking out of people’s windows is such a peaceful way of travelling… I got a snowfall in Argentina, a nice sea view in Ukraine, a clothes line in the fog in Bangalore. Antonella from Tavernaro, I like your wooden bird.


#interesting #(note: these are not live feeds) #(they’re recordings on ten-minute loops) #illness mention #covid19 #the wondrous variety of sapient life

Amelia E Voicy Baggs 🌲💧❤️🏳️‍🌈 on Twitter

{{Title link: https://twitter.com/myceliorum/status/1249144979227901952 }}


Mel Baggs, a visionary autistic writer and advocate, has died. Mel was a pillar of the autistic community; ASAN, and neurodiversity as we know it today, would not exist without hir. We are heartbroken. Our thoughts are with Mel’s loved ones.

Over the last few years, Mel documented hir struggles with a service system that would not meet hir independent living needs. ASAN was working with Mel on this issue. It is a massive systems failure that Mel’s needs went unmet in hir last years. Sie deserved so much better.

We don’t know yet what caused Mel’s death. We do know that hir legacy will live on. Mel shaped the way our movement advocates for the rights of autistic and developmentally disabled people, and hir work will continue to do good in the world for decades to come. You can read Mel’s groundbreaking writing here and here.

Thank you, Mel. You will be so, so missed. Rest In Power.


#death tw #autism #the wondrous variety of sapient life #our roads may be golden or broken or lost #I hadn’t kept up with their work lately but I read a lot of their stuff in my early teens

{{previous post in sequence}}




I’ve been thinking about awe lately. I’m wondering if maybe it’s not that I can’t feel it, but that I don’t feel it in response to the standard stars and sunsets and religious rituals.

(Probably the thing that got me thinking this was telling @justice-turtle​ about how I can’t feel emotions that I’m under too much pressure to feel. Rituals and sunsets and fucking stars have so much baggage regarding how one ought to feel about them.)

Maybe awe is the feeling I get sometimes reading about mental experiences that are foreign to me, neither good nor bad but different. Maybe awe is in headspaces and phantom wings, the feeling like seeing the multiverse spread out before you and you’ll never leave your own little patch of it but it’s enough, it’s enough to see it and to know that there are people walking the paths you’ll never take.

Maybe awe is the feeling of reading really well-done porn for a kink that you’re completely not into. The words are filled with some foreign kind of power, power you can’t quite directly perceive but you can hear the whoosh as it flies over your head. You’ll never feel it yourself but it’s enough to know it’s there and to know that there are people who can, who can feel the power in those words and take it into themselves until their bones hum with it and their nervous system sparks.

Sometimes it’s enough, and maybe that’s what it means.

For me, awe is that feeling at the moment right before I comprehend something far beyond myself, that moment where unconscious realization shapes my perspective before conscious understanding has the chance to go in and blind me with outcome bias.

Awe is the rare moment I get when, for just a second, I can really see what I am looking at.

The closest I’ve ever come to understanding religion came from me meta-ing the concept of identity into a spiritual mess. I just kept thinking how I was me but I could be not me but then I wouldn’t be me until I felt, just for a moment, that I understood it all. I chase those feelings whenever I can find them.


#(February 2016) #conversational aglets #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #the wondrous variety of sapient life



when u go to the Very Small Shelf in the library that has info on ur Very Specific Niche Research Topic Of The Day and u go to pick out a book and they stick together bc they’ve been pressed into other books without moving for so long and some of the books are typed in weird typewriter font with huge spacing instead of regular shit and they have old analog library cards that were only punched one (1) time in 1983 like thats when u kno ur In Deep and u gotta like prepare urself….. u could find anything in that shit once u pass like the first bookshelf like its completely free game anything could happen bc u KNO that shit hasn’t been even glanced at in 200 years….open up the 1904 volume of Modern Dick Aerodynamics to the 4832954th page u gonna find a letter in morse code like “i leavith with mine cow for the countryside at dawn”

#i only ever found a couple old receipts but one feels a great love anyway#i was advised in high school to think of research as a way of joining an old and continuous discussion among peers#this was excellent advice tbh#it is comforting to think of oneself in community however vague with the venerable bede#because of course all my research was about medieval numismatics and wages & prices and all that#so you have to think about the medieval historians and their libraries; tiny and extensive at once#love to the ghosts who taught me everything i know via @girderednerve

i know u were prob talking about said specific medieval historians but in the context of science and academia as a whole ‘love to the ghosts who taught me everything i know’ is one of the most emotionally charged things ive ever heard and it resonates so fiercely with the old untouched environments of university libraries suddenly disturbed by young curious souls that i described in the original post tbh thank you i want to get it tattooed on my body 


#history #and I feel like this also qualifies for #the wondrous variety of sapient life

Guided By Beauty


Also, the things I describe over on @sinesalvatorem wrt doing math super fast or it feeling like beauty aren’t really that surprising when I think about it.

The brain does a lot of math really really really fast. It’s solving equations of parabolic motion any time it tells you where to position your hand to catch a ball. And what does that feel like? Well, it just feels like Knowing where the correct place to put your hand to catch the ball is.

I think that aesthetics is, deep down, about varying levels of that feeling of Correctness. Placing my hand in the right place to catch something feels like it requires the same sense for figuring out what is Correct that deciding where apply makeup or which clothes to wear does.

Certain things just register to the brain as more Correct in certain forms than others, when they need to complement something else. Like what colour of eye shadow to wear, or which top matches my tights, or where to put my hand to catch a ball. Similarly, the integer 27 feels like it complements the concept of 3^3. That they meet in the same place, much like the specific point in space that my hand and the ball intersect.

And while these may all feel like they’re the products of different processes and should be represented as such, I’m not so confident the brain does represent them as different. I think that, at the level of implementation details, the human mind might actually work a fair bit like the Greek philosophers. Where the beautiful, the true, and the good all have the same functional representation.

And I think a lot of semi-conscious thought is just these low-level Correctness-locators printing to stdout. So the sense of one’s eye being drawn to pretty things, and the sense of one’s hand reflexively shooting out into the parabolic path of a ball, and the sense of one’s thoughts turning toward the right answer to a math problem – that all of these are the same kinds of thoughts. But looking at them from the perspective of the conscious mind, they’re hard to understand. (I’m about to start reading How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker and will maybe get some more ideas here.)

But lately I’ve been trying to look really carefully at what I want, why I want it, and how those wants are represented inside me. And I think that, even if not everyone works the way I describe above, I seem to. When I’ve been talking lately about doing the things I really want to do, I could just as well have said doing the things that feel prettiest to me. On the lowest level, there doesn’t seem to be any distinction. The things I want to do will just seem prettier when I think about them, and that will be what tells me that they’re what I want to do. I think beauty is just a catchall attractor in the mind.

And since I started just doing whatever has the strongest feeling of beauty/truth/goodness as much as I can, I’ve been incredibly happy and productive. I can trust that I’m actually doing what matters to me, because I’m doing what satisfies the cluster of mattering. The sense that assigns value to world states and their requisite actions relative to each other.

Being charitable to others is Beautiful. Symmetric wallpaper designs are True. Understanding mathematics is Good. None of these are explicitly true, but all of them point to sense that truth springs from. Comprehend it, and the Dao shall unfold before you. (At least, that’s what happened for me. No idea if it works for other people. I’m just trying to report these internal experiences as best I can, in case they’re useful.)

In a moment of coming full circle, *Alison* is now the one explaining what it’s like to have a mind with certain parts intermingled.

I don’t think I know the above feel myself. Honestly, I’m not even sure I know the *components* of this feel. For all I know, maybe my low aesthetic drive and poor aim *are* linked.

(It doesn’t bother me much: I don’t need to aim very often, and I’ve been able to turn the limitedness of my ability to appreciate beauty into an advantage. Still, it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of the inner workings of someone for whom beauty is clearly very important.)


#(context of the first sentence: sinesalvatorem and I first got to talking because) #(she saw my ”people who can distinguish between their drive for sleep and drive for sex fascinate me” tag) #(and was curious what that was like) #adventures in dragon capitalism #(tangentially) #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #the wondrous variety of sapient life