inqwatch asked: How did the sharing ever explain all their people getting horrific scars from hawks, losing limbs, and the general destruction tied to their efforts? I can accept that a lot of losses were Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, but we get a lot of descriptions of Tobias going for the eyes.

thejakeformerlyknownasprince:

Look.  Meetings of the Sharing apparently involve a lot of volleyball, as we know from mentions in #1, #10, Visser, and #31.

Volleyball is a dangerous sport.  Volleyball injuries happen.  Volleyball accidents frequently result in severed limbs.  We know this from the dozens — no, hundreds — of recorded cases of this exact phenomenon occurring, almost all of them in one town in Southern California.  Statisticians have hypothesized that this may have to do with the extent to which one particular local organization uses regional variations on the standard rules of volleyball, but all attempts at participant observation have resulted in the social scientists who joined the Sharing abruptly dropping the project and going in new directions with their lives.

Currently, warning labels on volleyball equipment indicate that its use has a 15% chance of resulting in serious injury and/or death.  Factoid is actually a statistical error.  The Sharing’s inter-chapter volleyball league, which loses an average of 41.7% of its members per month to volleyball-related amputations and murders, is an outlier and should not have been counted.

 

zarohk:

“social scientists who joined the Sharing”

That sounds like an excellent way to live in a constant state of terror and fascination; being a human social scientist who is infested and watching the mess that is the Visserarchy from terrifyingly close, and thinking that that either you’ll either never be able to share your findings (if you die or the Yeerks win), or be at the edge of any entirely new edge of social science.

 

thejakeformerlyknownasprince:

This is basically my entire life.  Too accurate.  Make it stop.

 

derinthemadscientist:

Imagine being a yeerk inside a newly captured social scientist watching them passively eviscerate every aspect of your primitive 30-year-old military culture down to its component parts, every conclusion basically being “these guys suck at everything they’re doing and are struggling desperately to make sure their underlings don’t realise that”

<Stop it! Stop thinking! Stop trying to shake my loyalty!>

<I can’t! This is what I was trained to do! You don’t like it, stop reading my mind!>

<I CAN’T!>

*Visser Three starts speaking*

<And this one’s intimidation tactics have gone far, far beyond useful and are greatly crippling his own forces; not sure yet whether it’s pure unchecked sadism or insecurity and distraction as a result of – >

<SHUT UP!!>

 

sarifel-corrisafid-ilxhel:

“VISSER I NEED A NEW HOST, THIS ONE IS BROKEN.”

<It sounds like you’re the broken one.>

“PUH-LEEEAAAASSSSEEEE, I’M BEGGING YOU! I’LL EVEN GO IN A TAXXON OR GEDD, JUST MAKE IT STOP!”

 

a-k-a-l–t-y-n:

post war someone is going to have an amazing dissertation “Perverse incentives in authoritarian systems, a first(ish) person case study”


Tags:

#Animorphs #fanfic #violence cw #death tw #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #(the newly captured social scientist) #my past self has good taste

here’s a story about changelings

roach-works:

reposted from my old blog, which got deleted:  

Mary was a beautiful baby, sweet and affectionate, but by the time she’s three she’s turned difficult and strange, with fey moods and a stubborn mouth that screams and bites but never says mama. But her mother’s well-used to hard work with little thanks, and when the village gossips wag their tongues she just shrugs, and pulls her difficult child away from their precious, perfect blossoms, before the bites draw blood. Mary’s mother doesn’t drown her in a bucket of saltwater, and she doesn’t take up the silver knife the wife of the village priest leaves out for her one Sunday brunch.

She gives her daughter yarn, instead, and instead of a rowan stake through her inhuman heart she gives her a child’s first loom, oak and ash. She lets her vicious, uncooperative fairy daughter entertain herself with games of her own devising, in as much peace and comfort as either of them can manage.

Mary grows up strangely, as a strange child would, learning everything in all the wrong order, and biting a great deal more than she should. But she also learns to weave, and takes to it with a grand passion. Soon enough she knows more than her mother–which isn’t all that much–and is striking out into unknown territory, turning out odd new knots and weaves, patterns as complex as spiderwebs and spellrings.

“Aren’t you clever,” her mother says, of her work, and leaves her to her wool and flax and whatnot. Mary’s not biting anymore, and she smiles more than she frowns, and that’s about as much, her mother figures, as anyone should hope for from their child.

Mary still cries sometimes, when the other girls reject her for her strange graces, her odd slow way of talking, her restless reaching fluttering hands that have learned to spin but never to settle. The other girls call her freak, witchblood, hobgoblin.

“I don’t remember girls being quite so stupid when I was that age,” her mother says, brushing Mary’s hair smooth and steady like they’ve both learned to enjoy, smooth as a skein of silk. “Time was, you knew not to insult anyone you might need to flatter later. ‘Specially when you don’t know if they’re going to grow wings or horns or whatnot. Serve ‘em all right if you ever figure out curses.”

“I want to go back,” Mary says. “I want to go home, to where I came from, where there’s people like me. If I’m a fairy’s child I should be in fairyland, and no one would call me a freak.”

“Aye, well, I’d miss you though,” her mother says. “And I expect there’s stupid folk everywhere, even in fairyland. Cruel folk, too. You just have to make the best of things where you are, being my child instead.”

Mary learns to read well enough, in between the weaving, especially when her mother tracks down the traveling booktraders and comes home with slim, precious manuals on dyes and stains and mordants, on pigments and patterns, diagrams too arcane for her own eyes but which make her daughter’s eyes shine.

“We need an herb garden,” her daughter says, hands busy, flipping from page to page, pulling on her hair, twisting in her skirt, itching for a project. “Yarrow, and madder, and woad and weld…”

“Well, start digging,” her mother says. “Won’t do you a harm to get out of the house now’n then.”

Mary doesn’t like dirt but she’s learned determination well enough from her mother. She digs and digs, and plants what she’s given, and the first year doesn’t turn out so well but the second’s better, and by the third a cauldron’s always simmering something over the fire, and Mary’s taking in orders from girls five years older or more, turning out vivid bolts and spools and skeins of red and gold and blue, restless fingers dancing like they’ve summoned down the rainbow. Her mother figures she probably has.

“Just as well you never got the hang of curses,” she says, admiring her bright new skirts. “I like this sort of trick a lot better.”

Mary smiles, rocking back and forth on her heels, fingers already fluttering to find the next project.

She finally grows up tall and fair, if a bit stooped and squinty, and time and age seem to calm her unhappy mouth about as well as it does for human children. Word gets around she never lies or breaks a bargain, and if the first seems odd for a fairy’s child then the second one seems fit enough. The undyed stacks of taken orders grow taller, the dyed lots of filled orders grow brighter, the loom in the corner for Mary’s own creations grows stranger and more complex. Mary’s hands callus just like her mother’s, become as strong and tough and smooth as the oak and ash of her needles and frames, though they never fall still.

“Do you ever wonder what your real daughter would be like?” the priest’s wife asks, once.

Mary’s mother snorts. “She wouldn’t be worth a damn at weaving,” she says. “Lord knows I never was. No, I’ll keep what I’ve been given and thank the givers kindly. It was a fair enough trade for me. Good day, ma’am.”

Mary brings her mother sweet chamomile tea, that night, and a warm shawl in all the colors of a garden, and a hairbrush. In the morning, the priest’s son comes round, with payment for his mother’s pretty new dress and a shy smile just for Mary. He thinks her hair is nice, and her hands are even nicer, vibrant in their strength and skill and endless motion.  

They all live happily ever after.

*

Here’s another story:

Gregor grew fast, even for a boy, grew tall and big and healthy and began shoving his older siblings around early. He was blunt and strange and flew into rages over odd things, over the taste of his porridge or the scratch of his shirt, over the sound of rain hammering on the roof, over being touched when he didn’t expect it and sometimes even when he did. He never wore shoes if he could help it and he could tell you the number of nails in the floorboards without looking, and his favorite thing was to sit in the pantry and run his hands through the bags of dry barley and corn and oat. Considering as how he had fists like a young ox by the time he was five, his family left him to it.

“He’s a changeling,” his father said to his wife, expecting an argument, but men are often the last to know anything about their children, and his wife only shrugged and nodded, like the matter was already settled, and that was that.

They didn’t bind Gregor in iron and leave him in the woods for his own kind to take back. They didn’t dig him a grave and load him into it early. They worked out what made Gregor angry, in much the same way they figured out the personal constellations of emotion for each of their other sons, and when spring came, Gregor’s father taught him about sprouts, and when autumn came, Gregor’s father taught him about sheaves. Meanwhile his mother didn’t mind his quiet company around the house, the way he always knew where she’d left the kettle, or the mending, because she was forgetful and he never missed a detail.

“Pity you’re not a girl, you’d never drop a stitch of knitting,” she tells Gregor, in the winter, watching him shell peas. His brothers wrestle and yell before the hearth fire, but her fairy child just works quietly, turning peas by their threes and fours into the bowl.

“You know exactly how many you’ve got there, don’t you?” she says.

“Six hundred and thirteen,” he says, in his quiet, precise way.

His mother says “Very good,” and never says Pity you’re not human. He smiles just like one, if not for quite the same reasons.

The next autumn he’s seven, a lucky number that pleases him immensely, and his father takes him along to the mill with the grain.

“What you got there?” The miller asks them.

“Sixty measures of Prince barley, thirty two measures of Hare’s Ear corn, and eighteen of Abernathy Blue Slate oats,” Gregor says. “Total weight is three hundred fifty pounds, or near enough. Our horse is named Madam. The wagon doesn’t have a name. I’m Gregor.”

“My son,” his father says. “The changeling one.”

“Bit sharper’n your others, ain’t he?” the miller says, and his father laughs.

Gregor feels proud and excited and shy, and it dries up all his words, sticks them in his throat. The mill is overwhelming, but the miller is kind, and tells him the name of each and every part when he points at it, and the names of all the grain in all the bags waiting for him to get to them.

“Didn’t know the fair folk were much for machinery,” the miller says.

Gregor shrugs. “I like seeds,” he says, each word shelled out with careful concentration. “And names. And numbers.”

“Aye, well. Suppose that’d do it. Want t’help me load up the grist?”

They leave the grain with the miller, who tells Gregor’s father to bring him back ‘round when he comes to pick up the cornflour and cracked barley and rolled oats. Gregor falls asleep in the nameless wagon on the way back, and when he wakes up he goes right back to the pantry, where the rest of the seeds are left, and he runs his hands through the shifting, soothing textures and thinks about turning wheels, about windspeed and counterweights.

When he’s twelve–another lucky number–he goes to live in the mill with the miller, and he never leaves, and he lives happily ever after.

*

Here’s another:

James is a small boy who likes animals much more than people, which doesn’t bother his parents overmuch, as someone needs to watch the sheep and make the sheepdogs mind. James learns the whistles and calls along with the lambs and puppies, and by the time he’s six he’s out all day, tending to the flock. His dad gives him a knife and his mom gives him a knapsack, and the sheepdogs give him doggy kisses and the sheep don’t give him too much trouble, considering.

“It’s not right for a boy to have so few complaints,” his mother says, once, when he’s about eight.

“Probably ain’t right for his parents to have so few complaints about their boy, neither,” his dad says.

That’s about the end of it. James’ parents aren’t very talkative, either. They live the routines of a farm, up at dawn and down by dusk, clucking softly to the chickens and calling harshly to the goats, and James grows up slow but happy.

When James is eleven, he’s sent to school, because he’s going to be a man and a man should know his numbers. He gets in fights for the first time in his life, unused to peers with two legs and loud mouths and quick fists. He doesn’t like the feel of slate and chalk against his fingers, or the harsh bite of a wooden bench against his legs. He doesn’t like the rules: rules for math, rules for meals, rules for sitting down and speaking when you’re spoken to and wearing shoes all day and sitting under a low ceiling in a crowded room with no sheep or sheepdogs. Not even a puppy.

But his teacher is a good woman, patient and experienced, and James isn’t the first miserable, rocking, kicking, crying lost lamb ever handed into her care. She herds the other boys away from him, when she can, and lets him sit in the corner by the door, and have a soft rag to hold his slate and chalk with, so they don’t gnaw so dryly at his fingers. James learns his numbers well enough, eventually, but he also learns with the abruptness of any lamb taking their first few steps–tottering straight into a gallop–to read.

Familiar with the sort of things a strange boy needs to know, his teacher gives him myths and legends and fairytales, and steps back. James reads about Arthur and Morgana, about Hercules and Odysseus, about djinni and banshee and brownies and bargains and quests and how sometimes, something that looks human is left to try and stumble along in the humans’ world, step by uncertain step, as best they can.

James never comes to enjoy writing. He learns to talk, instead, full tilt, a leaping joyous gambol, and after a time no one wants to hit him anymore. The other boys sit next to him, instead, with their mouths closed, and their hands quiet on their knees.  

“Let’s hear from James,” the men at the alehouse say, years later, when he’s become a man who still spends more time with sheep than anyone else, but who always comes back into town with something grand waiting for his friends on his tongue. “What’ve you got for us tonight, eh?”

James finishes his pint, and stands up, and says, “Here’s a story about changelings.”


Tags:

#storytime #autism #my past self has good taste #fae #violence cw

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gasmaskaesthetic:

brin-bellway:

gasmaskaesthetic:

Why does anger feel good? Most of my undesirable emotions are painful in addution to themselves, so I actively want them to stop. Anger is the one I hesitate to soothe. When I’m angry, it makes me angrier to try to talk myself down instead of letting the rage play out. I can still do it, but it takes a very different kind of effort compared to sadness, or anxiety, fear, or irritation.

Sadness is something I impulsively indulge in, sometimes, but my natural tendency is to do so by seeking comfort, so it’s self-regulating.

When I’m anxious or afraid, I want to get out of that state immediately. This doesn’t always generate *effective* behavior but I’m not resisting the attempt to feel better out of an active desire to stay that way.

Irritation isn’t the same thing as anger. It’s excessive sensitivity. It can turn into anger, but I never want to remain irritable.

Anger moves me to take action. It’s satisfying to direct anger at a target. It feels *good* to rail against some real or imagined wrong. Some of the clearest thinking I’ve ever experienced has been at the peak of justified anger. The risk of indulgence here is pretty obvious. Given how much satisfaction I get from anger, I think I do a pretty good job of staying away from rage-bait. I’m also lucky in that I’m not easily driven to anger in the first place. Most of my anger-management is preventative. I’m not sure what I’d do if that got, say, 40% harder.

I’m curious about other people. Answer all or just some of these, if you want:

Do you work yourself up over things, intentionally or otherwise?

Do you seek out material that triggers anger but does little else for you?

When you are angry, do you ever want to stay angry?

Does that ever change depending on why you’re angry?

Do you find it difficult to notice that being angry is making you less effective?

*Does* anger make you less effective, and how do you tell either way?

Do you ever want to stay angry even after acknowledging that it would be better (for whatever reason) to stop being angry?

>>It’s satisfying to direct anger at a target.<<

Personally, I find anger the *exact opposite* of satisfying.

Anger, for me, is very much about violence. Anger is a desire to hurt the entity that wronged me; if the entity that wronged me is not capable of experiencing pain (like if a rock fell on my foot) or I don’t expect I will be able to successfully hurt them (so, always; violence is far too risky for me to seriously attempt it), this will often spread out into a more generalised longing to cause pain. Getting angry tends to wind up as a period of feeling intensely unfulfilled regarding the utter lack of beating-people-up in my life.

When angry, I tend to feel conflicted about ceasing to be angry in much the same way that I feel conflicted about any other attempt to deal with unfulfilled desires by ceasing to want the thing.

>>Do you seek out material that triggers anger but does little else for you?<<

Only under orders. Eventually I learned to treat “pressures you to experience anger” as a major red flag.

I can also be conflicted about ceasing to be afraid: yes, I want to be unafraid, but I specifically want to be unafraid *because the scary thing is gone*. Deep-breathing exercises and other such techniques, things about trying to trick your brain into feeling safe independently of whether it actually *is* safe, are repulsive. The closest I get is fear also increasing my desire to defend against *other* bad things than the one I’m actively being menaced with: to use the most recent example, I tend to be more interested in making my smartphone resilient against loss of Internet if I’m experiencing a lot of financial anxiety, even though my level of Internet access is effectively unrelated to how much money I have (I don’t expect to ever be poor enough to lack home Internet (it’s profitable on net!), nor rich enough to be comfortable buying [a personal mobile data connection with plenty of buffer]).

However, I usually *do* endorse ceasing to be sad even if nothing about the thing that was making me sad improves.

The bit about fear is really interesting! I tend to believe that I’ll be better able to handle whatever I’m afraid of if I’m not experiencing the physical symptoms of fear.


Tags:

#(September 2018) #conversational aglets #not sure why I didn’t get this one during the first pass #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #violence cw #anger management


{{next post in sequence}}

rustingbridges:

So in movies and shit people are always getting really angry and flipping tables and smashing their own shit. Not to spite anyone or anything, but just because they’re all mad or something.

Is this supposed to be relateable? Do people actually do this? Or is it just supposed to be dramatic shorthand?

Violence against entities that can’t feel pain is entirely unsatisfying, so eventually I stopped bothering with property damage because it wasn’t any better than repressing it.


Tags:

#reply via reblog #violence cw #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see

hobbit-hole:

if i had to get in a fistfight with any member of the fellowship it would be Frodo because i would easily win

 

hobbit-hole:

all i am saying is that he would ostensibly be the easiest one to take on in a fight given that he’s like three feet tall and has led a life of (physical) leisure compared to all of the others due to his standing as a gentlehobbit

legolas, aragorn, and gimli are all used to combat, sam works as a gardener, merry and pippin often gallivant off and get into mischief so they have the advantage of experience in whatever it is they’ve gotten up to/would possibly fight dirty, gandalf is gandalf so while weapons are out of the question i suppose that depends on if magic is involved. i don’t think i could take him without magic even if he IS old because he’s a very large guy, but maybe

it would be my knuckles against Frodo’s baby soft poet hands, plus i’ve got the additional height and fighting experience. i just think that he would be the easiest to win against in hand-to-hand combat out of the rest of them. also he isn’t real so he can’t offer a rebuttal to my claim

 

penny-anna:

you’re absolutely correct BUT wanting to fight Frodo makes you a monster D:

 

hobbit-hole:

this has nothing to do with WANTING to fight Frodo, i just think he would be easiest for me to beat in a fight with no weapons. unless he utilized his very large feet, but i think he’s too polite to do that because it’s a fist fight and that would be considered playing dirty

 

penny-anna:

for someone who doesn’t want to fight Frodo you sure have put a lot of thought into fighting Frodo……….

 

animate-mush:

OP is wrong though: you fight Pippin.

First off, Pippin has it coming, so you won’t be fighting your conscience at the same time.

Secondly, Pippin is a spoiled rich kid. He’s no less gentry than Frodo is, but Frodo works out and is shown to have better stamina, at least at the outset. Pippin is also both the stupidest and the slowest of the hobbits. They both nearly beat one (1) troll, so that’s comparable, but Pippin appears not to have got a single hit in against the orcs that captured them while Merry was cutting off hands like a boss. Pippin also straight-up tell Bergil that he’s not a fighter.

Also there’s a nonzero chance that Frodo will just straight up curse you (if the guilt of fighting Frodo isn’t enough if a curse by itself).

And, of course, if you try to fight Frodo, you will 100% end up fighting Sam, and he will wreck you (and you’ll deserve it, you monster)

 

penny-anna:

Also: if you fight Frodo you’ll have a very angry Sam & possibly also the entire Fellowship to deal with BUT if you fight Pippin they will probably cheer you on.

 

ainurs:

Bold of you to assume one could attempt to fight Pippin and NOT instantly be killed by Boromir.

 

feynites:

So here’s the thing – you absolutely DO NOT want to try and fight Frodo or Pippin because they are going to be protected by the rest of the Fellowship, which basically exists to stop asshole Big People from picking on the hobbits. Folk might talk a big game but when the chips are down, you are not going to lay a single hand on any of the hobbits. Either you’ll find yourself immediately fighting all four of them or else you’ll move to land your first hit and suddenly Aragorn will side-tackle you into the trees. And he probably hits like a freight train tbh.

So here’s what you do:

You fight Legolas.

The thing about fist-fighting Legolas of course is that you will lose. This is not a fight you’re gonna win no matter what. But Legolas has his standing competition with Gimli, so once the challenge is issued, he’s not gonna let anyone else step in and fight you either. No one is liable to volunteer on his behalf, either, so you will only end up fighting the one member of the fellowship. If you are lucky he might also take his shirt off. Bonus!

Anyway.

Legolas will mop the floor with you, but he’s also already convinced you’re weaker than him anyway because you’re not an elf, so he’s gonna go kind of easy on you. And when you lose he will be all snide and superior about it, which means everyone in the fellowship is gonna sympathize with you, and Gimli will probably challenge him on your behalf afterwards, but here’s the key thing:

You will have lost a fist-fight to an immortal warrior prince.

That’s a way better loss to cop to than that time you tried to fistfight a pudgy gentlehobbit and got beaten to the point of unconsciousness by his gardener, yeah?

 

icescrabblerjerky:

okay so tolkien tumblr is fast becoming my fave tumblr community thank you thank you all you are the true fellowship here.


Tags:

#Lord of the Rings #violence cw #embarrassment squick? #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #long post

incorrect-into-the-spiderverse:

Miles: Hey, if you put “violently” in front of anything to describe your action, it becomes funnier.

Gwen: Violently study.

Peter: Violently sleep.

Noir: Violently eat.

Ham: Violently murder people.

Peni: Violently worry about the previous comment.


Tags:

#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #murder cw #violence cw #Into the Spiderverse #Spiderman

{{previous post in sequence}}


sinesalvatorem:

brin-bellway:

sinesalvatorem:

brin-bellway:

@sinesalvatorem, about the r/k thing that I’m not going to reblog under my no-guilt-trips policy:

Keep reading

I am confused to say the least. My post doesn’t have anything to do with violence? Or exploiting other people? Or taking advantage of other people’s unwillingness to push back against assholes?

(Unless you consider applying to lots of jobs even if they aren’t your ideal to be assholish behaviour? But that would be odd and surprising? Like, I don’t think it’s actually valuable to be cautious with a company’s time – they set up their hiring channel for a reason.)

My post is about why people should be willing to take actions that are low cost even if they’re unlikely to succeed in full. But, like, I’m kind of a utilitarian – if I’m counting how costly something is, I’m definitely counting how costly it is to /everyone/.

Putting one’s sketches online isn’t hurting you /or/ bystanders, so it counts as taking a low-cost opportunity. Shoplifting may not hurt you (depending on the consequences of being caught), but it’s still taking money out of someone else’s pocket, so it’s still A Bad.

If cowardice is the only lever you have to avoid acting on impulses to hurt others, then OK, in your specific case I endorse cowardice. But almost no one I know works like this? Generally, a lot of factors go into decisions about whether to engage in violence, and they tend to be rather divorced from what makes someone decide whether to try a new food.

If you have only one inhibitory mechanism, it makes sense to keep it at the level that helps you interface with society, but most people are using several different kinds of inhibitory signals. I just want them to put less stock in the “People will ignore/reject/laugh at me and then I will DIE” one.

Basically, for the vast majority of people my post is directed at, the negative outcome you describe just isn’t related to the thing my post is about. The fear of embarrassment stops people from dancing in public, but I don’t think it’s a major factor in stopping people from punching each other. In fact, in most cultures, bullying and strong-arming others is the opposite of embarrassing.

But I still think people shouldn’t do that because 1) hurting others is bad, and 2) whether something is embarrassing is a crappy way to judge if it’s a good idea.

I think I draw the boundary lines in different places than you do.

>>In fact, in most cultures, bullying and strong-arming others is the opposite of embarrassing.<<

Bullying people and embarrassing yourself in front of them are both members of the category “things that increase the likelihood that people will treat you badly in the future”. They increase it by different *amounts*–and I’ll accept that for many cases of embarrassment the increase is negligible–but I don’t know that I’d say they’re different in *kind*.

(And I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say they’re both forms of hurting people, though again by very different amounts. I understand that it is not *useful* to react this way, and I try very hard to avoid doing so, but my *instinct* is to treat “inflicting secondhand embarrassment on me” as a hostile act deserving of a hostile response.)

>>they tend to be rather divorced from what makes someone decide whether to try a new food.<<

This, on the other hand, I *would* say is different in kind. Is it at all common for people to get annoyed with someone for trying a new food?

I’m not sure how to tell how many inhibitory mechanisms I have except by removing one and seeing if things still work, and I think it’s pretty clear that that’s *not* an area where failure is cheap. And while I’ve occasionally caught glimpses of a conscience around here somewhere, I’ve never caught one while angry (even when I wasn’t as good at cowardice as I am now), so I doubt that’s one of the mechanisms for this.

There is a distinct possibility that I don’t have insight into what’s actually going on here, but from the inside it feels like the thing that caused a shift to being consistently non-violent was spending a couple years on the Internet practising my flight response on bits of Discourse, until eventually I could run away from infuriating things offline too. Here, I learned how to grovel, how to phrase things carefully so as to minimise the chances of sparking a fight with anyone, how to keep my mouth shut entirely and quietly slip out. (not doing too well at that last bit tonight, but nobody’s perfect)

In an environment of *relative* safety and much more time to think than IRL, I could have the lesson hammered home that I’m almost always better off reacting to an argument or provocation by surrendering or (if available) pretending not to have noticed, rather than prolonging the pain by trying to fight.

>>Like, I don’t think it’s actually valuable to be cautious with a company’s time – they set up their hiring channel for a reason.<<

Eh, I’ve definitely encountered people with hiring responsibilities complaining about completely unsuitable people wasting their time. I guess bigger companies can probably arrange better filters that put less stress on the employees involved?

I think the largest disagreement here is that I don’t think “things that increase the likelihood that people will treat you badly in the future” is a meaningful category in the first place.

I think there are lots of inputs into the specific way people will treat you, but that none of these look like increasing a “bad treatment” variable, or anything that could be a proxy for such. I think things might influence how deferent or hostile or helpful or avoidant people are in interacting with you, but that any presentation style you choose will pull on a bunch of these, and whether the end result looks like being treated well or poorly just depends on what you as a person want out of interactions.

For example, being more agreeable will tend to make people less hostile, avoidant, and/or argumentative toward you – but will increase their willingness to push your boundaries and ignore your opinions. Which direction looks more like bad treatment? This entirely depends on your priorities! I recently intentionally lowered my agreeableness because, to me, getting more confrontations was worth getting less casual boundary-crossing. Meanwhile, past!me would have put more emphasis on not having to confront people.

And neither of these poles at all looks like people deciding they want to treat you worse. Instead, it’s them shifting their interaction pattern into the path of least resistance. For conflict-averse people, conflict is high-resistance, so they avoid disagreeable people. Meanwhile, if you’re unwilling to cuss out the asshole who touches you inappropriately, they’ll go ahead and do it again, because it’s low-resistance. Is being avoided bad treatment? Is being touched inappropriately bad treatment? Quite possibly both are, but the tradeoffs are built into the interaction style.

(Of course, there are ways to avoid having either of these outcomes by seeming approachable but also like you don’t take shit. Currently, my reduction in agreeableness doesn’t seem to be scaring people off, because I still try to be approachable. But, like, there are other tradeoffs. There are always tradeoffs.)

A behavioral pattern – and all the different personality traits that influence it – sets you up as a person that it’s most convenient to interact with in some ways vs others. And everyone is going about trying to pursue their own social goals while moving through a landscape where some things are easy and some are hard. The key to getting good treatment is making sure other people believe that the best way to get what they want is to treat you the way you most want to be treated. (Where the way you most want to be treated will vary a lot by person.)

And this is why I wouldn’t put embarrassment and bullying in the same category. Even if they both lead to things you don’t want, they do so through completely different avenues. At worst, embarrassment makes you seem incompetent, so people will work less hard to gain your favour since they consider your support low-value. Meanwhile, being a bully will make you seem dangerous, so people will avoid you on the assumption that interactions are high-cost. Being high cost and being low value are really different social tags, and treating them as interchangeable will make it v v difficult to reason about the social landscape.

Again, if you happen to only have one lever to work with, by all means set it to the position that best helps you navigate the world. But you’ll still be operating at a massive handicap, because your single variable will miss almost everything that determines how interactions can go. If there were anything I could point at as the ultimate “get treated badly” variable, I would say it’s not having options.

>>At worst, embarrassment makes you seem incompetent, so people will work less hard to gain your favour since they consider your support low-value. Meanwhile, being a bully will make you seem dangerous, so people will avoid you on the assumption that interactions are high-cost.<<

Thing is, I contested this in my previous post:

(And I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say they’re both forms of hurting people, though again by very different amounts. I understand that it is not *useful* to react this way, and I try very hard to avoid doing so, but my *instinct* is to treat “inflicting secondhand embarrassment on me” as a hostile act deserving of a hostile response.)

Embarrassing yourself in front of people causes them pain (in the form of negative affective empathy), so they’ll want to cause you pain in return. Punching people causes them pain (in the form of physical damage), so they’ll want to cause you pain in return.

And yes, this is in large part projection. Other people almost never act in ways that would make sense if they considered “inducing negative affective empathy” to be a hostile act, and mostly don’t even act in ways that would make sense if they were inclined to see it that way but consciously overriding that. But you can’t have projection without proof of concept: it’s empirically untrue that the worst thing someone will do to you if you embarrass yourself in front of them is work less hard to gain your favour.

(Although I tend to react a lot worse to people telling me explicitly-labelled embarrassing *stories* about themselves than to them actually *doing* embarrassing things, I think because with the stories it’s very clear that they could have easily chosen to not do this to me. Accidents I can forgive relatively easily, even tradeoffs; signposting “I’m going to do something embarrassing now, specifically for the purpose of having you witness how embarrassing it is”, though, not so much.)

P.S. Went to check my use of “affective empathy” and found this suspiciously relevant-looking Wikipedia article.

P.P.S. Apparently I got ninja’d by @kit-peddler. I’m glad to see someone else picking up on my quoted paragraph.

Looking at the notifications continuing to come in as I write this, it looks like now would probably also be a good time to emphasise the very first sentence (not counting “so, about that post”) of my first post:

I suspect we’re both projecting our own selves onto the rest of society and ending up skewed.


Tags:

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sinesalvatorem:

brin-bellway:

@sinesalvatorem, about the r/k thing that I’m not going to reblog under my no-guilt-trips policy:

Keep reading

I am confused to say the least. My post doesn’t have anything to do with violence? Or exploiting other people? Or taking advantage of other people’s unwillingness to push back against assholes?

(Unless you consider applying to lots of jobs even if they aren’t your ideal to be assholish behaviour? But that would be odd and surprising? Like, I don’t think it’s actually valuable to be cautious with a company’s time – they set up their hiring channel for a reason.)

My post is about why people should be willing to take actions that are low cost even if they’re unlikely to succeed in full. But, like, I’m kind of a utilitarian – if I’m counting how costly something is, I’m definitely counting how costly it is to /everyone/.

Putting one’s sketches online isn’t hurting you /or/ bystanders, so it counts as taking a low-cost opportunity. Shoplifting may not hurt you (depending on the consequences of being caught), but it’s still taking money out of someone else’s pocket, so it’s still A Bad.

If cowardice is the only lever you have to avoid acting on impulses to hurt others, then OK, in your specific case I endorse cowardice. But almost no one I know works like this? Generally, a lot of factors go into decisions about whether to engage in violence, and they tend to be rather divorced from what makes someone decide whether to try a new food.

If you have only one inhibitory mechanism, it makes sense to keep it at the level that helps you interface with society, but most people are using several different kinds of inhibitory signals. I just want them to put less stock in the “People will ignore/reject/laugh at me and then I will DIE” one.

Basically, for the vast majority of people my post is directed at, the negative outcome you describe just isn’t related to the thing my post is about. The fear of embarrassment stops people from dancing in public, but I don’t think it’s a major factor in stopping people from punching each other. In fact, in most cultures, bullying and strong-arming others is the opposite of embarrassing.

But I still think people shouldn’t do that because 1) hurting others is bad, and 2) whether something is embarrassing is a crappy way to judge if it’s a good idea.

I think I draw the boundary lines in different places than you do.

>>In fact, in most cultures, bullying and strong-arming others is the opposite of embarrassing.<<

Bullying people and embarrassing yourself in front of them are both members of the category “things that increase the likelihood that people will treat you badly in the future”. They increase it by different *amounts*–and I’ll accept that for many cases of embarrassment the increase is negligible–but I don’t know that I’d say they’re different in *kind*.

(And I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say they’re both forms of hurting people, though again by very different amounts. I understand that it is not *useful* to react this way, and I try very hard to avoid doing so, but my *instinct* is to treat “inflicting secondhand embarrassment on me” as a hostile act deserving of a hostile response.)

>>they tend to be rather divorced from what makes someone decide whether to try a new food.<<

This, on the other hand, I *would* say is different in kind. Is it at all common for people to get annoyed with someone for trying a new food?

I’m not sure how to tell how many inhibitory mechanisms I have except by removing one and seeing if things still work, and I think it’s pretty clear that that’s *not* an area where failure is cheap. And while I’ve occasionally caught glimpses of a conscience around here somewhere, I’ve never caught one while angry (even when I wasn’t as good at cowardice as I am now), so I doubt that’s one of the mechanisms for this.

There is a distinct possibility that I don’t have insight into what’s actually going on here, but from the inside it feels like the thing that caused a shift to being consistently non-violent was spending a couple years on the Internet practising my flight response on bits of Discourse, until eventually I could run away from infuriating things offline too. Here, I learned how to grovel, how to phrase things carefully so as to minimise the chances of sparking a fight with anyone, how to keep my mouth shut entirely and quietly slip out. (not doing too well at that last bit tonight, but nobody’s perfect)

In an environment of *relative* safety and much more time to think than IRL, I could have the lesson hammered home that I’m almost always better off reacting to an argument or provocation by surrendering or (if available) pretending not to have noticed, rather than prolonging the pain by trying to fight.

>>Like, I don’t think it’s actually valuable to be cautious with a company’s time – they set up their hiring channel for a reason.<<

Eh, I’ve definitely encountered people with hiring responsibilities complaining about completely unsuitable people wasting their time. I guess bigger companies can probably arrange better filters that put less stress on the employees involved?


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@sinesalvatorem, about the r/k thing that I’m not going to reblog under my no-guilt-trips policy:

I suspect we’re both projecting our own selves onto the rest of society and ending up skewed. (Intellectually I’m willing to believe you’re closer to the truth than I am, although I’m really not sure how we could *tell*.)

I deliberately cultivate cowardice as a way of coping with my violent urges. It’s true that fear holds me back, but there are some things I very much *should* be held back from, and I feel like the price of being also held back from some things I *shouldn’t* hold back from is worth it given the stakes.

(and no, it’s *not* just intrusive thoughts)

I try to avoid anything that might piss people off because that would make it harder for *them* to hold back, and I know how hard that can be sometimes. I try to make it as easy as possible for them to keep their violent urges reined in, and (I hope) they’ll do the same for me, and this fragile truce between a whole lot of murder-monkeys that we call “society” will keep functioning.

(Each approach has its disadvantages, and one of the disadvantages of cowardice is that people who *would* advocate cowardice are, of course, less willing to speak out against the people advocating bravery. As such, bravery advocates tend to stand unopposed. I’ve seen other posts like this in the past, some of them shading *much* further than yours does into “you should exploit situations where people’s fear makes them unwilling to fight back against assholes”.)


Tags:

#you want me to be brave? fine. I’ll post this. #(this is the third version of this post I’ve written) #(I tried to balance ”not being more hostile than necessary” with ”the hostility is kind of the point”) #(there’s only so much I can defang a post about how sharp teeth can be) #((I’m not *exactly* angry but writing this post still makes me very aware of how unfulfilling the lack of violence in my life is)) #((but I’d rather have a life whether I neither give nor receive violence to one where I do both)) #((and I’ve made my choices accordingly)) #this post technically qualifies as: #oh look an original post #but is closer to the spirit of: #reply via reblog #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #discourse cw #violence cw #posts I am almost certainly going to regret


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gasmaskaesthetic:

Why does anger feel good? Most of my undesirable emotions are painful in addution to themselves, so I actively want them to stop. Anger is the one I hesitate to soothe. When I’m angry, it makes me angrier to try to talk myself down instead of letting the rage play out. I can still do it, but it takes a very different kind of effort compared to sadness, or anxiety, fear, or irritation.

Sadness is something I impulsively indulge in, sometimes, but my natural tendency is to do so by seeking comfort, so it’s self-regulating.

When I’m anxious or afraid, I want to get out of that state immediately. This doesn’t always generate *effective* behavior but I’m not resisting the attempt to feel better out of an active desire to stay that way.

Irritation isn’t the same thing as anger. It’s excessive sensitivity. It can turn into anger, but I never want to remain irritable.

Anger moves me to take action. It’s satisfying to direct anger at a target. It feels *good* to rail against some real or imagined wrong. Some of the clearest thinking I’ve ever experienced has been at the peak of justified anger. The risk of indulgence here is pretty obvious. Given how much satisfaction I get from anger, I think I do a pretty good job of staying away from rage-bait. I’m also lucky in that I’m not easily driven to anger in the first place. Most of my anger-management is preventative. I’m not sure what I’d do if that got, say, 40% harder.

I’m curious about other people. Answer all or just some of these, if you want:

Do you work yourself up over things, intentionally or otherwise?

Do you seek out material that triggers anger but does little else for you?

When you are angry, do you ever want to stay angry?

Does that ever change depending on why you’re angry?

Do you find it difficult to notice that being angry is making you less effective?

*Does* anger make you less effective, and how do you tell either way?

Do you ever want to stay angry even after acknowledging that it would be better (for whatever reason) to stop being angry?

>>It’s satisfying to direct anger at a target.<<

Personally, I find anger the *exact opposite* of satisfying.

Anger, for me, is very much about violence. Anger is a desire to hurt the entity that wronged me; if the entity that wronged me is not capable of experiencing pain (like if a rock fell on my foot) or I don’t expect I will be able to successfully hurt them (so, always; violence is far too risky for me to seriously attempt it), this will often spread out into a more generalised longing to cause pain. Getting angry tends to wind up as a period of feeling intensely unfulfilled regarding the utter lack of beating-people-up in my life.

When angry, I tend to feel conflicted about ceasing to be angry in much the same way that I feel conflicted about any other attempt to deal with unfulfilled desires by ceasing to want the thing.

>>Do you seek out material that triggers anger but does little else for you?<<

Only under orders. Eventually I learned to treat “pressures you to experience anger” as a major red flag.

I can also be conflicted about ceasing to be afraid: yes, I want to be unafraid, but I specifically want to be unafraid *because the scary thing is gone*. Deep-breathing exercises and other such techniques, things about trying to trick your brain into feeling safe independently of whether it actually *is* safe, are repulsive. The closest I get is fear also increasing my desire to defend against *other* bad things than the one I’m actively being menaced with: to use the most recent example, I tend to be more interested in making my smartphone resilient against loss of Internet if I’m experiencing a lot of financial anxiety, even though my level of Internet access is effectively unrelated to how much money I have (I don’t expect to ever be poor enough to lack home Internet (it’s profitable on net!), nor rich enough to be comfortable buying [a personal mobile data connection with plenty of buffer]).

However, I usually *do* endorse ceasing to be sad even if nothing about the thing that was making me sad improves.


Tags:

#in related news if you have smartphone self-sufficiency tips I’m interested in hearing them #(there’s a reason the prepping tag is:) #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #reply via reblog #violence cw #and more tangentially related: #adventures in human capitalism #Brin owns *two* 2010’s computers now


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