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November 20 2017

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amberprice on a train part 2 but gayer




I’m pretending all the time to be, kinder, stronger, funnier, more sociable than I am. I guess we’re all like that but it just feels so inadequate.

What’s the difference?

I know it sounds flippant but… certain things are fundamentally performative.  And other things are so close as makes no difference.

Kindness is performative.  Actions are kind, and people are kind by performing those actions.  You can’t “pretend” to be kinder than you are, you can only perform kindness or not perform kindness, and choosing to perform kindness is always worthwhile, no matter how much you may second-guess your motivations.

Strength is so many things.  It takes strength to pretend a strength you don’t feel.  And the way to achieve strength is to exercise it, so long as you do it in enough moderation to not strain or break anything.  Being able to affect strength when necessary while being able to put it down again when that in turn is necessary is healthy.  Everyone starts weight training with the littlest weights.  It’s not fake or pretending to do what you gotta do in any given situation.

Funniness lives in the interlocutor, not in the speaker.  It doesn’t matter how funny you think you are (or think you are pretending to be) - that’s not how it’s measured.  At what point are you “pretending” to be a musician if the music still gets made?  And often what it’s tempting to describe in first person as “pretending” is more accurately described in the third person as “practicing” - which is of course the way you cause things to Be.

Sociability is also performative.  Pretending to be sociable is just…being sociable, despite a disinclination towards it.  It’s making an effort towards something you value.  So long as the effort is not so great that it backfires into resentment, there’s no practical difference.  

Qualities or activities or whatever are no less worthy because you have to actively choose to perform them.  If anything, the worthiness lies in the act of choosing.  It’s not “pretending” - it’s agency.

tl;dr: ain’t nothing wrong with “fake it till you make it.”  A plastic spoon* holds just as much soup as a “real” one

* I keep wanting to talk about semantic domains!  Artifacts are defined by their utility, whereas living things are defined by their identity.  So plastic forks are still forks, but plastic flowers aren’t flowers.  So there’s two pep-talk messages to take away from this: (1) for certain things, the distinction between “fake” and “real” isn’t a relevant one so long as they still get the job done, and (2) the purpose of a living thing is to be the thing that it is.  The idea of a “useless person” is as semantically nonsensical as the idea of “pretend kindness” (or fake cutlery).



Let’s say that you’re right.

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument,
that ancient humans were utilitarian social darwinists;
that anyone sick, anyone injured, anyone disabled,
anyone who couldn’t support themself was left to die.

Who invented canes?

If anyone who fell behind was left behind,
then how did my cripple forebears
who held themselves up with broken branches
survive to teach future generations how?

Who invented surgery?

What sadistic ancient motherfucker
looked at another person in perfect health,
and decided to cut them open
and take something out of them?

How did humanity survive?

Babies can’t even stand for their first 11 months.
Who gathered food for the breastfeeding parent,
and by extension the child who could do nothing
except consume resources they couldn’t repay?

Now let’s say that you’re wrong.

Once again, for the sake of argument,
let’s say humans have always helped each other.
Suddenly, everything makes perfect sense
and you are just an asshole.

// c.f.l. - 20170417 //








debate: is a really long sword-length but still otherwise knife-like knife valid to be considered a knife, or is it now a sword because it’s long


It’s a knword and it’s Valid

I don’t wanna like Kill The Joke but this brings up a really cool fact about swords in ~14th-16th century Germany! The only people who were allowed to own Real Swords were the royalty and nobility BUT! Everyone else was allowed to own knives. The definition of a knife, however, was based on not length but handle construction, and to some extent how it was sharpened. The handle had to be constructed Like So with 2 pieces of wood sandwiching the metal tang.

Only one edge was allowed to be sharpened, but oftentimes a small part (a couple inches) of the short edge (e.g. the edge that wasn’t sharp) would be sharpened, and weapon design often allowed for this

In this way, something that looked like This, a messer of just over a meter in length…

…would be legally considered a knife, and therefore allowable for non-nobility to possess. (you can also see the bit on the back of the tip that would be sharpened)

So @swordmutual, there’s a not definitive but certainly interesting historical perspective on your question

Has @petermorwood seen this?

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“Hello, Steph.”

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have u ever wondered where on the futch scale the pesona girls lie? well look no further because here is my expert opinion like if you agree reblog if you agree disagree if you agree

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I’m not wholly adverse to a LotR remake, but what I really want is an animated adaptation. A good one - not the 70′s and 80′s cartoons. Imagine an animated Middle Earth in the style of Cartoon Saloon!

you mean the people who made The Secret of Kells (2009)

and Song of the Sea (2015) ?

dude, that’d be tight as hell

Yeah! Honestly, it’s not far off from Tolkien’s own illustrative style, which really influenced how I imagined Middle Earth before the Peter Jackson movies were made:

“Stylized and richly atmospheric” would work so so well. 

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Eighteenth-century rotating table allowing readers to view multiple volumes at once. Photo by LitteraCarolina

November 19 2017

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Chloe can’t bring herself to say “Fuck you, Max.” (inspired by this post)


gentle reminder


‪not everyone is going to understand, and that’s okay - please try your best to not let that upset you, and know that there are people who do understand, even if you haven’t found them yet and even if you don’t really understand it yourself; it’s okay, it’s going to be alright‬





The year is 2018. Your bills are on autopay. You just got paid and you still have $1200 from the last check. When you want something, you buy it without moving money around. Your credit cards are paid off. You and your friends have 2 international trips planned and paid for this year. Your parents are in great health and you’re able to help if they need anything. You love your job. Your desired creative career is falling into place and you get to take your little cousins to Six Flags and Universal Studios over the Summer. Your relationships are healthy and supportive. All of the toxic energy from the past 6 years is gone. You going to concerts, eating good across the states and your crib has art and warmth throughout. 2018 is going to be so good to you.

In Jesus name Amen 🙏🏾

I need & deserve this energy ✨

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wife ;_______;

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blurry babe

November 09 2017





Terry Pratchett started his career as a crypto-monarchist and ended up the most consistently humane writer of his generation.  He never entirely lost his affection for benevolent dictatorship, and made a few classic colonial missteps along the way, but in the end you’d be hard pressed to find a more staunchly feminist, anti-racist, anti-classist, unsentimental and clear-sighted writer of Old White British Fantasy.  

The thing I love about Terry’s writing is that he loved - loved - civil society.  He loved the correct functioning of the social contract.  He loved technology, loved innovation, but also loved nature and the ways of living that work with and through it.   He loved Britain, but hated empire (see “Jingo”) - he was a ruralist who hated provincialism, a capitalist who hated wealth, an urbanist who reveled in stories of pollution, crime and decay.  He was above all a man who loved systems, of nature, of thought, of tradition and of culture.  He believed in the best of humanity and knew that we could be even better if we just thought a little more.

As a writer: how skillful, how prolific, how consistent.  The yearly event of a new Discworld book has been a part of my life for more than two decades, and in that barrage of material there have been so few disappointments, so many surprises… to come out with a book as fresh and inspired as “Monstrous Regiment” as the 31st novel in your big fantasy series?  Ludicrous.  He was just full of treasure.  What a thing to have had, what a thing to have lost.

In the end, he set a higher standard, as a writer and as a person.  He got better as he learned, and he kept learning, and there was no “too late” or “too hard” or “I can’t be bothered to do the research.”  He just did the work.  I think in his memory the best thing we can do is to roll up our sleeves and do the same.

This post seems to be making the rounds again so here it is on the word blog

GNU Terry Pratchett










i’m starting to hate the frequency of pinterest as a google result more than i hate pinterest itself. listen, google, googly-mate, pinterest isn’t a fuckign source. I want the sites those pictures came from because those are the ones with information such as dates, which is the entire point of the thing I am googling.   

Damn right. How the hell am I supposed to find tutorials on how to do wire work or bead weaving when the first howevermany pages of Google results are some idiot’s cluster of Pinterest collections of those tutorials?


not only does it fuck with sourcing images, but you can’t even SEE the images unless you have a ~pinterest account~ which I have zero interest in acquiring; it does this so completely adorable coy little thing where it shows you half the page and then when you scroll down it goes *complicated tiresome flower emoji face* JOIN PINTEREST 2 SEE MORE! *complicated tiresome flower emoji face* and my systolic reading spikes. 

and google lists individual pinterest pages as separate results, so if a picture is popular, there can be HUNDREDS of pinterest listings before you find anything you could possibly trace back to a source.

listen, all my art bros who are mad about people not sourcing art, i dig that, i agree that sourcing is important, but maybe stop saying reverse image search is easy or ‘30 seconds’ or whatever. sometimes it’s just straight up impossible because fucking pinterest ruins everything.

SUPER EASY WAY TO AVOID PINTEREST: type your query and then -pinterest

7 of the first 12 results are from pinterest

zero items from pinterest not a single one I’m free

Reblog to save a set of nerves.

YES THANK YOU fuck pinterest

You can also use Google advanced search :D











While it’s true that a lot of telemarketers are just folks trying to make ends meet, you still shouldn’t feel bad about hanging up on them in mid-sentence.

Many telemarketers aren’t actually allowed to end a call without making a sale; if they did so voluntarily, they’d be fired. By corporate edict, that call was only ever going to end in one of two ways: with you buying something, or with you hanging up on them. There’s no point trying to end the conversation politely because the script they’re working off of demands that they ignore and obstruct any attempt to do so - and they will be punished for failing to follow it.

You hanging up on them is literally the only way for them to get out of a call that’s not going anywhere, so you might as well get it over with. You’re actually doing them a favour.


This is also an instance of a more general principle: notice when people are weaponizing social norms, and react by refusing to play the game.

Easy mode for this is the people on the street with pamphlets. They’ll weaponize social norms in an attempt to make you stop and talk to them. One script I see, for instance:

ACTIVIST: Hi! Excuse me, are you a student here?

PASSER-BY: –yes, I am.

ACTIVIST: Do you care about the ethical treatment of minorities on campus?

PASSER-BY: ….um, yes, but…

ACTIVIST: Were you aware that 90% of statistics about minorities are made up on the spot to serve as examples in tumblr posts?

PASSER-BY: …no, I wasn’t, but I really have to…

ACTIVIST: Here’s what our organization does to fight that!

…and so forth.

The trick here, of course, is that the first question is one which it’s socially unacceptable to avoid answering. If the activist opens with “would you like to help save a photogenic animal today?” you can say “no thank you.” If they open with “do you care about the whales?” you can grit your teeth and say “nope.”

But how do you respond to “are you a student here”? It’s a yes or no question, to which you definitely know the answer, so you can’t mumble something about not knowing. And it’s not explicitly related to their cause, so you can’t just automatically say “not today thanks.” (If you try either of those, they’ll call you on it – “what, you’re not a student today?”)

Ignoring them, or saying “that’s none of your business” or “leave me alone,” is a violation of social norms, and means you look like a jerk, because they asked a question that’s well within the realm of what’s socially permissible. So if you’re playing by social norms, you have to answer.

And then, once you’ve answered, you’re engaged in conversation with them. It’s an egregious violation of social norms to walk away from a conversation without going through the normal conversation-ending procedures. And they of course will not participate in those. So now you’re trapped, where you would have been free under social norms to walk past someone shouting at you about statistics if you hadn’t yet engaged with them.

The only way to escape these situations is to notice them and step outside the social game. This is hard; you will get intense this-is-awkward, I-am-being-awful-and-mean feedback from your brain, which has noticed you are violating the rules and would like you to stop. But walking away without saying anything, or saying “I don’t want to talk right now,” is in fact the correct thing to do here.

And that’s easy mode. People selling something play this game blatantly. Hard mode is people who play it expertly, within society, so that you have to go along with what they want or be forced into violating social norms. (And people will go along with a lot rather than violate social norms.) Friends who ask you for things in a way that makes it awkward to refuse. Family members who treat you badly but do it in a way contrived so that any complaint will constitute you being rude. In the really extreme cases, the same dynamic shows up in abusive relationships. It’s the adult version of an abuser convincing a kid he’ll get in trouble if he tells his parents.

So this is, IMO, a really important skill to learn and to deploy properly. Social norms are great, I love doing the dance of social convention, it’s lovely and satisfying, but if your partner keeps trying to stab you with a poisoned dagger, maybe it’s time to stop dancing. Even if that looks weird in the middle of the dance floor.

This is something I never thought needed to be broken down before, but once you did it helped make a lot of things clear. Like, I already knew that sales people are pushy and try to rope you into conversations that are difficult to terminate, but describing the reasons why those conversations feel so awkward to leave abruptly was super enlightening.

Well said.

One other reason that people feel uncomfortable breaking social norms is the fear of retaliation. This is one that the face-to-face marketers tend to play on more than the telemarketers.

There’s a reason that chuggers (“charity muggers”) frequently pick on women - female-socialised people find it harder to say “no” and walk away from a social interaction. Some of this may be due to fear of retaliation. Lots of situations in which “a stranger forces you into weird public engagement” can escalate horribly, so it’s often easier to just mumble along with them and contrive an escape. Rejection (of the chugger/catcaller/marketer) is something that sometimes leads to retaliation, so depending on your experiences you might find yourself being afraid to “just walk away.”

I have had two experiences where chuggers caught me in public and reacted badly to my flat rejections. They were both men chugging for Greenpeace, and I actually complained to the organisation about them. Because they’re playing on social norms as well, using aspects of themselves in the marketing performance, they can get waaay too invested and in-character, and treat it as a social/sexual rejection, apparently. One of them actually lost his head and chased me down the street, shouting.

Anyway the best way I found to stop both of them was to stand at bay and scream “STOP HARASSING ME”, which created such public amazement among the other people on the sidewalk that the chuggers had to put their hands up and back away.

With the chasing-guy he sort of did a defeated primal scream and went back to his pitch, presumably having come back to his senses. but the other guy just raised his eyebrows like “hey WOW fair enough” so it worked out okay.

Basically even if there is retaliation, just remember that THEY STARTED IT and THEY MADE IT WEIRD.

Your number one script for the very first response is, “Sorry, I’m late, can’t talk.” And keep walking.

Oh absolutely. In the cases of the two Greenpeace chuggers I had initially flatly rejected and kept walking with a murderous pace; it’s not like I haven’t lived in cities. But the chasing-guy then followed me and touched my shoulder to stop me (departing wildly from the chugger script - they’re supposed to leave you alone if you say no) so I told him he was now harrassing me, which made him escalate. The other guy was more casual, but he still got in front of me and blocked me with his body. Both of these are seriously inappropriate, which is why I literally stopped and called them out, then reported them to Greenpeace.

The “fear of retaliation” is an incredibly important aspect of the social-awkwardness part of rejection, though. So I think it’s important to model how that can happen in aggressive-marketing situations. In fact, you have more power with marketers than when faced with a catcaller; you can get marketers fired for it, because there are rules about how marketing behavior is supposed to happen.

I know exactly what you’re saying, so I apologise for riffing on it, but I’m getting notes/activity that’s all bright and chipper and reccomennding doing the murderwalk to “simply not have the trouble in the first place” as if this is New Information.

And I think it’s a little unhelpful for people to be told “Well, just say ‘no’ and you won’t get into escalating situations” because that’s patently untrue, and doesn’t work in any sphere of life where you actually need it. And then when it does escalate, it automatically becomes a situation where “saying no and walking way” is ineffective because you’re already past that point. And it is deeply irritating for people who do end up having trouble: “Uhh why didn’t you practice the magic murder-walk ™ that makes people leave you alone? (insert gif of the lady doing the murderwalk) I do that and nobody’s EVER committted crimes against me, you should be more like me.” And it’s like, uhhhh well yes the murderwalk is great for walking past the drunk guy in the student hub, but when every pissed-off commuter in London is literally doing that at all times ANYWAY, then statistically a trained lancer in the Chugger Pack in a tube station Marketing Gauntlet is going to go for murderwalkers anyway, because they gotta make rent, and sometimes you’ll be one of them? It’s an evolutionary arms race. it doesn’t REALLY matter how you always walk past importunate homeless people while thinking about murdering Captain America, or whatever. You don’t get paid to do that, and other people DO get trained and paid to break into your personal bubble and sell things to you.

In conclusion: I think most people have, in fact, heard of the word “no”. Thus, telling them to “just use it” is not always that helpful (if you really want to help people). It’s like saying “if someone touches you, then do karate on them.” And if anyone has questions, then it’s like answering “just do karate! Do five karates!” and if it doesn’t work then it’s like saying “well, it’s because you didn’t do SEVEN karates.”

I’m not mad and everyone is absolutely right, it’s just that it can be true that “murderwalking” or “hanging up” or “saying no and walking away” is helpful, BUT ALSO, when that doesn’t work, that’s what the post is about - why it doesn’t work, and what happens next.

Sorry, @elodieunderglass , I guess I should have responded to this post earlier in the thread rather than from you. (Not sarcasm.) The earlier posts were largely concerned with “these people are using social scripts to trap you with obligation, that’s the trick you probably don’t consciously understand, this is why it works” and my response was meant to be “this is a sample script that allows you not to get trapped by using a completely socially acceptable excuse, which in most cases obliges the people bothering you to stop because respecting your lateness is an opposing social norm.” It wasn’t until your addition that the thread became about exceptionally douchy chuggers that have no conception of boundaries or norms in their pursuit of their goal.

So yeah. My addition clearly doesn’t apply to your situation. Nothing does. It was a script meant for people who have a hard time shaking ordinary chuggers. Sorry.

No no no please don’t feel like you have to apologise! You don’t! It’s a really good reply and a really good point and I completely see it! They can all be good points and you’re absolutely right!

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